Thursday, May 26, 2022

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 five years ago
at the age of 105. Last month,
as we celebrated Margaret's
110th birthday, I posted old
songs Margaret might have
known in her youth. Today,
as we remember Margaret
on the date of her death,
I bring you rare, historic
film clips showing what
life was like in America
when Margaret was a
child and a teenager. 

Margaret is born.

Here's a glimpse of life in 1912, the year construction started on
The Shady Dell, and Margaret Elizabeth Brown came into the world. 

Margaret is age 7. 

At Halloween that year, Congress passed the unpopular National
Prohibition Act over the veto of President Woodrow Wilson.
The act prohibited the sale of alcohol, but the federal
government lacked the resources to enforce it.
By 1925, up to 100,000 speakeasy clubs
had opened in New York City alone. 

This brief report on the Smithsonian Channel from the series:
America In Color: The 1920s, is introduced as follows: 

One of the social side effects of Prohibition was it inspired
many women to break out and challenge the conservative
norms of society. These women were dubbed 'Flappers.' 



On his YouTube channel filled with historic film clips,
Walter Nelson introduces the next piece as follows: 

The Jazz Age saw the birth of a new phenomenon:
young ladies who weren't professional performers,
dancing alone or in groups while the rest of the room
watched. It was a celebration of a new freedom
enjoyed by the "flappers" that would have 
been unthinkable in their mothers' time.  

Margaret is age 14. 

In this next vid, Roaring Twenties flappers are having a beach ball
by the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea. The YouTube
channel glamourdaze posted this description: 

A group of affluent college girl flappers travel to the seaside
in Atlantic city in 1926. Shot on a Cine Kodak Model B 16mm
Camera or similar. These women clearly have a few bob to
spare as only middle class could afford little luxuries like
cine cameras, let alone automobiles. Nevertheless, the
1920s saw a seismic shift in women's emancipation
when compared to the previous decade.  

Margaret is age 15.

Here's another restored film posted by glamourdaze with the intro:

Captivating AI enhanced 1920's fashion film. Hollywood
Flappers modeling cloche hats and dresses nearly 100
years ago ! Hollywood actresses Corliss Palmer, Rachel
Torres, Laura La Plante, Ruth Elder and Edna Murphy,
it is one of the very few surviving color fashion films
from the 1920's era of The Great Gatsby. A rare
showcase of genuine 1920's dresses and cloche
hats sold by Sibley's department store in New York. 

Margaret is age 17. 

In 1929, Margaret was around the age of the young women
in this glamourdaze segment. The intro reads as follows:

25 flappers travel to Hollywood to meet Mary Pickford in 1929.
Brought to life with AI deep learning techniques. AI enhanced
edit from a promotional of the "25 Coquette Girls". Winners
of a contest designed to help promote Pickford's
first sound film Coquette (1929). 

A pretty pleasant trip back in time to the final year
of the Roaring Twenties. The 1920's fashions are a
delight. All those bobbed hairstyles and cloche hats ! 
The girls are filmed on a boat to Catalina and also 
heading up the funicular railway at Mount Lowe.

I hope you enjoyed this special Roaring Twenties flapper
edition of my annual tribute to Margaret Schneider
as we mark the 5th anniversary of her death.

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

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

Friday, May 20, 2022

Regions of May: Your Face, Mist and Rainbows


"Regions Of May" 
- Pearls Before Swine
(Tom Rapp)

The past (the past)
Is broken 
Like an hourglass
And the scattered sand
Of circumstance
Was blinding
Me to you

The rain (the rain)
Is a whisperin' 
To my window pane
And drawing
Crazy patterns
On the blind

Your face (your face)
Is invading 
The portals of my eyes
And drawing
Crazy patterns
On my mind

Who created mist
Created your smile
And who created rainbows
Created you

(30 second instrumental interlude)

My mind (my mind)
Is all entwined
In fragrant fields of flowers
And the scent
Puts me outside my mind

The past (the past)
The rain (the rain)
Your face, mist and rainbows
Flowers (flowers)
And the rain 
Are you


"Ballad To An Amber Lady" 
- Pearls Before Swine
(Tom Rapp/Roger Crissinger)

The amber lady 
Seated at her harpsichord in velvet
Room of eastern wonder
Gazing through the verdant window
Wrapped in arms of silk and sorrow.

