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"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

Monday, August 17, 2015

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Vol. 8: Special "Wendy and Me" Edition!

Hello. I'm George Burns and you're not.

I got that one from Chevy Chase.

Welcome to Part 8 of Echoes,
a salute to the Phil Spector sound,
this episode starring Wendy and Me.

Nice girl, Wendy. Cute. Funny.

A little ditzy. Reminds me of Gracie.

Good singa. Used to sing jazz and pop
standards at the Shell Bar in Honolulu.

Now she sings rock 'n' roll.

I can give you sixteen reasons
why I hate rock 'n' roll.

Rock 'n' roll I don't get.
It's meshuggah!  When kids like
Wendy listen to it, they hear music.
All I hear is noise.

The other day I was having lunch in a
cafeteria. I always have a prune danish
for dessert. Keeps me regular.

The waiter dropped a tray
of dishes on the floor.
Two young couples got up to dance.

This modern rock 'n' roll wouldn't
play well on the Borscht Belt.
When I was Wendy's age there was
good music on the Hit Parade...

          1) Turkey in the Straw
          2) My Old Kentucky Home
          3) Battle Hymn of the Republic
          4) When Johnny Comes Marching Home
          5) John Brown's Body... 

I'm not saying I'm old...
but when I was a boy the Dead Sea
only had the sniffles.

Wendy's married to Jeff. He's a pilot.
Danny is Jeff's co-pilot. Danny's a
bachelor, has a little black book
and chases women.  Wendy thinks
Danny should get married
and settle down.

I told Wendy the
 definition of a bachelor.
A bachelor is a fella who never
makes the same mistake once.

Wendy changed her name to Connie Stevens
and made terrific Spector style records.
Here are three of Connie's Spectorian
specials along with a couple of
Wall of Sounders by other artists.
I don't know what any of that means.
I'm just reading the cue cards.


Connie Stevens released a pair of Wall of Soundalike
singles for Warner Brothers beginning in the summer
of 1963 with the doublesider "Little Miss-Understood"
b/w "There Goes Your Guy."  These gems sparkle!

 "Little Miss-Understood" 
 (August 1963, uncharted) 

 "There Goes Your Guy" - Connie Stevens 
 (B side of "Little Miss-Understood") 


Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys became
obsessed with Phil Spector and regarded
the producing legend as one of his chief
rivals in the music business.  Many of
Brian's recorded productions reveal
a Spector influence.

"You're So Good To Me" could have been
an A side hit. Instead, it was released on
a 1965 Beach Boys album and again
a year later as the B side of a 45.
Wouldn't it be nice to be so
talented that you have
songs to burn?

 "You're So Good To Me" - The Beach Boys 
 (from July 1965 album Summer Days 
 {And Summer Nights!!} Rel. April '66 
 as B side of "Sloop John B") 


Over the years there were quite a few vocal groups
called the Love Notes or Lovenotes. The Lovenotes
girl group that recorded "Baby, Baby, You" on Cameo
was another name used by Candy and the Kisses,
the act that recorded the Philly dance hit "The 81,"
with one additional member, Harriet Laverne.

Originally titled "You Baby," the song "Baby,
Baby, You" was composed by Barry Mann and
Cynthia Weil and brought to wax by Spector
for his Ronettes. As you might recall it was
the Ronettes version of "You Baby" that
kicked off this 17 part series in 2014.
Listen to the intro of this Lovenotes
record and notice the similarity to
the B-Boys' "You're So Good To Me."

 "Baby, Baby, You" - The Lovenotes 
 (July 1966, uncharted) 


Nine months after releasing her first Spector style
single on the WB label, Connie Stevens put another
in play. Like her first doublesided sizzler, this one
should have been a hit but was a total miss.
Just goes to show... a girl never knows!  

 "A Girl Never Knows" - Connie Stevens 
 (April 1964, uncharted) 

Wendy's worried about her cooking.
Doesn't want to disappoint Jeff.
Last night she burned dinner -
chicken and dumplings.
I gave her some advice.

If at first you don't fricassee...
Fry, fry a hen.

It's always nice to find a
joke older than I am.

Thanks for joining Wendy and Me
for this episode 
of Echoes,
sponsored by the cigar industry.

Wanna live to be 100? Smoke cigars!


  1. Ha-- very funny! I think some of those jokes have been told once or twice before. I remember watching Burns and Allen as a girl and I remember watching Connie Stevens in Hawaiian Eye, but I don't remember the show Wendy and Me. I didn't know Connie Stevens made so many records and it was fun hearing them. I liked the video of the Beach Boys singing the Wendy song at the end. You put together another fun filled and informative post, Shady!

    1. Hi, Kathryn! You and I have one thing in common. I too watched Burns and Allen as a girl. (It'll be our little secret :)

      Yessum, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show made its television debut in October 1950 when I was less than a year old. The vaudeville vets had a decent run with their series, 1950-58. After Gracie died, George teamed up with Connie Stevens in Wendy and Me, a sitcom with similarities to Burns & Allen. Wendy and Me lasted only one season 1964-65, but I watched it and liked it.

      DAMN! You say you heard some of those jokes before? I bought those jokes from a guy on the street and paid him a large sum of money for them. He guaranteed me they were fresh and original!

      Lesson learned: trust no one! :)

      Thank you very much for joining the fun, dear Kathryn, and enjoy your day!

