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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kicks Are Afoot as Dell Rats Toe the Line & Chase the Blues Without Any Shoes!


In the spring and summer of 1966, records made
by black artists and records made by white artists
emulating black acts converged on the Shady Dell.
It was an unprecedented explosion of soul inside
the barn's jukebox. Records by the Magnificent Men,
Temptations, Four Tops, Sam & Dave and James Brown
were played heavily by soul hungry Dell rats.

Robert Parker is remembered as
a one-hit-wonder,
but at the Dell
his catchy record
gained a foothold
and became one of the most popular
songs of the year.

Parker kicked off the summer soul sweepstakes 
in May and he did so without any shoes.

Whenever Parker's “Barefootin’" started playing,
Dell rats came a runnin’ by the dozen. Dellettes
in particular wasted no time getting into the
spirit of the proceedings, obeying Parker's
command to “Take off your shoes!”

 "Barefootin'" - Robert Parker 
 (June 1966, highest chart 
 position #7 Hot 100, #2 R&B) 

Dellions danced barefoot in the barn and outside on
the concrete terrace. No matter where they did it,
"Barefootin'" galvanized the group. It was the kind
of novelty record that spread joy and laughter
throughout the Dell for months on end.

The boss B, "Let's Go, Baby (Where the Action is)"
was equally if not more popular with deejays and
dancers in England's Northern Soul clubs.
The two best things about these Robert Parker
videos are the black go-go dancers, a very rare
sight in the 60s, and boy can these girls dance!

 "Let's Go Baby (Where the Action is)" - Robert Parker 
(June 1966, uncharted B side of "Barefootin'") 


I met Peter Noone circa 1991 when he came to
the Tampa television station where I worked.
Peter was in town to perform in a concert and
we taped promotional interviews with him.
The former lead singer of Herman's Hermits
still had his boyish looks and ear to ear grin.

A quarter century earlier the mild mannered,
good-natured, mother-approved Brit band won
me over and became international stars with
their first hit, "I'm Into Something Good,"
a cover of a Goffin-King song originally
recorded by Cookies member Earl-Jean.

 "I'm Into Something Good" - Herman's Hermits 
 (Nov. 1964, highest chart position #13 US/#1 UK, 
 scene from 1965 movie Go Go Mania aka Pop Gear

Herman's Hermits were still going strong in
1966 when "Listen People" became their fifth
American single to reach the top 5.

Herman's Hermits performed "Listen People" 
in When the Boys Meet the Girls, a 1965
musical comedy starring Connie Francis.

 "Listen People" - Herman's Hermits 
 (March 1966, highest chart position #3, 
 scene from October 1965 movie 
 When the Boys Meet the Girls


Dennis Yost and his vocal group the Classics IV
knocked me out with "Spooky." Some say Dennis
took his music in the wrong direction when he
lost his blue-eyed soul and adopted a softer,
mellower pop style in subsequent releases.
Be that as it may, the group's single "Stormy"
became a top 5 hit at Christmas 1968.

 "Stormy" - Classics IV 
 (December 1968, highest chart position #5) 


Now here's a sensational cover of "Stormy"
recorded at the start of 1969 by Diana Ross
and the Supremes. This little known recording
remained unreleased, locked in the vault until
1987 when it showed up on the Supremes
album Never-Before-Released Masters.
This one's my Pick to Click - a great yet
seldom heard gem by Diana Ross and
her superstar Motown girl group.

 "Stormy" - The Supremes 
 (January 1969, unreleased) 



It's time for the Swan song of today's post.
Swan, a Philly based record label distributed by
Cameo-Parkway, cranked out 45rpm singles aimed at
the teenage market. Swan was home to Freddy Cannon
and Mickey Lee Lane, two of my favorite artists.

Some Swan 45s were released with "Don't drop out"
printed on the label. Shucks, my featured Swan single
is too cool for school. "That's Life (That's Tough)"
is a rad relic performed by a one-hit-wonder
group called Gabriel and the Angels.

Utilizing a clever call-and-response hook,
"That's Life (That's Tough)" climbed the 
chart during the Christmas season of 
1962 and brushed the top 50.

 "That's Life (That's Tough) - Gabriel & the Angels 
 (December 1962, highest chart position #51) 




 It's a breakfast 
 cereal made of 
 whole grain oats 
 introduced in 1961 
 and distributed by 
 the Quaker Oats 



Have a Shady day!


  1. I had never heard of Barefootin' before and really enjoyed it. Loved your story of meeting Peter Noone. Again, you've shared some great music with us that normally I wouldn't have heard otherwise. You are like our music professor!

    And who could forget Mikey. I hope the rest of your week is terrific, my friend!

