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, June 29, 2016

While Shady Plays with His Belly Button ...They're Busy Conquering the World!

Welcome to Part 4 of my 12-part

tribute to the divas of modern pop,

pop-rock and and pop-rap!

The stars are coming out

to play so let's get

this function underway!


I once quipped to my good buddy Chris Martin,
that too much beauty and talent... is a very good
good thing indeed. Ariana Grande has been
dubbed the next Mariah Carey. Young and
beautiful, talent oozing from every pore,
Ariana is a worthy contender for the
title Queen of All Media.

Shady sings in the shower. Ariana, a four octave
soprano, sings in the whistle register (aka flute
register), the highest register of which the
human voice is capable. (Remember the
late, great Minnie Riperton?) Ariana's
2014 album My Everything debuted at
#1 on the Billboard 200 (not too shabby!).
It was her second consecutive #1 charting
U.S. album. With 4 hit singles released
from My Everything, Ariana spent 34
continuous weeks in the top 10 on the
Billboard Hot 100 and placed more
singles in the top 10 that year
than any other artist.

Ariana is also an actress with a string of credits
that includes a regular role on the Nick series
VICTORiOUS, the spinoff series Sam & Cat,
and appearances in the 2013 movie
Swindle and the Fox television
series Scream Queens.



In late August 2014, Ariana's fans, called Arianators,
were out in force to watch the gifted thrush perform 
live on Today as part of the NBC morning program's
Toyota Concert Series. Click at the 14:42 spot on
the following video and watch Ariana perform
 "Break Your Heart Right Back," a single from
My Everything, featuring Childish Gambino
(actor, comedian and rapper Donald Glover).
I get chills and fever when I hear the
familiar riff from the 1980 Diana Ross
hit "I'm Coming Out" sampled
throughout Ariana's song.
Just listen!

 "Break Your Heart Right Back" 
 Ariana Grande (ft. Childish Gambino) 
 Live on Today, Aug. 29, 2014) 




I'd love to go to Holland someday, wooden shoe?

Meet Dutch R&B singer, songwriter and dancer
Natalie La Rose. In 2008 Natalie came to
America and took up residence in L.A. to
further her career. In 2015 Natalie hit the
jackpot with her debut single, the top 10
charting "Somebody," featuring Chicago
Def Jam artist Jeremy Felton, stage name
Jeremih. Listen for the interpolation of
the Whitney Houston hit "I Wanna Dance
With Somebody" used throughout the song.

 "Somebody" - Natalie La Rose ft. Jeremih 
 (Feb./Mar. 2015, h.c.p. #10 Hot 100 
 #1 US Rhythmic/#1 UK R&B) 



Here's another hot number from Ariana Grande.
In the fall of 2014 Ariana and Canadian indie
R&B artist The Weeknd released the single
"Love Me Harder. " With velvety vocals by
both artists and a seductive dance rhythm,
"Love Me Harder" became Ariana's 4th top 10
hit from her album My Everything and the first
top 10 hit for Weeknd. "Harder" made it look
easy, topping the chart on radio stations with
the recently created Rhythmic Contemporary
format. This joint sizzles - fo shizzle!

 "Love Me Harder" 
 Ariana Grande & The Weeknd 
 (Nov. 2014, highest chart pos. #7 
 #1 on US Rhythmic chart, from the 
 Aug. 2014 album My Everything




That fall Ariana teamed up with two more
talented artists, English pop and R&B songbird
Jessie J and Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj,
on the single "Bang Bang." The song debuted
at #1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart
and became an international hit, peaking
at #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 in the UK
and three other countries. Watch as
the 'timidatin' trio seeks and destroys!

 "Bang Bang" 
 Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj 
 (Sept. 2014, highest chart pos. 
 #3 Hot 100/#1 UK) 



"Problem," a collaboration between Ariana Grande
and Australian rap star Iggy Azalea. was released
as the lead single from Ariana's megahit album
My Everything.  The single was a smash, #2 on
the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the UK, Canada
and four other countries. A dynamic duo if there
ever was one, Ari & Iggy kick butt all over town
and the retro 1960s inspired video is closing in
on a billion (with a "B") views on YouTube!

