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, May 16, 2011

The D-Team: Episode 12

In 1972 a crack Dell Rat unit

was sent to prison by the

Unific Court of Love for a

crime they didn't commit...


These men promptly escaped 

from a maximum security 

stockade to the York, PA 

underground. Today, still 

wanted by the government, 

they survive as soldiers 

of soul and revivers of 

rock ‘n roll.

If you have a problem 
(with hip hop divas and gangsta rap)...

if no one else can help 

and if you can find them 

maybe you can hire... 


I pity 

the fool  







The singing/songwriting team of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart had a hand in producing some of the greatest pop music of the 1960s, particularly in the bubblegum rock category. Boyce and Hart wrote most of the Monkees early material along with hits made by Fats Domino, Chubby Checker,
Little Anthony, Jay & the Americans and Paul Revere & the Raiders. In the late 60s Boyce and Hart released a couple of memorable hits of their own, beginning with "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonght." The song landed on the Billboard chart just before Christmas 1967, enjoyed a substantial 14 week run, and cracked the top 10. At a time when large numbers of people were abandoning AM radio and listening to album rock on the FM dial, I was still embracing feel good pop songs like this one.

"I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite" 
- Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart 
(February 1968, highest chart position #8)

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart were back on the chart in the summer of '68 with "Alice Long." The record had a 10 week chart ride and a promotional video helped it to break into the top 30.

"Alice Long" - Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart 
(August 1968, highest chart position #27)


Del Shannon possessed one of the most distinctive voices in rock 'n roll. He was one of the few American recording artists to successfully withstand the relentless attack of the British invaders. Del's many fine recordings stand today as durable evergreens. His songs still sound fresh and vital rather than stale and dated like those recorded by some of his early 60s contemporaries. Here's Del Shannon with "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow the Sun)," a song that landed on the chart Thanksgiving week of 1964, worked its way into the top 10, and remained popular well into the new year!

"Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow the Sun)" 
- Del Shannon (December 1964, 
highest chart position #9) 

Only two things you done 

need to know, fool... 

Ain't Hannibal or nobody else 

gonna get me up in no 

AIR - O - PLANE!!! ..... 

and the D-Team plays 

the best music! 


Before he was a star the late great Gene Pitney teamed up with Connecticut songstress Ginny Arnell to form a duo that made rock 'n roll records as Jamie and Jane.

"Snuggle Up Baby" - Jamie and Jane 
(1959, unreleased) 

"Classical Rock and Roll" - Jamie and Jane 
(1959, uncharted) 

Now let's listen to a couple of solo records by Ginny Arnell.

Feminists aren't going to like Ginny's painfully self-deprecating "Dumb Head" which was released at the end
of 1963. The dumb dumb ditty struggled to gain traction throughout the month of January and made it less than halfway up the Billboard ladder before fading.

"Dumb Head" - Ginny Arnell (January 1964, 
highest chart position #60) 

Ginny's next single was doomed from the start. Released in the spring of 1964 it encountered stiff competition from the British Invasion mop tops. It also suffered from the split play phenomenon because one side got pushed by MGM and the other side got played more often by radio stations.

Both sides of Ginny's record were great. On "He's My Little Devil," which was apparently an answer song to Neil Sedaka's 1961 hit "Little Devil," Ginny comes off sounding like a female Gene Pitney.

"He's My Little Devil" - Ginny Arnell 
(April 1964, uncharted) 

The killer bee side, "I Wish I Knew What Dress to Wear," is a throwback to the Eisenhower 50s and didn't stand much of a chance against the wailing guitars of the British Invasion. Ginny's gem registered on the Bubbling Under chart for just one week before disappearing.

"I Wish I Knew What Dress to Wear" 
Ginny Arnell (April 1964, highest chart 
position #130) 

Gene Pitney's career took off, but Ginny joined the ranks of no hit wonders. Like Sue Thompson, Ginny had a distinctive little girl voice and made some fine recordings, yet she couldn't catch a break.

Compared to the sounds produced by modern hip hop divas Ginny Arnell's songs are hopelessly dated and they won't win many fans among women's libbers; but "I Wish I Knew What Dress to Wear" is regarded today as a girl group classic and all of Ginny's fine teen sound/girl group recordings deserve to be heard.

Don't miss the next thrill-packed episode 
of The D-Team, coming soon! 

I love it 


a plan 



Have a Shady day!


  1. Ha, ha! Class, dear Shady! Such a brilliant post - great music choices as well :)

  2. Hello there, sorry I haven't got round to it but I want to thank you again for yet another award which you have given me. I am truly grateful =) I promise to come by more often as well, missed your humour.


  3. G-T - Why thank you very much, dear friend! I hope you're tapping your toes to some of these tunes and having a chuckle or two as well. Give your precious pooch Alfred a pat on the head for me and please come again soon!

    Leanne - You need not apologize, dear friend. Your credit's good with me for a long long time! I missed you and I'm delighted that you found time to swing over for a visit. Congratulations on your award. You deserve it!

  4. Excellent post dear friend! I was very much into the A Team at one time, and Gene Pitney and Del Shannon were real favourites of mine (along with Roy Orbison!). Unfortunately, I have never heard of Ginny Arnell. I hope you have a good week, and do hope that you are well. (You know that I am worried about you now!).

  5. Thisisme - I predicted that your home jukebox might have a song or two by Del Shannon and Gene Pitney. Between the two of them they released enough great records to keep you bopping 'round the clock! You are sweet to be worried about me, dear friend, but I'll have you know that it was just an annual physical exam. I'm told that everything's AOK. Thank you very much for caring!

