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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dell Rat Ron's Got Stacks O' Wax and Shady's Got Go Go Power!


Original Dell rat Ron Shearer 

is back with another batch 

of seldom heard songs that 

make old school cool! 

Ron's forgotten more about music of the 50s and 60s than
I ever knew and today's sensational soul serenade proves it.

Okay, it's time to stop 
spinning our wheels 
and start spinning 
Ron's records! 

Shady, you often talk 
about songs that only hit 
locally.  There was one in 
particular that always 
confounded me. I believe 
it started as WSBA's 
Pick Hit of the Week, 
made it to the Top 10, 
possibly even #1. The 
singer wasn't local. 
I never saw it listed 
in Cashbox or Billboard 
or heard it anywhere 
except WSBA, and  
both the Del-Chords and 
Magnificent Men sang it. 
I was pleased to hear it on Class of 60 Something, Volume 2, very well covered, as usual. It was also well played in the 
Dell's jukebox. I can't find it on any Roscoe Gordon CD. 
I recently came across the original: 

"A Girl to Love" - Rosco(e) Gordon 
(September 1962, uncharted) 

While on the topic of songs that can't be found anywhere, 
I sure would like to enable other people to hear my first 
and favorite version of the song "Then You Can Tell Me 
Goodbye." It's by Johnny Nash and it isn't available on 
any Johnny Nash album. I don't play it off against the big 
hit that the Casinos, Neil McCoy and others made with it, 
but this version has always touched my heart. This, by the 
way, isn't the original. A country singer by the name of 
Don Cherry recorded it a couple years prior to this one. 

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" 
- Johnny Nash (1964, uncharted 
flipside of "Always") 

Johnny also did a stupendous version of "Ol' Man River,"
the show tune from the 1920s musical ShowBoat .  
Boat. It's unusual to hear that song because I'm mostly 
used to the version by the Temptations.  Both songs 
have dynamite vocals.  They're just 180 degrees apart 
due to their style of arrangement. 

"Ol' Man River" - Johnny Nash 
(September 1962, highest chart 
position #120) 

"Ole Man River" - Temptations (July 1967 
from album In a Mellow Mood) 


you shot 


in my soul! 

Let me take a stab at it by saluting one of my favorite various artists albums, a UK produced rare soul compilation called Go Go Power! The album got its name from a song on it by sultry soul sister Sugar Pie DeSanto, the little lady with the big voice. Her
real name, Umpeylia Marsema Balinton, wasn't exactly opening doors for her so she changed it. The Brooklyn born R&B vocalist and dancer toured with the Johnny Otis Revue in the mid 50s and and the James Brown Revue in the late 50s. In the studio or live on stage, the 4-foot 11-inch stick of dynamite could really belt the blues!

"Strange Feeling"
- Sugar Pie DeSanto (1962) 

Sugar Pie was lifelong friends with Etta James and in 1966 the girls teamed up to tell the world where's it's at (in the basement). "Basement" tears the roof off! The two-parter cracked the top 40 on the black chart but only reached #97 pop! Dontcha just love a good mystery?

"In the Basement, Pt. 1" - Etta James 
and Sugar Pie DeSanto (August 1966) 

Ron mentioned Johnny Nash earlier and Johnny is another of the artists featured on Go Go Power. I can't say enough good things about Johnny Nash.
He's the discovery of the century as far as I'm concerned because all these years I never knew what I was missing. I wasn't particularly fond of Johnny's best known hits "Hold Me Tight," "Stir it Up" and "I Can See Clearly Now" because I'm not into Jamaican rocksteady and reggae.
I never bothered to check out Johnny's earlier material until recently. When I did I discovered a treasure trove of lost soul nuggets! Let me quality that by admitting that I didn't find treasure among Johnny's 1950s releases on ABC. That record company was trying to turn Johnny Nash into another Johnny Mathis by having him record bland middle of the road pop. Johnny's releases in the early and mid 60s on Warner Brothers, Groove and Argo are the ones that caught my attention and seized my soul!

"What Kind of Love is This" - Johnny Nash 
(Groove Records 1963, uncharted) 

Here's Johnny's excellent rendition of "Strange Feeling."
I can't decide which one I like better, Johnny's recording or the one by Sugar Pie.

