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 29, 2011

Me Likey the 70s! Part 2


Ask any boomer. The 60s wasn't all Vietnam, hippies and Woodstock. Likewise, there was a lot more to the 70s than disco. In Part 1, I brought you some of my favorite non-disco recordings of the 70s along with a rare dance track by Sister Sledge that was an example of early disco done right. Today in Part 2 I'm doing the same thing. This time its David Ruffin providing the lone disco style recording. Let's party!


Rare Earth the band and Rare Earth the record label: both were fresh and new at the start of 1970. In the late 60s, Motown Records was updating its image and sound to keep pace with the changing times. Motown signed an all white Detroit band called the Sunliners and changed its name to Rare Earth, the name company executives had chosen for the new pop/rock label subsidiary aimed primarily at white audiences. The band made an initial splash with "Get Ready," a psychedelicized cover of the 1966 Temptations hit. Rare Earth’s take on "Get Ready" stands out in my mind as the most memorable Dell song of 1970.

My featured Rare Earth recording is "Born to Wander," a track from the band's second album Ecology. "Born to Wander" was released as a single at the end of 1970, charted into the new year and made the top 20.

"Born to Wander" - Rare Earth 
(January 1971, highest chart position #17) 


Jon Mark and Johnny Almond are London session musicians who worked with John Mayall, the Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithful and Jimmy Page before forming their own band in 1970.

While other bands were busy mixing rock with the blues,
the Mark-Almond collaboration explored uncharted territory - a blend of jazz, prog rock, latin, pop, art-rock and folk that defied concrete categorization. One of Mark-Almond's best loved early works is the 11 and-a-half minute long opus entitled "The City: Grass And Concrete/Taxi To Brooklyn/ Speak Easy It’s A Whiskey Scene." At times mellow, at times heavy, this was the stuff of which late night/early morning FM radio broadcasts were made and frequently experienced while listeners were grazing in the grass. Click to enter this place. Surprises await you around every corner in "The City."

"The City: Grass And Concrete/ 
Taxi To Brooklyn/Speak Easy 
It’s A Whiskey Scene." - Mark-Almond 
(from 1971 album Mark-Almond


English glammer Gary Glitter was born Paul Gadd, took the stage name Paul Raven, then decided to change his name again. Experimenting with alliteration and working backward from the letter Z, Gadd eventually came up with the name Gary Glitter but only after toying with possibilities that included Terry Tinsel, Stanley Sparkle and Vicky Vomit!





Glitter's signature song was "Rock and Roll," a long jam edited for radio and divided into two parts on the A and B sides
of a single. The A side instrumental, "Rock and Roll (Part 1)," reached #1 in France. The B side, "Rock and Roll (Part 2)," featured the chanted word "hey" throughout and was the more popular side in other countries, hitting the top 10 in
the USA and #2 in the UK. Pro sports franchises adopted "The Hey Song," as it was nicknamed, and played it over stadium PA systems to whip up crowds during home games.

"Rock and Roll (Part Two)" - Gary Glitter 
(September 1972, highest chart position 
#7 Billboard, #4 Cash Box


Ike and Tina Turner have their own wing in the Shady's Law Hall of Fame (Shame). The volatile couple released more than their share of fine recordings that didn't perform very well on the Billboard chart. Case in point: "River Deep - Mountain High," a record produced by Phil Spector and regarded by the Wall of Sound maestro as his career best. The record went top 5 in Britain but only climbed to #88 stateside before tumbling back down the slippery slope. "Baby-Get It On," was another great Ike & Tina rock record that stopped at #88 on the pop chart. The 1975 single was the last one released by the turbulent team. Here they are along with their backing singers the Ikettes performing the song on Wolfman Jack's Midnight Special.

