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

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rat Ron's Retro Rock Reminiscences: Potpourri for 100


Our buddy Dell Rat Ron 

is back with a great idea 

for a post: no particular 

theme, just just a mixed 

bag of musical treats for 

our listening pleasure! 

Sounds like 

a plan, Ron. 

Be my guest! 

Shady, the other 
day you posted  
"Lover's Medley" 
by Pittsburgh's 
Marcy Jo and 
Hazleton's Eddie 
Rambeau. It 
should come as 
no surprise that 
my favorite 
Marcy Jo song 
was "Ronnie." 
It featured 
Eddie on the 
backing vocals. 

"Ronnie" - Marcy Joe aka Marcy Jo  
(June 1961, highest chart position #81) 

Ronnn... makin' copies! 

the Ron man... 
the Ronster... 
the Ronmeister... 
the Roninator... 
Ronzoni drives a 

Ron, please allow me to interject. While we're on a Ronnie roll let's do it right, starting with a different song of the same name recorded by the Four Seasons. "Ronnie" was one of four songs by Frankie Valli and his group to make the top 10 during 1964 and it's one of my favorites.

"Ronnie" - Four Seasons 
(May 1964, highest chart position #6) 

Next we have Ronnie Spector and her Ronettes with one of the best girl group recordings of the 60s. This Phil Spector wall-of-sound special landed on the chart before Halloween 1964 and remained hot through Christmas. The song is an underachiever, finishing at #23 when it deserved the top 10.

"Walking in the Rain" - Ronettes 
(December 1964, highest chart 
position #23) 

To complete my Ron run, Here's "Da Do Ron Ron" by the Crystals, one of the principal girl group acts of the carefree early 60s. These original New York dolls hopped on Billboard at the end of April 1963 and rode this one for 13 solid weeks, breaking into the top 5 nationally.

"Da Do Ron Ron (When He Walked 
Me Home)"- Crystals (June 1963, 
highest chart position #3) 

Tossing back to you, Ron! 

"MacArthur Park", from one of Jerre's 
song lists, reminded me of a few other 
songs written by Jimmy Webb.  The first 
Webb song that I recall ever hearing 
was "Do What You Gotta Do." It was 
also the first song that I ever heard by 
Al Wilson, who would later have bigger 
hits with "The Snake" and "Show and 
Tell." Versions of "Do What You Gotta 
Do" released by Nina Simone and 
Bobby Vee charted higher than the one 
by Al Wilson, but I think this song was Mr. Wilson's best. 

"Do What You Gotta Do" - Al Wilson 
(January 1968, highest position #102) 

I fell in love with Jimmy Webb's songwriting, just as I did 
with Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, Van McCoy, 
Steve Cropper and many others. I think "MacArthur Park" 
and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" are just a couple more 
examples of Webb's talent, although Glen Campbell could 
never do justice to "Phoenix" like the Magnificent Men did. 

"By The Time I Get To Phoenix" 
- Magnificent Men (March 1968, uncharted) 

I always liked another song of Richard Harris's off his album 
A Tramp Shining, and had the music to it, but couldn't find 
it on Billboard's hit list, even though it got a lot of airplay. 
I came across a blog that said it was the Bee Side of 
"MacArthur Park". Mr. Harris is, in my book, not a one-
hit wonder but a two-hit wonder! 

"Didn't We" - Richard Harris 
(July 1968, uncharted) 

Finally, here's a song that I never bought but I later owned 
Alice Cooper's cover of it on his album From the Inside. 
To hear this garage rocker originally I had to go to a  
friend's house. It was around that time that my friend 
confessed that smoking banana peels didn't get you high  
---only sick. 

"Talk Talk" - Music Machine 
(December 1966, highest chart 
position #15) 

Ron, as legendary 
top 40 radio dj 
Johnny Holliday 
used to say 
we're clickin' 
the turnstiles 
in our wax files!  

"Talk Talk" is a garage punk classic.  I have a feeling that rock madman Sean Bonniwell beamed himself to Earth from Planet Zero!  Now, let's cap off this mixed bag of goodies with one last spin from my stack. It's one of the most inspired pairings in rock history, Annette Funicello and the
Beach Boys!

In 1965, Walt Disney studios released the teen musical comedy The Monkey's Uncle starring Tommy (Hardy Boys, Mars Needs Women) Kirk and Annette Funicello as his girlfriend. The flick was the sequel to The Misadventures of Merlin Jones. Annette recorded the movie's theme song with the Beach Boys providing vocal and instrumental backing. Here she is, everybody's favorite Mouseketeer, along with America's band performing together in the title sequence of The Monkey's Uncle!

