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

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dear Hearts and Gentle People: Echoes of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained

 Prepping (1940s) illustration by Irving Nurick 

 I was hatched born in November 1949. 

 A lot has changed since then. 




Picture this. A modern teenager discovers Shady Dell Music & Memories, samples my play list and discovers that he or she doesn't know any of the songs or people who recorded them. Typical, right? Maybe, but in this instance the reason is not what you think. You see, the teen isn't puzzled because my 60s music is too ancient. The young blog visitor is drawing a blank because it's too recent! This seemingly far fetched scenario did not unfold in some bizarro world in
a distant parallel universe. It is actually happening today... right here... right now... and I couldn't be more excited!

There's a movement afoot and music is only one aspect.  Generation Green  is recycling bottles, cans, clothing and other products, reducing their carbon footprint and taking back our world from those who would destroy it.

 Sunday Pictorial Review (Los Angeles Examiner, 1952) 
 illustration by Fritz Willis 

Modern Vintagers and Eco-Thrifters are Goodwill hunting, shopping smart, saving money and promoting an alternative retro-inspired lifestyle, not because they have to, because they want to. There's no lecturing, coaxing or arm twisting required. It is their calling and their credo: Go Vintage!

 Country Girl (1948) by Arnold Armitage 

In growing numbers today's teenagers and 20-somethings are renouncing the mean, misogynistic mass media madness and turning back the clock to a simpler time, embracing America's cultural heritage, the music, movies, art, literature, fashion, manners, attitudes and values of the past.

 Our Knowlege & Experience at Your Command (1952)
 by Knute "K.O." Munson 

These young people are discovering, resurrecting, adopting as their own and celebrating the Age of Innocence and True Romance that existed 50, 60, 70 and 80 years ago. They are identifying all that was good and right about the era, bringing it back alive, and making it popular all over again.

 Jill Needs Jack (1950) by Gil Elvgren 

In honor of these exceptional young people I present seven vintage recordings along with some of my favorite pin-up art and illustration. Each of these records reached #1 on the hit parade in 1950 during my first year of life. I don't remember half of these songs and you probably don't either. Why? Because we're too young. Get it?

 Untitled by Harry Eckman 

The exhilarating point that I'm trying to make is that some
of our children and grandchildren are already into this stuff - recorded material that was not only way before their time, hell, it was before our time, too. Listen to these seven songs. Discover what today's young people are discovering. Experience what they're experiencing. Feel what they are feeling. It's a great feeling to have!

 Up - In Central Park (1950) by Gil Elvgren 

#1 in January 1950

 "I Can Dream, Can't I" - Andrews Sisters 

 Barnyard by Walt Otto 

#1 in February 1950

 "Dear Hearts and Gentle People" 
 - Bing Crosby 

 Untitled (1946) by Jules Erbit 

#1 in March 1950

 "Music! Music! Music!" - Teresa Brewer 
 with Dixieland All Stars 

 The Girl with the Lemon Colored Hair (Cosmopolitan, 1943) 
 illustration by Walter Baumhofer 

#1 in May 1950

 "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've 
 Baked a Cake" - Eileen Barton 

 Wave of Delight (1950s) by Bill Medcalf 

#1 in July 1950

 "I Wanna Be Loved" - Andrews Sisters 

 Untitled illustration by Walt Otto 

#1 in August 1950

 "Mona Lisa" - Nat "King" Cole 

Queen's Rain (1962) by Gil Elvgren 

#1 in August 1950

 "All My Love (Bolero)" - Patti Page 

Are you still doubting Thomas?

Finding it hard to believe me when I tell you 
that there are young people out there today 
who are all about yesterday? Then it's time 
for you to meet one.

I'd like to introduce my new friend and follower Presley at Young Vintage Girl blog.
A Tennessee teen named after Elvis the King, Presley has found a home among the stars of the 30s, 40s and 50s. I suspect that
she knows more about the entertainers of the WWII era than most of us baby boomers. A sweet, polite person and fine singer, Presley captures the very essence
of living greats like Doris Day and channels the spirits of departed legends like Marilyn Monroe.

