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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Margaret Schneider (1912-2017)

It is with a heavy heart

that I announce the death

of our dear friend

Margaret Schneider.

Margaret's daughter, Kathleen,
reported that Margaret "passed away
very peacefully this morning at 11:45."

Please join me in extending deepest
condolences to Kathleen and all other
members of Margaret's family for their loss.

Last month, as you will recall,
Margaret celebrated her 105th birthday.

For years here on Shady Dell Music & Memories,
Margaret was affectionately known as "The Oldest
Living Dell Rat." Margaret's father built the Dell
and she and her family were the first people to
occupy the estate starting when Margaret was
only a one year old child. Now the dear little
girl whose very long life we have enjoyed
reading about and from whom we learned
many valuable lessons about love,
compassion and forgiveness,
has finally left us.

Out of respect for Margaret, Kathleen and
the family, and to give myself time to clear
my head and process what is, for me as well,
a great personal loss, the music will fall silent
on this site, and I will immediately withdraw
from all blogging activity for an
undetermined period of time.

Thank you for all the gifts you gave
us, Margaret. It was an honor and a
privilege to have known you and to
have called you my friend. To me,
you were much more than a friend.
 Over the years I came to love you.
You have been my inspiration.
You set a shining example
for others to follow. 

Never in my life have I been able to state

about anyone with as much certainty,
with as much ardent conviction,
that this was a life well lived.

Rest in peace, dear Margaret.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Vol. 13: Battling Brothers and Run Run Run!

 It's time to surrender... 

 to Spectorian Splendor! 

 Welcome to Vol. 13 of my 

 17-part series saluting 

 the Spector Sound and 



In Volume 4 you heard Motown's Marvelettes
using the name the Darnells and performing
"Too Hurt to Cry, Too Much in Love to Say
Goodbye," a song penned by Motown's
famed Holland-Dozier-Holland writing and
producing team. The record was a nod
to Spector and had a sound similar to
those released by the Crystals.

Now here are the Supremes singing
"Run Run Run," another H-D-H song
and another exciting Motown
Meets Spector hybid.

It's hard to believe Motown's premier
girl group ever had to struggle for hits
but, early on, they did. Released around
the beginning of 1964, "Run, Run, Run"
came to a screeching halt at #93 on the
the chart. Why the poor showing? The
depressed mood of the nation in the wake
of the JFK assassination was probably to
blame for the failure of that Marvelettes
single I featured. This Supremes 45 was
released at the height of Beatlemania.
Were the Fab Four to blame for
derailing Diana's Supremes?

It doesn't seem fair to blame the Beatles.
If the old school instrumental "Java" by
Al Hirt could make it to #4 around that
time there should have been room near
the top for this Supremes sizzler!

 "Run, Run, Run" - The Supremes 
 (Feb. 1964, highest chart pos. #93) 


"You're So Fine" was a top 20 hit in 1959
for the Falcons, and R&B group that included
Eddie Floyd and later Wilson Pickett. In 1963
a cover of the song was recorded by Dorothy
Adams Berry, wife of Richard Berry, the man
who wrote and first recorded the notorious
rock 'n' roll anthem "Louie Louie."

Dorothy's record was produced by David Gates,
a talented young devotee of the Spector Sound
who went on to front the soft rock group Bread.
Dorothy cooks on this Spectorian single, and
the doubletracked vocal yields a girl group
sound that kicks butt all over town!

 "You're So Fine" - Dorothy Berry 
 (December 1963, uncharted) 




At #92 on my list of The 200 Greatest Hits
of the Shady Dell is the next featured sound,
“He” by the Righteous Brothers, a Spector-
produced ballad with an overtly religious
theme similar to that of another Dell
classic - "Human” by Tommy Hunt.

A song about God's benevolence, "He"
was originally recorded in the mid 1950s
by Al Hibbler and covered by the singing
McGuire Sisters. The tear-jerking cover
by the Righteous Brothers, released in
 the spring of 1966, played frequently
on the Dell jukebox, casting its spell
on reverent rats from June until
the school bells rang.

