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!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Duel in the Shady: The Weapons? 45s! (How The West Was Fun, Part 4)


 HERE IT IS, PART 4 

 OF MY SPECIAL SERIES 

 HOW THE WEST WAS FUN! 

 NOW THAT YOU HAVE SEEN 

 PICTURES OF MY RECENT 

 TRIP TO CALIFORNIA,  

 IT'S BACK TO BASICS 

 WITH A MUSIC POST. 


 The stroke of high noon... 


 It's time for a 

 duel in the Shady 

 using 45s. 


 I'll play sets of the same song 

 recorded by different artists. 

 You, the listener, have the 

 unenviable task of having to 


 pick the winner of each spin-off. 

 Start clicking, picking and 

 tapping your toes... NOW! 


 THE DRIFTERS 


The vocal group the Drifters was formed in 1953 to
showcase the talent of lead singer Clyde McPhatter.
Over the years personnel came and went including
leads Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis and Johnny Moore.
In the late 50s, manager George Treadwell fired
all of the original members and brought in
another group called the Five Crowns
to record and perform as the Drifters.


The lead singer of the revamped Drifters act was
Charlie Thomas and the group's first single with
Thomas on lead was "Sweets For My Sweet"
which hit the top 10 on the R&B chart and
reached #16 on the pop side.

 "Sweets For My Sweet" - The Drifters 
 (Oct. 1961, highest chart pos. #16 Hot 100/#10 R&B





 THE SEARCHERS 


In the summer of  1963, a cover of "Sweets For My Sweet"
became the debut single for the English Merseybeat band
the Searchers. Beatlemania and the British Invasion were
still a few months in the future.  Consequently, the
 Searchers' catchy cover remained uncharted
stateside while rocketing all the way
to #1 on the UK chart.

 "Sweets For My Sweet" - The Searchers 
 (July 1963, highest chart pos. #1 UK, 
 uncharted in the U.S.) 





 TAB HUNTER 


Several versions of the popular song "Young Love"
were released between Thanksgiving 1956 and
January 1957. The first, recorded by Ric Cartey
 with the Jiva-Tones, missed the chart. Actor
and singer Tab Hunter, on the other hand,
 watched his rendition soar to #1.

 "Young Love" - Tab Hunter 
 (March 1957, highest chart position #1) 





 THE CREW-CUTS 


Another version of "Young Love" was released
the same month the Tab Hunter record was on
the chart, this one by the Canadian kings of
cover, the vocal quartet the Crew-Cuts.

 "Young Love" -The Crew-Cuts 
 (March 1957, highest chart pos. #24) 





 SONNY JAMES 


Alabama native James Loden took the stage name
Sonny James.  Sonny was said to be so polite that
he earned the nickname The Southern Gentleman.
Sonny turned his recording of "Young Love" into
a huge country crossover hit.  James' record
 halted at #2 on the pop chart while topping
the country survey for 9 weeks. My parents
bought the Sonny James 45 and they and I
played it often. It was the only version of
"Young Love" that I remember hearing
as a child. I love it and consider
it the definitive.

 "Young Love" - Sonny James 
 (January 1957, highest chart position 
 #2 Billboard, #1 Cash Box, #1 Country





 LESLEY GORE 

Nearly a decade later, teen pop idol Lesley Gore
recorded her own version of "Young Love."


Released as a single at the start of spring 1966,
Lesley's cover of "Young Love" made it only
halfway up the Billboard chart.

 "Young Love" - Lesley Gore 
 (April 1966, highest chart position #50) 





 THE CHARMS 

Led by Otis Williams, The Charms were a popular
R&B vocal group of the 50s that started their
career recording ballads. It wasn't until they
hopped on the rock 'n' roll bandwagon
that the Charms began a string of hits.


The first was a cover of "Hearts of Stone" which
went to #1 on the black chart and #15 pop.
"Hearts of Stone" was originally recorded
by another black group, the Jewels, and
was also covered with great success by
the Fontane Sisters who took it to
#1 on the pop chart. The Charms
followed "Hearts of Stone" with
"Two Hearts" which made the
top 10 on the R&B chart.

