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, October 9, 2009

Lloyd Thaxton's Greatest Hits, Pt. 2

Let's continue now with our seven part tribute to the late Lloyd Thaxton and some of the most memorable songs associated with his 1960s television show. The song chronology begins in the spring of 1964 with my two favorites by Rick Nelson.

(April, May 1964)

“The Very Thought of You” b/w “I Wonder” - Rick Nelson

Rick released this excellent single in 1964 at a time when his career was starting to slip.

The A side, "The Very Thought of You," went top 30 but the handwriting was on the wall. He was no longer young Ricky, the cute kid who grew up on his family sitcom and became a recording star.

In the wake of the British invasion, Rick Nelson, who had not yet reinvented himself with "Garden Party," was old school. His records were no longer guaranteed best sellers. With popular tastes trending away from Rick and other American idols, songs like "The Very Thought of You" that routinely charted in the top 10 were now stalling in the 20s, 30s and lower.

Rarely heard on oldies radio, “The Very Thought of You” and “I Wonder” are among Rick’s career best.

Let's have a listen now to that seldom heard but simply wonderful killer bee.

(October 1964)

“Shaggy Dog” – Mickey Lee Lane

Although he enjoyed greater success and recognition abroad, Mickey Lee Lane unjustly remained a one-hit wonder in the USA. Lane’s novelty rocker, “Shaggy Dog” knocked me out with its punchy Brill Building production, infectious energy and nonsensical lyrics.

I remember watching Mickey Lee Lane lip-sync to this record on Lloyd Thaxton. With his wavy blonde hair, mystery shades and black leather jacket, Lane projected the image of a mod underground bopper-rocker-hipster.

While we're at it, let's listen to Mickey's rarely heard flip side, "OO-OO."

(October 1964)

"Everything's Alright" b/w "Pink Dally Rue" by the Newbeats

The Newbeats stood their ground against the British invasion, something many American acts were unable to do. They did so with talent and showmanship and by remaining true to their Tennessee roots. Instead of selling out by following the latest trend, the Newbeats stuck with their nondescript name, their clean cut image, and their unique sound. In the process Larry Henley and the boys managed to turn old school into way cool. One of my favorites by the Newbeats is “Everything’s Alright,” the group's top 20 follow-up to their biggest career hit, "Bread and Butter."

Like all of the Newbeats’ best work, "Everything's Alright" is a showcase for Larry Henley’s vocal talents. There’s nothing false about Henley’s falsetto. It’s the real deal!

On the flip side of "Everything's Alright" is a killer bee entitled “Pink Dally Rue,” another sensational Newbeats number that I remember from Lloyd Thaxton.

There are many more fabulous yet seldom heard songs in the pipeline. Join me next time for Part 3 of my tribute to Lloyd Thaxton!

Have a Shady day!

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