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, September 28, 2016

Shady, The Boy Who Cried Wolfman!


Oh baby baby baby..... goodness gracious, this
here's the Wolfman. I'm back and that's a natural fact, Jack!  I'm subbing at the microphone for my good friend Shady Del Knight and I'm here to play stax o' wax at the greatest little station in the nation, SDMM!

Night time's the right time for a game of give n' take
Ask your pretty car hop "Do fries go with that shake?"

So grab your sweetie and tune me in
Wolfman Jack's about to begin.

Now, you pay close
attention to these songs,
baby, or the Wolfman's
gonna GETCHA!

You know that the Wolfman is your doctor of love. Lo and behold, here's a young lady who writes her own prescriptions. It's Natalie Assenti aka Debbie Dovale, a 13 year old singer from the Pittsburgh area, performing the killer B side of her 1964 Roulette single "Come Home." Physician, heal thyself! Debbie Dovale sings "I'm My Own Doctor."

 "I'm My Own Doctor" - Debbie Dovale 
 (February 1964, uncharted) 

Now listen here, the Wolfman's got the hottest wax in the whole wide world! Up next, a Bronx girl group called the Chiffons. These ladies are best known for their hits "He's So Fine," "One Fine Day" and "Sweet Talkin' Guy." This one is a rare album track that knocks me out, a catchy keeper called "Every Boy and Every Girl."

 "Every Boy and Every Girl" - The Chiffons 
 (from 1970 album My Secret Love

You're diggin' the cat on the radio, Wolfman Jack, and I got a treat for you, a terrific girl group from Nashville,
a trio called the Avons. Singing a song written by Ronnie Wilkins of Ronny & the Daytonas, these ladies laid down a sizzling slab of Northern Soul
on the Groove label - "Push a Little Harder," baby! AHHHOOOOOH!!!

 "Push a Little Harder" - The Avons 
 (October 1963, uncharted) 

Awwww, if you got the curves, baby, I got the angles! This here's the Wolfman and I've got another treat that's hard to beat. It's sweet little Maureen Gray, the Philly filly who started making records at age 12 and went on to sing with Eric Clapton, David Bowie, George Harrison, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Although it's autumn, Maureen reminds us that life's a beach and "Summertime Is Near!"

 "Summertime Is Near" - Maureen Gray 
(Aug. 1963, B side of "The Story of My Love") 

She's back! Donna Reed's daughter Mary Stone aka Shelley Fabares returns to SDMM with a killer cover of Neil Sedaka's big hit "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." Take it away, Miss Fabares!

 "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" - Shelley Fabares  
 (from the September 1962 album 
 The Things We Did Last Summer

Awww Mary Mary... where you goin' to?
That was Shelly Fabares taking us to Shangri-la
with her interpretation of a Neil Sedaka favorite.

Now hear this. It's blue-eyed soul songstress Babs Tino performing a song penned and produced by Burt Bacharach who worked with Babs on several of her recordings. The old Wolfman says
this pleasing platter is Babs' best - "Forgive Me!"

 "Forgive Me (For Giving You Such a Bad Time)" 
 Babs Tino (Aug. 1962, highest chart pos. #117) 

Oh my my, forgive me for running out of time
but I just did, baby! That wraps up this
edition of Clap For The Wolfman.

If you've been listening in your car...
thanks for the ride, baby!

Now you listen to the Wolfman. I wanna see your face back here in the Shady place for my next show! Until then, this is your old friend Wolfman Jack signing off from the greatest little station in the nation... SDMM.



  1. Hi Shady!

    Love this entry because it reminds me that we are nearing Halloween! The library now has the Halloween CDS out.

    "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" has always been a favorite of mine. :) I wasn't too familiar with the other songs, but I enjoyed listening.

    Have a great Wednesday, dear friend.

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thank you for being the early bird again this week, dear friend!

