Crazy how the weather’s been all over the country, isn’t it? My thoughts are with those in the path of Hurricane Harvey.
We’re ramping up into yet another 10 day forecast of high temperatures during the day, but at least this time of year we’ll get a bit of a cool-down at night, making for waht the old timers call ‘good sleepin’ weather’.
I’m still trying to get all caught up after all the camping we’ve been doing lately – I’m going to try to have the pictures downloaded/uploaded for tomorrow’s post if you want to see the awesome area we were camping in last week.
Let’s start with a song that was the brainchild of artist Hank Ballard who was an influential R&B musician who blended rock, country and gospel in the ’50s and ’60s. Hank got the idea for this particular song by watching his group on stage – to him, the group often moved onstage like they were “trying to put a cigarette out”.
Hank and his group tried to get a craze going with their original version of this song, but it wasn’t until this particular artist covered this song that it became a national craze.
In Baltimore a deejay named Buddy Deane had a TV dance party show (The Buddy Deane Show) and played the song. The kids’ reaction was excellent and Buddy recommended the song to Dick Clark, who had his own show in Philadelphia, American Bandstand. Clark loved the song but was wary of Ballard, who was known for raunchy songs like “Sexy Ways” and “Work With Me Annie.”
Clark went looking for his own artist to break the song. He held auditions, and found a young man named Earnest Evans, a chicken plucker who liked to sing on the job. He was a great impersonator and kept everyone at the chicken plant laughing as he’d do his impersonations of the popular stars of that time like Fats Domino, Elvis, The Coasters and the Chipmunks.
Clark was going to release the record but wanted Ernest to think up a stage name. Clark’s wife suggested that he use a take off on Fats Domino: Fats=Chubby Domino=Checker. Ernest Evans became Chubby Checker, and after performing the song on American Bandstand, it was his version that raced up the charts.
This started a dance craze that got so popular because it was so easy to do. Even the severely rhythm-challenged could do this dance, which helped bridge a generation gap, since both kids and adults could do it.
C’mon baby! Get up and dance with Chubby Checker and do “The Twist”:
Next is a song that was originally done in 1952 by the Cuban-Mexican bandleader Perez Prado. Known as the ‘King of the Mambo,’ Prado recorded numerous mambos and when he ran out of inspiration, he would simply number them, and “Mambo No 5” was one of a series of 8.
Perez Prado’s version was instrumental and in 1999 this German Pop musician added lyrics to it, transforming it into a love song for several women, namely Angela, Pamela, Sandra, Rita, Monica, Erica, Tina, Mary and Jessica. It was reported that the girls he mentioned were all his former girlfriends but it is probably beyond coincidence that eight of the girls in the song have names that happen to end in “A.”
The artist was quoted as saying:
“When I wrote the song, I believed it could be the thing it is today. All people hate it completely, that’s what I thought. I knew it wouldn’t swim in the middle because it was too different from all the stuff that was outside, so I’m quite happy with it. Mambo makes you happy, Latin music makes you happy, its sexual, its erotic, energetic, I think that’s the point.”
Fun (and funny) fact: This was the theme song for the 2000 Democratic Convention (Bill Clinton’s party), until someone noticed the line, “A little bit of Monica in my life.”
Get ready to mambo – here’s Lou Bega with “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…)”:
Next up is a song that spent 14 weeks as the #1 song on the Billboard top 40. This turned out to be the duo’s first #1 hit since 1962, and their only hit in the U.S. It was originally released on a local label in Spain in 1993, where it did fairly well.
The next year, the American label BMG bought the Spanish label and set out to make this song a hit in America by marketing an English version to dance clubs and cruise ships. By 1996 the dance craze with this song hit America.
My friends and I would dance to this song every time it played when we were out for a night of dancing. Believe it or not, I still remember the moves!
Fun Fact: “Macarena” is a female name which means “Mother of God.”
Without further ado (and I dare you to get up and dance the dance), here’s Los del Rio with “Macarena”:
Last, but certainly not least, back when Princess Nagger was a youngster (you know, before she morphed into a tween then teen – lord help me!) she loved watching the show that this artist was in on the Disney Channel.
This particular song was the big dance number from the show’s movie – and the song originated when the president of music and soundtracks for Walt Disney Studios, Mitchell Leib, approached songwriters to pen a song that could be “[This artist’s ‘Macarena’ meets ‘Achy Breaky Heart.'”
Songwriting duo Nikki Hassman (formerly of the Contemporary Christian group Avalon) and her husband Adam Anders in conjunction with choreographer Jamal Sims and movie director Peter Chelsom rose to the challenge to create the song and its accompanying dance sequence. The artist has said that this is the scene that she loves the most in the movie.
That’s a wrap for this week – have a great Monday!
Now on to the particulars of Monday’s Music Move’s Me: I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, Callie from JAmericanSpice, and our awesome friend Cathy, from Curious as a Cathy.
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!