"Strange Feeling" - Johnny Nash 
(Argo Records 1965, uncharted) 

Richard Dunbar and Jimmy Diggs, recording as the Knight Brothers, were another act showcased on that excellent northern soul album Go Go Power. The duo made the transition from singing in the church choir to waxing secular soul in the studio. Their biggest hit and my Pick to Click was "Temptation 'Bout to get Me." Released at the end of spring 1965 the single came close to the top 10 on the Black Singles chart but ran out of gas at #70 on the pop chart.

"Temptation 'Bout to Get Me" 
- Knight Brothers (June 1965) 

Ron, you have a couple more for us today so back to you!

Shady, let's finish with a little bit of rock 'n roll. One of my 
favorites from 1960 was a song that made WSBA's #1 spot. 
 It was Joe Jones' "You Talk Too Much." It still sounds good. 

"You Talk Too Much" - Joe Jones 
(November 1960, highest chart position #3) 

Joe Jones followed it up with a song which I liked even 
better, but it wasn't nearly as popular. It was covered 
by the Rivieras in 1964 when surf music was popular 
and became an advertisement to come to California. 
While the Rivieras version is a fun song, I think it 
lacks the "feel" of Mr. Jones' original. 

"California Sun" - Joe Jones 
(April 1961, highest chart position #89) 

Yessir Ron, I remember Joe Jones' "You Talk Too Much" from Cruisin' 1960 with Dick Biondi, and "California Sun" sets the stage for my three month Summer Means Fun series which starts soon!

Thank you Dell Rat Ron for serving 
up another heaping helping of fun! 
See you next time, good buddy! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Hi Shady. I thought I would get in much earlier with my comment on your post today!! I have to say that I really enjoyed all the tunes, and, along wioth Dell Rat Ron, I think your knowledge of the music from this era is awesome! I listened to "A Girl to Love" and, like Ron, I cant believe that it didn't make the Billboard Charts at all. It is such a "sound of the 60's" record. Very strange, but at least it seems as if it got lots of plays on the Dell's Jukebox! I used to love Johnny Nash but, to be honest, I only knew him through his reggae type songs, so it was good to listen to other sounds by him. Brilliant post as always dear friend, and you've tempted us now with your "Summer Fun" comment. Hopefully it might contain some Beach Boys, Mamas & Paps, and Jan & Dean!!!

  2. I love this post, Shady and Ron! Really liked Rosco Gordon and noticed the words "at Sun Records" on the 'A Girl to Love' 45. I remembered and always loved 'Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye'. It might require a flip of a coin to choose between Johnny Nash's and the Temptations' version of 'Ole Man River'. I liked the African American Spiritual sound in the Temptations version. Sugar Pie's 'Basement' made me smile. Loved Nash's 'What Kind of Love is This' and his 'Strange Feeling' version was my favorite. What a unique background sound in the beginning of 'What Kind of Love is This'.

    'You Talk Too Much' is another old favorite of mine. 'California Sun' I can remember being played at the dances many years ago.

    Thanks so much, Shady and Ron, for educating us and keeping this music alive!

  3. Ron & Shady this was a journey a little outside my box but very enjoyable. I love the way you guys broaden my appreciation of music in fun ways. Have an awesome day.

  4. Thisisme - Such lovely comments from you, my dear! I admit to having a decent amount of knowledge about music of the boomer years but I am also learning a lot through research and from songs introduced by people like Ron and Jerre who specialize in rare old gold. I agree that the Rosco Gordon song slipped thru the cracks and should have been a hit. If you like the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean then I know you will enjoy my three month long Summer Means Fun series which starts very soon. Have a fine day in Devonshire, dear Thisisme!

    Cindy - I am thrilled to know that you enjoyed this assortment of songs, especially the ones by Rosco and by Johnny Nash. With your taste in music you would have made a great Dell rat. Thank you for stopping by, dear friend!

    Odie, I can't thank you enough for sampling the songs even though they are not the kind you're used to hearing. It's a growth experience to try new things and I applaud you for doing that time and again on my blog. Have a great day in NC, Odie!

