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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ron's Pickin' Up Good Vibrations Again!

 They recorded under three different names. 

 They were equally adept at producing 

 jump tempo R&B dance records  

 and dreamy doo-wop ballads. 


It's time for the third and final installment 
of Dell Rat Ron's tribute to the Vibrations, 
the west coast R&B vocal group that also 
released records as the Jayhawks
and as the Marathons.

Once again I'll be playing
a game of Six Degrees
with Ron. For every one
of his good Vibrations...
I'll answer with a song that
is similar to it in some way.
Ready, Ron? Here we go!


 Shady, I saw the Vibrations 
 on American Bandstand four 
 times. They appeared on the 
 program to promote their 
 latest records which included 
 "The Watusi," "Stranded in 
 the Jungle," "Let's Pony Again," 
 a fun dance song that won me 
 over, and "Peanut Butter," the 
 first song in today's post. 
 "Peanut Butter" was a parody 
 of "Hully Gully," a 1960 dance 
 record by the Olympics.  The 
 Vibrations recorded the song 
 in 1961 on Arvee Records 
 using the name the Marathons, this while already under 
 contract with Checker. The release became a top 20 hit 
 but resulted in a contract dispute. In order to make the 
 legal hassles go away the recording was reissued on 
 Argo Records with the print on the label reading: 
 "Vibrations named by others as Marathons." 

 "Peanut Butter" - The Marathons 
 (June 1961, highest chart pos. #20) 


Ron, no matter how you slice it "Peanut Butter" sticks to your ribs and pleases the palate. Now I've got one for you that might seem a little white-bread based on the title alone but, when when you listen to it, I'm betting you'll hear what I hear, a record that kicks serious butt. For decades I had a built-in bias against singer - songwriter Tommy Roe. I loved his early rockabilly material and his bubblegum pop, but I began to have a problem with Tommy when he started dabbling in lighter weight material aimed at the kiddie krowd - icky nursery rhyme ditties like "Jack and Jill" and "Dizzy."

All my life "Jam Up Jelly Tight" fit into that
category and I went out of my way to avoid it.
Recently I changed my tune when I stopped
getting hung up on the title and lyrics and
started listening with a different set of ears.
For the first time I noticed and appreciated
the musicianship and groovy arrangement
and concluded that "Jam Up Jelly Tight"
is a great record. Here's our friend
Music Mike with the intro.

 "Jam Up Jelly Tight" - Tommy Roe 
 (Dec. 1969, highest chart pos. #8) 

 Ronny, back to you, bub


 Mr. Knight, I recently discovered a gem of my own 
 on one of the Vibrations greatest hits albums. 
 "So Blue" is beautiful ballad.  It's a pity 
 that it never broke free of the 
 Bubbling Under chart. 

 "So Blue" - The Vibrations 
 (June 1960, highest 
 chart position #110) 


 Ron, I'm sure you and many 

 other readers remember the 

 mellow hit record "Mr. Blue" 

 by the Fleetwoods. 

When original lead singer Gary Troxel was drafted
into the Navy, Vic Dana took over on vocals when
the Fleetwoods appeared live on stage. Dana, an
accomplished tap dancer, had been discovered a
few years earlier by Sammy Davis, Jr. When
demand for dancing entertainers diminished,
Vic switched to a singing career and in 1965
scored his biggest hit, the top 10 charting
"Red Roses for a Blue Lady."

 "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" 
 Vic Dana (March 1965, 
 highest chart pos. #10) 

 Ron, I lobbed one over the net. 



 Shady, this next song is one that 
 I didn't know until the Delchords 
 started singing it frequently at the 
 Oaks in the early years. It's one of 
 the best of the Vibrations' earlier 
 classics. It was nice seeing this 
 performed live at the Raven on the 
 several occasions that the Vibes 
 appeared there always backed up 
 by the Magnificent Men, and 
 enjoying the Mag Men's sets while 
 they took breaks between theirs. 

