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, February 6, 2012

Don't Rat Me Out Because I Love Pop Songs by Child Stars & Kids of Celebs, Pt. 1






 and I’m 


 Wull, Gilbert 
 couldn’t make it 
 on accounta he’s 
 grounded for 
 making jello in 
 the toilet. 

 Yeah... Eddie was 
 gonna be here too 
 but he’s still back 
 at the house trying 
 to convince mom to 
 be his date for the 
 Valentine's dance 
 Saturday night. 

 welcome to 
 our special 
 salute to 
 child actors 
 and kids of 
 who decided 
 to go all 
 Johnny Bravo 
 on us and 
 pop songs. 
 Let's rock! 


Ricky Nelson grew up on his real life family's television sitcom
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. When Ricky emerged as
a talented rock 'n roll singer his live performances became a regular feature of the show. From the spring and summer of 1961, here's one of Ricky's biggest hits, "Travelin' Man."

 "Travelin' Man" - Ricky Nelson (July 1961, highest chart 
 position #1) 


During the 1950s Annette Funicello became famous as the beautiful, prominently featured and most heavily promoted mousketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club.

In an April 1962 episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World
of Color
entitled Disneyland After Dark, Annette gave an entertaining performance on the bandstand singing "Come Along and Dance with Me."

 "Come Along and Dance with Me" - Annette (track from 
 1961 album Dance Annette


Child star Johnny Crawford also started his career as one of the original Mickey Mouse Club Mousketeers. Later he played Mark McCain, son of Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors) on the western television series The Rifleman. At the height of his popularity on TV, Johnny branched out into recording and achieved hits in the teen pop category, including "Cindy's Birthday," "Your Nose is Gonna Grow," "Rumors," "Proud" and his most listenable release, "Patti Ann."

 "Patti Ann" - Johnny Crawford (April 1962, highest chart 
 position #43) 


Paul Petersen and Shelley Fabares were Jeff and Mary,
brother and sister in that other family Stone, the one on television's The Donna Reed Show. Along with their acting fame both became successful recording stars. At the start of 1964 Paul released "She Rides With Me," a groovy record that sounded a lot like the Beach Boys. Maybe that's because it was written and produced by Brian Wilson. The record never charted but should have because it was much better than Paul's syrupy pop. See if you agree.

 "She Rides With Me" - Paul Petersen (January 1964, 


During the same time span that Paul Petersen was releasing records Shelley Fabares had pop singles of her own in play. Shelley's biggest career hit was "Johnny Angel," a teen sound classic that soared to #1 in the land and lasted 15 weeks on Billboard.

 "Johnny Angel' - Shelley Fabares (June 1962, highest chart 
 position #1) 


Dino was Dean Martin, Jr. Desi was the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Billy was a Beverly Hills schoolmate. The trio of teenagers scored a top 20 hit in the summer of 1965 with "I'm a Fool."

 "I'm a Fool" - Dino, Desi & Billy (August 1965, highest chart 
 position #17) 

As is often the case, product endorsements soon followed
for the young hitmakers. Here are Dino, Desi & Billy in a
nicely executed mid-60s commercial for a popular soft drink.

 RC Cola TV Commercial starring Dino, Desi & Billy 


 and the PLAYBOYS 

Gary Lewis, the son of comedy legend Jerry Lewis, was underrated as a recording artist. With his band the Playboys, Gary turned out some excellent 60s pop. Here's a great one from the fall of 1965, the group's fourth top 5 hit record of the year, "Everybody Loves a Clown."

 "Everybody Loves a Clown" - Gary Lewis & the Playboys 
 (November 1965, highest chart position #4) 

 Hey, Cleaver... 
 it's a done deal... 
 Your mom's my 
 date for the dance! 
 I even got her to 
 spring for dinner
 heh, heh, heh.... 

 Come on, 


 Don't Miss Landers.... 

 er, I mean don't miss 
 Part 2 of our series 
 Don't Rat Me Out 
 this Friday! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. I love, love vintage tv, and so I knew nearly all these TV stars turned singers.