  6. You did it again my friend. You introduced me to artists and tunes I had never heard but enjoyed so much. I never missed an episode of the A-Team so that made this post even more special. Great post my friend.

  7. Shady- I'm happy to hear all is well. I don't think I've heard Boyce and Hart since I was a teen, but I recognized the songs! Dell Shannon was great, "Keep Searchin' is just a rockin' song to me. Love it.
    I love Ginny Arnel when she sings solo. Those two songs you talked about were terrific. They deserved to be hits.
    Now, "Dumb Head" I'm sorry to say I can relate to. I recall many times I acted like one with a boy I dated.

  8. Odie - I love it when a plan comes together, my friend! I knew you were a fan of the A-Team so you won't want to miss a single episode of D-Team. Thanks for tuning in, Odie, and have a great night in Carolina country!

    Belle - I knew some of these would be to your liking. I think Ginny Arnell could have been right up there with Lesley Gore if she had recorded for Mercury instead of MGM. The YouTuber who put together those videos of Ginny's songs did a fine job, don't you think? Thank you very much, dear Belle, for dropping in to see what condition my condition is in!

  9. I liked the video so much I was going to ask if you made it. But then I noticed it was from youtube. They did a fantastic job.

  10. Belle - You are sweet for stopping by again. I have my own YouTube channel where I store the videos I edited for use on this blog. I admire the Ginny fan who assembled those tribute videos because he obviously put a lot of work and tlc into them. Good night to you in Canada, my dear friend Belle!

  11. I really like Ginny's voice but I dont think I will be singing along to dumb head anytime soon :) I unfortunately did not know any of the artists you posted about this time around but thats what I love about visiting your blog, I always get introduced to new tunes!

  12. Amber Blue Bird - You provide the same service to me on your blog, dear friend. You have opened my eyes, ears, heart and soul to some incredible artists both old and new and I greatly appreciate it! Have a wonderful day in Connecticut, Amber!

  13. Ashton - Loved the fact that you made time for a visit! Thank you very much, 'Bama buddy!

  14. There's no end to your creativity, Shady! Boyce and Hart's song, 'I Wonder What's She's Doing Tonite', I remember it well and always liked it. (I got in trouble using the 'tonite' spelling in the 3rd grade) I can't recall 'Alice Long' but liked Del Shannon's 'Keep Searchin'. 'Classical Rock and Roll' by Jamie and Jane was good. So Ginny Arnell, AKA "Dumb Head", is faced with the dilemna of "what dress to wear" on a date with her "little devil!" Love it and the video. Thank you for entertaining us while informing us, Shady.

  15. Shady- I had to let you know I have been going out more and no asthma yet! Going out today too. You are right; little steps. I won't get discouraged if I stumble.

  16. Cindy - No question about it: rock 'n roll makes learning fun, even if we're learning the incorrect way to spell words like tonight (tonite), darling (darlin') and little (lil). We are also learning how far we've come since songs like Ginny's "Dumb Head" and "What Dress to Wear" and Sandy Posey's "Born a Woman" taught girls that "a woman's place in this old world is under some man's thumb." Thank you very much for your visit, dear friend Cindy!

    Belle - I can't express how much it means to me when you share your breakthroughs great and small. We can all learn a lesson from watching a baby taking its first steps. The toddler stumbles and falls countless times but never becomes discouraged and never quits. Without hesitating it gets back up and keeps moving one step at a time toward independence. Thank you very much for touching base with me, dear friend Belle!

  17. Ginny Arnel reminds me most of Gene Pitney on "He's My Litttle Devil" and also on your killer-bee side "What Dress to Wear?" The arrangements just sounded very similar to a lot of the early ones in Gene's career. I would have liked to see him perform on one of those oldies cruises that he and Freddie Cannon, among others, had been performing on but then, a couple years ago I found out Gene passed from the scene. Del Shannon will always be remembered for "Hats Off to Larry", "Little Town Flirt", "Runaway" and of course, "Keep Searchin'" Was saddened MANY years ago when I learned of his suicide. I hope Ginny is still with us and, of course, Boyce and Hart. Yes, I remember BOTH songs----fun songs. Shady, you are truly the expert on white female singers that we either didn't know or know enough about. I'll bet you read "Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus" even more times than I. Please don't exclude my favorite white girl, Connie Francis. My favorite "Don't Break the Heart that Loves You". She is one of the few singers I enjoyed overdubbing her own harmonies. Have a great day! I'm still thinking of having a "French Poodle" at the local bowling alley in grade school, after hearing Gene & Ginny do those duets.

  18. Ron - I agree that the arrangements on Ginny's recordings sound similar to the early ones by Gene Pitney. Unfortunately Tommy Boyce is no longer with us. Like Del Shannon, Tommy reportedly took his own life. He was only 55 at the time. If Connie Francis is one of your faves then you came to the right place, my friend, because she is also a favorite of mine. There's lots of Connie in the pipeline including a medley of her songs that will be part of my Summer Means Fun series. That three month long celebration starts soon! Have a great day in Tulsa town, Ron!

  19. Oh my...I wonder where're Mr T & all his gold chains right now!
    Hope you are having a marvelous week dear Shady!

    xo as always!

  20. Lenore - I don't know where Mr. T and his chains are now, but I pity the fool who tries to take them! (LOL) Thanks for coming by, dear friend Lenore!


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