 "Oh Cindy" - The Vibrations 
 (1962, uncharted) 


As I'm sure you know, Ron, girl names were used in the titles of many popular recordings released during the 1950s and 60s. Peggy Sue, Susie-Q, Denise, Donna, Sheila, Barbara Ann, Patti Ann, Judy, Sherry, Marlena, Dawn, Ronnie, Marianne, Carrie Ann, Bernadette, Tracy, Sally, Mary and Linda are a just a few that come to mind. I love to play seldom heard nuggets on SDMM and here's one of my favorites - "Linda Lu." It was recorded in 1959 by Ray Sharpe, a black artist who sounded white and performed rockabilly. Ray's oft covered "Linda Lu" made the Billboard top 50 and featured backing by the twangy guitar of Duane Eddy.

 "Linda Lu" - Ray Sharpe 
 (Sept. 1959, highest 
 chart pos. #46) 

 Ron, looks like you're wrapping up your 

 good vibes series with a familiar and 

 frequently recorded snuggle song. 


 You are correct, sir! At the end of 1963, 
 Lenny Welch earned a top 5 hit with the romantic 
 pop ballad "Since I Fell for You." The Harptones 
 recorded another great version of the song and so 
 did The Vibrations, theirs a cool up tempo variation. 
 The Vibrations were one of the Temptations' major 
 influences and one of their favorite groups. Locally 
 our Delchords also used to perform this Vibrations 
 version of "Since I Fell For You." 

 "Since I Fell For You" 
 The Vibrations  
 (1963, uncharted) 


 Ron, the arrangement used by the 

 Vibrations on "Since I Fell for You" 

 sounds mighty familiar to me. 

It reminds me of a number I know you dig
called "Paradise," one of the earliest recordings
by the Temptations. "Paradise" was released as
the A side of a single (b/w "Slow Down Heart")
in late September 1962. It lasted just one week
on the Bubbling Under chart and then vanished,
reappearing in March of 1964 as a track on the
Meet the Temptations album. Listen and note
the similarities between your Vibes record
 and this one by the Temps.

 "Paradise" - The Temptations 
 (December 1962, highest 
 chart pos. #122) 

 Thank you, Dell Rat Ron, for this 

 sensational three-parter spotlighting 

 an outstanding 50s/60s vocal group, 

 the good...the great...the best of the 

 Vibrations (Marathons/Jayhawks)! 

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shady Train - Ep. 3: Centipede!


Shady Train...

the hippest trip in America!

60 nonstop minutes across the

tracks of your mind into the

exciting world of Soul!

And now, here's your host...

Don Cornelius!

Hey there and welcome aboard. You're right on time for another mind blowing journey on the big train... so let's roll.

(Don's intro is on video.)

"The Cisco Kid" - War
(Apr./May 1973, highest chart pos.
 #2 Hot 100/#5 R&B, from Nov. 1972
album The World Is a Ghetto)

 AT 52:08 MARK!

We are super excited to welcome aboard the big train for their first visit an extremely talented R&B and electro-funk band from Atlanta, Georgia. They are here to do their latest single on the Tabu label, an absolute smash entitled "Take Your Time." A great Shady Train welcome please, ladies and gentlemen, for the Sounds of Success, a.k.a. -- The S.O.S. Band!

"Take Your Time (Do It Right)"
The S.O.S. Band (June/July 1980,
highest cht. pos. #1 R&B/#3 Hot 100,
from June 1980 album S.O.S.)


And things are lookin' mighty fine out on the Shady Train line as the gang gets into a groove that makes you wanna move real smooth. It's the Dazz Band with a biggin' everybody's diggin' -- "Let It Whip!"

