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, July 1, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day to Get Back to Where We Once Belonged: 1969!

 Now let's continue with our salute to  

 the year 1969. Today you will 

 more of the best recordings released 

 that year along with two that were 

 made after '69 but refer back to it. 



"Get Back" is the only single released by the Beatles
that credited another artist at their request, namely
Billy Preston who joined the Fab Four on electric piano.

By 1969 references to drug use were common in pop music.
"Get Back" contained a verse about a man named JoJo who
"left his home in Tuscon, Arizona, for some California grass."
The song also included a gender bender verse about "sweet
Loretta Martin" who "thought she was a woman, but she was
another man." "Get Back" grew out of a January 1969 jam
session and by June of that year was topping the chart in
the USA, the UK and several other countries.

 "Get Back" - The Beatles with Billy Preston 
 (June 1969, highest chart position #1) 


In Part 1 we listened to Tony Joe White who sounded black.
Joe Jeffrey was black but sounded kinda white. Maybe that's
why the Cleveland R&B artist's hit record failed to put a dent
in Billboard's Top R&B Singles chart. The singer/guitarist was
born Joseph Stafford, Jr. but apparently decided not to use
Joe Stafford as his stage name because he didn't want to be
confused with Jo Stafford, a popular female vocalist of the
40s and 50s. Joe Jeffrey and his group were one-hit-wonders
but their claim to fame was one of the greatest beach music
records of the 60s, the feel good song "My Pledge of Love."
Here's an interesting mashup remix. If you don't have five
minutes for the entire vid, advance to 2:45 for the vocals.

 "My Pledge of Love" - Joe Jeffrey Group 
 (August 1969, highest chart position #14) 


September 1967: It was a 45rpm world and AM radio was
still king when I left York and the Dell and began four years
of partying studying at Penn State. At PSU I soon began
to notice that most college kids were listening to albums
rather than 45s. Moreover, they were playing music that
was entirely different from the pop and soul I loved back
home. To my chagrin my Dell songs had become déclassé.

Strange days had found me. I was living in an album rock
world where everyone but me was listening to FM broadcasts
and turning on to heavy, serious, introspective rock music.
I attended parties where dancing was secondary to esoteric
conversation and drug induced meditation. Before long
I joined the crowd and embraced the new music.

In October of 1969 the campus radio station began playing
the refreshingly different sound of "White Bird," a single
released from the debut album by the new age ensemble
It’s A Beautiful Day. Intrigued by "White Bird" and enthralled
by the retro art on the cover, I bought the album and soon
discovered that I loved every song. It’s A Beautiful Day
is trippy West Coast psychedelic pop. It features the
electric violin virtuosity of group leader David LaFlamme
and combined lead vocals of LaFlamme and Pattie Santos.

 "Hot Summer Day" - It's a Beautiful Day 
 (Oct. 1969, from debut album It's a Beautiful Day

It’s A Beautiful Day is a nostalgic
magic carpet ride back to a unique period in
American history, a time of idealism and naive
optimism at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
Smile, brother, it’s a beautiful day.

 Time is too slow for those who wait 

 Time is too swift for those who fear 

 Time is too long for those who grieve 

 Time is too short for those that laugh 

 But for those who love... 

 time is eternity 

 "Time Is" - It's a Beautiful Day 
 (Oct. 1969, from debut album It's a Beautiful Day

There is a not so beautiful footnote to
the story of It's a Beautiful Day.

Founding member Pattie Santos (foreground)
died in a car crash in 1989 at age 40.


They dressed for the Revolution and in their evolution
Paul Revere and the Raiders spawned the successful solo
career of lead vocalist Mark Lindsay. Hopping on the chart
the last few weeks of 1969, "Arizona," Mark's first solo single,
sustained an impressive 16 week journey on the Hot 100
and cracked the top 10 in the winter of 1970.

 "Arizona" - Mark Lindsay 
 (January 1970, highest chart position #9) 


Few records transport me back to the years of free
love and flower power like the Woodstock inspired
"Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" performed by
New York folk singer/songwriter Melanie Anne
Safka-Schekeryk who wisely abbreviated that
tongue twister and simply used Melanie as
her stage name.

As the story goes the Woodstock audience held
candles during Melanie's song set at the 1969 rock
festival. With those images still fresh in her mind
Melanie wrote and recorded "Lay Down" the
following year and it became a top 10 hit.
 Accompanying Melanie on the record are the
Edwin Hawkins Singers who had a top 5
hit of their own with "Oh Happy Day."