    I did not know that Shelly Fabares had a hit- she was pretty good!

    That Nelson family was so talented, but then I think I remember reading their father was in music before television.

    I love those old TV shows- in fact I'm watching I Love Lucy right now, which is one of my all time favorites. It's great to hear how a number of those child stars from that era expanded their talents into other areas.

    The trend continues, but so many of those stars of Nick and Disney shows also hit the song charts, as well.

    Thank you, dear friend Shady, for a great trip into what I consider the golden age of television merging with hit music. Have a wonderful day and week!

  2. Hey, Shelly! Yep, Shelley Fabares had one of the biggest female solo hits of the pre-Beatles 60s and she also went on to co-star in a beach picture and three Elvis movies. One of my favorite performances of hers was the dramatic role of Gwyneth Paltrow's mother in the 1993 TV movie Deadly Relations. Ozzie Nelson was a bandleader and Harriet was the vocalist with his band. Sadly, Rick's brother David died this past year. Thanks for coming over this morning, dear friend Shelly, and have a great week!

  3. I really should proofread before I hit Publish. I got the wrong conjunction in a sentence, which renders it meaningless. It should be, "The trend continues, AS so many of those stars of Nick and Disney shows also hit the song charts, as well." Sorry to make a mess of your board so early, my friend!

  4. Shelly - An A- is nothing to be ashamed of, dear friend! I love the fact that you care enough to come back to read my replies which often contain typos because I'm still half asleep! (LQL) See, I didn't even spell LOL correctly! Have a super day, dear Shelly!

  5. You introduced me to some new ones today!! :) I will say I'm totally in love with the old TV shows, if I could watch them all the time I would! Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, etc. etc. They all are just so different from today's TV, and have a bit more worth, and easy, light humor than today's shows. Hope you have a fabulous week!

  6. Hi, Kristina! How'r the fur babies? Yes, it's jarring to switch channels from a vintage, family friendly sitcom that modeled good citizenship and tune in a modern comedy series that's all about people trying to manipulate and deceive one another. I'm old enough to say that I watched I Love Lucy when it was fresh and new, a first run television series. Now that's old! :( :) Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello, dear Kristina, and have a fabulous week!

  7. Hi Tom . I'm having a few problems at the moment, as I have had no Internet connection on my laptop since yesterday afternoon :( I am trying to catch up on my favourite blogs using my phone, but it's not ideal ! The only one I knew here was Ricky Nelson. I loved him! He was SO good looking and clean cut . Hallo Mary Lou was a real favourite of mine. I hope you are well dear friend. See you again soon.

  8. I can't believe there was a Disney Club that long ago (obviously not THAT long ago, but a wee while ago ;)!!). Unfortunately, I didn't know any of this vintage TV but it was definitely fun to listen to - thank you!
    Hope you're enjoying the heat - grrrr!! Poor little Alfred doesn't know what's hit him..

  9. This was a wonderful post of memories for me, Shady. I owned 'Johnny Angel' and played it over and over. I still knew all the words 50 years later! The same with 'Traveling Man'. My sister adored Ricky Nelson and bought his albums. I loved his easy way of singing and he seemed like such a sweetheart.

    I also think Gary Lewis was underrated. I hear his songs on the radio and immediately smile and sing along. I remember Johnny Crawford's song. I used to watch The Rifleman too. Seeing Dino, Desi and Billy was a bit of nostalgia. I felt so bad when Dino died at a young age. Another fantastic post, my sweet friend! Thank you for the music.

  10. Thisisme - Oh, no! You've joined the ranks of blog friends with computer problems! They're everywhere! Thank you for finding a way to get here, dear friend. I'm surprised to learn that Ricky is the only child star that you remember. Familiar names that Belle and I grew up with here in the states are foreign to you. It's almost like an episode of The Twilight Zone. I'm assuming that you remember that show. (LOL) Well, in all fairness there is a long list of British recording artists and television shows that I know nothing about and I hope to learn at least some of them from you. Thank you very much for breaking through to me today, dear Thisisme, and have a wonderful evening and week!