  2. Haha, I love the jokes! Thanks for the smile and laughs.

    Wonderful post, Shady! I used to love the Beach Boys when I was a kid. Would always dance to their songs, especially in gym class. I never heard of the Lovenotes before and I took a listen to the song you posted - they sound great!

    One question: what is "b/w" in reference to the line "beginning in the summer of 1963 with the doublesider "Little Miss-Understood" b/w "There Goes Your Guy." These gems sparkle!"

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie! I am very pleased to see you, my friend. Thanks for coming over!

      I'm curious. Do you, a 20-something, even remember George Burns? The comedy legend vowed to live to the age of 100 and, by golly, he did it, in spite of the fact that you never saw him w/o a cigar in his hand (or mouth). ("W/o" stands for "without.")

      To answer your question, the abbreviation "b/w" stands for "backed with" or "bundled with" and was used back in the day to introduce the B side of a 45 rpm record. With vinyl making a huge comeback in the new millennium, you might start noticing "b/w" in print.

      I'm glad you enjoyed my humor and enjoyed seeing and hearing the Beach Boys. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend the two-part TV movie The Beach Boys: An American Family (2000). Last time I checked it was available on Crackle channel. It's a great film!

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend Jessica Marie, and enjoy your day and week!

    2. I do remember George Burns! I was very close to my grandma when she was still alive and she loved George Burns. Between her and being a temp in a senior activities center, I'm familiar with some older entertainment. I love it. :)

      Ah, that makes sense! When I was looking for the CD "Straight Outta Compton," Repo Records only had it in vinyl. Sadly, mom threw away my record player at least five years ago and I'm not sure if her record player still works. Maybe once I get a full time job, I might get a record player. Can a record player play both 45s and 78s? Or are they separate players?

      I'll have to see if we get the Crackle channel! If not, I can always request it through the library I work for!

      Thank you, Shady, enjoy the rest of your week as well!

    3. Hi again, dear Jessica Marie! I'm delighted to see you back here for another chat. I haven't owned a turntable in 20 or more years, ever since I foolishly sold my record collection and converted to CD. Ironically, the pendulum has swung back the other way. CDs are now considered old school and vinyl is making a comeback, especially audiophile grade record albums pressed on designer color wax. Therefore, I honestly don't know if modern turntables can play 45s and/or 78s. Did you know that record players of the 1950s and 60s offered a speed to accommodate 16 rpm recordings? I never owned any but they actually made records to be played back at 16 2/3 rpm in those days. I'll bet they sounded terrible.

      I really think you would love watching that Beach Boys movie, Jessica. It has a scene that shows how Brian Wilson met his future wife Marilyn Rovell who was then a member of the girl group The Honeys and later founded American Spring and gave birth to the Wilson sisters who became stars in the 1990s pop trio Wilson Phillips. There are also scenes depicting Charles Manson's role in the Beach Boys saga. The music and production are top notch and the actor who plays Mike Love NAILS Love's moves and mannerisms during live stage performances. The movie is definitely worth hunting for.

      Thank you very much for another great exchange, dear friend Jessica Marie. I look forward to our next one. See you soon!

    4. Hi Shady!

      I did know that. Nan used to have one of those - her turntable played everything. Sadly, it was sold in the auction after she died. :( At least dad saved his 8-Track player and some of his 8-tracks. I bet those 16 2/3 records did sound awful, though. I bet they sounded so slow. I actually YouTubed the sound:

      And they sell or at least last year these turntables were being sold in Urban Outfitters. I should look once I get a full time job. I want one. :)

      I'll have to see if the library has the film, then! It does sound like a good film. I know they released a new film about Brian Wilson and it had pretty decent reviews.

      Have a great evening, Shady! I'm off to Dreamland. :) The heat and humidity wears me out.

    5. Thank you very much for stopping by again, dear JM! I read that those 16 rpm records were mainly spoken word recordings rather than music because the quality was so poor at that slow revolution speed. I wonder it those 16s have any value as collectibles nowadays.

      Good night, dear Jessica, and thanks again for being the complete blogger and the complete friend! :)

  3. Hi Shady,
    I listened to all of the songs, and I vote for the Lovenotes. But I guess this is not a vote post.
    I might live to be 100. I used to smoke Swisher Sweets when I used to hang with the guys.
    Ave a good day!

    1. Hi, dear Susie! Thank you very much for coming down, my friend. You're right. This is not a BOTB post. However, I am always curious to know if you like the music I present and which songs are your favorites. I am ticked silly to know that your Pick To Click is the soulful Spectorian single by the Lovenotes aka Candy and the Kisses, one of Philly's Phinest vocal groups.

      Hey, I used to smoke Swisher Sweets, too! You really were one of the guys if you smoked cigars. I also smoked those hard, crooked Parodi cigars, the kind that men puffed on in Spaghetti Westerns:

      I hope you live to be TWO hundred, dear friend Susie. Thank you again for coming!

  4. Shady ah Shady Shady,
    What an interesting post. I remember Connie mostly from the Love Boat. LOL. I watched that as a kid every day. The adult content going right over my head. She also was in a beach movie with Annette Funicello and then last thing I saw her in was the Grease 2 movie that came out in late 80's. Which BTW, not very good. Grease was so awesome and cant be replicated.
    George Burns- what a classic!! I loved watching him in shows and movies. I was a kid when Oh God came out and I saw it in the theater with my friend and her mom. Hope you have a wonderful day!!

