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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Your Peace of Mind's Gone To My Head: A 50th Anniversary Salute to Our Home Town Heroes... The Magnificent Men!

"Never assume," 

a wise man once said.

With that in mind, I will not assume that
everybody knows about The Magnificent Men.

No, Kenneth... I am not referring to those fellas in their Flying Machines; nor am I
talking about your favorites, the Village People... (not that there's anything wrong with that).
To make sure we're
all on the same PAGE (bad pun intended)
I invite Kenneth and other puzzled readers to view the following clip. Then we'll talk.

To pay proper tribute to the Magnificent Men,
we must first set the stage by saluting
the Del-Chords, the integrated group
from York, Pennsylvania, that
spawned the Mag Men.

Let’s back up to 1964 and listen to
the Del-Chords' monster Shady Dell
hit “Everybody’s Gotta Lost Someday.”
The record was already an established
Dell favorite by the time I first set foot
inside the place in the fall of 1965.

"Everybody's Gotta Lose Someday" was a record
of enormous popularity and longevity. That's why
it ranks #2 on my survey of the 200 Greatest Hits
of the Shady Dell. There is another reason for the
record's lofty position. The record boasts a higher
popularity-to-obscurity quotient than any
other Shady Dell song.

Released as a single near the end of the 1964
on two different labels, Impala and Mr. Genius,
the latter imprint an enterprise of Philadelphia
broadcast icon Jerry Blavat, "Everybody's
Gotta Lose Someday" is a low budget,
low tech production that's high on
soulful feeling. Dave Bupp and
company laid down raw, primitive,
authentic street corner r&b/soul, a
recording that is regarded today as a
classic of the genre. The Del-Chords'
record was promoted on radio stations
in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Philly
and Pittsburgh and became a regional hit.

For more than two years, the intense ballad played
several times a night on the Shady Dell jukebox.
The moody masterpiece was guaranteed to
flood the dance floor with dreamy-eyed
couples swaying to its sweet sound.

Now please listen to the seldom heard B side.

It's another genre classic penned by Dave Bupp,
"Your Mommy Lied To Your Daddy.”

50 years ago, in January 1966, a few months after
my induction into the Fraternal Order of Dell Rats,
("FODDER" as it's called), another jukebox giant,
"Peace of Mind," swept into the Dell like a
tsunami and proceeded to destroy for the
rest of the year. And so began the
Dell's Magnificent Obsession.

A sensational Northern Soul ballad featuring
rich harmonies and a powerful, inspiring message,
“Peace of Mind” became the signature song
of the Magnificent Men.

 With "Peace of Mind," Bupp and his boys swung  
 for the fences and knocked one out of the park. 

Kiss it goodbye!

When this snugglin' song began to play every Dell Rat grabbed his Minnie Mouse and hit the floor, eager to spend three minutes
in heaven. “Peace of Mind” was a smash with Dell regulars of all stripes and earned the rank of #3 on my Dell's greatest hits list! We simply never got tired of listening and dancing to this uplifting Bupp-King soul ballad.

Here's a rare clip of the Mag Men in Detroit performing
on Robin Seymour's Swingin' Time dance party, an
episode that aired on September 10, 1966.

Flip the Capitol 45 over and you’ll find more
Mag Men gold. “All Your Lovin’s Gone To My Head”
is an up tempo side that was also huge at the Dell.

In England, this strong northern dancer was
the consensus A-side in soul clubs and
a sought-after slab among collectors.

50 years ago, “Peace of Mind” and
“All Your Lovin’s Gone to My Head”
delivered a one-two knockout punch
at the Shady Dell and the Mag Men
had only just begun. Their wildly
popular double-sider kicked off
an impressive string of Dell hits
for Bupp and company and ignited
a blue-eyed soul craze. As 1966
continued to unfold, a parade of
records by other soulful white artists
that included the Righteous Brothers,
the Young Rascals and Mitch Ryder
became favorites in the dance hall.

Throughout the year an avalanche of exciting
new records poured into the jukebox, the songs
so indicative of the Shady Dell experience that
they occupy the highest positions on my list of
the Dell's 200 Greatest Hits. The Magnificent
Men were among the elite few, the Dell's
heaviest hitters, and we'll hear more of
their recordings next time.

