Monday, November 26, 2018

Shady Green and his Wayback Machine - Vol. 1:
In The Year 2525 (Exordium And Terminus)

...and the cow was returned to its rightful owner.

And that's the latest from S-P-M-M news...
fast, up-to-the-minute, completely fake
and proud of it. Now stand by for


on the station that's #1 for music and fun - S-P-M-M!


"In The Year 2525 (Exordium And Terminus)" - Zager And Evans
(July 1969, highest chart pos. #1, from the album
2525 {Exordium & Terminus})

Zager and Evans kicking off the maiden voyage of the Wayback Machine
with a record that spent 6 weeks at number one in the "Summer of '69" -
"In the Year 2525." See what I did there? I named two hit songs
back-to-back, each one referring to a specific year.

Hi there! This is your retrosonic rocker, Shady Green, The Dean of Keen,
card carrying member of The Shady Bunch here on S-P-M-M, the station
that's #1 for music and fun. You're my DJ co-pilot so let's spin another
late 60s sizzler and keep this 7-in-a-row block party going strong!


Our next stop on the good ship Psychedelic Lollipop is late summer/early fall of 1968.
That's when The Grass Roots were riding high on the strength of their biggest hit,
a record that reached the top 5 in the U.S. and Canada- "Midnight Confessions!"

"Midnight Confessions" - The Grass Roots
(Sept./Oct. 1968, highest chart pos. #5)

"Midnight Confessions" from The Grassroots,
one of America's most successful bands with
an impressive 21 singles on the Billboard
chart. Your dial is set to S-P-M-M... the
place for good music, good memories
and good times, and you're traveling
through music history in the
Wayback Machine.


You and me, Shady Green, and the The Shady Bunch here at S-P-M-M.
We're happy together, and now let's hear from the groovy guys who
recorded that chart topper along with this 1966 hit, "You Baby."
They call themselves-- The Turtles!

"You Baby" - The Turtles 
(Mar. 1966, highest chart pos. #20)

The Turtles and "You Baby" here on the all new S-P-M-M -
Retrosonic Radio... the station that's #1 for music and fun.


If you're just joining me, you're riding the
Wayback Machine with Shady Green, your
Dean of Keen. Now let's take a stroll through
your mind with "Reflections," the first psych-
edelic pop record released by Motown's top
girl group, The Supremes, and their first single
using a new group name - the Cabbage Patch
Dolls... uh, I mean Diana Ross & The Supremes!

"Reflections" - Diana Ross And The Supremes
(Sept. 1967, highest chart pos. #2)

Diana Ross And The Supremes looking in the
mirror-mirror on the wall and reflecting on
the years when they were known simply as
The Supremes and we loved them just the
same. Shady Green here and, ya know,
it just occurred to me that people are
strange, especially when you're a
stranger. Right? Faces look ugly,
women seem wicked and streets
are un-e-vun when you're down.


Well I'm here to tell ya, friends and neighbors... that strange days have
found us. They dun tracked us down! It's Morrison and The Doors
with the title track from their second album, one that made
Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest of all time--
Strange Days!

"Strange Days" - The Doors
(from Sept. 1967 album Strange Days)

"Strange Days" with The Doors on the all new S-P-M-M...
Futuresonic Radio. For those of you tuning in for the first
time, I'm Captain Shady Green and these are the voyages
of the starship Wayback. My five year mission (or until I
get canned, whichever comes first) is to boldly go to the
little boy's room whenever a long record is playing.


It should come as no surprise, therefore, that I play lots of album tracks...
with "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" being my favorite. :) Now let's check the Status Quo,
a London based psychedelic group that had more chart hits in the UK than
any other rock band - more than 60 in all. This was their first one...
a biggie on both sides of the pond-- "Pictures Of Matchstick Men!"

