Wednesday, December 26, 2018

New Year's Rockin' Eve in the Shady 2018 - Chris Griffin Rocks Out the Old with a Little Help from Foreign Friends!

 Hi, I'm Chris Griffin... 
 the crazy mixed-up 
 kid on Family Guy

 I'm a 
 rockin' rebel... 

and tonight I'm your host for New Year's
Rockin' Eve in the Shady, filling in for
your regular emcee Shady Seaweed
who is "under the weather." That's
code for bombed out of his gourd.

Tonight, as we bid farewell to 2018 and
make way for 2019, I'm taking you on
a trip around the world to meet some
of the young rising stars of rock.


First stop - South Korea - where we find
Ami Kim, an electrifying young drummer
who specializes in covers of rock and
metal nuggets. Ami slaughters the skins
with a cover of "Holy Diver, " the 1983
lead single from the Ronnie James Dio
album of the same name.

 "Holy Diver" - Dio 
 (Aug. 2018 drum cover by Ami Kim) 



By now you should know Sina, the prodigious
German drummer I introduced on Shady Dell
Music & Memories in 2017. Sina was also
featured this week in Shady's Christmas
post. I am happy to tell you that Sina is
back again tonight, this time to do a
colossal cover of "My Sharona," the
1979 international chart-topper by
the LA rock band The Knack.

 "My Sharona" - The Knack 
 (Oct. 2018 drum cover by Sina) 

 - KISS 

 For the last several years Shady Seaweed
has been Kissing the old year goodbye
with Kiss. Three months ago here at
Shady's Place, you met Liliac...
 a band of rockin' siblings from
LA with roots in Romania. 

Now meet two more talented Romanian music makers, teenage guitarist
Andrei Cerbu and his friend - zinger (singer) Andreea Munteanu.
Together they KILL doing the Kiss klassic "Heaven's On Fire!"

 "Heaven's on Fire" - Kiss 
 (June 2018 cover by Andreea Munteanu & Andrei Cerbu) 


Now once again here is German
drum sensation Sina Doering,
this time playing with The Gäs,
a hard rock band from Cologne,
Germany. Sina joined the band
in May of 2017 when she turned
eighteen. Last Christmas the band
released "Player," a song from their
2018 debut album Savage.

 "Player" - The Gäs 
 (Dec. 2017 single from Jan. 2018 album Savage


Now here's Tyler Leads, another heavy rock
band from Germany that played gigs with
The Gäs in 2018. In 2017, Tyler Leads
released the first single from their EP
Stay Ugly. Featuring dynamic lead
vocalist Johnny Kovacs, here is
Tyler Leads with their debut
music video "Call Of The Wild."

 "Call Of The Wild" - Tyler Leads 
 (July 2017 single from EP Stay Ugly


Earlier in the show you met teenage Romanian
guitarist Andrei Cerbu. Andrei is winning fans
all over the world because he feels the music
and performs like a boomer age veteran.
Andrei RULES on this guitar solo from
"Another Brick in The Wall" by English
prog rockers Pink Floyd.

 "Another Brick in The Wall" - Pink Floyd 
 (June 2018 guitar cover by 
 Andrei Cerbu) 


You've heard the incredible drummer girl Sina.
You've heard the guitar virtuoso Andrei Cerbu.
Put them together with Johnny Kovacs, a lead
singer who sounds like Ozzy, and you've got
a knockout punch. The trio ANNIHILATES
doing the great Sabbath song-- "War Pigs."

 "War Pigs" - Black Sabbath 
 (Oct. 2018 tribute by Sina, Andrei Cerbu & Johnny Kovacs) 

 The show's over and it 
 bums me out... but I 
 hope you enjoyed the 
 sounds of these young 
 rockers from around 
 the world. 

 This is Chris Griffin 
 signing off for now. 
 Remember, gang... 
 you gotta fight 
 for your right 
 to party... 
 and rock! 


Monday, December 24, 2018

I Believe in Father Christmas

Can you spare three minutes, dear friend?

