Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Remember Always - Margaret Schneider

It is another important date
on the Shady Dell calendar.
Today we remember and honor
Margaret Brown Schneider,
precious child of the Dell.

Blessed with longevity,
Margaret earned the
nickname The Oldest
Living Dell Rat as she
approached and then
passed the century mark.

Margaret died four years ago
at the age of 105. Last month
as we celebrated Margaret's
109th birthday, I posted old
songs Margaret might have
known in her youth. Today,
as we remember Margaret
on the date of her death,
I offer a few more songs
think she would enjoy.


Our dear Margaret would be the first
to remind you not to dwell on your
setbacks and losses. To remember
Margaret today, here's a song that
urges you to leave your worries on
the doorstep and direct your feet to
the sunny side of the street. Written
in 1930 when Margaret was 18, the
song was introduced in the Broad-
way musical Lew Leslie's Inter-
national Revue. To sing it here
are the Five DeMarco Sisters,
the close harmony group from
Rome, New York, that was a hit
on radio, TV and film from the
30s thru the 60s. In early 1953
the sister act performed the
song with host Kate Smith
on The Kate Smith Hour.

"On The Sunny Side Of The Street"
 Kate Smith and The Five DeMarco Sisters
(perf. on Jan. 30, 1953, ep. of The Kate Smith Hour

Last month on Margaret's birthday
you saw Tatiana Eva-Marie and
her Avalon Jazz Band perform
"Fit As A Fiddle," a popular
standard best known for
being featured in the
1952 movie musical
Singing in the Rain.
I'd like you to hear
how the famous title
song sounded back
in 1929, the year
Margaret (right)
was 17 years old. 


I present to you The Brox Sisters, a trio of singing siblings that was popular in
the 1920s and 30s. In this rare clip, The Brox Sisters along with the cast of the
film Hollywood Revue of 1929 perform a grand rendition of "Singing in the Rain." 

"Singing in the Rain" - The Brox Sisters
and cast of film Hollywood Revue of 1929


In last year's post honoring Margaret, I introduced The Boswell Sisters,
the close harmony singing trio of the 1930s jazz and swing era. Today
I present The Shout Sisters, a London-based three-part vocal harmony
group that pays musical tribute to The Boswell Sisters and other
girl groups of the early and mid 20th century. Let's peek over
their shoulders as The Shout Sisters, Louise Messenger,
Noelle Davies-Brock and Elise Roth, gather 'round
the piano and practice their Boswell Sisters
arrangement of "Lullabye of Broadway,"
a song introduced in the musical
film Gold Diggers of 1935.

"Lullabye Of Broadway" - The Shout Sisters
(January 2021)


At the start of 1932, Louis Armstrong had a hit with the popular song
and jazz standard "All Of Me." Some say Billie Holiday's 1941
version is definitive. Here again are The Shout Sisters,
the amazing retro girl group from the UK, doing
their outstanding rendition of "All Of Me." 

"All Of Me" - The Shout Sisters
(March 2020) 


It's a Shout Sisters triple play! Watch & listen as they do "Bye Bye Blues,"
a popular song and jazz standard written and published in 1925 when
our dear Margaret Schneider was 13 years old. The most successful
version of the song was recorded in 1952 by Les Paul and Mary Ford.
In a performance staged earlier this year, these wonderful warblers,
The Shout Sisters, are backed by the Brighton band The Swing Ninjas.

"Bye Bye Blues" - The Swing Ninjas
featuring The Shout Sisters
(January 2021)

I hope you enjoyed this musical tribute
to Margaret Schneider... and I can't
help believing that she did, too.

Yours was a long life and
a life well lived, Margaret.

We love you... miss you...
and will remember you always.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Joe Niagara's Knocked Out Nifties of the Past - Vol. 1:
Last Night I Ran All the Way Home to Knock On Wood!


Hello, this is Joe Niagara, and I've got a stack
of Knocked-out Niagara Nifties of the Past.
If you're ready... this Rockin' Bird will fly!


"Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)" - The Impalas
(May 1959, highest chart pos. #2 Hot 100 & Cash Box,
#14 R&B, perf. on Dick Clark's Sat. Night Beechnut Show)

We're off and running with "Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home),"
a top 3 platter from 1959 by The Impalas, a doo-wop quartet
from Brooklyn, New York, with three white members and
black lead singer Joe "Speedo" Frazier, no relation to
Joe Frazier the boxing champ. That record soared like
a bird to the #2 spot on the pop chart and stayed there,
held back by two #1 charting hits - "The Happy Organ"
by Dave "Baby" Cortez and "Kansas City,"
the smash by Wilbert Harrison.

Hello again, I'm Joe Niagara -"The Rockin' Bird" - veteran radio
personality from Wibbage - WIBG Philadelphia, now coming
to you on S-P-M-M... the station that's #1 for music and fun.
You're listening to the debut of my new show Joe Niagara's
Knocked Out Nifties of the Past featuring the great sounds
of doo-wop, rock 'n' roll, rhythm & blues and classic soul
from the 1950s and 60s, the kind of tuneage you enjoy
hearing me play on Wibbage. I put down wailin'
pound of sound... so without further
delay, on with the show!

Stay out on the floor.
You'll be beggin' for
more when you hear
this next Niagara Nifty.
This little cat takes a
toe hold, cuts from
the heels and POW!


It's Roy Tyson, only 12 years old
when he waxed this ton of a tune--
"Oh What a Night For Love!"

"Oh What a Night For Love" - Roy Tyson
(Dec. 1963, highest chart pos. #106 Bubbling Under)

Bubbling Under the Hot 100 at
Christmas time 1963, that was
young R&B artist Roy Tyson
with a rousing up tempo record,
a song written by Lloyd Price--
"Oh What a Night For Love."

The Rockin' Bird knockin' you out
with my Nifties of the Past, and here,
from the vaults of Atlantic Records,
is a doo-wop relic that missed the
chart but went straight to the heart.
Listen now to the terrific sound of
the mixed race, New York-based
group Tex And The Chex as they
sing-- "I Do Love You."


"I Do Love You" - Tex And The Chex
(Aug. 1961, uncharted)

The stuff that dreams are made of..."I Do Love You," a lost
musical treasure by no-hit-wonders Tex and the Chex... an
act that evolved into a pop/rock group called The Magicians.

If you're just tuning in, you're listening
to Joe Niagara, The Rockin' Bird from
Wibbage, W-I-B-G in Philadelphia...
moonlighting as a new member of
The Shady Bunch DJ team here
on S-P-M-M Retrosonic Radio.


We're right smack dab in the middle
of a 7-song non-stop block party
and there ain't no stoppin' us now!

I told you so... on this one. I said it
would be a hit and it is. Eddie Floyd
 on Where The Action Is doing his
chart-topper-- "Knock On Wood!" 

"Knock On Wood" - Eddie Floyd
(Sept./Oct. 1966, highest chart pos.
#1 R&B/#28 Hot 100/#41 Cash Box, perf.
on Nov. 1, 1966, ep. of Where The Action Is

Doing his signature song "Knock On Wood" on Dick Clark's
Where The Action Is, that was Stax R&B great Eddie Floyd.
Hard to believe Eddie's record barely cracked the Billboard
Top 30 and missed the Cash Box top 40 entirely, but it shot
to number one on the Black Singles chart in October 1966.
The song returned to the chart in 1979 as a chart-topping
disco hit for Amii Stewart. Niagara says the original is
still the greatest... Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood." 

Up next The Kodaks of Newark, NJ.
Formed in the mid 50s as an all boy
group, The Kodaks didn't click until
 they added a female lead singer.
Her name was Pearl McKinnon,
a young lady with a powerful
voice who sounded a lot like
boy star Frankie Lymon. With
their new lineup, The Kodaks
hoped to become as big as
Frankie and his group
The Teenagers.

The Kodaks were popular in Jersey, New York and along
the East Coast, but failed to catch on nationally, possibly
due to confusion over their name. Some of their records
were released as by The Kodaks while others were
 were credited to The Kodoks to avoid a lawsuit
from Eastman Kodak. Niagara says they're
the real deal. Listen as Pearl McKinnon
and her group The Kodoks sing--
"Little Boy And Girl!"