"Pictures of Matchstick Men" - The Status Quo
(June/July 1968, highest chart pos. #12, from Sept. '68 album
Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo)

Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand,
and you know what that means. Tonight's time travel trip has come
to an end and I need to scram outta here. Thanks for joining me.
Stay tuned for my good buddy, your all night satellite, Toto Moto,
coming up on the flipside of news to take you thru the wee hours.
I hope you'll join me next time for the ride of your life in my
big bright green Wayback Machine.


Till then, till we meet again, this is Shady Green saying keep it
here on S-P-M-M, the #1 station..... for a rock 'n' roll nation!

"The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine" - Simon And Garfunkel
(Aug. 1966, B side of "The Dangling Conversation," from
Oct. 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

f o r e v e r y o u n g

I want to thank Kathleen Mae Schneider
for hosting Shady's Place in my absence.

As some of you already know, I have been
away from blogging since Thursday, Nov. 8,
to join family members in keeping a bedside
vigil. As it was a year ago when our son's
wife died unexpectedly, we are currently
mourning the sudden loss of another
close family member. 

Two weeks ago Mrs. Shady's sister,
May Lynn, was declared terminally
ill and taken to a hospice facility.
After a valiant battle that went on
days longer than doctors predicted,
May Lynn passed away in peace.

The long, emotionally draining days and nights spent at the hospice
watching and waiting, gave me plenty of time to think, to reflect
and to meditate. On day one I stepped out of May's room
and noticed the sign on a door directly across the hall.

The sign forbade visitors from entering
the area on the other side because it
was restricted to "employees only."
Curious, I peeked through the small
window on the door searching for
clues as to why I was not permitted
to enter. I expected to see medical
equipment or hospice staff at work,
but all I saw on the other side of
the door was an empty corridor.

Three days later, as I walked around exploring the facility to pass the time,
I decided to try a hallway that I had not yet bothered to traverse. Curious
to find out where the hall led, I strolled until it came to an end, my
progress blocked by a door with a sign identical to the one that
had caught my attention the first day.

My musical mind started playing the song:

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign.
Blocking out the scenery,
breaking my mind.
Do this! Don't do that!
Can't you read the signs?

Still curious, I decided to peek through the tiny window on the door.
There before me, only a few feet away, was my family gathered
around May's bed. Turns out I had walked all the way around
the building only to arrive at the spot on the other side of
the door across from May's room, the mysterious
corridor that I had gazed upon the first day.
I was standing in the very same space,
in a public hallway... that the sign
warned was off limits to visitors!

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

In closing would like to share with you the two most poignant
moments of the ordeal, an image and a song that are now
permanently ingrained in my mind, linked to the events
of this past week. As May lay dying, her daughter
brought her kindergarten age son to the hospice
to see his grandmother one last time and to
say goodbye. The African-American boy
brought with him a hand written note
that read, "I love you, Granny!"
He placed his note in May's hand
and enclosed her fingers around it
for safe keeping. The sight of a little
black boy sharing love with his white
grandmother in her final hours was
inspiring. It gave me hope.

Love knows no race. Love knows no color.

 The family was so touched by the boy's gesture
that they decided his note should go along with May
into eternity. His message was still clenched in her
hand as she was taken away for cremation.

Why are we here?
What is our reason for living
if not to love?

May Lynn's favorite artist was Rod Stewart. As May, only 58 years old,
clung to life in her hospice bed, her daughter played for her a medley
of Rod's hits. Everyone in the room wept when this one came on,
a song that says it all-- "Forever Young."

