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

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Clash of the Colleens - Irish Spring Brings a Flood of Great Recordings!

 Irish singer Jackie Lee

 made excellent recordings. 

 So did Irish singer Emma Rede. 

 Listen to them both and tell me 

 which songstress you prefer. 

Jackie Lee aka Emma Rede

Ha!  Forgive me for trying to pull the wool
over your eyes, my friend.  This is not
my Version Sacrifice feature. You see,
Jackie Lee and Emma Rede are two
stage names used by the same gifted
singer, Dublin born Jacqueline Flood.

Jackie spent years releasing fine group
and solo recordings but somehow achieved
only two hits - both of them themes from
children's television series - "White Horses"
(as by Jacky) which reached the UK top 10
in 1968, and "Rupert," theme from Rupert
The Bear, which made the top 20 in 1971.

In this salute to Jackie Lee I will bring you her
earlier recordings because they are among the
greatest to come out of the UK in the mid 60s.

As a teen in the early 50s, Jackie fronted show bands
on Irish radio and sang on BBC radio with a group
called the Squadronaires. In the mid 50s, Jackie
released a string of unsuccessful solo singles.



In the late 50s Jackie Lee became lead singer
of Len Beadle's Raindrops (not the New York
based Ellie Greenwich - Jeff Barry group).
Jackie and the Raindrops were regulars
on radio and television and released
records that didn't sell very well.

In 1966, Jackie and the Raindrops appeared in the UK musical film Just For You aka Disk-O-Tek Holiday. Jackie sang and she and the Raindrops danced to Little Eva's hit "The Loco-Motion." Jackie blames the poor lighting used in low budget flick for making her look older in 1966 than she does today..... 50 years later!

"The Loco-Motion" 
Jackie Lee and the Raindrops 
(single released 1963, scene from 1966
movie Just For You aka Disk-O-Tek Holiday.)


By 1965 Jackie had left the Raindrops and was
releasing excellent but poor selling solo singles.
Listen to the purity of Jackie's vocal on the
sophisticated beat ballad "Lonely Clown."

"Lonely Clown" - Jackie Lee (1965)

That same year Jackie Lee recorded an exciting cover
of Spectorian sweetie Alder Ray's "'Cause I Love Him."
It went nowhere, hidden as it was on the flip side of
"I Cry Alone," a little known song composed by Burt
Bacharach and Hal David that also failed to chart.

"'Cause I Love Him" - Jackie Lee
(1965, B side of "I Cry Alone")

My Pick to Click for Jackie Lee is
"The Town I Live In," a sensational
single released in the fall of 1966.

The song is a satirical commentary poking
fun at the UK's Buckinghamshire "new town"
with its "27 churches" and "silver birches."
Listen to this extraordinary recording and
you'll wonder as I do why it never charted.

"The Town I Live In" - Jackie Lee 
(November 1966)

Jackie also cooks on the killer bee, "You Too
(Can Have Heartaches)," another gem that
went unnoticed at the time but has since
become a favorite among collectors
of Brit girl pop.

"You Too (Can Have Heartaches)" 
Jackie Lee (November 1966,
B side of "The Town I Live In")


In Echoes 7 we listened to "I Gotta Be With You,"
the silky smooth Northern Soul ballad performed by
Malcolm Hayes and released as a single in 1966.
Click here for that post.

The following year Jacqueline Flood changed her
stage name to Emma Rede and recorded a superb
yet uncharted version of "I Gotta Be With You."
It became a fixture on the Northern Soul circuit
and is my Pick To Click by Emma Rede!

 "I Gotta Be With You" 
Emma Rede (1967) 

Once again I gotta wonder why Jackie's handlers
didn't have a clue. The glorious beat ballad
"I Gotta Be With You" was a hit waiting to
happen, yet it went to waste as a B side.
Here's Jackie as Emma Rede singing
the A side of that ill fated single
"Just Like a Man" on the
German pop music TV
series Beat Club.

"Just Like a Man" - Emma Rede 
(1967, live on Beat Club)

After listening to these outstanding recordings
I hope you agree... Jacqueline Flood by any
other name still sounds the same - fantastic!






Have a Shady day!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Nuke Kids On the Block: Explosive Poppers Whose Songs Are Shockers!