    1. Hi, dear Holli! Thank you very much for coming over, my friend! Yessum, you are a member of a younger generation, there's no getting around it, and I wouldn't expect you to remember television shows that I watched in the 50s and 60s. It's interesting to note that Connie Stevens appeared in three episodes of 77 Sunset Strip playing three different characters including Cricket Blake, the role she continued to play when she transferred over to Hawaiian Eye. "The Blonde & the Beautiful" Cricket Blake inspired the character Cricket Blair on The Young & the Restless, a role played by the blonde and the beautiful Lauralee Bell.

      Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Holli, and enjoy your day and week!

  5. Dear Shady, I love all the jokes, and I have many fond memories of George Burns. I am relieved that this is not a voting post today, as I am literally under the weather. It is dangerously hot and humid here in Montreal, and it has been like this for the past few days and will remain like this for a few more days. I lose my appetite in this weather and eat very lightly, making sure I keep myself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. I am trying to stay out of the heat and inside as much as possible where it is cool and comfortable, but my appetite for food is still suffering.

    I don't recall hearing the Love Notes, dear Shady, so I am listening to the video you provided. They sound very good! Thank you so much for all you share, and you bring back some great memories for me. :) Much love and hugs to you, my cherished friend.

    1. Hi, dear Linda! Thank you very much for coming down and joining the fun today. I am very sorry to learn that you are literally under the weather. Ironically, I believe it is much cooler way down here in Florida than it is up there in Canada at the moment.

      I'm glad you remember George Burns. As I get older I am finding fewer people who remember the major stars of my younger years. I worry that someday the Beatles and Elvis will be forgotten. I'm glad you enjoyed listening to the Lovenotes' "Baby" recording and that the post triggered fond memories for you.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Linda, Get well soon and take heart knowing that summertime is on the wane. God bless!

  6. Great posting. Love reliving these older songs and skits, even if most are a bit before my time. I've always said I was born too late.
    I find it funny how some songs take off, some flop and others surprise everyone. Just like a girl who never knows, that can apply to everyone really. You never really know what's going to be a hit.
    Thanks for the memories. (of sorts).

    1. Hi, Jeffrey! Thanks for swinging over to my weekly platter party, good buddy! Ever hear of the hit record "Born Too Late" by the girl group the Poni-Tails? If you haven't, then you were indeed born too late. :) I don't know your age but clearly you belong to a younger generation if you have no memory of the 1950s TV series Burns & Allen. The show that is the subject of my latest parody, Wendy & Me, ran in the mid 60s, but the ratings were poor and it was canceled after only one season. Even so, I watched it (mainly to lay eyes on the lovely Connie Stevens) and I enjoyed it.

      It surprises me that Connie Stevens failed to click with record buyers as much as she did with TV audiences. These WB sides were fabulous, in my opinion, certainly as good as anything put out by Shelley Fabares and, IMO, better than anything released by Annette. "A girl never knows..."

      Thank you again for being here for me today, good buddy Jeffrey. Enjoy your week!

  7. Tell the taught those jokes to George Burns, didn't you? I'll bet he was worried that you'd let the cat out of the bag but NO! You're a pro! You've read Emily Post! You waited till he had a new audience with his Maker. Well played, O Shaded One.

    In the land of WV television, a unique environment based on the locals likes and dislikes, they played some movies over and over again when I used to stay with my grandma as a child. One of my all time favorites was the one with Connie Stevens and Jerry Lewis called "Rock-a-bye Baby." No matter what else she was in, my mind always goes back to this particular flick.

    I always thought she was Disney-princess beautiful. Then again, I was comparing her to Jerry Lewis...

    If you haven't seen that flick, go watch it. Right now. It's a sweet movie.

    Have a great Monday, Shady! I may be adjusting my posting schedule or shortening some posts to meet the demands of the season (co op is back in swing on Wednesday, I'm heading into another season of craft shows and doing another public outdoor Nativity...actors? Actresses? Mama needs you...right around the holidays...the pay is...well...we'll talk...).

    1. Hi, dear Cherdo! Thank you for coming over, sweet friend!

      You wrote:

      << Tell the taught those jokes to George Burns, didn't you? >>

      Just how old do you think I am?!!! :)

      I think you might have mentioned "Rock-a-Bye Baby" to me before. Somebody did. I just found the full length movie on YouTube (along with a clip of a drunk dude hammering spikes into his nostrils). I will be sure to watch it (the Jerry Lewis movie, not the "9 inch nails" vid :).

      So I take it you are not familiar with the Burns and Allen Show or Wendy and Me? Why do I feel like the world's oldest living human at times like this? :)

      I have taken note of your pending schedule changes. I promise not to panic if you disappear for a day or two.


      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Cherdo. Enjoy the rest of your day!

    2. I know George and Gracie well.

      Wendy and Me - I didn't know. But that may just be a "channel" issue. We only had two channels at grandma's house...

      I probably did mention that movie before...but it's so cute! And I can't watch Jerry Lewis for too long, except I liked that move.

    3. Hey, I watched that movie tonight, dearie! If I had seen it before then it must have been decades ago. I really enjoyed it. Jerry and Connie had palpable on screen chemistry. They made a sweet couple and the movie had heart and plenty of tender moments to balance Jerry's zany antics.

      Thanks for reporting back in, dear friend Cherdo. You were gone so long I was getting ready to send a search party out to look for you! :)

  8. Those are all funny jokes. I particularly liked the Dead Sea joke!

    I asked Bubba your question. The answer is on my blog. It's as I suspected, but with a little twist.