"Let It Whip" - The Dazz Band
(May-July 1982, highest chart pos.
#1 R&B/#5 Hot 100, from
1982 album Keep It Live)

We now switch live to Burt Sugarman's Midnight Special where one of the best and longest lasting R&B groups of all time is about to perform. Formed in the late 50s, the trio is now reaching its peak in the 70s on Philadelphia International Records. Let's get some hands together, gang, for the mighty O'Jays, runnin' down a slick sound we know is one of the baddest things around. They call it-- "For the Love of Cash Money!"

"For The Love of Money" - The O'Jays
(June 1974, highest chart pos.
#9 Hot 100/#3 R&B, from
Nov. 1973 album Ship Ahoy,
perf. on The Midnight Special

AT 1:00 MARK!

They are five beautiful brothers who have labored long and hard with one purpose in mind, and the recent certification of their second consecutive million selling record on the Atlantic label indicates that their purpose has finally been achieved and establishes them firmly at the very top of the music world. If you will, please, a thunderous welcome for-- The Spinners!

"I'll Be Around" - The Spinners
(Oct./Nov. 1972, highest chart pos.
#3 Hot 100/#1 R&B, from
Apr. 1973 album Spinners)

We are very pleased to have with us on the show a lovely and talented young artist who is contributing her share to the Jackson family legend. As she joins us to do her latest single on the Columbia label entitled "Centipede," a great welcome please, gang, for Miss-- Rebbie Jackson!

"Centipede" - Rebbie Jackson
(Nov./Dec. 1984, highest chart pos.
#4 R&B/#24 Hot 100, from
Oct. 1984 album Centipede)

Now meet a talented young singer and multi-instrumentalist from Cincinnati, Ohio, who began her career as a backing vocalist for the Gap Band. After a stint as lead singer of the girl group Klymaxx, she gained an international following as frontwoman of the German Eurodance group Snap! and after that recorded with the popular British group Soul II Soul. In between she was a solo artist recording for the Total Experience label. As she joins us to do the first single from her debut album Pennye, a song entitled "Change Your Wicked Ways," let's make some big noise, gang, for Miss-- Pennye Ford!

"Change Your Wicked Ways" - Pennye Ford
(1984, highest chart pos. #25 R&B,
from 1984 album Pennye)


That oughta hold you for a while. Come on back and get into it with us again next time. You can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey. I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love...peace...and soul!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

John Ettline - Every Dell Rat's Dad

It's Father's Day...

time to honor


"Every Dell Rat's Dad."

John didn't have kids of his own
but, as every Dell rat knows, he
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.



Friday, June 9, 2017

Pink Roses - The Last Page of Margaret Schneider's Long, Laudable Life Story

Pink Roses

Kathleen Mae 

"Death is not extinguishing the light;
it is only putting out the lamp
because the dawn has come."
- Rabindranath Tagore

"Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.
A legacy is etched in the minds of others
and the stories they tell about you."
- Shannon L. Alder

Funerals are always something I dread.
However, as sad and exhausted as I was
from my mother's passing, I eagerly
planned details of her service last week,
and actually looked forward to making
the event something that would not only
honor her amazing long life, but imprint
her legacy onto all who attended.

I should have known better! The friends
and family who came brought their own
recounting of the gifts Mother gave so freely
in the 105 years she walked this earth.

I think anyone who attended could truly say
that their memories, added to those gleaned
during the six-year-long blessing my sister and
I were given while caring for her in her home,
made Mother's funeral very special.

These highlights of the day illustrate why
honestly feel it was a celebration of her
life rather than a dark and melancholy
lament over her death.

For the cover of the memorial handouts
we picked this inviting window box scene
because it is reminiscent of Mother's
welcoming and accepting house, a place
where friends and strangers alike would
stop to admire her flower beds and
containers chockablock with
bright blooms.

Because Mother absolutely loved flowers,
and gave away large bouquets from her vast
garden, we placed a large basket of gladiolus
bulbs tied with ribbon in colorful tissue next to
the guest book for visitors to take with them to
plant in their gardens. When the bulbs bloom
this summer, and many summers after this one,
the bright gladioli will serve as a comforting
reminder of Mother's beautiful spirit of love
for everyone, as well as continue the
beauty she brought into our world.