    1. Hi, Shelly! Little Mikey probably has gray hair by now! :) I'm happy to know you got into Robert Parker's "Barefootin'" record which was climbing the chart and delighting Dell rats this month in 1966. I had a ball during the 80s and 90s as a steady stream of pop, rock and heavy metal artists came through the doors of the TV station where I worked. I'll never forget Peter Noone's ever present grin during his visit to our studio that day. The clever lyrics to "That's Life (That's Tough)" refer to Life magazine but I wanted to remind you that Life cereal was introduced one year before that record was released. The advertising campaign featuring Mikey was one of the most successful in history. Thank you very much for letting me entertain you, dear friend Shelly, and have a super Tuesday!

  2. Hi Shady! I enjoyed the "Barefootin" song. I can just imagine the young dell teens dancin' on both floors barefooted to that song!
    I don't remember that song but I know I've heard it recently. Maybe it was used in a commercial. Same thing with Herman's Hermits, I do remember them especially Peter Noone, mostly because he was so cute with his babyface! Only thing, I remember Donny Osmond's version of "something tells me I'm into something good" better than theirs. I mostly remember them singing about Mrs. Brown and Henry the VIII! I didn't realize the Supremes covered "Stormy". For me, it was a toss up to who sung it best! One more thing, I love Life, Mikey and his brothers! LOL!

    1. Hi there, dear friend Toni! I'm happy to know you love Life. That's the spirit! (LOL) Yessum, "Barefootin'" started up the chart in April and was a big hit at the Dell by this time in May. From May thru the summer months, many of the Dell kids hung out around the terrace and danced on it to music piped through remote speakers. I can imagine "Barefootin'" being used as a jingle in a commercial for athlete's foot ointment! (LOL) I never heard the Donny Osmond version of "Something Good." I learned something new from you today. I will be presenting the original version by Earl-Jean in an upcoming post. Thank you ever so much for coming over for a look and a listen, dear friend Toni, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  3. Hi dear Tom. I didn't expect to see you here today, or am I just all out with the days?! I like Shelly's comment that you are our Professor of Music!:D I loved the song today by The Supremes. I used to love them. What a wonderful memory about all the dancers at The Shady Dell bopping barefoot. Happy times my friend. I also loved Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits, especially I'm Into Something Good. Another great selection of pick of the pops for us today.

    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme! I space most of my posts 6 or 7 days apart, but the posts for Mother's Day, Father's Day and the Ettlines' birthdays are given only a day or two run time because they are essentially the same posts repeated every year. In other words, fresh new content is given more time on the front page than "reruns." I hope Robert Parker had you kicking off your shoes and bopping to the beat like those go-go dancers. Looking back they were indeed fun and happy times with all the kids dancing barefoot and the Pennsylvania weather warming up day by day during the month of May. Thank you very much for reporting in, dear friend Thisisme. I'll see you over at your place soon!

  4. Am I the only one who remembers "Barefootin?" Love that song! And I loved Herman's Hermits too! I'll never forget that smile... You shared some good music today Shady - so much fun!

    1. Hi, karen! You're right - I was beginning to wonder if I entered The Twilight Zone when nobody remembered Robert Parker's biggie. "Barefootin'" was the #7 record in the land (#2 on the R&B chart) and that means it was a major hit coast to coast. I'm very happy that we see EYE TO EYE, dear friend, and that my stuff clicked with you today. Thank you sincerely for coming over for a visit and for your sweet and supportive comments, karen. Have a safe trip down to La Jolla and blog all about it when you get back, okay?

  5. Hi Shady. What a fun post! I really liked The Classic IV's 'Spooky' and 'Stormy'. Just good ole' sing a longs-'Spooky' was my favorite of the two.
    Well, something was wrong with the system, or blogger, (it gave me 'this webpage can't be found) message on your songs, and the only song I could listen to was 'Stormy'. So, I'll have to venture back, to hear the Supremes version. I didn't know they sang it!

    'Barefootin' was a fabulous dance song. Of course, all the soul survivors were into that one. Great vocals and instrumentals. I guess I didn't realize Robert Parker was just a 'one-hit wonder'...he got a lot of folks out of their chairs with this one!

    What fun to get to meet Peter Noone...and, I think he is better now than he was when he was younger! He has aged gracefully, and his vocals are 'spot on', he doesn't miss a note! So there we have it-some of the greats. And, I will have to return to see if I can at least listen to the Supremes 'Stormy' version...I'm really curious.

    Have a great evening Shady. Thanks for the treat! See you later.♫

    Oh...P.S. I'm also curious about that song 'That's Life' (That's Tough). The title really sounds familiar, so I'll need to listen to it too.