 "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" - Melanie 
 (July 1970,  highest chart position #6) 


Let's wrap up The Spirit of '69 with "Summer of '69,"
a mid 80s MTV video hit by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams.

As Bryan and his boys wax nostalgic about the best days of their lives as young and restless youth, be watching
for one of my favorite ladies, English actress Lysette Anthony in the role of Bryan's girlfriend. The pulchritudinous pretty with the dreamy eyes was a familiar face in Bryan Adams videos. Lysette portrayed the quintessential it girl in "Heaven," "Somebody," "Run to You" and "'69."

 "Summer of '69" - Bryan Adams 
 (1984, highest chart position #5) 

You can see more
(much more) of
Lysette Anthony
coupled with
L.A. Law hunk
Harry Hamlin in
the steamy 1994
erotic thriller
Save Me.

Have a
Shady day!


  1. I know Get Back quite well thanks to my high school friend who only played Beatles in his car (and anyone else's car). I started humming the lyrics as soon as I read your first paragraph!

    I enjoyed learning all the other intriguing facts you present to us here. The evolution from singles to albums is quite the interesting one, I think. Maybe a mark of the maturation of a generation?

    Once again, my friend, you've outdone yourself! Thank you, and I hope your week is terrific!

    1. Hi, Shelly! I'm surprised to see you here this morning because I thought you'd be out of town and out of touch. It means a lot to me that you managed to find time to visit and comment.

      Yessum, I experienced culture shock when I left York and arrived at Penn State. I looked around and noticed that I was the only kid playing stacks of soul 45s. Everybody else was into album rock, playing Crean, Blind Faith, Electric Flag, Zeppelin, Doors, Joplin, Hendrix and the like. I made the switch to album rock partly to fit in and avoid being shunned by my peers, but also because a liberal arts education and campus life at a large university expanded my mind and I developed a taste for the harder and heavier stuff.

      Thank you very much for being an A list friend, dear Shelly. I wish you a great week and a happy 4th!

  2. Great songs Shady! I really enjoyed 'Lay Down' by Melanie and I also liked 'My pledge of love.' I was surprised that one was so good as the video once again was very misleading. It seems like a much earlier video - or maybe TV really hadn't moved on much since 1963? haha

    It was also touching that you picked Arizona, which is terribly ironic after the horrible news I heard today of the firefighters who died while in the line of duty. We have very bad bush fires every year in Oz and sometimes the American firefighters come down to help fight and to give our guys some reprieve. So we know how very bad fires can be and how hard it is for communities and families to loose someone while performing such a noble act.

    Take care and stay cool in the heatwave!

    1. Hi, Catherine! "Lay Down (Candles)" is such an evocative song for me, reminding me of the waves of idealistic youth who swayed to the music and dreamed of a better world. It's still a dream worth pursuing and you, my dear friend, are part of the solution.

      The mash-up clip for the Joe Jeffrey Group is one of many experimental videos on YouTube. Ordinarily I avoid them but I kinda liked this one so I posted it. I am quite sure the film footage dates back to the early 60s and the dancing in it just happened to sync up with "My Pledge of Love."

      You're right. It is ironic that there is breaking tragic news coming out of Arizona today. With anywhere from 5 to as many as 15 videos in my posts the chances of this happening occasionally are higher than you might think. Seems there's another major tragedy unfolding every day somewhere around the globe. We love the rain here in Florida because we face chronic drought which sets the stage for brush and muck fires. We didn't get many at all this spring because the rainy season arrived early.

      Thank you very much for coming all the way from Oz to be a great friend, dear Cat. I hope you get a good night's sleep and have a wonderful week ahead!

      (Thanks for bloglovin' me. I'm bloglovin' you right back!)

  3. Great tracks! '69 was indeed a fantastic year! Woodstock just proved it in a culmination of the scene that had been happening.

    1. Hi, Anna-Maria! I am delighted that you decided to come over for a visit, dear friend!

      As I stated in Part 1 of this series, 1969 was definitely one of my happiest and most exciting years.

      As Bryan Adams sang in "Summer of '69":
      Those were the best days of my life.

      I know you well enough by now to realize that you would have fit right in with the 60s scene. I agree that Woodstock was the culmination, the high water mark of a movement.

