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

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I Want The Beatles For Christmas!... and Santa, I Want The Bee Gees Too!

You say goodbye

and I say hello again!

Meg Griffin back with you to 

present part 2 of my tribute

 to the coolest combo ever...


As a bonus, today's post will also feature
another dreamy boy group whose music
I love to dance to any time at all.

First up, The Beatles. I have a personal
message for each of the Fab Four.

John - Help! I need somebody, not just anybody.
Don't let me down. I need you eight days a week!
What are you doing with Yoko? You're going to
lose that girl and get with me. All you need is love,
Johnny... and you've got a ticket to ride into the
sunset with your Meg McMuffin. Tomorrow
never knows but, if my wish is granted, you
and I will come together and tie the knot!
Imagine me as your missus!

Paul - You are my heartthrob, the love of
my life. Every little thing you do - you do for
me, oooh. I've just seen a face and it's yours,
Paul. Those soulful eyes turn me into jello.
Will I wait a lonely lifetime to be your bride?
Will I give you all my loving? If you want
me to, I will. Got to get you into my life,
my baby-face boy toy. We can work it out!
I want to marry you, Paul, like... yesterday!

George - isn't it a pity you and I never met?
I know I'm a dark horse, but I'm sure I can
blow away the competition and win your love.
What is life without you, dearie? Got my mind
set on you. Someday, one day, when you sing
"Something in the way she moves attracts me
like no other lover," I will be the one making
your guitar gently weep and we'll live happily
ever after in our very own crackerbox palace.

Ringo - you're gear, luv, yeah yeah yeah!
Oh my my, I can't act naturally when you
flash that smile. Only you and you alone
can make my little heart beat like a drum.
Hey! baby, it don't come easy, Snokeroo,
and all I've got is a photograph. Now
I want the real thing... my very own
Ringo under the Christmas tree!

Written by Beatle John, the glorious ballad "Because" features three-part vocal harmony by John, Paul and George recorded three times to produce the effect of nine voices. From their 1969 album Abbey Road, here are those Brit boy babes I love so well, The Beatles, performing "Because!"

"Because" - The Beatles
(from fall 1969 album Abbey Road)

Now here are The Beatles with a cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the biggest hit for the grunge band Nirvana, a single from Nevermind, the album that first brought alternative rock into the mainstream in the early 90s. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" brushed the top 5 in the U.S. and performed well on music charts all over the world. Listen to this groovy Beatlesque version performed by those super cute Liverpool lads!

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana Cover)
The Beatles (Nirvana single peaked
Jan./Feb. 1992, highest chart pos.
#6, from Sept. 1991 album Nevermind)

What can I tell you about Beatle John? He's in love with me and I feel fine. It wasn't always smooth sailing for John. There was a time when John's fans turned on him and the rest of the Fab Four and burned their Beatles records. It happened after a March 1966 interview in which John was reported to have stated "We're more popular than Jesus now." Turns out John was misquoted, his words misheard. He did not claim that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus. In this rare sound bite, John sets the record straight and explains what he actually said.

Misheard words are more common than you might think. There are numerous examples of misheard lyrics in popular songs and the rest of the videos in this post will prove it. In part one you heard "Yes It Is," the B side of "Ticket To Ride." Now it's time for you to listen to that famous A side penned by John, but listen closely and read the captions. For years you were memorizing and singing the wrong words to this classic Beatles chart-topper!

"Ticket To Ride" - The Beatles
(May/June 1965, highest chart pos.
#1, from 1965 album Help!)

Misheard lyrics also abound in the songs of my other favorite boy group The Bee Gees. Take for example three of The Bee Gees' chart-topping singles from the soundtrack of the 1977 musical Saturday Night Fever. Fans simply weren't listening carefully enough and learned the wrong words. Here they are, the Brothers Gibb, with the first of those misunderstood songs, the ballad "How Deep Is Your Love." Take it away, Bee Gees!

