Let’s Dance, by Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

When I was younger, so much younger, we used to go dancing.  Believe it or not, we fell hard into the disco era and found our way to bars and clubs where we could dance for hours.  There was plenty of Hustle as we would slide, turn, spin and merengue across the floor.  The period was brief, not just because we are older now, but because the flood of disco received a quick backlash and we moved onto other styles of music.  That did not stop the dancing.  It just changed the beat.

When I was a young boy,
Said put away those young boy ways
Now that I’m getting’ older, so much older
I long for those young boy days
(- John Mellencamp)

We may not be going down to the Copacabana anymore, but we can still do our Neutron Dance.  I am sure you know someone about whom you can say, “All She Want’s To Do Is Dance.” So why not be a Dancing Queen or King and get up and Dance, Dance, Dance.  There is no Dancing on the Ceiling at Marilyn’s house, but you can still Dance The Night Away.  I hear your Mama Don’t Dance and Your Daddy Don’t Rock and Roll, but what’s your excuse?

In order to get you up and moving, I brought along some music to spin on the old turntable.  Before I get to my Top 10 Dance tunes that actually have the word “dance” in the title, I thought I would lay an honorable mention on this current tune.  Maybe someone you know has already told you to “Shut Up and Dance.”

10. I Can’t Stop Dancing, Archie Bell and the Drells – The song was released in 1968 and was probably a predictable follow-up to 1967’s Tighten Up, another dance hit.  This was certainly pre-disco and what we were dancing to until the records skipped a groove.

9.  Dance, Dance, Dance, Beach Boys – The 1964 song by Brian and Carl Wilson along with Mike Love was a dance sensation.  It was often paired in performance with another Beach Boys song on our list.

8.  Come Dancing, The Kinks – The 1983 hit song was written by Ray Davies and inspired by his sister’s trips to the local dance hall.  There was a follow-up single entitled “Don’t Forget To Dance.”

7.  Do You Wanna Dance, Beach Boys – The 1958 Bobby Freeman song was given more life by the Beach Boys’ cover in 1965.  It was subsequently covered by many others, including a very popular slow version by Bette Midler.

6. Dance to the Music, Sly and the Family Stone – It is time to mix a little soulful funk in with your rock and roll.  The 1968 dance hit pushed music towards a more “Psychedelic” sound.  Other bands followed.  Everybody dance!

5.  You Should Be Dancing, Bee Gees – The Brothers Gibb knew how to push music in one direction and then another.  This 1976 chart topper helped disco to explode onto the dance floor.  It was one of 6 Bee Gees songs to appear the following year on the soundtrack album of Saturday Night Fever.  John Travolta taught people the moves as his stardom increased with every glide across the dance floor.  It you are still seated, this should get you up.

4.  Dancing In The Street, David Bowie & Mick Jagger – OK, I could have picked a lot of different versions of this song, but in this one they both Move Like Jagger.  The Marvin Gaye tune was a 1964 hit for Martha and the Vandellas.  Others covered it with success until David and Mick danced down the street in this 1985 version.

3.  Dancing in the Dark, Bruce Springsteen – “The Boss” wrote the song and was apparently looking for a dance club hit.  He got it with this 1985 release, the first single from the Born in the USA album.  The “B side” of the single was “Pink Cadillac,” another hit. Springsteen owns the stage in this live performance and official video for the song.

2.  Flashdance…What a Feeling, Irene Cara – The 1983 hit for the movie Flashdance was coauthored by Cara and picked up an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Grammy.  Jennifer Beals is the dancer in the movie which received negative reviews and box office success.

1. Save The Last Dance For Me, The Drifters – I can see that you are now tired from all the dancing, so we will finish with a slow dance.  I have always liked this song and thought it was put to powerful use near the end of Season one of Queer as Folk, the American version here.  I will give you the 1960 version (used in QAF, by the way) with Ben E. King on lead vocals.


  1. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 5, 2017 / 1:46 am

    Fun post. I was in NYC for the disco days – and danced many a night away in many a crowded dance club (including Studio 54). Thanks for reviving a few memories. Those were fun days.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 3 people

      • Garry Armstrong March 5, 2017 / 12:39 pm

        Great post, Rich. I played “Save The Last Dance For Me”, slo bopping in my slippers and yoga pants.
        Rekindles memories of my 3 piece white suit days. I never had much rhythm (credit to my race?) but loved the slow music.

        I can see myself — the man in that white suit — slow dancing in Spanish Harlem.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Rich Paschall March 5, 2017 / 12:42 pm

          You can get out your white suit and black shirt and dance like John Travolta. One thing I learned about dancing where there is a large crowd on the dance floor, almost no one notices you anyway, so let loose!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Marilyn Armstrong March 5, 2017 / 12:56 pm

            There’s that. It reminds me that most people aren’t thinking about me — or you. They are just thinking about themselves and what WE think of THEM 😀

            Liked by 2 people

          • Garry Armstrong March 6, 2017 / 9:47 am

            You’re right, Rich. But I’ve always been self conscious about my impaired dancing skills. Still, once the music starts……

            Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 5, 2017 / 9:00 pm

          My apt. was West Side 106th St. – so I stayed West in Harlem. But there were some great little jazz clubs – and super places to eat. Interesting theatre company as well – I worked with them when they needed a white girl – lol.

