CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Just Let It Happen, Baby - Part 2 of Our Stroll Down Memory Lane With Chi Chi!


Welcome to Part 2 of my

exclusive interview with

Carole Devine aka Chi Chi!

This talented songstress started out as lead singer
of the Tams aka the Hippies, the Philadelphia vocal group that gave us the evocative doo-wop hit "Memory Lane." Chi Chi went on to become an exciting and versatile
solo artist. I am very proud to bring you Chi Chi's story and her music.

S.D. KNIGHT: Hello again, Chi Chi. Before we pick up the
timeline of your career, could you tell us which artists or
recordings influenced you most?


 CHI CHI: Frankie Lymon and 
 the Teenagers influenced my 
 singing. I tried to imitate his 
 style while growing up. I met 
 him finally in a show at the 
 State Theatre put on by 
 Jerry Blavat. Frankie told 
 me he really liked our song 
 "Memory Lane." I told him 
 how much he influenced 
 my singing. 

S.D. KNIGHT: Did you perform in any major rock 'n' roll shows or tours either with your vocal group or later on as a soloist?

 CHI CHI: From what I can recall as a group, we didn't do 
 much in the way of shows, appearances, etc. As I said 
 in the previous segment, our record was taken off the 
 radio when the Payola scandal broke and we never got 
 the chance. Any and all shows, appearances, etc. were 
 done by me later and the studio placed two guys with me. 




 I worked with Jerry Blavat,
 Hy Lit, Cousin Brucie in 

 New York on the Hudson 
 River, a show in Buffalo... 






 ...I also worked with 
 Murray the K and did 
 The Grady and Hurst
 Show
down at the 

 New Jersey shore... 





S.D. KNIGHT: Let me stop you there, Chi Chi, and give the readers some background on Philadelphia broadcast pioneers Joe Grady and Ed Hurst. The pair hosted a popular radio show called The 950 Club on WPEN. The show, which ran from the mid 40s to the mid 50s, was the first to feature teenagers dancing to records live on the air.

As such, The 950 Club was the predecessor of Bandstand.
In 1958, Ed Hurst began hosting Summertime on the Pier, later called The Steel Pier Show, a long running TV dance show that originated from Atlantic City's famous Steel Pier.

S.D. KNIGHT: Alright, Chi Chi, let's continue our stroll down memory lane. You met and shared a stage with some of the biggest recording stars of the 60s. Can you name a few?

 CHI CHI: I can't recall which show it was, but I remember 
 at the airport, over the loudspeaker, came the voice re- 
 questing that The Animals, The Lovin' Spoonful, Chi Chi 
 and I can't recall who else, please come to such and such 
 place to be taken by limousine to a hotel. I got a kick out 
 of that! We obviously were performing, but I don't think 
 we were performing at the same place at the same time. 

1960'S CHI CHI

 I have done shows with the Chiffons, Dee Dee Sharp, 
 the Orlons, Freda Payne, Jimmy Soul, the Dovells, the 
 Duprees, the latest Platters group, Darlene Love, the 
 Soul Survivors (two of them), Kenny Vance & the 
 Planatones, The Angels... 

S.D. KNIGHT: You have a funny story about the Angels.


 CHI CHI: Yes! We shared a dressing room and they were 
 so sweet and friendly. We hit it off right away. 

 Anyway, they said, "Chi Chi, wanna 
 hear our new song coming out?" 
 and I said, "Sure." Well, they start 
 singing, "My Boyfriend's Back." 
 I'm thinking, "It's really cute, but 
 I don't think it will make it!!!!" 
 Hahaha, don't ever ask me what 
 I think will be a hit. I obviously 
 don't have a clue!!! 


S.D. KNIGHT: I hear ya! There's a new band from Liverpool -
four mop tops - John, Paul, George and Whatshisname.
I predict they'll fizzle. :)   Okay, Chi Chi... it's time for
us to reveal more of your fine recordings.


In Part 1 we listened to the first of Chi Chi's solo sides
for Red Bird Records, the sophisticated, refreshingly
different girl group sound "I Know He Loves Me" as by
Chi-Chi McCauley. That Red Bird single turned out to
be a dynamite double-sider with outstanding recordings
back-to-back. The B side is a feel good song that's as
fresh today as it was 50 years ago!


