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, October 15, 2013

Son of Good Vibrations - Dell Rat Ron Presents the Long Awaited Sequel!

 Like our blue-eyed soul brothers, 

 the Magnificent Men, this group  

 took the oft recorded standards 

 "Misty" and "I Wish You Love" 

 and made them their own. 

 They were the Vibrations aka 

 the Marathons aka the Jayhawks, 

 one of the best and most versatile 

 vocal groups of the 50s and 60s. 

Welcome to Part 2 of Dell Rat Ron Shearer's series paying tribute to the Vibrations.  We're changing the rules of the game in parts 2 and 3. For every song that Ron introduces, I'll play Six Degrees and answer him with a record
that is somehow related.

 Ron, this time you get the first spin! 


 Shady, the Los Angeles 
 based group's biggest 
 hit as the Vibrations was 
 "The Watusi" in 1961. 
 That same year they also 
 released the hit record  
 "Peanut Butter" using the 
 name The Marathons.  
 The act got started in the 
 mid 50s as The Jayhawks.
 They scored their earliest 
 hit on Flash Records with 
 "Stranded in the Jungle," 
 the follow-up to their first 
 single release "Counting 
 My Teardrops" b/w 
 "The Devil's Cousin." 
 Incidentally, "Stranded 
 in the Jungle" was covered even more successfully by 
 the Cadets, another fine Rhythm & Blues group that also 
 released records under the alternate name the Jacks. 
 Here is the Jayhawks original which cracked the top 30 
 in the summer of 1956. 

 "Stranded in the Jungle" - The Jayhawks 
 (July 1956, highest  chart position #29) 

 Okay, Ron, here's my first 

 six degrees answer song. 


From the name Jayhawks it's only a hop, skip and a jump
to Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Alice Cooper of the 1950s.

Hawkins was nicknamed a black Vincent Price for his ghoulish stage performances in which he emerged from a coffin and performed with macabre props that included a smoking skull on a stick and rubber snakes. As the story goes Hawkins and his band members were all drunk when they recorded "I Put a Spell on You." Regardless the studio session yielded Hawkins' biggest career hit and the record became a million seller even though it never appeared on the Billboard or Cash Box charts. Many radio stations refused to play the record because of its voodoo theme and because Hawkins' drunken grunts were considered sexually suggestive.





 Shucks... this record's got 

 all the compulsory elements 

 for rock 'n roll greatness! 

 "I Put a Spell on You" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins 
 (October 1956, uncharted) 


 Here's a killer bee for you, Shady. "Wallflower," the flip side  
 of the Vibrations' hit "The Watusi," was especially a favorite 
 at the Oaks. I like it as well, if not better, than the A-Side. 

 "Wallflower" - The Vibrations 
 (March 1961, uncharted B side of "The Watusi") 


 Ron, I turned your 

 title around and I'm 

 countin' flowers on 

 the wall with the 

 Statler Brothers! 

 "Flowers on the Wall" - The Statler Brothers 
 (January 1966, highest chart position #4) 

 Shady, the last single the 
 Vibrations waxed for the Checker 
 label was called "Dancing Danny," 
 a great piece that our local 
 Delchords used to perform. 

 "Dancing Danny" - The Vibrations 
 (1964, uncharted) 


 Ron, I'm thinking of 

 another Danny who's 

 struggling to hold back 

 his tears.  Know why? 

 Danny Williams is all verklempt because 

 his little angel is getting married today. 

 No, not that Danny Williams..... 

 This Danny Williams! 

 "White on White" - Danny Williams 
 (May 1964,  highest chart position #9) 

 Thank you, Dell Rat Ron, for 

 helping me shake things up 

  today with more of your 

 good great Vibrations!  

 We'll see you back here for 

 the Pt. 3 finale coming soon! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Dang and Darn! There were quite a few that I hadn't heard of here today, but the tunes were great. Love the movements by the black Vincent Price, Screamin' Jay Hawkins. I also really enjoyed the last tune, White on White (loved the baby face!!) and Flowers on the Wall by the Statler Brothers. That tune was really bugging me as soon as I heeard it. Was it a take on another song, sung by someone much more famous? It was just so familiar. These posts are very cleverly put together Shadykins, so well done you and Dell Rat Ronnikins! I was able to have a good old bop today. Hey, surely I can't be the first one to the party on this Tuesday morn?!! Smooches dear friend.

    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme! My oh my, you are indeed the early bird this morning and I thank you for coming over to bop till you drop. Ronnikins? Now you're making me jealous! (LOL) With Halloween approaching I thought I'd spook some of you with the Black Vincent Price, Screamin' Jay Hawkins. That's quite a performance, isn't it? The Statlers had the big hit with "Flowers on the Wall" at the beginning of 1966 and I can't think of any other songs like it that you might be thinking of. The recording was used in the movie Pulp Fiction if that's any help to you.

