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

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Strangelove for Zimmy's Jukebox or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Swimming and Love Da Bomb!

 IN 1961, AT AGE 11,  



Until then I had been a normal, carefree kid.
Summers were spent floating around in my
backyard pool and vacationing with my
family at the Jersey and Maryland shore.

In the summer of '61 I started going with friends
to Zimmy's, a swimming pool and recreational
complex south of York between Dallastown and
the village of Spry. During my first few visits to
Zimmy's, 95% of my time was spent frolicking
in that spacious rectangular pool. When it was
time to leave you practically had to drag me
out of the water with grappling hooks.
My skin was shriveled like a prune!

The other 5% of the time was divided between
visiting the snack bar, watching older guys play
shirts vs. skins on the the basketball court,
gazing in envy at muscle men pumping iron at
the weightlifting pit and studying monkeys,
tropical birds and a bobcat at Zimmy's
modest size zoo exhibit.

Before long my habits at Zimmy's began to
change. I started spending much of my time
hanging out at a canopy covered pavilion
watching girls in two piece bathing suits
dance to records playing on a jukebox.
Soon I was hopelessly addicted to
poetry in motion.

I'd like you to hear a few of the records
that are linked in my memory to Zimmy’s
jukebox and the dancing damsels that
 I enjoyed watching in 1961 and in
the years that followed.

“Tossin’ and Turnin’” was a monster #1 hit for
Bobby Lewis in 1961. The record became a
fixture on WSBA and on the jukebox at
Zimmy’s the entire summer, logging
a 23-week run on the pop chart.


“Raindrops” by Dee Clark is another song
that took the country by storm
in the summer of 1961.

The record broke in early May and went the
distance, lasting three-and-a-half months
on the chart.  Like the Bobby Lewis smash,
"Raindrops" hung around from the end of
one school year to the start of the next.


“Mashed Potato Time,” the biggest career hit
for songstress Dee Dee Sharp, kicked off
the warm weather season of 1962.

Dee Dee's dance ditty entered the Billboard
pop chart in early spring and vaulted to
#2 nationwide during the summer.


“Village of Love,” a ripsnorter by Nathaniel Mayer,
kept the party going throughout the spring of ’62
and halfway through the summer.

The rockin' record rode the chart for 12 weeks to #22.


In the summer of 1962 “The Loco-Motion”
by Little Eva, was #1 in the land.

The dance record spent an impressive 16 weeks
on the chart and was one of the most
popular tunes at Zimmy’s.


The fresh, exuberant sound of our hometown honeys,
the Pixies Three, was heard many times at Zimmy's
throughout the summer of 1964.

The Hanover girl group's eastern U.S. regional hit
"It's Summer Time U.S.A." boasted sparkling clean
Brill Building production and angelic harmony and
sounded like it was recorded by a cheerleading
squad at a high school pep rally.

"Summer Time U.S.A." went into heavy rotation
on The Mighty 910 and ruled the local airwaves
all summer long, leading me at one point to ask,
"John, Paul, George and who?"


"The Biggest Players" is a lost gem that
I rediscovered in recent years. "Players"
is performed by the Ikettes, the backing
singers for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.

In the spring of 1965, WSBA got creative with
its playlist and flipped the girl group's top 40 hit
“Peaches ‘N’ Cream” unleashing a killer bee on the
Susquehanna Valley. Both sides of the platter
were popular on the radio from March through
May and played often at Zimmy’s during the
summer months of that year. 


Zimmy's wasn't the only place where one
could witness the trance inducing spectacle
of girls dancing together in pairs or triads.
It was also a common practice at the Dell.
Girls also danced with each other in the
lobby of Dallastown High where a jukebox
was installed.  From the summer of '61 on,
observing females dancing together was
one of my favorite pastimes.

Don't get me wrong! Nothing matches the
thrill of doing a belly flop off of Zimmy's
high diving board and smacking the water
so hard it feels like you just got stung
by a swarm of angry bees...

Yeah, that's the ticket! And then you thrash
to the surface and try to scream in agony
but when you suck in your breath you take
a big gulp of warm, chlorinated pool water
and swallow grass clippings along with
somebody's used band-aid... and you
frantically doggy paddle over to the
ladder and climb out of the pool in disgrace
as a hundred strangers clap and cheer...
and you just wanna crawl into a hole and
die but that'll have to wait because first
you gotta hurl.  No, nothing could top all that...
but watching those ladies dance sure came close!