"Memory Lane Without You" is another song penned by
Howard Boggess. "Boggie," as you recall, was Chi Chi's
long time friend and a member of her group.  He shares
composing credit with another member, Jack Felker, for
the original "Memory Lane."  "Memory Lane Without You"
picks up where "Memory Lane" left off. Its catchy melody
and brisk up-tempo arrangement breathe new life into the
wistful ballad about faded teenage romance. I know you
will enjoy this delightful piece of ear candy, an evergreen
that recalls the carefree endless summers of our youth.

 "Memory Lane Without You" 
 Chi-Chi McCauley 
 (June 1964) 




In 1966, solo singer Carole Devine signed with Kapp Records,
shortened her stage name to Chi Chi, and ascended to what
many consider to be the pinnacle of her career.


Chi Chi's Kapp recordings are exquisite vocal performances.
The productions are prime examples of the grand, majestic,
reverberant Wall-of-Soundalikes I've been bringing you this
year in my series Echoes of the Spectorian Era.


In the booklet that accompanies the girl group compilation
Chapel of Love, Nick Patrick and Malcolm Baumgart wrote
the following about Chi Chi: "The young singer, now minus
her surname, reemerged in 1966 with a brace of highly
sophisticated slabs of uptown pop in a sumptuous
Randazzo meets Bacharach style.”


“If You’re Gonna Love Me,” the first of Chi Chi's Kapp
singles, has producing credits that include Hy Mizrahi,
one of the founders of Kama Sutra Productions, and
Chi Chi's friend and singing partner "Boggie" Boggess.
Listen to Chi Chi's bold, powerful voice enveloped in
a Wall of Sound on a magnificent opus that reminds
me of a Jack Nitzsche arrangement.

 "If You're Gonna Love Me" - Chi Chi 
 (Released circa November 1966) 




Chi Chi's follow-up single for Kapp is yet another doublesider.


First, here's the B side, "Somewhere There's Someone,"
a buttery smooth bossa nova recording that rivals those
of Astrud Gilberto and Eydie Gormé.

 "Somewhere There's Someone" - Chi Chi 
 (Released circa Dec. 1966/Jan. 1967 
 B side of "Just Let It Happen") 




S.D. KNIGHT: Chi Chi, our interview is nearly at an end and
I have a question for you. Of all the recordings you made in your singing career, which is your favorite and why?

 CHI CHI: "Just Let It Happen" on Kapp records was and 
 is my favorite because I had never seen such a production! 
 It was done in Columbia Studios in New York. There were 
 so many musicians there I thought that Frank Sinatra was 
 coming to record and that they were not all there for me! 

S.D. KNIGHT: I'm with you, Chi Chi. I genuinely love all of these featured recordings made by you and your group...
but your favorite, "Just Let It Happen," is also my favorite and now it's time to play it. The readers might recall that
I posted a version of this Chip Taylor - Trade Martin song performed by the Arbors in Volume 1 of Echoes.


Chi Chi's version of the song, the A side of her second Kapp
single produced by Kama Sutra's Hy Mizrahi, casts a magic
spell over me whenever I hear it. Chi Chi beckons us near
with her soft, smooth, seductive voice. Suddenly its full
power and passion are unleashed and we soar with her to
the heavens - an incomparable listening experience. Here
now is her masterpiece, arguably the greatest recording
of Chi Chi's career - "Just Let It Happen."

 "Just Let It Happen" - Chi Chi 
 (Released circa December 1966/January 1967) 




S.D. KNIGHT: Chi Chi, your voice absolutely mesmerizes me. I don't know of many vocalists who could perform so many different types of songs so convincingly, with flair, credibility and authority the way you do.

 CHI CHI: Thanks. I just sing what I feel. Some songs make 
 you cry, feel pain, loss internally. My voice projects that. 

S.D. KNIGHT: A lifelong resident of the Delaware Valley,
you are still performing live shows in the area, aren't you?




 CHI CHI: Yes, I do some shows 
 when asked, usually the oldies type 
 (Jerry Blavat at the Kimmel Center 
 in Center City, Pa.) and I sing at a 
 a local club called Casa Cafe in 
 Warrington, Pa. once a month. 




S.D. KNIGHT: More good news. In addition to your current live appearances, you've been back in the studio working on a new set of recordings, correct?

 CHI CHI: Yes! People are always asking me if I have a CD 
 so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm collaborating with some 
 gentlemen with whom I've worked in the recent past 
 and we are planning to put out a CD of our group hit  
 "Memory Lane" and other songs. Recently I went to 
 the studio and recorded "Memory Lane" and "At Last." 
 I am very excited! 