"How Deep Is Your Love" - The Bee Gees
(Nov./Dec. 1977, highest chart pos. #1, from
OST of 1977 film Saturday Night Fever)

For decades millions of people thought The Bee Gees were singing "Night Fever" when the correct name of the song is "Nice Beaver." Folks, if you can't even get the title right, something's wrong!

"Night Fever" ("Nice Beaver") The Bee Gees
(Mar./Apr. 1978, highest chart pos. #1, from
OST of 1977 film Saturday Night Fever)

And finally here is another mega-hit from Saturday Night Fever, "Stayin' Alive" presented here for the first time with captioning that reveals the official song lyrics. What are you waiting for? You should be dancing!

"Stayin' Alive" ("Stainalight") - The Bee Gees
(Feb. 1978, highest chart pos. #1, from
OST of 1977 film Saturday Night Fever)

I'm smitten, a confirmed


...and those groovy Gibbs

give me goose bumps and

Saturday Night Fever 

all day every day!

Please please me, Santa.

I want

The Beatles

for Christmas,

and The Bee Gees too!

(All vocals and impressions in this post
were performed by the English comedian,
impressionist and musician Stevie Riks.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Meg Manifests Major Mop-top Mania!

Hi, I'm Meg Griffin 

from Family Guy.

I'm sure you remember me from my Valentine's Day
Sugababes post in February. I have returned today to
introduce an exciting pop/rock group I just discovered,
a boy band from Liverpool, England. What can I say?
I'm in love! I love the way they dress, I love their
cute mop-top hair styles and I love the way they
sing. In today's post and in part 2 next week I'll
bring you their greatest performances which
will include rare clips I am sure you never
saw before. And now, without further ado,
ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...


"Nowhere Man" - The Beatles
(Mar./Apr. 1966, highest chart pos. #3,
from Dec. 1965 album Rubber Soul)

That was "Nowhere Man," a song written by Beatles members John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released just before Christmas 1965 on their 6th studio album Rubber Soul. The song also came out on a single and reached the top 3 on the U.S. chart in the spring of 1966.

Now let's turn back the clock and listen to a song
that was penned by John and Paul in the back of
a van in the spring of 1963. It was recorded by
another English group, Billy J. Kramer With
The Dakotas, and their single reached the
top 10 in the states in 1964. Here now is
ultra rare early footage of Paul and John
singing their composition "Bad To Me."

"Bad To Me" - The Beatles
(orig. demo recorded by John Lennon
May 31, 1963, June/July '64 single by
Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas,
highest chart pos. #9)

The next song I want you to hear was written by John, recorded in the fall of 1963 and released at the start of 1964 on the band's second U.S. album Meet the Beatles! Here once again are this girl's future husbands -- John, Paul George and Ringo -- and "This Boy."

"This Boy" - The Beatles
(from Jan. 1964 album
Meet the Beatles!)

Written by John, our next song charted in the top 50 on the B side of the 1965 single "Ticket To Ride" and is also on the album Beatles VI. Here again are those lovable Liverpool lads with "Yes It Is."

"Yes It Is" - The Beatles
(May 1965, highest chart pos. #46,
"B side of "Ticket To Ride," from
the 1965 album Beatles VI)

Up next is a beautiful, bittersweet, introspective song written and sung by John and found on Rubber Soul. Listen as John meditates on his past as he sings "In My Life." Oh John boy, my adorable mop-top, I wanna hold your hand!

"In My Life" - John Lennon
(from 1965 album Rubber Soul)

"Here, There And Everywhere" is a gorgeous song written by Paul and released on the Beatles' 1966 album Revolver. Oh Paul... you're my dreamboat. Marry me!

"Here, There And Everywhere" - The Beatles
(from Aug. 1966 album Revolver)

John's song "Rain" was issued as the fab flip of the Beatles' chart-topping 1966 single "Paperback Writer" and made a run at the top 20 on the Billboard chart. Both songs were recorded during the Revolver sessions but neither was included on the album. Here are the future misters Meg Griffin - all Fab Four of them - in their classic music video for "Rain."

