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, July 12, 2012

..... Kiss and Say Goodbye to Disco ..... The D-Team: Episode 18

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  












They were the American Fab Four, at least to me. I have never outgrown my NEED for Kiss, the greatest group of thunder rockers in the land. In 1978 all of the Kiss band members released solo albums. The most successful was produced by lead guitarist Ace Frehley. "New York Groove," the lone single released from Frehley's album, was by far the most popular single released by Kiss personnel from their solo projects. "New York Groove" was originally recorded by Hello, an English glam rock band, and made the UK top 10 in 1975. At Christmas time 1978, the Space Ace was flying high with
a killer cover!

 "New York Groove" - Ace Frehley (December 1978, 
 highest chart position #13) 


1979: America was burning up with disco fever. Everybody and his grandmother was making disco records. Even Ethel ("There's No Business Like Show Business") Merman released a disco album! After five years of disco's dominance of the record chart an angry backlash was inevitable. It came on this date, July 12th, 1979, at a promotional event called Disco Demolition Night staged at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
A crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field to the delight of disco haters in the stands. The promotion went sideways, however, when rowdy rock fans flooded the field, built a bonfire, and scuffled with stadium security guards.

 Do you remember where you were 

 and what you were doing... 


The same week that anti-disco forces were demolishing that box of records on the baseball diamond, Kiss cracked the top 20 with, of all things, a disco record! "I Was Made for Lovin' You," the first single released from the band's Dynasty album, was a hard rock/disco hybrid with massive crossover appeal. Some Kiss purists rejected the discofied ditty, but it became one of the biggest hit singles in Kisstory, a certified platinum million seller, brushing the top 10 stateside and topping the chart in Australia and parts of Europe.

 "I Was Made for Lovin' You" - Kiss (July 1979, highest 
 chart position #11 Hot 100/#8 Cash Box/#1 Australia 
 Netherlands/#2 France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria) 


Any record album or CD ever released by deep soul vocalist Garnet Mimms could be considered "best of" because every track he laid down was excellent. For example please listen to "One Girl," a fine ballad released as a single backed with the equally popular killer bee "A Quiet Place." "One Girl" has all the right ingredients to place it solidly in the win column: impassioned vocal by Mimms, churchy choir accompaniment, and absolutely delicious guitar ad libs. I'm souled!

 "One Girl" - Garnet Mimms (May 1964, highest chart 
 position #67) 

 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! 


 Small name... big talent. 

Jamaica born Millicent Smith took the stage name Millie Small, went to England and made British pop history with her top 5 hit record "My Boy Lollipop, a cover version of a 1956 release by Barbie Gaye. Millie Small's single was the first major hit for Island Records and Millie was the first artist to achieve a hit recorded in the bluebeat style, a reference to early Jamaican music that included R&B, Ska, Rocksteady and early Reggae.

Nicknamed The Blue Beat Girl, Millie Small saw her record
"My Boy Lollipop" climb to #2 on both the UK and the U.S. chart before hitting the glass ceiling, blocked from the top spot by the Beach Boys' "I Get Around."

 "My Boy Lollipop" - Millie Small (July 1964, highest 
 chart position #2) 

Two months later Millie Small reached the top 30 in the UK and the top 40 stateside on both the pop and the R&B chart with her follow-up release "Sweet William."

 "Sweet William" - Millie Small (September 1964, highest 
 chart position #40) 


Soulful crooner Al Wilson might be considered a one-hit-wonder by those who aren't aware of what came before
his mid 70s quiet storm smasheroo "Show and Tell."

 "Show and Tell" - Al Wilson (January 1974, highest chart 
 position #1) 

Wilson followed "Show and Tell" with three less successful releases, "Touch and Go," "La La Peace Song," and "I've Got a Feeling (We'll Be Seeing Each Other Again)." Old schoolers like me contend that Wilson's most exciting record was one he made the previous decade. On the West Coast in 1966, Wilson landed an audition with Johnny Rivers and was signed to Rivers' Soul City label. In 1968 Johnny Rivers produced
the recording session that resulted in "The Snake," a clever Al Wilson story song that was released as a single, cracked the Billboard top 30, and became a favorite on England's Northern Soul circuit in the 70s, charting at #41 in the UK
in 1975. This one was big in WSBA-Land!

 "The Snake" - Al Wilson (October 1968, highest chart 
 position #27) 

 Don't miss the next thrill-packed episode 

 of The D-Team, coming soon! 

 I love it 


 a plan 



Have a Shady day!


  1. Hi dear Tom. Love it when you show all the A Team photos! I really enjoyed playing I was Made for Loving You by Kiss. With all the make up, we used to call that Glam Rock over here in England. Listening to My Boy Lollipop really took me right back to the 60's, and I love Al Wilson, so I was really pleased for your selection of platters for us today my friend! Emma and hubby are sunning themselves in Ibiza at the moment, whilst Eleanor and I are topping up our rust quite nicely in the (still!) pouring rain :( Hope all is well with you my friend. Smoochy, smoochy!!