S.D. KNIGHT: Chi Chi, before I let you go, let me ask you this. You have had a distinguished career as a singer and recording artist. What has is meant to you and how would you like to be remembered?

 CHI CHI: I never dreamed this would be so much a part 
 of my life. I have been blessed beyond belief! I still get 
 "chills" and so very touched that people remember our 
 song "Memory Lane" and applaud whenever and wher- 
 ever I sing today. I still have to pinch myself to believe it! 
 The people make me want to do this until they tire of me. 
 I've gotten so much more from this than I ever thought 
 possible. could die tomorrow and say, "Wow, they liked 
 our song and it brought back happy memories for them." 
 I would like them to remember me and our group as being 
 totally grateful to them and their kindness. 

Thank you very much, dear Chi Chi, for the opportunity to get to know you, learn about your life and music and for the honor of having you as a friend. You are a wonderful singer and one of the few to make classic recordings in three different music categories: doo-wop, girl group
and Spectorian Wall-Of-Sound.


You, Carole Devine aka Chi Chi,

are the pride of Roxborough High

and truly one of Philly's Phinest.

Memory Lane without you...

just wouldn't be the same!





Have a Shady day!

48 comments:

  1. I like that you have added the music by embedding it.

    Like the last song, it reminds me of back to the future for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi, Sol! Welcome, good friend! I'm happy to see you here for my special two part interview with the gifted American thrush Carole Devine aka Chi Chi.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, Sol, and enjoy your Friday and your weekend in England!

      Delete
  2. Kathryn Anderson aka Mrs. ShadyMay 30, 2014 at 2:43 AM

    That’s a funny story about the Angels! It must have been very exciting for Chi Chi to meet and work with all those big names.

    You picked a winner because Chi Chi's recorded work is magnificent across the board. I can’t even pick a favorite. She also seems like a very nice person. Now I know what you were working on feverishly all these months. You did a wonderful job with the interview. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Chi Chi’s life and career and listening to her music. Bravo, Shady!

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    1. Hello again, Mrs. Shady! Your comments mean a lot to me because, as we both know :) ... you tend to be a tough critic. I couldn't be happier knowing that you found this two part interview series absorbing and that you appreciated the extent of Chi Chi's vocal talent.

      I honestly love all seven of the recordings embedded in this series. It's like they are all tied for first place atop my leader board. Clearly, Miss Carole Devine was incapable of a sub par performance.

      Carole is indeed a fine lady and so are you, Kathryn, for being here this morning to help me honor her. Thank you very much and have a great day!

      Delete
  3. Chi Chi is beautiful, and I very much enjoyed the music. Thank you, Shady.

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    1. ...and thank you, dear Susie, for joining me for this two part series saluting one of my all time favorite recording artists, Chi Chi.

      Take good care of yourself and have a wonderful weekend up there in Michigan, dear friend Susie!

      Delete
  4. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMay 30, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    Well, Tom, you've managed once again to plant some music in my brain for the rest of the day and quite possibly beyond.

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to report you to my neurologist. I've got "Memory Lane" going around in my head now, but I must say, it beats a lot of the other stuff up there that it replaced in quality and mood! I also find the relaxing and smooth vocalizations of "Just Let it Happen" to be a wonderful accompaniment for a nice relaxing cup of tea and some rare "staring-out-the-window" time in my hectic schedule. So I need to recommend the last two posts to the doctor for other stressed out patients!

    I wonder how you got to know Carole and gain access to her personal memories of her career. I would think it's difficult if not impossible to get an artist of her caliber to agree to this unique interview, but I'm sure glad you did it.
    It was more than interesting to hear her take on the times too, and the nature of the recording business as influenced by scandal and "invasions" from abroad.

    I loved the history you gave demonstrating the importance of disc jockeys to the popularity of songs and the anecdotes Chi Chi recounted in the last two posts. When you hear a song, you rarely know what went on behind the scenes to bring it to fruition, so the background you gave, added to her thoughts from being on the inside of the art form, enriches and adds another dimension to our appreciation. Songs on the radio or on records only last a few minutes, but I feel like I have been included in a special group that knows some of what really went on among all the people who make the music happen. It is very complex isn't it?