 "He" - The Righteous Bros. 
 (July 1966, highest chart pos. #18) 




Los Angeles natives Scott Engel, John Maus
and Gary Leeds adopted the stage name
The Walker Brothers, moved to England
and achieved hit records there and in the
United States. Their first hit on both sides
of the pond was "Make It Easy On Yourself,"
a Bacharach-David composition that first
became a hit for Jerry Butler in 1962.

The Walker Brothers are best known
for their biggest hit, "The Sun Ain't
Gonna Shine Anymore" but, before
moving to England, they recorded
"Love Her," a Spectorized single
produced by Nick Venet and
arranged by Jack Nitzsche.

 "Love Her" - The Walker Brothers 
 (May 1965, highest chart pos. #20 UK) 


I introduced Karen "KK" Kelly singing
"Nobody's Girl" in Echoes Vol. 5.
The Nashville songbird with the
powerful pipes shoulda been,
coulda been and woulda been
a major girl pop star of the 60s
like Lesley Gore, but for some
reason her records failed to chart.

KK's self-penned "Nobody's Girl" was
released in 1964 on Sound Stage 7, a
subsidiary of Monument Records. Now
check out the killer bee side of that single,
entitled "Don't Let The Hurt Show Through."
Penned and produced by Bob Montgomery,
this one boasts the same dynamic Spectorian
production and a melody that at times might
remind you of "A World Without Love,"
the song that became a hit a few months
earlier as recorded by two other acts,
Peter & Gordon and Bobby Rydell.

 "Don't Let The Hurt Show Through" 
 Karen Kelly (October 1964, 
 B side of "Nobody's Girl") 

 I hope you enjoyed Vol. 13 

 of Echoes.  Stay tuned for 

 more Spectorian sounds 

 in Vol. 14 coming soon! 

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Best of Bandstands in Foreign Lands - Vol. 1: In Your Car and In Your Room!

Welcome to my new series



Hello, I'm Shady Seaweed! Unless you just crawled out from under a rock... you know that I have been emceeing the annual New Year's Rockin' Eve in the Shady blocast since 1974 and that I was recently tapped as Kelly Ripa's new co-host on the daily ABC morning show which has been renamed Live with Kelly and Shady. Some of you old timers might also remember me from the 50s and 60s when I hosted the wildly popular gymnastics TV show American Handstand.

I grew up watching Dick Clark's
American Bandstand and other U.S.
produced music TV shows for teenagers.
Apart from Hullabaloo's remote segments
from London, I never gave any thought to
similar shows that were originating in other
countries. In this new series I will present
high quality videos of solo artists, groups
and bands of the 1960s thru early 2000s,
many of them American, performing in
studios, big halls and clubs in the UK,
Germany and other countries. Join me
on this trip back in time as we visit
Bandstands in Foreign Lands!



Let's begin the series on a real cool note
with The Cool-Notes, a seven member
pop/funk band from London that had a
string of hits in the UK in the mid 80s.
One of the very coolest of the Cool is
"In Your Car," a 1985 single that the
act performed on Top Of The Pops,
the long-running music television
series that first originated from
studios in Manchester and
later moved to London.

"In Your Car" - The Cool-Notes
(1985, highest chart pos. #13 UK,
perf. on Top Of The Pops)



Countdown was a Dutch music TV series
that ran from the late 70s through early 90s
on the public broadcasting system Veronica.
Countdown was considered the top music
show in all of Europe. That's where we
find Susanna Hoffs and her SoCal pop-
rock band The Bangles singing their
hit single "In Your Room," a song
from their 1988 album Everything
which charted higher in Europe
than it did in the U.S.

"In Your Room" - The Bangles
(Dec. 1988/Jan '89, highest chart pos.
#5 Hot 100, from Oct. 1988 album
Everything, perf. on Countdown)



TopPop is another Netherlands-based TV
series, this one from Dutch broadcaster
AVRO with studios in Hilversum near
Amsterdam. Most of the performances
on TopPop were recorded on location
at venues around the world because
few artists were willing or able to
travel to Holland. Pet Shop Boys,
the popular English electronic pop
duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe,
appeared on TopPop and performed
their award winning 1985 hit
single "West End Girls."

