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, January 19, 2014

I'm A Little Bit Country.....

 In a recent post, our good friend Shelly 

at La Tejana asked readers to fill in the blank:
"I am not __________." Shelly's unusual request
got me thinking about all the times over the years
that I said to myself, "I am not a person who likes
country music." My research here at SDM&M has
allowed me to stop saying "I am not" and live
by three other words, "Never say never."

Today I proudly present a few of my
new favorite records which prove
that I'm a little bit country.


A while back I devoted an entire post to
Wanda Jackson. The hot blooded Okie
spitfire was one of the first rockabilly
performers and a rock 'n' roll pioneer.

Wanda made so many great records that
I decided to introduce another in this post.
Along with her gifts as a singer and guitarist,
Wanda was a prolific songwriter. Here's one
she wrote and recorded in 1957, the rockin',
rollin', badass B side "Baby Loves Him."

 "Baby Loves Him" - Wanda Jackson 
 (February 1957, B side of "Cryin' Thru the Night") 


Some folks don't know that country music superstar
Dolly Parton began her singing career as a child
and was already releasing records in the late 50s.

Let's turn back the clock to a time when Dolly was recording some excellent sides in a country tinged teen pop style. Here's Dolly in 1962 at age 16 performing "The Love You Gave," with back-
ground vocals by the Merry Melody Singers.

 "The Love You Gave" - Dolly Parton 
 (June 1962, uncharted) 

Now, here's teenage Dolly once again with
"Nobody But You," a previously unreleased
rock 'n' roll gem recorded that same year
with the Merry Melody Singers.

 "Nobody But You" - Dolly Parton 
 (1962, previously unreleased) 




In the summer of 1968, Nashvile recording artist
Ricky Page waxed a version of the Tom T. Hall song
"Harper Valley P.T.A. and gave Jeannie C. Riley
a run for her money in Seattle and Vancouver,
topping radio station charts in those cities.

I'm liking the smooth country ballad on the B side
of Ricky's Spar single, "Making a Fool of Myself."

 "Making a Fool of Myself" - Ricky Page 
 (August 1968, B side of Harper Valley P.T.A.") 


I couldn't find much info about country singer
Joyce Paul. This much I know. I love her voice!
In 1957, Joyce appeared on a televised episode
of Country Style U.S.A., a series of short films
for U.S. Army promotion and recruitment that 
featured performances by country music stars.

It was pop goes the country in the mid 60s when
Joyce recorded the single "Lasting Love" in Nashville.
The record was arranged by Ray Stevens and backing
vocals were supplied by the Anita Kerr Singers.

 "Lasting Love" - Joyce Paul 
 (April 1964, uncharted) 

In 1965, Joyce Paul switched to the United Artists
label and released a cover/answer to Del Reeves'
hit novelty record, "Girl on the Billboard."

 "I'm The Girl On The Billboard" - Joyce Paul 
 (July 1965, uncharted) 

 I hope you enjoyed our stroll 

 down this Shady country road. 

 See you next time! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Top of the afternoon to you Shady! Me too...thought I could only be true to Soul Surviving music, lol. Well, 'soul surviving' is not only about soul music is it? I believe 'soul surviving' can pertain to any of the styles and genres of music that we can tolerate, and tap our feet to! I do adore Wanda Jackson too! What spunk and nerve, (oh yeah, plenty of talent too). And, I dearly love Dolly Parton, with everything she's done! Happy Birthday Dolly! She and Kenny Rogers did good duets, and I really liked the movie with Stallone and Dolly, and, who couldn't like her in '9 to 5'! And, those dimples at a young age too, could get you anywhere! Dolly's early work could have passed over to the pop side of the sphere, and I wouldn't have known any different.

    Well, now, I haven't heard of the other two girls, but I did agree with you on Joyce Paul's voice. I liked it too. I wasn't very taken by the song, 'Making a fool of Myself' done by Ricky Page. I think it is too slow paced for me.

    Soooo...I guess I am SDS today, huh? It is a beautiful day in Fort Worth, a little breezy and cool, but the sun is out. We're working on the kitchen...bad pipes! Ugh! I did get to sneak away for a few minutes.

