Tuesday, March 31, 2015 is its 66th anniversary, but this post is about dances …

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Three years after the baby boom officially started, RCA Victor unveiled the 45-rpm record, when it released “Texarkana Baby” by Eddie Arnold on March 31, 1949. Five weeks later, on May 7th, the first 45-rpm record to hit Billboard’s chart was, “A –You’re Adorable” by Perry Como. I didn’t know it at the time, but there was a color scheme for genres of music released on 45s that included; popular releases on black vinyl, children’s releases on yellow vinyl, country on green, R&B/Gospel on cerise (orange), classical on red, etc.

images-10 images-1 images-3In the ‘60s, it was fun to collect, share and trade 45 records that cost less than a dollar and contained two songs … sometimes two hits … on an “A” and a “B” side. So, driven by the latest fad(s), able to buy lots of 45s, and willing to exhibit somewhat silly behavior in public, we became choreographers … not me, mind you, as I couldn’t and still can’t dance … but plenty of boomers did. Some recording artists and record labels actually released records to start a new dance fad.

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There were also printed instructions so our parents could imitate the behavior. How horrifying was it to actually see your parent behaving like a teenager?

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In 1971, a list named over ninety “fad dances.” In 1965, the group, “Cannibal and the Headhunters,” sang “Land of a Thousand Dances,” which included the names of sixteen of those.

Please help me add to the following list of fad dances that I’ve compiled, and share this post with your FaceBook friends for more help:

  • Stroll (The Diamonds)
  • Twist (Chubby Checker)
  • Peppermint Twist (Joey Dee and the Starliters)
  • Mashed Potato (Dee Dee Sharp and James Brown)
  • Monster Mash (Bobby Picket and the Crypt Kickers)
  • Monkey (Major Lance)
  • Frug
  • Dog
  • Madison
  • Hully Gully (Olympics and Frank Rocco)
  • Bristol Stomp (The Dovells)
  • Watsui (The Orlons)
  • Pony (Chubby Checker)
  • Hitch Hike (Marvin Gaye)
  • Swim (Bobby Freeman)
  • Freddie (Freddie and the Dreamers)
  • Jerk (The Miracles)
  • Fly
  • Walrus
  • Shake
  • Dog
  • Chicken
  • Loco Motion (Little Eva)
  • Shimmy
  • Hand Jive (Johnny Otis)

12 thoughts on “Tuesday, March 31, 2015 is its 66th anniversary, but this post is about dances …

  1. The best of all…..the jitterbug! Some of those I don’t remember. Wasn’t there one that was a line dance similar to ” the Stroll” but with different steps?

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  2. My favorite was the Pony!! We practiced the dances at home during slumber parties before we took them public.
    Fred is a better dancer than he is willing to admit.

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  3. Having been a GoGo dancer at the Martin Beck Theatre A-Go-Go in Palm Springs, CA in the sixties, I was (am) very familiar with most of those dances. I also performed that service for a live concert at the local drive in and for a high school battle of the bands! If we couldn’t dance to a song it got thumbs down!

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  4. I still have two 45’s hidden in my treasure box. I don’t have anything on which to play the songs but there waws something so special about that time period that I just can’t let go of the last of my record collection—and I still do the Twist —when no one’s around.

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  5. I love the fact that vinyl is making such a huge comeback. I had a Dad and his son scouring through the LP’s and 45’s in my garage sale a while back because they had just bought a “record player” and were really getting into it. Now it seems to really be taking off. I didn’t sell any of the really good stuff I have because I just can’t seem to part with them.

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