Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Ska's the Limit! Meet Marvy Millicent...
Little Girl - Small Name - Big Talent!

Yessum, here at
Shady's Place


I enjoy introducing
many different
styles of music.

I am the god of swell sounds,
...and I bring you

FIRE!   ska...

a genre that originated in
Jamaica in the late 50s.


Meet Millicent "Millie" Small,
a Jamaican teenager who was
one of the few female perfor-
mers during the early years
of the ska movement. You
are about to experience a
few of Millie's hit songs
and performances.


Millie Small's signature song, "My Boy Lollipop," is a cover
of the song "My Girl Lollypop" originally written by a
member of the 1950s doo-wop group The Cadillacs.

The song was given to Barbie Gaye,
a 14 year old girl discovered singing
on a Brooklyn street corner. Barbie embellished the song and changed
the title to "My Boy Lollypop."
In the fall of 1956, Barbie
played hooky from school
 to record the song in a style
known in R&B as shuffle beat.
Barbie's record caught the
attention of legendary DJ
and promoter Alan Freed
and burned up the boss lines
on his WINS radio show.

"My Boy Lollypop" - Barbie Gaye
(Nov. 1956, uncharted nationally,
highest chart pos. #25 on
Alan Freed's Top 25 chart

In the summer of 1964, at the height of Beatlemania, Millie Small's cover
of "My Boy Lollipop," became one of the top selling ska singles ever.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a sucker for "Lollipop."

"My Boy Lollipop" - Millie Small
(June/July 1964, highest chart pos. #2 Hot 100/#4 Cash Box)

"Lollipop" was still licking the competition
on the pop chart when Millie's folo-up
single "Sweet William" hit the street
and worked its way to #40 on the
Billboard chart, #33 on Cash Box.
Here's a nicely preserved clip of
Millie performing the song on
The Millie Show, a TV special
taped at a studio in Finland. 

"Sweet William" - Millie Small
(Aug. 1964, highest chart pos.
#40 Hot 100/#33 Cash Box,
Dec. 1964 performance on
The Millie Show taped at
Helsinki, Finland studio)


In 1965 Millie Small was the "fill"
singer on the Spencer Davis Group's
cover of Ike Turner's "I'm Blue
(Gong Gong Song)" released on
the British rock band's debut
album. In 1962 "I'm Blue"
was a hit for Ike & Tina
Turner's backing singers
The Ikettes. On a 1965
episode of the TV music
show Shindig, Millie Small,
sounding like Tina Turner
on helium, delivered what
I think is one of the most
electrifying performances
in pop history singing the
song backed by series
regulars, the folk-pop
trio The Wellingtons.

"I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)" - Millie Small/The Wellingtons
(live perf. on April 14, 1965 ep. of Shindig! - song released Oct. 2011
on CD Millie Small - My Boy Lollipop + 31 other Songs

This one sounds like the old Mickey
and Sylvia hit "Love Is Strange."
It's "Killer Joe," a song inspired
by Killer Joe Piro, a famous
instructor who taught the latest
dances for teenagers to jet set
adults, earning him the nickname
King of the Discothèque. In the
spring of 1963 "Killer Joe" was
a top 20 hit for The Rocky Fellers,
a group of young American-born
Filipino brothers. In 1966, Millie
Small covered the song on a single
released in the UK and Hungary
as well as on a French EP.

"Killer Joe" - Millie Small
(Sept. 1966 UK single, 1967 performance
 on French TV channel Melody)


Yessum, I checked and the SPMM rules clearly state that, under special
circumstances, a second Pick to Click is allowed. These are special
circumstances because Millie Small gave us so many great songs
 and performances. In 1973, nearly a decade after Millie scored
her biggest hit with "My Boy Lollipop," the zinger delighted
a German audience with this dazzling performance of
"Lollipop" on the German TV network 3sat. Pure joy!

