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, December 7, 2012

Miracles Are Happening in Episode 20 of The D-Team!

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  








The Miracles hit big in the early weeks of 1961 with their top 5 charting single "Shop Around." It would take two full years before the Smokey Robinson led Motown group would return to the top 10 with "You Really Got a Hold On Me." Although they weren't exactly burning up the charts during the lean months in between the Miracles nevertheless made some outstanding recordings.

In the late summer of 1962 "Way Over There" died on the vine at #94 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart and never even registered on the R&B Singles survey. My Pick to Click is the uncharted B side which sounds a little like "Raindrops," the Dee Clark hit from the previous summer. Here are Smokey and the Miracles singing "If Your Mother Only Knew."

 "If Your Mother Only Knew" - The Miracles 
 (September 1962, uncharted B side of "Way Over There") 

In 1967 the Miracles laid down an album track that became
a classic dance number in the South Philly/Jersey area.

"It's a Good Feeling" was featured on the radio and television programs of boss jocks like Jerry Blavat and Hy Lit and was played for years at regional record hops. The people in this video are performing the Wagner Walk, one of the Geatorific line dances of the 60s, a variation of which was also popular with our gang at the Shady Dell.

 "It's a Good Feeling" - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 
 (from the 1967 album Make it Happen) 



During the Christmas season of 1966 "You Keep Me Hangin' On," the chart topping single by the Supremes, was playing nightly at the Shady Dell. At home, I frequently flipped the record and listened to Motown's most popular girl group per-
forming the exquisite B ballad "Remove This Doubt."

 "Remove This Doubt" - The Supremes (December 1966, 
 uncharted B side of "You Keep Me Hangin' On") 



Here's how I can tell that I'm getting old. There are millions of people alive today who never heard of A list soul groups like the O'Jays, the Spinners and the Pips. There are millions more who only know those acts from their 70s hits like "Back Stabbers," "Rubberband Man" and "Midnight Train to Georgia." What a shame, because all three acts were at their best in the 60s.

Gladys Knight & the Pips were already experienced veterans by the time they cut their first record in 1961. The family R&B/Soul act from Atlanta waxed some excellent sides on
the Fury and Maxx labels before signing with Motown and achieving their first major hit with "I Heard it Through the "Grapevine." One of those pre-Motown gems was released
in the spring of 1964 and cracked the top 40. You would be hard-pressed to find a ballad with more drama and feeling than "Giving Up."

 "Giving Up" - Gladys Knight & the Pips 
 (June 1964, highest chart position #38) 

 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! 


In the 70s some of the coolest sounds around were coming from the Memphis studios of Hi Records.

"Rhymes," co-written by Al Green and performed by R&B great O.V. Wright, made only a brief chart appearance in the fall of 1976, but Wright's silky smooth vocals and the song's compelling lyrics made a lasting impression on me.

 "Rhymes" O.V. Wright (September 1976, highest chart 
 position #87 R&B) 




The barbershop harmonies of the Chordettes were among
my earliest musical memories. I was barely five years old
in December 1954 when the female quartet hit #1 with
"Mr. Sandman," a record my mom and dad owned and that
I played often on my tiny tinny record player. In 1956 the popular girl group had a top 5 hit with "Born to Be With You," another of my parents' records I listened to again and again. In 1958 the Chordettes reached #2 with "Lollipop" followed by a top 20 single, the theme from one of my favorite TV series Zorro.

For decades those were the only Chordettes recordings I knew about. In the 1970s a friend gave me a box of records he no longer wanted and in it I discovered "A Girl's Work is Never Done," a poor selling Chordettes single released in 1959. Featured on the picture sleeve was Jackie Ertel, daughter of one of the original Chordettes, Janet Ertel. Jackie's other claim to fame was marrying Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers. "Girl's Work" is an obvious girl group knock-off of the Coasters' hit "Yakety Yak" and I didn't pay much attention to it.

Instead, I found myself spinning the heck out of the killer bee side of the record. "No Wheels" featured Jeff Kron doing his best imitation of hipster Edd "Kookie" Byrnes and Jackie Ertel credited for screaming "NO NO NO!" Both sides of the record benefited from the instrumental prowess of bandleader and tenor sax player King Curtis. "No Wheels" is so bad it's great! Dig it, man. It's far out, the coolest, like way gone, daddy-o!

 "No Wheels" - The Chordettes with Jeff Kron & Jackie Ertel 
 (September 1959, uncharted B side of  "A Girl's Work is 
 Never Done") 

 Don't miss the next thrill-packed episode 

 of The D-Team, coming soon! 

 I love it 


 a plan 



Have a Shady day!


  1. Oh, you've got some gems today, Shady! Those first ones I actually know, and know well, albeit true that I was introduced to them via their 70's hits. I am still captivated by Smokey Robinson's smooth, smooth voice. I also enjoyed hearing for the first time today your second group of artists.

    I will start my Friday with tunes in my heart and a spring in my step. Thank you, friend, and have a great weekend!