      Thank you again for racing across the pond to spend some time in the Shady, dear friend Thisisme. Hugs and smooches to you as well!

  2. Like our friend thisisme, I really loved Screamin' Jay Hawkins and White on White. And I actually know who the Statler Brothers are! And when I read your reply, and saw that it was in Pulp Fiction, a little light bulb turned on for me. At my age, I need thos light bulbs to turn on! At any rate, this was another terrific lineup of songs and great info from you and Ron. I'll be heading into my week tapping my toes and snapping my fingers thinking of this great music. A happy Tuesday to you and Ron!

    1. Hey there, Shelly! At your age? Ha! Ha! Ha! I have underwear older than you, dear friend! :)

      Yessum, in Pulp Fiction, Bruce Willis sings along to the most memorable line of the Statler Bros. song, "smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kangaroo." Coincidentally, that's what I've been doing all day! :)

      Glad you enjoyed Screamin' Jay and Danny Williams - no, not THAT Danny Williams! :)

      Thank you very much for coming by for some music and merriment, dear friend Shelly, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  3. Great job guys. Love the background and history lessons on the groups. I did not remember Dancing Danny as much as Louie Louie. I like the Vibrations, but still prefer Mag Men version of I Wish You Love. The I Put a Spell On You clip was great.

    1. Hi, Jerre! I have to agree with you, good buddy. The version of "I Wish You Love" by the Mag Men beats all. It's better than the rendition by the Vibes, better than the hit single by Gloria Lynne - in fact it's way up there among my very favorite Mag Men recordings - simply brilliant.

      I'm glad you liked "I Put a Spell On You." Imagine a Fifties couple hearing the record and the man turns to his lady and says, "Listen Marge, they're playing our song." :) There's another great Screamin' Jay performance video on YouTube which shows him appearing on the Merv Griffin Show. Take a few minutes and watch it:

      Thank you very much for your visit and comments, Jerre, and be here next Monday for a real SHOCKER!

  4. Hi Shady (and Ron)!

    I must admit "Stranded in the Jungle" and "I Put a Spell On You" are both strange /spooky/silly songs but I actually enjoyed them! Great start for Halloween ! I remember the"Spell" song only because someone covered it on American Idol. The judges really liked it and so did I.

    I liked your 6 degree "Countin' Flowers On the Wall" song a little better, Shady. I love the harmonies and the baritone voice from the Statler Brothers. Btw, "White On White" made me a little "verklempt"!

    1. Hi, Toni! I'm sorry this post left you "verklempt"! (LOL) I hope it's a good kind of verklempt. Every time I listen to W. O. W. I get all choked up myself. It's one of the greatest and most listenable tear-jerker pop hits of the 60s (lots better than "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro).

      "Spell" never charted for Screamin' Jay but it's been covered successfully a surprising number of times including charting versions by Nina Simone, The Alan Price Set, CCR and Bryan Ferry. It was sampled by rapper Notorious B.I.G. and (here's one you should remember) used in a 2012 episode of American Horror Story.

      Thank you very much for visiting and commenting, dear friend Toni. Take care and please come back next time for a VERY important post!

  5. The Alice Cooper of the 50's? Well that was a new one on me. Scary looking dude wasn't he? I love the song Watusi. Heard it not too long ago on digital music channel. And any song that states "smokin'' cigarettes and watchin' Capt. Kangaroo" was a big hit with me. I loved having older brothers because they taught me about great music. Good post as always!

    1. Hey hey hey, Bouncin' Barb! Yessum, Screamin' Jay Hawkins would give today's audiences goose bumps with that performance of "Spell On You." Imagine the impact in the mid 50s! It's no wonder the guardians of our morals got the record banned from radio and kept it off the chart.

      That ditty by the Statlers won a Grammy Award, went to #4 on the Hot 100, #2 on the Billboard Country chart and reached #2 in New Zealand. For some reason it only cracked the top 40 over in Thisisme's England. Few songs can boast inspired lyrics like "smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kang-Kangaroo."

      Thank you very much for joining the fun again today, dear friend Barb. Enjoy the rest of your week way up there in the frozen north country of Daytona! :)

  6. I love Flowers on the Wall! It's a party favourite of mine from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Amazing song!
    Hope you're having a great start to your week Tom!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, Emma! I'm delighted that you know and love "Flowers On The Wall." The Statler Brothers caught lightning in a bottle when they recorded that homegrown song and turned it into a top 5 hit, but they never again reached the Billboard Hot 100. Later singles "My Darling Hildegarde" and "Do You Remember These" only made the Bubbling Under survey. Far from one hit wonders, however, the Statler Bros. put together a long string of hit singles and albums on the Country chart that extended into the new millennium.