      Yessum, this post hosted by Wolfman Jack kicks-off my annual series of Halloween posts. I know you like rap, hip hop and heavy metal. If you also like H-ween, stay tuned in the weeks to come and fasten your seat belt. :)

      Released in the summer of 1962, Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" is one of the best known hits of the decade. Exactly 10 years later it was covered by The Partridge Family. Over the years the song has been covered by a couple dozen artists including "Mary Stone" (Shelley Fabares) as an album track.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend JM!

    2. Can't wait to see what you have in store for this upcoming week!

    3. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Golly, I haven't seen you since last month! :)

      This week's post (on Tuesday) brings us back to the present. It's another installment of my year long series on pop, pop rock and pop rap of the 2000s and 2010s. I hope you enjoy it.

      Thanks for coming back for a visit, dear friend JM. Have a happy Sunday and a super week!

  2. Hooray— I’m happy to see the return of Wolfman Jack! lol I remember those Chiffons hits and Shelley Fabares from Donna Reed— but all the other artists are new to me. I’m My Own Doctor is a clever song and I liked it. The tune sounds familiar— but I can’t place it. The Chiffon’s song— Every Boy and Every Girl— sounds a lot older to me than 1970. I love the group harmony sound and the percussion on the Avons song. Maureen Gray has a church choir voice. She sounds familiar— did you have her in another post? Shelley Fabares did an okay job on Breaking Up Is Hard To Do— but I still prefer the Neil Sedaka version. My favorite is the one by Babs Tino— it’s a great song and it sounds like something Burt Bacharach worked on. Great post to usher in the Halloween season!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for reporting in!

      Yessum, Wolfman Jack was one of my favorite personalities. I miss him and enjoy keeping his memory alive via Halloween posts like this one.

      My ears say that Debbie Dovale’s “I’m My Own Doctor” loosely follows the melody of Jessie Hill’s “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” and bears similarities to Wilbert Harrison’s “Kansas City.” If you listen carefully, you can also hear a little of “The Name Game” by Shirley Ellis.

      Re: The Chiffons, you have a good ear. I remember reading that "Every Boy and Every Girl," a track on their 1970 album, was an unreleased recording from years earlier. I'm pretty sure it was made in 1963. My Picks to Click for this post are the two girl group sounds, The Chiffons and The Avons.

      You have a good memory, Kathryn. Maureen Gray appeared in vol. 2 of my Echoes series. The little girl had powerful pipes and a churchy, gospel style and waxed some Philly soul gems at the age of 12 and 13. Sadly, Maureen passed away in 2014.

      When I first heard this Shelly Fabares cover, I didn't particularly like it. After a while it grew on me. Some of Shelley's earliest recordings were bland, sugar sweet teen pop. As time went on she matured and recorded some great sides. Unfortunately her later (and better) records sold poorly! I agree with you on the Babs Tino recording that benefited from an assist by Burt Bacharach. It's a winner!

      Thank you again for your comment, Kathryn, and enjoy your Wednesday!

  3. HI Shady! It's so great to see Wolfman Jack again, after such a long time! What a fun personality, he had everyone loving him!

    The Chiffons were one of my favorite groups. But, "Every Boy and Every Girl" did sound a bit too much like "He's So Fine" (which was quite a favorite of mine)! And, I think there was so much competition in 1970 with Beatles, and other groups, and not much room left for girl groups. We had Cher and Tina Turner, but, even the Supremes were fading out during that time. Still love them all, though!

    And, wow! You find Debbie Dovale at 13 yrs old-"I'm My Own Doctor is good, but takes me back to the late 50's. Maureen Gray at 12 years old-looks like she had a pretty well rounded career working with other top artists. Her voice sounded a bit older than 12 though. There were so many younger girls with the most mature, and great voices! It's a shame we had to miss out on some of them, for lack of exposure!

    I always adored Shelley Fabares and her soft voice. But, I have to side with Kathryn on 'Breaking up is Hard To Do". Her voice just didn't give it the pop and emotion that we get from Neil.

    I guess that brings me to "Avons", "Push a Little Harder". This song was my favorite, and, I believe with a bit more pop and drama, it could have been a hit!