    1. Glad to do it for you, Shelly! I agree that Smokey's voice was like butta but then so was O.V. Wright's. Jeff Kron's? Not so much. (LOL) As always, Shelly, I thank you for being the early arrival to the blog. You are a dear friend and I wish you a very happy weekend!

  2. Hi my friend. So pleased to hear that Toto is recovering well. Some great tunes for us there today and i enjoyedlistening to them. I always loved Smokey Robinson, The Supremes and Gladys Knight with her pips! Sorry i'm late reporting in today!

    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme! Thank you for caring so much about Toto. The holidays will certainly be brighter now that she's bounced back. I thought you might know these Motown artists but probably not the rather obscure recordings that I selected for you. I'm glad you enjoyed them and I thank you very much for visiting. Have a wonderful weekend with your grandchildren, dear friend!

  3. Who doesn't love a little Smokey Robinson? So, so smooth... And the Supremes and Gladys Knight were the sounds of growing up. I'd never heard of the Chordettes, but you're right: "No Wheels" is so bad it's good. Good a good laugh at that one.

    1. Hi karen! May I assume that you remember the detective TV series 77 Sunset Strip and the breakout character Gerald Lloyd "Kookie" Kookson III? Jeff Kron's voice-over reminds me very much of Edd Byrnes' "Kookie-talk" on the show. Maybe he sounds more like beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. What do you think? Anyway, it's wonderful to have you over again this week and I'm glad I gave you a good laugh. Thank you for coming, dear friend karen, and have a safe and happy weekend!

  4. Wow! The Chordettes! Loved them Shady. Of course Lollipop was the most popular song of theirs that I remember. And, I had no idea one of the girls was married to Phil Everly. We've seen the Chordettes on public television when they're doing some of their concerts to raise money. It's so fun to watch them now!

    Smokey Robinson did such great things. 'Shop Around' was the best. I still sing that song to myself, of course! We had a 78 record with about 6 songs on it, and Shop Around was one of them. Everything he did was big in my book.

    This was a good lineup-Gladys Knight and the Pips were also great. Her voice was one that kept you listening. I never heard 'Give it Up', but enjoyed listening to your presentation of it.

    Shady, I hope you are doing well. And, how is Toto? I'm trying to catch up from having our little Scooter in house this past week. Sorry I haven't been around, but, have made it to your last post, and, passed the test (barely). That was fun! Have a good week, will talk to you soon. We're expecting some temps in the 20's in Fort Worth within the next day or two, brrr! I'll try not to complain when it hits!♫

  5. Howdy again, Suzanne! (For those of you just joining us Suzanne is the artist formerly known as "Susan" LOL) I'll tell you this, dear friend. When I caught my first glimpse of your new profile picture I thought for a moment that Barbara Mandrell had become a follower! (LOL) Enough jokes! I am so happy to see you back here, dear friend. I wondered where you got to and was hoping it wasn't anything too serious. Scootie is a dear child and I'm so glad you nursed him back to health so that he can enjoy the rest of the holidays. Just to clarify, it was one of the original Chrodettes' daughters who became Mrs. Phil Everly. Thank you for asking about Toto. At Thanksgiving time it seemed likely that we would lose our wonderful dog before Christmas. She had a cancerous tumor on her paw and the surgery required to remove her toe was major and risky for a dog her age. I am very happy to report that Toto made it through the procedure just fine and got her stitches out yesterday. It's still too warm here in Tampa Bay and I'm tired of running the air conditioning. I'm looking forward to a blast of cooler air so please forward that front of yours to me when you're done with it. Thank you again, dear Suzanne, for your thoughtfulness and for being such a devoted friend. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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    1. samson - As the old saying goes, I'll put that in my pipe and smoke it. (LOL) Thank you very much for the kind words. Please join me again next week right here on station SDMM for more music and memories!

  7. ah my clever friend, you know the way to make me smile. Smokey, Glady's the Supremes and some Mr. T too. xo

    1. Hi, Katie! I'm happy to make you smile any day of the week, my friend. Thanks so much for stopping by and give Izzy a hug and a biscuit for me! (Toto's still wearing that doggone cone!)

  8. Hi Tom! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment on my last post. I appreciate your sympathies! I can't believe the coincidence of both your father and your grandfather passing away on Christmas day! I hope Christmas time makes you think fondly of them instead of feeling sad! I hope you are doing well this week, I am finally getting up to date with everything again!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, Emma! Thank you very much for being here, dear friend. To be honest with you I can't help getting the blues at least for a while on Christmas day because I am reminded of my father. However, I have no memory at all of my grandfather because he passed away 12 years before I was born. I hope you and all members of your family are in good health and good spirits and will thoroughly enjoy the holidays. Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Emma!

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  10. dtp - I don't know how you ended up here either! (LOL) (I think it's the pipe.) Nevertheless, I appreciate the compliment and I hope you'll follow along regularly. Have a great day!


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