Monday, October 29, 2018

Lights Out, Everyone!


Who is this man...
and why wouldn't
you want to be
caught dead in
the dark with him?



He's Arch Oboler...

...a writer, producer
and director who
made his mark in
radio, film, theater
and television.

Oboler is best
known for
Lights Out...
 an innovative radio
drama series that
presented chilling
tales of horror and
the supernatural.

In 1962 some of Oboler's
best Lights Out tales were
assembled on the album
Drop Dead! An Exercise
in Horror. I bought that
record and enjoyed
listening to Oboler's
scary stories every
Halloween for years
thereafter. One of my
favorite segments on
Drop Dead! is "The Dark."

"The Dark" - Arch Oboler
from 1962 album Drop Dead! 
An Exercise in Horror

Now check out "Nightmare
Cafeteria," a segment of
The Simpsons that aired in
October 1994 as part of
the animated series' annual
Halloween feature Treehouse
of Horror. The piece made
reference to Arch Oboler's
spooky story "The Dark."

"Nightmare Cafeteria" - The Simpsons
(Halloween 1994, segment of
Treehouse of Horror V)

AT 2:10 MARK!

One of the tracks on
Bill Cosby's 1966
comedy album
Wonderfulness is
"Chicken Heart," a
nod to Arch Oboler
and one of his most
famous radio tales
originally broadcast
in the late 1930s
and early 40s and
included on the
Drop Dead! album. 

Cosby retold the story in an episode of his animated
television series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

"Chicken Heart" - Bill Cosby
(From episode of animated TV series
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.)

What could be more fun than a day at the dentist's? BZZZZZZZ - time's up.
The answer, of course, is that NOTHING is more fun than a day at the
dentist's. You know the drill. Open wide, click and listen!

"A Day At The Dentist's" - Arch Oboler
from 1962 album Drop Dead! An Exercise in Horror

If that trip to the dentist worked up an appetite for more
Arch Oboler horror, then sink your teeth into this one.

""I'm Hungry!" - Arch Oboler
from 1962 album Drop Dead! An Exercise in Horror

I hope you enjoyed meeting one of my boyhood
idols and sampling his story telling genius.

Thanks for the disturbing dreams
and unsettling memories,


You were one of the kings
of horror and suspense.

Have a Shady day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blood Curse Revenge of The Wolfman!

Mercy mercy me! This here's
Wolfman Jack, baby, sittin' in
for my good friend Shady Del
Knight here at the greatest
little station in the nation,
the all new S-P-M-M Radio.

I'm your doctor of love, you understand, and I got
the cure you're looking for - the best oldies you
ever heard and the best oldies you never heard!

While the moon is full and stars do shine
Cuddle and dance to these tunes of mine.

Grab that special someone, start squeezin'
and let the Wolfman's music do the pleasin'.

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

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that's amore - and these are The Capris, an Italian American doo-wop group from Queens, New York, getting us in the mood for love with their big hit and signature song - "There's A Moon Out Tonight!"

 "There's A Moon Out Tonight" - The Capris 
 (Feb. 1961, highest chart pos. #3) 

Those were The Capris starting off the show with their snugglin' song "There's A Moon Out Tonight." You're tuned to the Wolfman on S-P-M-M Radio. This is swingin' school and I'm gonna teach you a lesson. In 1964, soul singer Betty Everett reached the top of the Cash Box R&B chart with "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)." Now if you think Betty's version is the original you're wrong. A year earlier, another soul thrush, Merry Clayton, was the first to record the song. Merry's single didn't make the chart, but it earns the Wolfman's zeal of approval. Yes, gracious... Merry Clayton sings-- "It's In His Kiss!"

 "It's In His Kiss" - Merry Clayton 
 (June/July 1963, uncharted) 

Merry Clayton there with a great record that
shoulda been a hit-- "It's In His Kiss." Now
listen to this. Another version of that same
song was recorded in LA by Ramona King,
a fine R&B singer from San Francisco.
Ramona's "It's In His Kiss" single was
released in February 1964, one week
before the version by Betty Everett
hit the street, the one that was destined to become a hit.
Like Merry Clayton's record, Ramona's single was a swing
and a miss. A few months later, Ramona released a record
that sounds a lot like "When You Walk In The Room."
This one's called-- "Run Johnny Run!"