This might be my shortest post ever. It was not scheduled. I just discovered something
that I wanted to share with you. Released days ago, just in time for Christmas 2018,
a collaboration of German drummer girl Sina and a group of her young, musically
inclined friends from around the world performing a cover of "I Believe in Father
Christmas," originally recorded by English musician Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake
& Palmer and released during the holiday season in 1975, a major hit in the UK.
The song is about disillusionment, loss of childhood innocence, a protest
against the commercialization of Christmas and a lament that mankind
has not yet achieved peace on earth. However, if you watch to the end,
you will find that the song ends on a hopeful note. These talented
young people inspire me and I hope they will inspire you as well.

"I Believe in Father Christmas" - Greg Lake cover by Sina & Friends

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish, pain and sadness
Leave your heart and
 let your road be clear

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dell Rat Tom's Jukebox Giants - Vol. 2:
Christmas At The Shady Dell

...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!


"Something About You' - Four Tops
(Christmas 1965, highest chart pos. #19 Hot 100/#9 R&B)

Motown's terrific, prolific Four Tops kicking off this special holiday blogcast
with a song that was hot in the Shady during the Christmas season in 1965,
the weeks when I was still wet behind the ears, a Dell newbie.

Hi! Dell Rat Tom here, welcoming you to my second
show on the all new S-P-M-M radio. If you happen
to be watching our simulcast on YouTube, that rare
video clip showed the mighty Four Tops performing
on Swingin' Time, an American Bandstand type
show hosted by DJ and Keener 13 (WKNR Detroit)
personality Robin Seymour. The series was also
emceed for a time by Tom Shannon, a CKLW
radio DJ. It was broadcast on CKLW-TV 9
in Windsor, Ontario, and syndicated
in a few other markets.

I'm flashing back to those great Christmases up at the Dell,
and here's an old seasonal song that first played in the
dance hall during the holidays in 1957.


Every year as Christmas approached, this record magically appeared
in the jukebox to the delight of the rat pack. From my first Christmas
at the Dell in 1965 and all those other Dell Christmases before and
after-- Bobby Helms sings-- "Jingle Bell Rock!"

"Jingle Bell Rock" - Bobby Helms
(Christmas 1957, highest chart pos. #6 Hot 100/#13 Country)

Holding down the #100 spot on my list of the
Dell's 200 Greatest Hits - Bobby Helms and
his seasonal evergreen "Jingle Bell Rock."

A couple of weeks ago Dell Rat Jerre and
I played the version of "Stormy Weather"
recorded by the Susquehanna Valley's
blue-eyed soul band The Magnificent
Men. In the fall of 1968, The Mag Men
released as a single a version of
"Save The Country," the Laura Nyro
song inspired by the assassination of
Robert F. Kennedy and most famously
recorded by The 5th Dimension.


At the Dell it was the soulful, mid tempo killer B side that got played more often
and remained hot in the box all the way through Christmas. With Buddy King
on lead vocal, The Magnificent Men-- "So Much Love Waiting!"

"So Much Love Waiting" - The Magnificent Men
(Oct. thru Dec. 1968, from 1968 album The World of Soul)

"So Much Love Waiting," one of my favorite songs by The Magnificent Men,
the sensational white R&B band from Central Pennsylvania - a fab flip side that
went uncharted nationally but became a giant of the jukebox at the Shady Dell.

In the fall of  '66 I was visiting my cousin
Bill Lewis. We listened to some of his
albums. More than anyone else, Bill
was responsible for turning me on
to James Brown, Johnny Rivers and
my next featured group, The Miracles.
Bill played for me his new Miracles LP
Away We a Go-Go. My favorite song
on the album is on the turntable now.
Written and produced by Holland–
Dozier–Holland, this was the last
single released by the Motown group
before their name officially changed
to Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.


Here's a major memory maker from Christmas time 1966,
a single that went top 20 pop, top 5 R&B - The Miracles of
Motown-- "(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need!"