"The Monkey's Uncle" - Annette 
with the Beach Boys (1965) 

Thank you Dell Rat Ron Shearer 
for bringing us another bombastic 
batch of music and memories! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. I saw the Ronettes and the Magnificent Men at the Raven. As well as their own sets, the Magnificent Men backed up these beautiful young ladies and proved that they not only looked hot, but sounded hot as well, even without Phil Spector's wall of sound. Ironically, the Crystals were also under contract with Phil Spector and, in Darlene Love's autobiography, Darlene tells that the Crystals were on the road at the time "Da Doo Ron Ron" was recorded. Phil Spector called her into the studio and she is the Crystals on "Da Doo Ron Ron", as well as some of the other songs listed by the Crystals. I believe "He's A Rebel" was also her. The Crystals are the Crystals on "There's No Other", "Uptown", and "What A Nice Way To Turn Seventeen", and their vocals are beautiful, but just not quite as intense as Darlene's. Darlene Love also recorded for Phil Spector under her own name, "Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry" and "A Fine Fine Boy". She was also a member of Bob B. Soxx & The Bluejeans, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah", "Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts?".

    Ironically, this wasn't uncommon practice in the music industry, as Mary Wilson testifies in her autobiography that Berry Gordy had another girl instead of her singing with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard on "Someday We'll Be Together".

    Interesting to see that Annette sang a duet with the Beach Boys. I'll never forget that she wouldn't let me hold her popcorn at the Strand Theater so she could sign my autography book. I have forgiven her for it a long time ago, however. And my little grade school self bought that autograph book in Dallastown for the express purpose of getting her autograph. That's what happens when you chase after women who are ten years older than yourself.

    Thanks, enjoyed it immensely, Shady!

  2. Hi, Ron! I never knew that you had a close encounter with Annette F. in York. That must have been a rush. If I knew she was coming to town I'd have been the first in line at the Strand. Annette was the first girl I ever had a crush on and she'll be the subject of a post on that very subject later this summer. I'm glad you liked the post, Ron. Thanks for your immeasurable contributions and for putting up with my Rob Schneider "making copies" gag! (LOL) Have a good one!

  3. Well, my favorite here was The Crystal, of course! Great name. great song. "Someday soon i'm gonna make him mine." I love that kind of confidence in a woman. :)

    I absolutely loved Annette F. when I was a kid. Merlin Jones was one of "my" movies. My siblings and I still quote it constantly. Didn't realize it was a sequel to something. i'll have to check that out! Thanks for another great post!

  4. C-P - How about a girl group called the Crystal Pistols? I'm sure they'd rock! (LOL) Actually there is a modern heavy metal band called Crystal Pistol so they had the idea first. In the early and mid 60s women with a bolder, more assertive attitude were definitely becoming more popular and the Crystals, Ronettes, Shangri-Las, Cher, Nancy Sinatra and country music's Jeannie C. Riley were all examples of the trend. Thank you very much for stopping by, Crystal, and have a wonderful Thursday!

  5. Well Shady & Ron I see the amazing Crystal beat me to the comment this morning. She has an amazing voice too but mostly I've only seen videos of her singing in her vehicle.
    Todays selections sure brought back memories of long ago and made my ears feel soooooooooooo good. Thanks for making my thursday morning.

  6. Odie - That's Crystal's a pistol, isn't she? I'm glad your ears are feelin' good after visiting SDM&M. Songs released during the early 60s are right in the zone as far as I'm concerned. Thanks for coming 'round, Odie, and have a sensational day up your way!

  7. Shady and Ron, Really enjoyed this post and the comments. You two should write a book on music history.


  8. Jerre - Look who's talking! You, my friend, practically INVENTED music history! Thanks for reporting in Jerre. Your next feature is coming soon so please stay tuned!

  9. Since you were unaware of it, when the movie "The Light in the Forest" opened at the Capitol (the one on the corner) Annette and two other Mouseketeers appeared for the opening. Vicki, my neighbor and I, waited in line for hours and hours but never got in to see the movie. When we were getting ready to leave and call parents for a ride, we walked south, and my attention was drawn into the Strand where the three Mouseketeers were exiting, after having picked up popcorn. I still haven't seen "The Light in the Forest" and James McArthur passed a year or two ago. Annette was the first woman who scorned me.

