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, September 27, 2009

The D-Team: Episode 3

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!

"Run Bobby, Run" - Lesley Gore (February 1964)

My admiration for Lesley Gore continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Her many excellent Brill Building style recordings are durable evergreens that still sound fresh and still provide solace in a world replete with cynicism and chaos.

I never get tired of listening to Lesley's songs...even her best known million sellers. Put one of her seldom heard killer bees on the turntable and I'm over the moon!

Here's one of my favorites. "Run Bobby, Run" is the flip side of "You Don't Own Me" a smash hit that rocketed to #2 at the height of Beatlemania.

"Let's Live For Today" - Grass Roots (May 1967)

ABC recording artist Tommy Roe scored an important Shady Dell hit with "It’s Now Winter’s Day." Two singles on the Dunhill subsidiary also made the Dell Hot 100: "California Dreamin’" by the Mamas & Papas and "Let’s Live For Today" by the Grass Roots.

Ranked #77 on the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell, "Let’s Live For Today" was a popular shuffle paced dance song in the barn during the spring and summer of 1967; but it was also a great listening song that commanded quiet respect from the otherwise noisy clientele. With the sensitive, emotion-charged Rob Grill lead vocal, dramatic chorus, superb orchestral backing, and powerful, universal theme, "Let’s Live For Today" resonated with all types of people. Soldiers in Vietnam embraced the song, deriving strength, courage, and inspiration from its message. Couples used the song to celebrate new love or to say good-bye. "Let's Live for Today" worked as a break up song or a make up song.

"Sorry (I Ran All the Wy Home)" - Impalas (April 1959)

The Impalas, a vocal group from Brooklyn, were a mixed race quartet - 3 white men and black group leader Joe Frazier.

I want Frazier!...I want Frazier! (No, not the boxer!)

At a time when rock 'n roll was stagnating and the pop chart was getting junked up with novelty records, country & western, and easy listening instrumentals, the Impalas cut through the clutter with one of the most exciting records of the early rock 'n roll years. "Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)" was one of the first songs to spark my interest in the rock 'n roll revival of the late 60s.

"Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home" was a big hit for the Impalas. The record soared to #2 on the Billboard chart and remained there for two weeks, held back from the coveted top spot by Wilbert Harrison and his smash "Kansas City."

"Let’s Work Together" - Wilbert Harrison (December 1969)

The man who had closed out the placid 50s decade with his number one hit "Kansas City" closed out the turbulent 60s with a song as infectious and inspiring as Coca Cola's I'd like to teach the world to sing ad campaign. Wilbert Harrison's rousing call for peace, unity and harmony entered the Billboard pop singles chart in early December of 1969 and went to #32 in the early weeks of 1970.

"Why Can't We Live Together" - Tommy Thomas (December 1972)

As long as we're riding the peace train, the love train, and the soul train in this edition of D-Team, let's continue in that same vein with one of the most distinctive sounds of the 70s, "Why Can't We Live Together."

The Temptations called the modern world a "Ball of Confusion." Folk singer Tom Rush articulated that it's a world of trouble when I got here, it’s a world of trouble they’ll bury me in. The Vietnam War, racial strife back home, a growing sociopolitical divide and a widening generation gap all became themes of popular music. In 1965, Barry McGuire’s cautionary "Eve Of Destruction" emerged as the War escalated and intensified. In 1970 and 1971, Edwin Starr released his own protest songs, "War" and "Stop The War Now." An exasperated Marvin Gaye asked "What's Going On?"

At the end of the 60s, Wilbert Harrison urged us to get with the program in his "Let's Work Together" message song. At the end of 1972, Timmy Thomas posed the age old question, "Why Can’t We Live Together"? With a wistful sadness in his voice, Timmy delivered his impassioned plea for peace.

"Why Can't We Live Together" went all the way to #2 in early February 1973. It was perhaps the least expensive top-5 million seller ever made. The sparse, stripped-down production mix consists only of Timmy’s voice, his stabbing organ punctuation, and a drum machine - yet it works! Timmy's tune is one of the hippest smooth grooves of the early 70s!

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!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who Needs Craigslist? We Got Jerre's List!

Hot on the heels of my 10 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell...

Jerre Slaybaugh, known to one and all as Dell Rat Jerre, has submitted a Top 10 Dell songs list of his own!

As you recall, my list covered the 22-month span from December 1965 through September 1967, the period of time during which I rushed, pledged and was inducted into our beloved Phi Della Ratta. Jerre's list of the Top 10 Dell Songs is skewed toward doo-wop and covers the period from 1959 through 1965 when he was a Dell regular.