 "Run Johnny Run" - Ramona King 
 (July/Aug. 1964, uncharted) 

That was teen queen Ramona King and
"Run Johnny Run." Now listen here.
This next little lady, Beverly Washburn,
is not only a great singer, she's an actress,
too. Around Halloween, 1959, Beverly
guest starred on the TV series Leave
It To Beaver as Jill Bartlett, a girl
who needs Wally Cleaver's help
finding a blind date for the dance. In the same vein,
Beverly released this record at Halloween, 1963,
called "Ev'rybody Loves Saturday Night (but me)."
The Wolfman thinks Beverly sounds a lot like
Shelley Fabares... and if I'm lyin'... I'm dyin'.
Here's Beverly!

 "Ev'rybody Loves Saturday Night" 
 Beverly Washburn (Oct. 1963, uncharted) 

Mercy me, that was sweet little Beverly Washburn,
a singer who also acted in more than two dozen
episodes of Loretta Young's TV show and had
a role in the Disney tear-jerker film Old Yeller.
Now I want all you Dell Vikings and Dellettes
to put your ears close to the radio and listen
to the Wolfman. In 1959 the Brooklyn based
Laurie label doo-wop quintet The Mystics had a hit with
"Hushabye." I'll bet you never heard the fab flip side.
It's all about "Adam And Eve!"

 "Adam And Eve" - The Mystics 
 (July/Aug. 1959, uncharted B side of "Hushabye") 

Oh Eve, you don't know me from Adam, but I'm your snake in the grass, and as long as you got the curves... baby I got the angles! The Mystics with the story of, and the glory of... "Adam And Eve." Now here's the prolific and terrific Neil Sedaka with a ditty that makes me shout and knock myself out, and that's a fact or my name ain't Wolfman Jack!-- Just in time for Halloween Neil sings-- "Little Devil!"

 "Little Devil" - Neil Sedaka 
 (June 1961, highest chart pos. #11

Oh my my, I see by the old clock on the wall
there's a dead fly. The sun's coming up
and the Wolfman gotta go.

If you've been listening to the show at the
diner on the outskirts of town, be sure
to tip your waitress when you leave.
She works hard for the money, honey.

This is your old friend Wolfman
Jack sayin' see you next time
here on the greatest little
station in the nation, the
all new S-P-M-M radio.
guarantee we gonna
rock 'n' roll ourselves
to death, baby.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hepcat Black Presents - The Collins Connection!


 Hepcat Black's my name. 

 Hep music's my game. 

I'm a cool cool kitty, but let's get one thing
straight between us, Gus. I ain't from
New York City! I just pulled up in
my Pink Cadillac to spin some
cool tunes for ya. Old school
rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, psychobilly,
country, outlaw - it's all good, understood?

For my first stint as guest host here at Shady's Place
I am proud to present "The Collins Connection!"


Now I'm not talkin' about Joan Collins or Gary Collins or Tom Collins.
I'm talkin' about The Collins Kids - Lorrie and Larry Collins, the brother
and sister rockabilly duo you gotta see and hear to believe. Watch this
amazing performance of "Hoy Hoy," a single the siblings released
around Christmas 1957. When the song's over and you've put
your eyes and ears back in your head, then we'll talk.

"Hoy Hoy" - The Collins Kids (Larry And Lorrie)
(Christmas 1957, live perf. on 1958
ep. of Tex Ritter's Ranch Party)

Gotta love 'em - Lorrie and Larry Collins - The Collins Kids,
regulars on Tex Ritter's Ranch Party, the late 50s television
series known earlier that decade as Town Hall Party.

Little Larry's mentor was guitar virtuoso Joe Maphis -
The King of the Strings - who was also a regular
and featured soloist on Town Hall Party.

Here's another sizzler guaranteed to get you out
of your seat and up on your feet. "Hop, Skip
And Jump" was released in April of 1957
on the B side of "Young Heart."

