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"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, February 18, 2014

Randy's Rainbows & Patty's Emblems But Definitely NOT Frankie's Avalons!








Dell Rat Ron Shearer joins us again today 
and he and I offer this ironclad guarantee:

Every spinner's a winner or
DOUBLE your money back!

 Ron, let me begin with 

 one of the best groups 

 most of us never heard! 


The Hampton Roads Tidewater of
Southeastern Virginia has long been
a breeding ground for talented
vocal groups like the Five Keys
who gave us "Close Your Eyes,"
the mother of all Dell songs.

Early in their history the Five Keys shared
members with another evolving R&B
group from the area, the Avalons.

The Avalons signed with the Groove subsidiary
of RCA and in early 1956 released the sweet
ballad "Chains Around My Heart."

 "Chains Around My Heart" - The Avalons 
 (February 1956, uncharted) 

A few months later the Avalons were back
in the Groove with another great ballad,
"It's Funny But It's True."

 "It's Funny But It's True" - The Avalons 
 (October 1956, uncharted) 

The Avalons waxed their finest recording
late in 1958, the enthralling ballad
"My Heart's Desire."

 "My Heart's Desire" - The Avalons 
 (December 1958, uncharted) 

That Unart 45 is a dynamite doublesider.
The killer bee on the back is the Avalons'
version of an oft recorded 1953 song that
earned the Righteous Brothers a top 5
hit in 1965. Here are the Avalons
with another delightful dose of 
Tidewater tonic, "Ebbtide."

 "Ebbtide" - The Avalons 
 (December 1958, uncharted B side 
 of "My Heart's Desire") 

Have you noticed how often the word
"uncharted" has appeared in this 9 volume
Dueling Doo-wops series? Forget about
the Billboard pop chart which failed to
acknowledge countless contributions
made by black artists.

I'm referring to Billboard's Top R&B Singles,
the so-called "black" chart. I can't help
wondering what criteria, what formula,
what twisted logic Billboard used to
compile its Top R&B Singles lists.
Not one of the great recordings
made by the Avalons reached
the Billboard R&B Singles chart!

Frankie Avalon? 


The Avalons? 


 What's wrong, Billboard? Hooked on vanilla? 

 "What's Wrong" - The Avalons 
 (recorded in 1958, released in 1988) 

 Okay, Ron, it's time for you 

 to spin wax into solid gold 

 at the greatest little station 

 'n the nation - SDMM! 



 Shady, most of us know 
 "Mixed-Up, Shook-Up, Girl," 
 the energetic top 40 hit 
 from the summer of 1964 
 recorded by New Jersey  
 songstress Patty Russell  
 and her vocal group  
 Patty and the Emblems. 

 When Patty and the boys slowed things down, 
 good things happened - very good things. 

 Listen to "You Can't Get Away," a soulful ballad 
 released later that same year on the flip side of 
 "And We Danced." Hard to believe it failed to chart! 

 "You Can't Get Away" - Patty and the Emblems 
 (Dec. 1964, uncharted B side of "And We Danced") 



 Next, here's a great up tempo number by 
 Randy and the Rainbows, the white doo-wop 
 group from Queens, NY.  Led by Dominick 
 "Randy" Safuto along with his brother, 
 another pair of siblings and a 5th member,
 Randy and the Rainbows is best known for 
 "Denise," a top 10 hit in the summer of '63. 
 "Denise" wasn't the group's only great record. 
 Feast your ears on "Till I Heard It From You,"
 a 1982 update of a record the Safuto brothers 
 waxed in 1960 when they belonged to the Dialtones.

 "Till I Heard It From You" - Randy and the Rainbows 
 (from 1982 album C'mon Let's Go


Ronny, the Ducanes were a six member vocal group 
led by Jeff Breny and Ron Nagel and produced by 
Phil Spector early in his career. The group's single, 
"I'm So Happy (Tra La La)," Bubbled Under for 
 three weeks in the summer of 1961 and reached
#109 on the chart. My Pick to Click, however,
is the dreamy B ballad, "Little Did I Know."