"Rain" - The Beatles
(July 1966, highest chart pos. #23,
B side of "Paperback Writer")

I hope you agree that

those four really are fab.

I don't want to spoil the party

but I need to go.

Next week, get back to where you once
(and still do) - SDMM. You'll see
more rare vintage film clips and hear more
Beatle goldens from me to you. Skip part 2?
Honey don't. You can't do that. I'll be back,
It won't be long, little child so, till then, this
is Meg Griffin saying hello, goodbye for now!

(All vocals and impressions in this post
were performed by the English comedian,
impressionist and musician Stevie Riks.)


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Before It Was Soul - Vol. 2: "I.O.U."

Welcome to vol. 2 of my series



As you might recall, this series brings you some
of the greatest R&B and doo-wop recordings of
the 1940s and 50s - singles listed and ranked
on the black artist chart, a survey that twice
underwent a name change during the period:

(October 1942 – February 1945)

(February 1945 – June 1949)

(June 1949 – October 1958)

Romantic love, lost love, unrequited love,
physical attraction and infatuation are among
the common themes found on recordings in
this series, especially vocal group records
released in the 50s. Other familiar subjects
include man's temptation, vice, sin, infidelity
and other human flaws. In his referece book
Those Oldies But Goodies.. a Guide to 50's
Record Collecting, music historian Steve
Propes lists the following prevalent themes.

Positive or pleasant themes:

* Sex and virility
* Partying and night life
* Fast cars

Negative or problem themes:

* Drinking (occasionally presented in a boastful manner)
* Money problems
* Crime, punishment and dangerous situations
* Remorse and appeals for religious help

Many R&B vocal group singles feature a
dreamy ballad side backed with an up tempo
"jump" side. Jump sides are typically "dirty"
ditties with sexual themes. Records most
sought after by collectors are the ones with
sweet, tender, innocent vocal group ballads.
Original label 45s in that category have
been known to fetch hundreds or
even thousands of dollars.

Without further delay let's listen to
a few of these great long lost relics.

(October 1942 – February 1945)



Louis Jordan and his jazz band are making
their second appearance in this series and
for good reason. Jordan, nicknamed "King
of the Jukebox," rose to fame during the
the WWII years and is on the books as the
top R&B artist of the 40s. With his innovative,
often humorous style, Louis Jordan won over
white and black audiences alike. In vol. 1 you
heard "I'm Gonna Leave You On the Outskirts
of Town," the A side of Jordan's first chart
single. On the B side, Louis is once again
singing the blues. Seems he got himself
hooked on a married woman and...
"It's a Low Down Dirty Shame."

"It's a Low Down Dirty Shame"
Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
(Nov. 1942, B side of "I'm Gonna
Leave You On the Outskirts of Town")


(June 1949 – October 1958)


The Five Keys were a vocal group from
Newport News, Virginia, that specialized
in the love ballad. They were responsible
for waxing "Close Your Eyes," the #1
Greatest Hit of the Shady Dell, a single
released in 1955 on Capitol Records.
Of greater interest to collectors are
the group's earlier recordings on the
Aladdin label.  In 1951 The Five Keys
scored their biggest hit with another fine
ballad, "The Glory Of Love," a cover of
Benny Goodman's pop hit of the 30s. On
the flip side of that Five Keys single, the
guys demonstrated their versatility with
"Hucklebuck With Jimmy," a rowdy, sexy
number loaded with euphemisms.

"Hucklebuck With Jimmy"
The Five Keys (Sept./Oct. 1951,
B side of "The Glory of Love")

(June 1949 – October 1958)



Piano player Billy Ward had a good thing goin'
with two of the greatest R&B singers of all time
fronting his group The Dominoes - Clyde McPhatter
from 1950 to 1953, and Jackie Wilson from 1953 to
1957. In 1951 The Dominoes scored a #1 smash hit
with the dirty ditty "Sixty Minute Man." In 1953 the
group changed their tune and recorded "The Bells,"
a somber, emotionally charged ballad that features
the hysterical sobbing of Clyde McPhatter.