    I just don't know where you dig these songs and singers up from wonder you need help from the likes of "Wolfman Jack"! He's such a great host, and, like you, he knows how to keep his audience alert and coming back for more!

    It's so good to see you here today, Shady! This was another novel post, with some names that most of us don't know. Thank you for your hard work and research.
    It has cooled down some in Fort Worth-YAY! Hope the rest of your week is cool and enjoyable. See you soon! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thank you so much for dropping by, dear friend!

      Yessum, I assumed that you would remember Wolfman Jack from a few years ago when he was first featured on SDMM. I hope you were able to hear (in your mind's ear) his distinctive voice as he tossed to these oldies.

      On the Chiffons song, I tend to agree. Some of their recordings are derivative of their hits. Many of their songs were recorded around the same time and in the same studio and therefore share a similar sound. By 1970 an oldies revival was cranking up in this country and that might explain why the decision makers released a throwback album by the group that year. As you might recall me telling you years ago, I had the chance to meet and work with the Chiffons in 1984 when I was stage manager of a rock 'n' roll revival show. One of the girls had a broken leg at the time and needed to perform on crutches.

      Maureen Gray had a powerful gospel tinged voice and sounded much older than she was. It made me sad when she died a couple of years ago.

      Shelly Fabares, on the other hand, had a much weaker voice, and you can hear the flaws in some of her early recordings. She did however give us some sensational slabs later on in her singing career, and I will continue to share them with you.

      The Avons were terrific, weren't they? I'm so glad you liked them. The tiny Groove Record label wasn't exactly RCA and that helps explain why "Push" came and went w/o charting. (Note how many records in this series were uncharted A sides or fab flips aka killer bees - B sides that were better than the A sides and went to waste because the A sides sold poorly.)

      I actually have all of these recordings in my CD collection. They showed up on various artists girl group and girl pop compilations that I bought in recent years.

      I'm happy to know you are experiencing a cool down in Texas. As I have urged you in years past, please send a front over my way! :) Thank you again for your visit and marvelous comment, dear friend Suzanne. Enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. Yes, you can't miss Wolfman's voice, once you've heard it. I did forget to mention how much I enjoy seeing his pictures, and, also Richard Dreyfus! Thanks again, Shady!

    3. Hi again Suzy-Q!

      I loved Richard Dreyfus in American Graffiti and several of his other pictures. Wolfman Jack was terrific in it. It's been a while since I watched Graffiti and this post makes me want to see it again. :)

      Thanks again for dropping in, dear friend!

    4. Didn't Maureen Grey also do one of my favorites called "Dancing the Strand"?
      PS: Really like this post and I also enjoyed American Graffiti many times over.

    5. Hi, Jerre!

      Welcome back, good buddy! I hope you are enjoying my first oldies post in five years. :)

      Maureen Gray was in Echoes #2 singing "Good-bye Baby." To answer your question, yes, she recorded the Philly phanatic phavorite "Dancin' the Strand":

      We are both being spoilers here because I already have Maureen's "Dancin' the Strand" embedded in the draft of a future post.

      I wonder if they will ever do another American Graffiti movie. If they'd let me direct it I'd pick a cast of unknowns and use much more obscure (but cool) oldies this time around. The only problem I had with American Graffiti was the use of common as dirt million sellers in the soundtrack. John Waters' Hairspray, on the other hand, got it right, using less common regional recordings in the playlist of its Baltimore based TV dance program.

      Thanks again for stopping in, good buddy Jerre. Take care and I hope to see you again soon!

      Go State Penn! :)

  4. Hi Shady,
    Another blast from the past.
    I use to love Wolfman Jack on the Midnight Special. He had such a unique voice! You really captured him (what he would say) in today' post!
    My favorite song is , "Push a little harder"! I really did enjoy Shelly Fabares, "Breaking up is hard to do", too, even better than Neil's!!!
    Another fun/clever post! Have a great week!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni!

      How are you, dear friend? Thank you very much for swinging by!