 "Problem" - Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea 
 (May/June 2014, highest chart pos. 
 #2 Hot 100/#1 US Mainstream Top 40 
 #1 US Rhythmic, from My Everything 


At Christmas 2015, Ariana Grande was back
on the charts and back on the tube with "Focus,"
a single from the Japanese edition of her third
studio album Dangerous Woman. More than
100 million viewers focused on this hot clip
in the first three weeks after its release!

 "Focus" - Ariana Grande 
 (Dec. 2015, highest chart pos. #7 Hot 100, 
 from May 2016 Japanese edition 
 of album Dangerous Woman

I hope you enjoyed my latest batch of
modern pop and dance club nuggets.
Stay tuned for more sensational sounds
from Generation Y and Z divas coming
your way soon in Part 5. See you then!

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

All About Me - ME! ME! ME! ME! ME!!!

I have decided to participate in

TMI: 26 Things About Me...

From A to Z...

a blog hop that I learned about through my dear
friend Debbie the Doglady at The Doglady's Den
and my good buddy Chris at Tilting At Windmills.
My version of the Q & A will be presented in a
style inspired by Dickie Goodman, king of
the "break-in" records, and by the
comedy team of Hudson & Landry.

Imagine if you will a reporter stopping
Mr. Shady Del Knight on the street and
bombarding him with personal questions.

REPORTER: Could I have your name?

SHADY: Well it's possible, but I doubt it. (BA-DUM-BUMP)

REPORTER: I mean MAY I have your name?

SHADY: Only if you promise to give it back! (BA-DUM-BUMP)


SHADY: Get your kicks on Route 66

REPORTER: What is your biggest fear?

SHADY: Losing my swim trunks in the ocean.
Everybody sing:

Now I'm afraid to come out of the water
And I wonder what I'm gonna do
Now I'm afraid to come out of the water
And my poor little thing's turning blue

REPORTER: Do you happen to have the current time?

SHADY: It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

REPORTER: What was the drink you last had?

SHADY: I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink.

I didn't know if it was day or night
I started kissin' everything in sight
But when I kissed a cop down on 34th & Vine
He broke my little bottle of Love Potion #9

REPORTER: What does every day start with?

SHADY: When it's early in the morning
Over by the window day is dawning

REPORTER: What is your favorite song?

SHADY: Gliddy glup gloopy Nibby nabby noopy
la la la lo lo Sabba sibby sabba Nooby abba nabba
le le lo lo Tooby ooby walla nooby abba nabba
Early morning singing song

REPORTER: Are ghosts real?

SHADY: From out of space there sat a man
On a hot stove was pots and pans
"Say, that's hot!" I began to shout
He drank the hot coffee right from the spout

He ate the raw meat right from my hand
Drank the hot grease from the fryin' pan
He said to me, "Now you better run,
And don't be here when the mornin' comes"

REPORTER: What is your hometown?

SHADY: York Peppermint Pattie
Get the sensation.

(Peppermint Pattie is a girl I used to date.)

REPORTER: Complete this sentence. I am in love with...

SHADY: I’m starting with the man in the mirror

REPORTER: Who are you jealous of?

SHADY: Jessie is a friend,
Yeah, I know he's been a good friend of mine
But lately something's changed
It ain't hard to define
Jessie's got himself a girl and I want to make her mine

REPORTER: Killed someone?

SHADY: The children asked him if to kill was not a sin
"Not when he looked so fierce," his mommy butted in
If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him

REPORTER: When was the last time you cried?

SHADY: You saw me crying in the chapel
The tears I shed were tears of joy

REPORTER: What is your middle name?

SHADY: Ba ba ba ba Barber Ann

REPORTER: How many siblings do you have?

SHADY: He ain't heavy, he's my brother. We are family.

REPORTER: If you could have one wish, what would it be?

SHADY: I wish I were a princess
So beautiful to see

(Hey, we rhymed!)

REPORTER: Who was the person you last called?

SHADY: Calling Dr. Love
I've got the cure you're thinkin' of

REPORTER: What is the question you are always asked?

SHADY: What is the price of happiness?
How can I find me love?
Where could I sell my heartaches?
And what do I pay for love?

REPORTER: What gives you reason to smile?

SHADY: That mule, old Rivers and me

(Don't ask...I'm trying to forget it ever happened.)

REPORTER: Are there any sounds that annoy you?

SHADY: Cause you light up my life
You give me hope to carry on
You light up my days
And fill my nights with song

"Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch...closer and closer..."

