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

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 - Year of the Dell Rat










As 2014 gets underway I want you to know
how much I appreciate your continued
friendship and support (yeah YOU!)

Once again I am proud to offer my exclusive
Freshness Guarantee:  90% of the material
I will present in the coming year with be fresh
 or double your money back.  You heard right.


In 2014 I will be focusing on great East Coast
and West Coast producers of the 60s including
Phil Spector, whose wizardry you sampled in my
Christmas post. Spector's genius in the studio
turned pop records into mini symphonies with
his Wall-of-Sound production techniques.

The other day I made the mistake of trying the
Oldies channel on my cable system.  It didn't take
long for me to remember why I hardly ever go there.
Every song they played was a million selling hit and
most were nerdy - the kind that make my skin crawl -
the kind that give Oldies a bad name and cause young
 people to tune out and avoid our music.  It would be
a waste of time for me to present nothing but familiar
hits on this blog.  Why would you want to listen to
stuff you've already heard hundreds of times and
probably have in your own collection? What's to
be gained from doing that? What's to be learned?
Learning is important to me and it's an important
part of SDM&M. I learn something new every day
in my research and I also have a lot to learn
from you through your generous comments.

At the original The Shady Dell we listened and danced
 to cool records, not nerdy ones, and it was exciting to
 discover great recordings that we never before heard.
Therefore, in 2014, Shady Dell Music & Memories will
continue to offer a variety of music spanning six
decades, much of it new to you (and to me).

SDM&M will also continue to be an interactive
experience - a friendly place where you always
feel welcome, at home and at ease - a place
where you can reminisce, chat with buddies,
laugh, have fun, feel young and forget your
worries for awhile. Those are the things
that made the original Shady Dell great,
and the opportunity to follow that
tradition is what brings me
back for another year.



  1. I'm joining your New Year's Day party early Tom! Yeah! We have a Doc who loves the oldies, but as you say, it's the same old, same old on sirus...and most of the youngsters hate listening to it when he's working! I don't mind it, but after the same songs repeat over the eight hours we're cutting and sewing..well, you know! Anyway, I'm learning lots here so I'm in for 2014! I hope you have a wonderful year filled with good health and good music and all that jazz! Best to you and Mrs. Shady! You said she has to work today so tell her I can surely sympathize. Been there done that for many a year! Happy New Year! Oh, P>S..TCM had a Deanna Durbin (I hope I spelled that correctly) movie on the other night and I really enjoyed it!

    1. Hello, good morning and happy new year, dear YaYa! Good news, my friend. Your SDM&M membership renewal for 2014 has been


      I'm glad you agree it would get monotonous to limit my playlists to million selling megahits like "A Hard Day's Night." Think of us as kids, neighborhood friends, and I'm inviting you over to my rec room and playing a stack of records to entertain you, hoping you never heard them before and that you enjoy them like I do.

      I'm very pleased to know my Deanna Durbin post got you curious enough to watch one of her movies. You're one smart girl, YaYa, and one great friend!

      Happy new year to you, Jack, Eddy, your mother, your brothers and all your grandkiddos!

  2. Happy New Year Shady! I look forward to your posts in the coming year.

    1. Thank you very much, dear Sarah! Your visits here always bring a smile to my face. I deeply appreciate having you as a friend.

      Happy new year, Sarah!

  3. Music & memories....what could be more fun. It sounds like you will be taking us into a new year of music appreciation full of fun, flair and friendliness.
    Happy new year!

    1. Hi, Jeanie! How have you been, dear friend? I'm pleased to see you returning to the world of blogging following your hiatus for the holidays.

      Yessum, along with my freshness guarantee, I also promise to give you a warm, enthusiastic welcome every time you are nice enough to visit. I genuinely appreciate having you as a friend!

      Happy new year to you and Dodger and all your loved ones, Jeanie!

  4. As a kid in the 60's and all through my life, I've always beat to my own drum. I never conformed to fads and usually started my own. The same goes for your music choices. Always looking for what was off the beaten path. Scorpio's Unite!! lol. Phil Spector was a genius. It's so hard to comprehend how he ended up in prison for murder while wearing big haired wigs. Scary. Looking forward to 2014 with you my friend! Hugs Xx

    1. Hugs hugs hugs, Bouncin Barb! That's right, a trend setting free spirit like you can understand how important it is to me to break new ground and unearth hidden treasure. I don't know how Phil Spector got where he is today but I choose to accentuate the positive and give him props for his abundant contributions to the soundtrack of our lives. There's lots of exciting music in store and I invite you along for the ride (top down) as we proceed through 2014 and beyond.

      Thank you very much for coming, dear Barb, and happy new year to you!

