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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Farmer's Daughters Part 1: Hey Paula, Please Pass the Belgian Popcorn!

I'm Shecky Shady.

Ever hear the one about

the farmer's daughters

and the traveling salesman?


Tyler, Texas, native Barbara Mills has a famous
big brother - Larry Henley, falsetto lead singer
of the Newbeats. Although not as well known or as
commercially successful, Barbara is a fine vocalist.

In the mid 60s Barbara moved to Nashville and joined
Larry and the Newbeats on the roster of Hickory Records.
When you hear Barbara's mid tempo beat ballad "Try,"
you might agree that she sounds more like a sultry
soul sister from Memphis than your typical
Music City recording artist.

 "Try" - Barbara Mills 
 (June 1966, uncharted B side of  
 "Let's Make A Memory") 


At the start of 1963 two other Texans,
the teen pop duo of Paul and Paula,
topped the chart with "Hey Paula."
That year 4 more Paul and Paula
singles reached the Hot 100.

By the end of 1963 the world had changed and in 1964 the Beatles and the British Invasion were a big part of the new normal. The best Paul and Paula could do that year was Bubble Under with their swan song "We'll Never Break Up For Good." They kept their promise.
Paul (Ray Hildebrand) and Paula (Jill Jackson) reunite from time to time and perform at special events.

In 1964 Jill began a solo career and released excellent
singles on Frank Sinata's Reprise label including the three
featured here. Hard to believe none of them charted!
Listen now to Jill's pure, sweet voice as she sings the
ballad "All Over Again" released in the summer of '64.

 "All Over Again" - Jill Jackson 
 (August 1964, uncharted) 

The flip side of Jill's summer 1964 single is the
ear candy confection "Hey Handsome Boy."

 "Hey Handsome Boy" - Jill Jackson 
 (August 1964, B side of "All Over Again") 

Belgian Popcorn, anyone?

In the fall of '64 Jill Jackson released "Pixie Girl,"
a glorious single with a Popcorn beat. The term
Popcorn, as in Popcorn music, Popcorn Oldies
or Belgian Popcorn, refers to an underground
music scene of the 70s and 80s that began
in Belgium at a nightclub called Popcorn.
Patrons danced to slow and medium tempo
American and British records, most of them
obscure non-hits. Club deejays routinely 
adjusted the playing speed of the records
to make them fit the style of dancing that
was popular at the time. Now let's hear
Jill Jackson's Popcorn 45, "Pixie Girl."

 "Pixie Girl" - Jill Jackson 
 (November 1964, uncharted) 


Like countless other teenage singers, Mary Miller
hoped to become the next Brenda Lee or Lesley Gore.
In the mid 60s, Mary released four singles and was
invited to perform two of her songs on the music
TV series Shivaree. Unfortunately, the national
exposure was of little benefit because none of
Mary's records made the chart.

Let's listen to "Where's Johnny," the A side
of a single that Mary Miller released in 1965.
The song was co-written by Dick St. John
of the singing duo of Dick and Dee Dee.
This girl pop ditty should have finished
in the top 40 but instead...diddly-squat!

 "Where's Johnny" - Mary Miller 
 (February 1965, uncharted) 


Let's finish this edition of Farmer's Daughters with
"Double Crossin' Sweetie Pie," a single released in the
summer of 1961 on Monument Records by teenage
songstress Janice Ward, a resident of Silver Spring,
Maryland, a suburban community between Baltimore
and Washington. This fantastic girl pop sound deserved
to be a hit but missed the national chart and didn't even
Bubble Under. That didn't stop it from catching fire in
the Baltimore-D.C. area where both sides of the single
received heavy radio play. Listen now to Janice Ward's
beltway biggie, "Double Crossin' Sweetie Pie."

 "Double Crossin' Sweetie Pie"- Janice Ward 
 (July 1961, uncharted nationally 
 B side, "When A Girl Gives Her Heart (To A Boy)" 
 hit #1 in Baltimore on WITH and WWIN 
 and #6 in Washington D.C. on WPGC) 

I hope you enjoyed the one

about the farmer's daughters

and the traveling salesman.

Then there's the one about

the farmer's daughters

and the playboys. Remind

me to tell you that one

in volume 2 of this series.

It's coming soon!

Have a Shady day!


  1. What a line up and what a great day to be back and jump in! BARBARA MILLS, JANICE WARD, JILL JACKSON, MARY MILLER, PAUL AND PAULA!

    All of these young ladies have excellent mastery of their craft (not dishing you, Paul, you didn't have an audio, man!).

