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

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mad and Madder Men!

Welcome back to the

Sterling Cooper ad agency

office Christmas party!

We're treating you to the sounds of today -
the hottest up-and-coming female singers
of the 60s, appearing at here at our gala
through the magic of videotape and film.

I'm Bert Cooper, senior partner
here at Sterling Cooper.

My goal before I die is to teach my Mad Men
underlings How to Succeed in Business
Without Really Trying. You do that by
taking three hour, three martini lunch
breaks with beautiful women and by
consuming plenty of liquor at the
office to enhance creativity while
you work on ad campaigns for
major clients. It's a rat race,
folks, and perky country
songstress Jody Miller
joins us now to sing
"The Race Is On,"
originally waxed
by George Jones
and turned into
a top 20 pop hit
by Jack Jones
(no relation).  

"The Race Is On" Jody Miller
(from 1965 album Queen of the House)
(Live perf. on July 31, 1965, ep.
of Hollywood A Go-Go)

I'm Megan Draper.

Here at Sterling Cooper I went from
lowly receptionist to Don Draper's
secretary to the new Mrs. Don Draper
and an aspiring Hollywood actress.
I did it all by using the kind of subtle
body language seen above. Here again
is Jody Miller, this time starring in a
Scopitone jukebox film, performing
a song written and first recorded by
Bobby Darin. Released as a single in
the summer of '62, "Things" was a
top 3 chart hit for Bobby.

"Things" - Jody Miller
(Sept. 1966, uncharted,
Scopitone jukebox film)

I'm Pete Campbell, a ruthless
account exec at the Sterling shop.

I have questionable judgement both
professionally and personally and my
specialty is blackmailing people to get
what I want. New Christy Minstrels
alumni Jackie & Gayle (Jackie Miller
and Gayle Caldwell) are back with us
again, this time with a song from the
soundtrack of the musical teen romp
Wild Wild Winter. Check out this
beachy keen sound of the season - 
"Our Love's Gonna Snowball"!

"Our Love's Gonna Snowball"
Jackie and Gayle (Dec. 1965,
scene from Jan. 1966 movie
Wild Wild Winter)

I'm Trudy Campbell, Pete's wife (below).

Pete and I have a rocky relationship.
I know for a fact he's been cheating
on me with that Gilmore Girl (below).

Meanwhile, Pete found out that
I too have a secret double life...

as "Annie Edison" - a student
enrolled at community college
in Colorado (above & below).

Last May, Shady Del Knight posted a
tribute to backing singer Clydie King.
One of Clydie's greatest recordings is
"Home Of The Brave," a 1965 single
on which she sang background with
Sherlie Matthews behind lead singer
Charlotte O'Hara, an act credited as
Bonnie And The Treasures. Jody
Miller also recorded "Home Of The
Brave" and the two records climbed
the chart simultaneously. Jody now
takes the stage to sing her version
of the bold message song about
nonconformity and tolerance,
a recording that earned Jody
her second top 40 hit.

"Home of the Brave" - Jody Miller
(Sept. 1965, highest chart pos. #25,
live perf. on Oct. 23, 1965 ep.
of Hollywood A Go Go)

I'm Sally Draper, Don
and Betty's daughter.

I'm always getting into mischief but,
to my credit, I do it in very stylish
clothes. I'm very competitive with
my mother. Only one of us can be
queen of the house. Here once again
is Jody Miller with her signature
song and biggest hit, starring
in another Scopitone film!

"Queen of the House"
Jody Miller  (May/June '65,
highest chart pos. #12,
Scopitone Jukebox film)

I hope you enjoyed our

office Christmas party.

We want to thank our special musical
guests Donna Loren, Jody Miller and
Jackie & Gayle, for being here. Now
for all of us at Sterling Cooper along
with our families at home, this is
Don Draper saying happy holidays. 

Just think. It's 1960-something.
Heavy smoking and drinking are
good for you, and the future's so bright
 it's giving us all an Excedrin headache.