 "Two Hearts" - The Charms 
 (April 1955, highest chart pos. #8 R&B





 PAT BOONE 


The Crew Cuts covered "Two Hearts" but let's
not go there again. Instead, here's a downright
decent cover by Pat Boone. I often joke about
Pat and his whitewashed covers of black originals,
but I must admit that I like the squeaky clean singer's
rockabilly interpretation of this particular R&B song.

 "Two Hearts" - Pat Boone 
 (April 1955, highest chart position 
  #16 Hot 100, #14 Cash Box




 Original or copycat... 


 which is better? 


 Now that the shootout's over 

 and the smoke has cleared 


 which 45s are standing tall? 

 Which ones bit the dust? 

 Think twice before 

 you answer, pardner. 

Have a Shady day!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Look At Me - I'm Writing The Rapids!


 A few weeks ago I was 

 gawking at the Grand Canyon. 

 Today I'm writing the rapids! 

 Allie-Millie, my dear friend 

 in Australia, has once again 

 invited me to submit a guest 

 post for her delightful blog 


 My post is up and running now 

 and I ask that you take a minute 

 to visit Allie-Millie's blog 

 and read my true story. 


 Thank you, dear friend,

 and have a Shady day! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Out There A'havin' Fun...in That Warm California Sun (Shady's Vacation, Pt. 3)


Well, I'm goin' out west out on the coast

Where the California girls are really the most


 THOSE AREN'T MY WORDS 

 (OR THOUGHTS), DEAR FRIENDS, 

 THEY'RE MERELY SONG LYRICS 

 USED TO INTRODUCE PART 3 OF 

 HOW THE WEST WAS FUN! 



Mrs. Shady and I stayed with family in El Cajon,
a valley surrounded by mountains a few miles
east of San Diego. After our whirlwind tour of
attractions in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona
we were pooped and needed to mix relaxation
with sightseeing, dining and shopping.

Fate intervened. It was on this part of
the trip that I met and fell in love with
a California girl named Maggie.


Here she is - Maggie - the sweet,
affectionate German Shepherd mix
owned by our hosts.

The only "Dell" I ever knew was the Shady Dell in York, PA.
As I discovered, San Diego also has a famous place
nicknamed "The Del." It's the Hotel Del Coronado,
 a luxury beachfront hotel that opened in 1888.
  In the late 1950s, "The Del" was used as a
filming location for Billy Wilder's hit
comedy movie Some Like It Hot.


Watch this brief film clip as stars Marilyn Monroe,
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, arrive at "The Del."




Now scroll down and view pictures
we took in July when we visited
the Hotel Del Coronado and other
scenic spots around San Diego.



We sipped iced coffee and munched snacks
inside "The Del." (Reminded me of my
youth at the other "Dell.")



This pic of San Diego Bay was taken from
Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace.



See those green umbrellas in the distance?
That's where we went for dinner.


While we were enjoying dockside dining
at Peohe's, this huge boat passed by!


The weather was again perfect
the day we visited Balboa Park.







I kissed Maggie goodbye
(yep, right on the mouth)


as we bade farewell to family members
and left their lovely home in El Cajon.


Once again we drove across the desert Southwest,
paralleling the Mexican border until we reached our
final destination..... (Yikes - that scary movie
just came to mind)..... Tuscon, Arizona.

The following pictures were snapped
during our stay in Sabino Canyon
and other areas around Tuscon.


Everywhere we went in the Tuscon area,
stately Saguaro and other species
of cacti were on display.






These images show the rugged terrain we saw
as we drove through Saguaro National Park.
Helpful hint...don't get lost out there!


The time had come for us to leave the Southwestern
states and get back to where we once belonged.
Please play the following song and
change the words as follows:

Shady left for home from Tuscon, Arizona
(Kept off the California grass)




We departed from Tuscon and flew east.
For the third time this trip our plane
touched down in a Texas city.
It was my first glimpse of this
area and I'm pretty sure
 I spotted JR and the
Ewing ranch.




