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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ruffin Ready & Bjorn to Be Wild! 36 Years Ago Today the Battle of the Bandstand was Fought and Won, but by Who or Whom?


Greetings and salutations, cool peeps!  
I'm Sir Monti Rock III.

I'm new
I'm fresh
I'm rad, dad
I'm what's poppin'...
a whole new scene
a whole new bag
a whole new thang
I'm the latest
I'm the greatest
Dig yourself
Check yourself
Luv yourself
Now get over yourself, baby!

Mr. Knight is off addressing the United Nations General Assembly and he asked me to fill in for him and keep you entertained for a couple of days. He told me you people like oldies but goodies, so I've been trying all day to dig up some early Gaga. 

I'll keep looking but meanwhile I thought I'd give you a musical history lesson. You probably know me better as Disco Tex, lead singer of Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes. 

"Get Dancin'" - Disco Tex & the Sex-O-Lettes 
(January 1975, highest chart position #10) 

I put together my studio act Disco Tex & the Sex-O-Lettes with the help of Bob Crewe, the veteran songwriter and producer who founded DynoVoice Records and had a hand
in making some of the biggest hits of the 60s and 70s. Bob's successes include some of the most popular records by the Four Seasons including this top ten hit from the fall of 1964.

"Save it For Me" - Four Seasons (October 1964, 
highest chart position #10) 

At Christmas time 1965, Bob Crewe's dynoVoX subsidiary released a top 5 charting single by Barbara Harris and her R&B trio the Toys, rockin' the Bach with "A Lover's Concerto."

"A Lover's Concerto" - Toys (December 1965, highest chart 
position #2) 

Early in 1966 the Toys cracked the top 20 with their follow-up single, "Attack."

"Attack" - Toys (February 1966, highest chart position #18, 
clip from 1967 movie It's a Bikini World

Crewe's company just missed the top 20 with the release of this quirky recording by Norma Tanega.

"Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" - Norma Tanega (April 1966, 
highest chart position #22) 

Crewe helped the English band the Tremeloes make a serious run at the top 10 with "Silence is Golden," a cover of a Four Seasons' original.

"Silence is Golden" - Tremeloes (August 1967, highest chart 
position #11) 

Crewe produced a top 5 hit for Oliver with "Good Morning Starshine," a song from the rock musical Hair.

"Good Morning Starshine" - Oliver (July 1969, highest chart 
position #3) 

 Now for the main event, the Battle of the Bandstand. Check out two of the hippest clips in pop history. Both of these performances took place during the same episode of American Bandstand which was broadcast on November 15th, 1975 --- 36 years ago today! The first act gets two A's and two B's. It's Abba. Dig this!

Yo, Aggie! Don't you know it's bad manners to turn your back to the audience, girlfriend? (Infraction occurs at 2:12.) Can we forgive the lady just this once, guys? Let's have a show of hands.

Up next, former lead singer of the Temptations, doing the solo thing, turning the beat around and hitting big on the club scene - Mr. David Ruffin!

And there you have it. 36 years ago today on American Bandstand, Abba and David Ruffin were rockin' you, babies. Well, I gotta scoot. I'm doin' the Carson gig for the 50th time and I'm already fashionably late.

The fun's just begun!  Don't dare miss tomorrow's post when

Bill Shatner takes on Vanilla Ice in the semi-finals!



  1. I'm sorry, Disco Tex that I hadn't heard of you before today. I appreciate you filling in in our dear fried Shady's absence. Hopefully he can talk some sense to the folks over at the U.N.

    Actually, I DO remember ABBA singing on Bandstand that day. Their outfits were weird, even for the 70's, but their sound was magical. I've been listening to them ever since. I was thrilled when Mama Mia came out.

    Tell our firend Shady that after he finishes brokering world peace, to head back over here to the Dell!

  2. Shelly - You wrote: "our dear fried Shady." Ha! I must have been "fried" when I came up with this weird post! (LOL) Long before he became known as Disco Tex, Monti Rock III was a regular guest on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. I must have seen him a couple dozen times during the 60s. He was an original, a quirky character who always cracked Johnny up. Those two Bandstand performances that day were among the greatest I ever witnessed. Both acts were at their peak at the time of the taping. It's hard to believe that 36 years have passed and that those young Abba members have grown old and Mr. Ruffin is no longer with us. Thank you very much for flashing back to the 60s and 70s with Sir Monti Rock, dear Shelly, and have yourself a great day!