    I liked this post, new people...where do you find them? Research 101! lol! I'm not a lot country, but, I do sneak over to that side from time to time. Thanks Shady-have a great weekend! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne! As the first customer through the door you receive - absolutely free - a lifetime membership to SDM&M! Congratulations! :)

      Bad pipes? Sorry about that, dear friend, but I hope you agree there are no bad pipes among these women of country and rock-a-billy. It was very nice of you to express what I have been trying to say for more than five years here on the blog. Soul can be found in more than one style of music, so why limit yourself?

      I'm tickled silly that you enjoyed my recent discovery Joyce Paul. If you'd like to see and hear Joyce in her younger days, 1957, go to YouTube and listen to her sing "Your Cheating Heart" on that Army recruitment program I mentioned in the text. That performance won me over and prompted me to investigate her other recordings. Did you ever hear Ricky Page's version of "Harper Valley? It was #1 in the Pac NW but seems bland to me compared to Jeannie C. Riley's.

      Thank you very much for attending my country jamboree, dear friend Suzanne. Stay warm and have a great week ahead!

  2. Happy Sunday to you Tom! Well, country music is very big in these here parts..but I'm not from "these here parts" so it's never been my cup of tea. But then I get a surprise and find myself liking some of the tunes I hear in surgery from the country station. (But then I am a captive audience there!) It seems like many of the country singers today are also crossing into the pop section too. I have always enjoyed Dolly and it's funny because her voice isn't as good as the others featured here. To me that really says that sometimes it's the "IT" factor..something that sets artists apart in some way that makes them star quality. She sure has lasted the years and I do get a kick out of her attitude. Thanks for featuring the other ladies and giving us some old country "Ed-gee-ca-tion"! Happy Trails to you until we post again!

    1. Hi, YaYa! Thanks for saddling up and riding over to my hoedown, dear friend! For the first five years of my SDM&M journey, I neglected country music because hardly any was played at the Dell. Moreover, all my life I've avoided the category. Recently, when I remembered the Dell rat doctrine and closed my eyes, took a deep breath and opened my heart (not to surgery), I found that there are certain types of country music that I not only like but love.

      I tend to agree that Dolly's vocal abilities were surpassed by these ladies and others in the business that didn't go as far as she did. Undeniably, her exceptional figure had something to do with her success. I know she wouldn't deny it. (I remember Johnny Carson's classic remark when Dolly was a guest on The Tonight Show: "I'd give a year's salary to peek under there." (Something to that effect.) It also helps to have a great sense of humor and Dolly's got that, too, along with business acumen.

      Hey, dear friend YaYa, thank you very much for fiddling around with me this evening. I appreciate your visit and comment and I wish you a great week ahead!

  3. Hello Sir Shady!! I am a big advocate for never say never. However, I can truly say that I do not like country music!! The old Country & Western sound was a fixture in my house growing up on my parents record player. Down in the basement was another story. That's where we rocked out to good stuff!! HugsXX

    1. Hi, Bouncin' Barb! As I mentioned to YaYa, there are certain types of country music that I love, the implication being that there are other types that I do not care for. I tend not to like the weepy, cry in your beer country songs or the traditional, old school C&W (country and western). The selections in this post do not fit in those categories. They are what I would call crossover or country pop recordings. They're fun and I like them. That's not saying they're for everybody and I appreciate your honesty in expressing your opinion.

      Your kind visit is all that matters to me, dear friend, and I thank you. Have a safe and happy week ahead, BB!

  4. In spite of growing up in Oklahoma I did not become a real fan of country music until I was in my 30s, but a real fan I became. I loved hearing all the music you featured today though I had not heard of Joyce Paul before. I especially liked the selection from early in Dolly Parton's career. Thank for today's mini hoedown.

    1. Hi, Jeanie! Thank you very much for coming to my wiener roast and square dance.

      I have to laugh sometimes because I try to mix it up and present something for everybody - music to suit everyone's taste - yet it's surprisingly hard to find a perfect match regardless of how much variety I offer. Therefore, I am especially happy to know that most of this music resonated with you. I enjoy all the songs in this post but I am especially pleased to have "discovered" Joyce Paul because so little is known about her. If you have time go to YouTube and watch her fine 1957 performance of Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart." I think you'll enjoy it.

