CLASSICS: DANCE CRAZES
I have another totally forgotten dance craze for you today! This one is by a two man group known as “Bob & Earl.” They recorded a song attached to a new dance craze that caused dance fans to go absolutely bananas!! The song was called the “Harlem Shuffle.” I loved this song, and even though I was not born when the song came out, it was still popular enough that I remembered hearing it a lot on the radio around 6-7 years of age. If there existed an official “Hair Spray Playlist,” this is exactly the kind of music that would be on it (or at least on Tracy Turnblad’s playlist). So, I’m a bit confused…… According to the American Music Billboard, the song only peaked at #44, and stayed relevant for about 11 weeks. But there’s also a Harlem Shuffle in the UK released in 1969, that has peaked @ #7, and stayed on the UK charts for about 13 weeks. I don’t find any different versions on YouTube, and I can’t listen to Spotify’s UK link because of copyright restrictions. F^$&^%$^%!!!!! So, there you have it guys, copyright red tape at it’s best. It can be a blogger’s nightmare. It is possible that either the song didn’t catch on in the UK until later; or it could have been re-released in the UK later on, or because there have been several changes in terms of group members, it’s possible there was a different version with a different duo. I’m just not sure to be honest. In any event. It’s an awesome and groovy song from back in the day.
It is my opinion that when it comes to music crazes of a particular genre, they usually have a life span of about 10 years. For instance, 60’s was our Black rhythm and blues, 70s was disco, and 80s were the decade of heavy metal, and long blonde hair rock groups. However, “dance crazes” seemed to have a longer time period, I’d like to say, from the 50’s through the 80’s (as far as I can recall). But the 50s appeared to have been the most prevalent. It seemed as though every week there was a new dance to learn. To give you a sense of what it was like in the fifties/sixties, I’d like you to rent “Hairspray (1988),” from Netflix. It stars Rickie Lake and the legendary Devine. Now there are other versions of this movie, but this movie was directed by Johnathan Waters is the best version in my opinion; in terms of comedic delivery and a more accurate environment for that era. Today I’d like to share with you an extremely rare and forgotten song named after a dance craze called “The Duck (1966),” and it was sung by Jackie Lee. This song peaked at #14 and stayed on the Top 100 for 14 weeks. I miss these songs and the era they were in; because they represented innocence and truly enjoying yourselves. Now, it’s all about groping. 🙁