  1. Funny!
    I bet her life at the college is better. Crazier, but better.
    Have a blessed Christmas, Shady.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for swinging by for part 2 of the Mad Men office Christmas party. I'm happy to see you, good buddy!

      I am a big fan of the lovely Alison Brie, one of the most exciting young actresses in Hollywood. She's busy, too. In addition to her fine performances as Trudy on Mad Men and Annie on the sitcom Community, Alison appears in three new films released in 2017 and has the starring role in a new TV series GLOW - The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.

      I wish you and yours a blessed Christmas, too, Alex. Thanks again for your visit and comment, good buddy!

  2. I have to say I prefer Jody Miller's version of "Things". I always hate the girlie chorus on Bobby Darin's version. Don't get me wrong I really like Bobby Darin apart from Things!

    1. Hi, Joey!

      Thanks for coming over, good buddy! I am pleased to see you back here at SDMM.

      Jody Miller was an acquired taste for me. Like Brenda Lee, pretty Jody was a successful crossover recording artist with a pop style heavily influenced by country.

      Some of Jody's performances are a bit jarring because it is hard to believe the big bold sound coming from such a diminutive lady. I introduced Jody nearly four years ago in the very first volume of my Echoes series. Jody sang her version of "Magic Town," the Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil song that became a hit a short while later for The Vogues:

      I like it when Jody dials it back a little as she did on "Things" and her signature song "Queen Of The House."

      Thanks again for joining the fun, good buddy Joey, and happy holidays to you and yours!

  3. Tom,

    Great fun again, my friend! At first I didn't think I knew Jody Miller until I got to the end and I do believe I recall her "Queen of the House". The first time I saw Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell) in anything was in the TV series Angel. He played David Boreanaz's (Angel) son in the last couple of seasons. Thanks for sharing the retro flare with the help of the Mad Men cast! Have a good week!!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for coming over for a look and a listen as I present part 2 of my Mad Men Christmas special.

      I'm glad you know Vince Kartheiser. It's interesting how life imitated art in his case. In Mad Men, his character, Pete Campbell, cheated on wife Trudy with Beth, played by
      former Gilmore Girl Alexis Bledel. That same year Vincent and Alexis started dating. They announced their engagement the following year and were married in 2014.

      It is also interesting that Vince embraces the principles of "simple living." I admire him for that.

      Yessum, "Queen Of The House" is Jody Miller's biggest hit and best known "signature song." I have taken a real liking to the songstress, a mid 60s "missing link" between pop and country.

      Thanks again for joining the party, dear friend Cathy, and enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. Tom,

      Don't forget Pete had an affair with Peggy which resulted in a pregnancy and she gave her baby to her sister for adoption. That Pete had an eye for the gals! Of course, nearly every guy on the show suffered with that same problem. :) Have a joyful Christmas, my friend and God bless!

    3. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for popping back in, dear friend! I also thank you for reminding me that Pete and Peggy had a thing that resulted in Peggy getting preggers. It's been a while since I watched Mad Men and I forgot about that.

      Mrs. Shady and I have finally reached the "Mara" part of the Haven saga. We have so many series in rotation now that we only watch Haven about once every two weeks.

      Have a wonderful Christmas, dear friend Cathy!

  4. I'm not as up on 60s music as I should be and these were new names and songs for me. Except.... as Queen of the House began, I thought "I'm listening to King of the Road"!! What's the story on that?

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      Thanks for coming over, dear friend!

      You are correct, Kelly. Jody Miller's signature song, the top 40 hit "Queen Of The House," is sung to the tune of the Roger Miller (no relation) hit "King Of The Road." "Queen" is an example of an "answer song" aka "response song" aka "answer record." Wiki tells us that answer songs were widespread in blues and R&B in the 30s thru 50s and extremely popular in country music in the 50s and 60s.

      Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Kelly. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I'm sure our friendship's gonna snowball in the coming year! :)

  5. Hi Shady...I'm keeping the midnight fires burning, lol! The more I've seen of Jody Miller, the more I've come to like her. Seems like her performances and songs got better throughout 1965 and 1966. Oh, I know "The Race is On", and she did a good job of it, but as I continued on, the improvements were pretty evident. I always liked "Things" by Bobby Darin, and Jody's voice really shined on her version of it. All around, this girl was pretty darn good-my favorite being "Home of the Brave". I don't remember ever knowing of her before, and aside from that silly "Queen of the House" (I can't believe it is her biggest hit!), she's got my vote!

    I do remember Jackie and Gayle from your previous post, and enjoyed their "Our Love's Gonna Snowball" beach video!

    Thanks for keeping us updated on the "Mad Men" shenanigans, Shady! I love your closing thoughts...we were so encouraged to smoke and drink during the 60's. I quit smoking 5 years ago yesterday! I know that's not a long time, but I have never slipped back on it, and, I had plenty of reasons to keep myself as healthy as I can! It is probably the best thing I have ever done for myself.

    So, on that note, I will retire for the night. I apologize for being so late, and I hope you are having a great week so far! I hope you and Mrs. Shady and family have a wonderful Christmas! Take care, dear friend! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thank you very much for coming by to experience the unique song styling of country-pop hybrid Jody Miller along with the exciting duo of Jackie & Gayle.

      It makes me very happy to know that Jody Miller grew on you the way she did on me. Some of Jody's vocal performances pack a powerful punch.
      When I first heard her version of "Magic Town," the song that became a hit for the Vogues, I didn't know what to make of it. It seemed overwrought. Jody reminded me of country's answer to Ethel Merman, belting out songs that perhaps didn't need quite so much belting. However, Jody got under my skin, and before long I started to recognize her greatness. Jody is versatile, too, able to tackle various genres and able to tone down the ferocity on songs that require a more subdued approach such as "Things" and "Queen Of The House," the latter her answer song to "King Of The Road." I agree that Jody's rendition of "Home Of The Brave" is as great, and probably better, than the single most critics seem to prefer - the one by Bonnie And The Treasures that I posted earlier this year. Jody poured her heart and soul into that performance!

      I applaud you for kicking the smoking habit, Suzanne. I know it's tough, and the reason why many smokers fail to break free is because they keep waiting for the perfect time to quit, a period when life eases up on them and their troubles go away. Life isn't set up that way. If only they could understand that summoning the personal power to stop smoking enables them to handle the other challenges of life more calmly, confidently and effectively. Smoking cessation is indeed a gift you give yourself - a gift that keeps on giving. I haven't had a drink or a smoke in more than 25 years, since June 1992 to be exact, and I thank myself every day.

      Thank you again for your cheery visit and excellent comment, dear friend Suzanne. I wish you and Scootie and Rusty and your mother and sister the happiest Christmas ever. I also promise you that in the coming year our bloggy love's gonna snowball! :)

  6. Well Merry Christmas!! I like your conn cation to this excellent show and Jody Miler has. Great voice...unique because it is sultry which not every person has. The gals in the sexy bathing suits or maids outfits give some eye candy for the men which works for the times and for this show. I wanted to send a card to your friend who lost the last Dell Rat..her loving mom but I was late so I wan5ed to send a special email card and, for some reason, it won’t go through. I know her year has been difficult so please send her my best and have been thinking of her.

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thank you very much for attending the Sterling Cooper office Christmas party part 2.

      I'm glad you are already a fan of Mad Men and that you appreciated the country-soul styling of Jody Miller. Jody is one of those artists that grows on you if you give her a chance. I'm sold on her!

      Yessum, it was a tough year for our friend Kathleen Mae Schneider and I will be sure to let her know that you are thinking about her and her mother Margaret who left us in May. I am sure Kathleen will appreciate knowing how much you care. Please stay tuned because, in the coming year, Kathleen will be bringing us more stories about Margaret Schneider - The Oldest Living Dell Rat - right here on SDMM.

