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

Monday, March 14, 2011

Belle Ringers: The 10 Greatest Songs of All Time According to Belle Unruh!

On Saturday we celebrated

the birthday of John Ettline,

the King of all Dell Rats.

Today, let's all say

happy birthday to a

blogger's best friend,

Belle Unruh!

A couple of months ago our Canadian friend who hosts Tales From a Loser sent in
her list of favorite songs
from the years 1966 and 1967, the time period during which Belle was residing in Southern California. Her list was instructive because it paralleled the two years that I spent as a regular at the Shady Dell. It revealed the difference between the type of music to which Belle was exposed on the west coast and the type that I came to know and love at the Dell in Central Pennsylvania. While my buddies and I were steeped in soul and R&B at the Dell, Belle and her friends were influenced to a greater extent by pop, rock, folk-rock, psychedelic and British invasion sounds.

Now Belle's back with another hit list...the

10 Greatest Songs of All Time!

Belle's is an exciting, eclectic lineup that
spans 6 decades! Let's find out which songs
Belle considers to be the All Time Greatest!

1."Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" - Platters
(February 1959)

2."Hallelujah" - k.d. lang (Original studio recording
made in August 2004.  This is k.d. lang's live performance of
Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at the Canadian Songwriters Hall
of Fame induction of Leonard Cohen in 2006.)  

3."What A Wonderful World"
- Louis Armstrong (July 1968)

4.Ruby - Ray Charles (January 1961)

5."All the Way" - Frank Sinatra
(February 1958)

6."My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from
Titanic)" - Celine Dion (November 1997)

7. "I Want It That Way" - Backstreet Boys

8."Your Song" - Elton John (December 1970)

9."Oh, Pretty Woman" - Roy Orbison
(October 1964)

10. "Let It Be" - The Beatles (May 1970)

Belle, this is a sensational list of that includes some of the most romantic love ballads of the 20th century.  If you don't mind I would like to
offer a few follow-up comments.

Know how every time you hear the Righteous Brothers sing "Unchained Melody" you automatically think of Demi Moore kneading a blob of clay with husband Patrick Swayze in the hit movie Ghost?

Strange as it seems, every time I listen to "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" I immediately get a chill down my spine. The tender ballad by the Platters is irrevocably linked in my mind to the campy 1986 sci-fi/horror flick Night of the Creeps.  The song is used at the beginning of the movie (3 minutes into this clip) to set the stage on sorority row in 1959.

Detective Cameron (Tom Atkins):

I got good news and bad news, girls.

The good news is...

your dates are here.

Sorority Sister:

 What's the bad news?

Detective Cameron:  They're dead.

"What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong was recorded in the summer of 1967 and released as a single in the summer of 1968. The record went nowhere, finishing at #116 on the Bubbling Under chart.

Twenty years later in 1988 the song gained popularity and climbed the chart to #32 after it was featured in the hit Robin Williams movie Good Morning, Vietnam.

My parents owned Frank Sinatra's Capitol 45 that had "Chicago" backed with "All the Way." "All the Way" became my heavy favorite and I played it to death on my tiny tinny turntable.

The song was introduced in the 1957 motion picture The Joker is Wild, a biopic that starred Sinatra in the role of singer/comedian Joe E. Lewis. "All the Way" entered the pop chart at Halloween and held on for nearly half of the following year, an incredible 30 weeks, yet somehow never managed to rise above #15!

Thank you, Belle, for delighting us with this outstanding song survey and once again

happy birthday to my

favorite Belle rat!

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 Belle and others have done? 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. Hi Shady. Wow! That is a fantastic choice of songs by our good friend Belle. I absolutely love every one of them, especially The Platters and Roy Orbison. That's brilliant to span the decades like that. Who can forget "My Heart Will Go On?!" Happy Birthday Belle! As always, I loved the way you added to the song choices Shady. Very clever. Hope you have a good week dear friend.

  2. Thisisme - Yes, Belle's top 10 is an eclectic mix with many songs that tug at the heart strings. Thank you for coming over and helping me to wish our mutual friend a happy birthday. Have a wonderful day in Devon, dear friend!

  3. This one was so much fun since it was coming from our wonderful friend Belle and happy birthday you sweet thang. Great choices and I will have to agree with Thisisme about the platters and Roy Orbison. You did an awesome job of putting it all together Shady. Happy monday my friend.

