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, June 30, 2011

Rat Ron's Retro Rock Reminiscences: Instrumentally Yours, Vol. 1

Dell Rat Ron's back 

and he's brought us 

some sizzling stacks 

of wax in the pop/rock 

instrumental category! 

Instrumentals have become a lost art. You won't find many on the modern pop music landscape. Back in the 1950s and 60s, however, wordless wonders were plentiful and popular. By the early 60s many instrumentals were being produced by California surf rock bands. The frenetic beat was the ideal complement to the extreme sport of wave riding.

With that I'll 

step aside and say my guest! 

Before I got heavily into 
R&B, I was a big fan 
of instrumentals, mostly 
guitars and drums. I still 
enjoy them, and these 
were probably my most 
vanilla days, when 
chocolate was Nestle's 
Quik, Ovaltine, Hershey's 
Syrup or 1/3 of the 
Neopolitan ice cream 
which my parents usually 
bought. These are a 
couple of my favorites, 
long since gone, that I'd 
like to share with you. 

I just flashed on a 
popular dance tune 
from our teen years. 
"Hot Pastrami" by the 
Dartells was a 1963 
hit record derived 
from "(Do the) 
Mashed Potatoes" 
a fine but poor 
performing 1960 
record released 
by Nat Kendrick 
and the Swans. 

"Hot Pastrami" - Dartells 
(May 1963, highest chart position #11) 

"Hot Pastrami" was popular with almost all the local bands 
playing at the Oaks and every other venue in York, 
Lancaster and Harrisburg. This A-side ain't squat, though. 
The B-side, and I really mean Killer Bee, was called 
"The Dartell Stomp" and it was the real favorite with all the 
bands and those of us who came to listen. 

"Dartell Stomp" - Dartells 
(uncharted flipside of Hot Pastrami") 

I'm not positive, but I think that record was popular 
around the same time as "Wipeout". Oh, for a 
Gino Giant or Big Boy at the Dell! 

Ron, you're close. "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris started its long 16 week chart run around the time that "Hot Pastrami" was fading away. "Wipe Out" shot to #2 but was blocked from reaching the top of the chart by Little Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips, Pt. 2," a song that you talked about in one of your earlier features.

"Wipe Out" - Surfaris (August 1963, 
highest chart position #2) 

There's another surf classic on the back side of "Wipe Out." It's a vocal rather than an instrumental but it's too good to miss, especially since it fits right in with our seasonal series Summer Means Fun. Here's the soggy saga of "Surfer Joe."

"Surfer Joe" - Surfaris (September 1963, 
highest chart position #62) 

Both of those Safaris classics can be found on Cowabunga! The Surf Box. So can "Church Key" by The Revels, and Ron, this is where I toss back to you.

Shady, "Church Key" is another 
great surf rock instrumental.  
It was a Pick Hit of the Week 
on WSBA and made the 
station's Top 40, but for some 
reason didn't stay on the local 
chart too long. 

"Church Key" - Revels 
(with Barbara Adkins) (1960, uncharted) 

Ron, let me add a few more at this point.  One of the leading instrumental groups of the 60s was the Ventures and my record collection included their two biggest hits. "Walk-Don't Run" soared up the chart to the #2 position in the summer of 1960 but bumped its head on two giant hits that traded places at #1 and never relinquished the top spot to other worthy contenders. The two songs I'm talking about were "It's Now or Never" by Elvis Presley and "The Twist" by Chubby Checker. The Ventures gave their tune another spin in 1964 and cracked the top 10.

"Walk-Don't Run '64" - Ventures 
(August 1964, highest chart
position #8) 

And here's a timely tune now that Hawaii Five-O is back on the boob tube.

"Hawaii Five-O" - Ventures 
(April 1969, highest chart position #4) 

I can sum up our instrumental extravaganza by telling you that my Pick to Click is "Church Key" by The Revels, a band that was shredding surf rock before that music category even existed.  If you listen to their Sundazed CD you'll hear them covering "Tequila" by the Champs and sounding a lot like them on that and other tracks. The Revels put down a pound of sound that featured a wailin' sax.

Here are the reinvented Revels performing a rousing rendition of "Wipeout" live in concert in 1992:

And finally please watch this clip of The Revels performing their hit "Church Key" on the TV show California Music in 1992.

