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 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!


  1. I always like Connie but Gary Lewis and the Playboys made me happy with their lively tunes. That last one really got my attention with the cuties they had helping them along. A perfect way to start a thursday. Have a happy one.

  2. Odie - The last video had cuties in it? I hadn't noticed! Thanks for taking a look and a listen, good buddy, and have a great Thursday!

  3. Once again, Shady, I've learned new things reading your post. It was so tragic how Connie's life just fell apart later. What talent, and what songs.

  4. Hi Shady, I saw Gary Lewis at Penn State concert in 1965 in old Rec Hall. If I remember correctly, they didn't do Little Miss Go Go. Sounds like they were trying to copy the Beach Boys on that one. Have a great weekend.

  5. Shelly - I remember what happened to Connie and how it impacted her life for many years thereafter. It was great so see her last year along with Dionne Warwick on the Joy Behar Show, both ladies looking well. Thank you very much for listening to my summer favorites, dear friend Shelly, and stay tuned for Part 6 coming soon!

    Jerre - I remember the excitement when James Brown came to Rec Hall. The Gary Lewis concert was a little before my time. In 1965 I had just enrolled at the Shady Dell School of Hard Knocks. Thanks for dropping by, Jerre, and have a great weekend!

  6. Connie Francis! Oh how I adore her. Her voice is so girly and sweet. I wish I could sing like her. PS I am so glad you discovered the Will Ferrel SNL clips. Those skits crack me up every time. My husband does a great Will Ferrel doing Robert Goulet impression. I have to videotape him doing it. Its hilarious.

  7. Amber Blue Bird - By all means, record your husband imitating Robert Goulet and post it on your blog. If, by chance, he also does a wicked Connie Francis, then please post that, too! Thanks for visiting, dear friend Amber, and enjoy these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!

  8. Hi dear friend. Wow! Now that post really did hit the right spot with me! I used to adore Connie Francis, and loved all her records, but especially Lipstick on Her Collar and Stupid Cupid. She is worthy of a post all on her own. It was so great listening to all those songs again. I used to play Together on the piano, many moons ago. Thanks for a great walk down memory lane today Shady!

  9. Thisisme - I love to take a stroll with you down memory lane. I had a feeling these songs by Connie might be just your cup of tea. Thank you very much for playing Shady's jukebox, dear friend, and enjoy your family get-together this weekend!

  10. Ooh Connie Francis, I love her! I used to sing along to Stupid Cupid in the back seat of my grandmas car, she loved Connie Francis too. Great summer tunes Shady, thanks a bunch!

  11. Shady- I adore Connie Francis. She had such a great voice. I'm afraid I will have to (desperately want to) listen to your blogs when I get home. It is something to look forward to.

  12. I just love your blog, Shady! I am forced to sing long and do the wiggle dance in my seat.

    Stupid Cupid is great fun! It's great song to have stuck in my head. I don't mind a bit. That high note on "cu-pid" makes me smile every time!

    The great Connie was a stunning bombshell. Thanks for reminding me!

  13. Alabee - Hello, my dear friend! Nothing pleases me more than to know that the music I present here brings back happy childhood memories for you. Most of the songs written by Neil Sedaka are powerful bluesbusters and "Stupid Cupid" is a great example. Thank you very much for blessing me with your visit, dear Alabee!

    Belle - WARNING! Shady's blog is more addicting than a Reno slot machine! Use at your own risk! I am delighted to know that you will be "desperately seeking Shady" when you return home from v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n. I love to put a smile on your face! Enjoy the rest of your trip, dear Belle!

    Crystal Pistol - Wiggle away, my dear friend! I am not about to stop you! That high note in "Stupid Cupid" is indeed an effective hook. Having a feel good song like that one stuck in your head all day is a very good thing as you and I and many others have discovered. Thank you, dear friend, for swinging by, and have a safe and happy weekend!

