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

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ron & Shady Present: Ebony and Ivory


 Dell Rat Ron Shearer's back 

 and he's haulin' sixteen tons 

 of soul cargo!  Meanwhile, 

 I'll be spinning some super 

 sounds by white artists. 

 Go Ron, GO!!! 


 Shady, I came 
 across a couple 
 of very soulful 
 songs by a young 
 lady from our teens. 
 Judging by some of 
 the songs you have 
 turned me onto, 
 I think you may 
 enjoy them. They 
 will definitely melt 
 the lady listeners, 
 as they did in their 
 original time.  
 May I present 
 Ms. Theola Kilgore 
 with her first hit and 
 then her follow-up.  

"The Love of My Man" - Theola Kilgore (June 1963, 
highest chart position #21) 

"This is My Prayer" - Theola Kilgore (September 1963, 
highest chart position #60) 


 This ballad was a consistently popular request on the 
 Rock 180 Club and the Dell Jukebox. This vocal group 
 was from Philadelphia. The Capris group that recorded 
 "There's A Moon Out Tonight" was from New York City. 
 Every girl that I knew melted over this song and it was 
 always a great reason to wrap your arms around the most 
 appealing young lady and slow dance to it with her.  It 
 brings tears to my eyes to hear such a well-loved song in 
 the earlier years of the Dell (for me) and my early teens. 

The Capris, "God Only Knows" (1954/55) 

 Ron, I got chills and 
 fever after hearing 
 those three!  

They are prime examples of the slow, sweet, unsophisticated, gospel-tinged doo-wop R&B songs that were cherished by the Dell rats of old.

 At this point let's dry our eyes and add 
 a refreshing dash of vanilla extract to 
 the mix. Please listen to a few of the 
 treats that I brought along for the ride. 


Memphis, Tennessee's Royden Dickey Lipscomb wisely chose the stage name Dickey Lee. Dickey is best known for his weepy teen tragedy hits "Patches" and "Laurie" but along with telling ghost tales he also knew how to lift our spirits. Case in point: "I Saw Linda Yesterday," a Dion DiMucci derivation ("Runaround Sue" meets "Lovers Who Wander") and one of the great feel good records of the early 60s.

"I Saw Linda Yesterday" - Dickey Lee (January 1963, 
highest chart position #14) 


Compared to British invaders who rocked hard, Herman’s Hermits were on the teen pop end of the spectrum. The group’s image was clean cut and wholesome. Lead singer Peter Noone was cute and cuddly and had a boyish voice. Little girls squealed and parents approved. In early 1967 Herman’s Hermits surprised me with "There’s a Kind of Hush," a mature, sophisticated piece of work featuring restrained Peter Noone vocals and lush orchestral backing.  It was a welcome departure from "I'm Henry VIII, I Am," a maddening nursery rhyme ditty, and similar adolescent material that the group released.  "Hush" performed well in the USA, cracking the top 5 on the U.S. pop chart.

"There's a Kind of Hush" - Herman's Hermits (April 1967, 
highest chart position #4) 

Fast forward to the early 1990s: Peter Noone dropped by the Tampa TV station where I worked as production manager. He was touring with an oldies revival show and visited our studio to tape a promotional interview. I can testify that Peter still looked much the same as he did in the following video which was recorded a quarter century earlier.  Here, rendered with the same laid back maturity, is the B side of the "Hush" single and a top 40 hit, "No Milk Today."

"No Milk Today" - Herman's Hermits (April 1967, 
highest chart position #35) 

 Ron, I see you cuing up 

 another favorite of mine. 

 Let's hear it! 


 For all the people who are tired of hearing "Do You Love 
 Me", a song I still love by the Contours, let me give you a 
 break with one of their many other good songs, this one 
 later covered by the J. Geils Band. 

"First I Look At The Purse" - Contours (September 1965, 
highest chart position #57) 

 Ron, you're the boss, hoss! 

 Let's wrap things up with 

 two more solid senders


My admiration for Lesley Gore continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Her many excellent Brill Building style recordings are durable evergreens that still sound fresh and still provide solace in a world replete with cynicism, chaos and violence.

I never get tired of listening to Lesley Gore's songs...even her best known million sellers. Slap one of her seldom heard killer bees on the turntable and I'm over the moon!

Here's one of my favorites. "Run Bobby, Run" is the flip side of "You Don't Own Me" a smash hit that rocketed to #2 at the height of Beatlemania.