  5. Well, okay Shady! We'll take it! You're on! I do enjoy the familiar stuff too, because sometimes we don't know the history behind the song, or artist...and, it's YOUR job to enlighten us! lol! Like Phil Spector-we know of him, but maybe not so much about him! You've let us in on some of his shenanigans!

    What a fantastic blog! I had no idea, the first time I ventured over here, what I would be getting into! And, it was such a pleasant surprise! Right up my alley!

    You know, Shady, I can't think of a better place to reminisce than SDM&M (had to look back to get that one!). Happy New Year, my friend! I look forward to seeing you around for another year1 ♫

    1. Hello and happy new year, dear Suzanne! Yessum, Shady Dell Music & Memories is a lot like quicksand. It's easy to get sucked in. :) As blog friends go you and I are a good fit. You are down to earth, warm and friendly and have a sense of humor. It's funny, the other Suzanne also fits that description. In fact, the two of you could be twins. Come to think of it, I've never seen you and her together in the same room at the same time. Puzzling! :)

      It's been great fun exchanging messages with you during the past 12 months and I look forward to more fun this year.

      Thank you very much for your friendship and support, dear Suzanne. I wish you and Karo and Scootie all the best in 2014!

  6. Phil Spector: yet another creative genius who had serious problems. I would love to know if the percentage of people who produce something truly creative and have mental problems is higher than that of the less creative population. But, then, how does one define truly creative?


    1. Love right back at ya, Janie Junebug! You pose an interesting question. You'd make a good pitchwoman for GEICO, resurrecting their rhetorical questions campaign. :) In my opinion the two are linked and the percentage is indeed higher. Over the years I have been frustrated with myself, wishing that I was more creative and artistic. Seems I have difficulty thinking of something new, although I have a knack for taking existing elements and rearranging them in a new and different way. Perhaps that is also a form of creativity.

      Thank you very much for stopping by, dear friend Janie. I hope all your new year's wishes come true. Talk to you again soon!

  7. I look forward to seeing and hearing new music that you will post in this coming year. I've heard so many fantastic new songs from reading your blog and I always find it encouraging in continuing to expand my taste and love for music. I too love to learn new things, and thusly I find that this post makes so much sense!

    1. Oh, how very nice of you, Lucy! I am so happy to see you, my dear friend. It's good to know you are having fun following Shady Dell Music & Memories and that you enjoy learning more about the music produced during your favorite decade, the Sixties. Keep in mind that I am also learning as I go along because I somehow missed many of these great tunes when I was growing up.

      Thank you very much for coming over to say hello, dear Lucy in the Sky. Your friendship and support mean a great deal to me. Once again, happy new year to you!

  8. Dear Shadikins, I know, I know, I'm late and I ask you to forgive me for that dear friend. Your blog is always a joy to visit, not only for the music, but for the cheerful banter as well. Keep doing what you're doing Tom, because we all love it. I look forward to listening to music of times gone by, those tunes which I know and love, and those which are new to me, all thanks to the Shady Dell. I love the big Phil Spector sound, so I'm looking forward to that. Emma , Mark and Alfred drove back to France this morning, and Eleanor will be flying back to Paris from Peru tomorrow, so they will be pleased to see each other again. So things are getting back to normal, as in many homes I suspect. Take care my friend, and I wish you and Mrs Shady the very best of years. Let's hope it's a good one for all of us. Smooches and double smooches!!

    1. SMOOCHES SMOOCHES SMOOCHES, dear Thisisme! It's AOK. I knew that you, the Queen of Hearts, had a Full House for days Straight. Yessum, this Joker's Wild, and writing that nonsense just now gave my cheeks a Royal Flush! :)

      I hope Alfred and his family get home safely to France w/o incident and that Eleanor returns from Peru with smiles and stories and pictures galore. Please ask her if you can share them with us on Southhams Darling. You know we'd all like to see those mountain vistas, etc.

      Thank you very much for your loyal friendship and support in 2013, dear Diane. You mean so much to me that I can't even express it. Let's make 2014 the greatest year ever.

      Onward and upward, dear friend Thisisme!

      God bless!

  9. A very happy new year to you Tom! I'm excited to keep reading about and hearing all the non nerdy oldies from you this coming year!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, dear Emma! Believe it or not I was just thinking about you earlier today, missing you and wondering how things are going over there in Ireland. I hope all is well and that you thoroughly enjoyed the holidays. I was very thankful to have you as a dear friend again in 2013 and I hope you will come see me often in 2014.

      Thank you very much for your cheery comment, dear friend Emma. I wish you and Donnacha, your mam and your entire family a very happy new year!

  10. That first paragraph made me smile! Shady at his silly best. We're actually battening down the hatches here in deepest Devon, as we have been given a severe weather warning of high tides , flooding, torrential rain and gale force winds. Eeeek! I may never be seen again. Roger is building an ark in the garden even as we speak!