      As Melanie sang:
      We all had caught the same disease
      And we all sang the songs of peace

      What's troubling is that peace still eludes us all these years later, and yet my spirits are buoyed by fine young people like you who are embracing and espousing the ideals of that unique period.

      Thank you, dear Anna-Maria, for maintaining the high quality of your blog and for graciously reading, listening and commenting on mine. Your friendship is important to me and I hope you will visit again soon. Have a wonderful week, dear friend!

  4. Great collection of songs from a great time. I really enjoyed listening to them. I loved the dancing in the "My Pledge of Love" mashup remix video. The dancing from those days appeals to me so much more than how people dance today. I've never listened to It's A Beautiful Day before, but I like what I've heard and would love to hear more. I love finding more music. And of course I do like "Lay Down" too. Take care!

    1. Hello, dear Lucy! I am thrilled by your visit, dear friend. Welcome to SDM&M!

      I wish I knew where the YouTuber who edited and uploaded that Joe Jeffrey vid found that old dance footage. It's rather bizarre but the dancing matches the beat of "My Pledge" perfectly.

      I'm very happy to know you appreciated It's a Beautiful Day. That beautiful album cover was displayed in many dorm rooms and apartments during my years at Penn State, including my own. As I noted in the piece, "White Bird" was the band's hit single but that entire self-titled first album is excellent and I highly recommend it whenever you're in the mood to relax with some trippy new age pop psychedelia. I must admit that I become melancholy when I listen to the album knowing that Pattie Santos, whose lovely vocals are heard throughout, died in a car crash 20 years later.

      Lucy, your visit means the world to me. Thanks a million for taking time to listen to my tunes and write such a great comment. I also want to thank you again for the special recognition you gave me on your blog. I've decided to answer some of your questions along with some of Cat's when I run my own post about the Liebster Award on July 20. You have brightened my day, sweet friend, and I hope you are enjoying yours and that you have a super week!

  5. The summer of '69 had me wearing my class ring that I just received and proudly telling a cute guy I met on vacation that I was a "junior" in HS..sounded so much better (and older!) than "sophomore"! Moving slowly away from the Beatles...being more intrigued by hippies...thinking maybe we would be the answer for peace and love in this changing brothers both coming home from neru jacket and love beads made a fashion statement. I don't think I would say it was the best year of my life..but it sure has great memories. I must comment also on the dancing in "The Pledge Of Love" video..Ok, were those my parents dancing? My teachers? The cast from "Mad Men"? Ha! Loved it and the heels and dresses...classic! Thanks so much Shady for this fun blast to the past!

    1. Hi, YaYa! Two of your brothers served in Vietnam? I salute them! I hope it didn't cause a split within your family as it did in many others when some members joined the peace movement and attended protest rallies while others went off to war. How well I remember the protests on the campus of PSU including the occupation of the administrative building "Old Main." When the Kent State shootings occurred, many parents of Penn State students became frantic because they thought the news reporters were saying that the incident took place at "Penn State."

      Those dancers in "My Pledge of Love" do look like the cast of Mad Men (season one). I don't know who those people were but I guarantee the footage was not shot at the Shady Dell! (LOL) The blonde woman who appears from 4:42 to 4:48 reminds me of Amber Von Tussle from the original Hairspray movie. :)

      Thank you so very much for coming by, YaYa. I'm so happy to see your mother up and around, out and about, and looking well. Have a happy 4th, dear friend!

  6. Tom I had never really paid much attention to the lyrics of Get Back but I guess it must have been a bit out there for such a high charting song in the 60s. That Lysette Anthony is pretty cute alright, she looks like a mixture of Alison Brie and Alexis Bledel, both with small parts in Mad Men oddly enough! I can totally see why she played the 'It' girl!

    Hope you had a nice weekend Tom!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, Emma! I'm happy to see you, dear friend! I'm glad somebody finally mentioned Lysette Anthony, the mystery girl with bedroom eyes that I teased in Part 1. I'm surprised none of my English friends recognized her. Lysette was/is a popular English film, television and theater actress who practically became legend stateside for her appearances in that series of Bryan Adams videos in the mid 80s. If you watch the brief vignette at the end of "Summer of '69" you will get a good glimpse of Lysette riding with her b.f. in a car and hear her voice. Her love scenes with Harry Hamlin in the movie Save Me are steamy and the flick is only shown on cable very late at night. I agree that Lysette's appearance and demeanor bring to mind Alison Brie and Alexis Bledel, two of my favorites from Mad Men (and Community and Gilmore Girls). Ironically (as I'm sure you know), Alexis is dating Vince Kartheiser, who plays Mad Men's Pete Campbell, the husband of Trudy (Alison). It's a small world after all! :) Thank you very much for spreading some cheer, dear friend Emma, and have a wonderful Wednesday!