      Thank you very much for your comment, dear friend Emma, and happy Wednesday to you!

  7. Hi Shady! Well, I'm with Thisisme...didn't know all of your songs, but do remember 'White on White'. It was pretty popular on my station back then, but I wasn't a total fan of the song. I do remember 'I Wish You Love', a very pretty song, and, 'I Put a Spell on You'. But I don't know if I remember Screamin Jay Hawkins! That 'Stranded in The Jungle' song is pretty wild-it does sound familiar, it seems like I heard some other song by that group, but just can't put my brain to it...gettin on in age, you know, lol!!! Just kidding!

    And, of course, the Statler's. They are a great group, pretty talented guys, even though not all of their material is my favorite.

    This was a fun post, still can't get over 'Screamin Jay Hawkins'-the name fits! lol! So glad to see you Shady...hope you are doing well. We got quite a bit of rain last nite and today-temps are really pleasant right now-YAY! Hope the rest of your week is great-like your blog!!! See you soon! ♫

    1. Hi there, Suzanne! You might remember the version of "Stranded in the Jungle" by the Cadets who also recorded as the Jacks. In the 50s it was not unusual to see two, three or more versions of the same song recorded and released around the same time to battle it out on the chart. The Jayhawks record started up the Billboard pop chart June 20, 1956. The Cadets landed their version on the chart on the 4th of July and a third group, the Gadabouts, put their version in play on July 11. The Cadets had the most successful chart run and is the most memorable version. As you might recall it includes the shouted line "Great googly moogly, get me outta here!"

      We had a brief break from the heat but it came surging back again yesterday. Slowly but surely the cooler weather is taking hold in the deep South.

      Thank you very much for reporting in, dear friend Suzanne. I hope you finish out the week in fine shape and enjoy a great weekend!

  8. I decided I'm the wuss of music appreciation class. Statler Brothers I know and like. White on White...a classic me anyway. But Screaming dude? Oh my gosh! I never heard of him and laughed my head off watching that video. I asked Jack if he knew him. "Oh yeah" he says. Goes on to describe his style and songs. We watched the video crazy. I love the fact I learn something new every time I visit! Have a great weekend Tom!

    1. Howdy, dear YaYa! I forgot to warn you not to watch "I Put a Spell On You" too close to bedtme. Sweet dreams! (LOL) I hope Eddy didn't watch that clip with you or he'll insist on hopping in the sack and sleeping next to you tonight! :)

      Hey, your hubby Jack really knows his stuff! You're lucky to have him and your brothers as music consultants when you're puzzled by my playlists. Don't worry. You won't be wearing the official Dell Dunce Cap any time soon, dear friend, because you knew and liked at least two of these oldies. Plus, you had some fun, right? That's all that matters.

      I'm delighted to have you over, dear friend YaYa. Good night, have a fab Friday and a great Ohio weekend!

  9. Kathleen Mae SchneiderOctober 17, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    This idea of playing six degrees was an original way to pique our interest, Tom. The way you were able to make connections between songs shows just how much you know about music. Bob remembered more songs than I so I had to do some homework. It paid off though because I found out a lot of neat things.

    When the Vibrations recorded different simultaneous songs under alternate band names, I wonder how many knew they were the same people. Was that ever done by other bands?

    I've heard "I Wish You Love" many times but just tonight realized the personal significance of the lyrics. The "bluebirds in the spring" from the first line brought tears to my eyes. A very special loved one who is gone from my life used to watch a pair of my favorite Eastern bluebirds with me as they nested in our back yard.

    In addition to that association, I remember being led onto the dance floor in my prom gown for a slow dance when that song was played.

    Since I grew up practically across the street from White Oaks, I probably heard "Wallflower" playing on a summer evening while helping Mother pick green beans from our garden.

    I loved hearing "Flowers on the Wall" again with its upbeat tempo, sarcastic lyrics and perfectly timed vocals, along with Danny Williams voice in "White on White". (He sound a bit like Bobby Vinton at first.)

    Bob and I never heard of Screamin' Jay Hawkins before! When I looked him up, we could hardly believe he was an orphaned classical piano child prodigy who wanted to be an opera singer. He was also a champion boxer, fought in WWII and fathered 75 offspring! After Bob watched the post and saw "I Put a Spell on You", he said maybe I should have pursued my piano career -just look what might have come of it!! LOL!