"The Bells" - Billy Ward and
His Dominoes (Jan. 1953,
highest chart pos. #3)

As you might expect by now, the killer B side
of the Dominoes' drop-dead slow-paced, weepy
"Bells" ballad is a song that couldn't be more
different. Rendered in a style similar to the
group's monster hit "Sixty Minute Man,"
the jump tempo "Pedal Pushin' Papa"
is built around a highly suggestive
bike-riding euphemism.

"Pedal Pushin' Papa" - Billy Ward
and His Dominoes (Mar. 1953,
highest chart pos. #4)

(June 1949 – October 1958)


In vol. 1 we heard two songs by The Cardinals.
Now let's listen to the warbles, chirps and tweets
of another R&B bird group, The Robins. Formed
in Los Angeles, The Robins started releasing
records in 1949. Over the next few years the
group hopped from one record label to the
next and underwent numerous personnel
changes. Around 1956 The Robins split
into two groups with one retaining the
original name and the other becoming
a much more successful act known as
The Coasters. Listen to the splendid
group harmony on this 1955 Spark
label ballad by The Robins...
"If Teardrops Were Kisses."

"If Teardrops Were Kisses"
The Robins (spring 1955,

(June 1949 – October 1958)


Nearly two decades before Michael and his
brothers The Jackson Five put Gary, Indiana on
the map, The Spaniels, led by James "Pookie"
Hudson, became the first successful R&B group
in the nation's Heartland. The Spaniels pioneered
the classic vocal group formation with the lead
singer positioned solo at his own microphone
and the rest of the members sharing a second
mic. The Spaniels are best known for their
hit ballad "Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite"
 which is regarded as a doo-wop classic.
The Spaniels were one of the first acts to
sign with Vee-Jay Records and became the
label's top selling vocal group. The Spaniels
performed regularly at The Apollo, The Regal
and other venues on the Chitlin circuit. The
Spaniels were a versatile group. They perfected
the sweet romantic ballad and could also rock,
roll and jump the blues with the best of them.
In the summer of 1957 The Spaniels released
a single with "Everyone's Laughing" on the
A side. Shady's Pick-To-Click is the fab flip,
"I.O.U" aka "I Owe You," a cleverly written
ballad so beautiful that it brings tears.

"I.O.U." - The Spaniels
(July 1957, B side of
"Everyone's Laughing")

I hope you enjoyed listening

to these R&B doo-wop relics.

Stay tuned for volume 3 of



coming your way soon.

Have a Shady day!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rats To The Rescue: "Adopt-a-Block" Project Yields Forever Homes for Stray Pieces of Razed Shady Dell Dance Hall!

When the walls come tumblin' down

When the walls come crumblin' crumblin'

When the walls come tumblin' tumblin' down

Shady Dell demolition (Oct. 2012)

Five years ago, in the fall of 2012, the walls
of the historic Shady Dell dance hall came
crumblin' and tumblin' down along with
the estate's century old barn and garage.

The Dell had recently been sold. When
the new owners conducted an inspection,
they concluded that the aging structures
were unstable and unsafe and could not
be restored. A bulldozer was brought to
the site and demolition commenced.

Before the dust settled, before the smoke cleared,
three loyal and very melancholy friends of the
Shady Dell converged on the property and
combed the rubble for artifacts.

They included former Dell owner Toni Deroche,
original Dell rat Greg Gulden, and Kathleen Mae
Schneider, author of In-Dell-ible Memories.

Margaret Schneider
"The Oldest Living Dell Rat"

In-Dell-ible Memories, as you recall,
is Kathleen's exclusive blog series
in which she shares stories of her
mother Margaret's childhood.

Margaret Schneider (left) age 10 (1922)

Margaret, affectionately nicknamed
"The Oldest Living Dell Rat," spent
her youth at the Shady Dell as a
member of its "First Family" in
the early part of the 20th century.

Returning now to that sad day in 2012,
the above named trio of Shady Dell VIPs
picked through the piles of concrete blocks
from the dance hall and salvaged a few
that have drawings and graffiti on them.