REPORTER: What time did you wake up?

SHADY: The clock downstairs was strikin' four
Couldn't get you off my mind
I heard the milkman at the door
'Cause I was tossin' and turnin' all night

REPORTER: What color are your underwear?

SHADY: Lavender blue, dilly-dilly
Lavender green

REPORTER: Where is your vacation destination?

SHADY: It might have been in County Down,
Or in New York, in gay Paree,
Or even London town

REPORTER: What is your worst habit?

SHADY: Whenever I detect
Members of the other sex
I play the game I do so well, oh

I'm a girl watcher
I'm a girl watcher
Watchin' girls go by
My, my, my

REPORTER: What X-Rays have you had?

SHADY: You don't look different,
But you have changed
I'm looking through you,
You're not the same!

REPORTER: What is your favorite food?

SHADY: Chocolate covered ants... candy coated bees

REPORTER: What is your Zodiac sign?

SHADY: Don Cornelius has the answer.


"(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" performed by King Cole Trio
"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" performed by Brian Hyland
"For What It's Worth" performed by Buffalo Springfield
"Love Potion No. 9" performed by The Clovers
"Early in the Morning" performed by Vanity Fare
"Good Morning Starshine" performed by Oliver
"Haunted House" - performed by Jumpin' Gene Simmons
York Peppermint Pattie ad jingle
"Man in the Mirror" performed by Michael Jackson
"Jessie's Girl" performed by Rick Springfield
"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" performed by The Beatles
"Crying in the Chapel" performed by Elvis Presley
"Barbara Ann" performed by The Beach Boys
"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" performed by The Hollies
"We Are Family" performed by Sister Sledge
"I Wish I Were a Princess" performed by Little Peggy March
"Calling Dr. Love" performed by Kiss
"Question" performed by Lloyd Price
"Old Rivers" performed by Walter Brennan
"You Light Up My Life" performed by Debby Boone
"Tossin' and Turnin'" performed by Bobby Lewis
"Lavender - Blue" performed by Sammy Turner
"Around the World" performed by Bing Crosby
"Girl Watcher" performed by The O'Kaysions
"I'm Looking Through You" performed by The Beatles
"Chocolate Covered Ants (Candy Coated Bees)" performed by Chuck Wood
"Scorpio" performed by Dennis Coffey And The Detroit Guitar Band

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

John Ettline: Every Dell Rat's Dad

It's Father's Day...

time to honor


"Every Dell Rat's Dad."

John never had children of his own
but, as every Dell rat knows, John
would have made a great father.

John was like a dad to us all.
Please watch the following
video as Dell rats everywhere
remember a great man and
father figure, John Ettline.



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Season 3 - Ep. 40: Sufferin' Suffrage... Beaver is Denied the Right To Vote!

I'm sorry, but I don't think it's a good idea, Beaver.

But dad, all the other kids are voting in Shady Del Knight's Version Sacrifice. Shady's the coolest guy on the internet!

Beaver, I said no. First of all... this is 1960. There's no such thing as the internet. Secondly,
I don't care what all of your friends are doing.
I supposed if they all jumped in the lake you'd do it, too.

Wul...sure. It's a whole lotta fun to go swimmin'.

That's not the point, Beaver. Voting is a big responsibility and you're too young and inexperienced to handle that much responsibility. I said no and that's my final answer. Now I'm finished discussing the matter.

Mmmm...Yes, sir.

I'm sorry you didn't get to vote in my VerSac, Beav. Someday, when you're old enough to exercise your right to vote, you can take it to the park and let it chase rabbits join the SDMM gang and voice your choice.


This week's VerSac featured three veteran R&B
artists - Jimmy Jones, Little Eva and LaVern Baker.
Jimmy and Eva teamed up in the studio to record
"Don't You Just Know It," a cover of the hit by
Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns. LaVern's
original recording of "Bumble Bee" was eclipsed
by the English Merseybeat band The Searchers.
I love LaVern Baker and collected her recorded
works. SDMM has a proud tradition of paying
tribute to black artists and their great, often
little known original recordings. However,
I gave my vote to the duo of Jimmy Jones
and Little Eva, best known for recording
as solo artists. The studio collaboration
of Jimmy and Eva on "Don't You Just
Know It," made possible by the F-G-G
production team, was inspired. I love
the driving beat which, I think you'll
agree, borrows heavily from the 1965
hit "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and
the Pharaohs. The beat also reminds me of
"Night Time," a single released a few months
earlier by F-G-G under the name The Strangeloves.
I appreciate the F-G-G production style and the fact
that they gave both of these R&B vets another shot
at success, even if it didn't work out that well.





