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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Counting Down the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell (#120 to #116)

 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:

Sorrow would be written
On my face
By the pen of loneliness
Time couldn`t erase

Tonight I'll sing my songs again
I'll play the game and pretend

Am I asking too much
for you to stick around

But I'm telling you, darling
I feel it in my heart,

got it in my soul

You were so real that
I could feel your eagerness


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

 120. "I'll Turn To Stone" 
 The Four Tops (June '67) 

 119. "Homeward Bound" 
 Simon & Garfunkel (February '66) 

 118. "Lightnin' Strikes" 
 Lou Christie (January '66) 

 117. "With This Ring" 
 The Platters (March '67) 

 116. "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" 
 The Electric Prunes (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!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Three's Company: Chrissy Moves Back In, Shares Post with Zara and Louisa!

Welcome to part 7 of my 12-part

tribute to female pop, pop rock

and pop rap artists of the 2010s.



Chrissy's back! You met Chrissy Costanza
and her band Against the Current in volume 2,
Float Upstream Against the Current.

In this video, Chrissy teams up with a pair of
accomplished young multi-instrumentalists -
cover singer/songwriter Alex Goot (right)
from Chrissy's hometown, Poughkeepsie,
and Philly area producer, director, singer,
songwriter and musician Kurt Schneider.
Listen as the trio covers "Counting Stars,"
a hit by the Colorado band OneRepublic.

 "Counting Stars" (OneRepublic cover) 
 Alex Goot, Kurt Schneider and 
 Chrissy Costanza (Jan. 2014) 


Swedish singer/songwriter Zara Larsson rose
to fame at age 10 when she was declared the
2008 season winner on Talang, the Swedish
version of Got Talent. Zara signed with a
label and in 2010 began releasing pop,
R&B and electronic dance records.

In the fall of 2014 Zara released her first
studio album, 1, and it shot to the top of
Sweden's album chart. One of the album
tracks, "Bad Boys," had already been in
play a full year as a single. "Bad Boys"
penetrated the Swedish top 30 and
was promoted by the following
video. When the drums start
pounding at the 44 second
mark, so do the hearts of
bad boys everywhere!

 "Bad Boys" - Zara Larsson 
 (October 2013, h.c.p. #27 Sweden 
 #33 Denmark, from Oct. 2014 album 1


Foxes is plural. Foxes is also one person
- Louisa Rose Allen - an English singer
and songwriter with singular talent.
In 2011 Louisa picked the stage name
Foxes and began singing in London clubs.
She landed a record deal and released
material in the indie pop and
electronic dance categories.



Foxes' work caught the attention of Grammy
winning Russian-German record producer
Zedd and her vocals were featured on
 the Zedd single "Clarity." Released
at the end of 2012, "Clarity" was an
international hit early the following
year, cracking the top 10 on the
Billboard Hot 100 and topping
the U.S. Dance Club chart.

 "Clarity" - Zedd ft. Foxes 
 (Dec. 2012-Jan. 2013, highest chart pos. 
 #8 Hot 100/#1 US Dance Club Songs 
  #1 Australia Heatseekers, from 
 Oct. 2012 album Clarity

In 2014 Foxes released her debut album
Glorious and it went top 5 on the UK
and Scottish album charts.

In 2015 Foxes released "Body Talk" as the
lead single from her 2016 second album
All I Need. "Body Talk" cracked the top 30
in the UK and the top 10 in Scotland.
Not to be confused with the hit by
glam metal band Kix, "Body Talk"
has a retro 80s sound I love,
reminiscent of Martha
and the Motels!

 "Body Talk" - Foxes 
 (July/Aug. 2015, h.c.p. #25 UK 
 #9 Scotland, from 2016 alb. All I Need


Now here's the biggie by Zara Larsson.
In the summer of 2015, "Lush Life" became
the Swedish singing sensation's second #1
charting single. "Lush Life" topped the
Swedish chart for 5 weeks and was
certified 4X platinum. Zara's sassy
vocals ride a pulsating calypso
rhythm, making "Lush Life" an
island-pop sizzler that's perfect
for a summer party play list!