  3. Oh my- I really couldn't spell this morning! I was typing in the dark so as not to wake hubby- I need to use a little flashlight or something to help me proofread!

  4. Shelly - AOK! My brain is usually "fried" when I write this stuff so you still got it right! (LOL) Thanks for checking back, dear friend!

  5. I thought Vanilla Ice had been completely forgotten 20 years ago!

  6. Wanilianna - Hahaha! Gone but not forgotten, dear friend, at least not on my blog. I love to remind people of performers they might not have have heard or even thought about in decades. Sir Monti Rock is another example. I'm so glad to see you, Wanilianna. It's very sweet of you to come by. Have a terrific evening in Poland and please give your lab a biscuit for me.

  7. 'Get Dancin' had some stars in it I recognized but don't remember their names. Everyone is doin the Twist I see! I loved that dance when I was young. It was good exercise for the waist too.

    I'd forgotten the Toys and liked their songs, but I remember liking 'Walkin' my Cat Named Dog," more. It was played a lot out west. Also like 'Silence is Golden' and 'Good Mornin' Sunshin.' Great songs all. I have to say though that Abba's songs always blew me away. I loved their sound, melody and words.
    I'm looking forward to Captain Kirk's performance! Thanks for the memories Shady and have a lovely day.

  8. Some great known and unknown tunes for me today! Love the disco beat of the first track and so good to see one of my faves - Abba on the list! A demain!

  9. Great songs today Tom, you KNOW you've been to a great party when you hear, 'My chiffon is wet, my wig is wet'! Thought I'd fall over laughing at that part! Lots of familiar faces and Betty White at the disco?!?
    Walking my cat named find ones I'd forgotten I knew. Dog is a good old cat...!!!
    I'd heard Lovers Concerto but not familiar with Attack. Silence is Golden and Good Morning Starshine were always playing on my 'record player'...which is what I had back when those songs were popular! ABBA and Go Go boots...and my daughter thinks she invented the stylish wearing of boots..HAH! And Mr Ruffin turns his back on the audience for a beat or so when he's gonna walk away from love, all things being equal! You've done it again Tom a great treat to listen and walk down memory lane...

  10. My cat named dog?! Priceless. I had never heard of The Toys before but I'm pretty sure I've heard Lovers Concerto before. That's definitely a band I need to look more into. Great song and great set disco Tex!

  11. Belle - If you're looking forward to Captain Kirk's performance it'll have to be on a rerun of Star Trek, my dear. My guest blogger Monti Rock was just poking fun when he promised that Shatner would sing tomorrow! I wonder if and when Shatner will give series television another try. I'm secretly hoping for a Denny Crane spin-off someday. Thank you very much for kindly stopping by, dear Belle, and enjoy your day and evening in British Columbia!

    Gawgus - Hello, dear French friend! I love Abba and enjoy the solo offerings of Aggie Faltskog even more. Her three 80s albums had little impact stateside but they include some of the decade's finest recordings. Thank you very much for brightening my day with your visit, G-T!

    Sush - Music sounded quite different on our record players, didn't it? As Shelly's latest post reminds us, today's young people get their music, their video and their education by means of high tech, state-of-the-art instruments. I can't help wondering what it would have been like if we had such high fidelity back in the boomer years. Funny how I didn't notice that David Ruffin turned his back... only that Aggie F. did! (LOL) Thank you very much for joining the fun again today, dear Sush, and a pleasant evening to you in Carolina!

    Amber Blue Bird - Thank you for coming here and extending the same courtesy to my guest blogger (Disco Tex) as you would to me. You won't find a whole lot of other material by the Toys because all of their charted songs came within a one year period. "Attack," a record I liked even more than "A Lover's Concerto," was followed by "May My Heart Be Cast into Stone" and "Baby Toys." Both of those records remained near the bottom of the Hot 100. You're a sweetie for visiting and commenting, dear Amber. Thanks again and have an enjoyable evening, kiddo!

  12. Great guest post! I would have loved to have seen
    this ABBA performance on American Bandstand back in the day! It's such a pity we don't have musical shows on tv like this anymore

    Emma x

  13. Emma - Like our mutual friend Amber Blue Bird I believe that you were also born too late. You would have loved being a teenager in the 60s or 70s. You should watch the Abba movie that was made about their Australian tour along with the Abba concert videos that were released several years ago. Pure excitement! Abba's music was more intricate and complex than most people were willing to admit at the time and their costumes and professionalism on stage were top notch. Thank you very much for delighting me with your visit, kind friend, and good night to you in Dublin town!