"(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need" - The Miracles
(Christmas 1966, highest chart pos. #17 Hot 100, #4 R&B,
from Nov. 1966 album Away We a Go-Go.)

Smokey Robinson And The Miracles with
a holiday biggie and a great dance number
"(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need."

As much fun as The Dell was in summer,
it was pure magic in winter, and here is a
slow dance tune that went for many a spin
in the "barn" through Christmas 1966 and
into the new year. Waxed by New Orleans
soul man Aaron Neville and released as a
single in October 1966, the record made
Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest
Songs of All Time and had dreamy-eyed
Dell rat couples flocking to the floor
and blissfully swaying to the sound.


Here's Aaron Neville and his Christmas
cuddle classic-- "Tell It Like It Is!"

"Tell It Like It Is" - Aaron Neville
 (Christmas 1966, highest chart pos. #2 Hot 100/#1 R&B)

That was Aaron Neville with his signature
song "Tell It Like It Is," coming in at #140
on my Dell Top 200 survey. If you're just
tuning in, I'm Dell Rat Tom of The Shady
Bunch playing the greatest hits of the
Shady Dell on Jukebox Giants.

S-P-M-M is retrosonic radio in
futuresonic stereo surround, and
here is a fine example - a newly
enhanced version of another Dell
hit from the Christmas of 1966.


It's "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," produced and arranged by
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Here they are, Micky, Mike,
Peter and Davy - The Beatles!   The Monkees!

"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" - The Monkees
(Christmas 1966, highest chart pos. #20 Hot 100/#1 Canada)

The Monkees with "Steppin' Stone," one of the jukebox giants
on the pop band's monster doublesider single backed with
"I'm A Believer," a song written by Neil Diamond.

Now picture this: a December night at the Dell. Outside
it's chilling... but inside it's thrilling... with a fireplace
that's burning... and records that keep turning.


Out on the floor the Dell dancers kept each other warm by sharing body heat.
That little story sets up my clever segue to "98.6," the biggie by the Philadelphia
pop singer known simply as Keith. Backing vocals on this record were provided
by the Brooklyn doo-wop group The Tokens. "98.6" was hot in the Shady at
Christmas 1966 and well into the winter of '67. Now this is Dell Rat Tom
wishing you a Merry Christmas and reminding you to make every day
a holiday and every night a Shady Dell night. See you next time!

"98.6" - Keith
(Christmas 1966, highest chart pos.
#7 Hot 100/#24 UK/#25 Australia)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

That Was Then - This Is Now, Volume 3: The Jarring
Juxtaposition of Female Vocalists Past and Present!

 You've come a long way, baby... 

 and these jarring juxtapositions 

 offer indisputable proof! 

Welcome to Vol. 3 of my series

Jarring Juxtapositions:

That Was Then - This Is Now!

It is not my intention to pass judgement. (That's your job. :) This series
merely invites you to compare apples and oranges. Hard as it might
be for you to believe, I enjoy all of the female recording artists
you are about to see and hear. Join me on this jarring journey
back and forth through time as we compare the look,
the sound and the attitude of female singers
then... and now!


She was our favorite
Mousketeer. Her name
was Annette Funicello,
but everyone knew
her as Annette.

After hanging up
her mouse ears...
Annette co-starred
with teen idol
Frankie Avalon
in a series of
beach movies.
Remember that
time long, long
ago, when songs encouraged boys
and girls to treat
each other - nicely?

"Treat Him Nicely" - Annette
(from Aug. 1963 film Beach Party)


In stark contrast to America's sweetheart - sweet, shy girl next door
Annette, listen now to brash and sassy Martina Sorbara, lead zinger
of the Canadian electropop, new wave synthpop band Dragonette.
The song starts out innocently enough - "Merry Xmas (Says Your
Text Message)" - but OMG! - it soon takes a very nasty turn!

"Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)" - Dragonette
(2012 promotional single)


In 1964, New Zealand born Canadian singer Gale Garnett gained fame
with a recording of a pop/folk song she wrote entitled "We'll Sing
in the Sunshine." Gale's single reached the top 5 on the Hot 100,
went all the way to #1 on Cash Box, crossed over to the
easy listening and country charts and
won a Grammy award.

"We'll Sing In The Sunshine" - Gale Garnett
 (Oct. 1964, highest chart pos. #4 Hot 100, #1 Cash Box,
#1 Easy Listeningfrom 1964 album My Kind of Folk Songs)


Miley Ray Cyrus could have stuck with her actual birth name
Destiny Hope Cyrus and still had a cool stage name with which
to ply her trade as a singer, songwriter and actress. (Wonder when
we'll see "Destiny's child.") Over the last few years, Miley Cyrus
has mellowed somewhat but, there for a while, she thrived on
the controversy surrounding her provocative image and wild
behavior. Submitted for your approval (or disapproval) -
Exhibit A: Miley's 2013 hit single/video "We Cant Stop."

"We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
(July/Aug. 2013, highest chart pos. #2,
from Oct. 2013 album Bangerz)


As the story goes, Capitol records was reluctant to allow Linda Ronstadt to
record country songs. Linda persisted and in March 1970, the poignant
ballad "Long, Long Time" found its way onto her second solo studio
album Silk Purse. Linda's instincts were spot-on. "Long, Long Time"
became her first charting single, a top 30 hit, and she earned her
first Grammy nomination. I regard this appearance by Linda
on The Johnny Cash Show as her best live performance of
the song. In fact, I consider it to be one of the greatest
live performances ever. Watch and listen as this
national treasure, Linda Ronstadt, literally
suffers through the song, conveying
raw emotion in a subtle, restrained
manner - sheer brilliance! 

"Long, Long Time" - Linda Ronstadt
(Sept. 1970, highest chart pos. #25, from Mar. 1970
album Silk Purse, live perf. on The Johnny Cash Show)


Last but not least, here is a first for my #1 ranked music act of the millennium.
It's my singing sweetie, Maria Brink, and her LA based metal band In This Moment
with their first song w/o any "clean" vocals. In other words, folks, it's all screaming.
(There's a good chance this fierce band will stamp out clean vocals in our lifetime.)
In their 2013 Blood at the Orpheum show in Madison, Wisconsin, that resulted
in the release of a live album and DVD, the beauty and her beasts stoked the
crowd with an incendiary performance of a song from their acclaimed album
A Star-Crossed Wasteland. Tap your toes as Maria sings-- "The Gun Show!"

"The Gun Show" - In This Moment
(promo single from July 2010 album A Star-Crossed Wasteland,
live perf. May 2013 at Blood at the Orpheum show, Madison, WI)

And life's full of flaws
Who knows the cause?
Living in the memory
of a love that never was
I've done everything I know
to try and change your mind
and I think I'm gonna miss you
for a long, long time

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Toto's Top Tunes Time Tunnel - Vol. 1: Sound Dog!

...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

 T I M E  T U N N E L 

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


"Hound Dog" - Elvis Presley (Aug./Sept./Oct. 1956,
highest chart pos. #1, original B side of "Don't Be Cruel")

Hey there, the clock is striking twelve and it's time for yours truly,
the midnight satellite, your rover of the radio, your hi-fi fido - Toto Moto!

You're tuned to Toto's Top Tunes Time Tunnel on
S-P-M-M, home of The Shady Bunch. I kicked off
my first official show with "Hound Dog," a doozie
of a ditty by Elvis the Pelvis. One of Presley's
biggest hits, "Hound Dog" is ranked #19 on
Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs
of All Time. "Hound Dog" was first recorded
in 1952 by R&B zinger Willie Mae
"Big Mama" Thornton.

In 1967, when they recorded our next featured
song, Diana Ross and The Supremes were
on top of the heap - the most successful
American music group of all time with
10 chart-topping pop hits to their credit.