    1. Hi, sweet Sherry! Thank you very much for dropping in to experience my latest parody post, Wendy and Me. I'm delighted to see you!

      I'm glad this post gave you a few giggles. That Dead Sea joke is old as the Dead Sea! :) Veteran comics like George Burns could get away with telling the same jokes over and over again. After all, he lived so long (to age 100), that his stale old jokes were brand new to the younger generations of his fans.

      I am honored that you submitted my question to Bubba. I will be right over to check out his reply. Thank you again for being such a wonderful new friend, Sherry. I wish we would have started following each other four years ago. Have a terrific day!

  9. Hello dear Shady,

    What a great mix of comedy, music and music history today. George Burns and Jack Benny really stand out for me as giants of early television. They both had so much experience in radio and vaudeville that when it came time to perform live in front of tv camera's they knew how to handle it. The Hubby and I like to binge watch their shows along with things like The Honeymooners.

    Recently I watched a documentary on the Wrecking Crew and in it they discussed working for Spector. What a nightmare it sounded. They also talked about working with Brian, whom they adored and greatly admired. Brian never did seem to understand that he had more talent than the people he was in awe of. So sad really as it seemed to affect him mentally.

    Despite the strange, demanding personality of Spector, he sure did give us some great music.

    1. Hi, dear Anne! Thank you very much for popping in for this week's post, sweet friend!

      OLD BUSINESS: Did you check out my Stonefield post, the one I told you about in last week's comments? What do you think of those Aussie sisters?

      I'm delighted to know that you enjoyed what I did here with Wendy and Me. I totally agree with you about comedy legends like Burns and Benny, seasoned vaudevillians and radio stars who transitioned into the new medium of television in the late 40s and early 50s. The Jack Benny Program is another show that I rarely missed. Same was true of Jackie Gleason's vehicle The Honeymooners and Milton Berle's Texaco Show. Is it my imagination, Anne, or were talented titans like those named above much greater stars than most of today's flash in the pan celebs?

      I would certainly enjoy watching that documentary about The Wrecking Crew. Have you seen the one about 1960s backup singers called Twenty Feet from Stardom? It included interviews with Darlene Love and the Blossoms, Merry Clayton, Clydie King and other gifted session vocalists of the era. Yessum, Spector was a perfectionist and a tough taskmaster, but you can't deny that his wax factory cranked out many timeless recordings. In the 2000 television movie The Beach Boys: An American Family, there is a scene in which Brian Wilson is working with The Wrecking Crew. Brian's domineering dad enters the studio, injects himself into the session and tries to make a bunch of changes to the arrangement in accordance with his old school tastes. Brian was humiliated. I honestly don't know how he was able to produce so many beautiful pieces of music given all the pressure he was under, much of it self-imposed.

      Thank you very much for brightening my day with your presence, dear friend Anne. Enjoy the rest of your day and your week!

    2. Hello again Shady,

      About our previous conversation. I do prefer the earlier Heart albums, however, I was so fond of those sisters that I hung with them no matter what they did.

      Thank you for turning me onto Stonefield. Those girls can rock! I like their sound and they can play too.

      I do think the stars back then had more style and class than those today. We didn't know everything about their personal lives and I think that distance helps add to the magic of the stars. Further, the comedy relied on what was important-writing and good timing. Today, it's all about shock or is agenda driven. Stars also had to be multi-talented to get work. Many could sing and dance as well as act. We threw out our television about 10 years ago and I've not missed it for one minute.

      Spector was definitely an innovator and the production quality of music advanced because of him. The groups he put together changed music for the better as well. I do think he was barking mad though.

      I haven't seen the documentary "Twenty Feet from Stardom", but it's one I would definitely like to see. I'll check on Youtube for it.

      I did see the movie on the Beach Boys and remember how horrid Brian's father was. I often wonder if his mental illness would have been so bad if it had not been for all those pressures. I'm certain he had more music inside him that never got a chance to come out. I was so glad when Smile was released. One of the concerts was taped and you can find it on Youtube. It's beautiful to see him perform and to be happy. The band he's playing with is spectacular. I've watched it three times and have cried through all three viewings. It's just so beautiful.

      It's early morning here and I'm off to the Land of Nod!

    3. Hi, Anne! I am thrilled to discover this new message from you in my "inbox." I'm excited to learn that you enjoyed the sound of Stonefield down under. I have one of their albums and an EP and thoroughly enjoy listening to them. It's been years since their last release and I'm beginning to wonder if that's the extent of it.

      Thank you for weighing in on the multi-talented, dues paying stars of yesteryear. I totally agree.

      Do you remember the name of that documentary about The Wrecking Crew? If and when you watch Twenty Feet from Stardom, I guarantee that it will not change your opinion of Phil Spector, especially after Darlene Love testifies. I'm happy to know that you are familiar with that marvelous Beach Boys movie. I have seen it twice and wouldn't mind watching it again and again.

      Thank you very much for staying up late to write another splendid reply, dear friend Anne. Take care and I'll connect with you again soon!

    4. The documentary is simply called The Wrecking Crew. It was done by Denny Tedesco, Tommy Tedesco's son. It goes on to talk about how many of these people continued to work in later years and you get a good idea of their sense of humour.

      Have a great week Shady!

    5. Thanks, Anne! I just found it on NetFlix and Mrs. Shady and I are going to watch it in the very near future, maybe tonight. I'm excited!