"West End Girls" - Pet Shop Boys
(Apr./May 1986, highest chart pos,
#1 Hot 100/#1 UK, from Mar. 1986 album
Please, live on Dutch TV series TopPop)


 (LEGS & CO) 


In 1979 Anita Ward's disco single
"Ring My Bell" soared to #1 in the U.S.,
Canada and the UK. We now return to the
BBC music program Top of the Pops! where
Legs & Co, the series' 4th generation female 
dance troupe, is set to do their interpretation
of Anita's international chartbuster.

"Ring My Bell" - Anita Ward
(June/July 1979, highest chart pos. #1,
dance performed by Legs & Co
on Top of the Pops)



Sandra Ann Lauer, known to her fans as Sandra,
is a German pop singer who racked up a string
of English language hit singles from the mid 80s
through early 90s. Sandra released a cover of
"Everlasting Love" a top 20 hit in 1967 by U.S.
singer Robert Knight. The song was co-written
by Buzz Cason, the guy who in 1960 recorded
"Look For a Star," the famous theme from the
film Circus of Horrors using the pseudonym
Garry Miles. Successful covers of "Everlasting
Love" include a 1968 single by the London soul
group Love Affair which topped the UK chart,
and a version by Detroit soul man Carl Carlton
that brushed the top 5 in 1974. Sandra's rousing
 rendition reached the top 10 in half a dozen
European countries. The beautiful songstress
appeared on several of the European television
music shows that will be featured in this series
including this great performance on TopPop.

"Everlasting Love" - Sandra
(Sept. 1987, highest chart pos.
#4 South Africa, #5 Germany &
Switzerland, #6 Austria, from
Oct. '87 album Ten on One
(The Singles), live perf.
on TopPop)



Starparade was a West German music TV series
hosted by German composer and big band leader
James Last. Starparade presented performances
by popular music acts and was broadcast live
from big halls throughout Germany. Starparade
was carried on ZDF, the public-service television
broadcaster based in Mainz. In the spring of 1978,
the Swedish super group ABBA stopped by to do
their international hit "Take a Chance on Me."

"Take a Chance On Me" - ABBA
(May/June 1978, highest chart pos.
#3 Hot 100/#1 UK + four countries,
live performance May 10, 1978,
on James Last's Starparade)

I hope you enjoyed vol. 1 of



Stay tuned for the

next edition coming soon!

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Helen Ettline - Mother of All Dell Rats

 Shady Dell owner Helen Ettline 

 didn't have any children of her own. 

 In a way we were all 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. 

 In observance of Mother's Day 

 I picked out a song that 

 describes Helen and one 

 I think she would enjoy. 

 Helen, this is for you. 

 Happy Mother's Day, Helen! 

 We love you and miss you! 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Echo Chamber Music: The Gold Star Spectorian Treasures of Clydie King!

 Welcome to Pt. 2 of  my game 

 of Six Degrees... a tribute 

 to the soulful songbird 


 ...prolific and terrific 

 yet relatively unknown. 

 I aim to fix that.  

 This post should be considered a bonus edition 

 of my Echoes of the Spectorian Era series 

 because most of these recordings feature 

 the echo drenched Phil Spector sound. 


In the mid 60s, Clydie King recorded at Gold Star,
an independent studio in Hollywood that became
a hit factory during the decade. Clydie released
a single on Imperial that was cast in the same
mould as the Wall of Sound recordings
of producing legend Phil Spector.

Written and produced by Jerry Riopelle
(also spelled Riopell), "The Thrill Is Gone"
is a lush, layered production that utilized
the studio's echo chamber, a tool of the
trade upon which Spector often relied.

 "The Thrill Is Gone" - Clydie King 
 (May 1965, uncharted) 



As the story goes, a tape of Clydie King's
"The Thrill Is Gone" was brought to the
attention of Phil Spector and Spec was so
impressed with Jerry Riopelle's work on
the single that he hired Jerry as a writer
and producer at Philles Records. Soon 
after Riopelle cranked out another gem.