 "Little Did I Know" - The Ducanes 
 (July 1961, uncharted B side of 
 "I'm So Happy (Tra La La)") 

 Ron, we're clickin the turnstiles 

 in our wax files. Whatcha got good? 


 Shady, my next spin is a record by 
 the Turbans, one of the best R&B 
 doo-wop vocal groups ever to 
 come out of Philadelphia. Led 
 by tenor Al Banks, the Turbans 
 released their first single in the 
 summer of 1955. The A side, 
 "Let Me Show You (Around My 
 Heart)," was a Clyde McPhatter 
 styled ballad that became a 
 regional hit but failed to break 
 nationally. Around the time "Let Me 
 Show You" was fading, DJ's discovered and started playing 
 the B side, the Latin-beat "When You Dance." The killer bee 
 caught fire, becoming a top 5 smash on the R&B chart and 
 a top 40 hit that spent five full months on the pop survey! 

 "When You Dance" The Turbans 
 (Jan. 1956, highest chart pos. #33 pop/#3 R&B

Ron, the Turbans got our blood pumping with that toe tapper. Let's close today's doo-wop
sock hop with another bitchin' fast paced dance tune!


The Impalas, a vocal group from Brooklyn, 
were a mixed race quartet - 3 white men 
and black group leader Joe Frazier.



(No...not the boxer!)

At a time when rock 'n roll was stagnating and the 
Billboard chart was getting junked up with novelty 
records, historical and patriotic songs, country and 
western tunes, big band sounds and easy listening 
instrumentals, the Impalas cut through the clutter 
with an exciting, up tempo doo-wop 45 for teens.  
"Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)" was one of the  
first records to spark my interest in the budding  
rock 'n' roll revival of the late 60s.

 "Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)" - Impalas 
 (May 1959, highest chart position #2) 

 And there you have it... 
 the 9th and final volume 
 of our Dueling Doo-wops 
 series. I hope you enjoyed 

 Pardon me... 

 Mister Adrian Monk! 
 What brings you by? 

 You said the series is ending 

 after only nine posts. 

 I distinctly heard you say 

 ............. nine. 

 TEN seems like a much nicer number. 

 Nice and even...five and five... 

 Okay, Mr. Monk, have it your way. 

 Dell Rat Ron and I will be back 

 soon with a TENTH volume of 

 Dueling Doo-wops and it'll be 

 the biggest and best of all! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. I really really enjoyed this post Shady! I loved all the music that was included, particularly that of The Avalons. I kept the tab opened and listened to a few of the songs over I enjoyed them very much. Thank you for sharing! Looking forward to the next post - and enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Hi, Lucy! Thank you very much for coming over for a visit today, dear friend. I am pleasantly surprised to find out that you enjoyed this old, obscure doo-wop music. I'm especially pleased that you like the velvet harmonies of the Avalons, a group that had a great sound and made fine recordings all of which missed the chart entirely.

      Thank you once again for this gesture of friendship and support, dear Lucy. Good night to you and have a wonderful Wednesday down there in Australia!

  2. I"m so glad there will be a tenth volume! I wasn't ready for the dueling doowops to end. I enjoyed all of these, particularly the Avalons and The Turbans. The harmonies these groups achieved are somehow lost in the current generation of singers...I'm glad we have the oldies in which to still hear it. Thank you both for the delightful songs to start the day!

    1. Hi, Shelly! Thank you very much for stopping by, dear friend! Yessum, I have agreed to produce a 10th volume of Dueling Doo-Wops but only if Mr. Monk allows me to borrow Natalie Teeger to assist me. :)

      The old catchphrase applies here: "They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore." When I listen to these glorious group harmonies I can't help wishing we could turn back the clock to a time when music of this type was popular. I am happy to report that today there are doo-wop preservationists around the globe making records and performing authentic live shows to the delight of generations old and young.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Shelly. Happy Tuesday to you!

  3. Monk and I even ten of groovin do wops xo

    1. Hi, Katie! Smart, organized and cute as you are, I can picture you as Monk's next assistant. (Or maybe you could be my Sharona! :)

      I'm glad you enjoy this long running doo-wop series, dear friend. Stay tuned for Volume 10, the grand finale!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this post Shady, especially The Avalons and The Impalas. I'm looking forward to volume 10!