 "Anyone Can See I Love You" (performed by Marilyn Monroe 
 in the 1948 motion picture Ladies of the Chorus

Presley is a poised and professional singer, but what strikes me most about her is the spirit of a bygone era that shines through her eyes and is reflected in her demeanor. As you watch Presley you get a sense that she is an old soul, the reincarnation of kinder, gentler people of an earlier time.

 "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" (performed by Doris Day 
 in the 1953 musical motion picture of the same name. 

Not your typical teenager? 

God willing...perhaps she soon will be.

 "He's Home for a Little While" (#11 chart hit as performed 
 by Dinah Shore in 1945/also recorded in 1945 by Doris Day 
 accompanied by Les Brown's Band of Renown) 

Special Comment

I salute Presley and those like her. They represent a new wave of youth that
is spreading its influence through society, not as
a cancer but as a cure. Presley and her peers are
a revolutionary vanguard, deftly bypassing the sleaze and smut that permeates their modern world. They are the rebirth of a long lost generation of Americans that stood for decency and moral integrity. Presley is part of a generation unchained, refusing to follow the herd, thinking for themselves, making up their own minds and exercising their freedom of expression. It's time for all of us to learn what Presley and other outstanding young citizens of the world have already learned.

 You have a choice. 

 You always have a choice. 

 Girl at Mirror (1954) by Norman Rockwell 

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dell Rat Ron Presents the Long Awaited, Much Anticipated Sequel: Potpourri 2!

 Last year Dell Rat Ron Shearer's feature
 POTPOURRI FOR 100 was a genuine 

 crowd pleaser. A winning formula is worth 
 repeating so I invited Ron to join us again 
 and play another random batch of songs, 
 greatness being the only common theme. 
 As always I brought along a few of my own 
 favorite platters as well. 

 Ron, it looks like you've 
 been doing some heavy 
 duty soul searchin' down 
 there.  Time time to put 
 the pedal to the metal and 
 the needle in the groove! 


 Shady, this first song 
 reminds me of my Mom. 
 One day, between high 
 school and college, I 
 was listening to a current 
 favorite of mine, "So Fine" 
 by Ike and Tina Turner. 
 I also had the album, but 
 my Mom blew me away 
 by asking me what the 
 song was, because she 
 said she liked it so much. 
 I really don't know why 
 I was surprised at her 
 liking my music. When I 
 was 12 or 13, Mom knew 
 I would go to any record hop or house party to dance and 
 listen to music. At the time she worked in the grocery store 
 at Smith Village in Jacobus where everyone knew the Smith 
 family. She somehow got Smith's to do a promotion in their 
 parking lot, using linoleum for a dance floor, and they hired 
 Chris Huber, a DJ from WSBA for a Record Hop. Not too 
 long afterwards, as a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary at 
 the Jacobus Fire Hall, she was elected President and they 
 began having record hops at the Fire Hall on a regular basis 
 with Chris Huber DJ-ing. I got a lot of DJ copies of records 
 that way and got addicted to collecting records as a result. 
 Chris began bringing live groups, mostly the Delchords, to 
 the dances. These were attended by schoolmates from 
 Loganville, Dallastown, etc. I later screwed up my hip and 
 had to quit attending for awhile. Mom blamed it on doing 
 the Twist too much. Ultimately, Chris Huber secured 
 White Oaks Park, with the Delchords, Invictas, and other 
 bands that I believe he managed, appearing there regularly. 
 I was a regular, always managing to find a way to get 
 there.  I always considered "So Fine" to be Mom's favorite 
 song, and think of her whenever I hear it. And she's 
 responsible for my being one of the biggest fans of the 
 Delchords and White Oaks Park, and later the Magnificent 
 Men and the Raven. She strongly disapproved of my 
 hanging out at the Dell, but I still did. Mom's long gone, 
 but her memory lives on. I love and miss you, Mom. 
 This song's for you! 

"So Fine" - Ike and Tina & the Ikettes 
(April 1968, highest chart position #117) 

Ron, it just so happens that my mixed bag includes another song by Ike and Tina Turner.
"I Can't Believe What You Say" was, like "So Fine," among the legendary R&B act's poorest selling singles; yet this Kent label release destroys!

