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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dell Rat Feedback: Ron's Got Memories of Marvin and the Lowdown on Motown!

Original Dell rat
Ron Shearer has
responded to a
recent post in which
I presented the song
"Hitch Hike" by
Marvin Gaye.

Ron wrote:
Marvin Gaye

"Hitch Hike"
live in York

twice. The first
time was at the
first Rock 180
dance where
the original
"Let Me Go 
the Right Way",

their current hit
at the time, live.

"Let Me Go the Right Way" - Supremes
(December 1962, highest chart position #90)

Gary (U.S.) Bonds was supposed to appear there also, but cancelled.

"Seven-Day Weekend" - Gary U.S. Bonds
(July 1962, highest chart position #27)

The second time Marvin appeared was when the Rock 180 Club sponsored the Motortown Revue at Playland roller rink. Tickets were $3.00.

"Stubborn Kind of Fellow" - Marvin Gaye (November 1962, highest chart position #46)

No Supremes there, but Martha & the Vandellas backed up Marvin that time, also the Contours, Mary Wells, Marv Johnson, Marvelettes and a new guy in town, Little Stevie Wonder, who performed "Fingertips" with everybody dancing their butts off for
5-10 minutes.

"Fingertips-Pt. 2" - Little Stevie Wonder
(August 1963, highest chart position #1)

A month later, "Fingertips" was released
as a 45. The Supremes were touring separately, probably performing their new hit "When the Lovelight Starts Shining."

"When the Lovelight Starts Shining
Through His Eyes" - Supremes
(December 1963, highest chart position #23)

One other song that was a dynamite hit in the York area, a B-side to their first Gordy record, was the Temptations' "Isn't She Pretty". The other side, "Dream Come True" is the one used in their boxed set. The B-sides of all their other early songs were used, but not this one. Meet the Temptations is still the only CD to have a recording of it.

"Isn't She Pretty" was one the of most played songs on the Rock 180 club, which is where I first heard it, and I believe it was requested every Saturday morning. When WNOW had the Temptations here, they performed it, and they performed it on every subsequent trip to York. It was one of the favorite songs the Del-Chords did back in those days, too. This was recorded before David Ruffin joined the group.

"Isn't She Pretty" - Temptations (May 1962, uncharted B side of "Dream Come True" which reached #22 R&B)

Ron, don't look now but we've got a gen-u-wine Motor City block party goin' on. I'd like to join the fun by spinning a few favorites of my own. You mentioned Marv Johnson, the artist credited as having performed on the first record ("Come to Me") issued by what would become Berry Gordy's Motown hit making factory. Here's a great one by Marv!

"I Love the Way You Love" - Marv Johnson
(April 1960, highest chart position #9)

Here's one of the greatest by soul sweetheart Gladys Knight and the Pips, a song that was covered nicely by our own Magnificent Men. Embedding was disabled on this exciting remix of the song, but I hope that you'll take time to click
on the red song title, listen to the clip, and then click back here to me.

If this track don't send chills...
you're dead, man!

CLICK HERE: "Just Walk in My Shoes"
- Gladys Knight & the Pips (July 1966,
highest chart position #129)

Now feast your ears on two of the most electrifying soul stormers you're ever gonna hear, two versions of the song "Baby Hit and Run" by the Contours. The first has future Temptations front man Dennis Edwards on lead:

"Baby Hit and Run" - Contours
(Dennis Edwards lead, unreleased until 1974)

Dennis Edwards nailed it to the wall, but this next one KILLS! It's Shady Del's official Pick to Click, the raw, nitty gritty version with Billy Gordon on lead:

"Baby Hit and Run" - Contours
(Billy Gordon lead,
recorded circa 1965/66, unreleased)

Ron, thank you so much for sending in your feedback about the Greg Gulden post and for flogging our memories with this sensational Motown revue review!

Have a Shady day!


  1. oh man 3 bucks to see Marvin, that was a steal. another round of winning tunes from my fave dell rat :)

  2. Amber Blue Bird - It was a steal of a deal even back in those days when $3 could buy a lot more. As Dell Rat Ron will testify in the weeks and months to come there's a York connection to a number of top soul performers of the day. Thank you for stopping by, dear friend Amber!

  3. Your posts always make me want to go find a time machine. I would give so much to go back and dance to music like this!

  4. Alabee - I'm so glad you paid me a visit! You are as soulful as they come and I can't help believing that you are the reincarnation of a 1960s Dellette! Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day, my dear friend, and please come back soon!

  5. Amazing to think about what our monetary value used to be! Too bad, things aren't that way anymore! Thanks for the lovely Tunes today!

  6. Ron, thanks for letting me see Gary US Bonds and Stevie Wonder sing! I don't remember these songs, but I liked them, especially Fingertips and Seven Day Weekend.
    Shady- I liked the version of Baby Hit & Run by Billy Gordon better too. It was a jumping fun kind of song.

  7. Kristina - Many of the excellent yet little know recording artists that I am presenting on this blog were never properly compensated for their contributions to popular music. Some died in poverty. Thank you for coming 'round to listen to Ron's tunes, dear friend!

  8. Belle - Dennis Edwards had a distinctive gravel voice but Billy's vocals were even more raw (less refined) and that's what makes it my Pick to Click. Thank you for visiting and listening to Ron's song selections, dear friend Belle!