"My Boy Lollipop" - Millie Small
(1973 perf. on German TV network 3sat)

Millie Small performs with verve. She makes music fun
and her winning smile is second to none. As Gary Lewis sang,
"She's just my style. Everything about her drives me wild." 

Thanks for the music and memories,

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Winning Hand Volume 4: The Deck is Stacked
...with (Count 'em) 4 Pairs Up Shady's Sleeve!

Welcome to Winning Hand:


In this edition of the series I have posted four pairs of songs.
Each pair contains the original and a cover. I am curious
to know which version or versions you prefer.

I might be a wild card and

a joker... but I'm no poker.

Therefore, without further delay, I will introduce
the kings and queens of song in today's post.

Remember, ladies and gentlemen...

This is only an exhibition...
This is not a competition...
Please... no wagering.


Rock & roll and rockabilly star Eddie Cochran died young at the age of
21 on Easter Sunday, 1960, as a result of a car crash that occurred while
he was touring in the UK. "Sweetie Pie," a song Eddie co-wrote and
recorded in 1957, remained in the vault until the late summer of
1960 when it was released posthumously on a single as the
B side of "Lonely." Neither song charted in the U.S. but
in Britain "Lonely" grazed the top 40 and
"Sweetie Pie" peaked at #38.

"Sweetie Pie" - Eddie Cochran
(Sept./Oct. 1960, B side of "Lonely,"
highest chart pos. #38 UK)


Now here's a delightful cover of Eddie Cochran's "Sweetie Pie" performed
by The Bluebell Sisters, a retro style girl group from Montreal, Canada,
that specializes in 1940s jump blues and 50s doo-wop and rockabilly.

Eddie Cochran cover by The Bluebell Sisters
(Mar. 2018)


This is my own video that I uploaded to YouTube after buying a various artists
CD of Brit girl pop and being blown away by mystery artist Sarah Jane. It is
the English sparrow's 1966 cover of "Listen People," a dramatic version of
the song that was a top 5 U.S. hit for Herman's Hermits that same year.
Sarah Jane has been compared to Marianne Faithfull because of her
hauntingly beautiful voice and style. Listen, people, to-- Sarah Jane!

"Listen People"
Herman's Hermits cover by Sarah Jane
(May 1966)


Now listen to the original. Based on the church hymn "Jesus Let Us Come
To Know You" and featured in the 1965 Connie Francis movie musical
When the Boys Meet the Girls, Herman's Hermits do "Listen People."

"Listen People" - Herman's Hermits
(Feb./Mar. 1966, highest chart pos. #3 Hot 100 & Cash Box,
scene from Oct. 1965 film When the Boys Meet the Girls)


I am pleased to welcome back the delightful Amy Slattery, the English singer,
guitar player and multi-instrumentalist discovered by talent scout Chris Griffin
and introduced on the old blog Shady Dell Music & Memories. Amy specializes
in Beatles covers and here's one of her best-- The Ballad Of John And Yoko!"

"The Ballad Of John And Yoko" 
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery
(May 2018)


Now here is the nicely remastered mix of the original single released by
The Beatles in the spring of 1969. Written by John, the song about the
"Yoko effect" on the band, fans and the media, shot to #1 on the UK
chart, becoming the Beatles' 17th and last chart topping hit on that
survey. It is surprisingly to me that this Beatles classic didn't do
as well on the U.S. chart, halting in the lower part of the
top 10 on Billboard and Cash Box.

"The Ballad of John and Yoko" - The Beatles
(June/July 1969, highest chart pos. #1 UK/#8 Hot 100/#10 Cash Box)


In 1963, diminutive singer Little Peggy March set a record (that still stands) as the
youngest female artist to achieve a number one hit single. Peggy was 14 when she
waxed "I Will Follow Him" and had just turned 15 when the record began its climb
to the top of the chart. Peggy's hit is actually a cover version of the song. In 1961
French composer, arranger and conductor Franck Pourcel was the first to record
the tune as an instrumental, followed by a French language version of the song
released by Pet Clark in 1962. Another instrumental version was recorded by
Percy Faith. Watch this cool hybrid YouTube video that combines footage
from two Peggy March television appearances, one on American TV and
the other on Japanese TV, as she performs her classic of the innocent
pre-Beatles teen pop era - "I Will Follow Him!"

