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

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

TSOH (The Sound of Harrisburg): The Emperors Rule Again!

Dell rats, please open your history books to chapter 5 and let's learn more about the Emperors of Harrisburg.

The Emperors, a latin-influenced, soul/funk band out of Harrisburg, PA came down the pike in November of 1966
and helped the Dell gang get their kicks with "Karate," a dynamite dance record that became a minor hit coast to coast.

On the backside of "Karate" was a genuine killer bee entitled "I've Got to Have Her."

Both sides of the Emperors' Mala single remained hot at the Dell during the winter season of 1966/67.

Around March of 1967, the Emperors showed up again with another bombastic doublesider. First up, the nicely executed Don Gardner cover, "My Baby Likes to Boogaloo."

The Emperors' handling of "My Baby Likes to Boogaloo" became an instant hit at the Dell.

In no time curious Dellers discovered the fab flip "You Got Me Where You Want Me."

The Emperors' "Boogaloo" twofer kept the Dell dancing through the spring of 1967.

In May, Mala 554 was joined in the jukebox by another Emperors blockbuster, their biggest two-sider since "Karate." The fast and furious "Lookin' for My Baby" packed the floor with dancers on a nightly basis while remaining virtually unknown to the rest of the world.

"Lookin' for My Baby" comes in at #65 on the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell.

Ranking even higher at #62 is the killer bee, "Searchin'", an updated, hipper, and more street wise version of the 1957 Coasters hit.

Although the decision makers at Mala chose "Lookin'" as the plug side, Dell rats went lookin' for "Searchin'" more often, and that's why I placed it higher on my survey.

The "Lookin'"/"Searchin'" single remained popular at the Dell through the spring and into the summer of 1967. It was around that time that the Emperors departed the Amy-Mala-Bell group and signed with Brunswick Records.

In July of 1967, the Emps released a 45 on Brunswick that would become their final Shady Dell double play.

The A side, "Karate Boogaloo," introduced a new dance and was an obvious attempted to cash in on the popularity of "Karate" and "My Baby Likes to Boogaloo." Complete with canned crowd cheers, "Karate Boogaloo" was the kind of catchy novelty number that was pure catnip, or I should say rat nip at the Dell!

"Karate Boogaloo" ranks in the Shady Dell Top 100 at position #91.

Down the line in the top 200 is the rousing B side instrumental, "Mumble Shing-a-Ling."

The Emperors' Brunswick single kept Dell dancers busy from July through the end of the Summer of Love.

Harrisburg's Emperors ruled at the Dell for one full year from the fall of 1966 until the fall of 1967. After their initial success with "Karate"/"I've Got to Have Her," the Emperors released six more sensational 45rpm sides. Each one became an important part of Shady Dell history, legend and lore; yet not a single one of those fine R&B recordings reached the Billboard chart. I read about that phenomenon on Wiki. It's called Shady's Law. Remind me to fill you in sometime.

Have a Shady day!

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