"Little Boy And Girl"
The Kodoks (The Kodaks)
featuring  Pearl McKinnon
(Sept. 1957, uncharted)

The Kodaks aka The Kodoks,
featuring the lead vocals of
Frankie Lymon sound-alike
Pearl McKinnon, singing
"Little Boy And Girl," the
up tempo fab flip of their
 first single... the ballad
"Teenager's Dream." 

Hey, give me the title,
then sing your song!


"Long Lonely Nights" - Lee Andrews
And The Hearts (Aug. 1957, highest chart
 pos. #11 R&B/#33 Cash Box/#45 Hot 100)

Born in Carolina, raised right here in Philly, that was Lee Andrews
with his vocal group The Hearts brushing the top 10 on the R&B
chart with their breakthrough hit "Long Lonely Nights." By the
way, the original release of that 45 on the green colored
Philadelphia label Main Line is now worth hundreds
 of dollars to record collectors.

That does it for my first show.
I hope you dug my spun gold
because I'll be back before you
know it with another stack of
Knocked Out Niagara Nifties
of the Past here on S-P-M-M,
your number one station for a
rock & roll nation. How about
one last song for the road?


You're listening to the exciting
sound of The Mar-Keys, the
house band at the legendary
Stax/Volt studio in Memphis, 
playing us off with "Last
Night," their top 3 charting
instrumental from 1961.

 Stick around. Coming up on the flip side of news, it's the
premiere of another new Shady Bunch show, Beth Boland's
Adrenaline Rush. This is Joe Niagara - The Rockin' Bird -
saying thanks for joining me and so long for now!

"Last Night" - The Mar-Keys
(July/Aug. 1961, highest chart pos.
#2 R&B/#3 Hot 100 & Cash Box)

Friday, May 14, 2021

My Role as a Social Media Influencer -
I Take it Seriously..... So Should You.


OMG! For a split second, you took me seriously,
dear friend. You shoulda seen the look on your face!

I hope you never make that mistake again. You should
know by now that the only thing I want to influence
you to buy is my brand of humor, and the only thing
I want to influence you to do is to sing, dance,
laugh and have fun. With that in mind, I'll
reveal the actual title of today's post: 

Let's All Play -
Name That Sample!

I can't tell you how many times per day,
(maybe 10 or more, maybe even a hundred!)
people come up to me on the street and
ask the following question:


Actually the number of times is zero. It's never
happened... but I'm gonna tell you anyway.

Sampling is the process of taking a portion of one sound recording
and making it part of another sound recording. Hip hop was the
first pop music genre based on the art of sampling. The craze
started in the 70s with deejays playing vinyl records on twin
turntables and, using a mixer, creatively combining them
to make new dance sounds. In today's post I bring you
five 21st century recordings that sample five hits of
the 20th century. Please listen to all five songs and
see if you can Name That Sample - name the old
recording sampled in the more recent recording.

SONG #1:

The Pussycat Dolls were a Los Angeles based girl group and dance troupe
that specialized in R&B, pop, hip hop and dance music. is a
hip hop artist and producer also from LA. In 2006 the two acts
came together on the international hit single "Beep."

"Beep" - The Pussycat Dolls ft.
(Feb. 2006, highest chart pos. #13 Hot 100/#2 UK,
#1 Australia & New Zealand, from Sept. 2005 album PCD)

SONG #2:

Rihanna is a R&B and dance-pop singer from Barbados now
based in New York. In 2006 Rihanna topped the U.S. pop, dance
and top 40 charts with her international hit single "SOS."

"SOS" - Rihanna
(Feb. 2006, highest chart pos. #1 Hot 100,
#1 U.S. Dance Club Songs, #1 U.S. Mainstream Top 40,
#2 UK/#1 Australia, from Apr. 2006 album A Girl like Me)

SONG #3:

She hails from Foxborough, Mass. Her real name is Joanna Noëlle
Blagden Levesque. Wisely the young pop/R&B singer chose "JoJo"
as her stage name. In 2007 JoJo reached the top 40 on the U.S.
Pop Songs chart and brushed the UK top 20 with "Anything."

"Anything" - JoJo
(May 2007, highest chart pos. #38 U.S. Pop Songs,
#21 UK, #18 Ireland, from Oct. 2006 album The High Road)

AT 1:45 MARK!

