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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bubbling Under the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell, Volume 1

Some of the songs that earned a spot on my list of
The 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell 
were big 
national hits recorded by well known artists. 
Others generated only limited regional or local 
interest.  Several records that were virtually 
unknown outside of Central Pennsylvania 
became monster hits at the Dell! 

Those obscure, seldom heard recordings are the true Dell songs. They are linked in my memory to the Dell more so than to the outside world and are an inexorable part of my Shady Dell experience. The highest ranking songs on my list, therefore, are the hardcore Dell songs that epitomize the time, the place, the people, the mood, the attitude - everything that was the Shady Dell of the mid 60s. These special songs seem to have magic Dell dust sprinkled all over them and they trigger my most powerful Shady Dell memories.

As a practical matter, I had to eliminate from my survey some of the usual suspects - the more obvious national hits that were popular during the period. I needed to disqualify those widely known chart toppers in order to make room for the esoteric Dell songs. In the interest of full disclosure and fair and balanced reporting I will occasionally post a random sampling of the popular songs that kept Dell rats dancing but were not included in my survey. Here's the first batch!

Look...listen...and remember!


Frankie Valli's voice can be heard on some of the best commercial pop music of the 1960s. Seldom heard gems include "Bermuda"/"Spanish Lace," the Four Seasons' doublesider on the Gone label, and "Ain't That a Shame,"
a cover of the Fats Domino million seller. My favorite solo recording by Frankie Valli is "The Proud One," a sensational song that fizzled one third of the way up the Billboard chart. Valli hit paydirt with his next Philips release, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." The song made it to #2 on Billboard and all the way to #1 on Cash Box two separate weeks in July of 1967, with "Windy" by The Association reclaiming the top
spot during the week in between. The popularity of Valli's solo smash rubbed off on the Dell crowd, earning it an
honorable mention on my bubbling under list.

"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" 
- Frankie Valli (July 1967, highest chart 
position #2) 


In the late summer
of 1967 "Reflections" brought a refreshing new sound to the Dell dance hall. Dellions could name that tune
in one second flat because of the wierd synth sounds at the beginning of the record, one of the earliest uses of an oscillator in a major recording. This single also marked the first time that the veteran Motown girl group was billed as Diana Ross and the Supremes. "Reflections" was released at a time when Motown was in transition, beginning to pull away away from its traditional sweet soul roots and starting to follow current trends, dabbling in psychedelia, social commentary and antiwar protests. "Reflections" shot up the chart on its way to number one but hit the glass ceiling at #2, held back from the top spot by crossover country singer Bobbie Gentry's evocative "Ode to Billie Joe."

"Reflections" - Diana Ross and the 
Supremes (September 1967, highest chart 
position #2) 


In recent years I have gained a whole new appreciation of this jazz influenced, Chicago based, folk rock/sunshine pop group. Although they never emerged from the shadow of the more successful Mamas and Papas, I like the music of Spanky & Our Gang just as much. I never tire of listening to tracks like "Making Every Minute Count," "Like to Get to Know You," "Lazy Day," "Sunday Mornin'," "And She's Mine," "Yesterday's Rain," "Without Rhyme or Reason," and "Give a Damn." The group's first release, "Sunday Will Never Be the Same," was also their biggest career hit, breaking into the top 10 during the Summer of Love and bringing Dell dancers to the floor in line dance formation.

"Sunday Will Never Be The Same" 
- Spanky & Our Gang (June 1967, highest 
chart position #9) 


Brenton Wood's "The Oogum Boogum Song" cracked the top 40 in 1967 and showed up 30 years later on the soundtrack of The Last Days of Disco, one of my favorite and most highly recommended movies. The film's principal characters danced to this oldie as it played on the jukebox at a bar. When it turned up in the Dell jukebox in the spring of 1967 "Oogum Boogum" gave Dell rats a preview of the smooth, slick, sophisticated soul sound that would sweep the nation in the 1970s.

"The Oogum Boogum Song" - Brenton Wood 
(May 1967, highest chart position #34) 


"Stop Stop Stop" by the Hollies is permalinked in my mind to "Lady Godiva," a similar themed song performed by another English act, Peter and Gordon. Both records landed on the chart in October of 1966, both made it into the top 10 in the U.S.A. and both remained popular through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. Dell rats had radar for novelty numbers and they took this Hollies' vehicle for frequent spins.