    1. Oh NO! I hope it won't be too bad, dear friend. Maybe you can use your retro caravan Sandy as an ark! (LOL) Back home in Pennsylvania they're getting hit with a snowstorm, too, yet here I sit in Florida with the air conditioner running!

      Please stay safe and sound, dear Thisisme, and please keep me posted. I care about you!

  11. Happy New Year Tom. Hope 2014 is full of peace, love, laughs, and good health.

    1. Hey, Brian! Thanks for coming by, good buddy! It's good to know you're still out there. You know how much I appreciate it when you comment and I hope I will inspire you to do so with the material I have in the pipeline for 2014.

      Thanks again, Brian, and happy new year to you and your family!

  12. Hi Shady and happy new year!

    I'm looking forward to yet another fun filled year of entertainment ! I always enjoy reading your posts and listening to old (not nerdy) and new (to me) songs of yesteryear ! Keep all that fresh blogging coming!

    1. Hi, Toni! Is it snowin' and blowin' up there? I'm very thankful that you were able to set aside time to visit and comment. Although you are no longer the honorable Keeper of the Dell, your ongoing friendship and support mean the world to me. I hereby promise to do my best in 2014 to keep you reading, keep you laughing and keep you bopping to cool tuneage.

      Happy new year, dear friend Toni!

  13. Looking forward to the new year. Most of my favorite oldies never made it to the top 10 and many never to the top 100. Really enjoy your history lessons and the not top ten you come up with for the blog.
    PS: Just got done listening to my new Fourevers album.

    1. Hi, Jerre! Happy new year, good buddy! I've been listening to my new 4-Evers CD, too, and enjoying many of the tracks - the ones in which they sounded like the Seasons as well as their standard doo-wop recordings.

      As an original rat you are well aware that the Rodentia Intelligentsia paid no attention to the Billboard chart. We made our own hits based on the sound and the dance potential. Little known artists, uncharted records and forgotten flips were all prized at the Dell because they were ours. "Once you go obscure... you'll go back for more" was the Dell rat philosophy.

      Thanks for coming by, Jerre, and stay tuned for another great year of music and memories. You won't want to miss my 50-part series on Tiny Tim or my 100-parter on Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes!

      Once again, happy new year, good buddy!

  14. Your writing has impressed me. It’s simple, clear and precise. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and family. Regards and good luck....Central High School Yearbooks

    1. Thank you very much, Shawn! I appreciate your comment and hope you, your friends and family will visit often in 2014 and make Shady Dell Music & Memories a guilty pleasure and a hard habit to break.

      Happy new year. Shawn!

  15. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJanuary 3, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    I'm thawing out from shoveling snow and ice to make a resolution to check into Shady Dell Music & Memories often in 2014. All the research points to learning new things as a way to stave off the effects of aging on our brain, but that's not the main reason I will continue to seek cognitive enrichment here in the months ahead.

    Who would have thought that searching for my ancestors from a century ago would lead me to a second youth in the music department? Thanks to your hard work and extensive research, it's been just plain fun the last few years playing catch-up from my seriously lacking exposure to an important part of the culture that was all around me as a teenager.

    Thanks Tom, for putting out a welcome mat for people like me to do that. I eagerly look forward to returning for my weekly refills of authentic cool!

    1. Hello hello hello, dear Kathleen! I hope you and Bob and Mother Margaret and Lis all had a happy New Year's Eve celebration gathered around the television watching Miley Cyrus perform live in Times Square! :) Wasn't it exciting to watch the country's decency standards drop at the stroke of midnight? :) (Just kidding, Miley.)

      From what I've gathered, the White Rose city has been renamed simply the White City (as in deep snow). Be careful out there shoveling the stuff because this is slip and fall season.

      I'm thrilled that you have come to realize how much you belong here at SDM&M, dear friend. It's funny, I always used to wish for followers who knew all the music I know and could relate to everything I present. I don't wish that anymore. I have found it much more rewarding to expand the horizons of people like you and Thisisme who missed a high percentage of this material the first time around. It's the same reason why I follow blogs that cover subjects I know little or nothing about. They force me to do some research before I can write an intelligent comment and, in the process, I learn something new every day. If you think about it, blogging is at its best when people from drastically different backgrounds come together and share.

      The welcome mat is always out for you, dear friend Kathleen. Just remember to stomp the snow off your boots before you enter. :) Thank you very much for dropping by and have a safe and happy weekend.

      Happy new year!

  16. Happy new year to you and Mrs Shady! I look forward to what music you'll introduce me too this year! All the best for 2014!

    1. Hi, Cat!!! Thank you for the new year wishes, dear friend. I will do my best to keep you entertained in 2014. I hope you know how much I value your friendship and your visits and comments here on my blog.

      Once again, happy new year to you and your family, dear Catherine!


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