      Yessum, I loved and still miss Wolfman Jack. Back in the day I worked at an NBC television station and it carried the Midnight Special every Friday night. I always watched the program with the director and sound man in the control room. It means a lot to me that the script I wrote, the Wolfman's radio show patter, "sounded" authentic to you as you "listened" to it in your mind.

      I'm delighted to know your ears match mine on The Avons "Push." I'm not sure, but I believe the lyrics of the song are on the 'dirty" side. :) I am also pleased to know that you like the Shelley F. cover of "Breaking Up" even more than the Sedaka original. As I told someone else, Shelley's version has grown on me with repeat listens.

      Thanks a bunch for making time for a visit and for this wonderful comment, dear friend Toni. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. Is that one photo recent? So odd to see him without his lion's mane. Does he still DJ?

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for popping in, good buddy!

      No, those pics of The Wolfman are not recent. They are screen shots from the 1973 movie American Graffiti. Wolfie got a haircut and slicked it back for his role as an early 60s DJ in the film. Sadly, Wolfman Jack passed away in 1995. He was only 57!

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, Alex!

  6. Oh, I remember the Wolfman!!! Oh my gosh, he was so crazy and we all thought he was sort of hot, too. I'm glad you included the Shelly Fabares song. It always reminds me of a couple of my older girl cousins who were teens when I was just a kid. They had those big, bouffant hairdos. Wasn't Shelly Fabares in a TV show? I vaguely remember that.

    1. Hi, Kathleen!

      Welcome back and thank you very much for coming, dear friend!

      Yessum, Wolfman Jack is a shared memory for those of us in the boomer generation. I admired the Wolfman because he was fun loving and mischievous but he knew the limits of what was decent and acceptable and rarely if ever crossed the line. Wolfman Jack respected his teenage audience and the artists and music he introduced. He was an all around great guy, as far as I'm concerned, and I wish he could be here today to serve as a role model for young people.

      Yessum, Shelley Fabares played the role of Mary Stone, the daughter/sister on the popular and family-friendly sitcom The Donna Reed Show. Remember?

      Thank you again for coming over, dear friend Kathleen, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  7. Y'know, I've thought about doing a Wolfie pastiche, but I doubt I could pull it off. Damn fine job!

    These were very great tunage that I can honestly say there wasn't a lot of distance between for me. I will say, if I were a teen back in the day, Shelly Faberes coulda got me to do about anything, a voice like that! Doesn't keep me from doing a catastrophic word change to Johnny Angel every once in a while, but I figure it's just the less polite way of saying what she was getting at...

    Prolly my most likely to replay was the Chiffons. But I wouldn't have turned off any of them! Nice finds. And aren't you glad I made it the same month this post?

    1. Hi, Chris!

      Thanks for hustling over same day, good buddy! I appreciate it!

      I also appreciate the fact that YOU appreciate this batch of songs. I never know for sure what's gonna ring your bell. (Oops... poor choice of words. :)

      Yessum, Shelly Fabares was quite a fetching lass back then. Every guy wanted to date her - every girl wanted to BE her. I hope you will stick around because I will be presenting more great songs performed by TV's Mary Stone in the future.

      I could listen to the Chiffons all day long. Check out my anecdote about them in my reply to Suzanne above. Imagine meeting and working with those legendary ladies along with Freddy Cannon, the Coasters, the Earls, the Flamingos, and Tokens, Jewel Akens and Jay and the Americans! I'm still on a high from those close encounters!

      "I'm not worthy!"

      Thanks again for making time to swing by right after work, good buddy Chris. Have a great evening and enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. Love the Wolfman ! arooooooooooooooo ! So Scotty sounding. I know a few of the singers here but not Debbie or Babs.
    The Wolfman Jack is great for Halloween !

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi, Gayle! Hi thehamish!

      Thanks for dropping in, my dear friends!

      Yessum, this is the official kick-off of my series of posts for the Halloween season. I'm so glad you remember and liked Wolfman Jack, one of the iconic and most recognizable personalities of the 20th century.