    1. Hi, Sarah! Wow, the Avalons are really getting high grades from the readers today. I also appreciate you mentioning that cool song "Sorry" by the Impalas, one of my all time favorites. In fact, that record was one of the first to extinguish my late 60s passion for hard rock and heavy metal and get me obsessed with old time rock 'n' roll and doo-wop.

      Thank you very much for coming over to see me, dear friend Sarah. I am always delighted to welcome you here. I hope the English weather has settled down by now and I wish you a happy Tuesday evening!

  5. Oh, chains around my heart -- so romantic. I wish I had been there to dance to these songs, but then I would be even older than I am.


    1. Hi, Janie Junebug! Thanks so much for coming! Another vote for the Avalons. I'm loving it! It's too bad their records sold so poorly. Thank goodness for the doo-wop lovers on YouTube who are preserving the music and memories.

      You would have made a great Dellette, Janie. I can tell - I know darn well!

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, JJ, and enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!

  6. Whoa, this was jammed packed! After listening to each delish morsel of "9 is fine" post I realized my fave were the upbeat, toe tapers...Randy and the Rainbows, The Turbans, and the Impalas. Maybe I just needed a faster pace to keep the Winter blas away! was all good fun and I'm glad I could make it to the party! Have a great week!

    1. Hi, YaYa! I hope you made it through your winter day AOK. Dell Rat Ron and I are very happy to welcome you over to our doo-wop sock hop.

      I'm delighted to know you enjoyed those irresistible upbeat numbers. (Eddy calls them "paw-tappers" :) When you listened to the Turbans' "When You Dance" you noticed that exciting instrumental jam in the middle of the record which is second to none.

      I'm so glad you had some fun and chased the winter blahs here at SDM&M. Thanks so much for being here, dear friend YaYa. Take care, stay safe and I'll connect with you again soon!

  7. What fun this post is! All of it is great, i loved Randy and the Rainbows, but i'm still not over the rejection of the Avalons. I was grovin' and movin' to their wonderful talent and when i read on i was like, ''What?! No way! Non charted?"
    It was almost depressing (lol). What talent America missed out on.
    Speaking of talent, how about them Impalas? I had to smile and chuckle to myself at that dancing in I Ran All the Way Home. It's almost cheesey, but i'm sure took a lot of work. So cool that it's an actual video of them.
    I agree with Mr. Monk. Ten sounds like a better number!!! So cute that you included him.
    can't wait for more!

    1. Hi, Abigail! Thank you very much for attending my old school doo-wop record hop. It delights me to know you enjoyed these old recordings which were made light years before you were born. Can you believe the fact that Frankie Avalon (from the Frankie & Annette beach party movies) got several of his records listed on the "black" record chart while a fine black doo-wop group like the Avalons were overlooked? The Impalas choreography was rather stiff, awkward and cheesy by today's hip hop standards, but I dig their hit record "I Ran All the Way Home."

      I'm glad you got a chuckle out of Mr. Monk. This is the 4th or 5th time he's dropped in to say hello and it probably won't be the last.

      Thank you again for coming over for a look and a listen, dear friend Abigail. Please give Daisy a hug for me and have a good night and a fabulous Wednesday!

  8. Hi Shadykins. I'm here at last. The little ones are on half term holiday this week, so a bit busy over here at this weekend. Well, I think it's a majority feeling that you definitely to have Episode 10 of the Duelling Doowhops!
    Although these names were all new to me (apart from Frankie Avalon!) I have really enjoyed listening to all the tunes. I always absolutely loved all the doo-whop times. The harmonies were quite wonderful. It's a shame that we don't get to hear anything like that these days my friend. Hope all is well over there in downtown Florida!!

    1. Hallo hallo hallo, dear Thisisme! Thank you for breaking free of the little ones long enough to spend some time with Shadykins!

