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, September 22, 2011

The D-Team: Episode 14

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  







"Heavy, heavy stuff!" Those were the words uttered by top 40 radio legend Dr. Don Rose of Quixie in Dixie WQXI Atlanta in the 1967 volume of Cruisin'. Rose had just finished playing "Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking)" a recording that explored the painful consequences of a forbidden interracial romance between a white girl and a black boy. "Society's Child" was performed by precocious sixteen year old folk-
singer Janis Ian who had written the racially charged song
at the tender age of thirteen!

"Society's Child" was indeed heavy stuff for its time. Up until then, when teenage white girls made records, they sang sugar sweet, innocent pop songs like I wanna be "Bobby's Girl" (and it's a cinch they didn't mean Bobby Brown). Mid 60s America wasn't ready for "Society's Child." The record was considered taboo in some markets and yanked from radio play lists. Janis reportedly received hate mail and death threats. In spite of its polarizing impact, "Society's Child" held on and eventually made the long climb to the top of the charts in several major cities. However, when Billboard factored in the parts of the country where the record was banned, "Society's Child" finished at #14 on the Hot 100 survey.

Young Janis Ian turned in this memorable performance of her controversial song on The Smothers Brothers Show.

"Society's Child (Baby, I've Been Thinking)" - Janis Ian 
(July 1967, highest chart position #14) 

In 1975 Janis Ian gave America another reality check with the autobiographical "At Seventeen," a song that examined adolescent cruelty and the plight of those among us who are not perfect and popular. "At Seventeen" went top 5 on the pop singles chart, #1 Adult Contemporary, and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female.

"At Seventeen" - Janis Ian (September 1975, highest chart 
position #3 Hot 100, #1 Adult Contemporary, #1 Cash Box) 


In the late 1950s and early 60s Americans were crazy about Western movies, Western TV programs and Western themed pop recordings. Hit records like "Along Came Jones" by the Coasters (1959), "Running Bear' by Johnny Preston (1959/60) and "Mr. Custer" by Larry Verne (1960) are examples. In 1958 the Los Angeles doo-wop group called the Olympics launched its career with the novelty hit "Western Movies." The next single by the Olympics, "Dance With the Teacher," sold modestly, but the group had found a new niche. From then on the Olympics became known primarily for dance records which included "Hully Gully," "Shimmy Like Kate," "Dance by the Light of the Moon," "The Bounce," "Dancin' Holiday" and "Baby Do the Philly Dog." The Olympics also recorded the original "Good Lovin'" which was covered with enormous success by the Young Rascals. "I'll Do a Little Bit More" is
a great Olympics record, yet it remained uncharted. The following video includes the original recording along with a tribute to Mirwood Records, one of the great R&B labels
of the 60s. Mirwood was home to the Olympics along with Jackie Lee who had a hit with "The Duck" and Bob and Earl, best known for "Harlem Shuffle." (Jackie Lee, whose real name was Earl Lee Nelson, was "Earl" in Bob and Earl.) Please watch the clip and experience the pure excitement that was Mirwood Records!

"I'll Do a Little Bit More" - Olympics (February 1967, 


The HUB (Hetzel Union Building) was a student union headquarters on the campus of Penn State University.

In addition to a
movie theater and conference rooms, the HUB housed a canteen that was
a popular meeting spot for students, professors and visitors. It was a fun place to have lunch, chat with friends, study, or simply kill time between classes. The HUB was truly a hub of activity.

No substitute for my dear old alma mater the Shady Dell, the HUB nevertheless offered a similar environment. It was crowded, noisy, and had a jukebox. There are two songs in particular that I remember hearing quite often at the HUB during my freshman year: "How Can I Be Sure" by the Rascals and "Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)" by Manfred Mann. Those two songs remind me of my first few months of college, the excitement of living away from home for the first time, beginning a new chapter of my life as a student at a major university, exposed on a daily basis to a diversity of people, ideas and experiences. At Penn State I felt like I was part of something big and important. I felt alive and free, just as I had two years earlier the first time that I crossed the threshold of the Shady Dell.

With the success of "Mighty Quinn," a Bob Dylan composition, Manfred Mann established itself as a thinking man’s band rather than simply a Brit beat pop combo. It was somewhat ironic because the band had already been lacing its albums with intricate, complex, non-pop material for years.

"Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)" - Manfred Mann 
(May 1968, highest chart position #10) 

 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! 



It was a family affair with Memphis soul songbird Barbara Brown. Like many other black recording acts of the 1950s and early 60s, Barbara, her sisters and brother started out in gospel and made the easy transition to gospel-tinged secular soul. In 1966 the group recorded two of my favorite deep soul ballads. "I Don't Want to Have to Wait" was released as a single but failed to chart. As Shady's Law teaches us, chart performance has absolutely nothing to do with quality. This record sizzles!

"I Don't Want to Have to Wait" - Barbara and the Browns 
(1966, uncharted) 

The same recording session that produced "I Don't Want to Have to Wait" yielded another excellent track, "To Know I Can't Touch." This lost soul treasure by Barbara and her kin remained unissued for years until soul scholars in the UK pulled it from the vaults and added it to modern compilations of rare soul released on vinyl and compact disc. The urgency in Barbara's voice mixed with the sublime horn section gives me chills and fever!

"To Know I Can't Touch" - Barbara and the Browns 
(1966, unissued) 

Barbara Brown went on to produce more great soul sounds as a solo artist. Her body of work went almost unnoticed at the time but is highly regarded by music historians today. Barbara passed away last year.


Cleveland Rocks! Well, in this case Drew Carey's favorite city power pops, thanks to lead singer Eric Carmen who, along with his band, are credited for pioneering the pop rock style of music. The guys were influenced by the Beatles and other British invaders and their look and sound reflected it. Carmen went on to a successful soft rock solo career but I liked him better when he was rocking a little harder with the Raspberries. The band's biggest hit was "Go All the Way," a single that cracked the top 5 on Billboard and Cash Box in the fall of 1972 and sold well over a million copies.

"Go All the Way" - Raspberries (September 1972, 
highest chart position #5 Billboard, #4 Cash Box

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

 I love it 


 a plan 



Have a Shady day!


  1. Hi Tom,
    Sorry I've been MIA, but I sure enjoyed your tunes this AM! I always thought Janis Ian was so filled with angst and as a teenager would feel very simpatico with her angst!

    Looking forward to replaying your tunes from today when I can REALLY crank up the volume!

    Thanks again for a lovely treat...lovely to be back in the Dell!

  2. I loved Janis Ian- her songs were so powerful, and as you mentioned, everything else by people her age was sugary sweet/silly.

    Because she was singing about such adult emotions, it made her listeners feel like they were being taken seriously despite their age.

    I think I remember reading she had a child who was born with challenges, but I wonder what's become of her. I'm going to google her today and satisfy my curiosity.

    I enjoyed the other songs, too.

    Thank you, Shady, for another wonderful muscial trip!

  3. Sush - You are the quintessential Dellette and it's always a pleasure to welcome you back. Janis Ian was simply a brilliant performer and both of these video clips prove it. I needed a box of tissues to get thru "Seventeen." The Raspberries performance (I think it was on The Mike Douglas Show) was another grabber that made me wistfully nostalgic for those treasured years. Thank you again, dear friend Sush, for showing up for me today. Have a great day and super weekend!

    Shelly - Hello, dear friend! That's an interesting observation about Janis. In the back of our minds we as teenagers must have known the extent to which record companies pandered to us with one syrupy pop confection after another. Janis gave teens credit for having intelligence and dealing with real issues, not just teenage crushes. Thank you very much for contributing to the dialogue, dear friend Shelly. I wish you a safe and happy day and a great weekend!

  4. Okay you and I have to be near the same age - I remember almost ALL of these. What an interesting blog - you must spend a whole lot of time writing these.

    Seventeen was a haunting story to me.

    Love the A team.


  5. Chatty/Sandie - Hello and welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I'm so glad to have you as a follower and I hope you'll always enjoy your visits. Obviously I enjoyed The A Team, too, and decided to borrow the idea for my ongoing series, The D-Team. "At Seventeen" brings tears to my eyes. Anybody who takes time to watch that Janis Ian performance from beginning to end will witness an enormous talent and one of the most important voices of our generation. Thank you very much for coming by, Sandie, and please come back again soon!

