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, January 1, 2017

2017 - Year of the Dell Rat












An incredible event took place recently
here at SDMM headquarters. 'Twas the day
before Christmas. I was seated at my desk
playing Angry Birds hard at work when
the door to my office flew open.

In marched an army of U.S. Postal carriers,
each with a large bag across his shoulder.

The parade of postmen went on and on.
They just kept coming. I lost count at 39!

One by one the workers opened their gunny
sacks and dumped the contents on my desk.

By the time the postal pachyderms left there was
a mountain before me - a ton of cards and letters
from my mama Shady fans all over the world -
all of them curious to know what lies ahead
on Shady Dell Music & Memories in 2017.
To the great silent majority of my fellow
Americans and to those untold millions
of faithful followers around the globe
in countries I never even heard of
(I needed to Google them)...
I want to say one word to you.
Just one word. Are you listening?




This year I will launch a new 50 part
series (yessum, 50 - not a typo)...
by far the most ambitious
undertaking of my
blogging career.

Based on the long running TV series Soul Train
hosted by Don Cornelius, this new series will
take you coast to coast and around the world
and bring you the greatest dance music
of the past and present.


2016 was a tough year for some of us,
but now it is history. The slate has been
wiped clean. With scant evidence to
explain why, I find myself in good
spirits at this point in time, and I
posted this song because it
matches my mood as
2017 begins.

Let love shine
And we will find
A way to come together
And make things better
We need a holiday






As 2017 gets underway I want you to know
how much I appreciate your continued
friendship and support (yeah YOU!)




  1. Happy New Year!

    That bit with Brian Griffin going crazy when he hears a siren is hilarious-- exactly how most dogs react to a hearing the sound. I can't remember ever seeing that episode of Family Guy.

    My word-- you do get lots of fan mail, don’t you? lol You don’t fool me-- I recognize those pictures as a scene from the old Christmas movie we watched a couple of weeks ago, Miracle on 34th Street-- very clever!

    I hope we all live long enough for you to run your whole 50 part Soul Train series! lol.

    Madonna’s song Holiday is a great way to start the new year on an upbeat, optimistic note. Where we go from here is up to us-- individually-- and as a people, as a country.

    Congratulations on completing another calendar year of blogging. I can’t wait to see and hear all that you have in store for us in 2017.

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Happy new year to you as well! Thank you for being the early bird as SDMM kicks off 2017 with "The Rhetrocial Question Guy" from the GEICO Insurance ad campaign (a tradition on New Year's posts in recent years), Brian Griffin from Family Guy, and stills from Miracle on 34th Street, a film that featured 5 year old Natalie Wood who, at the time of production, actually believed actor Edmund Gwenn was Santa Claus. For some reason, Miracle was released in the U.S. not in November or December as you might expect, but in June!

      I also wanted to feature the classic clip of Madonna performing "Holiday" on American Bandstand. It was the day she announced that her goal is to conquer the world and that she did. I appreciate the message of that song. Every day can be a holiday and we can all experience endless summer if we come together, listen to music, sing, dance and have fun. It is the same formula that allowed the Dell to work its magic and bring together in harmony kids from different schools and backgrounds - cities, suburbs, small towns and farms.

      Yessum, my 50-part Soul Train series will run for the next 8 or 9 years, so get on board and enjoy the ride.

      Thank you again for showing up bright and early, Kathryn, and once again, happy new year to you!

  2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJanuary 1, 2017 at 4:32 AM

    On this first day of the year, I'm trying to be optimistic about 2017. Lets all work for the good in everything as much as we can, in our own little corners of the universe. With kindness, compassion, clear communication and understanding, great things can be done to combat the ugliness we most certainly will encounter. I pray we'll be given the strength to do what has to be done to preserve decency and respect for others, and to keep our country and way of life a shining example to the rest of the world.

    Thanks for being an excellent friend, Tom! I'm glad to know you'll be there in the new year.

    1. Hi, Kathleen!

      Happy new year to you, dear friend! Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts as we greet the year 2017.

      As I told Kathryn, the Madonna song "Holiday" speaks to the mood I find myself in as we swing into the new year. Each of us has a clean slate, an opportunity to be the best we can be in the coming year. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to love, respect and help others and to work together for the common good. That goes for our leaders as well as followers.

      You can turn this world around
      And bring back all of those happy days
      Put your troubles down
      It's time to celebrate
      Let love shine
      And we will find
      A way to come together
      And make things better

      Thank you again for offering a new year's message of optimism and hope, dear friend Kathleen. I greatly value your faithful friendship and promise to be here for you and THERE for you in 2017 and beyond.