"Baby-Get It On" - Ike & Tina Turner 
(June 1975, highest chart position #88) 


After leaving the Motown super group, former Temptations lead singers David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks enjoyed moderately successful solo careers during the 70s. Eddie racked up two smashes with "Keep on Truckin'" and "Boogie Down" while David reaped hits with "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)," "I've Got to Find Myself a Brand New Baby," and "I've Lost Everything I've Ever Loved." Like many other artists David Ruffin made a mid 70s transition to disco material, achieving hits with "Walk Away from Love" and "Heavy Love" both songs taken from his 1975 album
Who I Am. So if your Ruffin ready please listen to one of
David's best, the reflective, autobiographical title track.

"Who I Am" - David Ruffin (October 1975 
from album Who I Am


Australia's Little River Band capped off the me decade with the release of a double sided hit single, both songs culled from the 1979 album First Under the Wire. "Lonesome Loser" was the first side to get noticed stateside, breaking into the top 10 after Labor Day.

"Lonesome Loser" - Little River Band 
(September 1979, highest chart position #6) 

The killer bee side of the single, "Cool Change," began charting just before Halloween, was a fixture on the radio during the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year holiday period, and reached its zenith in the top 10 at the start of 1980. Written by lead singer Glenn Shorrock, "Cool Change" is one of the greenest pop songs of the 20th century and was included on the list of the Top 30 Australian Songs of all time. I can't listen to it without getting misty, can you?

"Cool Change" - Little River Band 
(December 1979, highest chart 
position #10) 

"Cool Change" is one of those transcendent songs that resonates with people of all ages and invites a broader interpretation of its lyrics. To me it's an admonition that is far more urgent today than it was in 1979, a rallying call to every generation to preserve our planet's natural resources and live in harmony with all creatures great and small.







Ready for a cool change? Lord knows I am.

Have a Shady day!


  1. Hi Tom. Surely I can't be the first to comment today?! I liked David Ruffin very much. There were several tunes today that I hadn't heard of before, but I don't think the 70's was really my decade, music wise!! I have Ike & Tina Turner's Mountain Deep, Mountain High on my jukebox. To me, it still sounds as good today as it did when it was first released. Such a different sound. Gary Glitter was huge over here in England of course. It's quite sad now that we know of the darker side with how Ike used to beat Tina around, and Gary Glitter, of course, has been disgraced with his love of paedophilia. Quite sad really.

  2. Once again, you leave me gaping open-mouthed at all the detail and research that goes into your posts! I wish my brain wasn't so foggy and I could recall these interesting facts to toss into polite conversation :)

    Your final pièce de résistance is so relevant (as you said!) to today! And, again, as you've already pointed out, what an indictment on mankind that we are nowhere close to improving the way we treat the planet or each other, than we were all those years back!

  3. Thisisme - I'm delighted that you singled out that somewhat rare David Ruffin track because it's a big favorite of mine as well. There are indeed many dark stories in the history of pop and rock music and Ike & Tina, Gary Glitter and David Ruffin for that matter are all examples of the troubled lives that some of our heroes had and, in some cases still have. (Sly Stone is another example in the news recently.) Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend Thisisme, and please take good care of yourself!

    Desiree - Yes, dear friend, that's what's so troubling. We listen to decades old speeches by political and spiritual leaders or to the lyrics of pop songs crying out for change, and yet here we are still stuck with many of the same problems all these years later. It's depressing, but as long as good men and women remain vigilant and work together there's always hope that we can build a better world. Thank you very much for your enlightened comments, dear friend Desiree, and good night to you in South Africa!

  4. I wasnt sure what to make of the Mark-Almond collaboration but on second listen I am digging it. Its smooth and provides the perfect soundtrack to red wine kinda night. As for Tina Turner, she just couldnt be any hotter. My goodness I wish I could move like her!

  5. Amber Blue Bird - I'm glad you revisited "The City" and got into it. It certainly is a the kind of track that goes nicely with a glass of wine and helps you to unwind and mellow out at the end of the day. Nobody could shake and shimmy like Tina Turner and I'm glad you enjoyed that electrifying Midnight Special performance. So nice of your to swing by, Amber, and I'll be seeing you soon over at your groovy blog spot. Have a nice evening, dear friend!