      Debbie D, Maureen Gray, the Avons and Babs Tino were all new to me when I discovered them a few years ago in various artists girl group and girl pop CD compilations I purchased. I hope you found a tune or two in this bunch that you liked.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Gayle, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  9. Hello my friend,
    Somehow anything involving the Wolfman spells fun! Terrific tune line-up. Never heard of Babs, but I really liked the song - lyrics too ;-) I always enjoyed the Chiffons, you don't hear harmonizing like that much anymore.
    This was a nice respite after a day of pesky litigations - glad I came back to see what you were up to before I turn out the lights. Thanks, dear Shady!

    1. Hi, dear Diedre!

      Thank you very much for making time for a visit, my wonderful friend!

      I'm delighted to know you remember and liked Wolfman Jack, a man who was an inspiration to me and is a popular guest DJ here on station SDMM.

      How about Burt Bacharach writing and producing that single by blue-eyed soul songstress Babs Tino? I can hear his magic touches on it. Even so, the record merely Bubbled Under for one week before vanishing! Burt collaborated with Babs on other recordings as well and none of them made the chart, not even the B.U. basement.

      I'm pleased to learn that you also enjoyed the Chiffons, one of the great girl groups of the 60s and a far cry from the risque female acts of the new millennium which include the Pussycat Dolls. :)

      Pesky litigations? That doesn't sound pleasant. I hope you are getting everything resolved. Once again I greatly appreciate your visit and comment, dear friend Diedre, and I hope the rest of your week goes well. See you soon!

  10. I was excited to see your title expecting at first to see a post about Larry Talbot, the horror movie Wolf Man. When I was a kid I loved the Lon Chaney, Jr. characterization of the furry monster.

    But Wolfman Jack makes more sense. You really captured his patter well. I never listened to him on the radio to my recollection but I sure enjoyed The Midnight Special TV show. So many great acts introduced by the Wolfman of music fame.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright." - The Wolf Man (1941)

      Hi, Lee!

      Thank you for coming, good buddy, and thanks for reminding younger readers about Lon Chaney, Jr., one of my favorite horror movie actors and the son of another great actor of the silent film era.

      I'm glad you appreciated my representation of Wolfman Jack and his distinctive style of radio patter. I never actually heard him on the radio either, but loved his performance in Graffiti and his stint as host of The Midnight Special.

      Thanks again for dropping by, good buddy Lee. I'll be over to check out your BOTB tomorrow morning.

      Have a great weekend!

  11. Hey Shady! Happy Saturday.
    I loved Wolfman Jack on the Midnight Special! His voice is so unique and he had a contagious personality.

    I enjoyed Shelley Fabares version of Breaking Up is Hard to Do but I much prefer Neil Sedaka's version. It was nice to hear the song again!

    I love the Chiffons and was intrigued by that rare track you posted here. Good find!

    The others I was unfamiliar with but enjoyed hearing.

    Very fun Wolfman post. I had forgotten about him!

    Have a great weekend! XOXO

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thank you very much for popping over on a Saturday, dear friend! I hope all is well in your household.

      Yessum, Wolfman Jack had a contagious personality, a twinkle in his eye and boyish mischievous in mind. I looked forward to tuning in every Friday night and watching him introduce the hottest recording artists on The Midnight Special. The Wolfman died more than 20 years ago and I intend to do my part to make sure he is never forgotten.

      I'm glad you enjoyed that obscure recording by the Chiffons, which was probably a demo track laid down circa 1963 and released for the first time on that 1970 album.

      I hope you are enjoying your weekend, dear friend Michele. Thanks again for keeping your dial set to station SDMM!

