This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.
The dance is in full swing by now and everyone’s up on the floor, except me because I don’t dance. I used to, back at school at the school socials.
They still had the old fashioned dances than – waltz, foxtrot, Pride of Erin and so on. It was really an excuse for the boys to hold the girls tight. We loved it; I don’t know what the girls thought of that though. Anyway, take your partners…
A song from FRANK SINATRA usually closes the dance as everyone wants to snuggle with his/her sweetie.
He’s opening the show today with Dancing on the Ceiling.
Land of 1000 Dances is mostly associated with Wilson Pickett as he had a big hit with the song. However, it was written by CHRIS KENNER and he was the first to record it.
Chris’s version is more New Orleans funk than the extravagant soul treatment of Wilson. It’s less often played so it’s good to hear the original. Any obsessives out there who want to count the number of dances Chris mentioned would come up with 16. Just thought I’d save you the trouble.
[EDITORIAL NOTE: Barb Rogers in the comments below is correct: This audio does not played. I've spent an hour trying to fix it (it plays fine on my own player program but not online) and can't. I don't have the time to work on it further today. Sorry.]
AHMAD JAMAL, or Fred Jones to his mum and dad, is a hugely successful jazz pianist.
He’s recorded scores of albums over the years so it’s not too surprising that we have a dance tune in there somewhere. One I found is called Dolphin Dance.
As you know, FRED ASTAIRE didn’t dance at all. I’m sure you’ve seen him in many films not dancing.
At least, that’s what Fred sings about in I Won't Dance. As mentioned above, I share that with him.
JACKSON BROWNE was initially in the first dance column, but in the interests of balance he was moved to this one.
His was one of the first songs I thought of before I even searched for songs. When I did, I found several really good covers of his song that I was tempted to include, but I went with the original. For a Dancer.
Katie Moss wrote the words and music to The Floral Dance in 1911 after a Flora Day celebration in Cornwall. PETER DAWSON recorded it not long after.
Pete was an Australian bass-baritone and also a bit of a composer himself. There’s a bit of noise on this one but remember it was recorded more than 100 years ago.
The MODERN JAZZ QUARTET didn’t ever rock the joint.
They were restrained, and their musical style was closer to a classical quartet, not surprising given their musical training. Each member could improvise with the best of them though which probably accounted for their longevity as a group. Their tune is Sun Dance.
I first noticed RODNEY CROWELL when he was a member of EMMYLOU HARRIS’s Hot Band.
I then noticed that he’d written a bunch of songs that she included on several of her albums. Later, when he went out as a solo performer, I was struck by how good he was, as well as the quality of his songs that kept emerging.
Later he and Emmy toured together and have recorded some albums as well. From one of those, “Old Yellow Moon” is the song Spanish Dancer.
ANDREA MOTIS is a Spanish jazz pianist and singer.
She’s from Barcelona and recorded her first album at age 15, for heaven’s sake. She’s made eight or nine since including Emotional Dance from which is taken the title track.
THE BEATLES were a rather successful group in the sixties.
You might have heard of them. They made an entertaining film called A Hard Day's Night from which the song I'm Happy Just to Dance With You is taken.
More dancing next week.