  6. So many great songs here, Shady! I enjoyed them all. Such memories from "Get Ready" and "Born to Wonder". I could not remember "Mark~Almond" but I have to tell you I LOVED "The City" and your commentary on this was especially special! I am a fan of smooth jazz and this song had 'that sound'. As I always learn something new from you, enjoyed the history behind "The Hey Song". That Tina sure knows how to 'get it on'! Also this morning I enjoyed "Who I Am" and "Lonesome Loser".

    Born under the "sign of water" as was sung in "Cool Change", this song and the video was absolutely beautiful! (I love water!) Those porpoises/dolphins were frolicking like children, you could almost see them smile.

    Ready for a "Cool Change"? What's it goin' to take? (sigh)

    A wonderful blog post, Shady! Thank you so much! ☺

  7. Cindy - There's hope for the world with outstanding citizens like you in it. I am so pleased to see your smiling face once again and to read your thoughtful commentary. That long track of "The City" takes me back to those late 60s, early 70s late night FM radio broadcasts. Locally, in York, PA, WSBA radio had a progressive album rock program called The Sound Experiment from midnight till 3:00 on Sunday mornings hosted by Bill Campbell. It was radically different from the hyped up, fast paced top 40 radio format to which I had been exposed until then. The program was laid back. Bill spoke in a subdued tone, almost a whisper. Dead air (silence), something that had long been dreaded on the radio and associated with blunders or technical difficulties, became an important part of Bill's and similar programs. He didn't talk over the music like DJ's did on AM radio. He introduced the track, there was a second or two of silence, and then the music began. The approach worked. Younger, hipper audiences tuned in and turned on. Thank you very much for being here with me today, dear Cindy, and I hope you have a great weekend!

  8. Oh how bad it hurts when I think back to the fire that burned in us back in the 6os and 70s to change the world, We were going to be the ones to fix it all and bring peace to the world. We came so close but let it slip away. So here we are looking back did we do any good, may be a little but we could have done so much more, Thanks my friend for another great post, your words help my mind go back to those days of hope, A Dell Rat All Ways

  9. Greg - Hello, good buddy! I agree with you that it's painful to look back at our boomer years and remember how much energy, enthusiasm and idealism we had and how certain we were that we could make a difference. Yet, many of the same problems still exist and some are even worse. All we can do is keep that fire inside us burning and continue to set a good example for younger generations to follow. The 50s and 60s are very much back in style these days and many of today's young people are getting caught up in the spirit of the era and not just the fashions. They are asking the same questions that we did. They are politically involved. They are volunteering. They are taking action to save the planet, feed the hungry and end war. They are part of the solution. "Teach your children well." Thank you very much for coming by, Greg, and please take good care of yourself, my friend!

  10. I had/have most of those records!!Sending big hugs and sincere wishes for a weekend filled with joy, Katherine

  11. Katie - I owned the eponymous first Rare Earth album and their second one, Ecology. I also owned the David Ruffin album Who I Am and the Gary Glitter single. I remember listening to the other songs on the radio with the exception of "The City" by Mark-Almond which I came to know in recent years when it showed up on a various artists CD that I purchased. Thank you very much for delighting me with your visit, dear friend, and have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Gary Glitter was an eyeful! I love those stretchy costumes his band was wearing! I remember the song and like it. The Tina Turner video wasn't working when I turned it on. Great songs, I didn't know them all but enjoyed them.

  13. Belle - I just checked the Ike & Tina video and it played okay for me. Thanks for letting me know, however, just in case. The two greatest challenges for me are to find the original versions of songs on You/Tube and then hope that the embeds all remain active at least for the three of four days that the post is on my front page. You wouldn't believe how many times I must hunt for new video clips and load them into posts to replace expired ones before publishing a draft. I'm glad you enjoyed today's musical menu, dear Belle, and I hope you have a safe and happy weekend!

  14. I really liked Greg Gulden's comments and I really can't add anything more to what Greg wrote about then and now. He sums it up so well.