  2. Hey, I was first at the party today!!

    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme, and welcome to my party! Kiss proved their versatility by producing hits, not only in the glam rock and heavy metal categories, but also with ballads like "Beth" and their disco hybrid "I Was Made..." Their music, make-up and stage presence continue to excite me all these years later. Is Alfred with you or is the lucky dog on holiday in Iziba? I can't believe it keeps raining and raining over there but it's doing the same thing here. The only difference is that we need and welcome the clouds and rain because they cool us off and ease the chronic drought. I'm so glad to see you, dear friend Thisisme, and happy to know you found some bopping tunes on my jukebox today. Enjoy your day with your lovely granddaughter. Smooches and more smooches!

  3. I have just returned from a conference in your fair state, my friend, and I must say, lovely as it was, it surely rains a lot in Orlando!

    I remember disco well. My tastes ran towards punk and rock, but I danced to a lot of disco. It was good it was finally put out of its misery. I remember the great indignation of one friend of mine, a die hard KISS fanatic, when they came out with I Was Made For Loving You. You'd have thought his mother turned him in to the police, for the way he reacted. It did turn out to be a smart move for KISS, though.

    Another great post!

    1. Hi, Shelly! That's right, I forgot you were attending a conference in Orlando, right up the road from me. Yes, we've been getting monsoon rains for several days now but we'll take all we can get because the alternatives are searing heat, drought and brush fires.

      Disco certainly wore out its welcome. However, I don't agree with hating on anything or anyone and I find it hard to watch the ugly spectacle that took place at the ball park in 1979. To me there's "hack disco" and there's disco done right. As far back as 1976 when Rick Dees hit #1 with the novelty song "Disco Duck" many people were already getting over the disco movement. When WWII divas like Ethel Merman try their hand at making a disco record you know it's time for a change. Kiss embraced the style and rocked it. They might have achieved more major hits in the disco genre but, mercifully, they soon returned to their roots with bold, uncompromising heavy metal releases like "I Love It Loud." It wasn't long before disco was truly dead and the pop mainstream dominated by the fresh sound of New Wave with recordings like "My Sharona" by The Knack and "Whip It" by Devo leading the way. Thank you very much for being here today, dear friend Shelly, and have an excellent weekend!

  4. This was a little outside the box for me as I never intentionally listened to KISS or other rock groups like them. I am more of a calmer music fan as I have shared in the past. I did enjoy the "My boy lollipop" and brought back some memories for me too. What I really like is your fan club good buddy. Can't beat that with a stick. Have a good one.

    1. Hey, Odie! Last time we "spoke" we were mourning the passing of Andy Griffith. I'm sure you feel the same about Ernest Borgnine, the great actor from McHale's Navy and The Dirty Dozen, one of my favorite war movies. I hadn't heard those two Millie Small hits in ages and that's why I chose to feature them in an episode of The D-Team. Hope all is well with you and your pooches. Thanks for coming by, Odie!

  5. What fun to hear "My Boy Lollipop" again! It's one of the first songs I remember listening to on the radio. Dusty Springfield was another one I liked. But I digress. I have to admit I was never a huge Kiss fan - by that time I was hanging out with a toddler and we were more into Raffi. But my husband was a HUGE fan, and I don't think he's ever gotten over them either. You boys... Fun post Shady - hope you're doing well and beating the heat.

    1. Hi, karen! It's great to have you back again, dear friend! Yes, Kiss seems to be a guy thang. I joined their army a couple of years after Alice Cooper rocked my world. His morbid theatrics also delighted many guys but turned off many girls. I very much appreciate your visit, dear karen, and wish you a happy weekend out there on the Left Coast!

    2. I'll tell you another band that seems to be a guy thing: Yes. My husband just loves them. I went to a concert with him once, and it was full of middle aged men. My husband's theory is that their lyrics are pretty much about nothing, and girls like their lyrics to be meaningful. I think I agree with that.
      I hope you didn't think my latest post was serious! i guess I should have made it more clear that I was being sarcastic - JOKING. We're just silly out here.

    3. Hi, karen! Well, you got me good on that sarcastic weather update of yours, my friend! :) I actually believed you were serious for two reasons.

      A. My impression is that Southern California has almost ideal weather year 'round and therefore any deviation from the norm might be viewed by natives as "hell."

      B. I am used to you expressing yourself on your blog in a straightforward, no nonsense manner with only a subtle hint of humor thrown in occasionally.

      This is a side of you that I like very much, karen, and I hope to see more of it in the future. Thanks so much for coming by with a follow-up, dear friend!

  6. ewww disco. Not my cup of tea at all. (except Abba...they're disco right?) It reminds me of the rave type music that my college roommate used to play in our dorm. It gave me the worst headache. My head hurts just thinking about. I do however love the Millicent Smith tracks. Besides being very catchy, I just adore her name. There should be more Millies in the world. That was a very all around random comment. Your welcome ;)

    1. Hello, Amber! (May I call you Millie?) Yessum, disco is an acquired taste, (kinda like vomit in your mouth), but when an artist, group or band does it right, especially when they mix it with other musical styles, the results can be very pleasing. Like Kiss, ABBA put their own spin on disco and made it fresh and palatable with such goodies as "Voulez-Vous," "On and On and On" and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (a Man After Midnight)" all of which, by this time, are more listenable than their overexposed "Dancing Queen." Thank you oh so much, dear Amber, for honoring me with your presence today. Have a good evening and I'll be over to sample your songs tomorrow!