From Dallas we flew to back Orlando and our
wild west odyssey came to an end. After three
solid weeks of togetherness, Mrs. Shady and
I were... how can I best describe it?...


...a prickly pair!

Hot, dusty and saddle sore, the first thing
I needed to do when I got home was this:




 STAY TUNED! THERE'S A BONUS 

 4TH POST COMING NEXT SUNDAY... 

 AN ALL MUSIC EDITION OF 

 HOW THE WEST WAS FUN! 

 SEE YOU THEN! 

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Postcards From The Edge: Pt. 2 of My Trip Series - How The West Was Fun!


 WELCOME TO PART 2 OF  

 MY SPECIAL 3-PART SERIES 

 HOW THE WEST WAS FUN! 

 IF YOU'RE JUST NOW TUNING IN  

 PLEASE CLICK BACK TO PART 1 

 AND CHECK OUT MY PICTURES 

 OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST 

 BALL OF BELLY BUTTON LINT. 

 OUR JOURNEY WEST NOW CONTINUES! 

When it was time to leave El Paso we hopped in our
rental car and drove north by northwest through
New Mexico, stopping to explore the famous VLA
(Very Large Array) radio astronomy observatory.


It is here at this facility that 27 dish antennae
peer deep into space and help unlock
the secrets of the Milky Way.
























From VLA we continued up the western
side of New Mexico until we crossed
the border into another state:




Look at this map of north central Arizona.


Enroute to our destination, Flagstaff,
we drove past Winslow, the town made
famous by the Eagles song "Take It Easy."

(Begin playing the video at 1:00.)




An historic highway that inspired another famous
song runs through both Winslow and Flagstaff.
Yessum, Shady got his kicks on Route 66.




During our stay in Flagstaff we made the
90 minute trip north to see the Grand Canyon.


All of these pictures were taken
at the Grand Canyon's South Rim.


The elevation was more than 8,100 feet at some
lookout points. Watch that first step...it's a doozy!


Enlarge the pic above and look at the rocks
outside the guard rail. While we were taking
pictures at this lookout point, a young man
hopped the railing and jumped out onto one
of those rocks to pose for pictures. There
the guy stood on a small, uneven surface
with the canyon floor a thousand feet
below him on three sides. People were
freaking out. After some whistle blowing
and coaxing, the park ranger talked the
kid in off the ledge to safety. Unreal!!!












To learn more scholarly facts and stuff
about the Grand Canyon, click here:




After spending a day at the Grand Canyon
and getting a good night's sleep we left Flagstaff.
The route took us down steep, winding mountain
roads, dropping thousands of feet to sea level.


Among the most spectacular sights along
the way were the red rocks of Sedona.



My my my my Sedona
(Everybody sing!)


Close to Phoenix we passed another road that
inspired a hit record, this one by Gordon Lightfoot,
State Route 74 aka "Carefree Highway."




Carefree highway is not the way I would
describe this particular part of the journey.
"By the time I got to Phoenix I was sweating"
is much more accurate.


It was late morning when we passed Phoenix and
crossed the Sonoran Desert on the way to Yuma
enroute to San Diego. In the Phoenix area the
temperature was already 106 with several
more hours of daytime heating ahead.


The mercury soared to a scorching 111 by
early afternoon and was forecast to reach 115!


I like to complain about the Florida heat,
but 111 degrees was...otherworldly.


It felt like I was standing too close
to a blast furnace.


Relief was on the horizon.  Soon we would
cross into California and make our way to
the coast. In a span of two hours the
temperature dropped more than
30 degrees to a refreshing 78.


 WE'D BEEN THROUGH THE DESERT 

 ON A HORSE WITH NO NAME 

 (FEELING HOT HOT HOT) 

 BUT WE FINALLY ARRIVED IN 

 COOL AND COMFY CALIFORNIA. 

 I'LL HAVE HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR 

 SOCAL SOJOURN NEXT TIME 

 IN THE PT. 3 CONCLUSION OF 

 HOW THE WEST WAS FUN!  

Have a Shady day!