My blogging hiatus needs to continue a while longer. Mrs. Shady's brother,
a 60 year old special needs retarded man with the mental capacity of
a five year old, is flying in from California to stay with us nine days.
We will need to break the news to him that his sister is gone. Surely
it will result in yet another emotionally wrenching scene. In the
days ahead the family plans to grant May's deathbed wish and
scatter her ashes at her favorite beach on the Atlantic coast.
Naturally Mrs. Shady and I will be making the trip across
the peninsula to attend that memorial ceremony. I will
return to full time blogging as soon as circumstances
permit. Thank you, dear friend, for understanding
the important reason for my continued absence.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

In-Dell-ible Memories - Introduction:
An Inkwell and an Inkling

Tom Anderson with you today to welcome back
my very dear friend Kathleen Mae Schneider.
Over a seven year period, readers of my old
blog Shady Dell Music & Memories came to
know Kathleen and her mother Margaret
through chapters of Kathleen's exclusive
series In-Dell-ible Memories recalling the
life and times of Margaret Schneider and
her family as the first residents of the
Shady Dell early in the 20th century.
Today Kathleen joins us for the reboot
of her series here at Shady's Place,
bringing us new stories and rare,
never before published pictures!

In-Dell-ible Memories

An Inkwell and an Inkling
by Kathleen Mae Schneider

Sometimes objects in our life
take on a different purpose than originally intended.
Take, for instance, an antique inkwell that I'd
always used as a kind of funky paperweight.

(below) Ink stains on the
damaged top bear witness to the past.
Picking it up absentmindedly, I thought
it ironic that this humble object sitting
next to my computer was separated
from it by more than a century of
history and technology. It served
much the same purpose as a
writing implement in its time 
as the sleekly- designed
IMac does in mine.

My dear Mother gave the inkwell
to me many years ago and said
it once belonged to her father,
George Andrew Brown. So it
was easy to imagine him dipping
a pen into its top, tapping it lightly
to remove the excess black ink
and carefully writing down
the name of his twelfth child. 

I immediately took out the heavy family Bible that Mother
also gave me and opened it to a beginning page designated
"Births". There it was, near the bottom of the list.

I can almost hear the light scratching sound of a pen as it recorded
"Margaret Elizabeth Brown, April 18, A.D, 1912".

My grandfather was nearly running out of space! Four of his children had already
died in infancy, so he probably wondered about the chances this baby had of
surviving. Of course writing her name and birthdate, he never could have
imagined that he would save this tiny new daughter's life a few years
hence, and she would go on to outlive all of her immediate family.

He also would never live long enough to meet her three children.
Of particular interest here, I wonder what he would think of one
of his granddaughters (me), whose curiosity about his life and
times would result in her sharing it with the world!

At these musings, the old inkwell took on an almost eerie significance.
It seemed especially heavy, not only from its thick glass. It also held
all the memories and stories Mother told me about the place where it
originally sat - on another desk at the first home she remembered.
It became a portal to that magical place that later
became known as The Shady Dell.

(at left)
After a rain shower, this misty,
almost ghostly view of the Dell
reminds me of my grandfather,
who would have looked out of
this first floor bay window
from his office within and
greeted business associates
at the door.

Urgent to record my family history
while Mother, nearly 100 years old,
could amazingly still describe her
youth in great detail, I tried to
impress upon her the importance
of writing down her recollections.
I thought it odd that, initially, she
stubbornly resisted my efforts to
document her memories. For some
reason, she didn't want to revisit
The Shady Dell in her mind.

(right) Mother's eyes say it all.
She had reasons for her silence.

After my repeat pestering (her description),
she finally told me two reasons for her
reluctance. "Not dwelling on" her girl-
hood was a main reason she had lived
so long. She had truly "moved on".
The retelling of her past wouldn't
just make her vulnerable to
renewed grief, shame and fear.
It also could be harmful to those
she loved and would break an
elemental rule by which she lived.

I now cried at my naivety. As one of the only people left who
knew the darker side of the Shady Dell, she had to protect
her long-gone family's reputation, and that of its
living descendants - including me!

Already knowing by heart her happy, almost idyllic accounts of her first
ten years, I gently but persistently tried to convince her to reveal the
whole story. What was so bad that she had to forget and bury it?
What she eventually told me was only the proverbial tip
of the iceberg. No wonder she was still scared!