  14. How I loved Connie Francis and these hit songs! I thought her dance steps were cute while she was singing "Lipstick on Your Collar" in the video. (I don't think I would dance if I found that lipstick on his collar!) I always did love "Count Me In" by Gary Lewis and The Playboys, I am glad you included a couple of their hits. Another great post, Shady!

    P.S. Where was one of my favorite songs ever, "Where the Boys Are", by Connie? :~D

  15. Cindy - If a guy was lucky enough to land a date with you I can't imagine him sneaking off to smooch on Mary Lou! (LOL) I predicted that somebody would ask about "Where the Boys Are" and I had my answer prepared in advance. Here goes. In this series I am showcasing summer songs. As you know Connie's "Where the Boys Are" was the theme song of the movie about spring breakers in Ft. Lauderdale. The movie was released on December 28, 1960 and Connie's record hit the charts in January. For that reason I think of it as more of a winter and early spring song than a summer song. If that's a lame excuse (which it is) I will admit that I like Connie's up tempo songs better than her ballads. (It's a guy thing.) Thank you very much for visiting, listening and commenting, dear friend Cindy, and have a wonderful weekend!

  16. Hoping your weekend is a nice one. Thinking of you and sending ♥

  17. Katie - I heart you, too, dear friend! It's so nice of you to stop by to say hello. Have a safe and happy weekend!

  18. Oh yes, school is most definitely out - hurrah! I'd forgotten how many great songs Connie had released. So glad you got your Kellog's gift :)

  19. Gawgus - You are my Blogger gift, sweet friend! It's so kind of you to leave the other gals sitting in Devonshire whilst you jumped cross the pond to visit me. Please take care of mum and Alfred if he made the trip with you. Have a marvy weekend!

  20. Shady, did you know that Concetta Franconero (Connie Francis) is 72 now? And that Annette Funicello is 68? And that no one else is getting younger either? It is always a pleasure to hear the extremely pleasing voice of Connie Francis. It was sweet hearing "Together" after forgetting it for so many years, in favor of Connie's more popular songs. "Don't Break the Heart..." is still my favorite though. Connie overdubs very nicely. Thanks for "Little Miss Go-Go", a very pleasant change from Gary Lewis and the Playboys' other songs. It was more upbeat and fun than their other ones, which weren't bad. "This Diamond Ring" is now my second favorite of theirs. I'm going to fix another iced tea in this heat wave now. Keep the sounds coming!

  21. Ron - I didn't know their exact ages but time marches on and I guess those numbers shouldn't come as a surprise. Today I was saddened to learn of actor Peter Falk's death at age 83. I first saw Peter in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and, of course, never missed an episode of Colombo. As I'm sure you know Annette has been battling MS for a number of years and she reportedly had a close call and suffered smoke inhalation three months ago when her house caught fire. As I told our friend Shelly I saw Connie with Dionne Warwick in a 2010 TV interview in support of the Grand Divas tour and both of those women looked great. Thanks for your comment and try to stay cool, good buddy!

  22. hey there, just wanted to stop by and say thanks for recommending haremofpeacocks, I really dig her blog!

  23. Amber Blue Bird - I thought you might! I love to play matchmaker and I love how you and I have come to trust each other's recommendations. Happy Sunday, dear friend Amber!

  24. Connie Francis is so beautiful! I didn't realise I knew so many of her songs. What an incredible voice, they don't come like that anymore!

    PS. Thanks for your lovely comments recently about Donnacha's illness and my video! All of this support means the world to me!

    Emma x

  25. Emma - Our friendship means the world to me! You are gifted and exhibit a real talent for reviews and tutorials and I hope you keep it up. It seems you and I have a nice little circle of mutual blog friends, too. Thank you very much for coming over for a look and a listen, dear Emma, and may tomorrow be a very happy one for you and Donnacha!

  26. Connie Francis was so beautiful and what a voice! I'll have to google her and read up on what happened to her. I didn't know her life had problems. I knew Annette had MS. I always liked Gary Lewis - cute songs that make me smile.

    I noticed Bobby Darren in the video with Connie. I'd love to hear a set of his songs from you. :)


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