  6. wow Janis Ian had some balls! I cant believe how young she was when she penned that tune. I guess some people are just born brilliant. As for The Raspberries...that could be the best band name ever.

  7. Amber Blue Bird - The Raspberries was an inspired name that was synonymous with greatness, kinda like Amber Blue Bird. Since the guys were from Cleveland, they might have named themselves the Parmagranates. (Dated, obscure reference to The Drew Carey Show, which is a dated, obscure reference to the current host of The Price is Right and well, that's why we have Google.) Thank you so much for coming by, dear Amber, and please have a safe and happy weekend!

  8. All the songs and artist you mentioned here were and are still favorites of mine. But two other things really jumped out at me. The Smothers Brothers and Mike Douglas. I saw more talent on the Mike Douglas show than I ever remember. John Lennon, ELO before they added lyrics, Steve Miller when he used to wear make up and costumes, to name just a few. And in 2007 Bruce and I went to see The Smothers Brothers Live at one of the casinos in CT. They were just as good now as they ever were. Laugh...omg. They too had a good show and pushed the envelope. Great post Shady!!

  9. Barb - I loved both of those shows. The Smothers Brothers had a reputation for being hip and controversial but you're right - Mike Douglas was no stick in the mud when it came to showcasing edgy young performers and bands. The Mike Douglas Show was carried by the television station where I worked in the 70s and I got to see just about every program. Mike came across as square but in the final analysis he was a pretty cool guy. Thanks so much for reading, listening and commenting, Barb, and have a great weekend!

  10. I recognized both of Janis Ian's lovely songs. Her voice is amazing and the songs meaningful. I also remember Manfred Mann very well. I had forgotten about all these songs and it was a treat to hear them again, Shady. Thanks!

  11. Belle - You're welcome! It had been years since I listened to "Society's Child" and "At Seventeen" and it was great to hear them again and to be reminded that artists like Janis were part of the solution. Thank you very much for blessing me with your visit and comments, dear friend Belle, and have a safe and happy weekend!

  12. Kleenex time on the lyrics...(sobs)
    Have a wonderful Friday & weekend dear Shady! My apology for not being here just gettin' buzzzzierrr...

    ~much love* 2u

  13. PS:
    You are a wealth of information+knowledge & JOY!

  14. Lenore Nevermore - Welcome back, dear friend! I missed you here as well as over on your site. I wept when I listened to "At Seventeen" and I assume that's the song that also made you reach for the tissues. My dear, you are a wealth of information, knowledge and joy, too, and I am grateful for our friendship. Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. Hi Shady (am I permitted to call you Tom?)

    My week has been rather crazy so I've fallen behind (again!) with reading my favourite blogs. I'm sure you will understand though, since my reason for being so scarce is an unselfish one. I've been on almost full-time puppy watch. Noodle had quite major surgery... three procedures in one, of which the worst has been having her dewclaws removed! Her little back legs have so many stitches and the skin there is so thin. It's been quite a job protecting her from herself since the dressings were removed. She has already managed to get two stitches out, even though we've been using temporary bandages and bitter aloe to discourage biting. She is so full of energy and wants to rush around at supersonic speed much of the time. It's not easy to keep her contained!

    Anyway, I have only really been able to read through this post and not yet found time to listen to the music, but I must say I loved the way you incorporated the A-Team into your B-Team post :) I used to love watching the A-Team and Mr T was one of my favourites in the series. I do not think I know any of the artists you have featured here, so look forward to getting a chance to listen in peace (whenever that might be!) As Lenore Nevermore has certainly are a wealth of knowledge (and I don't just mean from a music perspective!) From the thoughtful comments you leave on everyone's blogs, you appear to be the quintessential student of life!

    Noodle's stitches come out on Thursday. I'm counting the days, now ;)

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thank you again for your charming comment on my blog. I do so enjoy your visits!

  16. Desiree - I surely enjoy your visits as well, dear friend! Thank you very much for the kind words. They mean a great deal to me.

    I know that you've been terribly busy taking care of Noodle and I hope he's mending and healing properly. I have the same challenge with my own dog, Toto. When I apply ointment to soothe her rash she immediately licks and chews it off. She had surgery on her leg a few years ago and the vet recommended that she be crated during recovery but she was never the kind of dog that could tolerate confinement. She wanted to go go go. I wish you the best with your Noodle.