      Please wish mother Margaret a happy new year from me and all of her friends around the world here at SDMM. God bless!

  3. Happy New Year, dear friend!

    I look forward to your 50 part series. It'll be so much fun - Soul Train is one of my favorites. :)

    Have a wonderful holiday and year ahead! I look forward to spending time in the Dell again, dear friend.

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Welcome back for another fun filled year here at SDMM. I'm happy to see your smiling face in my place!

      Yessum, I already have the songs picked for 50 episodes of my new series paying tribute to Don Cornelius and his TV show Soul Train. Don's dance program was a long train running and, God willing, this series will be, too. You will most likely be a grandmother by the time it ends. :)

      Thanks again for popping in for a visit on New Year's Day, dear friend JM. I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017. See you soon!

  4. Happy New Year Shady! I just happened to be working on a couple of updates for my blogs, and heard a rumor that you need help opening your fan mail!

    I am optimistic about 2017, but a little anxious about it too! However, I will jump in with both feet, an open mind, and a song! This is a great song choice to start the New Year. A real upbeat song and video of Madonna. I really enjoyed her music in her early years, but haven't followed her much since the 90's. She still stuns audiences today, and, I do enjoy seeing her on stage.

    The 'Soul Train' series should be exciting. I did watch it for a few years, and really liked Don Cornelius. But, 50 parts??? That is BOLD, my friend. Who else to cover that story, but you! You have my vote!

    Here we go...a new year, chocked full of new ideas, possibly some hurdles, but, going forward with strength in numbers!

    Have a great week, Shady. Thanks for giving us a heads up for the new the way, Brian is the funniest talking dog I've ever seen, lol! ♫ And, "Dancing Queen" is playing on my radio as I type!♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Where have you been, dear friend? I haven't seen hide nor hair of you all year! :)

      Happy 2017!!! Welcome back for another jam-packed year of fun and frolic, music and memories, here at SDMM! Yessum, I needed to employ a seasonal workforce to help open my fan mail. Maybe you could sign on as one of my elves. :)

      Regarding 2017 and what to expect, I believe we should expect the unexpected, be prepared for anything, and meet the challenges one by one as they arise, all the while keeping a song in our hearts. "Onward and upward," as Thisisme in Devon used to say.

      Yessum, Madonna is 34+ years into her career now and still delighting fans and convincing the critics. I'm glad you enjoyed flashing back to her great early appearance on Bandstand singing her hit "Holiday." The words resonate.

      I'm glad you got a giggle out of Brian Griffin in that scene from the hit animated TV series Family Guy. My dog Toto behaved the same way when sirens sounded. "Dancing Queen" is another toe-tapper guaranteed to get you in an upbeat mood to greet the new year. Thanks for telling me it was playing at your house.

      We had a winter chill that lasted one or two days, but now the temp is rebounding into the uncomfortable zone - the 80s. Please send me a cool front from Texas.

      Thanks again for your faithful friendship and generous comments, dear friend Suzanne. Have a wonderful week and year!

  5. Tom, Happy New Year, dear friend! I'll be looking forward to this new series adventure you have planned for your gentle readers in 2017. Although I've been on hiatus as you know I feel like I need more Holiday time down. What a great song to kick off the beginning of the new year with such a wonderful dance number by Madonna. Here's to another fabulous year of building friendships while listening to great mewsic! Have a spectacular day and thank you for your visit earlier today!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you very much for coming to my New Year's Day party, dear friend! Every day is a "Holiday" here at Shady Dell Music & Memories!

      For someone on hiatus you have remained remarkably plugged-in to what's happening on the blog front and I deeply appreciate your visits and comments during the holiday period. "Once a friend... always a friend," a very kind and generous lady likes to say.

      It pleases me that Madonna's historic song and performance on AB got you psyched and inspired as we head into 2017. I hope it will be another great year for us (you and me) and for you and Rob.

      Thanks again for dropping by. Have a splendid week and I will be seeing you soon, dear friend Cathy.

      Happy New Year!

  6. Replies
    1. Hi, Ashton!

      Same to you, my dear friend! Thanks so much for stopping by. I wish you, your husband and little girl all the best in 2017. Let's make it a great year. See you soon, Ashton!

  7. A very Happy Happy New Year to you.
    Looking forward to a music filled 2017 !

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      Hi, thehamish!

      Hi, thehamish's katties!

      Happy New Year to all of you as well, and thank you for coming over with a cheery message to start 2017 off right.

      Take care of your super cute pets and I will see you soon, dear friend Gayle!