Thank you again, 

Dell Rat Ron Shearer 

for treating us to 

tunes with 'tude! 

Have a Shady day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Means Fun, Part 6: Hometown Hanover Heroines Meet the Legendary Masked Surfers!


York, Pennsylvania... 

June 27th, 1964, 1:13pm 


Now I remember. 

It was 1:14pm. 

I was floating on a raft in my backyard swimming pool listening to my favorite radio station, WSBA, when a new song began to play. It had such a fresh, exuberant sound that I quickly paddled over to the deck to be closer to the radio. These are the words that met my ears: 

School is out and we're glad that we passed
Summer time is here at last 
There's so many things that we wanna do 
And we can do them now that school is thru

Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh-oh-oh-oh 
It's summer time 'cross the U.S.A.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh-oh-oh-oh 
From San Francisco to Philly, PA.

Boasting bright, sparkling
clean Brill Building production and angelic girl group harmony,
the song sounded like it
was being performed by
the cheerleading squad at
a high school pep rally.
With a melody derivative
of the Jan & Dean hit
"The New Girl in School"
but with a different theme
and lyrics and a high energy
beat, "It's Summer Time U.S.A."
by the Pixies Three was simply

Recorded by a trio of young women from nearby Hanover, Pennsylvania, "Summer Time U.S.A." played in heavy rotation on the Mighty 910 and dominated the airwaves for the rest of the summer.

The Pixies Three made such a splash with "Summer Time U.S.A." that I practically found myself asking, "John, Paul, George and who?"

"It's Summer Time, U.S.A." - Pixies Three 
(July 1964, highest chart position #116) 

“Summer Time, U.S.A.” was an East Coast hit but it failed
to attract much attention in other parts of the country. It never dawned on me that the kids mentioned in the song's lyrics, those living in L. A., Frisco, and Chicago, might never have even heard the song.

This Pixies Three record is an example of the split play phenomenon as well as the killer bee phenomenon. The original A side, “The Hootch,” flatlined when nervous radio station program managers put 2 and 2 together and got 5. Since “hootch” is a slang term for hard liquor, the Einsteins in the suits surmised that the song promoted underage drinking. If they had bothered to listen to the lyrics they would have realized that “The Hootch” was actually a new dance craze supposedly reaching our shores from Liverpool.

While some stations yanked the Pixies record completely off their playlists, savvy stations like WSBA flipped it and began to push “It’s Summer Time, U.S.A.” In doing so, another killer bee was born. For decades, "Summer Time U.S.A." has been one of my all time favorites. Recently, “The Hootch” has also grown on me to such an extent that it is now officially my Pick to Click!

"The Hootch" - Pixies Three (July 1964, 
uncharted A side of "It's Summer Time 

That fabulous Pixies platter is a coin toss 
that you simply can’t lose. Both sides rule! 

The biggest hit for the Pixies Three was another summer song, "Birthday Party," which jumped on Billboard in August
of 1963 on its way to a 9 week chart run and a top 40 finish.

"Birthday Party" - Pixies Three 
(September 1963, highest chart 
position #40) 

The last Pixies Three record to make the Billboard Hot 100 was "Gee," a cover of a 50s hit by the Crows. The Pixies version rocks big time, yet it lasted only 3 weeks on the chart and climbed only 13 rungs up the ladder.

"Gee" - Pixies Three 
(April 1964, highest chart position #87) 

Up next, my favorite surf rockers Jan and Dean with the song that inspired this series of summer themed posts.

It's Jan & Dean's version of the Fantastic Baggys' song "Summer Means Fun," one of the tracks on Jan and Dean's Little Old Lady From Pasadena album.

"Summer Means Fun" - Jan and Dean 
(July 1964) 

Now listen to the more robust, full bodied sound created by Beach Boy Bruce Johnston and singer/producer Terry Melcher (Doris Day's son) on the Bruce and Terry version of the song. It's my Pick to Click!

"Summer Means Fun" - Bruce and Terry 
(August 1964, highest chart position #72) 

As Jan and Dean discovered, summer can be a whole lot funner if you hook up with Honolulu Lulu.

"Honolulu Lulu" - Jan and Dean" 
(October 1963, highest chart position #11)

In June and July of 1966 it was pop ting-a-ling here comes that popsicle man, a tasty tune that just missed the top 20.