      Thank you again for your kindness, dear friend BB. Merry Christmas to you and your family and remember - in 2018 our bloggy love's gonna snowball! :)

  7. OK, I was familiar with Roger Miller's "King of the Road" but did not know there was a female version. Funny lyrics and video, (though I don't know that Betty Freidan or Gloria Steinem would have been all that amused.) It's forgotten now, but the bored housewife-meets-milkman lothario was a comedy trope into the 1970s.

    So was Jody Miller considered country? It's definitely that '60s Nashville sound (which I do like) but videos and TV clips have her more in a early-to-mid '60s pop setting. Maybe she was a crossover artist before crossover artists were cool.

    1. Hi, Kirk!

      How're you doing, good buddy? Thanks for attending the Sterling Cooper shop's annual Christmas party.

      Jody Miller's hit "Queen Of The House" was one of many answer songs released in the 50s and 60s in response to hits on the pop and country charts. Just look at all the originals and answer songs listed on the front and back of the CD compilation The Answer To Everything: Girl Answer Songs of the 60s:

      As the All Music Guide puts it: "Jody Miller pioneered a fusion of folk, country, and pop that set the stage for the folky country-pop of the '70s." Shady sez Jody was a little bit country, a little bit pop and a little bit Ethel Merman given her powerful vocals on certain songs.

      Hey, while I have your attention I'd like to recommend a TV show that Mrs. Shady and I are crazy about. It's the Amazon original series Good Girls Revolt. Set in 1969 New York, the series explores the beginnings of the Women's Movement and follows a group of young women as they break the glass ceiling and adopt the principles of feminism. I think you'll appreciate the series, Kirk:

      Thank you again for dropping by and for your fine comment, good buddy. I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas. Stay tuned for my annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve in the Shady" extravaganza hosted by Shady Seaweed. The festivities get underway Tuesday. See you then, Kirk!

  8. Great fun but I am a lost for knowing any of the singers.
    Merry Merry Christmas to all the Shady Dell Knights.
    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

    1. Hi, Gayle! Hi Winston/Mandibles!

      Thanks so much for making time for a visit before the Mad Men Christmas party comes to an end.

      Truth be told I don't remember Jody Miller, Jackie & Gayle or Donna Loren from my youth. Of the three acts, Jody is the only one who landed singles on the Hot 100 and I don't remember hearing them on my local top 40 radio station. I believe the recording careers of all three artists were hampered by the arrival of The Beatles and other bands from the UK whose records dominated the chart throughout the mid 60s.

      I'm glad you had fun with the post, dear friend Gayle. Merry Christmas to you, to your spirited Square Dog Winston and to your mysterious black catties O & M!

  9. Shady I just read your comment on Kirks blog. I am so sorry about your Father and Grandfather. Life happen but I often wonder why stuff happens.
    I have been following Kirk for a long time and he always has the best posts. I am happy you both connected.

    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

    1. Thank you very much, Gayle!

      I appreciate the fact that you read my comment on Kirk's blog. I agree that he always does a fantastic job of researching his topics. Kirk consistently offers posts you can sink your teeth into.

      Yessum, this is a time of mixed emotions for me. I try to stay focused on the present and family I have, but thoughts of my father's death on Christmas Day 16 years ago (shortly after the 9-11 terror attacks) keep entering my mind. I miss him.

      Thank you again for your kindness, dear friend Gayle, and merry Christmas to you and yours!

  10. Oh, those colorful lives they live. LOL
    Hey, so good to see you back, my friend. I was out for a long time too so pardon me for not visiting you realm for a while.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi, Luxie!

      I am very happy to see your lovely face back here at your home away from home - Shady Dell Music & Memories. Thanks for coming by!

      If you've never seen it, Mrs. Shady and I highly recommend Mad Men, a dramatic TV series that gives you an accurate look at the changing culture, attitudes and styles in America during the 1960s.

      You are always welcome here, dear friend Lux, and I invite you to stick with me in the coming year. In 2018 I will be doing something just for you, responding to a request you made here many months ago, a request you might not even remember. Stay tuned! :)


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