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, January 23, 2011

Joanna and Her Jukebox Jems Prove Beyond a Shadow That Retro Rocks!


Joanna, my good
friend and loyal 
blog follower in
the UK, responded
to the lists sent in
by Wanilianna,
Jerre, Belle and
Thisisme by
assembling a
rockin' retro
song list of
her own!

"The songs are from
what used to be my
parents' favourite
tape," wrote Joanna,
"and bring back a lot of
memories from when
my brother and I were
little. We'd play these
tunes and dance around
the table in our dining
room! And right now
they fit in nicely with
my love for retro stuff."

Joanna's love of retro is proudly displayed on
an Oxford-based fashion photography blog with a retro twist.
Joanna, a native of Poland who has been been living and studying in the UK for the past four years, is an up and coming model. Retro-Story features a growing collection of Joanna's modeling images captured exclusively by her talented partner Adrian Krajewski.

More of Joanna's modeling and Adrian's expert photography
in a bit, but right now, without further ado, let's find out which of her parents' oldies filled Joanna with all of that girlhood glee!

"These might not be my favourite songs of
all time," Joanna explained, "but they are
very special to me nonetheless. Here goes
(in no particular order)."

1. "At the Hop" - Danny and the Juniors
(February 1958)

2. "Breaking Up is Hard to Do"
- Neil Sedaka (August 1962)

3. "Oh! Carol" - Neil Sedaka
(December 1959) 

4. "Lollipop" - Chordettes (April 1958)

5. "Diana" - Paul Anka (October 1957)

6. "Adam and Eve" - Paul Anka
(April 1960)

7. "Mr. Lonely" - Bobby Vinton
(December 1964)

8. "Rock Around the Clock" - Bill Haley
(July 1954)

9. "Hello Mary Lou" - Ricky Nelson
(July 1961)

10. "The Great Pretender" - Platters
(February 1956)

Joanna, this list is  all killer - no filler!  These songs bring back fond memories of my childhood in the 1950's and 60's and it's so cool knowing that they were also a part of your youth decades later.   I uncovered some related trivia for you.

"Diana," one of singer/songwriter Paul Anka's biggest and best known hits remained on the Billboard chart for an astounding 29 weeks (more than half a year) and yet it never managed to reach #1. "Diana" had momentum when
it got to the #2 position in September of 1957, but it was blocked from the top spot four weeks in a row by "Tammy," the Debbie Reynolds love ballad taken from her hit movie Tammy and the Bachelor.

Debbie Reynolds 

While we're on the subject, Joanna, did anyone ever
tell you that you look very much like pert and petite
Debbie Reynolds did in the early and mid 50's?


"Rock Around the Clock" was the granddaddy of all rock 'n roll songs. The jumpin' jitterbug classic by Bill Haley and his Comets was a #1 best seller and represented a cultural shift. Until then the type of song that had been rewarded with radio play and record sales was a smooth, civilized ballad
like "The Great Pretender." Placid and polite, the Platters' "Pretender" followed the example set by Bill Haley's tune, climbing to #1 and remaining on the chart for nearly half a year! My parents owned copies of "Rock Around the Clock" and "The Great Pretender" and as a young boy I played them to death on my tiny tinny record player.

Ricky Nelson's hit "Hello Mary Lou" is noteworthy because it was actually the B side of an even bigger hit "Travelin' Man." Seems to me that the decision makers at Imperial Records could have reaped two chart toppers instead of one if the songs had been released as the A sides of two separate 45's. As it was, "Travelin' Man" went to #1 and "Mary Lou" barely broke into the top 10, stopping at #9. I still remember waking up on New Year's Day 1986 to the news that Rick had died in a plane crash, one of the greatest tragedies in rock history.

Thank you for a wonderful set of songs, Joanna.

You struck old gold!

"I've only started  
modeling this
past year so
I'm still learning 
a lot and all the
is really fantastic."

- Joanna

Joanna, I am very surprised by what you wrote.  When I look at the world class images
in your blog portfolio it is hard to believe that you are so new to modeling!

Maybe I shouldn't
be surprised at all.

Your love of all things
retro reveals you to be
precocious - an old soul -
wise far beyond your years.

Thank you, dear friend Joanna, for sharing with us your parents' songs and your avocation!

Who's next?

If you have a Top Tunes list I'd love to see it.  It would be fascinating to discover which songs meant the most to you in your youth or which ones resonate now in the present. Why not do what Wanilianna, Jerre, Belle, Thisisme and Joanna did? Make a list, submit it in the form of a comment and I'll get it posted. It can be a list of your favorite songs, the most exciting songs, best songs from a particular time period similar to my mid 60's Dell survey...anything you like!




Have a Shady day!


  1. What a great list, Joanna. I was just playing a Neil Sedaka CD today while I baked cookies. Lollipop is such a happy song and Bobby Vinton's voice and song was just wonderful. Ricky Nelson was one of my sister's favorite singers, so we went to see him sing in San Bernardino, California. We stood at the bottom of the stage and it was great.
    Thanks for sharing these songs!

  2. Great selections~
    Ricky Nelson was such a good looking singer! Great new week Shady!!

  3. Wonderful list! I love Bobby Vinton`s song: "Mr. Lonely":-)

  4. Well now Shady I don't know what I thought Retro even meant but Joanna hit home runs with her list. They also conjure up blessed memories for me as well. She is a very lovely lady & I love her taste in music. Thanks for another great journey down memory lane.