Today I am happy to report that five
of those old blocks have for the first
time found forever homes. They are
the blocks retrieved by Kathleen.

(above) Dell graffiti blocks salvaged by Kathleen

Lacking adequate space to keep the blocks
in her own home, Kathleen stored them these
last five years at mother Margaret's house.

Margaret passed away earlier this year
at the age of 105. Recently Margaret's
house was sold, prompting Kathleen
to search in earnest for a permanent
home for the blocks.

Kathleen decided to give one of the blocks
(pictured above) to her daughter Elisabeth.

The artwork on the block Elisabeth received
was a portion of the dancing couple drawing
(below) - a prominent wall feature that was
admired by generations of Dell rats.

Next, Kathleen contacted Toni Deroche to
find out if Toni knew anyone who would be a
worthy recipient of the other four priceless
pieces of the Shady Dell puzzle. Toni did
in fact know someone, an original Dell rat
named Kathy K who still lives in the York
area. According to Toni, Kathy K, like all
Dell alumni, gets sentimental whenever
she talks about the glory days of the Dell.
Toni went to Margaret's house, picked up
Kathleen's blocks and delivered them
to Kathy K who was surprised and
very grateful to receive them.

Now let me reintroduce my great friend
and guest host, Kathleen Mae Schneider,
who wrote to me recently and shared
memories of those dark days in the fall
of 2012 along with her thoughts about
parting with the Dell graffiti blocks
she rescued from the scrap heap.

On my miserable last day at the Dell, I collected the entrance sign and as many blocks as I could from the disjointed and piled-high rubble, and struggled up the hill with each of them to my car.

The blocks given to Dell rat Kathy K by Kathleen Mae Schneider
Picture courtesy of Toni Deroche @ The Shady Dell on Facebook

The ballet dancer was the only drawing
from which I could retrieve enough parts
to make an almost complete image.

The four blocks Kathy K received from Kathleen came
from a section of the wall on the right side of the above
picture directly beneath the big spray painted letter "E".

I knew there would be many folks (Rats)
in York who'd love to have those blocks,
and therefore didn't think I was the best
person to own them. Since the Shady Dell
wasn't the magical coming-of-age place for
me that it was for you and so many others,
and not part of Mother's life during the Dell's
heyday, they belonged, I felt, to those for
whom they formed a background and a
place to leave behind their names.

The Shady Dell dance hall (2012)

Remember, I was forbidden to go there
by Mother because of its bad reputation,
and I was preparing for a classical piano
career as a teen. Now I see rock and roll
for the important place it holds in our
history and can enjoy much of it,
unlike back then.

We delivered the last Dell block to Elisabeth's house today. She will keep it safe and treasure it.

(above & below) Kathleen's daughter Elisabeth
explores the Dell barn in 2012 prior to demolition.

To my daughter, the salvaged block she now
owns reminds her of those special times
that she and I were allowed to roam her
grandmother's original home and property.

She is an accomplished dancer,
unlike her mother,

"The Dance of the Dell Rats" (1961)

but both of us sensed the spirit of the
thousands of teenage dancers who spent
so many nights in the dance hall as we
walked its quiet floor and in spite of its
rundown and nearly ruined condition.

The reason I saved the decorated wall blocks
in the first place was to give to someone who
had gone to the dance hall as a teenager and
would appreciate them for their historic and
cultural value as well as their memories
of that very special place.

I'm happy that Dell rat Kathy
now has four of them.

Thank you very much, dear friend Kathleen,
for giving us closure. It's good to know that
this otherwise sad chapter in Shady Dell
history has a happy ending.

Have a Shady day!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Death in the Family

Effective immediately I need to suspend all
blogging activity for an undetermined period
of time due to a death in the family.

Our son's wife died unexpectedly today
following a brief illness. At this time
our family needs to come together
and support one another.

Thank you, dear friend.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Creature With a Thousand Eyes!
































Have a Shady day and a