    Once again I thank you for making time to visit, Desiree, and for your generous compliments. It is my pleasure to entertain you. Have a delightful weekend, dear friend!

  17. Can't wait for the next installment from the D Team - I LOVE the Mighty Quinn!! Will pass on your regards to Mother-dear. She's a bit better today but very weak as she hasn't eaten hardly anything all week. Dad is looking after her so I'm sure she'll be fine..... ;)

  18. Gawgus - Thanks for letting me know about your mum. It makes me very sad when she falls ill. I appreciate you making time to come over with an update and I'm glad you liked "Mighty Quinn." Bless you and have a happy weekend, G-T!

  19. Shady you are hilarious, honestly. Good stuff. Definitely enjoyed the music! And though I have not been commenting, I have been reading and listening, but I do apologize! Hope your September has been going well.

  20. Alabee - My September's going much better now that you've returned to blogging, my dear friend! I'm glad I managed to give you a smile and a laugh with this one. I'm also pleased to know that you liked the music selections. Thank you very much for visiting, reading, listening and commenting, dear Alabee. Have a super weekend and please come back soon!

  21. Hi, Shady!

    First of all, the A-Team is always a pleasure to reminisce. Mr. T., Dirk Benedict, and Dwight Schultz outshined George Peppard, but I still liked him, although I thought Banacek was a better role for him. "The Carpetbaggers" was his best movie. Did you know Dwight Schultz married a young lady from Stewartstown, Wendy Fulton, who did many acting roles alongside Jonathan Frakes for years. I worked with Wendy at York Little Theater (she played Gloria Upson in the musical "Mame", which ran for a month) and worked with Jonathan at Penn State Summer Festival Theater in Arthur Kopit's play "Indians" when he was a journalism major there. If you or anyone knows the spy series that Jonathan and Wendy were in, and the first thing I ever saw either perform in, which ran part of the same year that "Saturday Night Live" began, please let me know. I can't find it in any of their bios.

    Barbara & The Browns and The Olympics blew me away, especialy B&TB. It always freaks me out when the Weismeister (only had Mr. Throne for homeroom, never took German) comes up with these R&B songs that fell through the cracks with me. After Barbara. I'm ready to go on YouTube to listen to the Queen of Soul between Mary Wells and Aretha, Carla Thomas. Even the Emperors & Delchords covered some of her songs.

    Never went inside the HUB, but at New Kensington campus (where I started my Penn State career), the three songs in the jukebox I'll always remember were Jimi Hendrix "Gypsy Eyes", Iron Butterfly "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", both which I'd never heard before, and everyone's favorite sing-along song, The Temptations "I Can't Get Next To You".

    Janis Ian stole the show in this blog, and she deserved top billing. Barbara & The Browns came in second. But I certainly enjoyed the Raspberries and Olympics, too, as well as your reminiscences. Kudos!

    Your friend,

  22. Ron - Golly gee, good buddy, this is wonderful feedback and I greatly appreciate it! Yes, I admit that I was a Weis guy back in the day (not a Goodfella) and that I had Throne for German I & II and it was a trip, that's for sure. I saw that PSU crushed E. Michigan on the gridiron today and they've got a new young whippersnapper of a coach named Paterno.

    I'm glad you dug the deep soul styling of Barbara & the Browns as much as I did along with that salute to Mirwood and the Olympics. As I mentioned in the piece Barbara Brown also recorded some great solos. I'm glad you agreed with Janis Ian for top billing. To me that Raspberries clip is priceless. It really makes me wish we could turn back the clock because those were some great times, there's just no getting around it. Thanks again for your comments, Ron, and we'll be seeing you soon in your next feature!

  23. Tonight was a very different evening for me. I read your through all..and will return to read more. What a wonderful story about Shady Dell. One I will remember..if only all teens could have a place to help them through their rough teen years.
    Unique, rare and wonderful people who ran Shady Dell. How lucky you were to have had them during those years.
    We had seven children of our own and since they were so close in age, were in their teens very close together. Their friends were always welcome in our home...and I knew that some parents frowned on us at first..but then knew if their teens were at our home, they were alright. I knew, or suspected that we were talked about..but because of those years we became respected as the years passed and our children grew to be educated adults and well thought of in the community. Business owners, teachers, all seven good people.
    My husband has passed on and I have remarried. I still love and welcome children.

