Screw Art Let’s Dance

Did the musical conversations between musicians begin with nonverbal conversations between dancer and musician? How closely was the development of improvisation connected with dance? Was the solo first initiated by the dancers? If so, then dancers played a huge part in creating American music because along with the blues and syncopation, American music is defined by solos, conversation, and improvisation.

In New Orleans it all came together like a cross-bred seed the size of a city and grew like an oak tree the size of a country. It spread across the map like a big-ass oak tree and grew into the music we heard throughout the 20th century, and the music we listen to today.


So many influences came together down there in New Orleans, from a circle of cultural groups that reached down into the West Indies and up into the Delta, from the original people of the area and from the black people who were brought to various locations against their will, from Africa to the Americas, from internal and external elemental places that they were wise enough to notice and creative enough to capture, the waves and the wind, the shake of the trees and the flicker of the flame, the trickle of the rain and crash of thunder, the beat of the heart as it hunts and hates and loves, the movement of the body as it moves to show affection and cause reproduction.  Movement inspired music, and music caused movement.

The people of New Orleans got together and before the twine frayed, they wove the music together into a tighten wound rope. But what caused the twine to fray, what caused the soloists to twirl out of the rope and do their own things? These things were still of course connected with where the music was going but leading the music into new directions, the rope pulling the soloist back into the pack as the soloist pulled the band down a new alley. It’s all so much like dancers busting out of the pack and doing their own things that one certainly has to wonder if these solo dancers were the ones the inspired these early soloists.


And if so, then its easy to see how dancers helped create something that influenced most forms of American music, from ragtime to rap and most everything in between. It’s just something to think about as we look back to try to figure out what happened to make this all come together.

And perhaps it’s even more important as we move forward into the future.

Grab the hand of that man in the wheelchair and let him do his thing. Kick those folding chairs into the corner and stand up for what is right. We must let the music move. We must let the people dance.

— winch (author

Gamelan Orchestra (1952) Mandera ‎Dancers Of Bali (LP) Columbia Masterworks ‎– ML 4618

Gamelan Orchestra

from the Village of Pliatan, Bali, Indonesia

Mandera ‎Dancers Of Bali

Under Direction of Anak Agung Gde

Produced by John Coast

Columbia Masterworks ‎– ML 4618

*** noteworthy

It’s easy to see why jazz musicians found inspirations and influences in Asian dance music like this. The nature of dance made this music fiery, frantic, and avant garde. And it wasn’t improvisation, it sure sounded like that.

Likely while the dancers responded to the music, the music responded to the dancers.

This makes one wonder about the profound effect dancers had on music, not just in Asian, but in America as well.

— winch (author of )



Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band Meets King Penett (1978) RCA (AFL1-2402)

Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band
Meets King Penett
RCA (AFL1-2402)
Producer: Stony Browder, Jr.
Rating: **** (Recommended)

This NYC outfit was primed for continued success but with this second album, they pulled further back into their own thing and offered more focus on acoustic instrumentation.  This is quite similar to the debut, except with less of the blatant disco elements.  All this didn’t help this group commercially, but it certainly helped create another timeless set.


While this again mixes all kinds of styles from the past and takes plenty of risks, it’s also quite cohesive.  Some have pointed out an experimental quality to this album, but the songs are also accessible pop music.  This blending of pop styles must have had an influence on other artists.  

While the instrumentations come from many sources, Cory Daye’s wonderful vocals are at the front of much of the material, and the influence this band had on vocalist Sade is especially clear on this album.  Of course, this is a bit more playful and considerably more interesting.

And the influences go beyond the obvious.

While Quincy Jones likely had an influence on this music, this band probably also inspired Mr. Jones.  And I can’t help wonder if we would have had Purple Rain without albums such as this one.  Rain is a completely different album, but both sets have an ambitious and adventurous quality, and both run through a variety of sounds while still sounding cohesive.
While this didn’t sell well, and even today some might find this set a disappointment after their classic debut, this still has plenty of charm.  In fact, it has charm to spare.

