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, May 6, 2013

Divine Secrets of the Shoop Shoop Rama Lama Ding Dong Sisterhood




 It's certainly one of the greatest 

 song titles in rock and roll history. 


The Clinger Sisters, who later called themselves
The Clingers, were fore-
runners of The Partridge Family. As children, the Mormon sisters from Utah appeared along with the Osmonds on The Andy Williams Show and became regulars for three seasons on The Danny Kaye Show.

In the decades that followed The Clinger Sisters performed many types of music including country, mainstream rock, garage-punk and, most recently, Christian.

I'd like you to witness
two fantastic Clinger Sisters performances. Let's begin with their
mid 60s appearance on the popular teen music and dance showcase Hollywood A Go-Go.
In this groovy clip the girls perform that song with the outrageous title, a single they released the previous summer at the height of the British Invasion.

 "Shoop Shoop De Doop Rama Lama Ding Dong 
 Yeah Yeah Yeah" - The Clinger Sisters 
 (released September 1964, live appearance on 
 April 24, 1965 episode of Hollywood A-Go-Go

Four years later, having transformed into a serious
girl band known as The Clingers, the sisters appeared
on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

The Clingers played a rockin' rendition of the
Easybeats' song "Gonna Have a Good Time."

 "Gonna Have a Good Time" - The Clingers 
 (1969 on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Debra Clinger, the sister act's bass player,

established a career as an actress in the 1970s.

Debra co-starred
with Priscilla (Three's Company) Barnes in The American Girls,
a late 70s TV series patterned after the hit Charlie's Angels.

Debra also co-starred with David Naughton and
Michael J. Fox in the 1980 movie Midnight Madness.

Lead singer Peggy Clinger became a songwriter
but tragically passed away in the 70s.


"It Hurts to Be Sixteen" is a song co-written by
Neil Sedaka and clearly derived from one of his
biggest hits, "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen."

The song was first offered to the Chiffons but the
version waxed by that girl group in 1963 remained
unreleased until 1970 when it appeared on their
album My Secret Love.

 "It Hurts to Be Sixteen" - The Chiffons 
 (recorded in 1963, released in 1970 
 on album My Secret Love


That Chiffons' recording of "It Hurts to Be Sixteen"
remained locked in the vault gathering dust, but
three other artists simultaneously released their
own versions of the song in the summer of 1963.

A single by pop singer Andrea Carroll
stopped just shy of the top 40.

 "It Hurts to Be Sixteen" - Andrea Carroll 
 (August 1963, highest chart position #45) 


An unremarkable version of "Sixteen" was released
by an artist named Lana Jean and failed to chart.

The third version, by Barbara Chandler, never climbed
higher than the Bubbling Under chart but it's the one
I like best. With her little girl voice Barbara sounds
like a Neil Sedaka 45 being played at 78rpm!

 "It Hurts to Be Sixteen" - Barbara Chandler 
 (August 1963, highest chart position #114) 


Now I want you to hear three nearly identical versions
of another song. Not to be confused with the R&B hit
by Gladys Knight and the Pips, "Every Beat of My Heart"
is a song penned and produced by West Coast music vet
Al Hazan with a dramatic arrangement by Jack Nitzsche.

Listen first to the version of the song that was recorded
by Cindy Malone in August 1963, released as a Capitol
single a month later and failed to make the chart.

 "Every Beat of My Heart" - Cindy Malone 
 (September 1963, uncharted) 


"Every Beat of My Heart" was written by Al Hazan
for his girlfriend, Marilee Summers.

Summers, a well known West Coast actress, model and
talent agent, recorded a demo of the song that was used
to produce the record released by Cindy Malone. When
I listen to "Every Beat of My Heart" I get the same
eerie, creepy sensation I experience whenever I hear
"Look For a Star," the tender ballad used so effectively
to heighten terror and suspense in Circus of Horrors.

 "Every Beat of My Heart"  
 Marilee Summers (1963, unreleased demo) 


Now listen to my favorite recording of the song,
this one a demo by The Starr Sisters.

The sweet, breathy vocals and Nitzsche's atmospheric
production remind me of The Paris Sisters and also
bring to mind David Lynch and the disturbingly
beautiful voice of Julee Cruise on the soundtrack
of Twin Peaks. Note that this production has an
added sound effect, the clinking sound made by
Sonny Bono striking an empty Coke bottle with a key!

 "Every Beat of My Heart" - The Starr Sisters 
 (1963, unreleased demo) 


Finally, here are the singing Austin Sisters with
a great girl group rock n' roll single from 1958.
To me this sounds like the kind of record
the late Annette Funicello could have made
with a little more fire in her belly. Don't miss
the wailin' instrumental break in the middle!

 "It Happened at the Hop" - The Austin Sisters 
 (1958, uncharted) 


 Singing sibs, soul sisters 

 and girl pop soloists. 

