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

Friday, April 25, 2014

...and Here She is, the Birthday Girl... 102 Years and Another Happy Easter!

Margaret Elizabeth Brown Schneider
"The Oldest Living Dell Rat"
Age 102

I am delighted to welcome back my friend and guest blogger Kathleen Mae Schneider who has dropped by to show us pictures taken during the four day Easter weekend celebration of her mother Margaret Brown Schneider's 102nd birthday.

April 18-21, 2014

The Party of 

the Century + 2 

Kathleen Mae 

   How on earth do you plan a birthday party for someone who is 102 years old, basically very humble and shy, has challenges because of her age, and specifically asked that a "fuss" not be made over her special day? We love her too much to comply with her wish to keep her birthday quiet, so we found ways to make her day extra special with lots of surprises, laughter and celebration that she could appreciate. Here is proof!

   Before our family party could get underway, neighbor Bob Jennings arrived with flowers and chocolates for Mother and we made sure she was outside on her porch for his other surprise that would soon arrive.

   Bob told some of his friends about Mother's birthday and with loud roars they soon parked
their Harleys in front of Mother's house to pay their respects.

   (Below) Mother enjoyed her diamond-shaped birthday cake, specially made for her by a friend.

   The cake was lit by eleven candles - one for each ten years of Mother's life plus one for the new decade just beginning.

   Kate, who along with her parents came all the way from California for the party, accompanied herself on her guitar for her Great Grandma.

   Several rowdy rounds of Bingo followed with intense competition for fantastic prizes.

   By the end of the day of Mother's birthday party, her house was filled with cards, flowers, and gifts, including a large container of cheese balls!

Shady Dell Alumni Day
Pictures provided by Toni Deroche

   The celebration wasn't over however, because our special Shady Dell friends Toni Deroche (who saved Mother's childhood home) and Greg "A Dell Rat All Ways" Gulden paid us a visit the day after Easter, bringing more flowers, gifts and lots of love!

Former Shady Dell owner Toni Deroche and Margaret

Kathleen Mae Schneider and mother Margaret

Toni Deroche, Kathleen and Margaret

Margaret received a block of
lottery tickets from Toni Deroche.

Greg "A Dell Rat All Ways" Gulden, Kathleen and Margaret

   It was a rare event to have almost all of
our family and many friends gather together for Mother's birthday. We could tell that she loved every minute of it. We did too, and we know that this birthday was one that will never be forgotten by any of us.

   This portrait showing Mother at the age of 102, surrounded by her growing family, is nothing short of a miracle. Here she is, still teaching us how to live and to love!

With love to Mother and to All,

Margaret's Birthday, Age 102
Chapter 7: The Demise of the Dell, Pt. 2 Fighting City Hall
Chapter 7: The Demise of the Dell, Pt. 1 Harvest of Tears
Chapter 6: The Dream Becomes a Nightmare
Winter Count: Margaret's 2013 Birthday
Happy Birthday, Margaret! Oldest Living Dell Rat Turns 101
Chapter 5: Home Sweet Dell
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 2: Margaret's Pig Tale
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 1: Hill and Dell
Chapter 3: The House on the Hill 
Chapter 2: Margaret is Born...and So Is the Dell 
Chapter 1: The Beauty and the Butcher
Introduction: My Shady Dell "Roots"
Margaret's Birthday

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Volume 3 A Bonofied Classic and Goodies Galore!









Let's begin with a Bang Bang and welcome
Sonny and Cher, the husband and wife duo
that America fell in love with in the 60s, a
Bonofied odd couple that oozed chemistry
and defined cool. In the spring of 1967
Sonny and Cher appeared on The Smothers
Brothers Comedy Hour
and sang their
latest single "It's the Little Things."

I get goose bumps when I watch this clip because
it reminds me how great it was to be young
when they were young. It was late May 1967
and the Summer of Love was set to begin.
We were feelin' groovy and we had our
whole lives ahead of us. Folks, it just
doesn't get any better than this.

 Ladies and gentlemen... 