  4. Odie - Thanks for swinging by to join Belle's b-day celebration! I'm glad you like some of these songs as much as Belle does. Her list has something for people of all generations to enjoy! Have a great day up your way, good buddy!

  5. Hello Hello! What a lovely list of songs! Happy Birthday Belle!! I enjoy pretty much this entire list, or at least they are some I won't forget! Good ol' Mr. Blue Eyes has had my heart for so long - Frank will never get old, not in my book! Your Song, is absolutely beautiful - the original will never be forgotten but I do like the Moulin Rouge version with Ewan McGregor (that movie is probably one of our favorites - for goodness sake, Come What May was our first dance song! lol). For Let it Be - it will never get old!
    Again, what a fabulous list!

  6. Kristina - Hello, dear friend, and thank you for coming by to offer birthday greetings to our Belle. Even as a young boy I could tell that Sinatra had the right stuff. Deep feeling is the common thread that runs through most of Belle's songs. I am glad to know that some of Belle's picks resonate with you and Ryan. Have a wonderful day in Kansas, Kristina!

  7. I'm so glad my daughter Sandy is late coming over to take me to the gym so I could start my birhtday with my favorite songs.
    That you posted this on my brithday made me so happy! I will remember this always. It is one of the best birhtday presents I have ever received, truthfully. Thanks so much Shady. I appreciate it and my heart feels something amazing and wonderful.

  8. Belle - I will always remember these heartwarming words of yours, dear friend. You are a very special person in my life. Bless you and have a wonderful birthday!

  9. Great list Belle and happy birthday. Forty what? Your list included several of my favorites like the Platters. Of course I don't remember the song from a horror movie like Shady, more like the back seat of a 55 Chevy. Hope both of you have a great day. I'm going to rent a horror movie.


  10. Jerre - I love it when a tender love ballad is used in a horror movie to evoke fear and loathing. Another example is the use of "Look for a Star" in Circus of Horrors. David Lynch also made use of gentle love songs in Twin Peaks and other scary projects. Thank you, Jerre, for coming by to sing happy birthday sweet 16 to Belle!

  11. I'm afraid I am 61. Horrors! I am always stunned by how old I am. Thanks for the Happy Birthdays everyone.
    Kristina-I liked the Moulin Rouge one better too.

  12. happy birthday to the lovely Belle! I really enjoyed her mix especially My Heart Will Go On as I happen to love that movie in an obsession kinda of way...i can basically recite the whole movie...yeah thats weird, I dont know why I decided to share that with you, but I did. Hope you are having a fantastic Tuesday.

    Rockin Robin :)

  13. Go Rockin' Robin! (LOL) The new monkier certainly fits you all gussied up like that! My dear friend, I am so happy that you came over here to wish Belle many happy returns. You can recite the entire script of Titanic? WOW! I thought I was good seeing as how I know the screenplay of Mars Needs Women backward and forward!

  14. Belle, I hope you had a wonderful birthday! "Your Song" would have to be my favorite song on your list but also love Ray Charles and Roy Orbison's songs you listed. You truly have been blessed to have lived 61 years.

    About those "love" ballads in "horror" movies, who can forget Candy Colored Clown in Blue Velvet?

    Another interesting post!

  15. Cindy - So nice of you to drop by and offer b-day wishes to our friend Belle. A few years ago I dug deep into the Ray Charles catalog and collected all of his early recordings, including his bluesy material of the late 40s. My favorites by Ray are from the mid 50s and I will be featuring of couple of them here on SDM&M in the near future. Thanks again for your visit and your kind words, dear friend Cindy!

  16. Thank you, Amber and Cindy for the birthday wishes! I did have a wonderful birthday, starting with Shady's blog. I am going to listen to them again right now.

  17. Fashion Ranger - Hello, Jacob! Thanks for coming over from Sweden to wish a happy birthday to our dear friend Belle who is Canada's answer to Agnetha Faltskog! (LOL) Visit again soon, my friend!

  18. Happy Birthday!
    Cheers to another March Baby!!
    Definitely an eclectic mix of wonderful songs.

    Great evening to you Shady!

  19. Lenore - Cheers to you, my good friend! Yes, March is a big month for birthdays and I appreciate you taking the time to drop by and wish Belle a happy one. I know she will appreciate it. Have a wonderful evening, dear Lenore Nevermore!


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