  8. I just watch Miracle on 34th Street and love GENE Lockhart's character. Natalie Wood was so cute and I always think how young she was when she died. My best friend watched it with me and she noticed how all the good looking men seemed to have cleft chins:) glad you go so much fan mail and love the clip from Family Guy. Looking forward to your Soul Train blogs. That show went on for years! Happy New Year and as Kris Kringle said, "Christmas is not just a day but a state of mind." Very wise words.

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thank you very much for coming down to help me kick off the new year. I appreciate your visit, dear friend!

      Miracle on 34th is one of my favorite holiday movies, and yessum, I can't watch anything with Natalie Wood w/o jumping ahead to her mysterious and untimely death. I was a TV news producer when it happened and I remember running the story along with an extended pictorial tribute to Natalie.

      I'm happy to know you got a chuckle out of Brian the dog on Family Guy.

      My reason for posting "Holiday" is to urge all my friends to adopt the spirit of Christmas all year long. Find a way to make every day a holiday and celebrate just being alive.

      You are cordially invited to join me for all 50 episodes of my Soul Train series which will take us well into the 2020s decade.

      Thank you again for dropping in, dear friend BB, and happy new year to you and your family (including your kitties)!

  9. Hi Shady, Looking forward to another year of your enlightenment of all types of music and humor. Hopefully, we will all have a good year and maybe people all over the world will wise up and it will be a better year with less hateful happenings. People need to be happy and not get angry over every little thing that does not please them. As someone once said, "Let it be". Have a great one.

    1. Hi, Jerre!

      Thanks for joining the fun as I launch into another year of music and memories here on SDMM. You have been taking this journey with me longer than anyone else and it's good to know you're still out there and still checking in.

      Believe it or not, I have enough posts completed or well underway to enable me to run fresh content on SDMM until the year 2024. Along with my usual mix of obscure oldies and more modern sounds, I will be introducing a new feature this year - trivia questions. Those posts will enable us to recall long lost TV series and movies. I know you will share many of those memories with me.

      Thanks for the positive thoughts about the coming year, good buddy. That's why I posted "Holiday." After a very stressful year in 2016 I need a holiday from conflict, anger and bitterness. My theory has always been that people don't feel like making war when they are too busy laughing, singing, dancing, playing together and having fun. It worked at the Dell most of the time and it can work here and on a broader scale, too.

      Thanks again for your loyal friendship all these years, Jerre. I wish you and your family a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. Next post is coming right up on the 5th so stay tuned!

  10. A fifty part series? That sounds impressive!

    I'm feeling optimistic about 2017. Last year was a bit of a rough one for me. But I think the rain has passed.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2017!

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for coming by with new year greetings and wishes, dear friend!

      Yessum, I have more than enough material to fill 50 installments of the Soul Train series and it will run from this month until the mid 2020s. Let's hope we are all still around to see it to its conclusion.

      2016 was a rough year for many. Let's all do our best to make 2017 better.

      Thanks again for popping in and happy new year to you and your fun family, dear friend Sherry!

  11. So dance music, is it? That will be fantastic. I'm already dusting off the sparkly pumps and tapping my foot to Celebrate! Thanks for kicking off 2017 with some tunes that set me to dancing.

    1. Hi, Cheryl!

      How's that shoulder and arm or yours? I hope you are on the mend and were able to get the most out of the holidays. Thanks for dropping by, dear friend!

      Yessum, the Soul Train series will feature music with a danceable beat, old and new, from all over the world, including K-Pop (Korean girl group pop), a genre that will b making its debut on SDMM this year. I hope you'll join me and keep your dancing shoes handy.

      Happy new year to you, dear friend Cheryl-Lee!

  12. I am ready for this year and all it will bring, I am hoping it only brings good things and no deaths or anything like that, we have two babies expected this year so that is a good thing

    1. Hi, Jo-Anne!

      I see by the old clock on the wall that it's going on 8:30 am in your part of the world. How are things in Australia this morning, dear friend?

      Yessum, the start of a new year brings with it a clean slate and fresh optimism. I am happy to learn that your family is expecting two babies this year. I congratulate you and wish many blessings for you and your family throughout 2017.

      Thank you very much for your cheery visit and comment, dear friend Jo-Anne!

  13. Sounds fabulous, dear Shady! Coast to coast you say? Even better ;-) Wishing you and Mrs. Shady the best year ever!

    1. Hi, Diedre!

      Welcome back, dear friend, and happy new year to you! I've been wondering what's become of you, and since I am not on Facebook I am completely in the dark about what you've been doing with yourself these last few weeks. I hope you haven't decided to stop publishing Pensive Pens. That would be a big loss to the blogging community.

      Yessum, in my new 50-part series I will be taking you coast to coast and "spanning the globe to bring you the thrill of music victory and the agony of da feet" (from dancing so much). I hope you will be on hand for the debut of "SHADY TRAIN" at the end of this month!