Next to the basket of bulbs was a stack
of printed "Margaret-isms" to take along -
funny and wise things she said to us over
the years. A few examples: - After watching
me put new batteries in her blood pressure
monitor she said, "I need some new batteries
too." - I told Mother she didn't need to cut
out the weather report from the newspaper.
 (She had trouble seeing it.) I told her I can
call it up on my phone, to which she replied,
"Your phone doesn't always work."

There were beautiful bouquets of pink and
red roses, carnations and gerbera daisies
surrounding Mother. She would have been
very touched to know that a lovely basket
of lilies, daisies, roses and ferns was also
sent by her mailman, whose visits she
eagerly awaited every day.

There was an easel holding a photo collage
showing Mother at all stages of her life
and with the family she adored.

Across from it was a table holding mementos
of Mother's interests, hobbies and items
that were meaningful to her, and us.

The large portrait was photographed by
my late son, Christopher. We also included
other framed photos, her daily devotional
and calendar, a doll's dress she designed
and sewed for my sister, and a life cast
I made last year with her, of her hand
holding mine. I think this is the object
I treasure the most.

The service was simple, with brief
eulogies by the officiating minister,
my sister and myself, and Tom, who
sent a heartfelt tribute to Mother's
online obituary. The minister also
read the Margaret-isms to
much laughter.

There were readings from the Bible,
including such favorites of hers as Romans
8:28 ("All things work together for good...")
and 1 Corinthians 13:7 (Appropriately, the
"love" verse). Interspersed were the hymns
she favored and some of which she sang to
me as a child: "The Old Rugged Cross" and
"In the Garden", among others.

The prayers used were the three that my
sister and I said with Mother every night at
bedtime - the 23rd Psalm, the Lord's Prayer,
 and the blessing from Numbers 6:24 -
"The Lord bless thee and keep thee...".
She would always say to us, "Amen.
Thank you for everything" before
she went to sleep.

At the end of the service, three of Mother's
grandchildren led the guests in an a cappella
version of "Amazing Grace". Always a favorite
of Mother's, she enjoyed it even more when
I told her that it was written by a
former slave ship captain.

Hearing the voices of all those people who
knew and loved Mother, singing in unison
without instrumental accompaniment,
was incredibly moving and a perfect
way to end the service. It seemed like
Mother speaking to us from the other
side when the minister closed by
saying, "Go in peace. Be kind
to one another."

I watched as the guests filed out of
the funeral, and again as I met with
many of them at a luncheon we provided
in a nearby café. How different we all are,
but how unified by the love she showed us
and the ways she touched each of our lives.

To some she was the neighbor they could
always count on, to others she was their
last aunt. Others, like her mailman, counted
themselves fortunate to have her as a friend
and, to one of her doctors, she was his oldest
patient. For us, she was just our beloved
mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and
great-grandmother - the center of our family.

Back home the day after the funeral,
this huge bouquet of pink roses appeared
from Tom. He knew that they were Mother's
favorite flowers and they brought
such comfort to me!

When we returned to Mother's now quiet
house, a kind of shrine formed from items
from the funeral and others in her home.
In her dining room, the decorations and
cards from Mother's Day that she asked us
to keep on display were now ironically
side by side with other mementos of her
life and items from her funeral.

In the center is the mailman's basket of flowers.

Here's a shadowbox I made about
Mother's courtship and marriage.

Last year, Mother and I took flowers to my
father's grave and, as she looked across from
it she said, "I'll be here soon with Ralph.
Isn't this just so peaceful?!" I took this
picture yesterday and she was right.

Here is the card that came with the
mailman's basket of flowers.

I think it says it all!

Margaret Elizabeth Schneider