It’s a set you could play for your great-grandma or your teenage daughter, and you’d probably get grins from both of them.  It’s another fine example of their neo-retro pop music.

— winch

Stoney Browder, Jr.: production, music, vocals, guitar, piano
August Darnell: lyrics, vocals, bass
Cory Daye: vocals
Mickey Sevilla: drums
Andy Hernandez: vibes, marimba, accordion
Orchestrations: Jimmy Haskell & Van Alexander

Screw Art, Let’s Dance


IMG_3971IMG_3968IMG_3973IMG_3951 IMG_3952 IMG_3953 IMG_3954 IMG_3955 IMG_3956 IMG_3957 IMG_3958 IMG_3959 IMG_3961 IMG_3962 IMG_3963 IMG_3964 IMG_3965 IMG_3966 IMG_3967 IMG_3970 IMG_3972 IMG_3975 IMG_3976 IMG_3979 IMG_3981 IMG_3983 IMG_3984 IMG_3985 IMG_3986

dance-craze party


“Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie”
Pinetop Smith (Alabama) 1928

“The Hucklebuck”
Paul Williams (Tennessee) 1949

“The Bunny Hop”
Ray Anthony 1952

“Cherokee Dance”
Bob Landers
Specialty 1956

“The Waddle” (Theo Theobalt)
The Slades (Austin, TX)
Domino 800B 1958

“The Shag (is Totally Cool)” (Foster-Flood)
Billy Graves
Monument 401 1958

“The Walk” (McCracklin)
Jimmy McCracklin (St. Louis)
Checker 885A 1958

“The Freeze”
Tony & Joe 1958

“Madison Time” (Eddie Morrison-Ray Bryant)
Ray Bryant Combo (Philly/Detroit)
calls by Eddie Morrison
Columbia 1476 1959

“(Baby) Hully Gully” (Smith-Goldsmith)
The Olympics 1959


“Pony Time” (Covay-Berry)
The Goodtimers (D.C.)

“The Slop” (Smith-Goldsmith)
The Olympics (L.A.)
Arvee 595B 1960

“The Twist”
Chubby Checker (Philly)

“Finger-Poppin’ Time” (Ballard)
Hank Ballard & the Midnighters (Detroit)

“Everybody Fish” /
“Part 2” (Collier-Kerrin)
The Hallequins
Collier 2501 1961

“The Peppermint Twist” (Henry-Dee-Glover)
Joey Dee & the Starliters (New Jersey)

“Bristol Stomp” (Mann-Appell)
The Dovells (Philly)
“The Slosh” (Fredricks-Coleman)
Beach 5 1961

“The Watusi”
The Vibrations (L.A.)
Checker 969A 1961

“The Wah-Watusi” (Mann-Appell)
The Orlons (Philly)
Cameo 218A 1962

“The Locomotion”
Little Eva 1962

“Limbo Rock” (Strange-Sheldon)
Chubby Checker (Philly)

“The Scrape” (Eddy)
Duane Eddy

“The Climb” (Leiber-Stoller)
Duane Eddy
Dance with the Guitar Man
Colpix 1962

“Limbo Limbo” (Richard A. Caire)
Lodestar 7462 circa 1962

“The Cinnamon Cinder” (Russ Regan) /
“Bandido” (Bob Totem)
Pastel Six
Zen 102 1962

“Chicken Twist” (Adkins)
Hasil Adkins
recorded 1962

“Humpty Dump” (Falcone-Rodriquez)
Bernadette Caroll
Vital 1650 1962

“Mashed Potato Time” Dee Dee Sharp (Philly)