Penned by the famed Brill Building team of
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, "Home of
the Brave" is another Spectoresque opus
that some people believed was recorded
by the Ronettes. Instead, the lead singer
was Charlotte Ann Matheny, stage name
Charlotte O'Hara. Backing vocals were
provided by Sherlie Matthews, whom
you met in part 1, and Clydie King.
Jerry Riopelle named the girl trio
Bonnie & the Treasures. A great 45,
"Home of the Brave" nevertheless
died on the vine at #77. Shades of
Spector, the Ronettes, the Crystals
and the Shangri-Las, here are
Bonnie & the Treasures!

 "Home of the Brave" 
 Bonnie and the Treasures 
 (Sept. 1965, highest 
 chart pos. #77) 


Six Degrees now leads us to another
single by Charlotte O'Hara. Before she
waxed "Home of the Brave" as "Bonnie,"
lead singer of Bonnie & the  Treasures,
Charlotte was a backing vocalist on
recordings produced by Phil Spector.
In 1963, as a solo artist, Charlotte
released "What About You" a song
originally recorded by Ramona King,
another fine but obscure Spector artist.

 "What About You" - Charlotte O'Hara 
 (May 1963, uncharted) 


We now return to Clydie King's career timeline.
In October of 1965, Bonnie and the Treasures
(Charlotte O, Clydie and Sherlie) released a
follow-up to "Home of the Brave," this one
credited only to Bonnie. "Close Your Eyes"
is another Spectorian soundalike produced
by Jerry Riopelle and it has all the essential
elements for greatness - girl group harmony,
The Wrecking Crew supplying the orchestral
backing and the Gold Star Studio's echo fx.

 "Close Your Eyes" - Bonnie 
 (Oct./Nov. 1965, uncharted) 


Around that same time frame, Clydie King
released another magnificent solo effort on
Imperial, this one penned by Jerry Riopelle
and Gary Zekley. Euphoric and Spectoric,
 the single "Missin' My Baby" is another
Wall-of-Sound-alike born in the
Gold Star echo chamber.

 "Missin' My Baby" - Clydie King 
 (Oct./Nov. 1965, uncharted) 



In 1967, Clydie King recorded a soulful duet
with Mississippi R&B singer and songwriter
Jimmy Holiday. Released as a single, the
song "Ready, Willing and Able," written
by Holiday, missed the chart, but went
on to become a Northern Soul anthem,
a dance floor filler in clubs of the UK.

 "Ready, Willing and Able" 
 Jimmy Holiday & Clydie King 
 (April 1967, uncharted) 


In the mid 60s, Sherlie Mae Matthews,
the background vocalist who sang with
Clydie King and Charlotte O'Hara on
those Bonnie and the Treasures records,
signed with Motown and became a prolific
session singer, songwriter and producer for
the famed record company. In the early 70s,
Sherlie formed the Blackberries, a soul trio
consisting of herself and fellow backing
vocalists Clydie King and Venetta Fields,
the latter another soul thrush that
I introduced in part 1.

In mid 1972, Motown left Detroit and moved
to Los Angeles. That year Sherlie, Clydie and
Venetta recorded nine songs intended to be
released as the Blackberries' debut album.
However the project was never completed.
The Northern Soul gem you are about to
hear, arguably the best song of the bunch,
was not even released as a single. From
the voluminous vaults of Motown, here
are the Blackberries with "Kidnapped,"
a dancer that sounds like a blend of the
Martha & the Vandellas hits "Heatwave"
and "Quicksand," the Orlons' "Crossfire"
and the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love."

 "Kidnapped" - The Blackberries 
 (song from unreleased 1972 album) 

In the early 70s, along with her recordings
as a member of the Blackberries, Clydie King
reached the top 50 on the R&B chart with two
additional solo singles, "'Bout Love" (#45) and
"Loneliness (Will Bring Us Together Again)"
(#44), the latter using the name Brown Sugar.

 I hope you had fun 

 sampling the sounds of  


 and those associated with her, 

 artists that deserve to be heard! 

