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, April 28, 2011

Random Acts of Greatness! Dell Rat Jerre Presents the 15 Greatest on Record! (Part 1)


Our good friend 
Dell Rat Jerre 
is back with 
another survey! 
This time Jerre 
has compiled 
list of the top 
15 recording 
artists of the 
rock and roll 
era. Bands, groups and solo performers are all included, so without further
hesitation...LET'S PLOW! 

1. Meat Loaf 

2. Moody Blues 

3. Bob Dylan 

4. Jive Five 

5. Three Dog Night 

6. Buddy Holly 

7. Billy Joel 

8. James Brown 

9. Magnificent Men 

10. Cadillacs 

Time for a Shady Del Knight 

Can you name this vocal group? 

Everybody's eligible to make a guess except Dell Rat Jerre who already knows who they are.

While you're sitting there pulling you hair out trying to i.d. these guys I'll take a short break. Please be here next Monday when I return with the answer in Part 2 of Dell Rat Jerre's 15 Greatest Recording Artists...Ever!

Have a Shady day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Counting Down the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell (#200 to #196)

Friends, Romans 
(Katia, this means you!) 

countrymen ..... 

lend me your ears 

and your eyes..... 

and a hundred smackers. (Pay ya back with interest.)  

It's time for me to begin 

my countdown of 

the 200 Greatest Hits 

of the Shady Dell! 

Do you enjoy testing your musical knowledge? 

I want my lawyer! Of course, you do! 

I'm inviting you to play Name That Tune while I count down my list of the greatest Dell songs of the mid 60s. The survey covers the period from December 1965 through September 1967 - the 22 month span during which I practically lived at the Dell before going off to college. You will be given a line
or two of lyrics from five different songs. Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to identify the songs
from those clues.

Put on your thinking cap. Here are the 
lyric samples for the first five Dell songs: 

Once I was a hollow man
In which a lonely heart did dwell
Then love came sneaking up on me
Bringing hope to an empty shell

Worn out phrases and longing gazes
Won’t get you where you want to go

Just one look in your eye
And my temperature goes sky high

'mr judge,' I said, 'won't you please be kind
Have pity on me, a poor orphan child?'
Mr judge he says with a long mean frown
'orphan or not, you're going down!'
Well I screamed on my knees in the witness box,
'lord have mercy on my golden locks.'
The judge I could see that he was snide
He says, 'the only kind of blonde you are's a peroxide!'

I'll find you anywhere you go,
I'm gonna look high and low.
You can't escape this love of mine anytime.

Now let's find out if you passed or 
flunked as we begin counting down 

The 200 Greatest Hits 
of the Shady Dell!

200. "(I Wanna) Testify" - Parliaments 
(July '67) 

199. "Words Of Love" - Mamas & Papas 
(December '66) 

198. "B-A-B-Y" - Carla Thomas (August '66) 

197. "Lime Street Blues" - Procol Harum 
(July '67) 

196. "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" 
- Jay & The Techniques (July '67) 

How many songs did you correctly guess from the lyric clues? Refer to the grading scale below to determine your musical I.Q.

All 5 right – Congratulations! 
You’ve been 
appointed dean 
of the College of Musical Knowledge. 

3 or 4 right –
Licensed lyric lover

2 right -
Lyrically challenged

1 right –
Sign up for remedial 
classes at the 
School of Rock

0 right –

You just dance and hum along!

Do you have a top tunes list of your own that you would like to share? I'd love to see it! It doesn't have to contain 200 songs; even a Top 10 would be interesting and instructive. Submit your song list in the form of a comment and I'll get it posted.

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What You Hear is Not a Test: Keeping it Real with Israel Carrasco!


You're tuned to SDM&M, the 

blog that celebrates diversity 

and where everybody is a star. 

We are joined today by our good friend 
Israel Carrasco.  Israel responded to 
my invitation to send in a song list and 
become my guest blogger.  

Israel lives in Anaheim, California and hosts the always entertaining
Israel Carrasco Monologue Jokes .
 Old schoolers like those of us who matriculated at the Shady Dell School of Hard Knocks in the 1950s and 60s are in for a real education and, I might add, a real treat, as Israel introduces us to his favorite songs.

With that I'll step aside and 
say my guest! 

Although I lived in a 
different era and the 
music I listened to is 
different than what is 
normally played here,
I thought that I would 

include a list as well 
and the stories behind 
them. I'll begin in 
chronological order 
from earliest to latest. Hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do. 

#1- "Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head" 
- B.J. Thomas (January 1970, written by 
Hal David and Burt Bacharach, theme song 
from the 1969 motion picture Butch Cassidy 
and the Sundance Kid) 

This song was very popular in the 70's when my family came 
to the U.S from Mexico and it was a song that I associated 
with the simpler and fun times in America. 