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Vol. 10: Ace is the Place..... for Girls!

 Welcome to volume 10 of Echoes

 my comprehensive, 17-part series 

 presenting the best of Spector and 

 Spector soundalike recordings. 

In this special edition of Echoes, I bring you recordings
found on compilations assembled by Ace Records,
the leading reissue label in the UK. All of these
rare girl pop and girl group selections were
pulled from volumes of Early Girls,
The Laurie Records Story and
Where the Girls Are.


Introducing Alice the singing maid!
(Sounds like an episode of The Brady Bunch.)
It's Alice Faye Henderson, a real, flesh and blood
Long Island, New York, singing maid discovered
by songwriter/producer Steve Schlaks.

Alice traded in her broom for a boom (microphone),
was dubbed Alice Wonder Land, and recorded
"He's Mine," a song penned by Schlaks and his
colleagues. Despite a competing cover version
rush released by the Swans, Alice's record
became a minor hit in the fall of 1963.

The infectious ditty has it all - Spectoresque
production, "I Love Him, I Love Him, I Love Him"
lyrics ripped from the Little Peggy March hit
"I Will Follow Him," and a hint of the Crystals'
"He's Sure the Boy I Love." Put it all together,
go through the looking glass and experience
the super cool sound of Alice Wonder Land!

 "He's Mine (I Love Him, I Love Him, I Love Him)" 
 Alice Wonder Land (Oct. 1963, highest chart pos. #62) 


It starts with a great song like this one.
A few years ago, I presented a version of
"Why Don't the Boy Leave Me Alone,"
a song written by Robert Spencer
and originally recorded by the Angels.

Here's a brilliant cover waxed by Bronx
beauty Diane Christian whom you met
in an earlier volume of the series.  Diane
was lead singer of the Darlettes before
going solo.  "Why Don't the Boy Leave
Me Alone" was Diane's second single
produced by Feldman, Goldstein and
Gottehrer, the Brill Building team that
became famous releasing records as
 the bogus band the Strangeloves.

 "Why Don't the Boy Leave Me Alone" 
 Diane Christian (May 1965, uncharted) 


By now we all know the extent of Phil Spector's
accomplishments, beginning with "To Know Him
Is To Love Him," a song he wrote for his pop trio
the Teddy Bears and specifically for lead singer
Annette Kleinbard. "To Know Him" was #1 on
the U.S. chart three weeks in a row in 1958.

Annette later changed her name to Carol Connors
and made her mark as both a singer and songwriter.
Fascinated with the surf rock and hot rod craze,
Carol Connors wrote "Hey Little Cobra," a hit in
1964 for the Rip Chords. Her greatest success
as a scribe is the theme from the movie Rocky,
"Gonna Fly Now," which she co-wrote, earning
her an Academy Award nomination.

As a recording artist, Carol released solo singles
along with duets with her sister as the Surfettes
and as Carol and Cheryl. The best recording
of Carol Connors' career is "My Baby Looks,
But He Don't Touch," a velvety girl pop
ballad that reunited Carol her with the
third member of the Teddy Bears,
Marshall Leib, who produced the single.

 "My Baby Looks, But He Don't Touch" 
 Carol Connors (March 1966, uncharted) 


"He's My Dream Boy" is credited to Marie Antoinette,
but that is believed to be another catchy stage name
for Alice Faye Henderson who recorded "He's Mine"
as Alice Wonder Land.  Released the following
year, "He's My Dream Boy" is right in the
Spectorian pocket with a sound that will
remind you of the Crystals hit
"Da Doo Don Ron."

 "He's My Dream Boy" - Marie Antonette 
 (1964 uncharted) 


I introduced Philly thrush Nella Dodds two years ago
when I posted her sensational cover of the Supremes
hit "Come See About Me," a single that peaked at
#74 in December 1964. Nella charted again at the
start of '65 with "Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers."
Here's a Nella nifty that never even Bubbled Under
but should have gone top 40 - the popcorn
rhythm goodie "Your Love Back."