                      THIS POST IS RATED

I never thought it would happen.

It took decades for me to come around,

but now I am digging the sound.

It happened a few years ago with heavy metal
and it happened again at the start of this year.
I opened my ears and mind and developed an
appreciation of modern pop, pop rock and
pop rap. In this year long, 12-part series,
I am introducing the young divas who
perform this style of music. Some are
sweet. Some are sassy. Some will
delight you. Some, like the ones
you will meet in this post, are
likely to shock and disturb
you. Take a look and a
listen. How will you
react to these
artists, songs
and videos?



The world has changed, my friend.
(Ya think, Shady?)

When I was a kid in the 50s, boys and girls
looked, sounded and behaved like the
three you will see in the first video.

From The Lawrence Welk Show here are Janet Lennon, youngest of the singing Lennon Sisters, Cubby O'Brien, a Mousketeer from Walt Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club, and Brian Siebman, a junior cast member of the Welk show, performing a song on an episode of the series that aired circa 1958.

"That's How Much I Love You" - Janet Lennon
with Cubby O'Brien & Brian Siebman
(The Lawrence Welk Show)

jordyn jones

Now that you have watched Janet Lennon,
innocent pop princess of the 1950s,
FF 60 years and experience a
truly jarring juxtaposition.

Behold the look, sound, attitude
and demeanor of one of today's
up-and-comers - singer, dancer,
model and actress Jordyn Jones.
Jordyn's performances of new
songs and covers have drawn
nearly 100 million views on
YouTube. Keep Janet Lennon
and her friends in mind as
you watch the video and
behold this 5-foot, 3-inch
spark plug and her posse!

"Lip Gloss" - Lil Mama
cover by Jordyn Jones
December 2014

meghan trainor

There once was a girl from Nantucket -
her name - Meghan Trainor. Between
the ages of 15 and 17, the precocious
singer and songwriter wrote, recorded,
produced and released three albums.
Signed to a major label in 2011,
Meghan achieved a hit in 2014
with Title, an EP that expanded
into a studio album of the same
name in 2015 with most of the songs
co-written and composed by Meghan.

Title debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums
chart. "All About That Bass," the debut single
from the album, is a song intended to promote
positive body image, but some critics accused
Trainor of anti-feminism, claiming the song 
has the negative effect of promoting curvy,
plus size women as the ideal and shaming
thin women. In spite of the controversy,
"All About That Bass" was a monster hit.
It soared to #1 in the U.S., the UK and
17 other countries. "Bass" was called
a cultural phenomenon and turned
Meghan into one of the biggest
breakout singing stars of 2014.
What's your reaction?

"All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor
(Aug. 2104, highest chart pos. #1
just about everyplace on earth)

hailee steinfeld

Teenage actress, model and singer Hailee Steinfeld
has appeared in a couple dozen TV shows and movies
including the Jeff Bridges film True Grit, a role that
earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best
Supporting Actress. In 2015 Hailee signed a record
deal and released her debut single "Love Myself."
The song raised a few eyebrows including mine.

In the music video Hailee wears a leotard bearing
the words "SELF SERVICE." The lyrics of the song
include "I'm gonna put my body first/And love
me so hard 'til it hurts" and "I'm gonna touch
the pain away/I know how to scream my own
name." It didn't take long for fans and the media
to call "Love Myself" an "ode to masturbation."
"Love Myself" was an international hit, reaching
the Top 30 on the Hot 100 and the Top 10 on
the Dance Club survey. Hailee's DIY video
has been viewed nearly 107 million times
on YouTube. What's your interpretation?

"Love Myself" - Hailee Steinfeld
(September. 2015, highest chart pos.
#30 Hot 100/#6 Dance Club Songs)


Perhaps Halee Steinfeld got her inspiration
from British singer/songwriter Lauren Henson,
stage name Indiana. In 2014 Indiana released
"Solo Dancing," a single and video from her
debut studio album No Romeo.

The song lyrics hint at the DIY theme and the video
erases all doubt. The clip is a montage of sight gags
depicting slang expressions and euphemisms that
refer to self pleasuring. Watch the video and
give me your reaction. Cute...or too much?