"Run Bobby, Run" - Lesley Gore (February 1964, 
uncharted B side of "You Don't Own Me") 


 Let's slow it down and make it mellow 
 with a timely tune and a titillating TV 
 tie-in. (Say that 5 times fast!) 

Tonight NBC will roll the dice and premier the somewhat controversial new television series The Playboy Club hoping that viewers will multiply like bunnies. Let's turn back the clock to 1968 when the Nashville duo of Gene and Debbe (sic) gave us "Playboy," a top 20 hit that went on to sell a million copies. Gene and Debbe recorded country style pop and released records on TRX, a subsidiary of the Nashville based Hickory label. Debbe had a velvety, kittenish voice that reminded me of Hickory vocalist Sue Thompson only a little more seductive. Gene and Debbe were one-hit-wonders but their "Playboy" was like butta and I never get tired of it!

"Playboy" - Gene and Debbe (May 1968, 
highest chart position #17) 

 Ron, you have something to add? 

 Shady, reading your blog is 
 bringing so many songs back 
 to me and I hope you don't 
 mind me sharing them with 
 you. Feel free to pay them 
 forward, and I hope you don't 
 mind me turning you onto songs 
 you missed or reminding you of 
 songs you've forgotten. I'm just 
 doing for you what you're doing 
 for me. 

Not only don't I mind, Ron, I greatly appreciate your contributions! The way I see it we are all learning from
each other.

 Ron, thanks for comin' 

 'round here and bringing 

 us a musical mother lode! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Although I' hadn't heard of her before this morning, I now absolutely love Theola Kilgore! I'm going to be checking on Itunes to see if I can find any of her work there.

    I'm also glad you showed the more adult side of Herman's Hermits. I wonder what artists like these fellows would like to be remembered more for- their teen pop or their more serious, artistic material?

    Once again, good friend Shady, you've gotten the morning off to a great start. Thank you for always putting so much thoughtful effort into these very informative posts!

  2. Shelly - Theola Kilgore tugs at your heartstrings, doesn't she? It's such a shame that much of modern R&B is all about sexing you up. Dell rats know that old fashioned deep soul with religious overtones is much more powerful. Peter Noone still had that boyish grin when I met him in the 90s. His face was plastered on the walls of many pre-teen girls in the mid 60s. Thank you very much for visiting today, dear Shelly, and I hope you have a fabulous week!

  3. Great selections. I always enjoyed "God Only Knows". I found it many years ago on one of the Jerry Blavat for Lovers Only albums. Those albums have some great songs that many might not have heard. I saw Peter at Hershey Park when he was doing an oldies tour. Still had that unmistakeable voice.

  4. Jerre - I'll bet Peter was still grinning from ear to ear, same as always, correct? I'm glad you liked Ron's older selections. Trust me there will be many more. In fact, Ron and I put together a special post for you and all of the other true, old school Dell rats. It's entitled Dueling Doo-Wops and I'll be posting it ten days from now so please be here! Thanks so much for coming by, Jerre, and have a wonderful week!

  5. Everything else faded after seeing Herman's Hermits. I was 7 years old and a huge fan. Had their albums and thought Peter Noone was the most adorable boy I'd ever seen. My maiden name is Brannon so I'd sing "Mrs. Brannon you've got a lovely daughter"! I saw him at a fair a few years back and boy has he aged well. What a cutie still. Thanks for the memories!!!

  6. Hi, Bouncin' Barb! - That's a cute story! I suspect millions of girls plugged in their own last names when singing the song no matter if it was Brown, Smith, Jones or McGillicutty! (LOL) Yes, Peter Noone emerged from the deep end of the gene pool and I'm sure he'll keep his boyish good looks at least another 50 years. It's wonderful to see you again, Barb. Have a wonderful week and please come back soon, dear friend!

  7. I really have enjoyed this post's musical selection, Shady! It must take ages to prepare these posts, yet they arrive so regularly, it would almost seem to belie this fact. I can see how much thought and effort goes into each one and it's obvious you love doing them. I trust you are having an enjoyable Monday. My day has ended, so I am now heading off to enjoy a good night's rest.

  8. Desiree - Yes, we are on opposite sides of the world, yet so very close in our friendship. I am thrilled to have you come by again and sample some songs. I admit that a lot of research and composition goes into most of these posts but I trust that your posts take just as long if not longer to produce. It's fun, isn't it? Keep in mind that Ron and I are learning new things about artists and their music just as you are. Good night to you, my dear friend in South Africa, and may you have a delightful week ahead!