    I've thoroughly enjoyed learning about Carole's past and hearing her wonderfully rich and mature voice. I am truly amazed at her versatility, because so many artists only seem to operate out of only one style. Although it sounds like some of her best work did not achieve the attention it certainly deserved, perhaps she avoided the pitfalls of runaway fame that some other recording artists endured. Many ended up being recognized for a short time and like a meteor they crashed and burned, then found their lives in a tailspin from which they never recovered.

    Better, I think, to have a notable place in the history of American music as Carole has earned, and go on to have a steady and respectable career with truly appreciative fans that will follow for the long term.

    Although I have much more of her music to listen to and to learn about Carole, you've given us enough here to add me to her list of fans! And Carole, I am so glad you and your friend were overheard in that room behind the gym! It's funny, isn't it, how such a chance encounter brought so much beauty to our world?

    Thank you from your new follower for your authentic and unforgettable voice, your life's work in the entertainment and music industry and the gifts they bring to my life.


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    1. Hi, Kathleen! I am sure that you have warmed Carole's heart and made her day with this stellar comment. I totally agree that there are many fates worse than having one or more of Chi Chi's songs stuck in your head all day. It happens to me all the time. I also agree that her rich, mature, refined vocal styling on those three Kapp recordings in particular is perfect for window gazing, meditation and decompression.

      How did I discover Carole and get the opportunity to conduct this interview? I call your attention to the comment posted last night by Anthony Reichardt, a highly respected music expert who operates one of the best YouTube channels (if not THE best). I was doing research for my series Echoes of the Spectorian Era when I came across Chi Chi's recordings on Anthony's site. I enjoyed her music so much and was so fascinated by details of her Kapp recording sessions as described in the text on Anthony's channel, that I decided to devote a blog series to her. Fortunately, Carole has her own YouTube channel and I contacted her, asked for an interview and, luckily for all of us, was granted one. Carole is a sweetheart and deserves all the recognition she can get.

      Rest assured that Chi Chi has many devoted fans around the world who recognize, as do I, that a record's chart performance has absolutely nothing to do with its quality. I call it "Shady's Law." In my opinion, each and every one of these Chi Chi sides is a classic and millions of fans agree.

      Thank you very much, dear friend Kathleen, for taking time out of your busy day to share some love with Chi Chi. I very much appreciate your remarks and I know she will, too. God bless!

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  5. Shady, that was a wonderful interview and I love how you walked through her career and songs! I appreciate the addition of music - how clever! Chi-Chi and Shady, my heartfelt thanks!!

    Gracias!

    Cherdo
    www.cherdoontheflipside.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello hello hello, dear Cherdo! Thank you very much for spending some quality time in the Shady with Chi Chi and me. I'm delighted to know you enjoyed this two-parter highlighting the life, career and recordings of Carole Devine. Your compliments are greatly appreciated, Cherdo, and Carole and I thank you for your friendship and support.

      I would also like to thank you again for your special post dedicated to the Shady Dell, to this blog and our exciting new friendship. It was a very pleasant surprise. You're the best, kiddo! Have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend Cherdo!

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  6. What a thrill for Chi Chi to be associated and to play with some of those "heavy hitters". She is right up to par with them. I do agree with both of you about the very romantic "Just Let it Happen." It was my favorite, too, and hit a home run with me! What a great song for a slow dance! I also enjoyed the follow up song to "Memory Lane," "Memory Lane w/o You." What a cool thing to do! Chi Chi's musical career/history was very exciting along with her interesting life. I enjoyed this two part series so much. I was wondering where Warrington, PA was. My guess is close to Philly. That's not too far from York! I would love to see/hear Chi Chi some time!

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    1. Hi, dear Toni! Thank you very much for swinging by for Part 2 of this year's big interview - my conversation with the sensational Chi Chi! I agree with you. "Just Let It Happen" is a smooth groove that would offer a great slow dance opportunity. I wish the record would have been available on the Dell jukebox. I'm also pleased that you enjoyed the effervescent "Memory Lane W/O You," a feel good song if ever there was one.

      To answer your question, Warrington is over Philly way, past King of Prussia and Norristown between Doylestown and Willow Grove.

      Thank you again, dear friend Toni, for helping me give a well deserved love shower to a wonderful lady and marvelous singer, Chi Chi. Have a safe and happy weekend!

