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

Tuesday, February 22, 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 2)


(knock knock knock)

(knock knock knock)

(knock knock knock)

My three dimensional exact replica
of the Milky Way galaxy just arrived,
assembly required, and I'm giving you
the honor of helping me put it together
while you finish your explanation of
Shady's Law.

(Me on other side of door using phony, high pitched voice)
Uh...this is Shady's grandmother. Shady's
not home at the moment. 
He's addressing the
United Nations.
 Please go're
making me incontinent!

Oh okay, Sheldon, I give up.
Come on in and I'll continue my rant.

Remember hearing this jingle
in the 60s when you dialed

"The Mighty 9-10
Wonnn-derful WSBA
presents the sweet
sound of success,
the tune voted best,
the number one song
on W-S-B-A!"

Well, I can't remember if it hit #1 in WSBA Land, but "It's Summer Time U.S.A." by our Hanover neighbor girls, The Pixies Three, was huge!

The song broke in July of 1964 and was played in heavy rotation all through the vacation period.

As I remember it, "Summer Time U.S.A." was the undisputed theme song of the summer of '64 in Central PA. (John, Paul, George and who?) Yet this sensational Pixies platter that ruled the airwaves in our neck of the woods went almost unnoticed on Billboard and in other parts of the country.

"It's Summer Time U.S.A." by the Pixies Three
(highest chart position #116)

As we learned in my previous post "It's Summer Time U.S.A." is an example of a sensational song that merely bubbled under Billboard's Hot 100.

To me bubbling under is and was misleading term.
It implied that records listed on that chart had enough thrust and inertia to achieve escape velocity and propel themselves into orbit.

Instead, many of those excellent songs remained trapped - imprisoned - never able to break free from that dungeon of despair. Yet, these songs were lucky compared to those that didn't have enough juice even to make the Bubbling Under chart! The following songs are all first round inductees into the Shady's Law Hall of Fame (Shame).

"Bermuda"/"Spanish Lace" is a double dose
of dynamite by Frankie Valli's vocal group.

This superb yet uncharted single, released in 1961 on the
Gone label, became my all time favorite Four Seasons record.

"I Can't Let Go" by gifted blue-eyed soul songbird Evie Sands (America's answer to Dusty Springfield) is the sensational yet seldom heard original rendition of this song.

Evie's killer klassic was popular in New York City but failed to register on any Billboard chart. (WTF?) A cover version recorded by England's Hollies just missed the top 40 stateside and soared to #2 in the UK.

And the Del-Chords?


Thank goodness for LOCAL record charts, the surveys released every week by local radio stations. While the Billboard chart represented a broad nationwide sampling, local top tunes surveys were able to reflect the enormous popularity of local and regional recording acts. Artists like the Del-Chords, Mag Men, Quintones, Emperors and Kit Kats not only found room on local charts, they often dominated.

More noteworthy examples of Shady's Law: "So Sharp" by The Soul Clinic, a cookin' cover of a song by Dyke and the Blazers, took Central Pennsylvania by storm in 1968, yet failed to put a dent in the Billboard chart.

"So Much Love Waiting," an outstanding late 60s soul record by Central Pennsylvania's Magnificent Men, came and went uncharted!

"Searchin'" was a cool Coasters cover waxed by the Emperors of Harrisburg, but it never reached any Billboard chart, not even Black Singles!

That brings us back to the Shady Dell where the patrons were the program managers. With our dimes and quarters we
fashioned our own playlist. We knew what we liked. We made our own hits, and the popularity of a song at the Dell was often inversely proportional to its popularity in the rest of the world...a phenomenon that
I refer to as Shady's Law.

Have a Shady day!


  1. It is a great post! I really like it! ^_^

  2. If I wan't here I probably would have never heard these great tunes. Thanks for keeping them alive Shady and adding quality to our day.

  3. SciReg - Thank you very much for the compliment and please come again soon!

    Odie - You always add quality to my day, my good friend. I'm glad you found some new/old sounds that you like. Have a great one in Carolina!

  4. Loved Summertime USA. I like the way those girls sang together. I liked Evie Sands rendition better than the Hollies of I Can't Let
    Go. You featured a lot of great dancing songs. Thanks, Shady!

  5. Belle!
    (knock knock knock)

    (knock knock knock)

    (knock knock knock)

    I agree that my neighbor girls the Pixies Three had the right sound at the right time. They were on the same major record label as Lesley Gore but somehow didn't become one of the top girl groups in terms of popularity and record sales. Evie Sands was a talented and soulful singer/songwriter and it's a terrible shame she caught so many bad breaks and never become a superstar. Thanks for your comment, dear Belle!

  6. Well after listening to The Three Pixies, bring on the sunshine of summer!

    I have to say that I prefer The Hollies version of 'I Can't Let Go' and 'So Sharp' by The Soul Clinic, what bassline.

    What does the billboard know? It goes for todays music charts too I think.

    I'm so glad you like Edith too. Have a fine day =)


  7. Leanne - When I listen to the Pixies Three sing it sounds like the girls were smiling when they recorded their songs. I can hear it in their voices. That's why I challenge anybody to remain depressed while Pixie platters are playing.

    Edith Piaf's recordings are the kind that stay with you. I remember her songs being used in the movie Saving Private Ryan. Thank you again for posting her work on your blog today and have a good night in Liverpool, my dear friend Leanne!

  8. Great posting again. I learn so much about music through this blog. Keep it up.

  9. Israel - Thanks, good buddy! I like to mix business with pleasure here on SDM&M and give you something to think about along with something to smile about. I appreciate you coming by and have a great night out there on the coast!

  10. wow the voice on Evie Sands is amazing, comparable to Dusty for sure. Toodles to you mister :)

  11. Amber - I'm glad you agree with me about Evie Sands. She's the real deal with soul to spare, just like my dear friend Amber Blue Bird! Have a fine New England evening and a great day tomorrow, kiddo!

  12. Wow! Gotta admit some of these bands slipped my mind – the pixies? hmmm, what milkway way are they from? haha

  13. Copyboy - The Pixies Three were a trio of high school friends from Hanover, Pennsylvania, which is just down the road from York, PA where stood (and still stands) the Shady Dell. In the early 60s the girls landed a recording contract with Mercury Records in New York and produced some of the best girl group sounds of the decade. Today the reunited Pixies continue to record in the studio and make concert appearances! Thanks for swinging by, C-Boy, and have a great night!

  14. Another great blog and I learn so much! Loved The Pixies Three, they sure had that "sound" that was so popular but I don't remember them.

    Interesting song of The Four Seasons, "Bermuda". I was fortunate enough to see them in the late 60s in Knoxville, TN.

    Other favorites in this blog: "I Can't Let Go" by the Hollies, "She's So Sharp" and "Searchin'" by The Emperors.

    Once again, lots of work put into this blog that is appreciated by many! ♥

  15. Cindy - thank you very much for your kind words. I divide some of my posts into two or more installments but even then they are rather long. You might remember the Pixies Three from their hit songs "Birthday Party" and "442 Glenwood Avenue." There were actually four young women who made up The Pixies Three at various stages of their career. I'm sure you enjoyed seeing the original Jersey Boys in concert in the late 60s. As always I thank you for coming by, Cindy, and have a wonderful evening in Texas!

  16. among these,"So Much Love Waiting" is my favourite one,thanks for sharing

  17. Katia - That's wonderful! I'm so glad you like that song by the Magnificent Men because it is one of my favorites by the Central Pennsylvania blue-eyed soul band. Thank you for your comment, dear Katia, and enjoy your day and weekend in Rome!


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