  10. Ron - As Little Richard once sang, "the girl can't help it." Annette had other things on her mind that day... like her date with Shady later that evening! (LOL) Thanks for the follow-up, Ron, and we'll look forward to your next feature at the end of the month!

  11. Hi my dear friend. Saw your post and just had to pop over to say hallo! I loved the Ronettes and especially The Crytals (as well as Da Doo Ron Ron, I loved And Then He Kissed me.) Phil Spector was so brilliant and so successful at that time. Have a happy weekend and I thank you so much for the comment that you left for me today. Hugs.

  12. You know I love me some 60s girl groups. That is my dream job you know. I just need to go back in time and make this happen so I can sing along to Da Doo Ron Ron. Until I spruce up my time machine I will settle for signing in front of my mirror, hairbrush in hand :) Hope you are having a great day.

  13. Thisisme - I suppose the long awaited hen party is in full swing at this hour. I can hear the music and laughter from clear across the pond! (LOL) I am honored that in the midst of all of your wedding preparations you made time to visit little old me. I appreciate this very much, dear friend! May the skies over Devonshire be blue come Saturday!

    Amber Blue Bird - If anybody can make that hot tub time machine work it would be you, my fine feathered friend! You would have made a fabulous Rockin' Robin back in the 60s. As for me, I'm still hoping to fulfill my dream of becoming a Radio City Music Hall Rockette! Thank you for the fly by, Amber Blue Bird!

  14. haha I love the format of this post: the back and forth interjections. Great music!

  15. It was fun hearing the different Ronnie songs. Da Do Ron Ron is one of my favorites too. What surprised me was, Didn't We, by Richard Harris. Lovely.
    Great list of songs Ron and Shady!

  16. Well hello there, Jessi! Thank you very much for dropping by and for your kind remarks. I took a look around your blog and liked what I saw. That Rapture playlist of yours was a great idea for an end of the world party! I can remember listening to Prince's "1999" in 1983 and thinking how far in the future that year seemed, like a date out of a futuristic novel that would never really get here. Now that same date seems like the distant past, indeed like it belongs to another century. Jessi, please come back. I'm officially inviting you to stick around and join the fun on a regular basis. Thanks again for your comment!

  17. Belle - Everybody's loving those Crystals. Richard Harris on the other hand is an acquired taste and I'm glad you enjoy the actor's song styling as much as Jerre, Ron and I. "MacArthur Park" is simply a masterpiece in my opinion. Thank you very much for coming over to sample some songs, Belle. I hope you're feeling well, my dear friend! Good night to you in Western Canada!

  18. Another great visit from Dell Rat Ron! I know Shady and his blog readers always enjoy Ron's contributions. It seems Ronnie used to be a more popular name for girls. Being a Four Season's fan, their "Ronnie" was my favorite one. ♪ Da Do Ron Ron ♫ has always been a good one. I can't help but be drawn to the go-go girls in the background of the videos. Happy to see and listen to another old favorite, no matter who sings it, "By The Time I Get To Phoenix". Really enjoyed "Talk Talk" and the psychedelic sounds in it. Thank you, Shady, for the sunshine you bring to others' days!

  19. Cindy - Music is a tonic with healing power. It can give us strength to endure tough times and heartache. I hope that these words and songs brought a few rays of sunshine into your life today. Thank you very much for your visit, my dear friend, and please take care of yourself!

  20. Such a great post Tom! Two of my favourites in there... The Ronettes are one of my all time favourite bands and Walking in the rain and I wish I never saw the sunshine are my two favourite songs of theirs. Franki Valli and The Four Seasons Ronnie is another favourite. Craig and I celebrated our anniversary last year by going to see the Franki Valli musical here in London so that song brings lots of lovely memories.
    I had never heard that Beach boys song and I LOVE it, Anette looks so gorgeous in the video too. Hope you are having a lovely week. x

  21. Kelly-Marie - Hello, my dear! I'm sure that Frankie Valli musical was sensational. If you enjoyed Annette, I want you to know that she'll be back several more times this year in pictures and in songs. Thank you very much for checking in with us from London, Kelly-Marie, and have a splendid weekend!

  22. Every visit I discover absolutely wonderful music. You never cease to amaze me with your wonderful posts. Thank you for your bloggy friendship and fr always making time to leave a sweet comment on my blog. Hugs!!.

  23. Hugs to you, Katie! I am enjoying your blog immensely and I'm glad to be able to add some music to your day and maybe put a smile on your face at the same time. Have a terrific weekend, dear friend!


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