    1. Hi, Suzanne! I'm not sure I understand the nature of your technical problems but it's a shame because the video links all work fine for me. I really want you to hear Gabriel and the Angels. Their record plus Robert Parker's B side "Let's Go Baby" and the Supremes' "Stormy" are the three I want you to hear even if you have to look them up on YouTube. Also, the go-go dancing on "Let's Go Baby" is ultra cool and not to be missed! Very unusual to see black go-go dancers back then and those girls really know how to do the pony and other dances of the day. Maybe you can help identify the various dances they perform during that video. Anyway I hope you succeed in hearing all of these one way or another and I thank you very much for stopping in tonight, dear Suzanne!

  6. This is yet another creative compilation of music and humor, Tom.
    May I also say that the Dell Rats seemed to of played some rad music back in the day; they knew what real music was, huh?! Also, I LOVED.. LOVED, That's Life(That's Tough) by Gabriel & the Angels, it had me doing some mild dancing in my seat, haha!
    (p.s. I never knew the song till now, thanks)

    Golly, there's so much more I could say, but I want to keep it short and sweet my friend. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi, Presley! I am delighted to see you again, my dear! Is your taste in music shifting a little or simply becoming more eclectic? It matters not. All that matters is that you enjoyed my post and that makes me very happy. It is especially exciting to me that you grooved to "That's Life" because it's a classic of the early 60s Philly sound and absolutely "too cool for school." You also touched on one of the key points of my whole blog which is the fact that Dell rats had radar for cool and demanded it in the music they listened and danced to. The Rodentia Intelligentsia knew the real deal when they heard it, often finding it on the obscure B side of a record.

      Presley, I am so honored to have you tuning in to my blog and having fun. This is what I live for. Thank you for coming and have a wonderful Wednesday, kiddo!

  7. Hey there, Shady! I absolutely LOVE Spooky and Stormy! They have been favorites of mine since I was a little girl. I had no idea they were both performed by the same group or what the name of the band was. I'm Into Something Good is another old fave of mine that I can't imagine ever getting tired of. It's such a feel-good song. I can't help but smile when I hear it. I'm "Barefootin" as I listen to it and my feet are tap-tappin away to the beat. And who doesn't remember Mikey! haha... I loved that commercial and Life cereal is another favorite that will never go out of style.

    Thank you for another fun and educational post, Professor Shady! ;) I hope that you are happy and well, my friend. Have a spectacular day!!

    1. Hi, Jenn June! I'm so happy that you came by and also delighted to know that you enjoyed my playlist. Yessum, Dennis Yost had one of the smoothest and most distinctive voices in 60s pop and gave us "Spooky," "Stormy," "Traces" and "Everyday With You Girl." I'm sure you'd remember them all if you heard them. Tragically, Dennis fell down a flight of stairs in 2006, sustained a serious brain injury and died two-and-a-half years later on the 40th anniversary of "Stormy" entering the Billboard chart. Sad but true. What the world needs now (along with wonderful friends like you) are more feel good songs and Herman's Hermits delivered them. "Barefootin'" was irresistible and I'm ecstatic to know it resonated with you as well. You would have made a terrific Dellette, Jennifer! Thank you very much for being here with me today, dear friend, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. Once again introducing me to songs and artists I don't know! I know Herman's Hermits and I'm Into Something Good, and the Supremes of course! I think I prefer the Supremes version of Stormy though, it's funny how great songs are sometimes never heard for years for one reason or another. Sometimes unreleased material is my favourite!

    Hope you're having a lovely week Tom!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, dear Emma! I am having a fine week and hope you are, too. Thanks for coming to this week's platter party. I'm happy to know our ears match on the Supremes' version of "Stormy." Apparently it was made just before Diana Ross split from the other girls and went solo. I totally agree that a tremendous amount of great material remained unreleased by records companies. I always wonder why. In recent years, for example, many excellent unreleased recordings made by Connie Francis in the 50s and early 60s were finally issued on CD. Thank you once again for brightening my day with your visit, dear friend Emma. Take care and I'll chat with you again soon!

  9. Hi Tom, just listened to that song Barefootin'..that is soooooo good!!!!! Loved watching the video, i never heard of this guy before..yay, another song for me to get happy about:)

    1. Hello again, dear Jules! It pleases me no end that you enjoyed Robert Parker's "Barefootin'," a novelty soul record that kept the joint jumpin' from May until the start of school in September. It is a feel good song that's guaranteed to chase the blues without any shoes. If you haven't done so, check-out the flip side (the "killer bee" as I call it) and watch those go-go dancers. They are fantastic dancers and their style is indicative of a half dozen or more mid 60s music/dance shows on television that were geared exclusively toward teenagers. It was a very exciting time to be young and I applaud young people like you who are tuning in and enjoying the same things the boomer generation experienced. Thank you again, dear friend, and have a nice evening in Canada!

  10. YAY!! I made it back, this time got to listen. Well, I like the Supremes 'Stormy' ok, but, liked the Classics IV better. And, you're right about the go-go dancers on 'Let's Go Baby'! They didn't miss a beat and didn't look strained in any way. They did the jerk and the pony-it's a good video. I like the Angels 'That's Life That's Tough'. They sound familiar, but, I don't remember that song. You really reached down into your 'black velveteen' bag this time Shady!