      Thank you again, my dear friend, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  10. Listening to Wendy while writing this and they appeared on Ed Sullivan the year I was born. The beach Boys one song and the other one sound similar to me. Good ole Connie Stevens was all the rage in the 60's but that blond hair put into pig-tails is not working for me:) I didn't realize she was with George Burns so much. Love the jokes! George is someone I love and he really was the apple of tobacco leaders everywhere.

    1. Hi, dear BB! Thank you for coming down today, dear friend! That Beach Boys performance on The Ed Sullivan Show was fun to watch, wasn't it? The guys were so young! I was age 14 at the time.

      All of these pictures showing Connie Stevens and George Burns together are publicity stills from Wendy and Me, the TV sitcom in which they appeared together. The series lasted only one season before getting the ax. Connie was a hit as "Cricket" in two earlier series but didn't go over as well playing George Burns' ditsy blonde neighbor Wendy. I'm glad you remember George Burns and enjoyed the jokes I put into his mouth for this parody post.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comments, dear friend Birgit. Enjoy the rest of your day and the week ahead!

  11. OMGosh does that take me back. Connie Stevens and George Burns.

    1. Hi, dear Sandra! Thank you very much for coming, my wonderful friend! Are you saying that you actually remember the television series Wendy and Me? If so, then you're the first reader to let me know. If it's not familiar I promise you that Wendy and Me was a thing. :) I've been waiting for the series to be released on DVD but it might be a very long wait. I just now found another blogger who posted about the show a few years ago. Here's his post:

      Thank you again for coming by, dear friend Sandra, and have a great week ahead!

    2. Actually no. Sorry. I just remember them individually and how impressed I was with both of them.
      Wasn't Connie Stevens in Route 66 or am I misremembering?
      Thanks for sharing the post link.

    3. Hi again, dear Sandra! Please don't feel badly if you don't remember Wendy and Me. So far, I'm the only one who does! :) To answer your question, Connie Stevens started playing the role of "Cricket" in 77 Sunset Strip and continued to play that character in the related TV series Hawaiian Eye.

      I hope your week is going well in spite of the tragic news in your community. God bless, Sandra!

    4. You're right! Thank you. The memory was too elusive:)

      Thanks, Shady. Yes, my week is going just fine.
      And yours?

    5. Hi, dear Sandra! I'm having a great week and it's good to know you are too. I always appreciate your follow-up pokes. Have a pleasant night and I'll see you soon!

    6. Chat with you tomorrow. Enjoy the remains of your Sunday:)

    7. That's sweet of you, dear Sandra! I hope you had a great weekend and yessum, I'll meet up with you tomorrow. Thank you!

  12. I knew that was Connie Stevens when I saw the first photo. I don't remember "Wendy." I need to read more about Connie online. I always thought she was so pretty. I listened to the first recording. I'll come back to listen to more. I've been watching the Live Aid (1985) DVDs. The Beach Boys gave a great performance in Philadelphia. Brian was even there, no sign of brain damage yet. I would like to go back in time. Not permanently. Just to fix some things a la Quantum Leap.


    1. Hi, dear Janie! It's great to see you over here again, my wonderful friend! I think people underestimated Connie Stevens because she looked like and sometimes played a "dumb blonde," a cruel and unfair label placed on many women then and now. Connie is a fine singer and these Warner Brothers sides are, IMHO, better than her big chart hit "Sixteen Reasons."

      In the summer of 1966, I had the pleasure of seeing the Beach Boys live in concert at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. Like you, Janie, I wish I could go back in time. Reminiscing the way we do, keeping the music and memories alive, is the next best thing, don't you think?

      Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Janie. I hope you and Franklin had a great weekend and I wish you both a safe and happy week ahead!

    2. I returned to listen to more Connie Stevens with A Girl Never Knows. She had a great voice and was a wonderful entertainer. I remember her mostly from variety show appearances. I always thought she was so pretty.

      I don't understand the dumb blonde stereotype. My golden tresses are a sign of intellect.

      I have heard of Franklin & Marshall College. I wish I had seen The Beach Boys, but at least I can enjoy your memory of seeing them. I hope you'll fill in the details in another post.

      I've done my Connie Stevens research. She is 77 years old. After her successful career in TV and movies, which included a seventies flick titled Scorchy that's described as risque, Connie concealed a fortune with a skincare line called Forever Spring. I don't think it's remained successful, but I found the Web site. She also owns many homes, apparently as investment properties for the most part. Real estate problems seem to have hit her hard.

      Didn't George Burns have a history of introducing beautiful young women to the entertainment industry? I think a young Ann-Margret played Vegas with him.

      I also wanted to confirm what I thought I knew about the history of "Wendy"--not the character but the name. I believed it was a rare example of a name coined for a play in Modern times, and the name then came into use. J.M. Barrie introduced Wendy Darling to the world in Peter Pan. However, the name already existed and was popularized by Barrie. It was a nickname for Gwendolyn, but was also a boy's name long ago.

      So, thanks again to you, I know a number of somethings new.


    3. Hi again, sweetie! Wow, you really did a lot of research on the side. It makes me very happy when my posts make readers curious enough to go digging around for more info. Thanks for letting me know what you found out about Connie. I remember watching her for years on the Home Shopping Network selling her beauty creams. I was not aware of the origin of the name "Wendy." Is it my imagination or were there quite a few girls' names years ago that were often assigned to boys such as Connie, Tracy, Ashley, Kelly?