Enter Tom's wonderful work that honored Mother's life online
after he found me clumsily poking around on his first blog searching
for supplemental information about my ancestral birthplace. It was
the singular impetus that caused her to change her tune.

"How did my baby picture get on this thing?"

Seeing herself on the "inner-net", as she called it, and realizing how many
new and understanding friends she made on Shady Dell Music & Memories,
Mother was convinced by my reassurance that no harm would be done to
repeat her narratives - both good and bad - to all who would listen.

Mother at 104, with my daughter Elisabeth. "Were you ever
naughty when you were a little girl, Grammy?"
Answer: "Sometimes - I guess..."

Mother willingly identified and told me all she remembered about the people posing
so seriously on this fascinating group portrait of her family that hung in her hallway.

Behold - the very first Dell Rats - my ancestors!

Those conversations with my mother, first cousins (one of whom remains the last
Brown child born at the Dell house), and trips to the York County archives yielded
even more tantalizing clues. In Mother's attic, a veritable goldmine of old letters
and more photos turned up - all ripe for storytelling.

Here's a favorite (below). Taken long after Mother left the Shady Dell,
she said "the Dell never left her". This surprising picture hints at the
influence of her sisters and mother. Apparently Margaret Elizabeth
Brown was not always the shy, demure and extremely modest
woman I always knew her to be!

18-year-old Mother, posing for a photo she sent to my father when
he was out of town for the summer. When I asked her if it wasn't
risqué for the time, she said, "I didn't want him to forget me".

It's amazing how many of the issues affecting Mother's early time at the Dell
continue into 2018. Wars, religion, terrorism, new technology, fortunes built
and destroyed, racism, murder, sexual abuse of children, and the beginning
of #metoo are all there, embedded in her stories, along with many others
that we see on the front page of the morning newspaper. There are also
wonderfully comedic, tender and loving episodes to be recounted
that hold out hope to all of us.

So here it is in a nutshell:

The Shady Dell was my grandparents' idea and life's dream, sadly only
lasting a little over a decade. Years later, the Ettlines' transformed it into
the haven for teenagers venerated by Tom and thousands of others.

George Brown's barn/garage anchored the dance hall addition where
the soundtracks to Tom's youth that he often highlights here on
Shady's Place were played. Innumerable friendships and
young romances bloomed in the same spot where
my mother played as a child.

 A portrait of Mother and me - our last.

My series that begins today
resulted from a blessed
combination. It was my
extreme good fortune to
meet and be given the
opportunity to collaborate
with Tom, after capturing
Mother's Shady Dell stories
as I cared for her during
her last days on earth.
The planets aligned,
and the three of us
created a time capsule!

So you see for me, the Shady Dell is not just the subject
of an entertaining blog, it's literally part of me!

"Time passages"....

I hope you will join us as we delve into my Mother's In-Dell-ible Memories
and how the Shady Dell was born in Chapter One - Carpé Diem.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Cruisin' the Golden Age of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-wop with Porky Chedwick - Pittsburgh's Daddio of the Raddio!

 It's time for another volume of 

 the Cruisin' record album series, 

 those simulated top 40 radio 

 broadcasts of the 50s and 60s. 

As I always do in this
series, I picked a few
favorite songs from
the original album,
added a few more
great recordings of
the genre and set the
mood for the platter
party by decorating
with vintage soda ads.

 Hop in and let's cruise 
 to Pittsburgh, PA. 

 Radio station WAMO is where we find 

 "Porky" Chedwick 
 "The Daddio of the Raddio" 
 aka "The Platter Pushin' Papa"  
  aka "The Bossman" 
 aka "Pork the Tork." 

For 50 years Porky was one of the great voices
of Pittsburgh radio and he lived to age 96!


For years many listeners had no idea that
Porky Chedwick was a white man. That's
because he primarily played records by
black artists. In so doing, Porky helped
break down racial barriers. It is only
fitting that the first song on Porky's
volume of Cruisin' was recorded by
a mixed-race group from Pittsburgh,
The Del Vikings aka Dell-Vikings.
 Here is one of the three singles
by the group to reach the top 10
in 1957-- "Whispering Bells!"