"I Will Follow Him" - Little Peggy March
(Apr./May 1963, highest chart pos. #1 Hot 100 & Cash Box)


Later that same year, 1963, Rick Nelson released the studio album
For Your Sweet Love. One of the tracks on the album is an answer
to Peggy March's signature song. On an episode of his family TV
sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Rick sang his
version of the song entitled-- "I Will Follow You!"

"I Will Follow You" 
Little Peggy March cover by Rick Nelson
(from 1963 album For Your Sweet Love, perf. on
June 6, 1963 ep. of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet)

I think these musical
kings and queens are aces!

Do you agree? 

Have a Shady day!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Honoring Margaret on Her 108th Birthday

"A rose by
any other

This is an
date on the
Shady Dell

Our dear friend
Margaret Schneider,
who for years
inspired us as
"The Oldest Living
Dell Rat"... was
born April 18, 1912,
108 years ago today.

Margaret's father built the
Shady Dell and the family
became its first occupants
when Margaret (right)
was one year old.

To celebrate Margaret's
birthday this year,
I posted three songs
that remind me of her,
three musical relics of
the past that I think she
would enjoy and might
even have known in
her early years.


When I worked in TV, we shot news footage
on "mag film" (magnetic sound-on-film) as
opposed to optical sound-on-film. By 1931,
when Margaret Schneider was age nineteen,
(she's eighteen in the picture at right) optical
sound-on-film had been adopted by the movie
industry for use in its talkies. The Movietone,
one of the methods of optical sound recording,
was used commercially in theaters from the
mid 20s through the 30s. You are about to
watch an early Movietone film clip.

These four performing sisters were billed as The Dancing Gale Quadruplets,
but they were actually two sets of twins. In 1931, the vaudeville act appeared
in George White's Scandals, the long-running string of Broadway revues
produced by White. Of the four Gale Sisters, only Jane Gale (real name
Helen Gilmartin) is possibly still alive, given the fact that death dates
are provided for the other three but none for her. Jane/Helen was born
in 1911, the year before Margaret was born. If it's true, if she's still
living, she will celebrate her 109th birthday this July. Now please
watch and listen as The Gale Sisters perform "The Dance."

The Gale Sisters aka The Dancing Gale Quadruplets
(1930 Fox Movietone outtake of "The Dance"
from George White's Scandals of 1931)


Similar to the Scopitones of the 50s and 60s, Soundies were three minute
musical films produced in the 1940s and played in public places on
coin-operated movie jukeboxes called Panorams.

This being an election year, and with the threat of the coronavirus wreaking
havoc across America, I present the 1941 short What The Country Needs.
Big band era singer Martha Tilton aka "The Liltin' Miss Tilton" performs
the song accompanied  by harmonica player Leo Diamond. At the 1:50
mark, be sure to catch Jimmie Dodd, the good-natured fellow who, the
following decade, became famous as leader of The Mouseketeers on
The Mickey Mouse Club. In this Soundie, Jimmy appears as a singing
paper boy. Next comes a vocal part by Vince Barnett before Martha
finishes the piece. Dear Margaret, this is for you.

"What The Country Needs" (Soundie)
Martha Tilton, Leo Diamond, Jimmie Dodd
and Vince Barnett (scene from 1941 short
What The Country Needs)


To wind up Margaret's tribute, here are The Boswell Sisters, a jazz
vocal trio that was one of the most popular acts of the 1920s and 30s.
The Boswell Sisters were among the earliest stars of radio. They released
many records and appeared in films. In 1998 the Boswells were inducted
into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Raised in New Orleans, Martha, Connee
and Helvetia "Vet" Boswell received formal classical music training on
piano, cello and violin respectively. In addition, The Boswell girls
were exposed to African-American blues singers, and their
soulful singing style reflects that early influence.