    At the beginning of Jill Jackson's song, "All Over Again," I thought she was going to say, "All the chapel bells were ringing..." It really reminded me of "The Three Bells."

    I like that tune, however, more than the second one by Jill.

    Mary Miller's voice sounds like a touch of Ronnie Spector.

    As I listened, I realized - once again - that there are scores of wonderful musicians who were denied significant airplay and never became household names. But that is not totally unfair in the sense that the titans of the radio were unique - or the first to do it. I could totally see someone saying, "that sounds like Ronnie Spector..."

    This took some effort to assemble - you're the hippest blogger to pay homage to these musicians. Keep up the good work!

    Have a good day, dear Shadaladadingdong.

    1. Hi, dear Cherdo! Thanks for being the first customer of the day. You have a very good ear, my friend. Jill's record "All Over Again" certainly does borrow from the melody of The Browns' folk oldie "The Three Bells." Thanks for pointing that out.

      To some extent I can hear Ronnie Spector in Mary Miller's vocals. To me her style seems country influenced and that why she reminds me a bit more of artists like Brenda Lee, Connie Francis and Sue Thompson.

      I see you've come up with yet another term of endearment - Shadaladadingdong. I'll take it and thank you very much, kiddo!

      I'm glad you enjoyed some of my tunes today and I am so happy you're back from that long, grueling trip. Thank you very much for taking time to visit SDMM late last night and again first thing today. You're the best, dear Cherdo! God bless!

  2. Hello Shady,
    I thought Jill, Janice and Barbara all have very sweet voices. My fav on this post was,"all over again"! I enjoyed the guitar, violin and maraca (?) sound.
    Makes you wonder what really makes a chart hitter and how to get more playing time on radios.
    I also love dirty jokes--so what's the punchline???? LOL!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni!

      Welcome welcome welcome, my friend! It's a mystery why Jill Jackson didn't have greater success in her solo career. She and Ray were a hit as Paul and Paula and she released her solo singles on an established record label, Reprise, home of major hit makers like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. All I can think of to explain the poor sales of Jill's records is the fact that she was still identified with teen pop and Reprise was a label that catered to adult audiences. Her solo recordings were skewed country and that might also explain why her singles failed to make the pop chart.

      Farmer's Daughters is my brand new series and you'll just have to make up your own punchlines. :)

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear friend Toni, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  3. Hi Shady. I don't know that I remember any of these songs or artists, but the tempo and female voices are familiar. I hope that makes sense. They remind me of Shelley Fabrea, Annette Funicello, voices similar. However I did enjoy hearing each song, and I liked Jill Jackson's "All Over again". Welcome back,

    1. Hi, dear Dixie! Thank you for the welcome back, dear friend. I'm glad you found a tune or two to your liking today. I agree that Jill Jackson possessed a vocal quality that was well suited for the teen-pop recordings that were popular in the early to mid 60s. I enjoyed these three sides by Jill and l think it's a shame she didn't achieve a hit or two. Along with the reasons I came up with in my reply to Toni (above) I'm sure the British Invasion was another factor that prevented Jill from gaining traction as a solo artist.

      Thank you again for coming over, dear friend Dixie. I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that the rest of your week will be more of the same!

  4. Well, I had a nice, well thought out comment- and Blogger ate it. Bastards! Gist of it, I liked Hey Handsome Boy better than the A side, Pixie Girl better than both. Thought it reminded me of Brian Hyland's Gypsy Woman style. Mary put me in mind a bit of Connie Francis sped up to about 50-55 rpm. Janice wasn't a big one for me, but did certainly deserve at least a bubbling under. Here's hoping that Blogger doesn't conflict its edits this time...

    1. Hi, Chris! Sorry the dog ate your comment (not Scrappy, that Blogger dog). Thanks for persisting, good buddy. Maybe it's a guy thing, but I like the same two Jill Jackson sides that you mentioned. I can hear the similarity between "Pixie Girl" and Brian Hyland's hit "Gypsy Woman." Both have that popcorn beat that was so popular in the Belgian clubs back in the day.

      The audio is low but if you'd like to see Mary Miller's appearance on Shivaree, copy and paste this address:

      She kinda looks like Connie Francis, doesn't she?

      Hey, thanks a lot for your comment, Chris, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. I liked the Pixie song by Jill the best. Am I
    dense? Must you pause one song before listening to the next? I often am listening to three at once.