"Stop Stop Stop" - Hollies 
(November 1966, highest chart position #7 ) 


The testosterone injected "Let's Spend the Night Together" stirred controversy and had censors on The Ed Sullivan Show clutching their hearts. Not easily offended, the Dell gentry turned the provocative Rolling Stones record into an instant hit. "Ruby Tuesday," the kinder, gentler, shuffle paced A side of the 45, got its fair share of plays as well. On the national chart "Ruby" became the Stones' 4th number one single.

"Ruby Tuesday" - Rolling Stones 
(April 1967, highest chart position #1) 


"Day Tripper" and "We Can Work it Out" are unique in that they were part of Capitol Records' historic double A-sided single release. Both songs were deemed so strong that they were both promoted as the A side. "We Can Work it Out" outperformed "Day Tripper," topping the domestic chart 4 weeks in a row at the start of January 1966. "Day Tripper" went top 5. Of the two songs "Tripper" was hipper and was played slightly more often by the Rodentia Intelligentsia.

"Day Tripper" - Beatles (January 1966, 
highest chart position #5) 

 Stay right there, 
 brother rat!  More 
 memory makers 
 from the Dell's 
 Bubbling Under list 
 are coming soon! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Now that was totally fun this morning and an awesome way to start a monday. I had my doubts about the Oogum Boogum Song until I heard it and actually remembered it. Enjoyed them all and really brought back some memories of that special time. Have a great week my friend.

  2. Hi, Odie! Welcome back, my friend! I knew that you'd recognize most of these although it surprises me that you remembered "Oogum Boogum." 1966 and '67 were memorable years in your life and these songs were an important part of the soundtrack just as they were for me. Thank you very much for coming by, Odie, and have a safe and happy week!

  3. I cant believe Can't Take My Eyes Off You only made it to number 2. That song is the ultimate high school dance slow tune. As usual you put together another great playlist and got my Monday started off right! (ps I am so looking forward to Pan Am, I recorded last nights episode and plan to watch it later today. I hope its good! and yes Christina does rock!)

  4. Amber Blue Bird - Frankie Valli's got charisma out the kazoo, that's for sure. The ladies swooned when he serenaded them with this song in a couple of the performance clips that I've seen. Also memorable is Frankie singing "Rag Doll" to Jeri Lyn, my favorite Action Kid on Where the Action Is. (Think Christina Ricci X Annette Funicello.) Thanks for reporting in, dear Amber, and have a wonderful week!

  5. That Reflections song is so soulful. Enjoyed listening it at work.

  6. Israel - Hello, good buddy! Nice to see you! I love the story behind the making of that track. They just sat in the studio and brainstormed and experimented until they came up with the opening sound FX hook. It was just about the first time that soul music went psychedelic. Thanks for coming by, Israel, and have a great week!

  7. Hi dear Tom. Here we are at the start of another week! I always loved Franki Valli's voice - so unique, and Can't Take My Eyes Off you is such a romantic song. Diana Ross & The Supremes were such a great group. My favourite was Baby Love! Spanky and our Gang brought back memories - they were a hit over here as well. The Hollies were another favourite group of mine. Now we come to the Rolling Stones - I guess that hit, Let's Spend the Night Together must have been really risque` in its day. Now then, Ruby Tuesday - that one holds a very special place in my heart now! I wonder why my dear friend?! Strangely enough, although I was a big fan of The Beatles, I never really took to Daytripper, or We Can Work It Out. Hope your Monday is going well.

  8. Thisisme - It always fascinates me how some people take to certain popular recordings and not to others. There are several Beatles songs that I'm very tired of hearing after all these years, but anything from Rubber Soul or Revolver still seems fresh to me. Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend, and take care of that special Ruby Tuesday of yours!

  9. I have a friend - in Ireland - who just heard the Hollies over there last weekend. sandie

  10. Sandie - I didn't know the Hollies are still together. I wonder how they sounded. Did your friend offer a review? I don't mind acts from the boomer years continuing to perform on stage and in the studio as long as they still have energy and produce an authentic sound. I don't like to attend oldies shows in which the artists look and sound old and tired. Thank you very much for visiting, dear Sandie. I hope you have a safe and enjoyable week ahead!

  11. These were great. I particularly enjoyed the video for 'Oogum Boogum" (I'm sure I butchered the spelling!).

  12. Ashton - I think you spelled it correctly, my dear. Welcome back! I encourage you to see one of my all time favorite movies, The Last Days of Disco, because I think someone like you would enjoy it. As I mentioned in the post "The Oogum Boogum Song" is in the soundtrack. Don't be misled by the movie's title. It's not like Saturday Night Fever, Roller Boogie, Skatetown U.S.A. or any other movie about disco. It's a delightfully different and intellectual film, part of the Whit Stillman trilogy that includes Metropolitan and Barcelona. In fact, I highly recommend all three! Thank you very much for listening and commenting, dear friend Ashton!