 Sonny and Cher! 

 "It's the Little Things" - Sonny and Cher 
 (August 1967, highest chart position #50 
 Live appearance on The Smothers Brothers 
 Comedy Hour May 21, 1967) 


Phil Spector loved the Four Tops and in 1967
they loved him back with "Wonderful Baby,"
a castanet clacking Spectorian opus penned
and produced by Motown's Smokey Robinson.

 "Wonderful Baby" - The Four Tops 
 (from July 1967 album Reach Out 
 Released in May 1968 on the B side 
 of "If I Were a Carpenter") 


The Long Island girl group known as the Goodies
were standing in the shadow of the Shangri-las.
Producer Shadow Morton gave the Goodies first crack
at "Leader of the Pack." The Goodies cut a demo but
record company Pooh-bahs demanded that the song
be recorded and released by the more popular Shangs.
The rest is myrmidonic melodramatic history.

Far from being licked, the Goodies gave us a treat
that's delicious, nutritious and Spectoricious,
a Morton produced recording of the Boyce-
Hart-Venet composition "The Dum Dum Ditty."

 "The Dum Dum Ditty" - The Goodies 
 (June 1965, uncharted) 


In the early to mid 60s the Bronx was teeming
with vocal talent. Diane Christian and her girl
group the Darlettes made the rounds of talent
shows, recorded demos and released records.

When the group broke up Diane went solo and in
December 1964 released the Spectoresque classic
"Wonderful Guy" produced by FGG - Feldman,
Goldstein and Gottehrer - the trio that later
made records as a fake Australian band called
the Strangeloves. Diane had a superb voice and
with a break or two could have been the next
Dionne, but her records failed to chart!

 "Wonderful Guy" - Diane Christian 
 (December 1964, uncharted) 


In 1964, soulful songbird Alder Ray released the
doublesider "Cause I Love Him" b/w "A Little Love
(Will Go a Long Way)," both produced by Marshall Leib,
former member of Phil Spector's group the Teddy Bears.

I'll be featuring both sides of the record in this series
beginning with the killer bee.  If these two Alder Ray
recordings remind you of Darlene Love, it's because
Darlene's powerful pipes can be heard on the backing
vocals. "A Little Love (Will Go a Long Way)" is a
lush Wall of Soundalike production that'll leave
you shouting, I can't believe it's not Spector!

 "A Little Love (Will Go a Long Way)" - Alder Ray 
 (August 1964, B side of "Cause I Love Him") 


Texas born pop singer Ray Peterson's biggest hit
was "Tell Laura I Love Her," a 1960 death pop
tear-jerker about a fatal stock car racing mishap.
"Laura" was a top 10 hit for Peterson along with
"Corrine, Corrina," a country blues standard
he released later that year.

"House Without Windows," arguably Ray Peterson's
greatest and most powerful performance, was also
one of his least rewarded. The song, originally
recorded by Roy Orbison, was brought to wax by
Peterson on a single arranged by Ray Stevens.
Ray P's rendition missed the chart and you'll ask
why when you watch this vid from Shivaree.

 "House Without Windows" - Ray Peterson 
 (live appearance on Shivaree April 24, 1965) 




Have a Shady day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Shawn & Gus Meet Hoss the Beat Boss!

Hi, I'm Shawn Spencer, renowned psychic sleuth,
male model and boy toy to a number of prominent
Santa Barbara socialites and debutantes.

This is my associate, Phineas T. Guster,
Mayor of Bootyville and closet philatelist.

A philatelist is 
a stamp collector.

Anything you say,
Gus. Did anyone
ever tell you
you're beautiful
when you're angry?

I'm also an expert on R&B music and today
we're going back in time to the year 1966.

Our assignment is to explore the
unsolved mystery of why so many
great rhythm and blues acts came
and went unnoticed by white folks.

I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation,
Gus...and if anyone can discern it...
it will be yours truly... me.