 Some are long forgotten. 

 All are worth remembering. 

Have a Shady day!


  1. I am fascinated by your whole lineup today, especially the Clingers. That is really a metamorphosis.

    I enjoyed the music today, too. I want to ask you a question. Do you think the music world is discriminatory against girls bands/ singers? If so, why?

    I'm sorry if I've asked you an unanswerable question, but if anyone would know, it would be you, my friend!

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi, Shelly! Yessum, the Clinger sisters adapted to the changing music scene very well and continued to dabble in different styles in the years that followed. That Hollywood A Go Go performance is classic and their post Beatles "Shoop Shoop" 45 is a fantastic girl group sound that deserved to be a hit. I forgot to mention in the text that it never even made the Bubbling Under chart, which is hard to believe!

      Your question is a toughy. I wish you had made it multiple choice instead of an essay question! (LOL) I don't know anything about the music industry of today but I do know a little about the past. I don't have any information about contracts or pay scales but I do know that for many years there was a double standard, one set of rules for males and another for females. In the 50s society embraced guys like Elvis who had a bold, tough image and performed rock 'n roll and rockabilly. During the same time frame female singers were expected to look and sound ladylike, soft, gentle and civilized. It took fiery women like Wanda Jackson to break through and pave the way for female rockers of the 70s and beyond. All this year and into next I will be featuring many fine yet little known female solists, girl groups and girl bands. The quality was there but 90% of the music they produced never made the Billboard chart. Maybe discrimination had something to do with it. Thank you very much for dropping in, dear friend Shelly, and have a great day!

  2. Hi dear Tom. What a crazy title for a record that was, by The Clinger Sisters! I must admit that I like the sort off music you've played for us today. Roy Orbison always did a lot of shoo whopping etc! Not forgetting doo be doo's !' The answer you gave to Shelly was very interesting as well. It's wonderful how all these Artistes are being brought to us again via the wonder that is Shady Dell's blog. Hope you have a good week over there in deepest Florida!! Smooches to you, as always.

    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme, and smooches right back across the pond to you! With a title like that, a great girl group sound like that and the many lyric "hooks" throughout, the Clinger Sisters' single deserved to be a hit. As you might have noticed the record was released on Tollie, the same label that issued the Beatles' early hits "Twist and Shout" b/w "There's a Place and "Love Me Do" b/w "P.S. I Love You." So many great recordings went nowhere, I'm discovering, and yessum, I am very proud to be bringing them to you on my blog. Thank you very much for visiting, dear Thisisme, and good night to you in warm, springy Devon, England!

  3. I think I like the Chiffons version of It Hurts to Be Sixteen best, it's great hearing all of the different versions one after the other and the small differences. I totally agree about the creepiness of Every beat of my Heart and that it reminds you of Julee Cruise, it wouldn't be out of place on a David Lynch film soundtrack!

    Hope you had a great weekend Tom!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, dear Emma! I did have a nice weekend, thank you. I'm excited to know you agree with me about "Every Beat" sounding creepy, like something that could be used in a Lynch movie to make the viewer squirm with suspense or even be juxtaposed with scenes of extreme violence. I love imaginative movie making like that. It amazes me how little difference there is between the two demos and the released single version and also how little difference there is among the versions of Neil Sedaka's "Sixteen." Most of the above mentioned recordings never made the chart and none cracked the top 40. Thank you very much for your kind comments, dear friend Emma. I hope you have a wonderful week!

  4. Sheesh Shady...I don't know about this, but I will start by agreeing with Emma that the Chiffon's version of 'My Secret Love' felt more comfy to me than the others. 'It Hurts to be Sixteen', well, I like 'Andrea Carroll's cut...reminds me of Leslie Gore and Shelly Fabares (sp).

    Ooooh, yes, erie and spooky Marilee Summers with 'Every Beat of My Heart'! But all versions were spooky to me-I guess they just didn't send me, lol! And, you're right about 'It happened at the Hop'! A 50's familiar tune. This was fun Shady, but, I couldn't add much since I don't remember these ladies, and, The Clingers were pretty good, great costumes.

    Hope your week is off to a good start. Muggy weather in Fort Worth today, expecting rain at the end of the week. I don't want to give up the 60° weather-selfish, eh?

    Take care, thanks for the 'new nostalgia' Shady! You find the best of the forgotten ones! See you soon!♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne! Half the fun for me is not knowing and remembering the artists I present. The only ones I knew before doing my research were the Chiffons. To me it's very exciting to find great recordings that never made the charts but should have. I hope you agree with me that the last record, the one by the Austin Sisters, sounded a lot like the late Annette F. only with a little more punch.

      We're having unseasonably cool weather which is very welcome at this time of year. Temp is going down into the 50s overnight tonight, very refreshing.