"Hop, Skip And Jump" - The Collins Kids (Larry And Lorrie)
(Apr. 1957, B side of "Young Heart," orig. studio sound
over video of perf. on Tex Ritter's Ranch Party)

In August 1957, Arkansas country crooner Edwin Bruce
released as a single a song he wrote entitled "Rock
Boppin' Baby." In August of '58, Lorrie and Larry
Collins released a sultry, seductive cover. Here
are the C- Kids delighting the Town Hall Party
audience with a live performance of the song.

"Rock Boppin' Baby" - Lorrie And Larry Collins
(Aug. 1958 single, perf. on Town Hall Party)


As the story goes, teenage idol Ricky Nelson spotted
15 year old Lorrie Collins on Town Hall Party.

It was love at first bite sight. Ricky caught cat scratch fever and set out
to make Lorrie his "Be Bop Baby." Before long the two were going steady.
Don't they make a purr-fect couple?  It's easy to see why Lorrie Collins
caught the Rickster's eye. Take a look and a listen as Lorrie sings
"Waiting Just For You" on a 1958 episode of Ranch Party.

"Waiting Just For You" - Lorrie Collins
(perf. on 1958 ep. of Tex Ritter's Ranch Party)

In 1958 Lorrie demonstrated her singing
and acting skills on an episode of Ricky's
family TV sitcom The Adventures of
Ozzie And Harriet. Lorrie played the
dual role of Ricky's girlfriend and her
identical twin sister who was dating
Ricky's brother David. Together
Ricky and Lorrie performed
"Just Because," a song written in
1929 and recorded by numerous
artists including Elvis Presley
and Paul McCartney.

"Just Because"
Ricky Nelson & Lorrie Collins
(scene from 1958 episode of 
The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet)

Ricky and Lorrie didn't last. The following year 17 year old Lorrie married
Stu Carnall, Johnny Cash's manager, a man who was twice her age.
Dang! Lorrie could have had me, Hepcat Black!

In 1958 "The Killer," Jerry Lee Lewis, had a hit single
with "High School Confidential," the theme song of
the 1958 crime drama movie of the same name.
Watch and listen as the talented siblings rip it
up with their version on Town Hall Party!

"High School Confidential" - The Collins Kids
(live perf. on Town Hall Party)

In addition to his blistering performances on guitar, Larry Collins is
an accomplished songwriter. He penned songs for The Collins Kids
and in later years co-wrote (with Alex Harvey) his best known song
 "Delta Dawn," a top 10 country hit for Tanya Tucker in 1972. Larry
and Lorrie performed together until the mid 60s before going their
separate ways. In 1993 the talented brother and sister team
reunited for a rockabilly revival show in England and
continued to make live appearances until 2018.

 I hope you agree that 

 The Collins Kids 

 are a couple of cool, cool kitties. 

 I'm Hepcat Black 

 saying so long for now and see you soon! 



If there's a rock and roll
heaven, Ricky Nelson
and Lorrie Collins are
performing together again.

I am sad to report
that lovely Lorrie
died two months
ago of complications
resulting from a fall.
Lorrie was 76.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Marshall Marshall Marshall!


starred in the 1965 movie

the Cross-Eyed Lion.

Thompson played Dr. Marsh Tracy, a veterinarian who operates an animal
research center in East Africa. Cheryl Miller played Tracy's daughter Paula.

Clarence the Cross-
Eyed Lion served
as the pilot for the
television series
Daktari which ran
from 1966 to 1969. 

Marshall Thompson and
Cheryl Miller reprised their
roles as father and daughter
on the TV show and were
joined by the popular
animal characters
Clarence the Cross-
Eyed Lion and
Judy the chimp.


In the mid and late 50s Marshall Thompson developed a cult following
as the star of four science fiction horror films I saw as a boy.
Can you name at least one of those scary flicks?



In the mid and late 60s, Marshall Thompson starred in the children's
television series Daktari. In the mid and late 50s, Thompson starred in
four of my favorite sci-fi/horror movies. View the posters and trailers below.





Did you correctly guess any of them?

Thanks for the memories


Have a Shady day!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Shady Train - Ep. 10: Halloween Party Train!