  9. Herman’s Hermits are the bees knees. Kind of like an early version of the Backstreet boys :) I for one am looking forward to The Playboy Club. I hope its as good as the previews! Have a great Monday!

  10. Amber Blue Bird - Eddie Cibrian has been a big draw for the ladies ever since he played Matt Clark on The Young and the Restless in the mid 90s. I'm anxious to see him in The Playboy Club. I'm also looking forward to the premier of the other new nostalgia series Pan-Am starring Christina Ricci. Thanks so much for swinging by, dear Amber, and have a great week!

  11. Very enjoyable post, Shady. I'd never heard Theola Kilgore before but was mightily impressed with her singing! I remember Dicky Lees songs. Liked them a lot. One of my favorite bands was Herman's Hermits. He did age well! They had a different sound and I loved it. Hush is my favorite song of theirs. I'd forgotten about No Milk Today. Great song also.

    I have to say, "First I Look at the Purse" cracked me up. The lyrics were funny.

  12. Hello, Belle! So nice of you to drop by! "First I Look at the Purse" is a funny song but it's also one of the best dance records I've ever heard. It was perfect for a dance party where kids formed a long line and performed synchronized steps as in Hairspray. I'm glad you agree with me that "Hush" is the definitive Herman's Hermits recording. Thanks again for coming around and for your generous comments, dear friend Belle! Have a super week up there!

  13. What a stunning voice Theola Kilgore has - really soulful. I've heard all of those Herman Hermit's songs before as well! Love reading your posts, Shady (and Ron!). Thanks for sharing. Have a great week Shady and Alfred sends his woofs across the water :)

  14. Gawgus - Wasn't there a popular song by Paul McCartney called "Woofs across the water... wags across the sky?" (LOL) I'm delighted to hear from you, G-T! How's mum? I'm hoping she's bounced back by now. Tell her I'm thinking about her. How's Alfred? Please give him a treat for me. Thank you very much for looking and listening today, and please have a delightful evening in Paris, my special friend!

  15. Shady...Can you send me an email as I don't have your email address?

  16. Hi Tom my dear friend. Here I am, at last, drugged up with painkillers so that I can post a comment here this evening. It always amazes me when I read your posts, how some of the artistes made it across to England, and quite a lot we hadn't heard of over here. I'd certainly never heard of Theola Kilgore, but, my goodness, what a wonderful soulful voice she had. Likewise, The Capris, and Dickie Lee I had never heard of. I was always surprised that Herman's Hermits did so well over there in America, but you are right, There's a Kind Of Hush was certainly one of his best. Interesting that you saw him all those years later. As he looked so boyish, I can imagine that he aged well! I think you know already that you've hit the spot for me with Lesley Gore. It's My Party is still one of my favourite records from the 60's. Take care my friend.

  17. Thisisme - Hello, dear friend! I'm so glad to know you're up and around and feeling a bit better. Maybe a tall glass of that fresh squeezed apple juice was just the tonic you needed, correct? The pop music business has its surprises, that's for sure. Some artists that were #1 in the UK failed to catch on in America. Some American artists (particularly those in the northern soul category) became much more popular in England than they were stateside. Thank you very much for visiting, dear Thisisme, and I hope you enjoy a restful evening in lovely Devon!

  18. Shady and Ron have been hard at work again! Ron's soulful songs by Theola Kilgore were special! There are many secular songs with Christian themes. I was not familiar with Theola Kilgore and read she had a gospel background. May I add I read "The Love of My Man" was an adaptation of the song, "The Love of God". I really liked the other songs posted, too. Always a Herman's Hermits fan, I don't recall "No Milk Today" but really liked it. As Shady mentioned, "First I Look at the Purse" is a good 'dance' song.

    No wonder I didn't have many dates: First they looked at my purse! ;~O

    Truly a wonderful blog post, Shady and Ron! Thank you both!

  19. Cindy - I would think that it would take most men quite a while to notice that you were even carrying a purse, beautiful woman that you were and are. Regarding Herman's Hermits, I'm surprised you don't remember "No Milk Today" because it was played nearly as often as "Hush" by my local radio station. I'm surprised MGM didn't release "Milk" as an A side because it could have gone top 10 stateside. It's wonderful to hear from you, dear friend, Cindy. I hope all's well and that your smiling face will be back here soon!


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