Congratulations to Jimmy Jones & Little Eva,
winners of this weeks Version Sacrifice.
Thank you for voting!

Ward, don't you think you were
a little rough on the Beaver last night?


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sparring Partners: Float Like a Butterfly - Sting Like a Bee... an Evil Bumble Bee!

It has happened again!

Last summer, the night before I published a post
that featured Frank Gifford, the football great
turned sportscaster passed away.

This weekend, just before it was time to
for me to publish this post with a boxing
theme and using Muhammad Ali's famous
quote "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,"
the boxing legend died. I had this post and
the Frank Gifford post finished, saved and
scheduled to run on specific dates months
in advance. The timing of both deaths is
an uncanny coincidence. I submit this
post to you hoping that it will serve
the dual purpose of entertaining
you and paying tribute to
Muhammad Ali.

Welcome to

Sparring Partners!

It's the latest wrinkle in my series


Sparring Partners presents two pairs of recordings.
Each pair includes a well known hit along with a
"sparring partner," a less well known recording
of the song. Your mission, Jim...should you
decide to accept it... is to vote for the
"sparring partner" that you prefer.
(As always, should you or any of
 your I.M. Force be caught or killed,
the Secretary will disavow any
knowledge of your actions.)

The contestants are waiting
in the wings and ready to perform.
Let the Version Sacrifice commence!



If you ever came down with a bad case of the
Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,
you were no doubt listening to something by
Huey (Piano) Smith and his band the Clowns,
key figures of the New Orleans R&B scene
in the 50s. "Don't You Just Know It," Huey's
biggest hit and signature song, made the
top 10 on the pop chart and top 5
on the R&B survey.

 "Don't You Just Known It" 
 Huey (Piano) Smith and The Clowns 
 (April 1958, highest chart pos. #9 Pop/#4 R&B

Huey Smith is not in the contest.
Do not vote for him... or else!




From Huey "Piano" Smith we switch to
Jimmy "Handy Man" Jones and Little Eva
the "Loco-Motion" diva. Jones is the soulful
pop singer who achieved back-to-back
top 5 million sellers in 1960 with
"Handy Man" and "Good Timin',"
the latter reaching #1 on
the UK's R&B chart.

In the mid 60s, Jones was signed by FGG,
the writing and producing team of Feldman,
Goldstein and Gottehrer. FGG also grabbed
Little Eva whose career had unfortunately
stalled within a year of achieving fame
with her 1962 hit "The Loco-Motion."
Jimmy and Eva teamed up in the
studio to wax a nifty cover of
Piano Smith's boogie woogie
classic. It was released as
a single by Jimmy Jones
with Eva uncredited.

 "Don't You Just Know It" 
 Jimmy Jones and Little Eva 
 (June 1966, uncharted) 



Here's a reminder that British Invasion acts
routinely combed the catalogs of American
blues, soul and R&B artists and covered
their recordings, often with greater success.

One such case involves brash and sassy R&B thrush
LaVern Baker. The song "Bumble Bee" was written
by Baker along with Leroy Fullylove, waxed by
LaVern and released on her 1960 album Saved.

 "Bumble Bee" - Lavern Baker 
 (from 1960 album Saved


Five years later the Searchers, the popular
UK Merseybeat band that covered material
by American artists including the Drifters,
Jackie DeShannon, the Orlons and the
Clovers, scored a hit in the U.S. with a
reworking of LaVern's "Bumble Bee."

 "Bumble Bee" - The Searchers 
 (April 1965, highest chart pos. #21) 

The Searchers are not in the contest.
Do not vote for them... or else!

Alrighty then, you heard the two better known,
more successful records by Huey Piano Smith
and the Searchers. You also heard from their
less successful "sparring partners." Which
sparring partner or partners did you like
more? Your choices in the contest are:

 "Don't You Just Know It" 

 Jimmy Jones & Little Eva 


 "Bumble Bee" 

 LaVern Baker. 


Stay tuned for my follow-up post 7 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!