  5. I really enjoyed this list... and the commentary :)

  6. Ashton - I sincerely thank you! Knowing how busy you are with your challenging career it means a lot to me when you make time to visit, read, listen and comment. Please consider this your personal invitation to join me here all summer long for the greatest in surf rock and car classics as I present my series Summer Means Fun! Have a wonderful day, dear friend Ashton!

  7. I really like all the Nash tunes posted but I love the song Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye. I can imagine swaying away with my sweetheart during a highschool dance to that song.

    Oh and I will see a unicorn...someday :)

  8. Amber Blue Bird - I can imagine you as queen of the hop, kicking off your shoes and dancing in the gym in those minty green socks of yours! I'm glad you found value in these songs and if anybody can spot a unicorn, it'll be you! Thanks for coming 'round, dear Amber!

  9. Ron and Shady, What a fun list of songs. You are correct Ron that in York, Rosco Gordon's "A Girl To Love" was a big hit and is in my collection of 45s. I didn't realize it was not a hit elsewhere. I thought I knew the 60s, but you got me with the Johnny Nash "What Kind Of Love Is This". I don't think I heard his version. However, it seems to me WSBA played Joey Dee's version to death. Joey Dee is at Hershey Park in June or July with an old timers show. I wish it was Johnny Nash.

  10. Ron, I really enjoyed hearing Johnny Nash again. He was fantastic. Thanks for sharing him with everyone!

  11. Belle - I know that Ron will appreciate your remarks. I am surprised by how many blog friends enjoyed these song rarities. Nobody mentioned The Knight Brothers, however, and they're my Pick to Click for this post. Thank you very much for your comment, dear friend Belle!

  12. Shady. Ron and you are diggin way down deep for these memories. Some of my first favorites were the Intruder's United album. I saw them in 1967 at WSBA Day at Hershey Park and remember this album being featured on Doc Daugherty's Saturday morning show in the Fall of 1967. I wore this album out. Backing up to your previous blog about female vocalists, one of my favorites is Barbara Mason. My favorite is Girls Have Feelings Too. I don't know if you can fill your bloggers in on another source for finding our favorite records way back then and that was Rit the Record King at Sol Kesslers. If you heard it at the Dell or on WSBA, Rit would have it.

  13. Brian - It's great to hear from you again, good buddy! You mentioned a couple of acts that are among Philly's phinest. I loved the early Gamble-Huff recordings made by Little Sonny and the Intruders. They crossed over from doo-wop to soul and brought their sweetness and sincerity with them. I didn't own their first album The Intruders Are Together, but I eventually collected most tracks from it on vinyl and CD compilations. My favorites are "Together," "A Love That's Real," "It Must Be Love," "Baby, I'm Lonely," "United" and "Good for Me Girl." I wore out their second album Cowboys to Girls and loved every track on it. Arctic thrush Barbara Mason had a voice like butta and was another act that helped create the famous Philly sound. Your favorite by Barbara, "Girls Have Feelings Too," was her first release for the label and spent just one week on the R&B Singles chart at #31 before dropping out of sight. The song has a distinctive hook in the chorus that reminds me very much of Eddie Holman's "This Can't Be True." Along with 45s and albums I bought a stereo system from Sol Kessler and I sure do remember Rit the Record King. I hope Dell Rat Ron sees your comment because he was a regular at Sol's shop and I'm sure he'll have something to add. Brian, I am very pleased that you joined the discussion again today. Please stay tuned because there's lots more old soul on the way!

  14. Brian - Rit/Mr. Ritter at Sol Kessler's turned me on to mostly jazz albums as well as Ravi Shankar music. I first recall Rit from my younger days hanging out at Smith's, riding along with Bill Mitzel to the old Sol Kessler's when it was next to the Alcazar ballroom, on the corner of Princess and George Streets. That was before Bill got his distributorship with Hickory Records. I know whatever I asked Bill to stock, as far as R&B or pop from Bandstand, Rit could find, but I really didn't get to know him a little better until my high school/college years when they were next to Pep Boys on S. George St. I do recall he seemed like Mitzi Kessler's surrogate father.