      Thank you again, dear friend Jeanie, for taking a walk with me down this country road. I hope it left you with a Rocky Mountain high. Good night and have a wonderful week ahead!

  5. With the words of Shady, Justin Bieber, the Fray, Romeo Void and maybe a little bit of James Bond, "Never say Never (again)" is a good motto I'd like to live by, too!

    I REALLY enjoyed seeing and hearing old (young) Dolly Parton. Seems like Dolly's voice never matured, LOL!

    For some reason Ricky Page reminded me of Brenda Lee (namely, "I'm Sorry").

    But, all in all, I think I enjoyed Joyce Paul's," Lasting Love" and "Billboard" songs the best in this bunch.

    Well, that was fun, Shady!

    1. Hi, Toni! Welcome to Shady's version of the Grand Ole Opry! (Or is it Hee-Haw? :)

      You wrote:

      << Justin Bieber, the Fray, Romeo Void >>

      They must all be new. The latest pop music acts I know of are Walter Brennan, Pia Zadora and Menudo! (LOL)

      Ricky Page aka Rickie Page aka June Page was an Oklahoma born singer and songwriter with extensive music industry credits. I have more of her fine recordings in the can. Stay tuned!

      I'm delighted to know you liked Joyce Paul, my Pick to Click for this post. Ray "The Streak" Stevens arranged her "Lasting Love" single and several other records I'll be posting over the next two years in my new series on the Spector Sound. I remember Del Reeves' original version of "Girl On The Billboard," a novelty number that went to #1 on the country music chart in 1965. I'm glad you enjoyed the Joyce Paul cover.

      Thank you for coming over for some fun, Toni. I hope you have a safe and happy week and stop by for my next post. Good night, dear friend!

  6. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJanuary 20, 2014 at 5:45 AM

    Good music is good music, whatever the era or style! The same goes for quality voices and creative musicians. You prove this over and over again with your posts, Shady. Ever since I was pleasantly surprised by the Goth Metal sound and actually enjoyed more of the songs than found ones I disliked, I will never again just flat out say I don't like an entire musical genre without first consulting you!

    The songs you brought to us on this post weren't of the same country style I heard blaring from a neighbor's radio growing up in North York before the days of air conditioning and closed windows in summer. Those songs sounded whiny and all alike in tone, rhythm and melody - you know, the ones with titles like "She's Lookin' Better after Every Beer" or "Get the Hammer Mama - There's a Fly on Daddy's Head"!

    Wanda, Dolly, Ricky and Joyce all possess rich resonant voices and their songs sound more like the music of the times. They are able to crossover into the "just good music category" as far as I can tell. I especially liked the easy sound of "Making a Fool of Myself", and I thought the last "Billboard" song sounded a lot like Johnny Cash, an artist who first made country music appealing for me at all.

    As for Dolly, she's a gem in all senses of the word! I love her quote: "I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb.....and I also know I'm not blonde."

    Thanks for expanding my repertoire of GOOD country, Shady!

    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! Thank you very much for hopping in your buckboard wagon and heading on down to my Pop Goes the Country Jamboree.

      You scored some excellent points here. There is good music to be found in every category if you are willing to keep an open mind and search long enough. I happen to know that you still have Stream of Passion's "Out In The Real World" playing in a continuous loop on your car stereo! :)

      Your second paragraph is very much appreciated. As I mentioned in my reply to BB, I do not enjoy country songs that wallow in self pity or dwell on infidelity, hard drinking and hard living. I enjoy songs about stoicism and determination, mustering the strength to go on when times are tough and rising back up when you're beaten down. This holds true for any genre of music. I also appreciate songs with a sense of humor like the Route 66 "Billboard" ditty by Del Reeves covered so nicely here by Joyce Paul.

      Dolly Parton lasted because she's one smart cookie. She knows how to use what she's got to get what she wants.