  13. Great songs, Tom. You ended with the best one too! Well, in my opinion. I love the beat the guitar and of course the voices on Day Tripper. Paul looked like a cherub when he was young.

    I knew all the longs and like them all especially Reflections and Sunday Will Never Be the Same. Great lineup!

  14. Belle - If you read Thisisme's comment you noticed that she didn't particularly care for "Day Tripper." It's fascinating how two people can hear the same sound and have completely different reactions to it. I love to probe the why and the how of such phenomena and my mind's working overtime trying to figure this one out. When Helen Reddy sang "I am woman, hear me roar" it was easy to understand how a large segment of the population was turned on by her message and another large segment was turned off by it. With songs like "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work it Out" the reasons to like or dislike do not seem as obvious. Maybe you can help me come up with some. Thank you very much for your comments, dear Belle!

  15. "We Can Work it Out" was also a favorite of mine and I didn't always like all the Beatles' songs. You know, it is hard to understand why one person loves a song and another person doesn't like it. In fact, I can't think of why!

    I actually like the rap songs my grandsons like because of the rhythm and music but hated the words so much I would never listen to it on my own. I noticed Paul smiled while singing, "She's a big teaser." I didn't even know what that meant when I was young. For me, the words are secondary, unless they are vile. It is the beat, the harmony and the guitars and drums. I love how Ringo drums in "Day Tripper". I will say too that I can't listen to Ringo sing. There was one of his songs on the radio yesterday and I had to turn it off. His voice just makes me cringe! :)

  16. Belle - Now that's really interesting because I enjoy Ringo's solo recordings very much and will be featuring one of them soon. You'll just have to skip over it. I'm a lot like you, however, in that I never paid that much attention to song lyrics. ("Louie Louie" is the one exception, LOL.) It was the production, the overall sound package that grabbed me, and since I was a drummer myself, I always listened for the drums in recordings. Thanks for following-up, dear Belle, and have a terrific day in the Great White North!

  17. Oh my goodness. I could stay here all day and listen to these favorites. Thank you for another wonderful post. Big Hugs!

  18. Big hugs to you, Katie! Why don't you stay here all day? I've got Frankie Valli and if you get tired of him I've got Rudy Vallee... ZOWIE! (LOL) It's nice of you to come by, dear Katie. Please come again soon!

  19. Hi, Shady!

    You played drums? There's not a bad song in this bunch, but I spent more money playing both sides of the Stones in the Dell jukebox than just about any other song, the whole time it was in. Had "Oogum Boogum", don't know why I never bought follow-up, "Gimme Little Sign". I liked it better, but now it's overplayed on oldies stations and "Oogum Boogum" is overlooked. One of favorite Beatles two-siders there, besides "You Can't Do That/Can't Buy Me Love". One of the top Supremes songs, bought summer of '67 while living in Baltimore. Was the first Supremes 45 that had one side credit "Diana Ross and the Supremes" and "Going Down For The Third Time" just "The Supremes". We knew then that Diana had plans. Always loved Spanky McFarland and had the pleasure of seeing her filling in for the late Mama Cass, while Mackenzie Phillips took her mother's place with the Mamas and the Papas at a cabaret show (2-drink minimum admission) at Harrah's in Reno. Didn't know Mackenzie was a redhead until that night. Keep the platters spinning and I'll keep grooving on them, Shady.

  20. Ron - Yes, I played drums. I got a drum set for Christmas circa 1960 and took band classes at school. I played snare drum in the marching band. Don't you remember seeing me in the Jacobus and Loganville Halloween parades? (LOL) I liked that Supremes killer bee "Going Down for the Third Time" and played it often at home. Thank you very much for your comments, good buddy, and we'll be seeing you in your next feature this coming Monday!

  21. oh i love ruby tuesday! when i was at high school we used to sing it often with my classmate and we also written its text on school diary!sorry for disappearing... i still love your blog :D

  22. Katia - Please don't disappear on me, dear Rapunzel! (LOL) I'm happy to know that "Ruby Tuesday" brings back fond memories for you the same as it does for me. Some Stones fans didn't like the band's softer side and their experimenting with psychedelia but I enjoyed those other styles just as much as their hard hitting rock recordings. Thank you very much for visiting, dear friend Katia!


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