 "Your Love Back" - Nella Dodds 
 (March 1965, uncharted) 

 I hope you enjoyed Vol. 10 

 of Echoes, a salute to obscure 

 girl pop and girl group vinyls  

 reissued by Ace Records UK, 

 a company you can trust for 

 sounds that are old school cool. 

 Ace is the place... for me! 

Have a Shady day!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Remembering John

On January 16, 1993...

23 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! 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Who Survived The Version Sacrifice? ...and Happy Birthday, Helen Ettline!

It's time to announce

the winner this year's first

Version Sacrifice!

Two acts competed for your vote singing
"The Coldest Night of the Year," a song
written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
and originally recorded by Nino Tempo
and April Stevens. An English vocal duo
called Twice As Much teamed up with
rising singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan,
also of the UK, on a version recorded
in 1966 and released on a 1968 album.
Famed falsetto Lou Christie and an
 uncredited female performed a
version that showed up on a
Christie CD issued in 2007.


It starts with a great song and "The Coldest Night of the Year" is a great song, a winter classic similar to "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and "It's Now Winter's Day," the Dell hit by Tommy Roe. Nino & April established a baseline with an enjoyable original version of the song that became the forgotten flip of a failed 1965 single. Lou Christie and his unknown female singing partner updated the song for the new millennium and I enjoyed their cover as much as the original, but my Pick To Click is the version recorded by the UK dream team of Dave Skinner, Andrew Rose and Vashti Bunyan, recording together as Twice As Much featuring Vashti. Their recording has it all - Spectoresque, wall-of-sound production which includes echo chamber and sleigh bells, intimate female lead vocal and glorious group harmony. The result is a dreamy, hauntingly beautiful album track that was a hit waiting to happen and should have been released as a single.

Sometimes Twice As Much is more
and this is one of those times.
T.A.M. & Vashti get my vote!

Did your ears match mine?
Here's the final score:




What is DIMPLED CHAD?  Unfortunately the
Lou Christie video was not available for playback
in Canada.  Four of my Canadian voters needed
to visit Amazon and listen to a 30 second sound
sample. All four voted for Vashti. As the final
figures reveal, those 4 votes had no influence
on the outcome of the contest.  Vashti led
all the way and won by a wide margin.

Congratulations to Twice As Much

& Vashti Bunyan... survivors of

the first Version Sacrifice of 2016!

Thank you for voting!

This is a very special day

for another reason.

Helen Trostle Ettline

was born 105 years ago

on January 9, 1911.

 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 dubbed "Helen's Song."


 We love you and miss you! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Records Broken! A Version Sacrifice On "The Coldest Night of the Year!"

Welcome to the New Year edition of
my Bloggy Award winning series

Battle of the Banned!

No! Enough is enough. For the last 7 months
the name I selected for this series has been
causing friction.  It was never my intention
to mock Battle of the Bands or its founders.
I was merely trying to maintain a sense of
humor after they withdrew their support
and unsubscribed from SDMM. Today
I am taking a step to ease tension and
foster a climate of peaceful coexistence.
Effective immediately I am dropping
the title Battle of the Banned and
renaming my music contest series.
It is my sincere hope that this
gesture will enable us to have
a better, happier blogging
experience in 2016.

I was going to rename the series
Shady's Notes 'n' Votes but that
didn't grab me. My next idea was
Ten Zany Birds but that title has
already been taken. :) Finally I
decided to use a title that has
accrued brand equity, one that
I have used in previous posts.
From now on this series
will be named...

Version Sacrifice!

To relaunch Version Sacrifice, I am pleased to
welcome back my good friend Bub, the zombie
from Day of the Dead. Bub, as you recall, is a
new breed of zombie. He thinks. He reasons.
He reads books. He listens to cool tuneage.
In addition, Bub is founder of the IZSG,
Insecure Zombie's Support Group,
which meets the first Wednesday
of every month. Bub, you have
the floor. Break a leg...
and then eat it.

Good one, Shady, and thanks for having me.
I'll be having you later. (BA-DUM-BUMP)
First I want to say "Hello, Aunt Alicia!"
Next I invite you all to check out the
cool tunes in this competition
Or is it decomp-etition?. 
(A little zombie humor there.)

