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 28, 2015

Is It Just Me... or Is This Just Wrong? Volume 1: Little Miss Ogynistic

Today I ask the question

"Is it just me...

or is this just wrong?"

This new series is not about music appreciation.
It's not a battle of the bands.  My goal is to spark
discussion about the lyrics of certain songs and
the images presented in popular music videos.

A post published by my dear friend Cherdo at
Cherdo On The Flipside inspired me to begin this
controversial new series. Another dear friend,
Janie Junebug at WOMEN: WE'RE GONNA
me about an early 60s record that
serves as an ideal starting point.


Shortly after its release in 1962, "He Hit Me
(And it Felt Like a Kiss)," a Carole King - Gerry Goffin
song recorded by Phil Spector's girl group, the Crystals,
drew protests on the grounds that it promoted domestic
violence against women. The record was quickly
banned by radio stations and failed to chart.

 "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)" 
 The Crystals (July 1962, uncharted) 

I suppose it seemed like a good idea at the time, but we've come a long way, baby, since the days when songs for teenagers that were essentially tutorials on the acceptable rules of dating, gave
a free pass to bad boys (aka "rebels")
to smack their girlfriends around, osten-
sibly as a way of proving their true love.



Seems to me that "He Hit Me" leaves little room
for debate. The record was rejected by the public
in 1962. It was wrong then and it's wrong today.


A woman's place in this old world
Is under some man's thumb

Feminists in particular might have a hard time
believing that a song based on that Stone Age
notion earned country pop singer Sandy Posey
two Grammy nominations. Sandy's 1966 single,
"Born a Woman," sold over a million copies.

 "Born a Woman" - Sandy Posey 
 (Sept. 1966, highest chart pos. #12) 

I wonder how many women of all ages embraced their low self esteem as normal after listening to Sandy's message. How many others were outraged by it, spurred into action and reinvented themselves as strong, independent women?
(Think Janie Junebug.)

Now that you have listened to both songs,
pick the answer below that most closely
matches your opinion, or tell me in your
own words how you feel about what
you heard.  Which song do you find
more offensive? Or don't you think
 either one is offensive?



 * Shady, I agree with you. These two songs 
 are just plain wrong.  They send the wrong 
 message to boys, girls, men and women 
 that controlling, dominating and hitting 
 are normal and acceptable in a relationship. 

 * Shady, get real, dude!  A little misogyny 
 is good for business and sells records. For 
 decades, popular songs have endorsed the idea 
 that women are male possessions and should 
 be treated accordingly. By today's standards,  
 these songs are not only tame...they're lame! 

Let me hear from you.

Let's discuss it.

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Able to Leap 4 Decades in a Single Post, Now That's What I Call Old School Cool!

 I'm Shady Del Knight 

 and I've got proof 

 that old school COLD COOL! 


They got their name from a magazine article about
indigenous Australians. The article explained that
on cold nights original inhabitants of The Land
Down Under slept in a hole in the ground and
 hugged a dingo to keep warm, a practice still
carried on today by Janie Junebug. On colder
nights the first Aussies slept with two of
the wild dogs. On the coldest nights -
you guessed it - they gave up
and checked into Motel 6! 

From 1969 to 1975, the American rock band
Three Dog Night racked up 41 top 40 chart hits
and brought national acclaim to a number of
songwriters, one of them Paul Williams.

Paul Williams, Genoa City Police Chief

No, not that Paul Williams, silly!

I mean this Paul Williams, the little dude who
appeared in one of my favorite movies, the 1966
drama The Chase starring Marlon Brando, Jane
Fonda and Robert Redford. Okay, Paul is much
better know for composing song classics like
"We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days
and Mondays" for Karen Carpenter, Barbra
Streisand's "Evergreen" and other hits for
Three Dog Night including "Just An Old
Fashioned Love Song," but here's the
one I like best, "Out in the Country,"
a top 20 hit for Three Dog Night
in the fall of 1970.

 "Out in the Country" - Three Dog Night 
 (Sept./Oct. 1970, highest chart position #15) 


The Aquatones started out as three male New York
schoolmates who sang doo-wop harmony and played
their own instruments. The guys added female singer
Lynne Nixon, signed with a small record company
and had a hit with their first release, the doo-wop
ballad "You." More popular in the East than in
other parts of the country, "You" made a run
at the national top 20 but fell short. A genre
classic, "You" has turned up in recent years in
episodes of The Sopranos and Vampire Diaries.

 "You" - The Aquatones 
 (May 1958, highest chart pos. #21) 


In 1999, British heavy metal band Def Leppard
released their 9th album, Euphoria. It peaked
at #11 on both the U.S. and the UK charts
and yielded the fine single "Paper Sun"
which also reached #11 on the U.S.
Mainstream Rock chart.