Have a Shady day!


  1. What terrific summertime memories! The songs you chose for us today are perfect summertime, poolside songs. Zimmy's must have been a hopping place, even down to the bobcat! I enjoyed listening to these this morning. They gave me a bounce to my step and I will have summertime pool memories bouncing around in my head all day long.

    Have a wonderful week, friend Shady! Looking forward to your special anniversary next weekend~

    1. Hello, dear Shelly! I'm happy you noticed my mention of a bobcat at Zimmy's. I never understood why they bothered to include an exotic animal exhibit at the swim club, especially one which included only a few species. I think I remember them having peacocks, too. A petting zoo stocked with pigs and goats would have suited me better.

      It pleases me to know that I got your Texas day off to a bouncing start by putting some tunes inside your head. You have been such a great friend to me, Shelly, and I have a blog award waiting for you in next Saturday's post. It'll be on the front page for a week so whenever you can get here will be fine. Until then I wish you a safe and happy week, dear Shelly!

    2. Zimmy owned Gettysburg Game Park. That is probably why the animals were at the pool from time to time. I owned the Jukebox at Zimmy`s from the 70`s to the late 80`s. Also had a Jukebox at boys club & pleasureville pool.

    3. I just found your comment. Thank you and welcome to SDM&M! If I'm not mistaken, the Gettysburg Game Park is now called the East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue. I don't think I ever went over there but I used to head toward Gettysburg and then down into Maryland to visit the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo. I also regularly visited Caledonia State Park over in that general direction.

      In addition to enjoying your jukebox selections at Zimmy's, I also went swimming and listened to your boxes at the Boys Club and Pleasureville pools. My cousins lived in the city and took me along as a guest.

      Thank you very much for adding to the "pool" of knowledge, my friend. I hope you will stay in touch and comment again soon!

  2. Hi Shady! Really liked your last video "music to watch girls by". I'd forgotten that song, and, it's always nice to be reminded of the fun tunes of those days. I saw most of the movies featured on the video-it was cool. And, you put out a couple of good guys tunes today, Raindrops and 'Tossin and Turnin'. Really, I can remember singing Tossin' and Turnin' out loud with my friends-great fun and laughs.

    And, we were serious girl dancers, lol! Didn't know guys liked watching us dance together...actually we were a bit embarrassed because the guys were too shy to dance with us, so we had to dance with each other. Now I know, lol!

    DeeDee Sharp and Little Eva were the greatest, giving us some of the best dance tunes of the day. I really enjoyed DeeDee Sharp's video, and, remember her doing duets with Chubby Checker and Marvin Gaye. Some great artists!

    This was fun, your descriptions of the 'belly flops' in the pool. Embarrassingly enough, I did a few myself while trying to do some graceful dives! At the same age as you, I was trying to get attention by doing cool dives at the pool-sometimes I tried too hard and flopped!

    We're getting a steady drizzle of cool rain today, and Scootie is in residence-so there have been some umbrella photos that were fun. Thanks for your fun post today. Hope it's been a cool weekend for you and Mrs. Shady! Take care, will see you soon! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne! I'm delighted to know you enjoyed my lineup of summer hits that recall my coming of age experiences at Zimmy's.

      Nice to know you also got a chuckle out of my belly flop anecdote. Where I came from we actually referred to it as a "bellyflopper."

      I also enjoyed that last clip and saw most of those movies. It was nice to see famous girl watchers like Walter Matthau, Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin along with some of my favorite character actors like Don Knotts and Vincent Price.

      Weatherwise, we had a t-storm this afternoon that produced numerous lightning strikes and dumped a couple inches of rain. No limbs down or outages, however, and the temp didn't really dip very much. Hope Scootie is keeping busy with some fun indoor activities while you're waiting for skies to clear.

      Dear friend, you are cordially invited to attend my special post this coming Saturday, July 20. It's my 5 year blog anniversary and I have a blog award to present to you in the same post. In fact, I have TWO awards for you, know what I mean, Vern? :) I hope you'll mark your calendar and try to be here this Saturday or in the days that immediately follow. You are one of the greatest friends I ever had and I want to share this happy occasion with you. 'Til then have a great week, dear Suzanne!

  3. Hello again Shady. Thank you for the invitation, I will do my best to be there, or be square!?! I'm usually around the house on a Saturday for a while, anyway. The Don Knotts clips in your video were so funny...he was a real card!