  24. Hi, Mona! Welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I am honored to have you stop by for a visit. I popped over to your site and immediately had my heart stolen by Mele, your adorable ball of fur! I like everything about your blog: the warm, inviting layout, the lush colors, the pictures of your lovely family, the music, and the love vibe that radiates from the page. You can certainly feel proud of your blog and of your delightful family. Please come back again soon, Mona. Your comments are greatly appreciated and I hope to keep you entertained if not informed. Thanks again and good night to you out on the West Coast!

  25. Ta da!! Roll of drums please - I'm here!!! Like Sush, I've been MIA as well, but always have to make time to come over to see my dear friend. Look at all your comments on this post. I'm so pleased, because you really do put so much thought and effort into each and every post that you write. AND look at all the extra Followers you are attracting to The Shady Dell! Congrats dear Tom. I always loved the A Team. Watched the recent movie version, but thought it was a very diluted version of the original tv series. Of course, it was the cast that made the series, and who could ever forget Mr T!! (All that bling!). Gosh, mention of The Smothers Brothers brought back memories. I'm almost sure they used to have a tv show over here in England way way back. Gosh, Janis Ian is another one that I've never heard of. I've obviously led a very sheltered life over here in England. LOL! Of course, I loved Manfred Mann and The Mighty Quinn. It's always good for me to listen to new songs and new artistes that I've never heard of before, so thank you for that. Hope that all is well with you my friend.

  26. Thisisme - It's so good to hear from you, dear friend. I've been thinking about you and hoping you're feeling better day by day. Yes, I am very happy about the new followers and the fact that new and different people are commenting. I am well aware that some, perhaps most of the people that come my way do so because of my connection with you and your fine blog. I agree with you that the chemistry of the original A-Team cast could not be replicated in the movie version. They've tried it with Leave it to Beaver, Bewitched, Beverly Hillbillies and many other shows but never equaled the original. I must admit, however, that the recent movie The Little Rascals based on the Our Gang comedies was a good one. Thisisme, I sincerely hope you're on the mend. It means the world to me that you took the time to visit and leave such lovely comments. Thank you, dear friend, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  27. Being that all your posts are unique, Shady, I came away from this one with it being one of the more unique of the uniques.(smile) As you're told often, we learn so much from your work. It's been many years since I'd head Janis Ian's two hits. In her youth, I'm going to call her a "visionary prodigy". Such wisdom and maturity in her words and demeanor in the clip. I didn't remember "I'll Do A Little Bit More" but really liked it and the video. What fond memories you must have, Shady, of the HUB! So many stories behind the "Mighty Quinn", I always loved that song. That was a sad and soulful song Barbara Brown was singing, I could hear/feel the "urgency", too. Odd it seems to me that it took soul scholars in the UK to resurrect "To Know I Can't Touch". Then again, we know those old words about a prophet being without honor ...

    A big 'thank you' for a great post!

  28. Cindy - You're very welcome, my dear friend. I thank you for taking the time to visit, read, listen and post your usual insightful comments. I'm glad you mentioned that long lost Barbara Brown recording because it's only the tip of a very large iceberg. For decades, enthusiasts in the UK and in other parts of Western Europe who have a genuine love of the music have been culling rare, forgotten American soul and R&B recordings from the vaults, remastering them, and bringing them to market in high quality compilations on vinyl and compact disc. American record companies have no motivation to resurrect old obscure material unless it's profitable, and when they do the production is usually inferior with the resulting sound being thin, muddy or experimental in nature. Thank you again for delighting me with your presence, dear Cindy, and have an enjoyable Tennessee Sunday!

  29. I've seen lately Mr T selling some stuff on TV (TV-market). This was sad...

  30. Wanilianna - I pity the fool who touches Mr. T's bling! (LOL) Well, that's news to me, dear friend. I'll have to be on the lookout for it, unless he's only selling stuff on Polish TV. I'm always happy to see you over here, Wanilianna. Thank you very much for stopping by and please come again soon!


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