      Delete
  7. Well hello there, Shady! Thank you for another interesting post full of great tunes.
    I really appreciate the interview and how personal it makes this post. Don't get me wrong, just the music would be great, but the stories and smiles i get out of this is priceless.
    I think that it's so cute that Chi Chi rather doubted 'My Boyfriend's Back, and you weren't too stoked about
    John, Paul, George and 'whatshisname' (LOL) Those sound exactly like something i would do. While the chance encounter of overhearing Chi Chi and her friend is a dream incident many singers wish could happen to them.
    i enjoy reading other comments left here, and hearing your other friend's thoughts and memories and the other information you share with them.
    Also, thank you so much for your wealth of encouragement and participation on my blog. i do not always have time to respond to every one, but i read them all and the make me so very, very happy.
    I wish and pray you have a safe and happy weekend!!
    ~Abigail and Daisy.

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    1. Hi, Abigail! Hello, dear little Daisy! Thank you both for joining the fun, frolic and festivity as I complete my interview series with the one and only Chi Chi.

      When you enter this online version of the Shady Dell, all you need to bring along is your imagination, your sense of humor and a youthful attitude. You have shown over and over again that you possess an abundance of all three.

      Chi Chi's anecdote about the Angels and their huge hit "My Boyfriend's Back" reminds us that no one can ever tell for sure what's going to be a hit or a miss. In my opinion, all seven of these featured Chi Chi recordings deserved to be at least top 40 hits, yet none were and only one of the seven made any dent in the chart whatsoever. Go figure! You also made a good point about being "discovered." A chance encounter or a few notes of singing overheard by the right person can lead to a recording contact and stardom. Thank goodness Boggie overheard Carole and her girlfriend and decided to write a song and build a group around them. That pivotal moment led to these classic doo-wop, girl group and adult contemporary pop recordings made by Chi Chi.

      Dear Abigail, I am very happy that you and I "discovered" each other in the blogosphere and became friends, reaching across generations and decades of time to celebrate all that we have in common.

      Thank you again for being here for Chi Chi and for me, dear Abigail. I wish you and Daisy a safe and very happy weekend!

      Delete
  8. I wish I could sing as well as Chi Chi. I wish I were as pretty as Chi Chi. I wish my name was Chi Chi.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hello, JJ! Thank you for reporting in, my friend, as I wind up my tribute to the lovely and talented songbird, Chi Chi. Yessum, Chi Chi is a great singer and is still going strong today. Chi Chi had the look back in the day, still does, and a cooler stage name would be hard to find. However, Janie, I don't want you to underestimate your own greatness.

      Fact:
      Every man wants to date Janie Junebug.

      Fact:
      Every woman wants to BE Janie Junebug.

      Fact:
      Janie Junebug is a very cool name.

      Fact:
      Janie Junebug is a very cool person.

      Fact:
      Janie Junebug is funny, intelligent, articulate and opinionated.

      Fact:
      Me likey Janie Junebug!

      Thank you again for bestowing an award on me today, Janie. It was a kind and generous act. Have a Shady weekend!

      Delete
    2. I appreciate the Janie Junebug list, but I suspect you are delusional.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for another interesting post Shady, I enjoyed reading and learning about Chi Chi!

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    1. Hello again, Sarah! You are very welcome, my dear friend. This 2-part interview was a labor of love for me. I've had a lifelong fascination with all things Philly. Carole and her vocal group the Tams/Hippies were architects of the sound of Philadelphia. In the last year I have been keenly interested in girl groups and Spectorian Wall-of-Sound productions and Chi Chi's singles on Red Bird and Kapp are among the greatest examples of those two categories.

      Thank you for being here to experience Carole's recordings and learn about her life and career. Enjoy your weekend, dear Sarah!

      Delete
  10. again, thanks Shady for a job well done. Thanks for sharing Chi chi, and Chi chi thanks for being you. -- a Very versatile singer. Keep it coming!

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    1. Welcome back, Mrs. S! Your comment here prompts me to make a point about Carole. She's the real deal - a solid pro, talented as they come . At the same time she is sweet, down to earth, likable and lovable. In my experience the truly great ones have those qualities. "Versatile" is an excellent word to describe Chi Chi as she evolved through the 1950s and 60s and adapted nicely to the changing taste in popular music.

      Thank you again, dear Kathryn, for giving enthusiastic thumbs up to my special guest Carole Devine!

      Delete
  11. Hi Shady,

    Congratulations on Chi Chi Part 2, wonderful music and videos; a very talented singer and artist and it's great Chi Chi is still recording music with others; a life long activity and her passion for music really comes through in the interview. I look forward to your other features.