In 1932, at the height of The Great Depression, The Boswell
Sisters went to Washington, D.C., put on their happy faces
and sang the optimistic song "Put That Sun Back In The Sky"
for legislators and for the benefit of the American people.
The song is especially relevant today as America faces one
of its greatest challenges ever in dealing with COVID-19.

"Put That Sun Back In The Sky"
- The Boswell Sisters (perf. for legislators
in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 1932

As you saw in that film clip, the middle sister, Connee Boswell, sang from a wheechair.
Unbeknownst to most fans, Connee had been confined to a wheelchair from the age
of three after suffering a near-fatal bout of polio. Her disease-weakened wrist
forced her to change the spelling of her name from "Connie" to "Connee"
because, when signing autographs, the repeated dotting of the "i" caused
her severe pain and cramping. When The Boswell Sisters broke up in
1936, Connee continued to perform as a solo artist and went on to
become recognized as one of the greatest jazz female vocalists
of the 20th century, a major influence on Ella Fitzgerald.

Connee Boswell is an inspiration. Through tough times she kept on smiling.
Her determination to overcome adversity, to survive and thrive, reminds
me of someone I knew and greatly admired - Margaret Schneider.

Happy 108th birthday, dear Margaret.

We love you and miss you!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Dit Dit Dah Dit Dit Dit Dah Dah Dit Dah Dit Dah Dit Dah - Translation: Shady Wants a Whole Lotta April Love!






Seems to me that if you make a record and a movie called "April Love,"
it would make sense to release them in April, right? Instead, the ballad
movie theme waxed by clean cut crooner Pat Boone hit the street
just before Halloween 1957. The musical comedy starring Pat
and leading lady Shirley Jones was first released in the U.S.
around Thanksgiving. Here's Pat singing the song in the film.

 "April Love" - Pat Boone 
 (scene from Nov. 1957 film April Love

Apparently Pat, his record company, Dot, and Twentieth Century Fox Pictures
all knew what they were doing. April Love finished the 4th most popular movie
of 1957 and Pat's recorded theme was such a huge hit that it remained on the
pop chart through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Valentine's Day -
heck, six full months - until... you guessed it, April of 1958!
Here now is the version released on the single.

 "April Love" - Pat Boone 
 (Dec. 1957/Jan. 1958, highest chart pos. 
 #1 Hot 100/#3 Cash Box

It's easy to understand why Pat Boone
and his record company were confident
enough to release "April Love" in the fall.
Pat's single "Love Letters in the Sand,"
released in May of that year, lasted an
astonishing 34 weeks on the chart - 2/3
of a year! Pat Boone, the antithesis of
hip shaking Elvis the Pelvis, was so
popular with older record buyers that  
he could have topped the chart on the
4th of July with "Here Comes Santa
Claus." Give us some more sugar, Pat!

 "Love Letters in the Sand" 
 - Pat Boone (June/July 1957, 
 highest chart position 
 #1 Hot 100 & Cash Box


My grandparents lived in Melbourne, Florida. In 1962 I rode down with my parents
to see them. I had no way of knowing how close I would come to crossing paths
with a guy who, five years later, would become one of my idols.

Born in North Dakota, singer, songwriter
and civil rights lawyer Tom Rapp lived
in Minnesota and Pennsylvania before
moving to Eau Gallie, Florida, a com-
munity only minutes away from my grandparents' double-wide. Rapp
arrived there in 1963, a year after
my visit. In 1965 Rapp formed the
esoteric, psychedelic folk rock band
Pearls Before Swine. In the fall of
1967 "PBS" released their debut
album One Nation Underground,
a long-play that had a tremendous
impact on me during my college
years. No other set of songs did
more to expand my horizons.

One of the songs on One Nation Underground has lyrics spoken in Morse Code:
"dit dit dah dit - dit dit dah - dah dit dah dit - dah dit dah." (Morse Code: F-you-C-K) 😀
Listen now to what might be the ultimate love song - "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse."