  7. It was good to watch the Beatles sing tonight. Get Back is a great one. I remember 'My Pledge of Love' very well and just love it. The dancing was so cute, but I would love to see a modern choreographer put some dancers on that song.

    I don't remember 'Arizona' at all, which surprises me. But I had moved to Canada by then so the hits were a bit different there than in California. Love Bryan Adams and the video was great until the end which kind of brings you back to reality. Lysette was beautiful, that's for sure. I guess we all have a time that was 'the best years of my life'. I'm guess yours were at the Dell. Mine were when my girls were young. I loved watching them grow and learn.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! I'm surprised you remembered "My Pledge of Love" but didn't remember "Arizona." I agree that it would be fascinating to see a modern dance routine created for "My Pledge."

      I was pretty sure you told me years ago that you like Bryan Adams and that's why I am very happy you stopped by to check out this post. I just watched the other three videos that feature Lysette. "Run to Him" is the one I remembered best from the 80s when my television station used to play it often. "Somebody" picks up where "Summer of '69" left off, with Lysette upsetting her boyfriend by looking out the car window at Bryan as they drive by. "Heaven" has the same guy playing her boyfriend and getting stopped for suspicion of d.u.i. Lysette kicks him to the curb and goes into a nearby venue where Bryan Adans just happens to be performing. In every scene her large doe eyes mesmerize. I really enjoyed videos of the 80s like these by Bryan Adams. Everything was tastefully done. There was none of the sleaze you see in many of today's clips.

      I always thought my greatest years were the mid 60s at the Dell. Recently I have also been remembering how great the 50s and early 60s were, the time period before I ever heard of the Dell. Tonight, as I rethink it yet again, I have come to the conclusion that right here and right now is the greatest time of my life and of your life. A "great" time isn't necessarily an easy, problem free time. It can be one filled with adversity but it can go down in your personal history as great if you prove yourself to be a survivor by empowering yourself, remaining resourceful and overcoming obstacles one by one.

      Thank you ever so much for honoring me with your visit, dear friend Belle. Good night to you in B.C. Canada!

  8. Hi Shadyest! I'm sorry I'm so late, got Scootie on board this week, juggling with work. But, I've been here a couple of times browsing your post!

    Gotta say right off...YAY! and KUDOS! to you for the Joe Jeffrey song. 'My Pledge of Love' is such a fabulous song! Love it so much, and don't get to hear it much. I take that song personally, it's almost as tho he is singing it to me! Musically the song is also amazing-the chord changes are something. Karo is trying to work the chord changes out on his guitar. He had never heard the song until one day they played it on Sirius radio. And, he was hooked too. Now, Scootie and I watched most of the video, then I had to advance so I could hear the song. That's really a great one!

    All of your song choices are great...Mark Lindsay made 'Paul Revere and the Raiders' with his personality and talent. The Beatles 'Don't Let Me Down' was a favorite of mine also. And, I do remember Melanie's 'Lay Down'.

    You've been busy Shady...and, I appreciate it. Just keep bringing back those great tunes. I know, we're supposed to live for today, but, I love going back and remembering!

    Have a great 4th Holiday, Shady, and a safe one. I'll try to be on time next week, lol! I'm just grateful we're still here to write about these great times and tunes! ♫

    1. Hi, dear Suzanne! You are spoiling me with these stellar reviews, dear friend, but you won't hear me complaining. I love to entertain you and I'm glad I hit the bullseye with some of these tunes.

      I'm thrilled that you and Karo both like Joe Jeffrey's lone hit as much as I do. Did you hear the sampling of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" early in the video? If you guys work out the chords you should record the song and post it on your blog or his. I'd love to hear it.

      Glad you remember and liked "Arizona" and "Lay Down," both songs recalling a groovy moment of of optimism at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

      I am delighted to have a friend like you, Suzanne. You know and dig most of what I present and that always makes me feel good. I've got lots more in the can - mostly fresh content to last until 2015 - so stay tuned.

      Happy 4th of July to you, Karo and my buddy Scootie!

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