    Shady, I am inviting you to guest post at writing the rapids. If you would like to contribute a topic of your choice, send your contribution through to writingtherapids@gmail.com - Until next time Shady :) yours @ writing the rapids - Allie-Millie

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    1. Hello, dear Allie-Millie! Thank you, my dear friend, for staying up late in Australia to post a comment about Chi Chi. It thrills me to know her music resonates with you. I for one can't wait for the release of her new CD. I was overjoyed when she told me she's back in the studio.

      Passion is the key, the driving force that enables us to accomplish great things during our lives. Carole has it, I have it and I know that you have it. Your passion is reflected in the topics you choose to discuss on your excellent blog and your style of writing.

      I am honored to be invited to contribute a guest post on your blog. Thank you very much for asking, dear friend. I'll start thinking of a topic right away and will email you when I have something put together.

      Thank you for your friendship and generous support of SDM&M, dear friend Allie-Millie. Good night to you and have a super Sunday and a wonderful week ahead!

      Delete
  12. A great finish to this interview! What a strong, clear voice. I love that you have included the songs so we can be transported along with the two of you. ChiChi does sound like a wonderful woman and this was an engaging interview. Kudos! :)

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    1. Thanks a bunch, dear Rita! I am very excited to have you as a new blog friend just in time for you to experience one of the most important posts of my six year blogging career, my interview with Chi Chi.

      You will find few people to argue when you say that Carole is blessed with a strong, clear voice. She doesn't just sing. She delivers a song with power and authority. Who would ever guess that she was nervous when she entered that New York studio and stood before an orchestra fit for Sinatra? It must have felt like facing a firing squad, but Chi Chi boldly and confidently got the job done. That's mastery!

      Thank you again, dear friend Rita, for being here on this very special occasion. Enjoy the rest of your North Dakota weekend and give Karma a smooch for me!

      Delete
  13. All I could say was, "Wow," when I was done listening to these recordings. Great songs with a strong, beautiful voice. I just enjoyed them all so much.

    'Somewhere There's a Someone' was my favorite; to me, it was a complex and wonderful song, perfect with Chi Chi's voice. I think she could sing any type of song beautifully. Thanks Chi Chi and Shady.

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    1. Hi, Belle! It's so nice of you to come by with a report card on the second set of Chi Chi recordings. Looks like she gets straight A's. I'm tickled that you mentioned "Somewhere There's Someone," the smooth, ear pleasing bossa nova number on the flip side of her Kapp single "Just Let It Happen." I agree with you that it's a gem. Chi Chi dials back the power and renders the song in a tender, intimate voice. It's a joy listening to it.

      I am totally won over by this lady and I can tell that you are, too. Now you know why I was so excited over the opportunity to interview her.

      Thank you very much for bringing smiles and happiness to Chi Chi and to me today, dear friend Belle. Happy Sunday to you and have a great week ahead!

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  14. Part 2 - wonderful continuation. I love hearing about all these small time but fantastic singers!

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    1. Hello and welcome back, dear Catherine! Thank you very much for staying up late in the land down under to visit me and comment on my Chi Chi interview. Shady's Law states that an artist's greatness cannot be measured by the number of hit records they achieved in their career. As you and I have been discovering, there were many exceptionally talented entertainers who simply didn't get the break they needed to catapult them to stardom. Our dear friend Chi Chi was one of them.

      Thank you very much for visiting, dear friend Cat. I hope you will find SDM&M habit forming. :) Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Delete
  15. Hi Shady...I'm running 'amuck' as usual, and it looks like you're running with all carbs open! This interview is just phenomenal! You asked the great questions, and Chi Chi answered with so much compassion and grace! Yes, it is a funny story about the Angels, and, I bet they laugh about it today also! I'm sure competing with other entertainers, trying to earn a spot...make a mark, was such a challenge, and could be emotional.

    And, you know, Chi Chi speaks of Frankie Lymon as being an influence on her, and getting to be in the company of the Animals, Chiffons and the Orlons-what a great experience.

    I wonder if Cousin Brucie is the same guy we hear on Sirius radio? We listen to the 50's and 60's station, and there is a Cousin Brucie as DJ on one of them. If so, he is also great, and he always takes the time to talk to anyone who calls in!