"Popsicle" was the first Jan & Dean single released after
the devastating car crash that derailed Jan Berry's career and left him with permanent brain damage.

"Popsicle" - Jan and Dean 
(July 1966, highest chart position #21) 




Have a Shady day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Means Fun Part 5: Put Away the Books...We're on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N





It's time for sunnin' and funnin'... 
dancin' and romancin'... and I've got 
just the right songs for the occasion! 

Connie Francis was one
of the most successful international pop icons
of the late 50s and early 60s. In recent years I have grown increasingly fond of this talented and versatile songbird. Connie had hit records all year 'round but her summer songs are particularly memorable.

In the late summer of 1958 Connie scored a top 20 national hit with "Stupid Cupid," an infectious piece of ear candy penned by Neil Sedaka.

"Stupid Cupid" - Connie Francis 
(August/September 1958, highest 
chart position #17) 

Connie was back in the summer of 1959 with another high energy rock 'n roll record, "Lipstick on Your Collar" which went to #5 in the land.

"Lipstick on Your Collar" - Connie Francis 
(July 1959, highest chart position #5) 

In July of 1960 Connie reached the coveted #1 chart position with the monster smash "Everybody's Somebody's Fool."

"Everybody's Somebody's Fool" 
- Connie Francis (July/August 1960, 
highest chart position #1) 

In the summer of 1961 Connie was once again riding high, this time with "Together" an oft recorded show tune that shattered the top 10.

"Together" - Connie Francis (August 1961, 
highest chart position #6) 

In 1962, Connie urged the kids of America to put away their books and have a ball in the summer sun.

She didn't have to ask me twice. Here's another top 10 hit by Connie and Shady Del's Pick to Click: "Vacation."

"Vacation" - Connie Francis (August 1962, 
highest chart position #9) 

In Part 1 you heard him sing his springtime hit "Green Grass." Now, the underrated Gary Lewis is back with more great warm weather memories.

In the late spring of 1965 Gary logged his second top 5 hit in a row with "Count Me In."

"Count Me In" - Gary Lewis & the Playboys 
(May/June 1965, highest chart position #2) 

Capitalizing on Gary's popularity, Kellogg's Corn Flakes put together a promotional offer.

If you sent in the box top from a specially marked box of the breakfast cereal, you received by mail a free Gary Lewis & the Playboys floppy disc record. I got one! The floppy contained Gary's #1 smash "This Diamond Ring," a customized cereal song entitled "Doin' the Flake," and "Little Miss Go-Go,"the flip side of Gary's single "Count Me In." It didn't take long for this killer bee to become my Pick to Click!

"Little Miss Go-Go," - Gary Lewis 
& the Playboys (May/June 1965 
uncharted B side of "Count Me In") 

Now them's what I call

Stay right where you are!
There's more summer fun on the way in my next post!

Have a Shady day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Counting Down the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell (#195 to #191)

It's time once again to put your 
musical knowledge to the test 
as we continue our countdown of 
The 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell! 

You know the drill. I'll give you a line or two of lyrics taken from five of the most popular Dell songs of the mid 1960s. Your job is to Name That Tune. 

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

Beware of pretty faces that you find 
A pretty face can hide an evil mind 

Roll over on your back 
I like it like that 

Everyday things change 
And the world puts on a new face 
Certain things rearrange 
And this whole world seems like a new place 

(listen to me when i'm 
speakin','cause you know the 
words i'm thinkin') 
(and i know that you've been 
cheatin', oh, i hope that 
we'll be meetin'.) 

You're here today and gone tomorrow 
Leave this heart of mine in sorrow 
Then you come around every now and then 
Long enough to hurt me then you're gone again 

Now let's find out how well you did. 
Here are the Dell songs in today's countdown:

195. "Secret Agent Man" - Johnny Rivers 
(March '66) 

194. "Land Of 1000 Dances" - Wilson Pickett 
(August '66) 

193. "The Hunter Gets Captured By 
The Game" - Marvelettes (February '67) 

192. "Kind Of A Drag" - Buckinghams 
(January '67) 

191. "You Keep Running Away" - Four Tops 
(September '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!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

John Ettline: Every Dell Rat's Dad

Just in time for Father's Day some friends 

dropped by to offer a few words about 

John Ettline, every Dell rat's dad. 