  14. I am thrilled that you brought up Monte Rock III. Do you know how many times I've mentioned him and people say "who"? Or I point him out on Saturday Night Fever and people say "who"? He was pretty popular growing up in Jersey! All these songs are amazing. Great memories. Love your blog my friend!!!

  15. Hi, BB! Wow, I was just thinking the same thing. Why doesn't anybody remember Monti Rock? Didn't anybody watch Johnny Carson? Maybe I remember him better than most because I worked the night shift at an NBC network affiliated TV station and watched The Tonight Show five nights a week with the crew in the control room. I'm thrilled that you remember Monti, dear friend, and I am delighted that you came over for a visit. Have a happy Wordless Wednesday tomorrow, Barb!

  16. Well, you got me with 'Disco Tex', although, he does look familiar, but I'm still on board with Frankie Valli, The Toys, Abba and David Ruffin-he was a stinker, but a great, smooth entertainer. I remember the Tremeloes, too (can't place their more popular tune, tho). Even as a loving-oldies lady, Vanilla Ice was a favorite of mine in his time. And, yes, he's laying low, but still around. Shatner-you love to hate him...he's growing on me. A fine mix of the old and oldest, I must say. You know, there's so much out there, and so much hidden about the 50's and 60's. And it's great that we can finally see what we could only hear back then. Thanks for letting me in on it!

  17. I thought Shatner would be singing because he did put out an album many years ago and also recently. My bad. (as the kids say) :)

  18. Susan - Clearly you know your stuff, dear friend, and I appreciate these comments. I can't say that I was a fan of Vanilla Ice. Milli Vanilli was more my speed. (LOL) The Tremelos actually had their biggest chart hit with "Silence is Golden" (#11) but the other record of theirs that you're trying to remember was the up tempo "Here Comes My Baby" which was released a couple months earlier and stopped at #13. That's the one I most associate with the group. As for Wm. Shatner, I'd like to see him reunited with James Spader over at Dunder Mifflin. Wonderful comments, Susan! Thank you very much for thinking of me and happy Wordless Wednesday to you!

    Belle - Yes, I remember Shatner's albums. It brings to mind many other actors and talk show hosts who tried their luck in the recording studio. Mike Douglas had a top 10 hit with "The Men in My Little Girl's Life." Merv Griffin released a record called "The Charanga." Soupy Sales sang "The Mouse." Walter Brennan had hit singles with "Dutchman's Gold," "Old Rivers" and "Mama Sang a Song" and Red Skelton went on record reciting "The Pledge of Allegiance" to name just a few. Thank you very much for following-up dear Belle, and have a great day up your way!

  19. Hi there Disco Tex! I'm afraid that I had never heard of you either. Ooops! I won't get any brownie points there then! I'm so glad to hear that our dear friend Shady is over at the U.N. trying to broker world peace for us all. If anyone can do it, Shady can, with his common sense and wise words. Although I hope he comes back to us very soon! Some real old favourites there today. Lovers Concerto by the Toys - gosh, that really took me back. Of course, I adore Abba and, like Shady, I also liked the records of Agnetha in later years, singing on her own. I also love Silence is Golden by the British group, The Tremeloes, so thank you for picking that one out for me. Good to meet you Disco Tex. Toodle-pip old bean!! Note for Shady - so glad you enjoyed the photo of little Alfred today. Didn't he look cute?! x

  20. Thisisme - I'm back from the U.N. just in time to answer my mail. I'm happy to report, by the way, that I was successful in securing world peace. It'll be breaking out any day now. I'm glad to know that you are familiar with Agnetha's 1980s albums. Stateside, they seem to be one of the decade's best kept secrets. Oh my gosh I loved seeing that picture of my favorite bug eyed bull dog, Alfred. As a child I was forbidden to have a dog and so I have "adopted" your daughter #1's pet as my very own. Thank you for your kindness and for coming to see me today, dear Thisisme!

  21. Hi dear Tom - so glad you're back, safe and sound . I just knew that it would be a successful mission! Be good !

  22. Thisisme - My next mission is to talk to somebody about making the weather in England less cold, rainy and dreary. I'll get back to you if there's a breakthrough to report in that negotiation. Good night to you, dear friend!