      As I recall it was very common for major male stars to introduce hot new starlets and female singers on their variety shows. I remember dancer/singer Joey Heatherton appearing on such variety shows.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and wonderful comments, dear friend Janie. I'll be connecting with you again soon!

    4. I think you're right about names that were used for men or women. I used to live next door to a young man named Dana. He was quite embarrassed by his name. I hope he accepted it or changed it. Some of the names seem to be nicknames, such as Connie for Conrad or Laurie for Laurence. I wonder if at one time these names were used exclusively for men and then became popular for women.

    5. FYI - I used to spell my name Shadi. I dotted the "i" with a smiley face. :)

      I just read that a popular trend is for girls to be given traditional boys' names. Examples are Andy, Adrian, Barry, Blake, Dylan, Eddie, Elliott, Glenn, James, Kyle, Max, Ray and Ryan. Seems like it'll get confusing.

      Thank you again for your wonderful comments and replies, dear Janie!

  13. Okay I absolutely love George Burns.
    And Gracie too.
    But this whole post I could hear though his voice. And those pictures with Wendy, how do you find all those gems?!
    As a part time Beach Boys fanatic, I'm alway happy to see them! I don't have much time at the moment, but did want to leave a little note of thanks and appreciation for this post! I'm always a fan of smiling blondes and yesterday's rock n roll. Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi, dear Abigail! Thank you very much for stopping in, my sweet friend. Yours is the perfect comment for someone who doesn't have loads of time to spend reading and listening to a long post like this one. I very much appreciate your kind words.

      It pleases me to know that you were able to imagine George Burns' voice delivering those punchlines, same as I can. I am delighted that you are familiar with Burns and Allen. Do you and Daisy watch the reruns?

      I found the pics of Connie Stevens (as Wendy) and George Burns on Google image search. I picked the best ones I could find for this post. Wendy and Me aired in 1964 and 1965 and was not nearly as successful as the Burns & Allen Show. There were similarities between the two shows, however. In both shows George Burns electronically eavesdropped and spied on people, an act that was considered cute back then but one that is frowned upon in the modern world.

      Thank you again for making some time for me tonight, dear friend Abigail. I wish you and Daisy a wonderful week ahead!

  14. I remember Connie Stevens from her role as "Cricket" on Hawaiian Eye, but not the one with George Burns. Her singing voice is too "girly" for my taste. That first song did have a cool Tango beat. The George and Gracie show was running on a local cable channel years ago and I watched a few episodes. Funny stuff! ☺ Of course, George was a hoot on his own later on. Loved the movie "Dear God". Checked out the Lovenotes - great vocals and new to me. The Beach Boys of course, need no introduction. Thanks for another entertaining post, Shady. I always enjoy coming here. Have a great rest of the week.

    1. Hi, Debbie the Doglady! Welcome back to SDMM, my wonderful friend! When I was a boy I watched Connie Stevens in 77 Sunset Strip and Hawaiian Eye. It was only in recent years when I started watching dozens of low budget hot rod and juvenile delinquent movies of the 50s that I discovered Connie in Young and Dangerous (1957), Eighteen and Anxious (1957) and Dragstrip Riot (1958). If you have a moment, click at the 37:45 point and watch Connie performing a song and dance in Dragstrip Riot, a teenage rebel flick that starred one of my favorite actresses of the period, Yvonne Lime :

      I noticed in your recent comment on Jeffrey Scott's blog that Olivia Newton-John's voice is too "girly" for your taste. You feel the same about Connie's vocals. Maybe it's a guy thing but I don't have the same negative reaction to either of those female vocalists. Many of the metal bands that I currently listen to are fronted by females with rather girly voices. The "beauty and the beasts" effect is enhanced when those clean, pure female vocals are combined with harsh, cookie monster death growls. Again, it must be a guy thing. :)

      Many younger readers best remember George Burns from Oh, God!, the movie you mentioned that he made with folksinger John Denver. Here's some interesting trivia. George Burns outlived his young co-star by nearly 50 years. In a few months it will be 20 years since Burns died. John Denver died in 1997, the year after Burns' death.

      I'm very happy to see you, dear friend Debbie, and I thank you again for coming. I love to entertain you. Enjoy your Tuesday and the rest of your week!

    2. Right! I forgot about 77 Sunset Strip.
      When it comes to singing voices for both genders, I like them deep, rich and full. Male falsettos and female "girly" tones do nothing for me. :P Maybe it is a guy thing, but it seems plenty of women like it too. I watched Connie's performance in your video - didn't sound quite as "girly", but still, not really my taste.
      Yes, I remember when John Denver died in that plane crash; so tragically young. George on the other hand, achieved his goal of living to 100.
      Always a pleasure to chat with you, Shady. Have a good night.

    3. Hi again, dear Debbie! Isn't it fascinating how we all have our own set of filters? Those filters are very precise, too. For example, I like the ONJ recording in Jeffrey's contest and I like these by Connie, but there are other recordings by both ladies that I do not like very much. On the other end of the spectrum, I like many artists with deep, rich, full voices - Bill Medley, Tony Joe White and Barry White to name a few, along with the guys in those Gothic symphonic metal bands who perform the harsh death growls. So I guess it's fair to say that how we react to any given artist depends on many different variables, some of them hard to identify or define.

      Thank you very much for coming back to see me tonight, dear Debbie the Doglady. I look forward to connecting with you again soon!