      You gotta use what got
      To get whatcha want
      Before whatcha got is gone
      You gotta reach for that ring
      When you're on that ride
      How long does that ride go on?
      You gotta learn every dance
      Return every glance
      While you have the chance to score
      You gotta use whatcha got
      To get whatcha want
      Before you ain't got no more
      Your clock starts running
      On the day that you are born
      It just keeps tick-tick-ticking on
      There's only so much time to
      Blow your little horn
      Before your time has come
      And gone
      Wednesday you're new
      Thursday you're through
      It happens sooner than you know
      That gravy train gets mighty slow
      So as I told you a long time ago

      You gotta use what got
      To get whatcha want
      Before whatcha got is gone

      Thank you very much for your kind visit and comments, dear friend Kathleen. I hope you and Mother are both feeling better and that the upturn continues throughout the week.

      God bless!

  7. years ago I din;t like country music either, Now I am a convert, giggle. I love the I am not question. Hoping you have a beautiful week filled with music you love. Hugs

    1. Hugs hugs hugs to you, dear Katie! What a great comment this is from you and so much appreciated. Shelly got me thinking about all the times I talked myself out of something. That inner voice can hold you back from many wonderful experiences so it's important to override it and give new people, places and things a try. I'm very happy to know you opened your mind to country music, same as I did.

      Thank you again for your sweet visit and comment, dear friend Katie. Enjoy your week!

  8. I am VERY late to the game on this post, but I love it! I grew up in a home filled with a lot of country music, so I knew these! Although I don't listen to it much now, my younger daughter is steeped in it. It's funny how the pendulum swings. A very enjoyable post, my friend- have a great week!

    1. Hi, Shelly! Thanks so much for swinging by. I figured you had a hectic weekend or might have been over here in Orlando at another conference. I very much appreciate your visit.

      It's exciting to know that you remember these countrified tunes from your youth. Perhaps you overdosed on them and that's what drove you to into the evil arms of Punk. :) I also find it fascinating that your younger daughter embraces country music although, from what little I know about it, most of today's country music is not very far from removed from pop.

      Thank you again for attending my function at Rattlesnake Junction, dear friend Shelly. Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon!

  9. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJanuary 20, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    I need to back-pedal a wee bit here about my comment!

    As I used to tell my art appreciation students, it's good if we can try to understand art we don't instinctively like, but we don't have to have it hanging in our house. I think it's the same way with music. I think I understand what the likes of John Cage and other avant-garde composers are trying to say, but I don't find it personally appealing in fundamental ways. I'm like a friend's dog who used to hide and cover his ears whenever an Arnold Schoenberg piece came over the radio! I can't abide dissonance I'm afraid.

    Lucky for us that we can claim or reject anything you give us here. That shows our diversity and that we feel safe to speak our mind. More to your credit Professor Shady!

    1. Thank you, dear friend! I'm a lot like your friend's dog, too, except that I hide and cover my ears whenever an Arnold SCHWARZENEGGER piece comes on the radio. Ever hear him sing "Muscles?" (LOL)

      Yessum, it takes all kinds of people to make a world and SDM&M is a melting pot where folks with different tastes meet and share info, humor and goodwill. Everyone who comes through my door may feel free to express his or her candid opinion. What matters most to me is that they took the time to show up, absorb the material, ponder and write a comment.

      Thank you very much for dropping in once again, dear friend. I hope all is well up there and will continue to get even better in the days ahead.

      God bless!

  10. Hi there Shadykins. Nice to hear a bit of country over here at the old Shady Dell. Well then, I'm completely at odds with you all today, as I love a good wallow in a country song. I used to love Tammy Wynette and could often be heard belting out Stand By Your Man, or D.I.V.O.R.C.E.! Maybe I Didn't love you... By Willie Nelson always made me sad. I love all those songs that tell a story! It was interesting to see and listen to Dolly Parton at such a young age. I must admit that I've got a lot of admiration for her. Hey, did you happen to see the most beautiful girl... Charlie Rich methinks! Hope all is well with you dear Tom. Smooches being sent your way.

    1. Hallo hallo hallo, dear Thisisme, and welcome to my Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat and the Fiddle, The Cow Jumped Over the Moon Hayride Hootenanny! :)

      So you like weepers? Jeepers creepers! That's quite alright, to each his/her own. I happen to love "Stand By Your Man" because to me it symbolizes strength, sacrifice and commitment which are positives to me. I well remember that Charlie Rich monster "The Most Beautiful Girl" because it was a huge crossover hit, topping three U.S. charts - pop, country and adult contemporary - in the fall of 1973. Again, the song is not what I would call a "pity party." There is stoicism and acceptance of loss, the kind of messages I also appreciate.