"I Can't Believe What You Say" - Ike & Tina Turner 
(October 1964, highest chart position #95) 

 Ron, the floor is yours, good buddy! 


 Okay, Shady Here it is. Finally. You've waited years, 
 and I mean years, for this. I know you thought you 
 knew the words. I thought I did, too. A girl who 
 graduated in the class of 1966 wrote down the lyrics 
 and gave them to me. A lot of the girls I grew up with 
 were more pornographic than us guys. I know her lyrics 
 were. This is still one of the all-time great garage band 
 songs.  You wore out your copy.  I wore out mine. 
 (I'm doing the kind of sell that Charlie the Dog did in a 
 Looney Tunes cartoon with Porky Pig). What song are 
 we talking about. Of course, it's "Louie, Louie" by the 
 Kingsmen.  I only recently heard the original version 
 even though I always knew it existed.  R&B singer 
 Richard Berry wrote and recorded "Louie Louie" in 1955, 
 long before the Kingsmen waxed their legendary cover. 
 Kind of like Hank Ballard's "The Twist" and Chubby 
 Checker's version, but with less sales than Mr. Ballard 
 had. Richard Berry was in the Navy when he penned the 
 song and "Louie" is said to be a reference to "lieutenant." 

"Louie, Louie" - Richard Berry (April 1957, uncharted) 



 Early on, Paul Revere & the Raiders recorded  
 instrumentals like "Midnight Ride" on the Gardena label 
 before signing with Columbia. The first vocal hit that I 
 remember of theirs (on Columbia) was this song. I believe 
 it was done by the Delchords, and I asked them what it 
 was.  This is still one of my favorites of PR&R.  I saw the 
 group a couple times at cabarets when I lived in Reno, 
 and Paul still has his baby Baby Grand piano, still shoots a 
 Raider with an arrow, and they still have a whole lot of fun 
 on stage. The only difference between this video and the 
 performances I saw were age, Mark Lindsay no longer with 
 them, and their precision wasn't quite as tight as it was 
 when they performed in this video. 

"Louie--Go Home" - Paul Revere & the Raiders (May 1964, 
highest chart position #118) 

 Ron, I've got an answer song for ya! 


It's no secret that many British Invasion bands cut their teeth on American R&B.  Here's the Kinks' version of "Louie Louie."  It's a great recording and, as an added bonus, you can actually understand the words!

"Louie Louie" - Kinks (from the November 1964 EP
Kinksize Session

Ron, right back at ya! 


 Shady, a few weeks ago your reply to a 
 comment posted by your follower Desiree 
 about the Blue Danube reminded me of 
 when I had Mr. Throne for homeroom and, 
 of course, I always saw you exiting your 
 German classes with him. I've been 
 reminiscing a song from late 1960 for 
 some time and felt it's time I passed it on 
 to you. I don't know if you were familiar 
 with it, but it was the first German 
 language hit to make it big in the U.S., 
 going all the way to #5.  It also rode the Top 10 on WSBA, 
 but I can't say how close to #1 it came. The song was 
 called "Sailor" and sung by a singer simply named Lolita. 
 Lolita was really Edith Zuser, born in Austria, who passed 
 away in 2010 in Salzburg. Her only hit song was also a hit 
 in Japan and England. Later, it was successfully covered in 
 Europe by Petula Clark, and also the Andrews Sisters. 
  Here is "Seemann" (deine heimat ist das meer). I thought 
 Lolita's voice was sexy, like many German women, and 
 thoroughly enjoyed this song every time I heard it on the 

"Sailor (Your Home is the Sea)" - Lolita (December 1960, 
highest chart position #5) 


 I'd like to close with two songs that I found on YouTube 
 which I haven't heard since I had the albums in college. 
 The Fever Tree I got turned onto by a friend in Oakmont, 
 who lived next door to the Country Club. 

"San Francisco Girls" - Fever Tree 
(July 1968, highest chart position #91) 


 Unlike the Lads from Liverpool, the English rock band called 
 The Move did not catch on here in America. The Move was 
 introduced to me by one foxy young lady living in Bluebell 
 Apartments in State College. She turned me on to the first 
 Black Sabbath album the same afternoon. 

"Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited" 
- The Move (from 1970 album Shazam

 I gotta lay it 

 on the line, 

 Ronny babe..... 

 I'm sicker 

 than a dog! 


No, I'm not talking to you, Ron. I'm quoting some of the outrageous boss jock patter that you'll hear on "Top Forty D.J.'s," a comedy single extracted from Hanging in There, the debut comedy album released in 1971 by popular Los Angeles disc-jockeys Bob Hudson and Ron Landry. Hudson and Landry were irreverent and risque, elevating political incorrectness to an art form.   I bought every one of their records!

"Top Forty D.J.'s" - Hudson and Landry 
(from 1971 album Hanging in There

 Thank you, Dell Rat Ron 

 for bringing us another 

 pot of gold that's waaay 

 too cool for old school! 

Have a Shady day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The D-Team: Episode 16

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  







Success breeds success. A great example is "Baby Don't Go" by Sonny and Cher. The record was released in 1964 but stayed under the radar, becoming only a minor regional hit.

In the summer of 1965, Sonny and Cher became household names when their signature song, "I Got You Babe," spent seven weeks at the #1 position on the Billboard chart. In the wake of the couple's massive success "Baby Don't Go" was re-released. This time it became a top 10 hit.

"Baby Don't Go" - Sonny and Cher (October 1965, 
highest chart position #8) 

Many Bob Dylan songs were covered by other artists and turned into hit records. One of my favorites is "All I Really Want to Do," a track from the 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan. In the summer of 1965 "All I Really Want to Do" became the focus of a chart battle between two acts that released versions of the song simultaneously. One version was recorded by Cher who was well on her way to stardom thanks to "I Got You Babe" which charted concurrently.
The other rendition was waxed by the Byrds, a band that had just achieved a #1 hit covering Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Both singles hit the Billboard chart the same week in early July. Spurred on by the popularity of "I Got You Babe," Cher's single peaked at #15 while the one by the Byrds stopped at #40. Cher's recording of "All I Really Want to Do" sounds like another Sonny and Cher duet but it's all Cher!

"All I Really Want to Do" - Cher (August 1965, 
highest chart position #15, #9 UK) 


In the UK the reverse was true. "All I Really Want to Do" by the Byrds became the fastest selling single in the history of CBS Records and out performed Cher's record on the chart, the Byrds' version hitting #4 and Cher's #9. Check out the go-go girl action in the background. It's one of the things that I liked best about the 60s and miss most!

"All I Really Want to Do" - Byrds (August 1965, 
highest chart position #40, #4 UK) 


Around the time of the JFK assassination in late November of 1963, Tommy Roe's single "Everybody" was scaling the chart, well on its way to becoming a top 5 national hit.

"Everybody" - Tommy Roe (November 1963, highest 
chart position #3) 

Tommy's next single release, "Come On," sounded a lot like "Everybody."

 The point is, ladies and gentleman, 

 that derivative, for lack of a better word, 

 is good (sometimes). 

Following up a hit record with a sound-alike was and is a common practice and one that makes good business sense. In their attempt to capitalize on a winning formula, however, Tommy Roe and his handlers forgot to factor in the Beatles. Released at the start of 1964, "Come On" should have been another top 5 smash for Tommy. Instead, it got lost in the shuffle as records by the Beatles and other English artists clustered around the top of the Billboard chart. "Come On,"
a recording that I now like even more than "Everybody," finished its chart run at the lower end of the top 40.

"Come On" - Tommy Roe (February 1964, highest chart 
position #36) 

 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! 


Gene Chandler has his own wing in the Shady's Law Hall of Fame (Shame). That's because he recorded some of the greatest 60s soul but much of it performed poorly on the Billboard chart. Shady's Law teaches us to think nothing about it and just enjoy!

"Think Nothing About It" - Gene Chandler (March 1964, 
highest chart position #109) 

One year after Gene Chandler's "Think Nothing About It" underwhelmed mainstream record buyers, the Duke of Earl laid down another classic Chicago soul track. Once again what should have been a rocket to the moon failed to get
off the launch pad.