    I'm sure I am. Fake dumb blonde. :)

    1. Hi, dear Susie! I'm not sure if you are implying that you are a fake dumb person or a fake blonde. All I know is that you are a genuine friend and I thank you for coming.

      Yessum, it helps to pause the song clip you're listening to before starting another. However, if your brain likes to multitask you can save time by playing all 6 simultaneously. :) That's three thumbs up for "Pixie Girl." I like the record and so do you and Chris (above).

      Thanks for checking in and checking it out, dear friend Susie!

  6. I like "Try." It does not sound as if it came out of Memphis. We had the 45 of "Hey Paula." We loved singing along to it. Jill Jackson's voice is sweetly sexy. I like "Where's Johnny." It's cute, and sounds great. Mary shoulda been a contender. Willy Dunne Wooters is six foot two with eyes of baby blue--or maybe he's a bit shorter. He's tall enough for me. I like Janice Ward's sweet voice, too. Tonight when I go to bed I'll sing "Hey, hey, Franklin, I want to marry you. Hey, hey, Franklin, you want to marry me, too." A great post, Shady, with all these sweet sounding, pretty songs.


    1. Hi, Janie! Thank you very much for coming down/up and for this wonderful comment. It is very much appreciated.

      I'm glad you singled out "Try." I am completely sold on Larry Henley's singing sister Barbara Mills and have more of her stuff in the pipeline. I admit that I didn't know about Jill Jackson's post Paul & Paula solo work until recently when I did my research for this Farmer's Daughters series. I think Jill woulda, coulda and shoulda had a pop hit or two or three. I think she did make a dent in the country music market, however. I'm glad you also appreciate Mary and Janice. I think they're all great and its incredible that all 6 of these recordings missed the national chart while many less worthy records made the chart and even became hits. So it goes in the fickle record business.

      Thank you again, dear friend Janie, for your visit and kind comments. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

  7. I enjoyed listening to these fun time songs which could have been in movies of the day. I think my favourite 2 are "All Over Again" and Pixie Girl". The first one she seems to get the longing in her voice and the 2nd one I enjoyed her singing voice and the guitar

    1. Hi, dear Birgit! I'm pleased to see you, my good friend, and happy to know you appreciated some of these girl pop specimens.

      Jill Jackson aka Paula from the famous duo of Paul & Paula, seemed to have everything going for her. Blessed with a good voice, she landed a recording contract with Reprise, the label founded by Frank Sinatra. Jill had great backing musicians on her recordings but they didn't sell as well as those released by other Reprise artists which included Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and the Electric Prunes.

      Thank you very much for your visit and generous comments, dear friend BB. Have a great week and I'll be connecting with you again soon!

  8. Hello dear Shady,

    I am pretty late today! It was pretty hot and humid here in Montreal and I was....well, let's just say "under the weather"...literally. :)

    What a great post, packed with some great music! I saw your comment on my post today and I don't mind that you will be late in checking out my blog. I will be back later on to look more at your selections here, I am nursing a headache at this time. Thank you so much for all you share, it is always, and greatly appreciated, my cherished friend. :)

    1. Hi, dear Linda! You are a true friend for coming by even though you weren't feeling well. I'm sorry to learn that the heat and humidity got you down yesterday. As you might expect I often have the same problem here in the steam bath that we call Florida. A day of heat and humidity was capped off last night by an electrical storm that knocked our power out.

      I hope your headache is all gone today and that you enjoy these songs when you get a chance to listen to them.

      God bless, dear Linda!

  9. I like a clear, strong voice and enjoyed all Jill Jackson's songs--especially the "popcorn" one (learned something new there). Also liked Janice Ward's cute song and wasn't surprised it was a local hit. These were all fun. Makes you wonder if it was more a matter of the material with some of these singers because they certainly had the voices. :)

    1. Hi, dear Rita & Karma! Thanks for coming down, dear friends! I'm tickled to know you enjoyed some of these offerings. "Pixie Girl" really gets under your skin, doesn't it? I can imagine that one packing the floor in Belgian dance clubs. Isn't it interesting that the DJ's in those clubs routinely changed the playback speed of records to make the rhythm conform to what the dancers preferred? Yessum, sometimes the material wasn't up to par, sometimes it was a matter of a small indie label that lacked widespread distribution and sometimes it was the luck of the draw. I'm wondering if Jill Jackson might have had greater solo success if she had continued to call herself simply "Paula," the name audiences had come to know. She might have become another Cher.

      Thank you very much, dear friend Rita & KKK!