  23. I can see you enjoyed putting this post together. I am impressed with your rap speak and your leverage at the UN. I even know several of today's selection of songs. I can see I'm starting to earn some Brownie points this week ;) And now my eyes are crashing! I'm off to sleep with Silence is Golden playing in my head.

  24. Desiree - You're up late, my friend, and it warms my heart to know that you fought off the sandman long enough to write. I'm glad you recognized some of these tunes and enjoyed my guest blogger Mr. Rock. I'll let you in on a little secret that I didn't tell the others. I wasn't really off addressing the United Nations. I made that up. I was actually on a space mission to planet Jupiter to search for signs of intelligent life. Heaven knows there's not much sign of it here on earth! (LOL) Thank you very much for your kindness, dear friend Desiree. I hope that you are enjoying a good night's rest in South Africa and please come again soon!

  25. It has been too quiet at the Shady Dell, even with Sir Monti Rock III at the helm in Shady's absence. How quiet was it? (thought you'd never ask) It was so quiet that not even a Dell mouse was stirring. Welcome Back Shady, where you belong! What a great imagination you have, this was good! Loved "Get Dancin" and especially the video. "Save it For Me" was not that familiar to me but I do remember "A Lover's Concerto" and have always loved it. There are good memories associated with "Silence is Golden" and "G☼☼d M☼rning Sunshine". I enjoyed the ABBA and David Ruffin videos with their performances. I probably saw that David Ruffin performance many years ago on American Bandstand. Bandstand was one of my favorite shows and I would plan my Saturdays around watching it. It came on around noon.

    Shady, caught your most brilliant delivery of your speech on the UN Webcast and I agree with your mission of world peace. May it break out at the Shady Dell! ☺

  26. Cindy - C-Span's rerunning my U.N. speech tonight between 1am and 3am if you're interested. (LOL) Hey, this comment of yours had me bursting out laughing! I can tell that, along with watching Bandstand, you were a regular viewer of the Tonight Show, because you remembered straight man Ed's set-ups for Johnny's punchlines, an example of which would be: "how....... quiet..... was it?" Way to go, Cindy! Few people have mentioned Oliver's big hit from Hair "Good Morning Starshine" which was very much a product of its time. I'm sure you also remember the Cowsills single "Hair." Oliver also had hits with "Jean" and "Sunday Mornin'". The year 1969 - they don't make 'em like that anymore. Thank you very much for delighting me with your visit, dear Cindy, and have a fine evening in Tennessee!

  27. You're right, ThE Tremeloes 'Here Comes My Baby' is the one I remember. And Milli Vanilli...heartbreaking. They had me fooled, and I loved them. A real tragedy and loss. I'm still making it thru your sidebar. So interestng and fascinating! A world of it's own. Have a great day Shady!

  28. Susan - I am delighted by your interest in reading all about our Shady Dell. I can't help wondering if there was a "Shady Dell" in your youth, a local spot where all the kids met and danced, one that had an underground aesthetic and a reputation like ours did. If you'd like to "meet" your host please copy and paste this link.

    You may choose to call me Tom or you may continue to call me Shady if you wish. Either way your visits and comments are appreciated, Susan. Have a great Thursday!

  29. Hi, Shady!

    Not remember Monti Rock III?! I couldn't forget him on "The Tonight Show". He was wearing earrings, the gypsy kind, decades before it became a fad with teenage guys. I recall he called himself a Puerto Rican hairdresser---he got his start doing celebrities' hair, and was so outrageous he got himself invited on talk shows. Looked him up and he's just Monti Rock now (no more II, III, IV, V or Sir) and he lives and performs in Las Vegas nowadays. Also, his website says he has become an ordained minister. From disco to deacon, I guess. All the songs were great. "Attack" and Norma Tanega were favorites of mine. I didn't mind AT ALL when BOTH girls in Abba turned their backs. The David Ruffin song was unfamiliar to me, but excellent, and I learned that the Four Seasons had recorded "Silence Is Golden". Lastly, when is your address at the UN going to be on CSPAN?

    Your friend,

  30. Ron - I'm so glad you remember Monti Rock because I was beginning to think he was a figment of my imagination. You fleshed him out perfectly for us providing details that even I had forgotten. I'm also glad you like "Attack" as much as I do. Unfortunately C-Span preempted my United Nations speech last night for a rerun of My Mother the Car. Thanks for your comment, Ron, and I'll be seeing you soon, good buddy!

  31. where are you dear sweet monti rock?

    1. He's an ordained minister living in Vegas, according to Wiki. Thank you very much for your comment, my friend!


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