          Funny story: the first time they used me I was running late to my first rehearsal – excellent reason, but simply NOT done! As I entered the rehearsal space I stared into a sea of black faces that didn’t look too happy with me. “I am so sorry to be late,” I said in the most contrite voice possible – beat, beat, deep breath – “but you know how white people are about time.” LOTS of laughter!! (whew!) Some super work with those folks – a few I used to see on TV from time to time, after I left the biz for the most part.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Garry Armstrong March 6, 2017 / 9:50 am

            Madelyn, when I was young (7 or 8??), we lived for a brief time in Harlem. One of my uncles had an apartment down the street from the Apollo. Golly, the music we heard was wonderful. Talking about the late 40’s here. Magic time!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 6, 2017 / 3:13 pm

              The Apollo! Now it’s my turn to be jealous, Garry. Still, by the time I got there, the music in NYC was always fabulous. Only the best survived long, and even the street music was amazing.

              The after hours jazz scene seemed my reason for living many days. Always a nite owl, I was just down the street from a smoky almost hole in the wall on upper B’way where the jazz cats gathered post-gig to jam – big names, no names and talented newbies all sat-in. Even if it was packed and I couldn’t get in until somebody left, I could hang on the street for a bit with a small crowd and hear every note through the open door.

              Until her landlord doubled her rent when her lease was up, closing her down, J’s had a good run too (upstairs and just down the street), but she closed comparatively “early.”

              I will always believe that’s why Birdland choose that location for its first reincarnation, gentrifying the nabe a bit as it rebuilt and gathered steam once more. It was rarely full when I was there – as much restaurant as club, with rarely even a cover – but I hear that its always packed now that it’s since moved back to midtown, and it has featured most of the greats.

              Here, they tend to confuse jazz with blues, then throw in a rock beat on top of that mix — so I’m always just a bit disappointed when I go to hear JAZZ, even when the musicians are excellent.

              ::sigh:: I miss NY like a lover.
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

              • Rich Paschall March 6, 2017 / 9:58 pm

                Here we have more Blues Clubs than jazz. If you are lucky, you can catch Buddy Guy in town. He owns a club and sometimes plays a larger venue.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 6, 2017 / 10:06 pm

                  Same here – which is fine with me, I like blues. My complaint is when blues (or anything else) is misrepresented as jazz and I’m stuck listening to something I would not have set out to attend, had I know what was really going to be featured. It’s kept me home many a night.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Rich Paschall March 7, 2017 / 8:59 pm

                    Blues clubs here play the blues. I can’t say there is much in the way of Jazz clubs, just a few that I know.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 7, 2017 / 9:03 pm

                      Seems true everywhere but NYC. Which is too bad for me, since it is my fav and I no longer live there. Especially miss great jazz trios & acoustic piano jazz – live.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Marilyn Armstrong March 7, 2017 / 9:15 pm

                      I think most of our big cities are doing like they always do, at least in the north and west. This isn’t a big city thing. It’s something else.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 7, 2017 / 9:40 pm

                      Still, a great many musicians flock to the “hub cities” hoping to achieve fame and fortune, so a variety of music (and amazingly talented musicians) is likely to be most plentiful there. Which means more jazz clubs for me! 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 9, 2017 / 12:37 am

                      Lucky you! I’ve lived in quite a few places all over America and that’s not always the case – rarely, in fact, in smaller ones – other than teen and country music venues. More than I would have thought.

                      Haven’t found a great many places to hear great jazz – though there have been a few, there were MANY all over NYC, and that’s what I really miss.


      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 5, 2017 / 4:00 pm

        Different climate where I live now. Back in the day, in NYC anyway, everybody danced with everybody, straight or gay, sober, drunk or drugged. That’s what I miss most – the party atmosphere.

        I don’t have to leave home or do drugs to dance alone — which I still do, btw (the dancing, not the drugs) 🙂

        xx, mgh

        Liked by 1 person

    • lwbut March 5, 2017 / 8:20 pm

      Studio 54? OK now I’m officially jealous 🙂 Disco Rules!

      Disco Stu. (aka love)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. lwbut March 5, 2017 / 2:05 am

    When i was younger, so much younger, than today – i never needed anybody’s help along the way. But now those days are gone, i’m not so self-assured. Now, i find, i need you like i never did before. Help! (Lennon/McCartney 1965)

    You call it merangue, i call it merengue. Let’s call the whole thing off 😉 🙂

    I’m way too old for this stuff.


    Liked by 3 people

  3. swo8 March 5, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    “Shut up and Dance” great beat and sure gets you moving. The other ones are great too. Got to love dancing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rich Paschall March 5, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling will get you up too. It is still on the radio a lot.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Garry Armstrong March 6, 2017 / 9:36 am

        Hey, Rich. Did you ever have a 3 piece white suit? I use to wear mine to work, right after returning from summer vacation with a deep tan. Used to drive the camera crews nuts!! They cursed me left and right. I just grinned.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rich Paschall March 6, 2017 / 9:54 pm

          I had a white tux jacket for when I played in the band. I also had white pants for a dark blazer. I never wore all white though.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Garry Armstrong March 7, 2017 / 2:34 pm

            Rich, a white suit worn by a deeply tanned man of color — on a bright, summer day — WILL drive TV camera crews bonkers!! The fact that I was grinning only served to piss them off even more!

            Liked by 1 person

              • Garry Armstrong March 9, 2017 / 12:23 pm

                I always did that, Rich. It made for a good working environment. Often, there’s a divide between “talent” and camera crews, etc. I always appreciated what they did for me. And, in my best “Sally Field” mode, I think they liked me.

                Liked by 1 person

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