    I enjoyed all of Chi Chi's recordings, and have to say that my favorite is "If You're Gonna Love Me". It was bold and chilling to me...even though I never heard it before, there was a familiarity about it. And, the video gives us an idea of how life was for Chi Chi. I am sorry to learn of the shortcomings and disappointments she experienced on her journey, however, Chi Chi has overcome, and really appears to be happy with the success she now enjoys.

    Hey, congratulations on your 'Versatile Blogger' award! That you are, and more! You tolerate us 'latecomers', thank you very much!

    This was a very great post, Shady, and, Chi Chi is so charming. I know she enjoyed doing this interview as much as we enjoyed you sharing it with us! Thank you so much Shady! Have a wonderful week! ♫

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    1. Hi, Suzanne! You might be a little tardy to the pardy, my dear friend, but this sensational comment of yours was well worth the wait. I know Chi Chi will be very touched by what you expressed here, Suzanne, and you did it in your usual articulate manner.

      Yessum, radio veteran Cousin Brucie Morrow is currently on Sirius with Cousin Brucie's Saturday Night Party and Cruisin' with Cousin Brucie on Wednesday nights.

      I'm excited that you named "If You're Gonna Love Me" as your favorite Chi Chi recording. I can't tell you how many mornings I have awakened with that song of hers playing in my head. What a way to start the day!

      It's nice of you to notice that Janie Junebug has given me The Versatile Blogger Award. In my next post this coming Sunday I will be accepting the award and listing 7 (count 'em SEVEN) fascinating facts about myself!

      Janie also informed me that I will be her guest blogger in her next post tomorrow morning. If you'd like to read two of my personal true stories about bullying, please visit Janie's blog, WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME, tomorrow at this address:

      http://dumpedfirstwife.blogspot.com/

      Suzanne, one of the things I genuinely love about you is that you really come through for me when it counts most. You sensed how important this interview was to me and you gave it your full attention and honest evaluation. Thank you very much, dear friend, for being so great! I hope you and Karo and Scootie had a nice weekend and I wish you a safe and happy week ahead!

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  16. I enjoyed reading this post and learning new things about Chi Chi but my speakers aren't working and until I get them fixed I can't enjoy the tunes! However, I wanted to comment to thank her for the interview and the chance to get to know her. I wish her luck in her continued music goals and I love her vim and vigor of life! On another note...the fab 4..you know "whatshisname"...Ringo (Starr) which is a nickname for Richard (Starkey) a relative of Jack's...sort of! Ha!

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    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for joining the celebration of Chi Chi's life and musical career! I hope you can get your speakers working soon and that you'll remember to double back and give her songs a listen. I know you won't be disappointed. I'm glad you gleaned enough from this interview to get that Carole was and is a solid, dues paying professional whose music deserves to be heard. Moreover, she's a sweetheart. I can't wait to lay my hands and ears on her new CD!

      Are you saying that your husband Jack is somehow related to Ringo Starr? Now that's what I call a brush with greatness! Wait'll I tell my wife, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that's the ticket... Morgan Fairchild! :)

      Thank you very much for dropping by as I bring my big interview of the year to a close. It's always a pleasure to have you here, dear friend YaYa, and I wish you a wonderful week ahead. Please give Eddy a bone and a pat for me!

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  17. Hi Shady, I was late getting to this post as I was out of town all weekend with the family. I enjoyed all the selections and most were new to me. I see the Casa Cafe in Warrington got mentioned and I will have to go there some time with my daughter. She even enjoys the old girl groups and doo wop. We will try to take in a show. I very much enjoyed all the history and will look forward to Chi Chi's CD when available.
    Jerre

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    1. Hi, Jerre! I'm happy to see you, good buddy, and to know that you enjoyed my interview with Carole. She's the real deal, isn't she? It's cool that your daughter appreciates the music of this period and I hope you and she get the chance to catch one of Chi Chi's shows. I'll let you know when I get an update about the release of the new CD.

      Thanks again, Jerre. Posts like these are designed with guys like you in mind and it was a pleasure to bring you this two-parter. Have a great week!

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    2. Hey Jerre, since you have a connection to the Philadelphia area I thought I might add that Chi Chi has also worked with boss jocks Lou Costello and Kenny Jeremiah of “South Jersey’s #1 Oldies Powerhouse” CRUISIN' 92.1 – WVLT. Kenny, as you might recall, was a lead singer for the Philadelphia blue-eyed soul band The Soul Survivors and is still active on stage and in the studio.