"You Can't Hurt Me No More" - Gene Chandler (March 1965, 
highest chart position #92) 


For a long time I had a pesky blind spot where Connie Francis was concerned. I kept lumping her in with country artists, easy listening artists, and singers who recorded in foreign languages. I avoided Connie's music, completely unaware of her significant contributions to rock 'n roll and the girl group sound.

Listen as Connie rocks out on "My Best Friend Barbara,"
a Neil Sedaka composition that includes backing vocals by the Brill Building dream team of Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Mr. Sedaka.  Previously unreleased, "My Best Friend Barbara" turned up in 1990 on Connie's CD compilation Rocksides (1957-64).  It was also included on Growin' Up Too Fast, the Girl Group Anthology.  This record's the ginchiest!

"My Best Friend Barbara" - Connie Francis (December 1963, 
previously unreleased) 

Oh, her lipstick's all a mess
She thinks that she's the best
She's walkin' down the street 

in a tight yellow dress
My best friend Barbara.

 Yo, Mister Neil Sedaka. FOUR ONE ONE! 
 Listen up and listen up good my friend. 

 Looks like I owe you an apology. I made 
 fun of your dancin' last St. Ballantine's day, 
 but dat was before I knew you could write 
 such phat lyrics, aahIGHT?  Take it from 
 me - what the world needs now is more 
 songs about girls in tight dresses with 
 messed up lipstick. When I heard dat, 
 zing went the stringsknow what I mean? 
 As a sincere token of my esteemed 
 symbolic eternal friendship gratitude 
 gesture thingy, I hereby bestow upon you, 
 Mister Neil Sedaka, the honor of receiving, 
 absolutely free of charge, a lifetime 
 membership in the Tracy Jordan Fan Club 
 with all the inherent, implied, implicit, 
 explicit and illicit rights and privileges 
 therein, thereof, and therefore. It's the 
 least I can do! 

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

 I love it 


 a plan 



Have a Shady day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Remembering John

19 years ago today

on the 16th of January, 1993

John Ettline passed away.

John spent the last nine years of his life without Helen.
Can you imagine the strength and courage that it took
for John, a man in his 80s, to go it alone...enduring the hardships of winter and keeping the Dell in operation even
as the clientele became increasingly rough and rowdy?
How many of us could have stood up to that challenge?

 Things to know and remember about John: 

 * John never had any children of his own 
 but he loved kids and believed in them.

 *John was the oldest of eight children, 
 four boys and four girls, and took on the 
 responsibility of caring for his siblings. 

 * Shortly after marrying Helen in Texas 
 John enlisted in the U.S. Army. Nearly 
 40 years of age, John was one of the 
 oldest enlisted men in WWII. He was 
 promised the cavalry but as fate would 
 have it he wound up in a communications 
 unit. John’s unit referred to him as Pops
 John attained the rank of sergeant, served 
 in the European Theatre, and participated 
 in the Battle of the Bulge. John was struck  
 in the head with shrapnel and ordered to  
 go home but he reportedly refused to leave 
 his men.

 * John was a card shark, a gambler, and 
 a wheeler dealer – a larger-than-life type 
 of person – a colorful, loveable, and 
 memorable character.

 * Am I my brother’s keeper? 
 To that question, John Ettline boldly 
 answered “Yes!” To John, a friend 
 in need is a friend indeed was more 
 than a familiar old proverb. It was a 
 policy statement.  They were the 
 words that John lived by. John was 
 known to give financial aid to friends 
 who were down on their luck or owed 
 money to unsavory individuals. 
 Neighbor helping neighbor was the 
 John Ettline philosophy. John and 
 Helen opened their doors and opened 
 their hearts to troubled youth, battered 
 or pregnant women and others who needed  
 their support. John and Helen walked their talk. 

 * As a member of his family expressed it, 
 "John was loved and respected by 
 everyone he came in contact with... 
 especially his family. He offered love, 
 guidance and advice to anyone who 
 would give him the respect and listen.” 

 Please take a moment and watch this video 

 as we honor the memory of Mr. John Ettline. 

 John, you were the King of all Dell Rats

 If we have anything to say about it 

 you and Helen will always be remembered! 

 We love you and miss you, John!