Rebecca sighs and perishes 
Beneath the harp
Leila, Leila, she loves anon
On high fields of cinder sun.

I see you drifting 
Draped in heavy lace
Where is this place 
Where you stand radiant?
Your hand hides the moon
And you move with crystal grace.

Rebecca sighs and perishes 
Beneath the harp
Leila, Leila, she loves anon
On high fields of cinder sun.

(50 second instrumental interlude)

Stain-glass showering
Diamond morning
Soft smiling 
In the shining hours
Boughs of henna in your hair
Roses in your silent garden.

Rebecca sighs and perishes 
Beneath the harp
Leila, Leila, she loves anon
On high fields of cinder sun.

There's a brand new morning
Rising clear and sweet and free
There's a new day dawning
That belongs to you and me

Yes a new world's coming
The one we've had visions of
Coming in peace, coming in joy
Coming in love

"New World Coming" 
- Mama Cass Elliot
(Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil)

There's a new world coming in 2023.

Allie Pressman

Don't miss the debut of
Society's Child
exclusively at Shady's Place.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Ellen Show

No... not that Ellen!

This Ellen... a little girl with big talent!


"Tom Sawyer" - Rush bass cover by Ellen Alaverdyan
(Aug. 2021)

Kicking off the show, that was 9 year old Ellen Alaverdyan,
the bass playing child prodigy from Las Vegas, Nevada,
doing a killer bass cover of "Tom Sawyer," the 1981
hit by the Canadian progressive rock band Rush. 

Hi, I'm Chris Griffin,
and I bring you ROCK!
Welcome to a sneak preview
of my S-P-M-M radio show
  As you recall, I'm the crazy
mixed-up kid from Family Guy.
Today I'm back playing host
and DJ... preparing for my
full-time gig as a member
of The Shady Bunch.

Ellen Alaverdyan's story reads like the script of a Disney movie.
She didn't even start learning how to play bass until 2020. In no time,
Ellen developed extraordinary playing skill and became a sensation
on her YouTube  channel performing bass covers of classic rock hits,
original songs, bass tutorials and duets with her musician/mentor
dad and doing jam collaborations with other musicians.

 In today's show, I'm bringing
you a few of Ellen's greatest
performances. I guarantee
this gifted, bubbly and
charming girl will
rock your world!

Now here's Ellen jamming
with Jerrod J-rod Sullivan,
an Atlanta area drummer
who started his career
as a percussionist at
the age of two!

"Bass & Drums Jam" -
Ellen Alaverdyan & Jerrod J-rod Sullivan
(Oct. 2021)

A few months ago, Ellen
enrolled for music lessons at
the Las Vegas West location
 of the famed School of Rock
and started practicing with a
band of young musicians.
Watch and listen as Ellen
and her band perform a
cover of "The Ocean,"
a song from the 1973
Led Zeppelin album
Houses of the Holy.

"The Ocean" - Led Zeppelin cover by Ellen Alaverdyan,
Yoyoka, Eva and Mateo (Mar. 2022)

If you're just tuning in...
I'm Chris Griffin, the crazy
mixed-up kid on Family Guy,
currently honing my skills
as a Shady Bunch DJ and
giving you a sneak peek at
my new radio show coming
soon to S-P-M-M... the
station that ROCKS!
We're taking a
from boring elevator music
and listening to the little lady
with big talent playing bass,
9 year old Ellen Alaverdyan
of Lost Wages, Nevada.

Next, Ellen and her father
Hovak Alaverdyan perform a
dad-daughter duet, playing
their first original tune...
an instrumental entitled-
"Don't Stop The Music."

"Don't Stop The Music" - Ellen & Hovak Alaverdyan
(Father & Daughter Duet - Dec. 2021)

In addition to attending the
School of Rock, Ellen takes
interactive music lessons
from Yousician, a Finnish
online guitar training
academy. One of the
Yousician producers,
Markus, was so impressed
with Ellen's playing ability
that he wrote a song specially
for her, resulting in the cool
music video you are about to
watch. Here are Ellen on bass,
Markus on drums, percussion,
sax, keyboards and vocals and
Vellu on guitars, entertaining
us with-- "Ellen's Groove!"