    4. To be honest, I love many female artists. I've noticed a tendency to choose 'girly' voices over 'manly' voices many times in these battles. My favourite artists of the 80's are girl bands or band with girl front singers. Blondie, Bangles, ONJ, Go-Go's, Madonna. Not that I don't like guy singers. Huey Lewis, Genesis, Eagles. But as my good buddy Shady says, we all have our own filters.

      That being said, I think there truly are songs that should only be performed by man singers and other songs that should clearly only be performed by female artists. Finding what works for you is the key?

    5. Hey, Jeffrey! Thanks for joining this thread of ours. I share your tastes, good buddy. I enjoy listening to and collecting all of the female artists and girl groups that you named. A few years ago I gravitated to Brit girls, collected a lot of their music and began to introduce their recordings on SDMM. In 2013 I stumbled upon the genre of modern female-fronted hard rock and heavy metal bands and have been an avid fan of that type of music ever since. It includes Gothic symphonic, black metal, doom metal and thrash bands of Europe along with female-led metalcore bands in the U.S.

      It isn't so much that I prefer a girly voiced female to one with a bolder, deeper voice, because there are many exceptions. For example, I love Cher's powerful vocal performances along with the raspy voice of Kim Carnes. I enjoy the falsetto male voices of Frankie Valli and Lou Christie but also enjoy deep rich male voices like the ones I mentioned to Debbie. I also weigh other factors when deciding how to vote in these BOTB contests, including the quality of the production and the style of the arrangement. It's the overall sound and "feel" that sways me.

      You wrote:

      << I think there truly are songs that should only be performed by man singers and other songs that should clearly only be performed by female artists. >>

      I was just watching a documentary last night in which Nancy Sinatra revealed that her signature song, "These Boots...," written by Lee Hazlewood, was originally intended to be sung by a man. Nancy asked if she could record the song and it became one of the best known girl power anthems of the 20th century.

      Thank you again for paying attention to the discussions going on here in my comments section, Jeffrey. It's the sign of a great friend and I very much appreciate it!

    6. I love the voices of many female stars, including Connie. Connie's voice is strong with the proper arrangement. Recently I watched a documentary about Kathleen (I think her last name is Hanna), who was the lead singer for the punk band Bikini Kill and the co-founder of the "third" wave of feminism. I love Kathleen's powerful voice and her refusal to apologize for her femininity. Womanhood and power can be one.

    7. Hi, Janie! Thanks for letting your fingers do the walking over to my neck of the woods tonight, dear friend, and for contributing to this thread that Debbie, Jeffrey and I have going. I agree that even a woman with a girly voice can bring forth power, authority and street cred.

      You mentioned Bikini Kill, the punk rock band from America's Pacific Northwest. Have you watched the NetFlix documentary about Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk band? I just wanted you to be aware of it in case you weren't.

      Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Janie. I hope you are in good health and good spirits and that you and Franklin enjoy the rest of your week!

  15. Love the jokes!! Loved them the first time I heard them!! Some things never get old...unlike me..but I do remember George Burns and I must have watched Burns and Allen on reruns. I didn't know he did a TV show with Connie Stevens. What I remember most about her was her speaking voice more than her singing voice. I thought it was very distinctive. I'm heading out of town to Oregon, Portland and wanted to take a minute to thank you for your nice comments and heartfelt thoughts on my last post. I saw your friend Eddy this morning and gave him a hug for you! Take care and I'll be back in a week!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for swinging by and checking out my post before you leave for Oregon, Portland. (Do you think anybody else knows what we mean when we write it that way? :) When you return from the West Coast please let me know if your grandkiddo still calls it "Oregon, Portland." I've been following you so long that she is probably a grown woman with kids of her own by now. :)

      I'm very happy to know that you loved these jokes the first, second, third, fourth and fifth time you heard them, and that you enjoyed imagining them coming from the mouth of George Burns.

      You know how much I love animals, YaYa. At this hour I am still teary eyed over the death of your Squeak. I am also keenly aware that Eddy is getting gray around the snout and I always have his welfare in the back of my mind. To me there is no love more pure, more beautiful, than the love of an animal. That's just how I am. I have known many people in my life who look at a dog or a cat and say "It's just an animal." When I look at an animal, I see God. Again, I am very sorry for your loss but I am confident that Squeak and my Toto are fast becoming best pals up there on Rainbow Bridge.

      Have a safe trip, dear Kathleen. I will miss you and I'll be thinking about you. You are a cherished friend. God bless!

  16. I was always a fan of George Burns. He was a comedy classic who didn't have to resort to the garbage that so many modern guys who call themselves comics spew out. You did a great job of recreating his persona.

    Though I was well aware of Connie Stevens and saw her in plenty of films and TV shows, I am not familiar with her music. This was an introduction for me. I won't be rushing out to buy any of her music, but it was a fun retro trip listening to some cuts.

    I've liked the Beachboys B sides better than a lot of their hits. So much great music from the mind of Brian Wilson.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee! Thanks for coming by, my globetrotting friend! Are you back home yet? By any chance did you find my Ace comb in the Arizona desert?

      Thank you, Lee. Thank you for letting me know that you appreciate what I did here and that you think I did a good job of recreating the persona of comedy legend George Burns. A compliment like that from you carries a lot of weigh, my friend.