    Thank you for being so great-I'm really glad I joined your blog. The best music, exciting and informative musical history, and, wonderful personal stories with great memories! See you soon, Mr. Knight!♫

    1. Thank you for the kind words, dear Suzanne. Both of you! (LOL)

  4. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJuly 14, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Well, Tom, your post brought out a side of my husband that I never knew existed! I only knew a few of the songs and didn't dance to any of them. Bob, on the other hand, remembered most of them and came from another room to listen, watch and sing along, during which he told me some things I never heard before about his teen years!

    He said early on he and his friends hung out at the dances at the fire hall on Friday nights, but were too "chicken" to get involved, so they just acted cool and nonchalant. All the while, like hawks, they watched the girls dance. He said he doesn't remember some of the music from that time because he was too visually occupied!

    Then along came the Mashed Potato. He actually could dance to that one. He found himself suddenly in demand since he was one of the few guys who could do it. He thought he died and went to heaven as a whole bevy of girls surrounded him and asked him to dance with all of them at once! After that, some of the girls asked him out, which was really unusual back then.

    He got in trouble with his sister by "borrowing" her 45s and he said she owned most of the songs you included. He remembered Little Eva and Loco-motion, Raindrops, and Tossin' & Turnin'. (He had to sing along with that one!) When Music to Watch Girls By came on, he had a tough time deciding which was of more interest, the girls or the cars. When I commented that he was showing his age, he told me how much cars like that would bring today. Pretty amazing!

    I remember going to Weishaven pool for a party and dancing the Twist. I don't know if it was because I did it so badly or not, but later, a couple of guys picked me up and threw me into the deep end of the pool as I shouted frantically that I didn't know how to swim. "This is how you learn," they said. It backfired though because when they jumped in to save me from drowning, I nearly pushed them under in my panic!

    Thanks for taking us back in time to the 60's, Tom. We really enjoyed it!

    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! I think it's great that Bob gets involved with my posts and offers stories of his own for you to include in your comments. (Thank you, Bob!) I'm very happy to know you both enjoyed the songs that were hot at Zimmy's all those summers ago.

      After reading Suzanne's comment and yours I have concluded that pairs or groups of girls dancing together was a widespread phenomenon. Surely it was also a common practice for boys to stand on the sidelines gazing in awe at poetry in motion.

      I have no trouble believing Bob's story about how he attracted a crowd of admiring girls by knowing how to dance and having the courage to get out on the floor and show off his talent. At the Dell there was a young guy who was a terrific dancer. He typically danced with two women at a time and never left the place alone. There were a few instances when I danced with two girls at a time but only after I consumed a considerable amount of liquid courage.

      I also used to go to Wisehaven and can picture that pool in my mind. I emphatically deny that I was one of the boys who threw you in the water. What were they thinking? A smart, beautiful girl like you who emerged from the deep end of the gene pool didn't deserve to be tossed into the deep end of the Wisehaven pool.

      Thank you very much, dear friend Kathleen (and Bob) for your entertaining anecdotes again today. I invite you both to attend my gala 5 year blogiversary celebration this Saturday, July 20. There'll be dixieland bands, circus acts, Borscht Belt comedians, a pie eating contest, horseback rides, games of chance, a dunk tank and so much more. Please be here, dear Kathleen, because without your immeasurable contributions, your friendship and steadfast support there would be no SDM&M. Thank you!!!

  5. Hi, Shady!

    As I've probably told you, my coming of age pool was Wisehaven. But, I do remember going to Zimmy's one time w/ friends when I was very young (and didn't care about music or boys!)
    I enjoyed watching the vid of the mash potato, still trying to learn that dance!
    Also, I never knew Andy Williams sang that song about "Watching girls go by".
    BUT. . . the funniest thing ever was that aftermath of the belly flop sentence!!! Could you say that in one breath, Shady????

    1. Hi, dear Toni! Seems all three of us (you, Kathleen and Shady) went to Wisehaven pool back in the day. I wonder if any or all of us were ever there at the same time. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a video of it if we were?

      I always envied people who could easily learn the latest dances. All I ever did was the firewater fueled "Dell Rat Freestyle."

      Did you see on the news that a 70-some year old man organized a senior citizen flash mob? I saw video of it on the news this morning. Just thought I'd ask.

      Yessum, Andy Wms. sang "Music to Watch Girls By" which went to #34 on the pop chart. The more popular instrumental version recorded by the Bob Crewe Generation went to #15. The song was originally a demo jingle for Diet Pepsi.