 "Lush Life" - Zara Larsson 
 (June/July 2015, highest chart pos. 
 #1 Sweden/#1 Poland/#6 UK 
 #9 US Bubbling Under



Let's wrap things up with another nifty
number by Chrissy Costanza and her
multitalented cohorts Alex Goot and
Kurt Schneider. This time the terrific
trio performs a cool cover of the
Justin Bieber hit "Beauty and a Beat."

 "Beauty and a Beat" (Justin Beiber cover) 
 Alex Goot, Kurt Schneider & 
 Chrissy Costanza (Jan. 2013) 

I hope you enjoyed part 7. I'll introduce
more great Gen Y and Z songbirds in
part 8 coming your way soon!

Have a Shady day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Vol 12: Serving Cake and Sweet Sweet Music!

 Welcome to volume 12 of my 

 17-part series focusing on 

 Phil Spector's Wall of Sound

 records produced by Spector 

 along with great Spectorian 

 soundalikes made by others! 

My opening act is a twofer - two groups
for the price of one. This you gotta hear!



I tend to avoid YouTube remixes of oldies
but this one's beyond cool. In November 1963,
the Beach Boys recorded the Brian Wilson song
"I Do." It remained unreleased for many years.

Meanwhile, Wilson used the same backing track
to arrange and produce a Spector style recording
of "I Do" that was released as a single in 1964
by the Castells, a 4-man group from Santa Rosa,
California, led by Chuck Girard who also made
records with the surf rock group the Hondells.

Listen now to this otherworldly YouTube special -
the vocals of the Beach Boys and the Castells
joined together in marriage singing "I Do!"

 "I Do" - The Castells and the Beach Boys 
 (Castells single rel. Mar. 1964, uncharted) 


We heard from Brill Building singer/songwriter/producer
Ellie Greenwich earlier in this series. Ellie and husband
Jeff Barry wrote many songs for and with Phil Spector.
Some were turned into hits by Spector's girl groups.
Some were covered with greater success by other
artists.  "I Can Hear Music" is one of those songs.
The best known version is the top 30 hit by the
Beach Boys in the spring of 1969.

Fewer people know that the original version was
recorded in 1966 by the Ronettes. Released at
Halloween, the Ronettes single lasted only one
week on the lowest rung of the Billboard ladder,
#100, an outcome that surely scared Spector!

 "I Can Hear Music" - The Ronettes 
 (Oct. 1966, highest chart pos. #100) 


The Ronettes enjoyed much greater success in
1964 when they made a run at the top 20 with
"Walking in the Rain," penned by Spector
along with another great pair of
song scribes, Barry Mann and
his wife Cynthia Weil.

In 1967, "Walking in the Rain" was covered
by the Walker Brothers on their album Images
and reached the top 30 as a single in the UK.

 "Walking In The Rain" - The Walker Brother 
 (from March 1967 album Images, 
 UK single reached #26) 


If I knew the Walkers were coming
I'd have baked a Cake!  The Cake
was an East Coast girl trio that
released records on Decca.

Based in New York, the Cake was a soulful,
psychedelic girl pop act that sounded a lot
like the Shangri-Las and Spector's Ronettes.
Cake's first single was the Wall of Sounder
"Baby That's Me." The fact that the song
was written by two of the all time greats,
Jack Nitzsche and Jackie DeShannon,
is icing on the cake!

 "Baby That's Me" - The Cake 
 (August 1967, uncharted) 


R&B vocalist Bobby Sheen took the name
Bob B. Soxx as lead singer of Bob B. Soxx &
the Blue Jeans, an early 60s Spector group that
included Blossoms Darlene Love and Fanita James.

Bobby also released records as a solo artist.
Many call my featured single Bobby's best.
Featuring glorious Spectorian production
and backing by the Blossoms, here's
Bobby with "Sweet Sweet Love."

 "Sweet Sweet Love" - Bobby Sheen 
 (June 1966, uncharted) 

 Thanks for being here for 

 the 12th edition of Echoes. 

 More Spectorian Splendor 

 is coming soon in Vol. 13! 

Have a Shady day!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Flashback Friday: 50 Years Ago Today... Shady Del Flipped Over the Shady Dell!

What can I tell you that you

don't already know about

AUGUST 12, 1966?