"Ellen's Groove" - Ellen Alaverdyan
feat. Markus and Vellu (June 2021)

There's no question
 about it, folks. This
young lady is the
real deal... an ace
of bass! As the
talent scout for
Shady's Place
I'm shouting
it from the roof-
tops: 9 year old
Ellen Alaverdyan


DARN! Seems like I'm just getting
started and boss man Shady Del Knight
is already giving me the wrap-up signal.
Thanks a lot for checking out this
sneak preview of my new show

coming soon to S-P-M-M...
the #1 station for
a rock & roll nation!


To play us off, who else but Ellen? We're turning back the clock a year to June, 2021,
to watch the first video Ellen uploaded to her YouTube channel. The jazz jam is Ellen's
first collaboration with musician friends Murzo and Arman Jalalyan aka "Manch."
Now this is Shady's Place talent scout Chris Griffin saying goodbye and urging
you to remember - you've gotta fight for your right to party and to rock. See ya! 

"Ellen - Murzo - Manch" - Ellen Alaverdyan
feat. Murzo and Arman Jalalyan aka Manch
(June 2021)

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Helen Ettline - Every Dell Rat's Mom:
To Know You... Is To Love You

 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 six songs that
I think she would enjoy.
Helen, these are for you.


Helen loved the doo-wop soul of Little Anthony And The Imperials.
To begin this year's tribute, I've got the record that enabled the group
to mount a mid 60s comeback after four lean and hitless years.

The song, written by Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein and released as a single
in 1964, went top 10 on the R&B chart and top 20 on the pop side. In a scene from
an episode of American Bandstand, the teenage studio dancers cuddle and sway
as Little Anthony and The Imperials sing-- "I'm on the Outside (Looking In)."

 "I'm On The Outside (Looking In)" - Little Anthony & The Imperials 
 (Sept./Oct. 1964, highest chart pos. #8 R&B/#15 Hot 100/#20 Cash Box, 
 #12 Canada, scene from Aug. 22, 1964, ep. of American Bandstand


This year, I am also playing for Helen two songs by a
U.S. solo artist and two by a popular UK duo.

First, here's Billy Storm aka
Billy Fortune, Bill Spicer and
Billy Jones, a Los Angeles
based R&B/Soul singer who
sounded a lot like R&B star
Clyde Mcphatter who sang
lead for The Drifters and had
a string of solo hits. Keep in
mind that Helen played Drifters
records on the jukebox in her
snack bar. In the summer of
1954, Clyde McPhatter and
The Drifters scored a chart-
topping R&B hit with the
calypso styled "Honey Love."
Listen to Billy Storm's fine
cover released in July 1961.

 "Honey Love" - Billy Storm 
 (July 1961) 

Billy Storm's vocals can also be heard in A Symposium
on Popular Songs, an animated Disney short released
to theaters just before Christmas 1962.

All of the songs in the production were written by the Sherman
Brothers - Richard & Robert. This one, "Puppy Love Is Here
To Stay" by Jackie Babylon and the Babylonians (with Billy
Storm as the voice of "Jackie"), is a parody of 1950s love
songs and some of the songs that the Sherman Bros.
themselves wrote for pop idol Annette Funicello
and similar artists. Here again is Billy Storm!

 "Puppy Love Is Here To Stay" - Billy Storm 
 (Sept. 1962 single from Dec. 1962 Disney/Sherman Bros. 
 short A Symposium on Popular Songs


I think Helen would also enjoy these two great cover ballads recorded
by the UK duo Peter And Gordon. London born singer, guitar player
and producer Peter Asher is still with us and will turn age 78 next
month. His partner, Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist
Gordon Waller, died young at age 64 in 2009. Let's press
rewind and go back to happier times when Peter and
Gordon were at their peak and in the middle of
an impressive British Invasion hit streak.

Buddy Holly & Norman Petty
wrote "True Love Ways" and
Buddy recorded the song in
the fall of 1958, four months
before his tragic death in a
plane crash. In 1965, this
remake by Peter & Gordon
went top 3 in the UK, top 5
in Ireland and top 15 on
the U.S. pop chart.