"Solo Dancing" - Indiana
(April 2014, highest chart pos. #14 UK
from Jan. 2015 album No Romeo)

tove lo

Swedish singer/songwriter Tove Lo
(Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson) takes it to
the next level with "Talking Body,"
a song with explicit language that's
all about sex. In the spring of 2015
"Talking Body" was a hit in Sweden,
in America and around the world!

"Talking Body" - Tove Lo
(March. 2015, highest chart pos.
#12 Hot 100/#1 US Dance Club Songs)

route 94

ft. jess glynne

Londoner Rowan Tyler Jones, stage name
Route 94, is a producer and DJ specializing
in deep house, a music genre influenced by
90s Eurodance. In 2014, Route 94 released
the debut single "My Love" featuring the
vocals of up-and-coming English singer
and songwriter Jess Glynne.

"My Love" topped the chart in the UK.
The video was shot using an infrared
"night vision" heat-seeking technique
that reveals the body heat generated
by young lovers at a dance club.

(Pick up the action at 2:00.)

"My Love" - Route 94 ft. Jess Glynne
(April 2014, highest chart pos. #1 UK
#23 US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs)


Now that you have experienced Jordyn Jones
and the other featured artists, I'd like your opinion.

*  Were you offended by any of the song lyrics
     or video images? If so, which ones and why?

* Are young pop-rappers like Jordyn Jones
   growing up too fast? Are they setting a bad
   example for preadolescent girls (and boys)?

* How much influence do songs and videos
   like these have on today's young pop fans?

* How did we get from point A,
the innocent Janet Lennon years,
to point B, where we are today?

As Madonna put it, "express yourself."

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Vol. 11: "DOOLANG - DOOLANG - DOOLANG!"

 It's time once again to scale 

 the Wall of Sound in search 

 of Spectorian Splendor! 

Welcome to Vol. 11 of my 17 part series
featuring some of Phil Spector's best
recordings along with Spectorian
soundalikes produced by others.


In the mid 60s the popularity of surf rock and
hot rod tunes began to fade. Jan & Dean,
one of the leading acts of the genre,
adjusted to the changing times by
taking their music in a new direction.

Instead of waxing their surfboards, the popular
duo waxed symphonic, kicking off the summer
of 1965 with the mature, complex, Spectorian
top 30 hit "You Really Know How To Hurt a Guy."

 "You Really Know How To Hurt a Guy" 
 Jan and Dean (June 1965, 
 highest chart pos. #27) 


Carol Connors, formerly Annette Kleinbard,
lead singer of Phil Spector's late 50s group
the Teddy Bears, shared Jan & Dean's zeal
for songs about surfing, fast cars and the
Southern California lifestyle of the 60s,
so much so that she wrote car songs
that she and others recorded. Carol
is on record as the only woman to
have co-written (with her brother)
a major hit in the male dominated
hot rod category. Carol's song,
"Hey Little Cobra," recorded
by the Rip Chords, went top 5
and helped popularize muscle car
designer Carroll Shelby and Ford
Motor Company's Shelby Cobra.

Here's another cool car song that CC
co-wrote with producer Terry Melcher
(Doris Day's son), Jan Berry and her
sister Cheryl Gorman. The sisters
formed the duo Carol & Cheryl
and released "Go Go G.T.O"
in the spring of 1965.

 "Go Go G.T.O." - Carol & Cheryl 
 (March 1965, uncharted) 


You met them earlier in this series - the Teardrops.
They're the sensational teenage girl group from
Cincinnati, Ohio. Performances at local venues
got the girls noticed and signed to a record
deal. Soon they found themselves opening
for The Beach Boys and Sonny and Cher.

The Teardops' signature song, the regional hit
"Tears Come Tumbling," was a doublesider with
boss girl group recordings back-to-back. Listen
now to the killer bee, "You Won't Be There."

 "You Won't Be There" - The Teardrops 
 (November 1965, uncharted) 


Here's the first single issued on Phil Spector's
Philles record label. Co-written by Spector,
"There's No Other (Like My Baby)" was
recorded by the Crystals, one of the
principal acts of the girl group era.
The ballad began its chart journey
just before Thanksgiving 1961 and
hit the top 20 in January of 1962.