 "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse" - Pearls Before Swine 
 (from Oct. 1967 album One Nation Underground

Image courtesy Aware
Record Research Library

Now I'd like you to hear one of the
greatest songs never to be played
at the Shady Dell. In the spring of
1967 I was blown away when I
heard a local York garage band
perform "She Comes in Colors."

I didn't know that the original
version had been recorded the
year before by a West Coast
band called Love.

I liked "She Comes In Colors"
so much that I bought the first
two Love albums on blind faith
alone. To my delight both LPs
are loaded with psychedelic rock
nuggets. Instantly I was (wait for it)
addicted to Love!

 "She Comes in Colors" - Love 
 (Dec. 1966, uncharted) 

Love, a racially mixed, 5-man Los Angeles band led by Arthur Lee, was the first
rock band signed to Elektra records. Love’s music is complex and sophisticated,
an innovative fusion of folk-rock, baroque pop, flamenco and psychedelia.
Playing instruments avoided by most bands such as flute, saxophone and
harpsichord, Love created music that still sounds fresh and interesting.

While Love remained most popular
in Southern California, two of their
singles managed to reach the national
chart, beginning with a tough sounding
rock version of the Burt Bacharach
song "My Little Red Book" which
peaked in June of 1966 and was
reissued nearly 20 years later in
Rhino's Nuggets album series.

 "My Little Red Book" - Love 
 (June 1966, highest chart pos. 
 #35 Cash Box/#52 Hot 100

The second Love single, "7 And 7 Is," reached
the top 40 in the late summer that same year.

 "7 And 7 Is" - Love 
 (Sept. 1966, highest chart pos. #33 Hot 100 & Cash Box) 

Love’s refusal to tour hurt them, and
so did the limited commercial appeal
of their music. As a result, Love re-
mained a cult band in the shadow
of The Doors, their much more
successful Elektra Records
label mates.

Love never goes out of style.
Today, Arthur Lee and his band
of musical misfits are lauded by
critics as one of the best, most
underrated bands of the 60s,
and a new generation of fans
is discovering (wait for it)
there’s a lot to Love!

Have a Shady day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Orange You Glad This Lime is Not a Lemon?


Hi, I'm Joyce Martin....

I'm the good girl breaking bad in the
Academy Award winning motion picture

High School Hellcats!

It's not easy being the new girl in school.

At first I felt all alone and insecure.

But then I was approached by Connie, leader of
The Hellcats, the mean girl gang that rules
the school and controls the social scene.

What a great bunch of gals, those Hellcats!
Their hobbies include sassing the teacher...

smoking cigarettes in school...

and I mean anywhere and everywhere
not just in the little girls' room...

and of course, everybody's favorite pastime - 

I wanted to fit in, so I considered joining
The Hellcats, but there were two problems.
First, Hellcats do not allow their members
to get good grades. My folks would kill me
if I let my GPA slip. Secondly, I can't date
any guy that isn't approved by Connie
and her posse. That made me hesitate
because I am used to playing the field.

For example, before I arrived at Hellcat High, I was involved
with rock 'n' roll star Eddie Cochran who appeared with me in
the juvie delinquent movie Untamed Youth. Eddie also played
guitar on a record I made called "Ting-A-Ling Telephone."

"Ting-A-Ling Telephone" - Yvonne Lime
feat. Eddie Cochran (1957, unreleased)

My next fella
was "Little Joe"
(Michael Landon)
of Bonanza fame.
 Everything was
fine at first...

Little Joe
turned out
to be a wolf.

I even met, worked with and dated Elvis Presley.

As you can see,
I've got the pics
to prove it.

Elvis and I had
chemistry, but it
didn't work out.

His heart belonged to another woman...

...his mom!

Then there was Tim Considine who played Spin Evans on
Spin and Marty, Frank Hardy on The Hardy Boys and
Mike on My Three Sons. We were "just friends."