 "True Love Ways" 
 - Peter And Gordon 
 (May/June 1965, highest 
 chart pos. #13 Cash Box, 
 #14 Hot 100/#2 UK 
 #4 Ireland) 

Phil Spector wrote the song "To Know Him Is To Love Him,"
inspired by words written on his father's tombstone that read:
 "To Know Him Was To Love Him." Spector and his group
The Teddy Bears recorded the song and achieved
a chart-topping hit in 1958.

In mid 1965, two months after the release of "True Love Ways," Peter And Gordon
gained another hit with a cover of Spector's song using the title "To Know You
Is To Love You." The Peter And Gordon single reached the top 5 on the
charts in Canada, the UK and Ireland and the top 25 stateside.

 "To Know You Is To Love You" - Peter And Gordon 
 (July/Aug. 1965, highest chart pos. #24 Hot 100/#25 Cash Box, 
 #5 Canada, UK & Ireland) 


Spring is here. Sky is blue.
Birds all sing as if they knew
This song, Helen, is just for you.

To close my Mother's Day salute to Helen, I present a nicely remastered clip
of The Dixie Cups, the soulful trio from New Orleans, appearing on the TV
music show Shivaree performing their signature song, the chart-topping,
million selling hit single from the spring of 1964-- "Chapel Of Love."
 "Chapel of Love" - The Dixie Cups 
 (May/June 1964, highest chart pos. #1 Hot 100 & Cash Box 
 & R&Bperformance on Apr. 10, 1965, ep. of Shivaree

 Happy Mother's Day, Helen! 

 We love you and miss you! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Debbie the Dellette Meets The Rat Pack -
Vol. 2: Starlight Tonight at the Shady Dell

(below) "Hey, get up and ask Helen
to make me a cherry coke to go."

"It's time for us to
split the snack bar
and meet up with
Debbie the Dellette
and the Rat Pack
down in the dance hall."

"Starlight Tonight" - The Inspirators
{June/July 1958, B side of "Oh What A Feeling (In My Heart)"}

From the summer of 1958, that was B-13 on the Dell Jukebox, "Starlight Tonight,"
a glorious old school sound on Old Town Records by The Inspirators, a group
also known as The Five Stars. The Inspirators were one of many doo-wop
groups to emerge from Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood
in the 1950s. High school friends since 1949, they performed in
 Brooklyn clubs and placed second in the Apollo Theater's
amateur competition. The group released three singles
but failed to make it as a recording act. The ballad
you just heard, "Starlight Tonight," features the kind
of sweet doo-wop harmony teenagers of the 50s and 60s
loved slow dancing to at The Shady Dell in York, Pennsylvania.

Hi! I'm Debbie
the Dellette!

As you know, I'm "The Hostess with the Mostest"
and president of the Old York/Shady Dell chapter
of the Top Hit Club of America. I'm a dancing Dell
teenager of the 50s and I'm back with my friends,
four Dell teenagers of the 60s, who'll play more
of the Shady Dell's greatest hits. This is not an
SPMM radio program. We will be taking turns
dropping our coins into the slot and playing
the Dell's jukebox. At this time, I'd like to
reintroduce my friends from The Rat Pack
who are ready to entertain themselves
and you with their favorite Dell
songs of the mid to late 60s.







Looks like Rat Packer Julie's taken her position at
the jukebox and is selecting her first Dell song.

JULIE: Deb, I wish that you had
still been going to the Dell in the
mid 60s when The Temptations
came along. They were Shady Dell
heavy hitters, landing eleven songs
on Shady Del Knight's list of The 200
Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell. I just
pressed N-11 for one of the group's
great mid-tempo love ballads, a song
written by two of Motown's Miracles,
Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore.
From the spring of 1965, here now
are The Temps singing their top 3
R&B hit-- "It's Growing!"