 "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" 
 The Crystals (Christmas 1961 thru 
 January 1962, highest chart pos. #20) 


Like Carol Connors, whose songwriting credits
also include an Academy Award nomination for
"Gonna Fly Now," the familiar theme from
Rocky, Andrea Carroll is an overachiever.

Andrea went from making girl pop recordings
in the 60s to earning a PhD and is today known
as clinical psychologist Andrea Hill. The multi-
talented lady is also an accomplished
actress and acting coach.

My favorite Andrea Carroll recording from her
years as a pop princess is "The Doolang" -
title and lyrics inspired by the Chiffons
hit "He's So Fine."

Anybody who doesn't like this teen pop
ditty should have his head examined...
by Dr. Andrea Hill!

 "The Doolang" - Andrea Carroll 
 (March 1964, uncharted) 

 Thanks for spending some 

 time in Spectorian heaven 

 with Echoes Volume 11. 

 I'll hit you with another 

 Wallop-of-Sound in Vol. 12! 

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Helen Ettline - Mother of All Dell Rats

Today we are observing Mother's Day

and paying tribute to Helen Ettline,

The Mother of All Dell Rats!
Three original Dell rats of the
1950s and 60s have joined us to say
a few words about the Dell's First Lady.


 It's that time of the year 
 the Dell would be waking 
 up from those cold nights 
 of winter that we spent in 
 the barn staying warm by 
 the fireplace and watching 
 TV on the old black and 
 white. It's also time to 
 remember Mom and to a 
 Dell Rat that means re- 
 membering their second 
 Mom, Helen. Helen was 
 always there to talk to 
 about things you might 
 not be comfortable talking about at home. The girls could 
 go to Helen with a broken heart or something more per- 
 sonal like being pregnant. The guys could always count 
 on Helen for a shoulder to lean on or some inside advice 
 with the ladies. Helen was always there for me with that 
 cheeseburger and cherry coke that I must have ate 
 hundreds of as a hungry teen. More than 50 years 
 have gone by and I can still see Helen like it was 
 yesterday. Happy Mother's Day Helen and till I see 
 you at the big Dell in the sky I will all Ways love you. 


 I love reminiscing about 
 Helen and the treats she 
 whipped up in the snack 
 bar for us hungry Dell rats.
 I remember her big boys, 

 sub sandwiches, and fries 
 in those red plastic baskets 
 lined with wax paper. Also 
 her CMPs - (chocolate, 
 marshmallow and peanut 
 sundaes) which most 
 people are familiar with 
 these days. Always sweet 
 and lovable.  I don't think 
 I ever pissed her off, but 
 I remember she wouldn't 
 take any guff and could 
 make a man feel pretty 
 small for trying to give her crap, and she didn't have to 
 raise her voice to do it. I don't think any woman was 
 ever over my shoulder as many hours as she was as 
 I played a pinball machine all those years. 
 Helen Ettline was a fine lady! Ron 


 What did Helen mean to 
 me? She was always in 
 good mood and a friend 
 when needed. She always 
 smiled and helped lift my 
 spirits when I sat on one 
 of her stools for a soda. 
 Helen didn't care if you 
 were rich or poor, she 
 treated everyone with 
 respect and kindness. 
 She did not put up with 
 trouble makers, but did 
 not interfere with your 
 activities as long as you 
 respected her and John. She knew all the regulars and 
 would sometimes joke with us. She wouldn't play jokes 
 on us as much as John, but she still added to a good 
 time when at the snack bar. Once my real mother 
 discovered that the Dell was not a den of trouble- 
 makers, she started calling it my home away from 
 home. She never met Helen or John face to face, 
 but she learned to know that they acted like a good 
 mother and father for all their adopted kids. Helen 
 was the light and life of the snack bar. Jerre 

Helen Ettline didn't have any children of her own.
In a way we were her kids and she was our mom.
 Clearly Helen and John loved kids. Why else
would they have put up with the aggravation
all those years? The Ettlines believed in kids.
They enjoyed counseling and helping kids.

Helen always greeted me with a warm smile.
She was an attentive listener. When I had
good news to share or a funny tale to tell,
Helen made me feel special by calling
John over and urging me to repeat my
story for his benefit. Helen made me
feel like family, like I belonged.

In observance of Mother's Day

I picked out a video that

I think Helen would enjoy.