Here are a few things

I know for sure

about that date:

* Englishman Peter Noone and his band
Herman's Hermits broke into the
Cash Box top 10 with
their latest single.

 "This Door Swings Both Ways" 
 Herman's Hermits (August 1966,  
 highest chart pos. #12 Hot 100 
 #10 Cash Box

* I also know for a fact that

Shady Del Knight was

not at the Shady Dell

that Shady Dell night.

* Napoleon XIV was still driving millions
of people batty with his mind numbing
novelty number - #1 on Cash Box!

 "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" 
 Napoleon XIV (Aug. 1966, highest chart pos. 
 #3 Hot 100/#1 Cash Box

* I also remember that it

rained that day in York, PA.

(No, I am not Rain Man!)

* The latest single by the Yardbirds was
nearing its peak on the chart as the
band's 5th hit in the U.S.

 "Over Under Sideways Down" - The Yardbirds 
 (August 1966, highest chart pos. 
 #13 Hot 100, #12 Cash Box

Whilst the Yardbirds were singing
"Over Under Sideways Down"...

* Shady Del Knight was

going shady side up

in his dad's VW Beetle!

 Figure 1 (above): Dad's "bug" in happier times. 

Here's how it happened. August 12, 1966, was
also a Friday. I ate dinner, left the house, drove to
Dallastown and picked up my best friend Dale Gill.
"Gilly" and I were headed through Leader Heights,
a suburban area south of York. We were talking
and I didn't notice that the road was glistening
from late afternoon showers. As usual my
mind was elsewhere. I was in a hurry to
get where we were going and begin
another fun filled evening.

Our destination?

Choose from the answers below.
You get three guesses and
the first two don't count.

 A. choir practice 

 B. bible school 

 C. the Shady Dell!!! 

I proceeded along Leader Heights Road until
I reached Joppa Road. I turned right on Joppa
because I knew from experience that it was a
nifty shortcut to South George Street and the
Old Baltimore Pike which led across the hill
to the Shady Dell. Yessir, I could shave 4.3
seconds off my elapsed travel time if I used
Joppa Road to get to the Magic Kingdom.

As I approached the final dogleg curve on Joppa, I got a brilliant idea. I decided that it would be jolly good
fun to demonstrate my driving skill for Gilly by executing a four wheel drift, a technique used by race car drivers to negotiate curves.

I wasn’t sure exactly how it worked but,
as far as I knew, you were supposed to
downshift and floor it at the same time.
In theory that causes the vehicle to "drift"
into and through the curve and you wind up
with the nose of your car pointing down the
straightaway. What could be simpler than that?

* So what if I was driving too fast
   for conditions on a rain slick road?

* So what if I was an inexperienced
   driver who had not yet mastered
   the art of waving "bye bye"?

* Obviously this was the perfect time to
   attempt an advanced racing maneuver!

A guy’s gotta know how to do these things, right? Skills like this one will come in handy if I ever need to elude a car filled with enemy spies.

I went for it. I downshifted, popped the clutch,
steered into the turn, pedal to the metal,
everything's going great and.....  


I skidded off the road, ran up an
embankment and flipped my dad's V-Dub.
(I think I forgot to factor in wind shear.)

 Figure 2: Shady and the bug got the black flag! 

Fortunately, my buddy Dale's
injuries were only minor.

 50 years ago today! 

As it happened, Dale had his arm hanging out
the window when the car overturned, but we
rolled up a rain soaked, earthen embankment.
As a result, he sustained only a few bruises.
On a more somber note, battery acid leaked
all over my brand new safari jacket that I
had planned to show off at the Dell that
night, and burned a dozen holes it in.

So Gilly and I never made it

to the Dell that evening.

Did we miss anything?

Jerre?..... Ron?

And if you’re
wondering what
condition my
condition was in
after the crash...

I was shaken...
not stirred.

Have a Shady day!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Meet the Modern Material Girls!

Welcome to part 6 of my 12-part series

profiling the post-millennials at the

forefront of today's pop music scene

and the rising stars of tomorrow.


You met brash and sassy English singer
Jessie J earlier this summer in my post
 ...They're Busy Conquering the World.

In 2011, Jessie's up tempo stormer "Domino"
was released as the 5th single from her debut
studio album, Who You Are, becoming her
second #1 UK single. "Domino" was a
dance club hit in the U.S., cracking
the top 10 on that specialty chart.