  5. Belle - I haven't heard some of these fab oldies in quite a while, particularly "Mr. Lonely," "Adam and Eve" and "Lollipop," a song I that I remember singing over and over again as a boy. I'm sure that you remember "At the Hop" being one of the featured songs during the high school sock hop scene in American Graffiti. You were lucky to have the chance to see Ricky up close and personal! Thanks so much for your comment, dear Belle!

    Lenore - Ricky became the breakout character on his parents' sitcom Ozzie and Harriet when he became a teen singing idol who rivaled Elvis in popularity. Ricky's acting wasn't the best but he was a soulful singer and music critics were much kinder to Rick than they were to idols like Frankie Avalon and Fabian. Rick was the real deal! Thank you for your comment, Lenore!

    Wanilianna - I agree that Bobby Vinton's "Mr. Lonely" is a standout in Joanna's collection. I haven't heard it for a long time but it was one of my favorites in my early years, as were several other songs by the gifted crooner. Thank you for your comment, Wanilianna, and for your support of Poland's Joanna!

    Odie - I was shocked when this young lady produced such a retro song list! I was just turning 6 years of age when "Rock Around the Clock" and "The Great Pretender" broke. They were quite possibly the two records most responsible for cultivating my lifelong love of popular music. Thanks for your comment, Odie, and stay warm in Carolina!

  6. Oh my goodness Shady, Joanna's list is almost better than mine. I adore all those songs. Loved Ricky Nelson, especially Hallo Mary Lou. Because of my name, Diana was always one of my favourites, and The Great Pretender - oh my! All those choices were fantastic. Joanna's mum and dad had seriously good taste in music! I'm loving these posts dear friend, and how beautiful is Joanna. Gosh, I can see why she is a model. Well done on your list of songs Joanna!

  7. Another good list. I loved all the Platters songs and their clip was great. I don't feel as old after that list. I saw what is left of the Comets two summers ago and the guy that plays the bass fidel was still twirling it around and jumping like he was 16.


  8. Jerre - Did you happen to see the Comets at Hershey Park, by any chance? "Rock Around the Clock" wasn't the only Comets' 45 that I discovered and played in my game room. My parents (or possibly my older brother) also owned "Shake, Rattle & Roll," "Dim Dim the Lights (I Want Some Atmosphere)," and "See You Later Alligator." Thanks a lot for your comment, Jerre!

  9. I can't believe how much that gal looks like Christina Applegate!


  10. Pearl - You're right, our model Joanna does look like Christina! In fact, in one photo or another, she looks like several other famous actresses that I could name including the beautiful Susan Strasberg and Teresa (Shadow of a Doubt) Wright, the inspiration behind the title of this piece.

  11. Thisisme - I agree that Joanna's parents were definitely in the groove and I am always thrilled when young people embrace the music of the past and make it their own. Thank you very much for stopping by, dear Thisisme!

  12. Thank you so much for putting this list up, Shady! I'm so glad others enjoy it as well, I didn't expect it to be that well received.

    Belle - I'm really jealous that you actually got to see Ricky Nelson! Wow.

    Thanks for such kind words everyone - and I'll be sure to pass on your comment to my parents, Thisisme!

  13. Joanna - I'm so glad you liked the post and I am very pleased that others are responding so favorably to your parents' songs. Thank you for sharing the songs and your modeling talents with us and have a restful night in Oxford, dear friend!

  14. Great list Joanna! And I loved the trivia Shady.

  15. Alabee - Thank you for reporting in tonight, my good friend. I have always been a trivia buff and I enjoy peppering posts with it when it helps to make a point. As perceptive as you are I'm sure you've noticed that I use the comments section as a extension of the post. I believe the comments should be every bit as interesting as the article itself and I never miss an opportunity to share more tidbits here. Hope you had fun in Frisco, dear Alabee!

  16. i had a friend called mary lou i remember we always sung that song to her ahaah!!!

  17. Katia - I can't remember ever meeting someone named "Mary Lou." As I wrote in this post, "Ricky's "Hello Mary Lou" song went to waste when the record company made it the B side of a 45rpm release with "Travelin' Man" (also spelled "Travellin' Man") as the A side. "T.M." reached #1 in the USA and "H.M.L." only got to #9. "Mary Lou" performed much better in the UK, going to #2 on the chart, and in Norway the song was a huge smash spending 14 weeks at #1! Thank you very much for your comment, Katia, and have a fine day in Rome!

  18. love love her list. Great job Joanna. I was tapping my little toes away listening to these tunes. I realized I lacked enough Neil in my music library so I am off to get more!

  19. Shady I absolutely love how you use the comment section as a continuation of the post. You always write such thoughtful responses.
    Thank you for the comment. I wish I could dance like Alex though.
    And my other dog's name is Cody and he is a dear.
    I don't think I left my heart in SF, but I do think it will always have a part of it!
    Have a wonderful day Shady.

  20. Amber Blue Bird - I'm feeling a lot like Ronnie Z-man Barzell right now. (Old guy's dated reference to character in Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls). I feel like shouting "this is my happpening and it freaks me out!" Can you imagine how happy it makes me to throw a party here on my blog and bring together people of all ages from all over the world to meet and greet and learn about each other's lives and dig each other's music? This is pure nirvana for me. Thank you for being here and taking part in this celebration, dear friend Amber!

    Alabee - I love how you take the time to read my comments section. Not many people would do that and it means a lot to me. I also love how you come over here to reply to comments and questions that I leave on your blog! (LOL) You are such a special friend and I'm really getting a kick out of you! I was thinking maybe you named your other dog Desi or Ricky. (LOL) I'm glad that you got the old guy's dated reference to Flashdance and can understand why you remind me of the quiet, introspective, artistic old soul Alex. Thank you, dear Alabee, for coming to this particular theme party not once but twice!


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