"It's Growing" - The Temptations
(Apr./May 1965, highest chart pos.
#3 R&B, #18 Hot 100/#19 Cash Box

PETE: My turn, Julie. As you pointed out,
The Temptations placed 11 of their songs
on Shady's list of the Top 200 Dell Songs
of the mid 60. Well, these guys also have
11 songs on that exclusive list. They're
the Four Tops, another great Motown
group, and I just pushed G-17 to play
one of those soulful sides. This Tops
45 made the top 3 winner's circle on
the R&B chart and top 5 on the pop
survey. Here are The Four Tops
with Dell song #175, a giant
of the jukebox in the spring
of 1967-- "Bernadette!"


"Bernadette" - Four Tops
(Apr. 1967, highest chart pos.
#3 R&B/#4 Hot 100/#8 Cash Box

LINDA: Scoot over, Petey. I'm gonna
play one of the most popular but
unlikely Shady Dell hits of the
mid 60s. It's an example of the
Dell's "killer bee" phenomenon -
a B side that equaled or surpassed
the popularity of the A side. In fact,
I don't remember the A side of this
45 ever being played at the Dell.
The biggie I'm talking about is J-8,
song by Sam The Sham And The
Pharaohs, the Tex-Mex band best
known for their 1965 novelty hit
"Wooly Bully," the first American
record to sell a million copies during
the British Invasion.  The song I'm
playing is on the back of their top
30 charting follow-up "Ju Ju Hand."
Way up there at #12 on the list of 
200 Greatest Dell Songs, here's
"Big City Lights!"


"Big City Lights" - Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs
(Aug./Sept. 1965, B side of "Ju Ju Hand")

DOUG: Hey guys, I'm sure we all
agree that The Motown Sound was
hot down here "in the barn."  We've
already played records by two great
Motown boy groups. Now I'd like to
hear a Dell hit by one of the record
label's top girl groups, Martha And
The Vandellas. These ladies placed
five of their songs on the Dell's
Top 200 list. At #48 this is their
highest ranked Dell song and
one of their biggest national
hits, a single that topped the
R&B chart in the early spring
of '67. I just punched L-16
and here's- "Jimmy Mack!"


"Jimmy Mack" - Martha And The Vandellas
(March/April 1967, highest chart pos.
#1 R&B/#6 Cash Box/#10 Hot 100)

JULIE: Step aside, Doug, because I've
got another great Motown song in mind,
this one by Edwin Starr. You know, it's
funny to me that The Nashville born,
Detroit based soul man is best known
for his hit protest song "War." At the
Dell, his biggest and best remembered
record was "Agent Double-O-Soul," a
single released during the secret agent,
spy and detective craze of the mid 60s.
Three years later, this Edwin Starr 45
merely Bubbled Under nationally, but
it was hot in the Shady. I just pressed
O-9, and here's that cool sound from
Shady Dell the College YearsEdwin
Starr in the spring of 1968 boasting--
"I Am The Man For You Baby!" 

"I Am The Man For You Baby" - Edwin Starr
(May 1968, highest chart pos. #45 R&B/#112 Bubbling Under)

PETE: It's almost curfew. Time for
the last record of the night. As we
prepare to walk away from the
Dell dance hall, I'm playing
"Walk Away Renée" by the
New York based baroque
pop band The Left Banke.
This single reached the top 5
on Billboard and continued on
to #2 on Cash Box, held back
from the top of the chart by
The Monkees and their smash 
hit "Last Train To Clarksville."
This hauntingly beautiful sound
was a powerful memory maker
at the Dell during the Halloween
season in 1966. Coming in at #129
on the Greatest Hits of The Dell,
here's H-1 - The Left Banke -
and "Walk Away Renée!"


"Walk Away Renee" - The Left Banke
(Sept./Oct. 1966, highest chart pos. #2 Cash Box/#5 Hot 100)


I hope you enjoyed our second
meet-up, a bash in the barn...
the Dell dance hall... down here
where all the cool kids hang out.
Stay tuned. We'll be back soon
to feed the jukebox and play
more Dell gold. Now for
The Rat Pack - Julie,
Pete, Linda and Doug,
this is Debbie the Dellette,
"Your Hostess with the
Mostest," Bye bye!

"In The Basement - Pt. 1" - Etta James And Sugar Pie DeSanto
(Aug./Sept. 1966, highest chart pos. #37 R&B)

Debbie the Dellette 5 years later