Let's find out which songs were burning down the barn back in Jerre's heyday. Here's Jerre's list of the Top 10 Dell Songs!

10. "Hey You" - Imaginations (1961)

9. "Coney Island Baby" - Excellents (December 1962)

8. "Kiss, Kiss, Kiss" - Jive Five (August 1965)

7. "Ooo Baby Baby" - Smokey & the Miracles (May 1965)

6. "I Don't Mind" - James Brown (June 1961)

5. "Time is On My Side" - Rolling Stones (December 1964)

4. "Maybe, Maybe, Baby" - Magnificent Men (Sept. 1966)

3. "Deserie" - Charts (July 1957)

2. "Close Your Eyes" - Five Keys (March 1955)

1. "Human" - Tommy Hunt (October 1961)

Thank you, Jerre, for showing us your list of the top 10 Dell goldens from the early to mid 60s!

"Wildwood Days" - Jerre Slaybaugh & his daughter
Jerre's compilation provides valuable insights into the type of music the gang was dancin' and romancin' to in the months and years before I joined the club.

many thanks
to my good friend
and fellow
Dell rat,
Jerre Slaybaugh!

How about you, friend?

Yeah you...the guy in the Woody Woodpecker pajamas pouring PBR on his Froot Loops. For the love of Pete, man, it's three in the afternoon, dontcha think it's time to get dressed? Why don't you do what Dell Rat Jerre did? If you have a Shady Dell Top Tunes list of your own then please share it. I'd love to see it, especially if it covers a different period of Dell history. It doesn't have to contain 200 songs; even a Top 10 would be interesting and instructive. Submit your Dell's Greatest Hits list in the form of a comment and I'll get it posted.

Have a Shady day!

Friday, September 18, 2009

200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell Part 20 (#10 to #1)

My fellow Dell rats, it has taken more than a year but it is finally time to conclude my 20-part countdown of the
200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell.

It's time to present the cream of the crop...

the best of the best...

the true
heavyweight sluggers
of the Dell lineup...

the elite
Shady Dell Top 10!

Each of these songs is 100% pure adrenaline, capable of producing chills and fever in any true blue Dell rat.

Each of these songs is certified Dell gold!

Before I proceed with the final countdown, I will as always tease you with a sampling of the lyrics.
This is your last chance to ace a quiz and bump up your G.P.A.

Examine the clues and
name those tunes!

I ain’t no saint
No complaints

Please don’t tease me like you did before

I heard a cryin' man,
is half a man

On their faces they don’t wear a smirk

I never had much goin’
but at least I had you

You can’t make it alone

He’s lost in the wilderness

I’ve got to face this thing all alone

Now it’s my turn to pay some dues

We have time
(lots of time)
Everything’s alright

(end of clues)

Remember the grading scale:

All 10 right – Congratulations! You’ve been appointed dean of the College of Musical Knowledge

7-9 right – Licensed lyric lover

4-6 right - Lyrically challenged

1-3 right – Sign up for remedial classes at the School of Rock

0 right – You just dance and hum along!

Now at last, here they are...

the giants of the jukebox...

the most popular and most heavily played
Dell songs of the mid 60s.

Submitted for your approval...
the 10 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell:

10. "It's My Life" - Animals (November '65)

9. "Hello Stranger" - Capitols (April '66)

8. "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" - Temptations (June '66)

7. "Cool Jerk" - Capitols (April '66)

6. "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" - Righteous Brothers (March '66)

5. "No Man is an Island" - Van Dykes (March '66)

4. "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" - James Brown (May '66)

3. "Peace of Mind" - Magnificent Men (January '66)

2. "Everybody's Gotta Lose Someday" - Del-Chords aka Del-Cords (December '64)

1. "Close Your Eyes" - Five Keys (March '55)

And there you have it...
the 10 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell during the mid 60s!

Wait a minute!
I hear some mumbling and grumbling out there.

You say you don't agree with my Top 10, Sparky? Wondering why "I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt" ain't on the list, Skippy? Where's "That Mule, Old Rivers and Me"? Is that what you're asking, Spanky? You think "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" should be right up there, Timmy? Well last call for alcohol, Nancy boy! Send me your own list!
Don't make me beg! Better yet.....go have a cookie!

That untoward outburst will be stricken from the record and the jury will kindly disregard. What Mr. Warmth meant to ask is this.

Do you have a Shady Dell Top Tunes list of your own that you would like to share? I'd love to see it, especially if it covers a different period of Dell history. It doesn't have to contain 200 songs; even a Top 10 would be interesting and instructive. Submit your Dell's Greatest Hits list in the form of a comment and I'll get it posted.

Have a Shady day!