    We're getting a heavy rain this evening...I'll take it! Hope you're having an eventful week. Take care. Thanks for the fun post!♫

    1. Hey, Suzanne! I'm glad you made it back and were able to listen to those songs. Thanks for checking out those go-go dancers and identifying the pony and the jerk as the mesmerizing steps those girls were doing. If you haven't read it yet, read my reply to Jennifer's comment. It's a sad and ironic footnote to "Stormy." Speaking of stormy, I'm glad you're getting some rain and I hope it doesn't cause you to have another power outage. We all need you, dearie! It's getting too dry here in Florida again. Maybe your rain system will sweep our way in a couple of days. Thank you very much for reporting back in, dear friend Suzanne, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  11. I enjoyed kicking off my shoes and running barefoot through this wonderful post, xo

    1. Hi, Katie! It's better than tip-toeing through the tulips, that's for sure! (LOL) Thank you very much for stopping by for a look and a listen, dear friend!

  12. Now you're speaking my music language anyway! I loved "Barefootin" and my heart still does a little flip when I see and hear Herman's Hermits and see Peter Noone with those crooked teeth..I know, I'm weird! But the go-go dancers were excellent and I'm proud to say I had a pair of white go-go boots of my very own that were just soooo groovy! Diana Ross brought back memories of one of the worst dates I ever had..however we did see her in concert which was the saving grace of that night! I just bought a box of LIFE cereal..too bad Mikey ate those "pop rocks" with a coke and died....or that's how the legend goes anyway! Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for the memories!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! I'm excited knowing that you and I speak the same musical language and that you enjoyed these tunes. I especially want to thank you for the quality of your comments which always let me know that you took time to read, listen and think before writing. I appreciate that commitment, dear friend!

      If you wore go-go boots back in the day then you were most likely a great dancer. You might therefore be qualified to help me in the future when I present videos featuring go-go dancers. There were dozens of popular dances in the 60s and I am trying to learn how to identify and distinguish one from another.

      I'm glad you likey Mikey. Ha! What would we do without our urban legends? I read the myth about Mikey's early demise caused by devouring that lethal combination. Turns out it never happened. Mikey (John Gilchrist Jr.) went on to adulthood working behind the scenes on the technical crew of several movies including the enormously popular Ryan Gosling-Rachel McAdams film The Notebook. John's real life brothers appeared with him in that Clio Award winning commercial for Life cereal, one of them actually named Michael. Thanks a million for being such a great blogger and friend, dear YaYa, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  13. I'm joining the game late, but so happy I came! I LOVED your selections today! Like YaYa this is my kind of music. At first I didn't think I knew side B of Barefootin', but once I clicked play well I sure did!
    Thanks again for a foot stomping event!

    Have a great weekend, Tom!

    1. Hi, Sush! I'm thrilled to have you here, dear friend! However, the time of day surprises me because I thought you keep vampire hours, up all night, sleep all day! (LOL) I expected you to wait till 3am to play my music so you could awaken your steady date! (LOL) I hope you checked-out those black go-go dancers on "Where the Action Is" because I can't stop raving about them. Go-go dancing was one of the most exciting aspects of the 60s and enhanced the enjoyment of the music. Thank you for the bloglovin' today, dear friend Sush. I wish you a safe and happy weekend as well!

  14. Hi Shady - I enjoyed these songs so much! Herma's Hermits always make me tap my feet, smile and feel good. That's a pretty good legacy for that group. I remember "Barfootin" very well and love it.
    I honestly didn't expect to like the Supremes version of "Stormy" but I did. Very well done, I think. I guess I like the original a bit better. Thanks for the smiles tonight.

    1. Well hello, dear Belle! I'm delighted to find a comment from you this evening. What a pleasant surprise! Yessum, Herman's Hermits specialized in benign, feel good songs and had a clean cut image. Before long the Rolling Stones made a tougher look and sound popular but Peter Noone and company still performed remarkably well on the record chart with 7 top 10 U.S. hits in 1965, 3 in 1966 and 1 in 1967. I'm happy that you remembered and liked "Barefootin' which had Dell rats kicking up their heels (shoeless) all summer long. Glad you enjoyed both "Stormy" records, too. I'm so pleased to have you here and smiling, my dear friend. Take good care of yourself and good night to you in B.C.!

  15. thanks for being Always the 1st to leave a comment on my blog :)
    have an happy week-end, hugs from Italy

    1. Hi, Katia! I have always considered you among my best friends and will always be interested in your life, your fashions and your travels. It is my pleasure to read your blogs. Thank you for dropping in, my dear friend, and have a safe and happy weekend!

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