    Thanks for a really fun time hearing these songs related by titles and band names and the thoughts they fostered. What a creative post!

    1. Hi, Kathleen! Thank you for being brave enough to enter Shady's Halloween fun house and sample another batch of rare tuneage. I enjoy playing Six Degrees and the game continues in part 3 of Ron's Good Vibrations series coming soon.

      Yessum, it was fairly common for artists, groups and bands to make records using different names and/or write songs using pseudonyms. Artists used different stage names to record different types of material and appeal to a different audience. Some groups used one name for recording ballads and another to release jump tempo singles. Sheb Wooley waxed novelty records like the sci-fi inspired "The Purple People Eater." He targeted a country audience by using the name Ben Colder and had a hit with "Don't Go Near the Eskimos." One of the most memorable examples of a group using different names to make records was Frankie Valli's Four Seasons who also recorded as The Wonder Who. It was especially common for early R&B and doo-wop vocal groups to have alternate names. Examples included the Royals/Midnighters, the El Rays/Dells and the Cadets/Jacks, the group I told Suzanne about.

      You brought up an exciting possibility, dear friend. What if you and your mother could hear the sound of the Del-Chords singing on the bandstand at the Oaks from your house in North York? There's a thought!

      I agree with Bob. If only you had pursued a career as a classical pianist you might very well have become a champion boxer and had 75 children. Moreover, I have no difficulty whatsoever picturing you emerging from a coffin on stage holding a rubber snake and a smoking skull on a stick and performing a rousing rendition of "I Put a Spell On You." :)

      Thank you very much for the outstanding comment, dear friend Kathleen. Happy Friday to you and I hope you have a wonderful weekend, too.

  10. Hi, Shady! Just a quick comment before I put it off and another week goes by. I agree that the Mag Men's version of "I Wish You Love" surpasses that of the Vibrations. It's a 3-way tie, however, on "Misty" between them and Johnny Mathis.
    Thank you, This Is Me, for makin Tom jealous with Ronnikins. I went "huh?", and felt my cheeks warm. Regarding your homeland, I have to say last month I tried Betty Crocker's recipe for Yorkshire pudding and I'm hooked. Still waiting to try steak and kiidney pie, though.
    Kathleen, I read your last post on Saturday of last week, but couldn't think of words to say, and never did, but I am looking forward to the next installment and agree you should write a book. I don't know about the oriinal hippy, Jack Kerouac, but definitely agree about Steinback and you. Am thinking how 'crooked' your grandfather's punishment (and the rest of the family) was. I'm sure he wasn't a saint, but still....
    Tom, I never fail to be mentally stimulated by your presentations. Keep it up, and I owe you an e-mail. I have had so little time to communicate throughout much of this year.
    Viva la Dell!

    Dell Rat Ron

    1. Hi, Ron! I'm very happy to hear from you, good buddy! Yes indeed, I've a feeling that our dear friend Thisisme is sweet on you, Ronnikins! :) She's heading over to Paris and might not see your comment right away but I'll let her know you send your regards.

      It's nice to know you're still following Kathleen's series covering the life and times of the Browns, the First Family of the Shady Dell. There are many more exciting twists and turns to come in the enthralling saga.

      Thanks again for reporting in, Ron. Have a nice weekend and stay tuned for Part 3 of your Good (Great!) Vibrations coming soon!

  11. hi shady, long time no see. sorry about that, hope you're doing well! thanks for the great music as always. xx

    1. Hello, dear old friend Alabee! I just noticed you have a new post up and I am eager to read it. I hope you've been well since we last connected and I also hope this means you'll be blogging more regularly from now on. You've been missed. Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend, and enjoy the week ahead!

  12. I really enjoyed the music today, Shady. 'White on White' is so lovely, yet sad. I was 14 when it came out and I remember it perfectly. 'Flowers on the Wall' is another favorite. The Vibrations are great and I laughed at 'Stranded in the Jungle'.

    Jay Hawkins has quite the voice and I'll have to go see him on youtube on the Ed Sullivan show too. I'm glad to hear his history from Kathleen. Very interesting. Hugs.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you very much for coming over this evening. I also have vivid memories of that Danny Williams tearjerker from 9th grade in the spring of 1964. "Flowers On The Wall" was also an important part of the soundtrack of my youth even tho I had become a Dell rat and was getting into soul music by the time that record by the Statlers was charting.

      I'm very happy to see you, Belle, and again I thank you for thinking about me. I hope you'll return tomorrow because I have a very special surprise post for you to see. Good night and have a wonderful week, dear friend Belle!


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