      Thank you very much for swinging by for a look and a listen, dear friend Suzanne. I hope you can plow through your busy work week in good shape!

  5. Hi, Shady!

    It's funny and hard to believe that I never heard of any of these sibling bands. I was really intrigued by the Clinger Sisters and liked them the best! (I do vaguely remember the American Girls show). What a transformation w/ their looks and music in just 5 years. My favorite band is Heart, I love girl bands and Heart is another sibling band just a few short years after the Clingers. It's always fun to learn new things about music's history. I learn a lot from this blog.

    Thank you, Shady!

    1. Hi, Toni! Welcome back! I was hoping you'd like the Clingers as much as I do. Their Hollywood A Go Go performance is classic 60s girl group and I love their catchy "Shoop Shoop" song. I also enjoyed the Easybeats cover that they performed five years later on The Smothers Brothers. The Clingers were said to be progenitors of the Partridge Family but with their bolder sound and style they reminded me of the Carrie Nations from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Thank you very much for your excellent comments, dear friend Toni, and please come back again soon!

  6. Hello to my new blogger friend!
    Hi Shady Del Knight, I like your blog too Shady! That is groovy that you own some of those albums too & yes vinyl rules! I haven't heard of The Clinger Sisters..i will definitely check them out.

    Take Care, Love n huggz;

    1. Hi, Jules, and welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I am delighted to have you as my newest follower. People of all ages from around the world gather here to relax, unwind and listen to the music of the past, including great yet seldom heard relics like the ones featured in my current post. I was thrilled to find your blog, too, and to know that you are tuned in to the Sixties. There is a lot we can all learn from each other and great friendships to be made. By the way, "Shady" is a character that I created to "host" the blog. You will notice that some friends who post comments call me by my real name, Tom. You may call me by either name. Again, I am delighted to have you following, Jules, and I know we will enjoy our friendship. Thank you again, Jules, love n huggz to you, and have a wonderful night!

  7. Margaret SchneiderMay 8, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Hello Tom.

    Surprise! I'm still here!
    I looked at your blog tonight and listened to the music. I want to tell you that I liked the first song best because there is something I enjoy about that tune.
    The song about being 16 made me think about when I was that young. My husband Ralph and I went together for five years before we got married. We would go to see movies at the Strand Theatre on the corner of N. George Street and Philadelphia Street in York. Sometimes we liked to go to dances at The Valencia Ballroom and we danced "The Charleston". The girls on the songs here sure look and dance different from back then!

    1. Hello, dear Margaret! I'm very excited to see you here for a visit. You and I agree that the first song is the best one. If you think about it, the record is a nod to the girl group sound ("Shoop Shoop"), the doo-wop era ("Rama Lama Ding Dong") and the Beatles ("Yeah Yeah Yeah"). Hollywood A Go Go and other TV shows like it were fun and exciting to watch. I think all these tunes make us feel young again and that's why I love listening to them. You mentioned going dancing at the Valencia Ballroom. As you might recall, John Ettline was once the manager of the Valencia. I wish I could have seen you doing the Charleston. Thank you very much for coming to see me, dear friend Margaret. I hope you are feeling better every hour. Please remember how many people around the world love you, including me. God bless!

  8. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMay 8, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Hi Tom!

    I thought it would be fun to see mother's reactions to an SDM&M post (other than the ones about her life), hear the music and see the videos, so I played the latest post for her on full screen mode with the volume up. She watched and listened, amazed how this iPad can show her all this. She seemed to get a kick out of the dance movements and fashions, and she looked at me with raised eyebrows and shook her head more than a few times!

    I explained - again - how a blog works and how people write comments about what they see.
    I asked her if she would like to leave a comment and she agreed that it would be fun to surprise you by hearing from her.

    Now I did have to edit her comments somewhat — especially the one where she thought Marilee Summers "almost showed everything she had" in that photo of her! LOL!

    She is the oldest patient at a lot of her doctors' offices. I told her she may as well add blogging to her list of lifetime experiences. Could it be that she is your oldest blogger?!

    Have a good evening!


    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! My oh my, this was a wonderful surprise you facilitated. I am very pleased to see both of you here and I wish I could have been there to see your mother's expressions. I know the fashions, dances and music presented here are very different from those of her youth but it's nice to know she found something to like, especially the Clinger Sisters record which is my Pick to Click. I had to laugh at Margaret's comment about Marilee Summers and I'm glad it found its way into print here on the blog. Every word out of her mouth is priceless to me. Margaret is indeed my oldest blogger but you'd never know it because she thinks young, has spunk and a great sense of humor. Thank you for sharing your mother's comments with us, dear Kathleen, and feel free to do it again sometime, perhaps on my next heavy metal post! (LOL)