"Domino" - Jessie J
(Jan. 2012, highest chart pos. #1 UK
#6 Hot 100/#1 US Dance Club Songs
from Feb. 2011 album Who You Are)


My 5 year old granddaughter loved her
as Angela on the children's television
series Barney & Friends.

Now all grown up, Demo Lovato is one of
the most recognized names in music today
and winner of numerous awards. In 2015
Demi released "Cool for the Summer,"
lead single from her album Confident.

Confident reached #2 on the Billboard 200 and
"Cool for the Summer," a pop rock song with
sexually suggestive lyrics and bi-curious
implications, was an international hit,
certified platinum in the U.S. "Cool"
brushed the top 10 on the Hot 100
and hit #1 on the U.S. Dance
Club chart. This track cooks!

"Cool For the Summer" - Demi Lovato
(July/Aug. 2015, h.c.p. #11 Hot 100
#1 US Dance Club Songs/#1 Greece,
from Oct. 2015 album Confident)


Demi Lovato (below left) was Angela
on seasons 7 and 8 of Barney & Friends.

Selena Gomez (above right) had the role
of Gianna during that same time period.

Like Demi, Selena went on to become one
of the biggest names in show business.

Earlier this year, "Hands To Myself,"
the third single from Selena's hit
2015 album Revival, peaked at #1
on the U.S. Mainstream Top 40 chart.
Like many of today's pop recordings,
"Hands To Myself" simmers for a while,
percolates, then erupts into an up tempo
dance beat. The arrangement reminds
me of the Prince single "Kiss" and the
video, showing Selena in handcuffs
and clad in lingerie, is the idol's
sexiest performance to date.

"Hands To Myself" - Selena Gomez
(Mar. 2016, highest chart pos.
#1 U.S. Mainstream Top 40,
 #4 Canada, #5 New Zealand,
from Oct. 2015 album Revival)


Fifth Harmony is a Miami based pop/R&B
girl group formed in 2012 from five soloists
who competed on The X Factor USA. In the
fall of 2013, Fifth Harmony released their
debut EP Better Together followed by the
full length album Reflection in early 2015.

Better Together peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200
and Reflection made the top 5. "BO$$," the lead
single from Reflection, is a song about female
empowerment. The style of the recording and
video reflected the more mature image that
Fifth Harmony intended to present.

"BO$$ (BOSS) - Fifth Harmony
(July/Aug. 2014, highest chart pos.
#43 Hot 100/#12 Scotland, from
Jan. 2015 album Reflection)


Now meet British singer, songwriter,
rapper and model Cher Lloyd.

"With Ur Love" is a song from Cher's
2011 debut studio album Sticks + Stones.
Featuring guest vocals by Detroit singer
Mike Posner, "With Ur Love" penetrated
the top 30 on the US Mainstream Top 40
and went top 5 in the UK, Ireland and
Scotland.  Cher recorded a solo version
of the song and made separate videos,
one for release in the UK and this
one released in the U.S.

"With UR love" - Cher Lloyd
(Oct. 2011/solo ver. Aug. 2012,
highest chart pos. #1 Ukraine,
#3 Scotland/#4 UK/#5 Ireland,
#27 U.S. Mainstream Top 40from
Nov. 2011 album Sticks + Stones)



It's time once again to take the Fifth
as we bring today's show to a close.

"Worth It," the third single from the
Fifth Harmony album Reflection, features
a rap performance by L.A. R&B/hip hop
artist Kid Ink and is flavored with South-
astern European Balkan beats. "Worth It"
was an international hit, brushing the
top 10 on the Hot 100, cracking the
top 5 in the UK and hitting #1 in
Israel, Lebanon and Mexico.

"Worth It" - Fifth Harmony ft. Kid Ink
(Mar./Apr. 2015, h.c.p. #12 Hot 100,
#4 US Mainstream Top 40,
#1 Israel, Lebanon & Mexico,
from Jan. 2015 album Reflection)

I hope you enjoyed meeting these modern
material girls. Stay tuned for more post-
millennial music, madness and mayhem
coming your way soon in part 7!

Have a Shady day!