      The fact that Frankie Avalon is the only performer you recognize in this post proves my point. Countless solo singers and vocal groups, most of them black, came and went unnoticed by mainstream society and it wasn't due to a lack of talent. Part of the problem was the racial divide. It was an "underground" thing for white kids to listen to black records and it was an activity that was frowned upon by parents, teachers and clergy. Small independent record companies that released "race" music could not get their product distributed over a wide area. Therefore, many of these fine records only got played regionally on black radio stations and in juke joints. At least, this is my understanding of the problem and the explanation as to why so many black groups never made the black record chart (whilst Frankie Avalon, Pat Boone, Peggy Lee, Dinah Shore and many other white acts did).

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend Thisisme. I hope the gales have subsided and fair weather has returned to your part of England!

  9. That should have read bit busy this week (not weekend!). DOH!!

    1. That's AOK, my dear friend. I hardly ever know what day it is anymore, but I want to wish you a merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year - 1957! :)

  10. You can always make me smile dear Tom. I DO like a silly sense of humour!! Smooches to you.

    1. I'm glad I wrote these funny remarks before visiting your blog, dear friend. I'm in a much more solemn and subdued mood now that I've read your stories of near tragedy. I had numerous close calls in my own life which, for the sake of brevity, I didn't go into on your blog. We can all be thankful that we are still here to share our lives with each other. Blessings, hugs and smooches, dear Thisisme!

  11. You've brought more new and great music to me today, though I do have some memory of the Impalas. It is a shame that some of these groups didn't get the attention they deserved. As I listened to their songs I kept wondering about the names of the groups and how they decided on the name they chose.

    1. Hi, Jeanie! Thanks so much for coming to this week's platter party! Yessum, the Impalas record was the best known of all these. It nearly topped the Billboard chart in the late spring of 1959, held back from the #1 spot by Dave "Baby" Cortez and his instrumental hit "The Happy Organ," "Kansas City" by Wilbert Harrison, and "The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton.

      There's a coastal community in Virginia called Avalon, so it's logical to assume that's where the first group got its name. The Impalas and other groups (Cadillacs, El Dorados, Stingrays, Fleetwoods, etc.) took their name from popular makes and models of cars. I can't be sure where the other groups got their names.

      Thank you again for joining the fun here on SDM&M, dear friend Jeanie. Take care and I hope to connect with you again soon!

  12. Ya know, Shady, in this doo wop mix, I think I have to go with Ron's pick, Patty and the Emblems. "You Can't Get Away" was my favorite on this post. Patty's soulful/sultry voice, harmonies and even the xylophone sounds were very enjoyable.

    Ah, I counted the word "uncharted" 6 times!!! LOL! Was I right? LOL!

    Couldn't help to notice how clean (o.c.d.) Monk's hands were in the pic! LOL!

    Hope you are enjoying your snowless weather down there. See you (and Ron) in the 10th round!

    1. Hi, Toni! Thanks for coming to our gym-dandy bop and doo-wop till you drop record hop! Ron will be pleased to know his Patty and the Emblems record is your Pick To Click.

      Yessum, you will see the word "uncharted" many times on this blog. In the upside down world of the record charts, many uncharted records are better than charted ones. And in what parallel universe do the Frankie Avalon records "DeDe Dinah," "Ginger Bread," "Venus" and "Bobby Sox To Stockings" have a right to be listed on the Black Singles chart while the fine recordings of the Avalons are nowhere to be found?

      Yessum, Monk's hands are squeaky clean. I'm surprised he showed up at all. I didn't think he'd touch my blog with a 10 foot pole! (LOL)

      Thank you again for joining the fun today, dear friend Toni. I hope winter's on the run up your way. It's been a rough one for you guys. Take care and I hope to see you next time!

  13. Tom! My friend, my apologies for not stopping by to say hello recently. Unfortunately I've been dealing with a lot in my personal life including my mother being in hospital now for almost a month, so as you can imagine, blogging has been put on the back burner a little bit. I hope you're keeping well!

    I only know Sorry (I ran all the way home ) from Stand By Me when the characters all start singing it in the treehouse. That reminds me I must watch it again soon.

    Emma x

    1. Hi, dear Emma! Thank you very much for dropping by for a visit. It makes me sad to find out that you are having a tough time of it in your personal life. I suspected as much because your blogging habits changed in recent weeks. I'm very sorry to learn that your mam is ailing. I hope she'll be back on her feet and out of the hospital soon. My prayers are with her.