  10. Great, I love it! Enjoy the week honey!

    Check my last post here!

    Follow each other? Let me know and I'll do the same:
    My blog | Bloglovin


    1. Hi, Mary Maria!

      Welcome welcome welcome welcome welcome to my little corner of the world, Shady Dell Music & Memories - "The Little Blog That Could (but maybe shouldn't have)." Thanks for checking out my latest post. I checked out yours. Looks like you have a lot of stuff to sell to women. It's too early for me to commit to following you, but if you become a regular visitor and leave comments that show me you are genuinely interested in what I'm doing, then we might have ourselves a deal. Fair enough? Thanks, Mary Maria!

  11. Dearest Shady,

    I am back, as promised. I have listened to "Double Crossin' Sweetie Pie", by Janice Ward, and this is one that I have been, up until now, unfamilar with, but I really like this one! I also listened to "Where's Johnny" by Mary Miller. You have chosen another winner, I love this one!

    I am so sorry to hear about your power failure, and in the heat and humidity we have been experiencing, this means you also had no air conditioning. I do hope you have air conditioning. Thankfully where I live there is central air conditioning, and quite honestly I would be worse off, much worse off, without it.

    Thank you so much for sharing, my cherished friend, and thanks, too, for being so kind and considerate in reference to how I was feeling yesterday. :)

    1. Hi, dear Linda! Thank you for the return visit. Please know that you are one of my most cherished friends, too! Thank you also for your concern, but our electricity was only knocked out for a short time late last night and there was no time for heat to build up indoors. You and I are exactly alike in that neither one of us functions well w/o air conditioning. Mrs. Shady prefers fresh air, even if it's hot and steamy air.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the up tempo tunes sung by Janice Ward and Mary Miller. They are probably my two favorites as well.

      Thank you again for keeping your promise and showing me that you care. I care about you, too, Linda, and hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

  12. Replies
    1. Hi, dear Jo-Anne! Yessum, that's the name of the game here at SDMM. I hope you liked what you heard here today. I see it's already Thursday afternoon where you live. I hope your day and week are going well, dear friend!

  13. Cherdo really said it best:
    "As I listened, I realized - once again - that there are scores of wonderful musicians who were denied significant airplay and never became household names. But that is not totally unfair in the sense that the titans of the radio were unique - or the first to do it. I could totally see someone saying, "that sounds like Ronnie Spector..."

    This took some effort to assemble - you're the hippest blogger to pay homage to these musicians. Keep up the good work!"

    Just thinking about and finding bands and singers online that i've never heard of (but totally deserve to be heard) boggles my mind. there are so many! so much great stuff out there.
    This great lineup of Farmers Daughters girl tunes is special. and great fun!!

    1. Hi, dear Abigail (and Daisy)! Thank you very much for coming, my special friends.

      Yessum, Cherdo waxed eloquent and her words are worth repeating. If you ever have some time to kill you might have fun playing Six Degrees on YouTube, Start by playing a familiar song by a familiar artist. Next, check the list of related songs and artists in the right column, pick one and play it, then refer to the right column again and pick another. Keep doing that for a couple of hours and you'll be amazed how far from the original you can wander and how many great artists and recordings you can discover. There are vast numbers of them and I enjoy bringing their best to you here at SDMM.

      Thank you again for visiting, dear friend Abigail. I'm glad you enjoyed Farmer's Daughters #1. Will Elly May Clampett show up in a future episode? Stay tuned!

  14. It was a lot of fun to hear these artists. My favorite was Jill Jackson by far. Loved her voice, and I know I would have bought "All Over Again" when I was a teen.

    All the women had good voices, but there was something about Jill's that I loved. It was very interesting to read about "popcorn" music and how they would slow it down or speed it up for dancing. Glad you are home safely. I hope it isn't too hot in Florida yet.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you very much for coming down, dear friend! I'm happy to know you enjoyed this batch of recordings by female artists, especially the ones by Jill J. What do you think of my theory that Jill might have caught on as a solo artist if she had kept the stage name "Paula"? I think it might have worked. Fans would have associated her with the #1 charting "Hey Paula" ballad that she recorded with Paul (Ray). In the record business it makes sense to continue to milk a successful name for all it's worth. Perhaps she intended to do that but there were legal issues involved, or maybe she simply wanted to start fresh and make it on her own merits. It's a shame she didn't have more success outside of country music from that point on.

      Yessum, I watched a documentary about the Popcorn Movement and it explained that deejays routinely altered the speed of records to make them fit the rhythm that was popular with dancers in the club. Sometimes they changed the speed significantly.