      I wasn't familiar with Connie Stevens' recordings until I dug around a little and found these great WB sides. As was the case with Shelley Fabares, Connie's best recordings were the least successful. I didn't mention this one in the post or in the comments, but let's not forget the hit record that Connie waxed with Edd "Kookie" Byrnes of 77 Sunset Strip fame - "Kookie, Kookie -- Lend Me Your Comb."

      The Beach Boys were prolific as they were terrific. With songs to burn, many great ones ended up as album tracks and B sides. Many of the recordings that rank as my all time favorites are forgotten flips, "killer bees."

      Thank you again for coming by, good buddy Lee, and for your supportive comments. Enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. Great clip from that old Dick Clark show. I've heard of that song, but after listening I don't recall ever actually having heard it before. That's some crazy stuff so representative of a lot of music back then.

      As far as your comb, sorry, didn't make it to that part of Arizona on the way back. I'd lend you mine but with the loss of my hair I don't have much need for a comb these days.

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

    3. Arlee...Arlee...lend me your comb. :)

      I agree with you about that novelty number by Edd and Connie. There were many schlock recordings on the charts, particularly during the period from 1958 to 1961, and a good number of them became major hits.

      Hey, whoever thought that you and I would agree about Miley Cyrus? :)

      Thanks again, good buddy. I always love having you over here. P.S. - If you enjoyed my "impression" of George Burns, then click back to my previous post and experience a heaping helping of Howard Cosell. :)

  17. Really great post, Shady. You put a lot of work into this and I appreciate that. I was surprised to see that Connie Stevens and George Burns ever worked together! I always learn something new over here.

    My whole family loved the George and Gracie show. We would laugh and laugh... My parents took us to Hollywood a few times to see the "stars" houses, and I remember driving past their home.

    Connie Stevens was a favorite of mine when I was young. I cut out her pictures from the fan magazines, along with Troy Donahue's. I loved Hawaiian Eye. I've never heard any of her songs you posted here, but I liked 'A Girl Never Knows' the best. I certainly remember 16 Reasons.

    That intro by the Lovenotes is identical to the Beach Boys song. I remember a previous post where you clued us in how this was done frequently in the past.

    Always love the Beach Boys. They are a favorite of my husband's. I honestly don't believe any of the great rock and roll songs of the past will ever be forgotten. My granddaughters know all the old bands and their music. Cherish wears an AC/DC t-shirt. They all love the Beatles. Elvis has his own station on Sirius Sattallite. We listen to that when we are on trips; we also listen to the Sinatra channel. I think good music never dies. Lots of hugs for you tonight. My granddaughter, Hope, just left after visiting with us. God bless, sweet friend.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! I am thrilled to see you, my wonderful friend! Thanks for coming. It does my heart good to know that this post resonated with you and that you remember George Burns and Gracie Allen. Poor Gracie has been gone more than 50 years now, can you believe it? She was only 69 when she died. I always got a kick out of George Burns snooping, spying and eavesdropping on people in Burns & Allen, and he did the same thing in Wendy and Me.

      It also pleases me greatly that you know Connie Stevens so well. As I mentioned in other comments, as we make our way through the 21st century, it's getting harder to find people who remember the great stars of the 20th century. It's up to people like us to keep these memories alive and introduce these great stars and music acts to new generations. It's encouraging to know that satellite radio is doing its part to preserve the past. I am also delighted whenever I encounter television series set in the past. They include the following: The Wonder Years, Freaks and Geeks, That 70's Show, American Dreams, Aquarius, The Astronaut Wives Club, China Beach, Crime Story, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, The Goldbergs, Fresh Off the Boat, Pan Am, The Playboy Club, State of Grace, Halt and Catch Fire and Twin Peaks.

      Thank you again, Belle, my dear, sweet friend, for your visit and excellent comment. I very much appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your week and I will see you soon.

      God bless!

  18. What a delightful stroll through the ages! I'd forgotten how funny George Burns was - I giggled at his humor back when I wasn't supposed to be listening! Good times :-) Connie's appearances with Bob Hope on his USO specials were as impressive as the shows themselves.

    1. Hi, Diedre! Thank you very much for coming over today, my dear friend! Yessum, George Burns was one of those people who kept audiences "primed" for laughter. You started smiling and giggling the moment you saw him, confident that he could and would deliver the goods. He always did. I loved how he played straight man for wife Gracie. He did the same thing with Connie Stevens in their short lived TV series Wendy and Me. Thank you for reminding us that Connie also entertained the troops in the Bob Hope USO shows.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and thoughtful comment, dear friend Diedre. Enjoy the rest of your week and I'll be connecting with you again soon.

  19. Shady, those jokes were so George Burns, so him ,I could hear his voice saying them !!! ( in my head-- REALLY!) Very creative and cute post. I always liked Connie and I like the song "Little Miss-Understood" the best. She reminds me of another oldie but goodie (girl), I think from the same era, Joey Heatherton! She was so cute. This post put a smile on my face and as always ,you make me laugh. Your humor is undeniable. You are unique and creative!--- Toni

    1. Hi, dear Toni! This is such a sweet, wonderful comment from you and I appreciate it very much!

      I thought you might be too young to remember George Burns and to appreciate the stand-up comedy monologue I created for him in this post. I'm glad you enjoyed Connie's recordings and linked her in your mind with another talented blonde entertainer of the same period, Joey Heatherton.

      Thank you again for letting me know that you enjoyed this post, dear friend Toni. Your friendship and support mean the world to me!


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