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!

Hi there and welcome back in. You're right on time
for another hip trip on the Shadytown choo-choo.
Don't need money. Don't take fame. Don't need
no credit card to ride this train... so climb aboard!

On this special edition of our show we're taking the Terror Train...

and the Horror Express and heading straight toward Halloween.

And as the train prepares to leave the station
we are delighted to introduce a very talented
young actor known for his portrayal of base-
ball great Jackie Robinson in the film 42 and
his starring role in the 2018 blockbuster
black Panther. Now behold his brilliant
portrayal of soul legend James Brown in
Get On Up, the 2014 film biography that
chronicles the Godfather's rise to inter-
national fame. Ladies and gentlemen,
Mr. Chadwick Boseman and Mr. Dynamite, James Brown, invite you
to Get On Up and get on board-- the "Night Train!"

"Night Train" (live) - James Brown And The Famous Flames
(May/June 1962, highest chart pos. #35 Hot 100/#5 R&B,
scene from 2014 film Get On Up)


And our next guests are, we believe, setting a new standard for what bands are all about. If you base your opinion on sales and genuine popularity, you have to consider them as the best band in the business. As they join us courtesy of our friends at American Bandstand to do their latest single on Total Experience records, a top 3 Halloween hit entitled "Party Train," a great welcome, gang, for-- The Gap Band!

"Party Train" - The Gap Band
(Halloween 1983, highest chart pos.
#3 R&B/#101 Bubbling Under)


And the Shady Train dancers are gonna style awhile
and get into a groove that makes you wanna move
real smooth. It's one of three singles by a talented
Italian-American band that topped the U.S. Dance
chart simultaneously for nine weeks in the spring
of 1980 - an all-time record. They call themselves
Change and this is a biggin' everyboy's diggin'
entitled-- "A Lover's Holiday!"

"A Lover's Holiday" - Change
(April/May 1980, highest chart pos. #1 U.S. Dance Club,
from Apr. 1980 album The Glow Of Love)

And just in time for Halloween let's welcome one of 
he finest talents and one of the loveliest ladies in our
business. She is Miss Evelyn "Champagne" King
and this is a song from the soundtrack of the hit
horror flick Fright Night-- "Give It Up!"

"Give It Up" - Evelyn "Champagne" King
(Halloween 1985, from OST of film Fright Night)

And we are super excited to have aboard the big train
a talented band from Los Angeles to do their smash
disco hit on the Capitol label. As we speak the
record is topping the pop, soul and disco charts
in the U.S. and catching fire all over the world.
The song is entitled "Boogie Oogie Oogie"
and this is-- A Taste Of Honey!

"Boogie Oogie Oogie" - A Taste of Honey
(June/July/Aug. 1978, highest chart pos.
#1 Hot 100/#1 R&B/#1 Disco/#1 Canada)

And as the big train takes dead aim on Halloween,
let's check out this amazing mix of two smash hits.
It's Ray Parker Jr. with the theme song he wrote
and performed for the movie Ghostbusters,
along with Huey Lewis And The News
doing their chart-topper "The Power
Of Love!" It's a nifty mashup called
-- "The Ghostbusters Of Love!" 

Mashup "The Ghostbusters Of Love"
Ray Parker Jr. vs. Huey Lewis And The News
("The Power Of Love" + "Ghostbusters")


And the Los Angeles group Klymaxx was one of
the first and only all female bands to ever make it
big in our industry. The group is responsible for
killers that include "Wild Girls," "The Men All
Pause," "I Miss You," "Man Size Love," and
their biggest hit and signature song which
you about to hear. As a Halloween treat we
present a parody video starring comedians
Fortune Feimster, Allison Dunbar and friends.
They're-- "Meeting In The Ladies Room!"

"Meeting In The Ladies Room" - Klymaxx
(parody by comedians Fortune Feimster, Allison Dunbar & friends)
(orig. Apr./May/June 1985, highest chart pos #4 R&B/#59 Hot 100)

That does it for our Halloween Party Train edition
of Shady Train. We'll open another six pack again
next time and throw in another cool one for good
measure, and 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!