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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

1963: Congress Releases Records..... Wins Widespread Popular Support!

Translation: Records on the Congress label
 sold like hot cakes thanks to Shirley Ellis,
 the company's top recording act!

Shirley's first big hit, "The Nitty Gritty" was the kind of sonic tonic that grief stricken Americans needed to begin the healing process in the weeks following the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy. Like "Louie Louie," the controversial hit record by the Kingsmen that charted at the same time, "The Nitty Gritty" contained lyrics that were wide open to interpretation. The important thing, however, is that both songs served as a much needed distraction and helped to lift us out of the doldrums.

"The Nitty Gritty," a rip-it-up, go-go style dance number,
had the wind at its back as it steadily climbed the charts during December and reached its zenith at the start of 1964, giving the long-haired British invaders a run for their money.

One year later, in December of 1964, Shirley had her second hit on the charts.

“The Name Game” was a good-natured novelty record that challenged listeners to make a rhyme out of anybody’s name.

In the spring of 1965, a couple of months after "The Name Game" faded off the charts, Congress was back in session and Shirley Ellis was back in business.

Shirley struck paydirt again with "The Clapping Song," another entertaining recording in the novelty pop soul vein.

As much as I love deep soul, Motown and southern R&B,
I also thoroughly enjoy feel good pop soul like these songs
by Shirley Ellis.

Other favorites in the
same category include:

"Puppy Love"
by Barbara Lewis
(January 1964)

“The Shoop Shoop Song
(It’s in His Kiss)”
by Betty Everett
(March 1964)

“The Birds
and the Bees”
by Jewel Akens
(January 1965)

Every time I hear songs like those they lift my spirits. No heavy messages, no social commentary, no political protests, no put-downs...just lighthearted fun that continues to bring out the kid in me and you. that actually allows you to forget your troubles for a while instead of focusing
on them. Now there's a concept!

This act of Congress sets me free from my worries. Let's wind up our popcorn party with two more rare Shirley Ellis performance clips!

Del Del Bo Bel

Bonana Fanna Fo Fel

Fee Fy Mo Mel...


Have a Shady day!


  1. Right after reading my daughters blog with fond memories of my past I find yours and remember how these songs made me feel so good simply for what they were. Songs you could just have fun with. Thanks for the added memories this sunday morning.

  2. Yessir, Odie! I read your daughter's list and knew that it would please you. I'm glad this good time music got your Sunday started with a smile! Thanks for your comment, Odie!

  3. My favourite one there has to be The Clapping Song. Again, that really brought back memories for me. It is so lovely to hear these songs that haven't been heard for many a year, and I'm sure we all thank you dear Shady for bringing them to us once more. A real feel-good song and I enjoyed bopping to it today!

  4. Thisisme - I'm glad you liked the best of Shirley. I hope you bop around the clock in lovely Devonshire! Have a Shady day, dear Thisisme!

  5. I taught The Name Game to my children and grandchildren. It was one of those songs we would sing in the car. They had such fun with it. But for me, The Nitty Gritty was the best.

  6. Belle - Another one of those songs that the kids could sing in the car was "Iko Iko" by the Dixie Cups (May 1965). Remember it? Thank you very much for your comment, dear Belle!

  7. These songs brightened my day for sure! Thanks Shady. You always pick the greatest music.

  8. Thank you dear friend for stopping by...I do hope you picked up the stylish blog award as you have a blog of extreme style and I get to find out 7 things about you!

  9. Alabee - You always brighten my day with your words! Thank you for dropping by and have a wonderful week ahead, dear friend!

  10. Gingey - I am very grateful for the award. Thank you for thinking of me, dear friend! I will be listing 7 new things about myself in response to another award that I just received and I'm sure you won't mind if I combine the two, seeing as how I am running out of interesting things to tell about myself. Have a marvelous week ahead in England, my dear friend Gingey!

  11. I squealed like a little girl when I read your comment about Elizabeth Taylor. Thanks for being the greatest Shady.

  12. Alabee - Takes one to know one. I think you're the greatest, too, kiddo!


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