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, February 19, 2011

Dell Rat FAQ's: What is Shady's Law? As a Newly Inducted Member of the Rat Pack, What Can I Do to Make Sure That I Remain in Full Compliance at All Times, Thereby Earning My Mouse Ears? (Part 1)

I opened the SDM&M mailbag this
morning and found an inquiry from
Dr. Sheldon Cooper who writes:

To whom it may concern
(that would be YOU Mr. Knight),

Recently I detected a 563.277 percent spike in the number of unique mentions of Shady's Law on my quantum physics message board.

All this chatter
has aroused my
curiosity. Please
outline in detail
the principles of
Shady's Law and
explain why your
hypothesis is more
closely alligned
with the Big Bang
Theory endorsed
by noted Russian
physicist George
Gamow or, as the case may be, with the Steady State model of the universe espoused by English astronomer and mathematician Fred Hoyle.  I'll give you thirty seconds to reply.

Thank you for your letter and your interest in Shady's Law, Sheldon. The explanation is really quite simple.

Shady's Law
states that
the greater the record...
the lower it's chart position
tended to be.

You see, Sheldon, I have always been fascinated by the music trade charts. For decades
I habitually studied the Billboard and Cash Box lists. I loved to follow the weekly progress of songs to see which ones caught a bullet and were headed for the top, which ones were losing their momentum, and which ones were in a free fall.
I collected several of Joel Whitburn's Record Research bibles and spent hours at a time looking up all of my favorite songs so that I could memorize and compare their stats. I began
to notice a pattern emerging. More often than not, the mathematical law of inverse proportionality applied to my favorites: the "greater" the song, the lower its position on the national record chart.

When I did my original research for this blog
I couldn't even find some of my favorite songs until I bought the Whitburn supplement that lists the records that "bubbled under" the Billboard Hot 100.

Please allow me to present to you some of my first round inductees into the Shady's Law Hall of Fame (Shame). Each and every one of these songs was trapped in the Bubbling Under Bargain Basement and never managed to break out!

"Gimme Some Lovin' by the Jordan Brothers
(highest chart position #129)

"Stormy Weather" by the Magnificent Men
(highest chart position #133)

"Truly Yours" by the Spinners (highest chart position #111)

"Take Me for a Little While" by Evie Sands
(highest chart position #114)

"Lover's Medley"
("The More I See You"/
"When I Fall in Love")
by Marcy Jo and
Eddie Rambeau
(highest chart
position #132)

"Thanks for posting this. Brings back
many memories of myself and Marcy Jo 
traveling around promoting this record."

"Amazing that it got
to be the number 1
record in Baltimore
and just piddled
around with the rest
of the country. So
thank you Baltimore.
Eddie Rambeau"

Thanks for your comment, Eddie! In addition to hitting
big on Baltimore radio,
"Lover's Medley" got strong support from The Buddy Deane Show, the Bandstand style teen record hop broadcast
on WJZ-TV.

All of the songs presented in this post shoulda been, coulda been and woulda been hits if only they had caught a break. But wait! There was a fate worse than bubbling under and
it was total obscurity. When we continue with Part two,
I'll introduce some of the greatest noncharting records of
all time!

Have a Shady day!


  1. I loved these great tunes and it's hard to believe they never made it to the top. Thanks for bringing them back and have an awesome weekend.

  2. maybe you should write a post about top 10 songs by Elvis... this might be interesting for the audience:-)

  3. Odie - At the very least these fine songs deserved to finish in the top 40. Miscalculations, errors in judgement, record company politics and ineptitude, lack of promotion and distribution, and plain old bad luck prevented them from getting there. Have a super weekend in Carolina, my good friend!