#2- "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" 
- Freddy Fender (1974) 

This used to be my grandmother's favorite song. My grand- 
mother died and I almost got choked up writing this as I'm 
listening to the song now but it's a beautiful song. She 
would do her chores and feed me the same thing every 
Saturday. "Chillaquilles, beans, and French bread with 
butter." Afterwards, I would play with all the kids in the 
Pico/Union area of Los Angeles. 

#3- "What a Fool Believes" 
- Doobie Brothers (March 1979) 

This song takes me back to East Los Angeles. At that time 
East. L.A was filled with "cholos" and they would park their 
low riders and play this song on their cars while smoking 
weed and drinking beer. 

#4- "Rapper's Delight" 
- The Sugarhill Gang (1979) 

This was the song that made me love rap music. The first 
time I heard this baseline, I fell in love with the rhythm and 
the sound they called "rap". This song is not only a classic 
but has stood the test of time and it put the world on 
notice that rap has reached the mainstream. 

#5- "Holiday in Cambodia" 
- Dead Kennedys (1980) 

This was song about the massacre that occured in 
Cambodia at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. This 
song was significant because it came at a time when 
the political climate in America was tense especially 
since it came at the height of the cold War. Punk 
Rock music during the late 70's and early 80's also 
created alot of great songs that were influenced by 
the politics of that era. 

#6- "Shake the Disease" 
- Depeche Mode (1985) 

I used to have a casette tape and I would play Depeche 
Mode's tape over and over again especially in my drama 
class where I met some good friends. They took electronic 
music to new heights. 

#7- "Big Mouth Strikes Again" 
- The Smiths (July 1986) 

The Smiths are one of the most underrated bands in the 
world. Not only did they make great music but Morissey 
was a freaking poet. All you have to do to support this 
contention is to look up the lyrics to ANY Smith's song 
and you will find wit, intelligence, and a wicked sense of 
humor disguised as songs. 

#8- "Rock Box" - Run-D.M.C. (1984) 

Without a doubt this song forever changed rap music. This 
was one of the first instances in which rock music and rap 
was used. At that time it was revolutionary. Run DMC was 
the first rap group to debut in MTV and the first to be 
endorsed by a major company (Adidas). Run D.M.C also 
brought in an aggressive style and realism at a time when 
most were just rhyming for the sake of creating party 
rhymes. They were talking about poverty and crime as 
they experienced it in Queens NY. I remember listening 
to this music in awe because it was so powerful and 
refreshing. In a sad side note, the beloved DJ Jam Maste
Jay was murdered a few years ago. R. I. P. 

#9- "Fight the Power" 
- Public Enemy (April 1990) 

This group, though political in nature, schooled the world 
on the great divide that exists between Blacks and Whites. 
I would listen to PE and feel like I just left a seminar on 
black history. They are prob. one of the most influential 
groups in hip hop. Sadly, the trend in rap music has gone 
away from politics and towards gimmicks. 

#10- "Debaser" - The Pixies (1989) 

This is my favorite rock group ever. I can talk for hours 
why this band is amazing. Suffice to say that they created 
the blue print for what was later to be called "grunge" 
music. The Pixies played that type of music before it even 
had a label. They are pure energy. They always get me in 
a good mood. Their sound is unique and they create 
perfect melodies. What makes them even more attractive 
is that they down play their greatness and even write 
songs about silly stuff and yet they pull it off because their 
music is that good. 

Israel, that was 
quite a journey! 

These songs of yours cut through the crap and get to the point. Intense message music like this can be jarring. It's not for the faint of heart; but it is essential listening for those who are serious about expanding their horizons and increasing their awareness of what's happening in the real world. These songs give us an understanding of where you're coming from, Israel. They, along with your outstanding blog, reveal that you have seen, heard and experienced a great deal in your life.

I can perhaps best relate to the Sugar Hill Gang because
I was heavily into the club scene during the 70s and 80s.
I remember dancing to "Rapper's Delight" (1979) and the group's other 12-inch hits "Apache" (1981) and "8th Wonder" (1981) along with "The Message" (1982) by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" (1983) the anti-drug opus by Grandmaster Melle Mel.

A street kid gets arrested, 
gonna do some time 
He got out three years from now 
just to commit more crime 
A businessman is CAUGHT  
He’s out on bail and out of jail 
And that’s the way it goes 

"White Lines" was co-written by music industry veteran and Sugar Hill Records founder Sylvia Robinson, remembered by boomers as one half of the Mickey and Sylvia act that had a big hit in 1957 with "Love is Strange" and another hit as a solo artist in 1973 with "Pillow Talk."

Thank you good friend 
Israel Carrasco for sharing with us 
the music that shaped your life! 

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 Israel 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 60s Dell survey...anything you like!




Have a Shady day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shady Side of the Street: Pay Dirt!

Dig this!

According to a family spokesperson, 

Shady Dell owner John Ettline

did not  particularly like banks.

Acting on his inherent mistrust of financial institutions, John reportedly filled empty paint cans with quarters and buried them somewhere on the Dell property! Safer than playing the stock market, right John?