      Did you know that George Jones & Tammy Wynette moved to my Florida town in 1970 shortly after they married? Their home, located only a few miles from here, inspired the hit songs "The Grand Tour" and "Two Story House."

      Thank you very much for being one of my rowdy friends who came over tonight for my bluegrass bash. Good night, dear friend Thisisme, and have a safe and happy Tuesday!

  11. I like rockabilly. I've always said I hate country music, but what I really hated was the way my parents watched Hee Haw during dinner every Saturday evening. I like Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash. Dolly Parton has such a sweet voice.


    1. Hi there, Janie Junebug! I'm so glad to see your face in my place, dear friend!

      I agree with you about Hee-Haw. They used to have it on the TV set of my favorite tavern in State College. (It was my favorite because of the cheap drafts and free beer nuts.) Later, the syndicated program was added to the schedule at the TV station where I worked. I got sick of it. The type of music presented here is not the style I remember Buck Owens, Roy Clark and the other artists performing most of the time on Hee-Haw. Now Johnny Cash I could listen to all day and night!

      Thank you very much for checking in today, dear friend Janie. I hope you enjoyed your stay. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  12. Another great post Shady! A favourite Dolly Parton song of mine is her cover of The Beatles Help!, I heard it the other day on the radio and had no idea she had covered it.

    1. Hi, Sarah! Thank you for coming across the pond for a look and a listen, dear friend!

      I just finished listening to Dolly's cover of "Help." I didn't know about it, never heard it before and really enjoyed it! She has the knack of taking a song and making it her own, doesn't she?

      Thank you again for your visit and your caring remarks, dear friend Sarah. Good night to you and have a wonderful Tuesday!

  13. Ooh! I dearly love Dolly Parton and Wanda Jackson. Thanks for the info and the music, I love this kind of stuff!

    1. Hello, Abigail! Welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I am very happy to have you as a follower and I know you will enjoy the time you spend here in the Shady. Dolly and Wanda are two of my favorites as well and I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Please come back and see me again soon, Abigail, and thank you again for your interest in SDM&M!

    2. Thanks so much for the charming comment! I was so encouraged by it and it gave me a great big smile.
      I'm very sorry to hear of your loss of Toto. Such a great effect those wonderful animals can have on our lives. Its been a year since we had to put down our darling Ginger, who was also 14. She was a family dog that we got in 1999, even before my little sister was born. She was like another daughter to my mom, and my older sister and I could barely remember a time without her.
      In reality, loosing a pet is not all that different from loosing a human family member! What wonderful companions they are.
      One time i remarked that it was annoying that Daisy got excited and barked at me to get my attention every time i came inside (even if I'd been gone 2 minutes). My mom told me that even if i married, my whole life i would never find anyone who "wants to be with you every second of every day, who will listen to you when you talk, who will be the happiest to see you when you get home and will be the saddest when you leave, and, no matter what you ever do your whole life, will want to constantly please you as much as a dog."
      I will remember your loss in my prayers. Thanks again!

    3. Hi again, dear Abigail! I love follow-up comments from readers and followers. Meaningful communication and genuine caring and friendship are important to me. Therefore, I want to thank you for coming back over and expressing all of this to me.

      Everything your mom said is true. You will never find as faithful a friend as your dog, a friend so easy to please, so miserable when you are away, so happy when you return. I used to get annoyed with Toto for exhibiting "separation anxiety" when I ran out to the supermarket for a few minutes. When I returned she would whimper and squeal and sometimes pee submissively in her excitement. You'd think I had been gone for a year. I'd give anything for the opportunity to hear her make those welcoming sounds again and clean up her puddles.

      I'm very sorry for the loss of your Ginger. I know how painful it must have been for your whole family. Give thanks for every minute you have Daisy.

      If you want to see the post I did on Toto, please copy and paste this address:

      Thank you again, dear Abigail. You and I are going to be great friends. Good night!

    4. Aw! thanks for the link. What a sweet, sweet girl. I enjoyed reading about her, what a cute story. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.
      Blessings and see you soon! :)

    5. Thank you for reading about my Toto, Abigail! Enjoy your Friday and your Kansas weekend!


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