      I admit that I "said a mouthful" in describing the aftermath of a belly flop off of Zimmy's high board. I'm glad it gave you a smile or two or three.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear friend Toni. Enjoy your week and please try to be here Saturday for my star studded Five Year Blog-Stravaganza. The entertainment includes Siegfried & Roy, Jack Kochman's Hell Drivers and Blue Man Group. I am also in negotiations to reunite the Beatles exclusively here on SDM&M. I'll keep you posted.

  6. That was really fun...I waited until this morning to visit because I have the day off and could really spend the time listening to all the songs and relive some summer going to the public pool...high dives..(no belly flops though!)..dancing in the streets (although not in '61..I was only 8) but my brothers were older I can thank them for having the music on and I'm sure they enjoyed watching the girls go by in '61! It's good to know some things never change. I'm sure today at our public pool here in Ashland there will be many 11yr old young men just coming of age and enjoying that crazy sport of "hanging out" and trying to be cool! You have a great day Tom and I'm pleased to report that rain is still staying away but the temps and humidity are to the pool for sure..Oh, Eddy isn't allowed in..he is going to get a bath today however!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! I'm so happy to see you, my sweet friend, and to know that you have the day off, came over for a visit and enjoyed yourself. You certainly were lucky to have older brothers who introduced you to Motown and other great music at an early age. My brother is 10 years older and I reaped the same benefits from him, getting my first taste of Elvis, Little Richard and Fats Domino and at the tender age of five.

      Eddy's not allowed to swim with the grown-ups? That's okay. If he's anything like my dog Toto he enjoys getting splashed by the people in the pool, running under lawn sprinklers and biting at the stream of water coming out of a hose. Toto loves to do all three along with drinking out of the birdbath. YUCK!

      Dear YaYa, I cordially invite you back here this Saturday, July 20, when I will be celebrating my 5 year blog anniversary. You came along this year and quickly became one of my best friends. I appreciate you very much and I hope you will be here Saturday or in the days that immediately follow. Along with celebrating my blog's 5th birthday I will be giving you a special blog award, one that you richly deserve. I hope to see you then, dear friend YaYa!

  7. I have to say Tom, all of these tunes are new to me, apart from Music to Watch Girls By of course! Sounds like your Summers were well spent watching the ladies dance away and spending time at the pool. I don't think I'd be able to tell you what I was listening to when I was 11!

    Hope you had a lovely weekend, you probably heard about the heatwave in the UK and Ireland, it's just cooled down a bit today and it's such a relief!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, dear Emma! Yes indeed. I have heard about the awful heat wave gripping the British Isles and I hope for your sake it soon breaks. I'm sure you realize it won't be long before the wind is whipping and the temperature is dipping.

      I'm happy to know you recognized at least one of these golden oldies that were popular eons before you were born. As it turns out, "Music to Watch Girls By" was also recorded by Billy Vaughn, Chet Atkins and Al Hirt along with Bob Crew's instrumental and the Andy Williams vocal version presented here.

      I did have a lovely weekend and my week's off to a great start thanks to your visit, dear Emma. I invite you to join me here this Saturday, July 20, for a very special occasion, my 5 year blog anniversary. You have been a loyal follower for quite a long time now and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. As a token of my esteem I will be presenting you with an award in Saturday's post so please try to swing by and pick up your award on Saturday or sometime during the following week. Thank you, dear Emma, and good night to you in Dublin!

  8. We've been having some lovely weather over in the UK recently and these songs make the perfect summer soundtrack!

    1. Hi, Sarah! I am absolutely delighted to see you again, my friend. You left such a wonderful comment back in May and I was hoping you'd pop in for another visit. It pleases me to know that you enjoyed the post. Yes, these tunes bring back memories of those hot days of summer vacation in the early and mid 60s. I can't even imagine these records playing during the cold weather months. It was just the opposite with most Beatles songs. In a post a couple of years ago I observed that most of my favorite Beatles recordings were popular during the winter months.

      Sarah, you are an important new friend and I admire the job you're doing with your blog. I know that you recently received a blog award but I cannot let this opportunity pass without doing my part to acknowledge your efforts. I would be honored if you would join me here this Saturday, July 20, and help me celebrate my blog's 5th anniversary. In Saturday's post I will be sharing a blog award with you because you are very deserving of it. People like you and others in our circle of friends are preserving the best of a bygone era and bringing it back to life in the present. I hope you will come join the fun and pick up your award this Saturday or in the days that immediately follow. Thank you very much for your kind visit and comment, dear Sarah!