  9. What a music education I received with this post! I don't recall any of the bands...bad me! But I laughed at the change of style the Clingers had in the time frame of 4yrs...I do remember the TV shows mentioned and watched them faithfully but just can't recall the group. Every version of "Every Beat Of My Heart" gave me a chill...kind of creepy..but the last song had me toe tapping and enjoying it! Yep, I could just imagine Annette singing that one! I really enjoyed her in her hayday. She was a classy lady and will be missed. Hope your week is good and give a Happy Nurse's Day to Mrs. Shady! Thanks always for your kind comments on my blog!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you for dropping by. I was wondering what you'd think of my post title, derived as it was from a hit movie bearing your name! (LOL) I was shocked, too, at the transformation in the Clingers and how they decided to rock hard there for a while, even experimenting with garage-punk. It's sad that lead singer Peggy Clinger died just a few years after that appearance on the Smothers Bros. I'm happy to know you share the creepy sensation when listening to "Every Beat of My Heart." I did a series on the Paris Sisters a while back and their recordings also give me the chills. Yes, it's a shame we lost Annette recently. She was the first girl I ever had a crush on and it all started in 1955. Speaking of classy ladies, you are one, too, dear friend, and I again salute you for your fine work on the surgical team. Thank you again for your visit and comments, dear YaYa and good night to you!

  10. Hello Shady! Better late than never, huh? Apologies - I'm still battling the eye thing and the computer screen glare hurts a bit, but I'm on the mend now. Did everyone like the Clingers but me? I thought they were kind of awful... although you have to judge them by what was available at the time I guess. I didn't remember any of these groups except the Chiffons, and I did like their version of "My Secret Love" the best. Oh, and the Marilee Summers version of "Every Beat of My Heart." You're right though - it was a little chilling. I think girl bands weren't as popular in general because they weren't, as a rule, as exciting to watch - major exception being groups like the Supremes. They were kind of sweet and cloying - at least their mainstream image. But then when Janis Joplin came along... look out!

    1. Hi, karen! No need to apologize, my dear friend. I am sorry your eye is still bothering you and as I told you I hope the kids back east aren't dealing with any flare-ups. What counts is that you showed up for me and I deeply appreciate it! Gosh, I'm shocked that you didn't like the Clinger Sisters so much. I thought you'd be able to tell me all about the Clingers, seeing as how they were Mormons and appeared on Andy Williams, etc. I saved this post until you got back from your trip just so you wouldn't miss seeing and hearing them. Just goes to show how much we both have to learn from each other as our friendship rolls on. As I told another person who commented, the Chiffons were the only act I knew about before doing my research on this "Sisters" post. I love to uncover obscure recordings that coulda been, woulda been and shoulda been hits. Thank you again, dear karen, for enduring the computer screen's harsh glare to come here and be a great friend to me. I hope you're on the mend and that you have a great weekend and Mother's Day!

  11. Hiya,

    I just listened to that Cindy Malone song and i looove it!!! Another singer i've never heard of before. Thanks so much for putting it on your page, now i have another song to groove to. :)

    Take Care,

    1. Hi, Strawberry-Doll! I'm delighted to know you checked back in, checked out Cindy Malone's record and loved it. I love all three versions, Cindy's released single plus the two demos. As I've told others it is a sweet and tender love song and yet, somehow, I can imagine it playing during a scene of graphic violence in a psychological thriller like Blue Velvet. Thank you very much for coming back in for a visit, dear friend Jules, and good night to you up in Canada!

  12. What a great post, I just love the 60s girl group sound. I hadn't heard of The Clinger Sisters before, will definitely have to check them out!

    1. Hi, Sarah! First of all I want to welcome you to Shady Dell Music & Memories and thank you for becoming a follower. What you will find here is a wide variety of music, shared memories and a network of friends from around the globe. Blog friends are real friends and the people you'll find here prove it.

      If you like the girl groups you have come to the right place. All this year and into next I will be focusing on girl groups of the 50s and 60s.

      That first Clinger Sisters video captured the excitement of young America in the post-Beatles 60s. I feel very lucky to have been young when all this great music was being produced.

      Thank you again, dear Sarah, for joining the fun here on SDM&M. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and weekend in London town!

  13. awesome post! i love discovering old music xx

    1. Hi, Leah! I don't know if you're still awake at this hour in the UK but I want to thank you for dropping by for a visit. I returned the favor by checking out your blog and it's a great one. Looks like you and your friends are into thrifting and vintage clothing. I also put your blog membership up to the 400 mark by clicking to follow you. If you enjoy old music from the 50s thru the 90s then I guarantee you'll have fun here. I also post many vintage pictures, posters, illustrations, adverts and pin-ups along with the music. I invite you to follow my blog. If you do I promise to keep you entertained and always make you feel welcome. Thank you again for coming, Leah, and have a wonderful Sunday in your corner of the UK!


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