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    3. I forgot to add that Lou Costello is known as the "Dancing DJ," because he often gets out on the floor and dances with his fans at the record hops he hosts. He even looks a little like the more famous Lou Costello!

      If you know or have memories of Kenny Jeremiah or Lou Costello please report back in, okay? Thanks, Jerre!

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  18. I am very late in catching up on my blog reading, but we had our teenager graduating from high school Friday, so the whole weekend was caught up with that. I loved reading the rest of this interview! She's got such a unique voice and then your interview added "the rest of the story". Always so very interesting, my friend! And btw- I LOVED your guest post at our friend Janie Junebug's. Very touching and compelling!

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    1. Hi, dear Shelly! I know you've been busy most weekends lately and I never doubted that you would be over here eventually. (I've been giving most of my posts a full 7 or 8 day run to allow my friends plenty of time to visit.) I'm so glad you appreciated the interview and enjoyed listening to the great recordings of Chi Chi. I honestly idolize her and listen to her songs every day during my exercise sessions.

      I know you are swamped and that's why I very much appreciate the time you devote to me, Shelly. I'm happy to know you saw my guest post over at JJ's place. I could hardly believe the coincidence when I was informed by another blogger, Allie-Millie in Australia, that I am currently appearing s guest blogger on her site Writing The Rapids. If you care to have a look at my story on Allie-Millie's blog the address is:

      http://writingtherapids.blogspot.com/

      Thank you very much for being here for Chi Chi and for me, dear friend Shelly. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  19. Not to take anything from the Chi Chi post, I just wanted to tell all Tom's followers that he was honored today by being on 2 other blog post as a guest blogger. With Tom's modest and humble personality, I thought I should bright this to light for all to read. Here are the 2 other blogs showcasing Tom's stories:


    writingtherapids.blogspot.com/ by Allie-Millie
    dumpedfirstwife.blogspot.com/ by Janie Junebug

    Sure hope I did that right--Tom???
    Toni Deroche

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    1. Hi, Toni! How kind of you, dear friend! Isn't it a coincidence that two bloggers on opposite sides of the world decided to have me as their guest blogger the same day? :) I had no idea it was going to work out this way. It is very nice of you to come back over here and give me a plug. I appreciate it very much.

      Stay tuned for Sunday's post in which I accept a blog award from JJ, capping a pretty doggone good week. Thanks again, dear friend Toni, and enjoy the rest of your day!

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  20. Its always such a pleasure visiting your blog my friend. What a wonderful way to celebrate Chi Chi. I enjoyed it all so much. Hugs

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    1. Hi, dear Katie! I'm very thankful that you got the chance to visit SDM&M and experience my salute to Carole Devine aka Chi Chi. Putting together this interview series was a labor of love for me and I'm happy to know you enjoyed reading Chi Chi's story and listening to her fine recordings.

      Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Katie, and please give Izzy a bone and a pat for me!

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  21. Well, today, June 3rd just happens to be Chi Chi's birthday. What a fantastic birthday gift for her to have such a wonderfully put together timeline of her interesting musical career being read and enjoyed around the word. You outdid yourself, Tom. A flawless presentation.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony Reichardt
    Sana Ana, California

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    1. Hi, Anthony! I had no idea today was Chi Chi's birthday. Thanks for letting me know!

      Happy happy happy birthday, Carole!

      Once again I am honored to have someone of your stature in our midst, Anthony. I idolize you as much as I idolize Chi Chi. You are my #1 source for high quality videos to use here on SDM&M. You are doing more to educate people and preserve the great, seldom heard recordings of the mid 20th century than any other YouTuber I know.

      Thank you for being part of the solution, Anthony, and thank you for joining me here for Part 2 of the interview. I knew you of all people would appreciate learning a few new and interesting tidbits about Chi Chi's career.

      Take care of yourself, my good friend. I hope to connect with you again soon!

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  22. Wow, where have I been?? Good post - lots of things I didn't know. Chi Chi has a great voice - huge sound! I can't believe all the work you do to put these things together.

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    1. Hi, karen! Thank you very much for reporting in, dear friend. I didn't want you or any of my other friends to miss one of the highlights of my blogging career, my exclusive two part interview with Chi Chi, a recording artist I greatly admire. I'm glad you agree that she has a wonderful vocal instrument, one that can shift gears in a heartbeat from soft and tender to full throttle. Thank you again for visiting and for your continuing friendship and support, dear karen. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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