SONG #4:

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot is a hip hop/R&B singer
from Portsmouth, Virginia. In 2006 Missy went
top 50 U.S., top 40 UK, top 25 in Australia
with the funky number "We Run This."

"We Run This" - Missy Elliot
(Feb. 2006, highest chart pos. #48 Hot 100, #38 UK,
#23 Australia, from July 2005 album The Cookbook,
Sept. 2006 album Respect M.E. & OST of 2006 movie Stick It)

AT 1:10 MARK!

SONG #5:

In 2005/2006 Madonna, The Queen of Pop, topped charts
worldwide with the album Confessions on a Dance Floor,
a set of songs influenced by 1970s and 80s disco.
"Hung Up," the lead single from the album,
was also an international hit.

"Hung Up" - Madonna
("LaRCS" - "Live and Record Combined Stereo") 
(Oct. 2005, highest chart pos. #1 U.S. Dance Club Songs,
#1 UK, #1 in 18 other countries, from Nov. 2005
album Confessions On a Dance Floor)

How many samples were
you able to name?



SONG #1:

"Beep" by The Pussycat Dolls ft. samples "Evil Woman,"
the 1975 hit by the English rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).


SONG #2:

"SOS" by Rihanna samples "Tainted Love," the
1981/82 hit by the English synthpop duo Soft Cell.


"Anything" by JoJo samples "Africa,"
the 1982 hit by the American rock band Toto.


"We Run This" by Missy Elliot samples "Apache,"
the 1982 hit by The Sugarhill Gang


"Hung Up" by Madonna samples "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
(A Man After Midnight)," the 1979 hit by the
Swedish pop supergroup ABBA.

How many sampled songs were you
able to name? Check below to
determine your sampling I.Q.:

Samply sensational!

Samply sufficient!

Samply seek some support.

Sample Simon says
put on the dunce cap
and start studying!

Have a samply Shady Day!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Helen Ettline - The Mother of All Dell Rats:
Adorable... and a Little Bit of Heaven

 Shady Dell owner Helen Ettline 
 didn't have any children of her own. 
 In a way, we were all her kids 
 and she was our mom. 

Clearly Helen & John
loved kids. Why else
would they have
put up with the
aggravation all
those years?

The Ettlines
believed in kids.
They enjoyed
counseling and
helping kids.

The pictures above and below remind me ever so much of Helen's snack bar
and the jukebox in the adjoining room where rows of diner booths were located.

To remember and honor
Helen on Mother's Day,
I picked four songs that
I think she would enjoy.
Helen, these are for you.

"Straight A's for Helen." My "A to Z" friends
might appreciate knowing that the titles of
all four songs begin with the letter "A." 


The first of my 'A" songs for Helen is by Ronnie Dove, a Virginia
country pop singer whose records were quite popular in Central PA.
Ronnie put together a string of hits in the mid 60s and here's one of
them. Cracking the top 5 on the Easy Listening chart and hovering
around the top 15 on the pop survey, Ronnie Dove describes what
it's like to be with his girl-- "A Little Bit Of Heaven." 

 "A Little Bit Of Heaven" - Ronnie Dove 
 (June/July 1965, highest chart pos. #4 Easy Listening
 #15 Cash Box/#16 Hot 100


The song "Adorable" was first recorded in the fall of 1955 by the California
based R&B group The Colts. The original 45 on the Mambo label is worth hundreds
of dollars to collectors. At Christmas that year and into the early weeks of 1956,
The Fontane Sisters, famous for recording capable covers of R&B originals,
charted their version of "Adorable" on the B side of their hit "Daddy-O."
The most successful recording of the song was by The Drifters who
hit #1 on the R&B chart during the Christmas holiday season.

 "Adorable" - The Drifters 
 (Nov./Dec. 1955, highest chart pos. #1 R&B


In the early weeks of 1961, the San Diego doo-wop group Rosie & The Originals
achieved a top 5 crossover hit with "Angel Baby." A great cover of the doo-wop
classic can be found in a scene from the 1995 film My Family. In the movie
Jeanette Jurado, lead singer of the popular 80s freestyle group Exposé,
portrayed Originals' lead singer Rosie Hamlin. Watch and listen!