      I'm sorry to say it is very warm and muggy in Florida. Where we live now, however, the temperature averages 5 or 6 degrees cooler than it is back home.

      Thank you again for your cheery visit and comment, dear friend Belle. God bless!

  15. Good evening from Ohio! The temps are perfect and the breezes gentle and Eddy is doing great these days! I enjoyed this post and learning about Popcorn in all it's forms in music and dance land! My fav tune here is Double Crossin' Sweetie Pie by Janice Ward. The artists that I recognized here were Paul and Paula and I do remember that song. I was caught up in the British Invasion and loving those mop tops so not much else interested me back then. That's why I'm grateful for your blog and learning all the ins and outs of the crazy music world. I'm still of a mind set that just plain luck plays a big part in who makes it and who doesn't. No TV shows like American Idol or the Voice to help discover talent. But even some of the winners of those shows have disappeared and were one hit wonders. Take care and have a good weekend!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! I'm very happy to hear from you and especially to learn that my old buddy Eddy is AOK. I was getting worried because it's been a long time since you showed pictures of him or even mentioned him. I am greatly relieved.

      I'm thrilled that your ears matched mine on the Janice Ward ditty. Seems her single was a doublesider, the ballad side soaring up the top tunes surveys of radio stations in the Baltimore and D.C. area. Even so, both great sides of her single remained uncharted nationally as did all five of the other featured songs in the post.

      Thank you for framing it as you did here, dear friend, as a learning experience. The way I see it there is nothing to be gained for me or for you if I present only the familiar million sellers from our youth. There are tens of thousands of excellent recordings that never charted and I enjoy discovering them and presenting them to you.

      I have a very special 3-part series coming up a month from now and, based upon what you've told me about your teenage years, I believe you will enjoy the series. I can't wait to run it for you.

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend YaYa, and for putting my mind at ease about that lovable Boxer, my good buddy Eddy. I wish you another fair weather weekend. Take care and God bless!

  16. I realize I'm late to the party. I've been sick since Saturday and am still struggling. Sitting in this office chair is super uncomfortable, but I'm trying to make the rounds and let people know I'm still kicking.

    I've got Jill Jackson playing as I type this. I really love her voice. I'll try to remember to come back later and listen to the others. My poor body can't take it today!

    1. Hi, dear Robin! Thank you very much for coming. Forgive me for being late to your party as well. I will be over to visit you shortly. I'm very sorry to learn that you've been ailing all this week. I hope you feel much better this weekend than last.

      We both know about the tapes that we play in our heads, many of them dredging up painful memories from the past. I have found it very useful to replace those old worn out tapes with new ones, especially music mix tapes. All this week I have been listening to and learning the songs in this post and playing them back in my head. You see, all six songs are new to me. I didn't know any of them until recently when I did my research for this post. I have found that there is no room in my head for sadness and depression when I have a happy song playing and it helps when the song is new to me and has no old memories attached.

      Dear Robin, whether you return later or not, this visit from you means a great deal to me. I deeply appreciate your friendship and support and hope you bounce back to perfect health very soon. Have a safe and happy weekend, Robin!

  17. That's some music we just don't normally hear anymore. It was a distinctive sound that in some ways merges with similarities in sounds, but with their distinct nuances. These songs bring back memories not because I've heard any of them before, but because they sound like songs I've heard in the past.

    I especially like Jill Jackson's "All Over Now". Oh, that lush orchestration, airy background singers, and the sweet lead vocal. What a haunting sound!

    They just don't make them like this anymore, but I don't think today's generations would get it if someone tried.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee! Welcome back, good buddy. I agree. They don't make songs or recordings like this anymore. If they did they surely wouldn't sell very well to generations raised on a steady diet of in-your-face rap and hip-hop. These rare sides, waxed in the early and mid 60s, remind us of a time when there was tacit agreement among most members of our society that it was important to set a positive example and adhere to a standard of decency.

      I'm glad you enjoyed that Jill Jackson number. If she would have continued to use the stage name "Paula" she might have had a hit with it.

      Thanks a bunch for coming, Lee, and have a great weekend!

  18. I think you are right about Jill using her stage name, Paula. I loved that song. If they would have introduced her new record as that singer it would have helped her.

    It is June now! In Canada we cherish the summer months. Every new month I count how much longer summer and autumn will last. You should see us in the spring; the first warm day everyone is in shorts and sandals. But that warm day would have been a cold one in California!


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