    Wanilianna - That's a great idea! Believe it or not I can't remember ever hearing any Elvis Presley records played at the Shady Dell! He remains one of my favorite artists, however, and I could easily assemble a top 10. I have a better idea. Why don't you make a list of your 10 favorite songs by Elvis? It would be very interesting to find out which Elvis songs resonated with you in Poland. There's no reason why I can't publish another Wanilianna song list and I would love to do it! Just submit your song list in the form of a comment to this post within the next 3 days so I am sure to see it. I will copy and save your list, delete it from the comments section and turn it into a post. Please give this idea consideration, my dear friend, and have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Again great selection of songs. I also do not remember Elvis being played at the Dell. He was not blue eyed soul and did not fit in to well with the soul sounds at the Dell during the early 60s. Maybe Dell Rat Ron has an opinion about Elvis at the Dell, but as I recall he was not a big hit.

  5. Jerre - I imagine that we could raise a lot of eyebrows with the list of major singing stars, groups and bands that for one reason or another weren't a good fit for the Dell. Thanks for adding your testimony to the discussion, good buddy, and have a great weekend!

  6. i honestly dont know how they pick the top songs.. its upto a few people to decide who's worth it and who isnt and youre right.The best songs are the ones that are not so popular...they also have more meaning to their lyrics!

  7. Hi, LyDe! I agree. Music made for the masses and released by a major record company has a huge advantage over the work of a little known artist issued by a tiny indy label. It's the same with movies. I always prefer the small anti-Hollywood indy pictures with unknown actors to the star studded Hollywood blockbusters that grab most of the attention and clean up at the box office. Thank you ever so much for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear friend LyDe!

  8. I didn't know some of these songs were sung first by different people. It surprised me, and I can see why you were expecting them to be hits.
    Lover's Medley is my favorite. What a great rendition!

  9. Belle - "Lover's Medley" was a pleasing blend of two great 60s love songs and Marcy Jo and Eddie Rambeau deserved to have a hit single. It was perfectly suited to the sensibilities of America during the summer of 1963, the last few weeks of the age of innocence. Thank you for coming over, Belle, and BAZINGA!!!

  10. Jazzy - Hello and welcome! Thank you for the vote of confidence. I hope you will visit often and join our growing circle of friends around the globe. Your comments are always appreciated. Have a splendid day in the UK, Jazzy!

  11. See I'd like shady to explain the fall and rise theories when it comes to 80s music.

  12. Copyboy - Sheldon would be better equipped to tackle the 80s because he's light years younger than me. I will tell you this. The 80s music in my current collection is an eclectic mix of new wave, old school club dance, old school rap and funk, classic glam rock and heavy metal, Christian-turned- secular singer Sam Phillips, and the three solo albums recorded by Sweden's Agnetha Faltskog. The best examples of Shady's Law in that bunch are Sam Phillips' 80s output and Aggie's post-ABBA recordings both of which offer dozens of seldom heard classics. Thanks for your comment, C-Boy!

  13. this still happens today, great bands and great songs get overlooked because they arent on the top 100. Luckily nowadays, with the internet, its a bit easier to find bands that dont get the public recognition like some other folks who dont have half the talent....I'm talking to you justin beiber

  14. Amber Blue Bird - Good one! You're right. It's a much different world now with many more ways for artists of all kinds to reach great numbers of people and get their work known, appreciated and purchased. I respect you for introducing the best of the old and the new on your blog. Thanks for your comment, dear friend, Amber!

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  16. Hey Shady Dell, that was some homework you did for this post! I have a feeling you must have made very good grades in school. :-) Your research impressed me. It was interesting to read your reasons why some of these great songs didn't make it to "the top". Your list could be a parable about life.

    (Oops, sorry I had to delete my previous comment, it had a typo I didn't like :-D)

    Thank you for your dedication!

  17. Cindy - Thank you very much for your kindness! You need not worry about typos here. I often find typos in my published post even after I have proofread the text several times. I'm afraid that the only two schools that would have given me good grades would have been the Shady Dell School of Hard Knocks and Jack Black's School of Rock. I agree that Shady's Law applies not only to pop music but to all endeavors. Think of how many high quality televison shows have gotten the axe in recent years to make room on the schedule for trashy, cheaply produced reality shows. Thank you again, Cindy, for stopping by and for your thoughtful comments!

  18. Reply to Jerre - I can't say that I remember any Elvis records in the Dell jukebox. I like the idea of an Elvis Top 10, though. I've always liked his voice.


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