This one, the last of the group's singles to feature the vocals of Flo Ballard,
cracked the top 10 around Christmas that year-- "In And Out Of Love!"

"In And Out Of Love" - The Supremes
(Dec. 1967, highest chart pos. #9)

Diana Ross and The Supremes with "In And Out Of Love,"
and Toto Moto with you in the Time Tunnel here on S-P-M-M,
Retrosonic Radio. You know, with a name like The Hollies,
I thought these guys were one of Buddy's groups. 'Taint so -
I looked it up! Instead they're one of the most popular
Merseybeat bands of the British Invasion. In 1964
The Hollies covered the Doris Troy hit "Just One Look."
It was the group's first single to land on the U.S. chart,
but only made it to #98. That's a doggone shame!


I can see clearly now that things were looking up for the
Brit boys when their single, "Look Through Any Window,"
cracked, shattered and broke through the top 40!

"Look Through Any Window" - The Hollies
(Jan. 1966, highest chart pos. #32)

The Hollies there with "Look Through Any Window
(and you'll see that doggone stray cat)" on S-P-M-M,
home of The Shady Bunch and yours truly, Toto Moto.

In sports, a late game ending moments ago
out on the west coast, final score just in:

49ers 76 - 76ers 49.



Their television series was more fun than a barrel of Monkees.
Here's a groovy great by Davy, Micky, Peter and Mike-- "Valleri!"

"Valleri" (1968 Remix) - The Monkees (Mar./Apr. 1968,
highest chart pos. #3, from Apr. 1968 album
The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees)

If you're just tuning in, I'm Toto Moto, your sound dog,
your K-9 compadre, your midnight mutt, the pup that
puts the WOW in bow-wow, and you're listening to
Toto's Top Tunes Time Tunnel, the radio program
4 out of 5 insomniacs recommend. Earlier in the
blogcast you heard "Hound Dog" and you just
listened to the ape call of The Monkees. Don't
look now, but this place is turning into a zoo!


Hey, me likey table scraps, and this one by Dee Dee Sharp
has me lickin' my chops. What time is it?-- "Mashed Potato Time!"

"Mashed Potato Time" - Dee Dee Sharp (Apr. 1962,
highest chart pos. #2 Hot 100/#1 Cash Box/#1 R&B,
from 1962 album It's Mashed Potato Time)

This is your corn dog, Toto Moto and that was one of
Philly town's most soulful sirens, Miss Dee Dee Sharp,
and "Mashed Potato Time," a single that topped the
R&B chart, finished second on the pop side and is
ranked the #3 song for the year 1962.

Winter, spring, summer and fall, I love The Four Seasons.
There's nothing false about Frankie Valli's falsetto. It's the
real deal. If you're watching my simulcast on YouTube,
check out this rare clip from Where The Action Is.


Here they are, the original Jersey Boys, singing their hit "Bye, Bye, Baby"
on a Southern California ski slope. It's snow bound to give you a lift!

"Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye)" - The 4 Seasons
(Jan./Feb. 1965, highest chart pos. #12)

From the early weeks of 1965, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, singing
(and shivering) in the snow at Big Bear Ski Resort, one of the primary
shooting locations for Dick Clark's Where The Action Is, doing one
of their many great 60s hits "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye)."

Hey, it's also time for me to say "bye bye baby." Thanks a lot for
spending the wee hours of the morning with me digging up old gold
here in Toto's Top Tunes Time Tunnel. It's been a long night.
I don't know about you, folks... but I'm licked.



I'm gonna hunt for a patch of early morning sunlight, curl up on the rug
and snooze till the cows come home. Later on, I think I'll head over
to the flea market. (BA-DUM-BUMP).  Now this is your midnight
satellite, your rover of the radio, your hound of sound, your
hi-fi fido - Toto Moto - bidding you farewell. I'll be back
soon with another fun-filled stax-o-wax all-nighter here
on S-P-M-M Radio, your place for good music,
good memories and good times.
Merry Christmas, folks!