How I remember John!  John was always the first one 
to meet you when going into the Dell. He would be in 
his booth waiting to get his quarter. I don't know how 
many times he forgot to take my quarter so I could 
spend it on the jukebox. I do know he always said  
hello by being formal and using the last name and saying 

"Hello Mr. Slaybaugh". 
He would often have 
some type of joke or 
remark such as you're 
early or late tonight. 
Somehow he knew all 
my close friends, also 
Dell Rats, and would 
let me know who was 
already there and who 
was missing. Of course 
John was always in 
control and had rules 
that the "gentlemen" 
were to follow. 
My friends and I were not trouble makers and John knew 
that. He also knew we would back him up if he needed it 
to keep the peace. We respected him and we had earned 
his respect. I guess that is why he often forgot to take our 
quarters. I think he treated all the regulars that he knew 
well as if they were his own kids. Somehow he learned 
enough about the regulars to know them, their back- 
ground and their friends fairly well. I know I always 
looked forward to talking with John and made it a point 
to say good night before ever leaving. It was not common 
for teenagers to have good friends that were "old". But 
John was a good friend to me and if he would have had 
kids he would have been a great Dad for them. He was 
just a great step-Dad for all the Rats. - Jerre Slaybaugh 


John was the kind of man 
that I think we all wanted 
for a father. He wasn't 
condescending, always 
commanded and gave 
respect, treated you like 
an intelligent person. 
If anything happened 
that you screwed up 
and got victimized, 
he would resolve it to 
his best, and pass on 
advice to you without 
making you feel stupid. 
He would take time 
out during the day if 
you had to leave your 
car there the night before 
because it wouldn't run, and would help you with it---
even to the point of advising your own Dad, inspiring 
respect from parents that had previously thought ill of 
the Dell. I can only say good things about John. 
Wishing him a Happy Father's Day for all the teens 
he "fathered". - Ron Shearer 


I'm trying to write some 
words to honor John for 
Father's Day. It's hard to 
put down in words your 
feeling about someone 
that if only for a short 
time played such an 
important part in your life. 
I cannot write this without 
saying a few words about 
another great man, my 
father Clair N. Gulden. 
These two men never 
knew each other but they 
both came from that great generation that fought a World 
War in hopes that generations to come would never know 
war. In my eyes these were the two best men I've ever 
known. John never had kids of his own but was a second 
Dad to hundreds of Dell Rats over the years. Whatever 
made this man decide to devote so many years of his life 
to having a home away from home for hundreds of kids 
we may never know, but all of us that became Dell Rats 
will all ways be grateful to John. He gave us his home 
and then stayed in the background and let us make it 
what we wanted. We all had a great deal of respect for 
John and his words of advice when we needed them. 
The Dell that I knew during the 60s was a place of pure 
magic, you could feel it when you walked in the door to 
the barn. John made the Dell a special place for all of us. 
So to John and my Dad Thank You & Happy Father's Day 
to all. - A DELL RAT ALL WAYS Greg Gulden 

John Ettline never had children of his 

own, but every Dell rat knows that 

John would have made a great father. 

In winter John always made sure that the barn was
warm enough by keeping a blaze going in the fireplace.

If you had car problems when it was time to leave,
John was the go-to guy for help.


Car buried in

the snow?

Your heap

wouldn't start,

Locked your
keys inside
your car,

Mr. Ettline 
was always
Johnny on

the spot!

Problems at home?
John was always willing to dispense wisdom.

John Ettline was like a dad to us all! 

Things to know and remember about John: 

* John always looked out for the welfare of his family.

* John lived at the YMCA for a period of time with his 

brother George.

* John had a profound love of horses. He once 
a rare WWII era photograph of Hitler, Mussolini, and 
some high ranking officers enjoying the company of 
women. John traded that vintage photo for a picture 
of a beautiful horse. 

* John possessed a photographic memory.  
He could 
always match a face with a name. 

* John always had his nose in a newspaper.  
He knew a lot 
about a lot of things.  He was extremely knowledgeable about sports, history, current events, city, state and local politics. 

* John sponsored a number of sports teams in the 

York area, providing them with T-shirts and jerseys.

* John relished the role of host. He loved to entertain, 

make people feel right at home and show them a good
time.  He got a kick out of seeing kids having fun in a 
setting of his own creation, the Shady Dell. 