    Gawgus Girl - Hello, dear friend! You're in the same boat as mum in that you aren't familiar with my offerings from vintage American TV programs. I hope they at least give you a sense of how different the pre-Beatles era was from all that came after. Sorry you're having a cold snap over there. We're sweltering again today and running the air conditioner full blast. I hope you keep warm, dear friend, you and your little dog, too!

    Belle - I hope you read Thisisme's and G-T's comments and agree with me that it seems like they came from another planet not knowing about Donna Reed, Annette and other household names from our youth. I had to go to Wiki to refresh my memory about Dino's death. Like Rick Nelson he died in a plane crash. Dino starred with Friends/Scream/Cougar Town's Courteney Cox in the TV series Misfits of Science and was married to Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill. Thank you very much for visiting and sharing your thoughts, dear friend Belle, and have a wonderful afternoon, evening and week!

  11. Wow, this was a blast from the past. You actually got me on Johnny Angel. I had no idea that was Shelly Faberes! Thanks for that into. I loved Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Had the 45's. Ricky Nelson was taken way too young. He had a great voice. Very fun post. Golly Wally! haha

  12. Hey, BB! I'm glad you enjoyed part one of my salute to Wally, the Beav and other child stars that most Americans knew and loved. I remember feeling crushed when I woke up on New Year's Day 1986 and learned that Rick had perished in a plane crash the night before. Yes, Shelley Fabares topped the chart with "Johnny Angel," followed-up with "Johnny Loves Me," "The Things We Did Last Summer" and "Ronnie, Call Me When You Get a Chance." Each single was less successful than the one before but she made the transition into an adult actress with fewer problems than most. Thanks for visiting, dear Barb, and have a great week!

  13. Once again you made me laugh with your intro, haha!
    I love all the videos and especially the, "Johnny Angel" I have loved that song since I saw the movie "Mermaids"
    I also adore Ricky Nelson in his earlier years and he sure was a dreamboat in that video!
    Annette's dress was so cute in her video too!
    Great post, Tom! (:

  14. YVG - Hello, dear Presley! I'm so happy to see you again, dear friend! I suspected that the sweet teen pop ballad "Johnny Angel" might resonate with you. You're right. Ricky was quite a heartthrob in the late 50s and early 60s. Like Elvis, Rick's career suffered a setback when the Beatles broke on the scene but, like Elvis, Rick reinvented himself and made a nice comeback before his tragic death. I have never seen Annette look lovelier than she did in that video from the Disney program. Thanks a million for coming to see me, dear Presley, and have a terrific week ahead!

  15. OK Tom you have finally done it. Don't know how you could ever top this one. Almost the whole lineup is favorites of mine, especially Traveling Man & Johnnie Angel. Thanks for the journey down memory lane. It was awesome.

  16. Hi, Odie! Well, I'm very happy to know that I posted a batch of songs that you know and like. Ricky Nelson was at first dismissed as another cookie cutter teenage idol. However, he soon proved himself to be the real deal. I love the lyrics to "Travelin' Man":

    I've a pretty Seniorita waiting for me
    Down in old Mexico
    If you're ever in Alaska stop and see
    My cute little Eskimo

    Oh my sweet Fraulien down in Berlin town
    Makes my heart start to yearn
    And my China doll down in old Hong Kong
    Waits for my return

    Pretty Polynesian baby over the sea
    I remember the night
    When we walked in the sands of the Waikiki
    And I held you oh so tight

    Great song! Shelley Fabares was one of the cutest actresses of the 60s and she actually got started in television in the mid 50s. I remember watching her in several episodes of Love American Style. Thanks so much for stopping in, good buddy, and have a terrific week!

  17. Been gone too long Shady! Hope you're doing well, thank you for your unwavering support. Great post, I always feel so educated after I read one of your posts. Not to mention in a much better mood thanks to all the great tunes.