"Whispering Bells" - The Dell-Vikings
(Aug. 1957, highest chart pos.
#5 R&B/#9 Hot 100)


One of the most prolific recording artists
of the 20th century, avant-garde jazz com-
poser and musician Sun Ra waxed more
than 100 albums. Here's a super cool
doo-wop/R&B single by Sun Ra that
made Porky's playlist. Credited to
The Cosmic Rays with Sun Ra and
his "Arkestra" (orchestra) and re-
leased on Saturn Records, it's a
sound that's out of this world--
"Daddy's Gonna Tell You No Lie!"

"Daddy's Gonna Tell You No Lie!"
The Cosmic Rays with Sun Ra/Arkestra
(June 1960, B side of "Dreaming")


Based in LA, The Penguins were a doo-
wop group that took their name from the
Kool cigarettes mascot. The Penguins'
biggest hit is "Earth Angel (Will You Be
" Released in the fall of 1954,
"Earth Angel" slowly caught fire
across the country and was red hot
in the winter of 1954-55, topping the
R & B chart for 3 weeks. "Earth Angel"
eventually sold more than 10 million
copies. There's another great ballad on
the flip side and Porky played it. Listen
to the Penguins performing doo-wop
with a Latin twist on-- "Hey Senorita!"

"Hey Senorita" - The Penguins
(Jan./Feb. 1955, B side of "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)"


Here's another Pittsburgh
recording act and another
mixed lineup. They're
The Skyliners, a mixed
gender doo-wop group
led by Jimmy Beaumont.
In the spring of 1959
The Skyliners scored
their biggest hit with
"Since I Don't Have You."
On his volume of Cruisin',
Porky spun the group's
follow-up single
"This I Swear" which
penetrated the top 30
that summer.

"This I Swear" - The Skyliners
(July 1959, highest chart pos. #26)


Teddy (Henry) And The Continentals were a doo-wop group from
Wilmington, Delaware. In September of 1961 the guys reached
the Bubbling Under chart with their most successful single,
the dance themed "Ev'rybody Pony." Giddy-up!

"Ev'rybody Pony" - Teddy And The Continentals
(Sept. 1961, highest chart pos. #101)


Ron Hege was an exciting rockabilly
singer and songwriter. Using the stage
name Ronnie Haig, Hege made some
noise with his first self-penned single.
It missed the national chart but had a
strong regional following and drew
an invitation to appear on Dick
Clark's American Bandstand.
Ronnie's career was derailed
after a Boston radio listener
phoned in and informed the
DJ that he played this 45 at
33 1/3 rpm speed at home
and determined that the end
of the record (from the 2:35
mark on) is obscene. Ronnie's
record was "Banned in Boston."

Decide for yourself. Is it live? Is it Memorex... or is it dirty?
Here's Ronnie Haig with a killer that Porky wasn't afraid
to play-- "Don't You Hear Me Calling, Baby!"

"Don't You Hear Me Calling, Baby" - Ronnie Haig
(Mar./Apr. 1958, uncharted)


Finally here's another relic found on
lists of "Pittsburgh's Favorite Oldies,"
another gold nugget mined from
Porky Chedwick's radio show.
The Lamplighters were an LA-
based R&B group that included
Thurston Harris. They evolved
into The Sharps, the backup
group on Harris's 1957/'58
solo hit "Little Bitty Pretty
One." Members of The Sharps
later formed The Rivingtons,
the group that had hits with
"Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and 
"The Bird's The Word." 

This 1955 single by The Lamplighters reminds me of
 "Annie Had A Baby," a record released in 1954
by The Midnighters. To close the show, here's
one last rockin' Porky platter-- "Roll On!"

"Roll On" - The Lamplighters
(Feb. 1955, uncharted)


Have a Shady day!