Helen, this is for you.

"Hurt So Bad" - Little Anthony & The Imperials
(Feb/Mar. 1965, highest chart pos. #10,
Jan. 27, 1965, episode of Shindig!)

Happy Mother's Day, Helen!

We love you and miss you!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Float Upstream Against the Current - Meet YouTube Stars Chrissy, Connie, Megan Nicole, Skylar, Megan & Liz!

Welcome back to part 2 of my

12-part series saluting the

rising female stars of pop,

pop-rock and pop-rap.


Formed in 2011, Against the Current (aka ATC)
is a pop rock band from Poughkeepsie, New York.
Members include Daniel Gow on vocals and lead
guitar, Will Ferri on vocals and drums, and the
band's talented lead singer Chrissy Costanza.

Chrissy, who lists artists John Mayer
and Katy Perry as influences, is part of
a new breed of up-and-coming young
female singing stars who love to multitask.

She has her own thriving YouTube channel
and vlog and doubles as a beauty consultant.
Isn't her sensational singing enough? Heck,
I'm still learning to tie my shoes!

Against the Current spent half of 2014 and all
of 2015 on the Gravity World Tour in support
of their debut single and EP. For the last two
months ATC has been touring Europe and
Japan and next month they begin a tour
of the U.S. to coincide with the release
of their first album, In Our Bones.
Meet the bold the the beautiful -
the polished and the professional -
The Pride of Poughkeepsie -
Against The Current!

"Gravity" - Against The Current
(February 2015 single from
June 2015 EP Gravity)


Now meet Megan Nicole (Flores). Since 2009
this talented Texan has been making her mark
as a singer, songwriter, actress and model.

In September 2015, Megan had a starring role
in the teen musical film Summer Forever
which featured Daphne Zuniga of 
Melrose Place fame in the role
of the mom.

It's time for you to experience the joy of a
Megan Nicole performance. With more than
3-and-a-half million YouTube subscribers
and hundreds of millions of video views,
this young lady is the real deal!

"Fever" - Megan Nicole
(2015 non-album single)


English child singing star Connie Talbot
became famous at the age of 6 as a finalist
on Britain's Got Talent. Connie landed a
record deal and in the years since has
released five albums and an EP, two
video album DVDs and seven singles.

Connie has toured in many
parts of the world and is
especially popular with
Asian audiences. Listen
now to the beauty and
clarity of Connie's voice
as she sings "Let It Go,"
a song from her 2014
EP Gravity.

"Let It Go" - Connie Talbot
(from Nov. 2014 EP Gravity)


The recording duo of Megan & Liz consists of
fraternal twins Megan and Liz Mace. Over the past
decade the Indiana-born, Michigan-raised singing
and songwriting siblings have become sensations
on YouTube and iTunes. To date the sisters have
released 6 EPs, nearly two dozen cover singles
and an equal number of original songs.

Most Megan & Liz recordings fall into the teen pop
category, but their newer material reveals a
change of direction toward country. In 2012,
Megan & Liz sparkled performing a delectable
cover of "Lights," the international hit single
by English singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding.

"Lights" (Ellie Goulding cover) - Megan & Liz
(iTunes single released June 2012)


Born right here in Tampa, Skylar Stecker is
the daughter of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer
running back Aaron Stecker. Skylar moved to
Wisconsin and then on to California to pursue
her career as a singer and actress. At the age
of 11, Skylar began uploading her videos on
You/Tube and attracted more than a million
followers within the first few months. Her
acting credits include the TV series Austin
& Ally and Super Fun Night and the
2015 movie Bad Hair Day.

As a pop and R&B singer, Skylar covers
popular recordings of other artists and also
performs original songs including this one,
"Rascal," a Latin spiced number that's
just the ticket for a roller skate date!

"Rascal" - Skylar Stecker 
(August 2015 single)



Let's finish the set with another great song by
Chrissy Costanza and Against the Current.
"Outsiders," a single released last fall,
is my Pick To Click!

"Outsiders" - Against the Current
(single released October 2015)

I hope you enjoyed volume 2.
Stay tuned for more exciting
performances by up-and-coming
pop, pop-rap and pop-rock
female artists coming soon
in Part 3. See you then!

Have a Shady day!