  7. Hi Shady, what a great post! I remember seeing the burning of disco records on the news at that park. How disgusting! Disco brought a lot of us back to life from the Hippie lull! Not that I wasn't a little hippish, and liked Jefferson Airplane, Janis J. and some of the others, but, Disco got you off the couch! (We needed that energy!) There were some great disco artists out there, 'BeeGees' were the best! And, of course, Donna Summer! Someone had to break thru and step up society's pace a little. I didn't get too involved with Kiss-someday I will have to listen to some of their stuff. But, I appreciate and respect them for their endurance in their field, and, I do love them as people and musicians.

    Now, Ethel Merman did a disco album? Wow! She had a heck of a voice-my late father liked her...wonder if he ever heard her do disco?

    I don't remember Garnet Mimms, but did listen to 'One Girl', and, it is a great song-emotional, yet smooth. And, 'My Boy Lollipop' was very popular. She had such a little, but strong voice-very precise tone. Love 'Al Wilson's' pink suit, and remember his Show and Tell number. That was a cool video you put on!

    Hope you've had a good week. Oh, I did make it to #7 and #8 of your Soul Clinic series. I've commented on #8, and will have to get back to #7-then, I know there must be a stupendous conclusion at #9. I know, I know-it's taken me some time to get thru those posts, but, I told you, I'll get there! Stay cool, we got rain the other nite-YAY! See you soon, Shady!♫

    1. Hi, Susan! One thing I liked very much about the Disco phenomenon is that it got young people to dress up and look their best. For nearly 10 years prior to the emergence of Disco young people dressed down and seemed determined to look as plain and grubby as possible. I never bought into the hippie scene and really appreciated seeing everybody dressing nicely again in the mid and late 70s.

      I'm thrilled to know that you're making good on your promise and reading the Soul Clinic series in its entirety. I'll be sure to tell the band members you're posting new comments because, believe me, they really do appreciate your intelligent remarks and observations.

      We're getting daily storms lately which have broken the hot spell and the drought. There's been some rough stuff, with trees and branches down and some urban flooding, but all in all its a blessing.

      Thank you very much, dear friend Susan, for your dedication to my blog and your generous comments. Take care and say hello to Scootie for me!

  8. Another great list, Shady. I especially enjoyed the KISS section. I like them and similar bands that were popular around that same time period.

    Hope you're staying cool down your way! I know there's been rain moving through pretty much every afternoon. Hopefully they're actually helping cool things off and not just making it humid.

    1. Hi, Ashton! Great to see you! That's right. As Hall & Oates sang, "Kiss is on my list" and I'm glad you like them, too. I wouldn't be surprised if it's hotter in 'Bama than it is in Florida. Every afternoon brings cooling rain although today we had an electrical storm that briefly knocked out power. Thanks so much for checking in, dear friend Ashton, and have a wonderful week ahead!

  9. I love your blog! The music always brings me home to when mom danced around the kitchen with me singing these songs! Thank you oh and I loved the A Team growing up. :)

    1. Hi, Melynda! It's a pleasure to have you back again! You aren't the first person to have memories of dancing around the kitchen listening to the oldies that I present. I can think of two others who told me they danced in the kitchen in their youth. That's fascinating to me. Many of us also have fond memories of the original A-Team television series that featured a great blend of action, drama and humor. You might not know that series creator, Stephen J. Cannell, died less than two years ago. Thank you very much for being here, Melynda. You are always more than welcome to join my party and I appreciate your visit very much.

  10. Disco is alive and well at my house sweetie, giggle.Loved this post. The A Team, I used to watch this every week. giggle xo

  11. Hi, Katie! Every once in a while I catch disco fever and listen to nothing else for weeks or months at a time. The last time that happened was three years ago. However, when the pendulum swings back in the other direction, I can't stand to listen to disco. I'm glad you're still enjoying the sounds of that era and haven't tossed your records and CDs into a bonfire or blown them up with dynamite. Somehow I can picture you and Nicholas Cage performing a disco routine on Dancing With the Stars. (LOL) Thank you very much for coming by, dear Katie. I hope you never lose that giggle because it makes you such a pleasant person to know!

  12. Hi Tom! I've finally come out of my rain induced hibernation! I have to say I do like a bit of disco under the right circumstances, it's my guilty pleasure a bit like Katy Perry and Rihanna ! This makes Donnacha very sad ;)
    I hope you're keeping well!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, Emma! How are you feeling, dear friend? Did you get rid of that sore throat? Sure hope so. I would agree that for me Disco is a guilty pleasure. I don't want to like it but I sometimes do regardless. In fact, sometimes I get obsessed with it for a while and then it quickly passes. Thank you very much for coming to see me today, dear friend, and have a great weekend in sunny (?) Ireland.


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