  18. Alabee - Hello, and welcome welcome welcome back, my dear friend! It's been months since we connected and I am very happy to see you. I hope your year is going well and that you are in good health and in good spirits. If SDMM puts you in a better mood than you were in before you arrived then it's mission accomplished. There are more smiles, music and memories coming up Friday in part 2 of Wally & the Beav and I hope you'll check back in. Please take good care of yourself, Alabee. You indeed have my unwavering support.

  19. Any post with a picture of Wally makes me smile! And shame on that Eddie Rascal Haskel:) Always up to no good.
    I'm interested in seeing the movie you mentioned in the comments about Shelly Fabares playing Gwenneth Paltro's mother. Gwen is my favorite and I'm still discovering the movies she's done. I hope you have a great week, and thank you so much for being so thoughtful in your comments. I appreciate you!

  20. Jenny - Ditto, I'm sure! I am a huge fan of Gwyneth Paltrow and have seen almost all of her movies. The 1993 TV movie Deadly Relations was one of her earliest pictures. It's the kind of movie that shows up on Lifetime Network and I imagine NetFlix also offers it. I'm so glad to see you today and pleased to know that you got a chuckle out of my humor. There's more in store in part 2 on Friday. Have a fabulous week, dear friend Jenny!

  21. OMGEE goodness gracious! I did not know that Johnny Crawford recorded. Of course I remember his acting but how did I miss those lovely chords? EVERYONE else was surely in my record collection of 45's! I had a girl crush on Annette, yes I have to admit it, I sure did. She was enough older than I that I thought she was very cool. It's surprising how much talent went on to be very successful from the Mickey Mouse Club...then and now! Thanks Tom for a fun and very enjoyable walk down memory lane and putting happy tunes for my dancin' toes!

  22. Sush - Hello, dear friend! You really didn't need my music today. You're already walking on air and dancing in the clouds because of that wonderful new granddaughter! How precious she is! I had a boy crush on Annette and never missed an episode of the MM Club or her serial entitled Annette. My dad and I watched The Rifleman every week, too, because he loved westerns. My Pick to Click in this batch is the groovy great by Paul Petersen which has Beach Boys written all over it. I can't imagine why it didn't even make the Bubbling Under chart while some of Paul's less listenable songs did. Congrats once again on the wonderful addition to your family, dear friend Sush, and for making time for me today!

  23. Hello Tom! I enjoyed reading about all of these young folk and what they achieved over and above their success as TV stars in their day and age. Coming from what was then darkest South Africa, we were still without TV. From what I can tell, our then Nationalist Party government suspected TV was 'of the devil'. So, once again, I am pretty much in the dark in terms of not being able to add any substance to my comment. I'd say that I feel like a real rat, but on this forum that would not be accurate, either! Speaking of rats, we have had to curtail feeding our garden birds and squirrels, because rats have discovered the easy pickings and have been raiding our feeders at night. We have video evidence of their antics. Much as I know your affinity with rats, we have no option but to bait them, lest they overrun our home and garden.

  24. Desiree - Hello, dear friend! You might be in the dark but your visits always shed light. If American TV was not "of the devil" in the 50s and early 60s then surely it seems to be nowadays. On I Love Lucy in the 50s, Desi and Lucy, depicting a married couple expecting a baby (Little Ricky), were not allowed to say the word "pregnant" on television because it was considered indecent. "With child" were the words the censors allowed. Today anything goes and the overt TV violence, misogyny, meanness and shallowness are the most upsetting trends. Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear Desiree, and stay tuned for part 2 of Wally & Beaver coming tomorrow!

  25. I loved all of these kids Shady! Johnny Crawford is really special...I have a recording of Cindy's Birthday-I thought he was a very goodlooking guy, and loved his voice. Some people don't realize who he was! Oh, and Annette, too. My favorite of hers was 'Tall Paul'. She was great, and as you said, well loved. Poor Rick Nelson-I miss him. But I did get to see him once in the late 1970's in Kansas City and was so excited.
    I don't remember Paul Peterson singing, and, your record wouldn't come up. Will have to find it on Youtube, or come back.

