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

Thursday, July 16, 2009

1967: The Summer of Love ----------- 1966: The Summer of Soul

In the spring and summer of 1966, records made by black artists and records made by white artists emulating black acts converged on the Shady Dell. It was an unprecedented exploson of soul inside the Dell jukebox. I have already named the frequent fliers of Dell soul. Now, I would like to salute a few recording artists who gave us just one immortal Dell classic each.

Robert Parker kicked things off in May and he kicked them off without any shoes. Whenever his top 50 Dell hit “Barefootin’" started to play, Dellions came a runnin’ by the dozen. The girls, in particular, wasted no time getting into the spirit by eagerly obeying Parker’s command to “Kick off your shoes!”

Whether they were dancing in the barn or out on the concrete slab...

...Dell kids found "Barefootin'" to be a galvanizing experience, the kind of novelty song that spread happiness and laughter through the Dell for months on end.

Over the years, most of the buzz surrounding the Contours has been about their big hit, “Do You Love Me." I prefer the treatment that the Dave Clark Five gave to that song. The DC5 nailed that cover down!

My Pick to Click for the Contours is their top 40 Dell hit, “Just a Little Misunderstanding.”

This Motown mover, with its dynamic Joe Stubbs lead vocal, tight harmony on the chorus, and irresistible piano-driven beat, erupted inside the jukebox in June and packed the Shady Dell’s dance floor for three solid months!

“Just a Little Misunderstanding” is one of the finest Motown recordings never to be played on mainstream oldies radio stations. What a shame! The fab flip, “Determination,” is another up-tempo northern scorcher that caught fire in the soul clubs of the UK.

The Detroit Spinners achieved their greatest success in the 70s with a string of Atlantic recordings that included "Rubberband Man."

"Rubberband Man" is okay but it would be a stretch for me to call it a favorite. Instead, my money’s on the the group's 60s Motown output, particularly the shuffle tempo “Truly Yours,” a crowd pleaser that went top 50 on the Shady Dell’s Greatest Hits survey!

The arc of popularity for “Truly Yours” ran parallel to that of the Contours record, going strong in the barn during the months of June, July and August.

Joining the summer soul sweepstakes was Darrell Banks with his classic hit “Open the Door to Your Heart.” The song emerged in July and was still a giant of the jukebox when the rats headed back to school, earning it the lofty #69 position on my Dell greatest hits list.

Banks’ 45 is a double-sider, containing not one but two rousing uptempo songs, two of the finest examples of Detroit northern soul on record. The killer bee, “Our Love (is in the Pocket)" was hot on England’s northern club circuit.

Darrell Banks released records on the Revilot label.

Revilot was one of the lesser known and less successful Detroit labels that became known as the "other Motown."

The "other Motown" also included Ric-Tic Records, home to Edwin Starr, the Fantastic Four, Al Kent and others.

The "other Motown" also included Golden World, the label that released the Reflections' smash hit "(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet." These and other relatively obscure record companies were left standing in the shadow of Berry Gordy's Motown; yet they produced some of the greatest soul and doo-wop recordings of the 60s!

A Chicago soul gem from the legendary Chess/Checker/Cadet group emerged in August of '66 and remained popular at the Dell well into the new school year. "Searching for My Love" by Bobby Moore and the Rhythm Aces, a shuffle speed number tailor made for Dell dancers, wound up just shy of the Dell Top 100.

These soulful sounds helped to make the summer of 1966 the Summer of Soul at the Shady Dell, and the greatest summer of my life!

Be sure to check back next Monday, July 20th when Shady Dell Music & Memories celebrates its one year anniversary!

Have a Shady day!

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