    One of my favorite albums he was jamming to one evening was Olatunji's "Drums of Passion". At the time, through their sound system, it sounded like a hundred drums playing. The particular track that caught my ear was "Jingo-Lo-Ba", which Carlos Santana made one of his regular jams. Carlos also did another Olatunji song, "Shango", which I have on the "Drums of Passion" CD, which I only purchased (finally) a couple years ago. I have yet to hear Carlos's version. Rit also turned me onto John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", which, if you know Carlos, he covered as well. The two things that impress me most about Carlos are (1) how humble he acts at the end of one of his concerts and (2) the fact that when he covered the Emperor's theme, "Karate" and changed the words to it to "Everybody's Everything" he listed himself and Tyrone Ross, the Emperor's drummer, as co-writers, instead of copping the credit for himself.

    I don''t recall if the Intruders were at the show at Hershey I went to with the Olympics, McCoys and Newbeats, but I know I saw them at the York Fairgrounds Fete with Gladys Knight & The Pips and the Lovin' Spoonful. I remember Herb Feemster at Waxie Maxie's in D.C. selling me their first single "I'm Gonna Be Strong", which I believe was followed by "United". I still remember "...Strong" even more than "Cowboys to Girls".

    (to be continued)

  15. I have several Barbara Mason songs, but I don't recall "Girls Have Feelings Too". Of course, I remember "Yes, I'm Ready" and "Sad, Sad Girl". These are just songs I stumbled onto, on American Bandstand, or just asking Bernie or Rodney what new stuff came in. The rest were stuff I heard at the Oaks, usually from the Delchords, and Dave Bupp frequently telling me, and band members and whoever else was there at the time to check out.

    When you talk about Barbara Mason, the Intruders, you also make me think of other sounds like Brenda & the Tabulations, the Volcanoes, Bunny Sigler, Carla Thomas (the Queen of Soul between Mary Wells and Aretha Franklin), Brenda Holloway, Kim Weston, Five Stairsteps, just about anything Stax-Volt, especially with Steve Cropper's guitar.

    I believe I started listening to Doc Daugherty Saturday mornings before and/or after the Rock 180 came on and left the air. Before the Disc-O-Rama, the Bon-Ton was my main record department.

    By the time I left for college, my 45 collection was slightly over 2,000 almost all R&B, and about 300 albums, various types of music. If you have some memories, I'll be glad to research my brain cells and the computer and forward them to Shady, or feel free to write in your memories and your experiences of searching for records with Rit. He was a terrific guy. My neighbor, a trumpet player, got me linked up with him with the jazz music mostly. With Mitzel, I believe I was having him dig out songs like Joe Jones "California Sun", Maureen Gray "I Don't Want To Cry In Front Of You" and 45s from that earlier era.

    I'll help find the songs, and I'm sure Shady will be very happy to feature them, along with your memories on his blogsite. I know I sure enjoy when people remind me of songs I forgot, or come up with songs that I didn't know of at the time. Shady does that to me all the time. Besides, it's cool listening to others memories of the good old days in York, when life was as simple as french fries and gravy with a buddy at the Majestic on East Market Street or an hour or two of pool at the Cue Lounge on N. George, or a sandwich and drink with my girlfriend at the Ramona on N. George, or the Bon Ton's mezzanine coffee shop.

  16. Ron - Thanks for replying to Brian's comment. I predicted that you'd have a word or two (or three) to say about the topics that Brian raised. Have a great day in Tulsa town, good buddy!

  17. Thanks Shady and Ron. One of my favorites off Intruders are Togther album is Devil with an Angel's Smile. I still have the album and never get tired of listening to the Intruders. An album that got me turned onto a number of artists (it had Barbara Masons "Girls Have Feelings") was one I bought at Mailmans WDAS SoulSounds produced by Jimmy Bishop and JoeTamburro. Another favorite Otis Redding "Live in Europe". Ron, one of my favorite jazz albums that combines jazz and big band is Stan Kenton's Adventures in Jazz. It has the best recording of Body and Soul that I'ver ever heard. I also like the early Maynard Ferguson. My first Ferguson album was Si Si M.F. around 1964. You both have a Dell day.


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