In today's spin-off, Team USA battles
the UK. The two competing artists
perform the same song. Listen to
both, vote for the version you
prefer and take a moment
to explain why.

The contestants are backstage with
a bad case of the jitters. Let the
Version Sacrifice begin!




Nino Tempo & April Stevens, the brother-sister
duo from Niagara Falls who had a #1 hit with
"Deep Purple," were the first to record a song
that's become a wintertime favorite of mine,
"The Coldest Night of the Year." Released
as a single in the UK in 1966, the version
by Nino and April went to waste in the
U.S. on the B side of a poor selling
platter, a cover of Otis Redding's
"These Arms of Mine."

 "The Coldest Night of the Year" 
 Nino Tempo and April Stevens 
 (Feb. '65, B side of "These Arms of Mine") 

Nino and April are ineligible.
Do not vote for them...or else!





Twice As Much was the English duo of Dave Skinner
and Andrew Rose, a pair of singer/songwriters who
released singles on Immediate Records, the British
label established by Rolling Stones manager
Andrew Loog Oldham. With similarities to
Simon & Garfunkel, Peter & Gordon
and Chad & Jeremy, Twice As Much
created a unique psych-pop groove,
especially on their 1968 album
That's All which featured the
vocal talent of up-and-coming
singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan.

My favorite song from That's All is
"The Coldest Night of the Year,"
an unreleased single from 1966.
Compared to the original recording
by Nino and April, this version of
"Coldest Night" is moodier and more
atmospheric with a dense mix that
imitates Phil Spector's wall-of-sound.
In spots it reminds me of the Ronettes
single "Walking in the Rain." Maybe
it's because both songs were written
by Brill scribes Barry Mann and
Cynthia Weil. Listen to this
Spectorian opus and maybe
you'll agree - "Coldest" the coolest!

 "The Coldest Night of the Year" 
  Twice as Much feat. Vashti Bunyan 
 (unreleased 1966 single and a track 
 on the 1968 album That's All



Turning 73 next month, Lou Christie
is one of Pittsburgh's Favorite Oldies.
The singer-songwriter who scored 5
top 40 hits in the 60s, including the
chart-topping "Lightnin' Strikes," was
back in the studio in the new millennium.
In 2007 Lou recorded and released a CD
that include this evocative interpretation
of "Coldest Night." Can you name the
female who sings on it with Lou?

 "The Coldest Night of the Year" 
 Lou Christie (January 2007, from CD 
 Lightning Strikes! (Beyond the Blue Horizon

Today's tuneage has me all verklempt.

My mascara's running but
there's no time for tears.

The moment of truth has come.

One version must be sacrificed.

Which artist recorded the better

cover of "The Coldest Night"?

Vote for one of the following:


 feat. VASHTI 




After voting here, please visit my partner in grime

and vote in his

Battle of the Banned!

Version Sacrifice!

Stay tuned for my follow-up post 5 days from now
in which I will cast my vote, count the ballots
(including hanging chad and dimpled chad)
and announce the winner.

Have a Shady day!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 - Year of the Dell Rat











Hi, dear friend! Welcome back for another exciting,
fun-filled year at Shady Dell Music & Memories!

Remember Playboy Magazine's long running
ad campaign "What sort of man reads Playboy?

It made me wonder "What sort of person reads SDMM?"
It occurred to me that people who read SDMM, people
who love to hang out here, people who have the most
fun here and people who have become great friends,
all have the following traits in common. They are
intelligent, sophisticated, open minded people
who are eager to learn and experience new
things. They take an interest in the material
and take time to write a decent comment.
These people don't take themselves too
seriously. They have a sense of humor
and enjoy playing with me. When they
come through the door they bring with
them a positive attitude. They think
young and embrace the Dell rat creed:

"Never grow up, never grow old."

Just as it was at the original Dell,
SDMM is a place where happy,
respectful people come to forget
their problems and the horrors of
the world for a while, relax, laugh,
dance, sing, reminisce and build
long lasting friendships.

If you are that sort of person -
if you recognize yourself in
the paragraphs above - then
welcome back, dear friend!

"The only thing we take seriously... fun." - Shady Del Knight

Have a Shady day

and let's have a great 2016!