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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

On the Record: The First Choice for the Last Dance..."Goodnight My Love"

52 years ago today, this was rockin’ you!

By 1967, the music on the Dell jukebox was changing, just as it was on the radio. Sweet soul harmony was being replaced by attitude-driven funk. Simple love songs were being crowded out by serious, self conscious, introspective message music, protest and social awareness anthems, garage rock, acid rock, psych, prog, synth, hard rock and heavy metal. Much of this music was excellent yet, for my money, most of the fun was gone from music. By the end of the 1960s, the record industry tried to popularize kinder, gentler forms of music with sunshine pop, bubblegum, nursery rhyme pop and Jesus rock.

Eventually, many people declared "none of the above!" and there began a backlash against all of the current musical trends. An oldies revival took root and swept the nation. Longing to once again fill my life with silly love songs, I joined the counterrevolution. My rudder turned and my listening habits changed dramatically. “Goodnight My Love” by Jesse Belvin is the one song most responsible for getting me hooked all over again on oldies but goodies.

I vaguely remember hearing "Goodnight My Love" as a child, but I forgot all about it until it turned up on one of the Art Laboe oldies compilations that I purchased. The song quickly became one of my all time favorites.

Released during the Christmas-New Year holiday season of 1956, “Goodnight My Love” became a standard for years to come at sock hops - rolled out as the last song of the evening – the all-important last dance. At holiday parties from the mid 50s through the mid 60s, “Goodnight My Love” was as much a part of the tradition as tinsel, champagne and noisemakers.

"Goodnight My Love” is a ballad of awesome beauty, tenderness and sincerity. (Gansta rap was still light years away, as was the notion of turning pop songs into vehicles of hate and weapons of mass destruction!)

"Goodnight My Love" still gives me chills and leaves me misty-eyed every time I hear it. Listen now to one of the finest recordings to come out of the 1950s:

"Goodnight My Love" became the biggest hit of Jesse Belvin's career, but as fate would have it, he had little time left to build on his success. Just three years later, at age 27, Jesse and his wife were killed in a car crash, one of many such tragedies in the history of rock 'n roll.

Was “Goodnight My Love” a Dell song?
There's no doubt in my mind.

I want to thank you
for your support
and encouragement
these past six months.
I'm gonna do my best
to keep you thinking
and smiling in 2009.

Together, we will
reach back,
grab those memories,
and bring 'em back alive.

Never grow up...never grow old!

Have a Shady day and a very Shady New Year!


  1. I love this! Although the link didn't work here, I was able to look it up on YouTube. What an absolutely great song. Heartbreaking that Belvin and his wife died so tragically. If any boy would have asked me to dance to this song I probably would have fainted dead away!

  2. Jenny - Obviously you have decided to read the Dead Sea Scrolls (all my old posts from the beginning). I am humbled by your dedication to the blog. Please know, however, that you will be in for a disappointment when you find that I am repeating some of these old posts, albeit with a "fresh coat of paint" (better photos and artwork, color highlighted text and better writing). In a way I wish you wouldn't look at these old posts because my template changed since then, text got shifted around, videos are deleted, etc. In other words, you are not seeing my best work this far back in my archives. However, as always, I do thank you very much for your interest in SDM&M! Have a great day, dear friend!


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