 "Angel Baby" - Jeanette Jurado 
 (orig. version Jan. 1961, highest chart pos. #5, 
 scene from May 1995 film My Family


Finally, I'm thinking Helen might enjoy being serenaded by teen idol Ricky Nelson.
In March, 1957, Ricky waxed his first set of songs and so began his very successful
recording career. One of the songs, a cover of Fat Domino's chart-topping R&B hit
"I'm Walkin'," was released as the A side of Ricky's first single. Ricky's version
became a major hit as well, cracking the top 5 on the pop chart and reaching
the top 10 R&B. As it turned out, Ricky's first record was a doublesider.
The killer B, "A Teenager's Romance," surpassed the A side and went
all the way to #2. Ricky performed the ballad on an episode of his
family television series The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet

 "A Teenager's Romance" - Ricky Nelson (June/July 1957, 
 highest chart pos. #2 Hot 100, #8 Cash Box, B side of 
 "I'm Walkin'"... scene from 1957 ep. of TV series 
 The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet

 Happy Mother's Day, Helen! 

 We love you and miss you! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Top Hit Club of America Inc. - Old York/Shady Dell Chapter Volume 3: ...a Ron... a Ronnie... and a Rainbow!

Hi, I'm Debbie the Dellette...

a teenager of the 1950s
 dancing at the Shady Dell.

I am also president of the Old York -
 Shady Dell chapter of the
Top Hit Club of America!

 Today my friends and I will make  
 you regret the day you were born! 

What do I mean by that? When you hear the records my fellow Dell rats
play at today's meeting, you will wish you had been a teenager in York, PA,
in the 1950s and 60s and a regular at Shady Dell during those golden years.

Remember, as these original
Dell rats spin their songs:
"Don't just listen with your ears -
listen with your heart."

The rats are restless and eager to get started. I second that emotion.
(Debbie bangs the gavel.) The meeting of the Old York - Shady Dell
chapter of the Top Hit Club of America will hereby come to order!

As I review the minutes of our last
meeting, I recall that in volume 2,
original Dell rat Jerre Slaybaugh
joined Dell rat Tom Anderson,
and the veteran vermin took
turns playing Dell classics.

Today our good friend Dell rat
Ron Shearer returns to play
dueling banjos turntables
with Tom. Rat Ron...
the floor is yours!


Sup, Debbie? The Dell jukebox was home to many
records by The Temptations including their first pop
chart hit, "The Way You Do The Things You Do."
 I wonder how many people remember the B side
of that single. Most Dell rats do, and we have the
Del-chords, York's great doo-wop soul group, to
thank for that. The Del-chords were influenced
by The Temptations, covered their songs and
always made sure we knew all of the Temps'
early recordings, even most of the B-sides.
It was like a personal triumph for so many
of us when "The Way You Do the Things
You Do" hit both nationally and in the
Dell jukebox, and the B-side I am
about to play, "Just Let Me Know,"
also received heavy airplay.

"Just Let Me Know" - The Temptations
(Mar./Apr. 1964, B side of "The Way You Do The Things You Do")


Shady, years ago on your old blog, Shady Dell Music & Memories, you posted
"Lover's Medley: The More I See You; When I Fall In Love"... a beautiful duet
recorded by Pittsburgh songstress Marcy Jo and Hazleton's Eddie Rambeau.
I've got another great one, a solo record by Marcy Joe aka Marcy Jo, this
time backed by a group called Lugee & the Lions which consisted of
Lou Christie, his older sister Amy, Kay Chick and Bill Fabec.
Here's Marcy Joe with her 1961 regional hit (and I like
the name of the song)-- "Ronnie."

"Ronnie" - Marcy Joe aka Marcy Jo
(June 1961, highest chart position
#64 Cash Box/#81 Hot 100)

Thanks for that "Ronnie"
song, Ronny... and that
killer B by The Temps.
 Now let's hear from
Dell rat Tom who's
standing by with his
first play of the day.


Thanks, Debbie. The first song I'm going to
spin today was recorded by a Los Angeles
based vocal group called The Six Teens.
 In 1956, when they began making
records, The Six Teens were all
teenagers or younger. The group's
youngest member was their twelve
year old lead singer Trudy Williams.

 Did... did you
say Trudy?