* John's quiet manner commanded respect.  He was loved

by family, friends and all of the kids who attended the Dell.

Please play this clip as we honor 
John Ettline...every Dell rat's dad! 

Happy Father's Day, John! 

We love you and miss you!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Means Fun, Part 4: When Boys of Summer Attack!





In 1963, western Pennsylvania recording artists Marcy Jo
and Eddie Rambeau teamed up to to record "Lover's Medley," a mash-up of two innocent summer snuggle songs,"The More I See You" and "When I Fall in Love." Now Eddie's here with his solo contribution to our sounds of summer collection.

"Concrete and Clay" is Eddie's def cover of a hit by the
UK band Unit 4 Plus 2. Featuring the clean, crisp production style that is most pleasing to my ears, Eddie Rambeau's "Concrete and Clay" played in moderate to heavy rotation on the Mighty 9-10, becoming a Central Pennsylvania regional favorite and the biggest hit of Eddie's career. The record is pure delight. I defy anybody to stay depressed while listening to it!

"Concrete and Clay" - Eddie Rambeau 
(May/June 1965, highest chart position #35) 


Although more famous for unleashing his thundering baritone in productions like Camelot, Robert Goulet crossed over to pop and recorded a feel good summer song that's chock-full of powerful imagery!

"Summer Sounds" was not a major hit. It climbed less than halfway up the Billboard ladder before tumbling back down
to obscurity. Nevertheless, this Goulet goodie was played often enough on WSBA during the month of June 1965 to make a lasting impression on me and earn a spot in the Shady's Law Hall of Fame!

"Summer Sounds" - Robert Goulet 
(June 1965, highest chart position #58) 

One of the most distinctive summer sounds is the one made by a car's windshield wipers during a shower. In 1966 Lou Christie suggested a link between the hypnotic sweep of the wipers and the steamy romance unfolding inside the vehicle, a love connection that prompted some radio stations to ban the record!

"Rhapsody in the Rain" - Lou Christie 
(May 1966, highest position #16) 

Country pop artist Ronnie Dove had a string of crossover hits to his credit by the time he released "Happy Summer Days" in 1966. Ronnie's songs were always well received in Central PA and got plenty of exposure on WSBA radio.

"Happy Summer Days" was no exception. The evocative memory maker climbed the Billboard ladder in June and July, reaching its zenith in the top 30.

"Happy Summer Days" - Ronnie Dove 
(June 1966, highest chart position #27) 

I had already finished picking songs for Summer Means Fun when I realized there were very few in the entire 12-part series that were released after 1966! What about songs released during the Summer of Love, 1967? What about songs from the summer of 1968 and 1969? No way! I mined music primarily from the early and mid 60s because songs related to summer fun were more innocent back then.  In the carefree world of Jan and Dean, challenging a wave on your surfboard was about as serious as it got!

"Ride the Wild Surf" - Jan and Dean 
(October 1964, highest chart position #16) 

By 1967 the tide had turned. Beach songs, surfing songs, hot rod songs and other sounds celebrating the California lifestyle (a lifestyle that kids everywhere wanted to adopt) were vanishing from the pop music charts, radio & TV, and the record stores.

A defining moment in pop music's abandonment of summer-themed songs, fun songs, and sweet, innocent love songs came in March of 1966. "Nowhere Man" by the Beatles, a hit song that month, signaled the beginning of the end. As the All Music Guide points out, "Nowhere Man" was the first Beatles song to move beyond romantic themes entirely.

"Nowhere Man" - Beatles 
(March 1966, highest chart position #3) 

In the spring of 1966 the success of songs like "Nowhere Man" indicated that silly love songs and good time rock ‘n roll were rapidly giving way to music for the thinking man. Like it or not, and I honestly didn't like it initially, heavyweights like the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel were ushering in an era of deep, serious, introspective music.

To every thing there is a season and the time and the purpose of Summer Means Fun is not's frivolity! So before we bust out cryin' let's quickly press the rewind button, turn turn turn back the clock, and invite Jerry Keller to welcome the summer solstice the right way...the good old fashioned way...the fun way!

"Here Comes Summer" - Jerry Keller 
(August 1959, highest chart position #14) 

Cowabunga, Moondoggie... 

there's lots more mindless retro pop  
coming up in the next installment of 

Summer Means Fun! 

Have a Shady day!