This startling revelation raises the obvious questions.

How many cans
were there?

How many coins?

Where did John bury the loot?

Was it all hidden in one spot?

Or was it planted at various locations around the Dell grounds?

Did John or anybody else ever get around to digging up
the coin filled cans?

Anybody think to check the mattresses?

Has anyone

located the




or is it still

up for grabs?

Just out of curiosity, was there ever any mention of gold doubloons and pieces of eight, a king's ransom, a fortune
in diamonds or anything of that sort?

No? Just thought I'd ask. (Dang!)

Uh, pardon me, kind sir.
Did I hear you say something about............. treasure?

It's under duh big W!

Dat's where you'll find it!

Dere's dis great big W, ya see?

and duh dough's buried right

underneat it!

It's under duh big W I tell ya!

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rat Ron's Retro Rock Reminiscences: Hickory Shtick, Part 2

As you recall 
from my 
previous post 
my old high 
school buddy 
and Dell Rat 
Ron Shearer 
spent his pre- 
Dell years 
hanging out 
at Smith 
Village, a 
furniture and 
appliance store 
near his home
in Jacobus, PA. 

Ron perused 
the Billboard 
and Cashbox lists and helped Bill Mitzel, the 
man in the record department, order vinyl 

Smith Village became a distributor for Hickory Records, the Nashville based indy label that was founded in the 50s as a country imprint but added pop and rock acts to its roster a decade later. Here once again is the Hickory label band called The Sparkles and another rare dance party clip from back in the day.

"The Hip"/"Oh Girls, Girls" - The Sparkles 
(1966, uncharted) 

(There are definitely some potential Dellettes in that crowd!) 

One of the most successful 
acts on Hickory Records was 
Sue Thompson and this is 
where I step aside and let 
Ron continue his story. 

Ron, be my guest! 

Sue Thompson was the big R&R lady 
at Hickory. Most of Sue's singles were 
WSBA Pick Hits of the Week. They 
included "Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)"... 

"Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)" - Sue Thompson
(October 1961, highest chart position #5)


"Norman" - Sue Thompson
(January 1962, highest chart position #3) 

"James (Hold the Ladder Steady)"...

"James (Hold the Ladder Steady)" 

- Sue Thompson (November 1962, 
highest chart position #17 ) 

"Willie Can"...

"Willie Can" - Sue Thompson
(January 1963, highest chart position #78) 

I believe all of them were written by 

John D. Loudermilk, the same country 
writer who wrote "Then You Can Tell Me 

Ron, let me stop you there because I would like to offer some fine yet very seldom heard sides by Sue Thompson, songs that elevated her above the novelty ditties for which she became famous.

For example, listen to the outstanding A and B sides of Sue's first Hickory release:

"Throwin' Kisses" - Sue Thompson
(1961, uncharted) 

Here's the fab flip of that first release,
an exquisite, Brenda Lee styled ballad.

"Angel, Angel." - Sue Thompson
(1961, uncharted) 

Or how about this bluesy killer bee?

"It Has to Be" - Sue Thompson (April 1962, 
uncharted flipside of "Two of a Kind") 

Or this powerful ballad which cracked the pop singles top 40:

"Have a Good Time" - Sue Thompson 
(July 1962, highest chart position #31) 

Finally, here's my Pick to Click among all Sue Thompson recordings, "Paper Tiger."

"Paper Tiger" - Sue Thompson 
(February 1965, highest chart position #23) 

Here's Sue performing my favorite song on Hullabaloo:

Then came the one R&R 
song which I bought: 
"Bread and Butter" by 
The Newbeats. I saw 
The Newbeats live at 
Hershey Park. Acts 
that appeared along 
with them in the free 
show included The 
Olympics and The McCoys (before Rick 
Derringer and a couple 
of others became part of Johnny Winter's 
band which he called Johnny Winter And.

"Bread and Butter" - Newbeats 
(September 1964, highest chart position #2) 

And Ron, allow me to present another lesser known and seldom heard Newbeats song that has become one of my favorites in recent years.

"Shake Hands
(and Come Out Crying)" - Newbeats 

(March 1966, highest chart position #92) 

And finally, let's wrap up our Hickory shtick with a very rare record. It's the first single released on the Hickory label by Larry Henley, lead singer of the Newbeats. Listen and I think you'll agree that Larry sounded like Gene Pitney back then.

"It's Happening Again" - Larry Henley 
(January 1963, uncharted) 

Shady, the last time I visited Jacobus and 
stopped in at Smith Village, I was told 
that Bill had a very successful country 
music record shop somewhere around 
the Maryland Line. 

Ron, the discount department store called Mailman's was where I did most of my record shopping but I remember
my parents taking me to Smith Village Jacobus on several occasions. Thanks for the memories, my good friend!
Between the two of us we came up with some rare relics that deserved to be heard!

Thanks again to original Dell Rat 
Ron Shearer for accepting my invitation to



Have a Shady day!