      I'm glad you recognized the Impalas hit. I didn't remember that it was used in Stand By Me. I'll have to watch that movie again, too, because it's been ages.

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend Emma. Good night to you and here's hoping for a better tomorrow for you and your dear mother!

  14. Ah, the Avalons... doesn't get smoother than that, does it? I'd never heard of Patty and the Emblems before and I like!

    1. Hi, karen! In light of all that's happened in your world recently it's very nice of you to take time for a visit. I appreciate it.

      I agree that it would be hard to find smoother harmonies than those of the Avalons. Patty and the Emblems were one-hit-wonders who made the top 40 in the summer of 1964 with "Mixed-Up, Shook-Up, Girl" (yes, two hyphens and two commas in the title). The record featured here tells me they should have had a few more hits.

      Thank you again for your kindness in coming here, dear friend. Take care of yourself and L in the difficult days ahead.

  15. i now love the avalons, thanks for introducing me to them! hearts desire- so so good. great post as always shady, hope you're having a great day!

    1. Hi, Alabee! Thank you very much for swinging by for a visit, dear friend! I'm pleased to know I turned you on to the soulful and silky smooth harmonies of the Avalons and glad you like my favorite of theirs "My Heart's Desire."

      My day always gets better when you come to call, dear friend. Thanks again for being here. I'm on my way over to your space right now!

  16. great post! thank you for sharing. I did always think the Avalons has something to do with Frankie Avalon but despite that little confusion, their music is just as good i think. shame they never got anywhere

    1. Hi, dear Catherine! Thank you for coming over for a visit, dear friend! I'm glad you enjoyed the little known Tidewater group the Avalons who became merely a footnote in pop music history whilst Frankie gained fame as a rock 'n' roller, a teen idol and a movie star. I hope your Sunday's going well down there, dear friend. Thank you again for your comment!

  17. Hi Shady! Got room for one more? I'm almost a record breaking week late! I've have some allergies, and just overall tiredness for a few days. Something must have really blown in strong. I don't usually have to go to the doctor for allergies! And, your post wasn't even on my reading list-HA! but, I knew you were in the building!

    The Impalas were so good, weren't they. 'I Ran All The Way Home' was such a believable song! I mean, you could just hear that really happening. Their voices were meant to sing together, and what an energetic song! I just love it.

    As for your other choices, I didn't recognize them, but I do like Ebb Tide by the Avalons. This song is pretty sound, and the voices come across stronger than the other songs. I could feel more emotion in this song too.

    Patty is good, isn't she? 'You Can't Get Away', was good, I believe, only because of her. Give her something with more umpf...and, she could do better.

    Well, I must say, Shady, that you and Ron dug up some pretty good ones for us this time. And, I do agree with you about these unsung heroes. Gosh the R&B singles just focused on particular groups and labels I think! It was so much tougher out there than most of us realized. I just kept a beat and didn't notice what was on the sidelines hoping to be discovered.

    Well, I'm off to try and catch up on my blogging-hit your side of town first! Thanks so much for your hard work, and say hello to Ron for me. This was a cool post you guys! Have a great week...I'll try to be more prompt next time! ♫

    1. Hello, 7th day Sadie! (LOL) You made it here just in time because this post gets bumped off the front page tomorrow morning. I'm so sorry you've been sniffling and sneezing. It's been a challenging winter for you over there. We're having a tropical heat wave here in Florida with temps in the mid 80s and the air conditioners working overtime.

      I'm glad you enjoyed some of these tunes. You've head the expression video killed the radio star? The Impalas were a group that sounded a lot cooler than they looked.

      I'm pleased to know you also enjoyed the relics by the Avalons and Patty. Yessum, Ron and I are bowing to peer pressure from Mr. Monk and will be back later this year with the grand finale - the jumbo Volume 10 of Dueling Doo-Wops!

      Thank you very much for coming, dear friend Suzanne. Take good care of yourself, Karo and Scootie, and enjoy the rest of your week!


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