  9. Never knew the Contours were so prolific. Gaye I totally new had the goods.

  10. Well, Ron like Belle said, I don't remember some of these tunes but I sure enjoyed them. Shady is broadening my range of music and your contribution was great. Thanks Shady for a super edition.

  11. Copyboy - Some think the Contours were one hit wonders and that "Do You Love Me" was the end of the story. Actually it was just the beginning. "Shake Sherry," "First I Look at the Purse," "Just a Little Misunderstanding" and "Baby Hit and Run" were recordings by the group that I liked even more! Thanks for listening and commenting, C-Boy!

    Odie - I'm glad you enjoy attending my college of musical knowledge. Keep in mind that I am learning just as much as you because Ron and Jerre are the guys with the goods and know far more songs that I do. Thank you for playing Ron's jukebox, Odie, and be here Sunday for a special surprise!

  12. Diana ross was on Oprah not long ago...she is still so fabulous!
    Dearest Shady, my Birthday is not until 23rd of this month!
    Thank you though, for the early greeting! You are always so sweet.
    Appreciate you very-very-very much!

    Stay lovely as always, okie

  13. Lenore - Every day I exercise while listening to a mix of 1970s and 80s music. My collection includes the Diana Ross club hits "Love Hangover," "The Boss," "Mirror Mirror," "Swept Away," "I'm Coming Out," "Upside Down" and "Muscles." Lenore, I appreciate you just as much and I am happy to know that I will have another chance to wish you a happy birthday! Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend, my dear friend!

  14. I love what you do with my memories, especially sharing your own musical preferences and expertise along with them. I had never heard the Dennis Edwards version of "Baby Hit and Run" until now, and agree the second version is better. I had forgotten the Miracles were also at the Motortown Revue, performing, among other songs, their latest hit "You've Really Got a Hold On Me." Claudette, Smokey's now ex-wife, still toured with them at that time. Later, her picture was dropped from the album covers and she quit touring, but I discovered that she always continued singing on the studio recordings with the group. The Temps, I believe, didn't make it, because they were touring with "The Way You Do the Things You Do". If anyone can clarify or correct me on that, feel free. Martha & the Vandellas were singing their own hits as well as doing Marvin's backup. "Just Walk in My Shoes" was the first single that Gladys & the Pips did for Motown, having just left Maxx Records, and I can remember Dave (Bupp) and Buddy (King) promoting it at the Disc-O-Rama. I think they declared it the Pick Hit of the Month, and you could just see Buddy drooling to do the falsetto part in that Pips' harmony. They and the rest of the Delchords would usually run off to the Apollo or the Uptown to see the Pips and Gladys whenever they appeared. I remember they voted The Temps and the Pips as the smoothest harmonies with the smoothest choreography of any groups of the time. As far as harmonies go, there were also the Impressions, the original O'Jays and Manhattans, and many others. The live performances of the Supremes really demonstrated that they were having far more fun with their music than after they really hit it big. I agree with you, the earliest songs were the best.

  15. Ron - I got that Dennis Edwards cut a few years ago on an import CD of rare unreleased material from the Motown vaults. There were some excellent recordings made by Motown artists great and small that never hit the street. Thanks for contributing even more interesting info here in the comments section, Ron. I'm loving your reports so please keep the music and memories coming, good buddy!

  16. it's been a long time since my last comment on your blog,i'll try to read all the posts i missed,as long as my english allows me to!!
    sorry :)

  17. Katia - There is no need for you to apologize for being away from blogging and busy. I understand. I am very happy that you have come for a visit. Have a wonderful weekend in Rome, dear friend!

  18. Reviewing the Motown Revue was fun, thank you Ron and Shady! I admit I had not heard of Gary U.S. Bonds before but I really liked him. Besides Seven Day Weekend, my other favorites are Fingertips and Baby Hit and Run with Dennis Edwards as lead.

    I can truly appreciate all the time and research that went into this blog, hopefully a record for future generations!

  19. Cindy - I'm very glad you understand what I'm trying to do with SDM&M. Memories blur and fade over time. Three years ago, while mine were still intact, I decided to stop procrastinating and start blogging. My mission was to get the story of the Shady Dell told as completely and accurately as possible and shine the spotlight on the artists and recordings that were most important to the youth of Central PA during the 50s and 60s. Thank you for getting what I'm all about Cindy. It means a lot to me. Have a splendid weekend, dear friend!

  20. Shady - I like that comment "college of musical knowledge!" Are we good students?! Like Odie, a lot of these tunes I didn't know, but it was great listening to them. I was a fan of Gary US Bonds at the time, and Marvin Gaye, of course, was someone pretty special. I hope you are well dear friend. Have a relaxing weekend.

  21. Thisisme - Indeed you are a good student. You get a gold star! (LOL) I'm glad I found that excellent clip of Gary Bonds. From what I've learned it was taken from a 1962 British film called It's Trad Dad which was released stateside with the title Ring-a-Ding Rhythm! Along with U.S. Bonds the movie featured Chubby Checker, Del Shannon, Gene Vincent, Gene McDaniels and the Paris Sisters all doing lip sync performances of their songs. Thanks for stopping by, dear friend Thisisme, and enjoy your weekend in Devonshire!


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