  12. I'm late to this again sweet Shady so forgive me. I wanted to listen to each and give my sad little opinion. I can't believe Debbie was only 13 because she has killer pipes. The Chiffons are great for those 1960's as well as The Avons and little Maureen who had quite the career. Love Shelly Fabares who has a long acting career also. I love her rendition of this song. Babs sounds almost naughty and has something a little different that I like. As for the Wolfman.....he was so big in the day and now that I see his picture here, I went "EGAD" cos he looked like one of my old boyfriends from a few years ago. I have fond memories of my alcoholic boy toy.....I am being naughty:)

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thank you very much for coming down and making my day with your True Confessions! :)

      One of your old boyfriends looked like Wolfman Jack? Are you sure it wasn't him? :)

      You are a great friend for giving every song an honest listen and I appreciate the time it took for you to do so. I agree that Babs Tino has a mature, sophisticated vocal style that makes her seem older than the other girls. Can you hear the Bacharach-David touches on her recording? Of course, Maureen Gray and Debbie Dovale were only 13 when they recorded their gems and they too sounded older than that.

      I am so pleased to see you, dear friend BB. Thanks again for dropping in and enjoy the week ahead!

  13. What better icon from the past to kick off spooky month, than Wolfman Jack. Wish we had some of his special talent on the radio these days. Thanks for a Fabres song that was one of my favorites!

    1. Hi, Cheryl/Lee!

      How are you this weekend, dear friend? I'm happy to see you!

      Seems everyone who has commented has fond memories of Wolfman Jack. Jack was a 60s icon, a man of good cheer who espoused peace and love. I agree that his positive influence is sorely missed today and that's why I intend to keep his memory alive.

      I'm glad you remember Shelley Fabares and enjoyed her version of the big Neil Sedaka hit.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, Lee, and have a great week!

  14. I thought it's gonna be a story of your childhood mischief. :P

    Thanks for sharing, friend.

    1. Hi, Lux!

      Thank you for dropping in, my friend around the world!

      Good one! No, the post is not about my childhood mischief. It's a tribute to a mischievous DJ by the name of Wolfman Jack. He was loved by millions and gone too soon, passed away while only in his mid 50s. Check out his role in the popular film American Graffiti.

      Thanks again, Luxie, and have a great week!

  15. Guess who's back? Okay, I may have already said so.
    Great post today. Wolfman Jacks was so cool wasn't he? My dad introduced him to me, he would play cassettes he had of recorded shows featuring Wolfman Jack. I also loved him in American Graffiti. The music selections today were spot on. I've only heard of one of them before, but the 'Push a Little Harder' ditto I could have sworn was sung by Salt 'n' Peppa. ;) LOL
    Looking forward to the next instalment.

    1. Hi, Jeffrey!

      How are you today, good buddy? Welcome back to your home away from home, SDMM!

      I'm thrilled to know you remember and liked The Wolfman, a sly dog of a DJ who became popular many moons ago. I miss him.

      You are correct, sir. "Push a Little Harder" by the Avons is not to be confused with "Push It' by Salt-N-Pepa or with "Push Push in the Bush" by Musique. :)

      Thanks again for checking in, good buddy Jeffrey. A new post hits tomorrow and I hope you can swing by. Take good care of yourself and have a great week!

  16. "he's so fine" - yep, the wolfman was THE DJ! the glory days of radio it was!

    1. Hi, anne marie!

      Thanks for dropping in for a heaping helping of girl pop and girl group harmony with your host, the one and only Wolfman Jack. Thank you also for the link to one of my favorites, a record that I rushed out and bought the first time I heard it on the radio, "Clap For the Wolfman." I'm sure you noticed that I used some of the song's lyrics in Wolfman's patter.

      Thanks again for coming by to reminisce, dear friend anne marie, and enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. oh yeah, I recognized the wolfman's lines from the song. he MADE "american graffiti" feel like the days gone by.

    3. :) You are a great friend, anne marie in philly! :)

  17. AWW Wolfman jack!! I remember watching him on the Midnight Special. He was so iconic and his voice. So cool to do a tribute to him on this post. Definitely a cool guy!

    1. Hi, again, dearie!

      I'm so surprised that you delved this far back into my archives. How sweet you are!

      I'm glad you enjoyed Wolfman Jack's "guest post." :) He was great as host of The Midnight Special and in his role in American Graffiti.

      Thanks again for being such a great friend, Holli. I hope to see you again soon!


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