"Snoopy's Christmas" - The Royal Guardsmen
(Christmas 1967, highest chart post #1 Billboard's
"Best Bets For Christmas" chart/#10- Cash Box)

Monday, December 3, 2018

Rat Pack Flashback: Dell Rats Jerre and Tom
Return to Share Magnificent (Men) Memories!

10 years ago today...
...our good buddy Jerre Slaybaugh, a Dell rat
of the early to mid 60s, was on cloud nine.
On December 3, 2008, Jerre appeared
on my old blog, Shady Dell Music &
Memories, and told readers he had
gone to see our hometown heroes,
Central Pennsylvania's blue-eyed
soul brothers, The Magnificent Men,
play to a packed house in the Sunoco
Performance Theater of what was at
that time the brand new Whitaker
Center for Science and the Arts
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“The Mag Men show was great," said Jerre, "with five
of the originals being there. Angeluci on drums, Seville
on bass, Pane on Sax, and Bupp and King. The show
ran late with an extremely long encore of, believe it
or not, Sly and the Family Stone medley. They did
songs from all of the albums except 10 Cent Movie.
They managed to do most of my favorites and a few
that were not on their albums. In all a good show.”

The show Jerre witnessed ten years ago was part of a series
of reunion concerts staged by the Magnificent Men over the years.
Dell rat Tom now joins us with a special memory of a Mag Men
show in "The Burg" that he attended 25 years earlier.

It was October 6, 1983," Tom recalls. "I was in my car on the way
to the Mag Men show at The Forum. I stopped at a red light at a
Harrisburg intersection not from the venue. While waiting for the 
light to turn green, I glanced in my rear view mirror. In the car
directly behind me sat two guys. One had a mustache. They
looked familiar. Noting that they were dressed in tuxedos,
I jumped to the conclusion that these two were either on
their way to a wedding or possibly on their way home
from one. Suddenly it dawned on me. 

These were not
ordinary men.

They were...

"Imagine," Tom exclaimed. "Mag Men lead singers Buppy and Buddy
were following me to their own show! How cool is that? It wasn’t so
cool, however, when I kept sitting there all starstruck and glassy-eyed
gawking at them in the mirror long after the light had turned green.
Bupp needed to lay on his horn to get me to move.
Smooth... Tommy boy... very smooth!"


"That wasn't my first brush with greatness," Tom continued. "I remember seeing
Dave Bupp at the Dell snack bar chatting with the Ettlines in 1965 a few months
before 'Peace of Mind' broke. As I recall, John was standing at the end of the
counter next to the jukebox. Helen was behind the counter and Dave was
seated on a stool near John. Helen and John were beaming and their
eyes twinkling. Although I didn't know who he was at the time,
I could tell that this gentleman, Dave Bupp, enjoyed the
status of a visiting dignitary - a genuine Dell V.I.P."

Dell rat Jerre experienced his share of celeb sightings, too, occasions when he
rubbed elbows with members of the Magnificent Men and York's Del-Chords,
an earlier group from which Mag Men members Dave Bupp and Buddy King
emerged. Some of those close encounters took place at another youth mecca.

“As for other places to hang out," wrote Jerre,
if I wasn't at the Dell or the Oaks, it was the
York Cue Lounge. It was about one block
north of the Ramona."

(Editor's note: The Ramona aka "the Ram,"
was a very popular York eatery that later
became Bistro 19 Pub & Restaurant and
is now called Revival Social Club)


"Buddy King was known to show up sometimes
to shoot a little pool," Jerre recalled.


"Ernie Banks of the Del-Chords was a well above
average pool shark," Jerre concluded.

"I'm sure other Dell Rats will remember Mr. Smith and the Cue Lounge,"
Jerre added. "He ran the Cue Lounge like the Ettlines ran the Dell.”

You racked up some great
memories, Jerre, and your
pool hall story is my cue to
skidoo. Many thanks to you
and to Dell Rat Tom for
sharing your Mag Men
and Del-Chords tidbits.

Have a Shady day!