 "Paper Sun" - Def Leppard 
 (September 1999, highest chart position 
 #11 U.S. Mainstream Rock 



These last three gems were produced and arranged
by one of Philly's Phinest, Jerry "Rags" Ragovoy,
the east coast wizard who brought to wax some
of the most soulful sounds of the 60s. Ragovoy
wrote "Time is on My Side" which became a
hit for the Rolling Stones. He co-wrote the
 towering deep soul masterpiece "Stay
With Me" for Lorraine Ellison and
engineered the hits of Shady Dell
favorites Garnet Mimms
and Erma Franklin.

Image courtesy 55bluesman @

In 1963 Jerry Ragovoy gave us these New York
style R&B sides recorded by the Tran-Sisters,
a trio of Jersey girls whose recordings boast tight
harmony and a ton of nitty gritty streetwise 'tude.
Listen first to "You Could've Knocked Me Over"
the B side of the Tran-Sisters' first single.

 "You Could've Knocked Me Over" 
 The Tran-Sisters (June 1963, 
 B side of "Somebody's Blue") 

A couple of months after the release of their
first single, "Somebody's Blue"/"You Could've
Knocked Me Over," the Tran-Sisters rolled out
another sensational doublesider. The shouting
style on "Your Love" makes the girls sound
like The Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

 "Your Love" - The Tran-Sisters 
 (August 1963) 

There's some confusion over which
was the push side of this 45.

The sophisticated, big city beat ballad
"Pull the Covers Right Up (Over My Head)"
is the one that seems to get most of the
buzz in the new millennium.

 "Pull the Covers Right Up (Over My Head)" 
 The Tran-Sisters (August 1963, 
 B side of "Your Love") 

 Join me next time 

 for more proof 

 that old school COOL! 

Have a Shady day!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Remembering John

On January 16, 1993...

22 years ago today...

John Ettline passed away.

John spent the last nine years of his life
without his wife Helen. Imagine the strength
and courage it took for John, a man in his 80s,
to go it alone, endure the hardships of winter
and keep the Shady Dell in operation even as
teenage patrons became increasingly rough,
rowdy and disrespectful. How many of us
could have stood up to that challenge?

 Please listen to this song 

 as we honor the memory 

 of Mr. John Ettline. 

 John, you were the King of all Dell Rats

 If we have anything to say about it 

 you and Helen will always be remembered. 

 We love you and miss you, John! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy Birthday, Helen!

 This is a very special day. 

 Helen Trostle Ettline 

 was born 104 years ago 

 on January 9, 1911. 

 Here are a few things I'd like you to know about Helen: 

 Helen loved horses and was a skilled rider. 

 Helen married John in Texas before he 
 joined the U.S. Army and served in WWII. 

 Helen was a warm, gracious hostess. 

 Helen was patient and tolerant. 

 Helen was a great listener. 

 Helen always had a twinkle in her eye 
 and a winning smile.

 I loved Helen. 

Every evening while Helen worked behind the Dell's
snack counter preparing treats to feed the masses,
she enjoyed listening to a steady stream of doo-
wop oldies that played on the restaurant jukebox.

In keeping with tradition let's celebrate
Helen's birthday by listening to one of her
favorite songs, "Two People in the World"
by Little Anthony the Imperials, a Dell
classic that I nicknamed
"Helen's Song."


 We love you and miss you! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Counting Down the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell (#140 to #136)

 It's time once again to put your 

 musical knowledge to the test 

 as we continue our countdown of 

 The 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell! 

 You know the drill. 

I'll give you a line or two of lyrics taken from five
of the most popular Dell songs of the mid 60s.
Your mission, Jim, if you decide to accept it, is to

 Name That Tune. 

Put on your thinking cap. Here are the lyric
samples for the next five Dell songs:

Don’t be ashamed to let your
conscience be your guide

Born-a high forever to fly.
Wind-a velocity nil.

When I look in her eyes
She goes with me 
to a blossom world

I'm just a little boy,
live behind a grocery store
I've been watchin' you 
 come and go, now

You've been awful careful
'bout the friends you choose


Okay, let's find out how well you did.
Here are the Dell songs in today's countdown:

140. "Tell It Like It Is" - Aaron Neville (December '66)

139. "Mellow Yellow" - Donovan (November '66)

138. "Good Vibrations" - Beach Boys (November '66)

137. "May I Baby" - Sam & Dave (September '67)

136. "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" - Monkees (December '66)

How many songs did you correctly guess from the lyric clues? Refer to the grading scale below to determine your musical I.Q.

 All 5 right – 

 Congratulations! You’ve been appointed 

 dean of the College of Musical Knowledge. 

 3 or 4 right – 

 Licensed lyric lover. 

 2 right - 

 Lyrically challenged. 

 1 right – 

 Sign up for remedial classes 

 at the School of Rock. 

 0 right – 

 You just dance and hum along! 

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 - Year of the Dell Rat










Once again I am proud to offer my exclusive
SDM&M Freshness Guarantee. At least 90%
of the content I will present in the coming year
will be new and never before published or
double your money back. You heard right -
Come play with me again this year.
Let's have some fun, okay?