      Thanks for stopping in, dear friend Diedre, and once again happy 2017 to you and your family!

    2. Hi Shady!
      Ha! I'm not really on Facebook much myself. My posts at Pensive Pens may be scaled back a bit due to my day job, but I have no plans of letting it go completely - I enjoy it too much!
      I look forward to your 50-part series!
      See ya soon - d

    3. Hi, again, dear Diedre!

      I enjoy Pensive Pens, too, and am relieved to learn that you will continue to publish in 2017. You are one friend I do not want to lose, Diedre. Thank you again for being here and for sharing yourself so generously.

      Happy 2017!

  14. Happy New Year! Bring on this crazy new year of new politics, new blog posts, new followers, and anything else that's new that lands in our laps! Hope it's great and I'll be here ready to cut the rug with some dance music from Dear Shady!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you for joining the fun as I kick-off the year 2017 here on Shady Dell Music & Memories. I'm pretty sure you have been with me since early 2013 and I am very grateful for your continued friendship and support.

      Yessum, be sure to bring your dancin' shoes to SDMM because I've got dance beats aplenty this year and for many years to come, plus trivia quizzes, birthday salutes and more. (The first 100 people through the door receive a FREE lifetime membership in the Shady Del Knight Fan Club. :)

      Thank you again for being a faithful friend month after month and year after year, Kathleen, and once again happy new year to you, to Jack and to my buddy Chubbs!

  15. WOOHOO!!! Dancing is my favorite! I am strapping on my dancing shoes now. I cant wait to see what you bring to the dancing floor Shadester. I have always been a fan of Madonna. Holiday is a fun one. Off to a great start.
    If i had your mailing address, i would have added to the many piles of mail. :)
    Happy New Year sweet friend. I finally responded to my comments on my last 3 posts. I am going to be better at that this year. I mean it.

    1. Hi, Holliwood N. Vine!

      Happy new year, dear friend! Are you guys still on a natural high from visiting NYC? I hope so.

      You are very sweet and kind, Holli, such a great friend, and I like you. It pleases me greatly to have you with me as I swing into another year of blogging.

      Welcome aboard the Shady Train. It leaves the station later this month.

      I'm happy to know you enjoyed that historic vid of Madonna when she was on her way up and creating a wave of excitement throughout the civilized world.

      I'll be over to read your replies to comments on HHH. Thanks again for being such a loyal and dedicated friend to me, Holli. Let's make 2017 a fabulous year!

  16. HAPPY NEW YEAR SHADY!! It's taken me a few days to make the rounds as I recover from the holidays...
    I LOVE this Madonna song! Perfect song choice!

    Wow, a 50 part series! Based on Soul Train, it is going to be fantastic! Can't wait...

    Hope 2017 turns out to be a good year. I'm still holding onto hope...

    Wishing you a great year of excitement, enlightenment, peace and love...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hello hello hello, One-L Michele!

      Thanks for dropping by for my first post of 2017, dear friend. I'm delighted to see you. Happy New Year to you as well!

      I'm happy that you give thumbs up to Madonna's song and also to my announcement of a 50-part series on Soul Train. The train leaves the station at the end of this month, so get your dancin' shoes out of the mothballs and prepare to get on board and ride. I hope you and I are still together and still having fun when I publish episode #50 sometime in the mid 2020s. Who knows what's in store for us between now and then. Fasten your seat belt! :)

      Thank you ever so much for the sweet words and well wishes for the coming year. Let's make the most of it and keep our great friendship going and growing.

      Thanks again, dearie, and once again, happy new year!

  17. Hey, friend Shady ... smiles ... and a very happy and healthy New Year to you and yours ... btw: check out my new post on my travel blog, if you like that is, hmmm? Love always, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      Thank you for coming over and offering greetings for the new year, dear friend.

      I read your post on the travel blog and submitted a comment. I don't know for sure if it went thru so, just in case it wound up in the spam folder, I will repeat it here for you to read:

      << Hi, cat!

      Now I know where you got to over the holidays. You are quite the globetrotter! I enjoyed seeing the highlights of your vacay in P.V. You look happy and healthy in that picture. That death-defying aerial act was amazing. I see you even made some new friends among the local kitties. The food looks delicious but very spicy. Mrs. Shady's stomach can tolerate spicy hot foods better than mine but I do enjoy Mexican cuisine.

      Thanks for the postcards, dear friend cat! >>

      Thank you very much, dear friend cat. Let's keep our friendship going and growing in 2017!

    2. :) You're a great feline friend, cat!


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