 My wife's name
was Trudy.

In 1957, 25 years before the English new wave band
ABC scored a U.S. hit with "Poison Arrow," little
Trudy Williams and The Six Teens made a dent
 in Billboard's pop chart with "Arrow Of Love."

"Arrow Of Love" - The Six Teens
featuring Trudy Williams (Aug. 1957,
highest chart position #80 Hot 100)

Thank you, Tommy boy!
Now let's turn the table
and the mic back over
to Dell Rat Ron and
listen to a couple
more of his faves.


Earlier I played a record by The Temptations.
The Motown men were heavy hitters at the
Shady Dell, and so was this R&B titan dubbed
The Hardest Working Man in Show Business -
James Brown. In 1962 Brown released his
5th studio album Good, Good, Twistin' which
contains the hit single "Shout and Shimmy"
along with two other JB gems, "I Don't Mind"
and "Good, Good, Lovin'." I'm going to play
another song from the album. It was released
on the B side of Brown's 1964 single "So Long,"
a great ballad from his 1963 Prisoner Of Love
album that sold poorly as a single and merely
Bubbled Under at #132. Here's that obscure
flip side-- James Brown And His Famous
Flames doing "Dancin' Little Thing!"

"Dancin' Little Thing" - James Brown And His Famous Flames
(June/July 1964, B side of "So Long," from
 1962 album Good, Good, Twistin')


Now here's one of my favorite songs that
our hometown heroes The Delchords liked
to cover. It was written by Curtis Mayfield
 and recorded by Major Lance, the man
who hit big with "The Monkey Time."
I think Major Lance did just as good
a job on his record as the Delchords
 did in their live sets. Is Major backed
by The Impressions or by Billy Butler
and The Enchanters? It was topic
that often came up when Dave, Buddy,
Ike and the other Chords  discussed
records that involved Curtis Mayfield

"It Ain't No Use" - Major Lance
(July 1964, highest chart pos.
#68 Hot 100 & R&B

Thank you, Ron.
Now, it's back to
you, Dell Rat Tom,
to bring today's club
meeting to an end. 


To wrap up today's club meeting, I've got a
double dose of a sensational young Latina
singer from SoCal's Inland Empire region.
 Described as "a young voice from an old
soul"... Monica Rocha covers R&B and
soul songs of the 1960s and 70s, sounds
Dell rats love, and she makes them her
own... turning them into new classics
that will surely stand the test of time. 

You just heard Dell rat Ron play "It Ain't No Use," a song written by
Curtis Mayfield and recorded by Chicago R&B singer Major Lance.
Now you're about to see and hear Monica Rocha perform another
song penned by Mayfield and originally recorded by another
Chitown soul great -- Gene Chandler. In the late winter and
early spring of 1963, "Rainbow," not to be confused with
Russ Hamilton's pop hit of the 50s, brushed the top 10
on the R&B chart and went top 50 pop. A live version
entitled "Rainbow '65 Part 1" recorded by Chandler
at the Regal Theater in Chicago, cracked the top 3
on the Black Singles survey early in 1966. Fast
 forward to March, 2021, when Monica Rocha
laid down this fine cover of the deep soul ballad. 

"Rainbow" - Gene Chandler cover by Monica Rocha
(March 2021) 


Finally, Monica is joined by singing partner
Malik Malo on a cover of "Hello Stranger,"
the official theme song of the Shady Dell.
First recorded in 1963 by Barbara Lewis,
a crossover hit for the diva, "Hello Stranger"
was waxed again in 1966 by the R&B group
The Capitols and released as the B side of
their top 10 hit "Cool Jerk." Both songs on
that Capitols 45 were huge hits at the Dell.
In early 2020, Monica and Malik brought
the smooth groove back to life in fine
chicano soul style. 

"Hello Stranger" - Barbara Lewis/Capitols cover
by Monica Rocha & Malik Malo (Feb. 2020) 

I hope you had a good time eavesdropping on this meeting of the
Old York - Shady Dell Chapter of the Top Hit Club of America
Stay tuned for more golden greats of the 50s and 60s spun by
Dell rats Ron, Tom and Jerre Slaybaugh coming up in future
volumes.  This is Debbie the Dellette. See you next time!