(Special thanks to my good friend Anthony Reichardt
for his YouTube uploads of these recordings and the
extensive background information he shares.)

Have a Shady day!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Six Degrees Of Clydie King, Part 1: Sweetening Rock Candy With Soul!

 The soulful voice of 


 can be heard on some of 

 the greatest and best known  

 recordings of the 60s and 70s. 

In this two-parter we will play my favorite
game, Six Degrees, as we listen to Texas
born vocalist Clydie King's best work
as a session singer and as a
solo recording artist.


In 1974, Clydie's soaring background vocals
accompanied Lynyrd Skynyrd and helped to
make "Sweet Home Alabama" the southern
rock band's signature song and one of the
most memorable sounds of the decade.

 "Sweet Home Alabama" - Lynyrd Skynyrd 
 (Aug. 1974, highest chart pos. #8) 


Singer, songwriter and record producer
Sherlie Matthews now enters the game.

Sherlie joined Clydie King as
one of the backing vocalists
on "Sweet Home Alabama."


Sherlie also sang background on another
great 70s single, "Take Me in Your Arms
(Rock Me a Little While)" by the Doobie
Brothers, a rockin' remake of the 1968
Motown hit by the Isley Brothers.

 "Take Me in Your Arms 
 (Rock Me a Little While)" 
 The Doobie Brothers 
(June '75, highest pos. #11) 


Now meet session singer Venetta Fields
who joined Sherlie Matthews as a backing
vocalist on "Take Me in Your Arms."


It's a small world after all, because
Venetta, Shirley and Clydie all sang
 backup on "Deacon Blues," the hit
single from Steely Dan's album Aja.

 "Deacon Blues" - Steely Dan 
 (1978, highest chart pos. #19 
 from Sept. 1977 album Aja

As the game of Six Degrees continues we learn
that Venetta was once a member of the Ikettes
as was Clydie King. Clydie was also one of
Ray Charles' female background singers,
The Raelettes. So was Merry Clayton.


Merry Clayton gained fame singing a duet
with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones
classic "Gimme Shelter," a track from
the December 1969 album Let It Bleed.

A few months later the Louisiana thrush
released a magnificent and delightfully
churchified solo version. Merry's single
was a minor hit in the U.S. but failed to
chart in the UK. Shoulda been a smash!

 "Gimme Shelter" - Merry Clayton 
 (June 1970, highest chart pos. #73) 


Both Clydie King and Venetta Fields sang
background on "Tumbling Dice," a Jagger-
Richards song that was the first single
released from the Stones' double
album Exile on Main St.

 "Tumbling Dice" - The Rolling Stones 
 (May 1972, highest chart pos. 
 #7 Hot 100/#5 UK) 

Now that you've listened to some of
Clydie King's session work on recordings
released by other artists, let's press RW
and listen to a couple of her solo singles,
 one of which dates back to the mid 50s.



In our Bloggy Award winning series Dueling
Doo-Wops, Dell Rat Ron and I introduced
The Six Teens, a Los Angeles group best
remembered for "A Casual Look," a 1956
hit single that featured 12-year-old Trudy
Williams on lead vocals. Shortly after
the release of that Six Teens record,
13 year old Clydie King waxed a
cover and it was released as a
single with the artist listed as
 Little Clydie and The Teens."

 "A Casual Look" 
 Little Clydie and The Teens 
 (summer 1956, uncharted) 



In the spring of 1963 Clydie released
"Only the Guilty Cry," a single credited
to another pseudo group (Clydie plus
session singers) called Clydie King
and the Sweet Things.

The fab flip side, "By Now," a recording
that reminds me of the Jan Bradley hit
"Mama Didn't Lie," is the one that
caught my ear. This rare relic sold
for $600.00 USED on eBay!

 "By Now" - Clydie King & the Sweet Things 
 (May 1963, B side of "Only the Guilty Cry") 

 In Part 2, Clydie King waxes 

 some of the best Spectorian 

 recordings of the mid 60s. 

  Don't miss it! 

Have a Shady day!