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

Friday, March 27, 2009

The D-Team: Pilot Episode

In 1972, a crack Dell Rat unit was sent to prison by the Unific Court of Love for a crime they didn't commit..... (Death by Disco).

These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the York, PA underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of soul and revivers of rock ‘n roll.

If you have a problem (with hip hop divas and gangsta rap)...

if no one else can help...

and if you can find them...

maybe you can hire...

The D-Team!

I pity the fool who don't like these songs!

"A Patent on Love" - Newbeats (November 1966)

Direct from the Lloyd Thaxton Show, it's Larry Henley and the Newbeats! I saw the Nashville trio perform several of their hits and misses on that televised music, comedy, and dance program. By the way, don't miss my 7-part tribute to the late Lloyd Thaxton coming up later this year!

The Newbeats will turn up again and again on this blog because my respect for them has grown tremendously in recent years. Granted, some of their recordings missed the mark. Their lame cover versions of million sellers by super groups like the Beatles and the Supremes did not help the cause; but other covers and original songs are right in the groove. These Nashville cats made old school cool! Here's a great example - a superb yet non-charting single called "A Patent on Love."

"Funky Broadway" - Dyke & the Blazers (April 1967)

During the late summer of 1967, Wilson Pickett scored a top 10 smash with "Funky Broadway." Pickett's record is ranked #123 on my list of the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell. Dell rats liked what the Wicked Pickett was puttin' down, but they loved the original and played it more often. From the spring of '67, charting at #79 on the Dell's Greatest Hits survey, here's "Funky Broadway" by Dyke & the Blazers.

"She Comes in Colors" - Love (December 1966)

Here’s one of the greatest songs never to be played at the Shady Dell. I remember getting blown away when I heard a local York band perform "She Comes in Colors" in the spring of 1967.

Until then, I never knew that the original version had been recorded months earlier by a band called Love. On faith alone, I bought the first two Love albums and was elated to find a treasure trove of rock gems; although the trippy, flower pop psychedelia of "She Comes In Colors" remained my favorite. Ever since, I have been addicted to Love!

The racially mixed, five-man Los Angeles group led by the brilliant Arthur Lee was the first rock band signed by Elektra records. Love’s recording of Burt Bacharach’s "My Little Red Book" became the label’s first 45 release. Love’s music is a complex, sophisticated, innovative fusion of folk-rock, baroque pop, flamenco and psychedelia. Using instruments avoided by most bands such as flute, saxophone and harpsichord, Love created music that still sounds fresh and interesting.

Love’s odd refusal to tour hurt them, as did the limited commercial appeal of their music.

Love remained a cult band in the shadow of their successful label mates, the Doors. Vindication has come with time. Today, Arthur Lee’s band of musical misfits is lauded by critics, and generations of rock fans have discovered that there’s a lot to Love!

"Back on My Feet Again" Foundations (March 1968)

The Foundations were a mixed race octet from England who exported some refreshingly different sounding northern soul to America. Theirs is a mod beat sound that stands up remarkably well to repeated listening.

"Back on My Feet Again" was only a minor hit stateside for the group, halting at #59 on the Billboard chart in the early spring of 1968. Nevertheless, it is one of my Foundations faves, and I'd like you to hear it.

"My Best Friend Barbara" - Connie Francis (December 1963)

For many years, I had a pesky blind spot where Connie Francis was concerned. I kept lumping her in with country artists, easy listening artists, and singers who recorded in foreign languages. I avoided Connie's music, unaware of her significant contributions to rock 'n roll and the girl group sound.

Listen to Connie rocking out on "My Best Friend Barbara," a Neil Sedaka composition that includes backing vocals by the Brill Building dream team of Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Mr. Sedaka. It's the ginchiest!

Oh, her lipstick's all a mess.
She thinks that she's the best.
She's walkin' down the street in a tight yellow dress.
My best friend Barbara.

Yo, Mister Neil Sedaka. FOUR ONE ONE!
Listen up and listen up good my friend, aaah-IGHT?

Looks like I owe you an apology. I made fun of your dancin' on Valentine's day, but dat was before I knew you could write such phat lyrics! Take it from me - what the world needs now is more songs about women in tight dresses with messed up lipstick. When I heard dat, zing went the strings, know what I mean? As a sincere token of my esteemed symbolic eternal friendship gratitude gesture thingy, I hereby bestow upon you, Mister Neil Sedaka, the honor of receiving, absolutely free of charge, a lifetime membership in the Tracy Jordan Fan Club with all the inherent, implied, implicit and illicit rights and privileges therein, thereof, and therefore. It's the least I can do!

Don't miss the next thrill-packed episode of The D-Team, coming soon!

I love it
when a plan comes together!

Have a Shady day!

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