  9. The standout for me was "Locomotion." I had a wonderful horse once who was so powerful, and carried me over jumps so effortlessly. But what to name him...? On the way to one of our first shows, "Locomotion" was playing, and I thought, THAT'S IT! He went around the course like a locomotive train, and so he became "Locomotion." The most awesome horse I ever owned. I love summertime songs. Some even remind me of the time spent on the east coast at the local pool in Short Hills.

    1. Hi, karen! What a great name for a horse! I'd bet on a hay burner named Locomotion if he was running in the Derby.

      You followed a thread I introduced in a previous reply. There are summer songs and there are winter songs. When I listen to most of my favorite Beatles songs they remind me of cold weather, snow and huddling close to the fireplace. It's almost impossible for me to listen to "The Loco-Motion" and think of winter at the same time. I always picture those swimsuit clad girls barefootin' on the concrete slab of Zimmy's pavilion.

      I'm very happy to see you, dear friend karen, and glad to bring back fond memories of your favorite horse, Locomotion.

      Dear karen, you have been a loyal friend for quite some time now. Our friendship is very important to me and I get a genuine kick out of you and your blog. I cordially invite you back here this Saturday, July 20, to help me celebrate my 5 year blog anniversary. I will be acknowledging you with a special blog award at that time. I hope you can stop in Saturday and pick up your award, but if not, please swing over at your earliest convenience in the days that follow. I'd like to have all my friends join me for this special occasion and you are one of my very best. Thank you, dear karen!

  10. I don't remember Tossin' and Turnin' though the title was familiar. I knew Raindrops. The Raindrops video shows a record label with Hey Little Girl on it. I remember that one as well. Mashed Potato was familiar and of course Locomotion which lasted so long as a hit in the UK. It's still played on radio stations over here. And so is the Andy Williams song of course but I'd not seen that video before - so amusing. Some lovely memories accompanied that!

    I'm looking forward to Saturday and hope to be there with you!

    1. Hi, John, and welcome back to SDM&M! I remember you popping in once or twice before and I've seen you out and about on other blogs. It's very instructive to get a UK perspective on American music and I thank you for reporting on this batch.

      I'm a bit surprised to learn that you don't have memories of "Tossin' and Turnin'" because it was a bigger hit stateside than "The Loco-Motion," having spent 7 more weeks on the domestic chart.

      I'm happy to know you enjoyed the video for "Music to Watch Girls By." YouTube is a curious place in recent years. Original versions of many great recordings have been banned in the copyright crackdown, but those that are allowed to be uploaded are often subject to creative video edits like this one. There are many splendid video tributes now available and I enjoy posting them.

      You have a wonderful blog of your own, John, and I am thrilled to know you'll be here Saturday for my 5 year celebration. You are always welcome here and I look forward to growing a friendship with you. Thank you very much and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday, John!

  11. Hi Shady! I remember most of these songs. I think my favorite is 'Raindrops'. I remember my sister and I practicing the Mashed Potato dance at home. We danced together in my room to all the music since we were not allowed to go to dances.

    But swimming pools? Oh yes! We loved the swimming pools and beaches of California. Dancing and swimming were two of my favorite things. I've always loved Andy Williams and have a CD of his greatest hits which includes the song you posted. His songs make me laugh or sometimes cry.

    Thanks for the fun today, Shady! God bless.

    1. Hi, Belle! I'm so glad you could make it today, dear friend. You say you weren't allowed to go to dances when you were young? If you had lived in my vicinity you could have sneaked (snuck?) up to the Dell with me every night!

      Seems like it would have been quite a long drive for you from San Berdoo to the California coastline but I'm sure it was worth the trip to enjoy those beaches. I'm glad you caught the Andy Wms. video at the end and hope you liked the assortment of leading men ogling the ladies.

      Thank you very much for coming to visit, Belle. It means a lot to me to have you here and I hope you can return on Saturday for my 5 year anniversary party. Have a wonderful evening in B.C., dear friend!

  12. I did sneak out to dances. Once my dad caught me and dragged me home. Later on he gave up and let me go.

    The beach was about an hour away but my friends and I would hitch-hike or one of us might have a car. My parents took us quite often when we were young. Love and hugs.

  13. I'd forgotten just how delicious Raindrops is, thanks for reminding me! And you can't beat a bit of Andy Williams!


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