After that I went to a dance
with teenage idol Ricky Nelson
on his family's television series
Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.
In the following film clip you can
see shots of me smiling in the
audience as I watch Ricky
perform his top 10 hit
"I Got A Feeling."

"I Got A Feeling" - Ricky Nelson
(Oct./Nov. 1958, highest chart pos.
#10 Hot 100/#15 Cash Box, scene from
Oct. 29, 1958 ep. of The Adventures
of Ozzie And Harriet)

It was ditto with Rick. We parted "just friends." So, as you
can see, I haven't exactly been lucky in love - far from it!

Even so I value my freedom
and I was wary of making a
commitment to The Hellcats.
That's when Connie and the
Cats lured me to a dark,
creepy old abandoned
movie theater on the
poor side of town
and started to apply
big time peer pressure.

Listen up, cupcake.
Me and the other girls
talked it over and we
think you might have
the right stuff to be a
Hellcat. Make up your
mind. Are you in or out?
Just remember one thing,
If you don't belong, you
are nothing and nobody, and you'll find life at
school pretty rough.

I'm sorry I kept you and the other
girls waiting, Connie. I want to
be a Hellcat, I really do. In fact
I've already started honing my
mean girl skills. Why, you'll be
very happy to know that...
just this morning at school,
when no one was looking...
threw caution to the wind
and sniffed copier ink. Then
I snuck behind the gym
and chewed bubblegum -
the proven gateway to
reefer madness.

Determined to have a social life, I gave up dating famous
actors and rock stars and settled for local soda jerk
Mike Landers, but that was a real disaster.

Mike said The Hellcats are bad news and warned me
to stay away from them. I didn't like him telling me
what to do and we argued about it all the time.

When Connie found out I was dating Mike without her
permission, she sent her goon squad to beat him up.

I felt really bad about what happened to Mike...
but there was a silver lining. It brought us closer.

Oh... hi, Connie! No, I'm not having second thoughts.
What's that? I'm invited to an all night gang initiation 
slumber party at the dark, creepy abandoned theater?
Sounds neato, and thanks for the invite, but I'm
afraid I can't make it. My folks caught me
reading the Kinsey Reports and I'm
grounded until my wedding day.

Yeah, I know - bummer! Hey Connie, I don't mean to be rude,
but I gotta hang up now. My great grandmother in Siberia
is real sick...yeah, that's the ticket...and my folks will kill
me if I don't keep the line free in case we get "the call."
I'll catch you Monday morning at school, okay? Bye-bye.

If you eavesdropped on
my convo with Connie
just now, you might have
sensed that I was fibbing.
You see, I didn't want her to
know about a school project
I am secretly working on
to earn extra credit and
bring up my grade.

My music history teacher, Shady Del Knight, has agreed to be
my private tutor. He gave me a special assignment that will
enable me to pass his course. Starting next year, Professor
Shady will be giving me the chance to host a new series
at Shady's Place. I asked him what Shady's Place is and
where it's located. He told me it's the name of his blog
and that I can use a computer to find it on the internet.
Shady wrote down the address:
That's all I can tell you right now because Shady
wants to keep details under wraps until next year.

Imagine me, Joyce Martin, having my very own series!
I was so excited, I wanted to run home, tell my
parents and make them proud.

But then it dawned on me that this is 1958, and I have
no clue what a blog is, or a computer or the internet
for that matter, and our little town has a Main Street
and a other avenues and boulevards, but no
address like

I went back to the classroom and asked Professor Shady
to explain. He told me to get on my lap top and search the
web. First of all, the web sounds icky, buggy and spidery.
Secondly, for me to "get on my lap top" I'd need to be a
contortionist. I suppose I'll catch on as time goes by.

So please join me next year for the
premiere of my series at Shady's Place
(whatever and wherever that may be).

Happy birthday to one of my favorite actresses...

Y V O N N E   L I M E
85 years young today!