    This was really're so kind to bring these kids back to us. Shelly Fabares had a beautiful voice, and, was still attractive as an adult. Oh, Wally and Eddie Haskell-two cool guys!
    And, I agree with you about Gary Lewis-underrated! I liked his music.
    Well, I'm the one running late today, and you'll have your next post done by the time I finish this! LOL, keep them coming. You've always got something that strikes a note! Thanks Shady-take care!

  26. Hi, Susan! Will our computer problems ever end? I just clicked on my embed of Paul Petersen's "She Rides With Me" and it played just fine. I do hope you try again and get to hear it because it's a rockin' relic Beach Boys style. I'm so glad you remember Johnny Crawford, the kid star of The Rifleman, and his recording career. "Cindy's B-day" was Johnny's best known hit, a top 10 single (his only one) from June/July of 1962. You were lucky to see Rick Nelson in concert before his untimely death. I still feel very badly about it. Thank you very much for dropping by, dear friend Susan, and hurry back for more of Wally, the Beav and that rascal Eddie coming your way tomorrow morning!

  27. Hi, Tom

    Your "Leave It To Beaver" story was clever. I enjoyed the TV and musical memories, and I watched all those shows in those early years like yourself, too. Musicwise, I had "It's Late" (Rick Nelson), "She Can't Find Her Keys" (Paul Petersen), "The Things We Did Last Summer" (Shelley Fabares), "Cindy's Birthday" (Johnny Crawford) and "Pineapple Princess" (Annette Funicello). "Tall Paul" and "Lonesome Town", however, were my favorite Nelson and Annette songs. I discovered Annette and Shelley Fabares have been good friends for many years, having been in the same catechism class in their church. Annette was my favorite hottie before Tuesday Weld and Yvette Mimieux, and I was glad to see Shelley do so well for nearly ten years as Craig T. Nelson's wife in "Coach". Did you know that Shelley's second and current husband is Mike Farrell (B.J. Honeycutt from "Mash") and he really does have a daughter named Erin. Shelley is also Nanette Fabray's niece.

    Ironically Desi Arnaz Jr. never played the role of "little Ricky" on "I Love Lucy". He was portrayed by two successive sets of twins and, lastly by a solo actor. I always thought that was really him. Johnny Crawford is still singing and, since 1992 has headed the Johnny Crawford Orchestra, which plays in the southern California area. That same year he became reacquainted with his highschool sweetheart and they "tied the knot" three years later. His orchestra plays dance music like Paul Whiteman, Ozzie Nelson, Glenn Miller and others did in the 20's & 30's. Presley and others, I'm sure, would enjoy it. You can see it at They released a CD, which has been remastered now, back in 2008 called "Sweepin' the Clouds Away". Check it out!

    Thank you and Shelly for the info I hadn't known about Dorothy Hamill & Harriet Nelson.

    See you next time on Retro TV,

  28. Hi, Ron! Leave it to Beaver and leave it to YOU to write just a wee bit more than "nice post!" (LOL) I was actually going to offer Paul's "She Can't Find Her Keys" but at the last minute YouTube removed it. I'm actually glad it happened that way because I discovered the gem "She Rides" which I think is the coolest thing Paul ever recorded. I remember from way back when that Shelley F. is the niece of Nanette Fabray. I'm sure you also read that poor Shelley had a grave health scare in 2000 and needed a liver transplant. She's 68 now, can you believe it? I was also aware that Desi, Jr. never played Little Ricky on the show. If you haven't already seen it I'd like you to know that our young friend Presley has a new song on her Y/T channel. She performs a fine cover of the Elvis song "Love Me Tender." Check it out! Thank you very much for coming 'round here, Ron, and I'll be seeing you again soon, good buddy!


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