WAIT! A power is sweeping over me...
a strange force...I'm getting a vision...
In 1966 there was a large pink mongoose...
NO! NO, it was a TV SHOW, yeah, that's
the ticket... a syndicated R&B music
series called The !!!! Beat hosted
by Hoss Cartwright of Bonanza fame.

NO! WAIT!... It was hosted by
  Nashville DJ Bill "Hoss" Allen.

The !!!! Beat was taped at color
  facilities in Dallas. All of the
  rare videos you are about to
watch were taken from that
little known TV series.

The Dolls were a soulful girl trio from Texas that will be soon be featured in Shady's Bloggy award winning series Echoes of the Spectorian Era.
In this clip, the girls are on the Beat with "The Reason Why."

I'm getting something. I see the valley from whence these Dolls came. I see Neely O'Hara tossing Helen Lawson's wig into the toilet and Helen flushed with embarrassment...

The Radiants were a Chicago
R&B vocal group led by Maurice McAlister. Watch in awe as the Radiants put on a display of dazzling choreography and top notch showmanship performing Junior Walker's hit "Shotgun."

I'm picking up good vibrations, Gus. While you're watching the Radiants, I'll be using my keen powers of observation to ogle the Teen Beats, the program's fabulous go-go dancers, as
they get their kicks in the background.

From James Bond to The Man and Girl From U.N.C.L.E., secret spies captivated movie and TV audiences in the 60s. Up next is bluesy northern soul diva Mamie Galore who reveals that she's an operative and boasts of her unique qualifications.

I'm pretty sure Agent 007 met
Mamie Galore's sister...
the pilot in Goldfinger.

I really doubt it,

In 1964 'Bama born gospel and R&B songstress Mitty Collier reached #41 on the pop chart and made the top 5 on the R&B side with "I Had a Talk With My Man." Mitty performed her hit on an episode of The !!!! Beat.

Introducing Mitty is a man
who needs no introduction
but I'll do it anyway...
Hoss Cartwr Allen!

Here's another talented singer from Chi-town, Chuck Bernard, and on this installment of Hoss Allen's dance party, Chuck was talkin' about his baby.

My head is spinning and the spirits are near. In my mind's eye I can see Chuck recruiting the Teen Beats go-go girls as his backing singers!

James Timothy Shaw took the stage name The Mighty Hannibal and found success as a singer, songwriter and record producer. In this clip Hannibal sings the dance ditty "Jerkin' the Dog." Don't even go there, Shawn!

You always think the worst of me, Gus. I was simply going
to inform our viewers that
this Hannibal video includes the disgusting scene in which he makes Ray Liotta eat
his own brain.

Wrong Hannibal,

"The Life You Save May Be Your Own" was a short story by Flannery O'Connor which later became a traffic safety slogan warning about the dangers of drinking and driving. Southern soul man Joe Tex changed life to love and had a #2 R&B hit.

Here he is singing "The Love You Save (May Be You Own)" followed by "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires"
...Mr. Joe Tex!

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Sam Moore and Dave Prater were leading exponents of the Stax Memphis sound. Uncharted at the time, their single "I Take What I Want" went on to become a classic. In this magic moment in music history, R&B giant Otis Redding introduces the dynamite duo on The !!!! Beat.

Catch me if I fall, Gus. I'm having another psychic episode. I see Sam and Dave dressed in bright red suits and looking almost as natty as I.

That wraps up our authentic chitlin' circuit R&B revue. It remains a mystery why some of these exciting performers didn't enjoy greater success.

This is Shawn Spencer, on behalf of
my partner, I.B. Flummoxed, bidding
you farewell for now. Don't miss
our scintillating series finale,
a medium rare episode entitled

"Jules of Denial."


Shawn's been into Jules, you know
Since the day they met
He thought he was her Romeo
And she his Juliet
A real psychic would have known
She had a thing for Lassie
Blindside! Shawn's dreams are blown
They eloped to Tallahassie!
For Shawn it's karma, payback
For breaking all the rules
"Lassie come home, backtrack,"
He cries. "Return my stolen Jules."