    Regarding the music, I had forgotten "Born To Wander" and enjoyed it. I used to have it and "I Just Want To Celebrate" which I still think helps improve any day. Enjoyed "The City", though I'd never heard Mark-Almond. That was even mellower than the Rare Earth. Learned that there were lyrics to "Rock and Roll"---"rock and roll". Good football song. Never heard "Baby Get It On". Was the most singing Ike did in a song since "It's Gonna Work Out Fine". Tina looked great, our generation's Betty Grable, and she still looks good for 71. So glad she got away from Ike and started singing and living upbeat. She deserved it. Have to check out more David Ruffin. Only knew "My Whole World Ended" from solo career. Always enjoy the Little River Band. "Cool Change" was like Tommy James's "Draggin' The Line"---I didn't know for years who sang it. Thanks for the reminiscences, the newbies (to me), all the great bunch of reggies and their comments, and your and Greg's words of encouragement. I think we're making a difference, however small. Have a great weekend, Shady.

  15. Ron - I'm surprised by how many of these songs were new to your ears. It just goes to show that we all have our own unique filtering systems and blind spots. An artist or record that played a major role in one person's life might have played little or no role in another's. It's wonderful to hear from both you and Greg on the same day. I already heard from Jerre via private email. Find out what's on Jerre's mind in my next post. All Dell rats will wanna be here as we kick of a special 5-part series on Monday morning. Thank you very much for your comments, Ron, and have a great weekend in New Mexico!

  16. Another great list Tom! :) Some of these are new to me, but others I've definitely heard! :)

  17. Kristina - Stay tuned, dear friend, because I'll soon be starting a 4-part series on music of the 80s. Hopefully you will be familiar with most or all of those recordings. Give your fur babies a pat for me and thank you very much for visiting, dear Kristina!

  18. Shady!
    Isn't that speeeecial!
    my-my...haven't heard that line for a looong time! LOL*
    Don't forget Pan Am this Sunday, can't wait!


  19. Lenore Nevermore - I'm glad you're old enough to remember the SNL church lady! Will I ever miss an episode of Pan-Am? NEVERMORE! I've got my cable box programmed to record the fly girl series because it's the best new show on television. Buckle up for adventure! Thank you very much for your kind visit, dear friend Lenore, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  20. Ike & Tina - bring it on!! Unfortunately, Mr Glitter doesn't get mentioned anymore on our shores because of his penchant for certain things... Hubby wants to know where he can buy the Jacks you've got featured on here. If we do a google search for 'Jacks' will something like these come up? Thanks and have a great Sunday..!

  21. cute blog:) i follow you!!!

    xoxo A.

  22. Gawgus Things - I'm glad Ike & Tina rock your world. Your mum wrote much the same thing about Vicky Vomit aka Gary Glitter and I read all about his transgressions in my research. "Jacks" was the nickname the Dell guys gave to the Jack Purcell athletic shoe that most of us wore. Here's some background on Jack Purcell:

    Jacks are now manufactured by Converse and here is a link to the official Converse site where you can view all of the scrummy new styles and colors:

    Thank you very much for coming to see me, G-T, and have a wonderful Sunday!

    Anna - Hello and welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I'm so glad you stopped by and liked what you saw and heard. I would be delighted to have you as a new follower! My goal is to entertain and inform you, to give you something to smile about and something to think about, and I will always reply to your comments. Thank you very much, Anna, and have a safe and happy week ahead!

  23. Hi Tom,
    Oh I'm so late to this party and I'm afraid I've missed a few previous ones I cannot apologize enough! I sure enjoyed the music memories here! I was lucky enough to hear Ike and Tina Turner live one summer in Cape Cod! What a thrill for me!

    I've been in and out here but not lots of time to comment so even if I DON'T appear to be here...sometimes...I am!


  24. Sush - You don't need to apologize, dear friend. I know you've had a lot on your plate in recent weeks. I missed you, however, and it's great to see your smiling face again. Catching a live performance of Ike and Tina must have been very exciting. I can only imagine the impact of experiencing that spectacular stage show up close and personal. Thank you very much for being here with me today, dear friend Sush, and I sincerely hope your situation is improving day by day!


You talkin' to me?