“Do the Bird” (Mann-Appell) Dee Dee Sharp (Philly)
Cameo 244 1963

“Mickey’s Monkee” (H-D-H)
The Miracles (Detroit)
Tamla 1963

“Harlem Shuffle” (Relf-Nelson)
Bob & Earl(L.A.)
Marc 104 1963

“Do the Del Viking” / “part 2” (Holloway)
Patrice Holloway
Taste 125 1963

“The Bounce” (Ward-Fizer-Lewis)
The Olympics 1963

“The Smock” (Lennie Guarino)/
“Dance Party” (Lateers)
World Artists 1006 1963

“The Bird’s the Word”
The Rivingtons
Liberty 1963

“El Watusi” (Barretto)
Ray Barretto
Tico 419 1963

“Dick Dale Stomp” (Dale)
Dick Dale & his Del-Tones

“Twine Time” (Williams-Rice) /
“The Bump” (Rice-Cash)
Alvin Cash & the Crawlers (St. Louis)
Mar-V-Lus 6002 1963

“Come Monkey With Me” (G. Washington)
Gino Washington (Detroit)
Wand 147 1964
“The Swim” (Barry-Greenwich-Venet)
The Butterflys
Red Bird 009B 1964

“C’mon & Swim” (Coman-[Sly Stone]Stewart)
Bobby Freeman (S.F.)

“Peg Leg” (Vacon) Jerome Clemmons
ABC Paramount 10532 1964

“Kick That Little Foot Sally Ann” /
“Slauson Party”
Round Robin (L.A.)
Domain 1404 1964

“Shaggy Dog” (Mickie & Bernie Lane)
Mickey Lee Lane (Austin, TX)
Swan 4183 1964

“Ride Your Pony” (Naomi Neville)
Lee Dorsey

“The Climb”
The Kingsmen (Portland) 1965

“The Jerk” (Don Julian)
“Keep Jerkin'” (Walters-Julian)
“Slauson Shuffle Part 1” (Julian)
“Slauson Shuffle Part 2” (Julian)
The Larks (L.A.)
The Jerk Money 1102 1965
“Everybody’s Doing the Jerk” (Seals)
Jimmy Seals & the Champs (Texas)
Challenge 59270A 1965

“Jerkin’ the Dog” (Shaw) /
“Fishin’ Pole” (Shaw)
Mighty Hannibal (Atlanta)
Mirwood 5510 1966

“The Duck”
Jackie Lee (L.A.)

“Shoot-A-Basket” (Lemon-J. Dixon)
Meadowlark Lemon
RSVP 1125B 1966

“The Shotgun and the Duck” (Matthews-Nelson) /
“Temptation Walk” (Smith-Nelson)
Jackie Lee (L.A.)
Mirwood 5510 1966

“Cool Jerk”
The Capitals 1966

“The Skate” (Gant-Morris)
The Invitations
MGM 1966
“Do the Freddie”
Freddie & the Dreamers 1966

“The Bounce” (Ward-Fizer-Lewis) /
“The Duck” (Smith-Nelson)
The Olympics (L.A.)
Mirwood 5525 1966

“Karate / part 2” (Buford-J. Taylor)
Mr. Clean & the Cleansers (Houston)
Camelot 136 circa 1967

“The Horse” (Jesse James)
Cliff Nobles (Alabama)
Phil-L.A. of Soul 1968

“The Bounce” (Ward-Fizer-Lewis)
The Fantastic Johnny C. (S. Carolina)
Boogaloo Down Broadway
Phil-L.A. of Soul 1968

“Doin’ the Banana Split” (Barry White)
The Banana Splits
Kelloggs/Hanna Barbera 34579 1968

“Karate KK” (Dougherty-Grimaldo)
Tommy Dougherty
with Lou Grimaldo & the Symbols
Dance City USA 101 circa 1968

“Do the Sissy”
Charley Simmons & the Royal Imperials
PJ Records (New Orleans) 107 1968

“The Frankenstein Walk”
Gene Bowlegs Miller
Hi 2161 1969


“Push and Pull (the Tom Jones)”
(Willien Henderson-Leonard Henderson)
The Dwi Peoples Paraphernalia (Chicago)
BRC 102 circa 1971

“The Bump” (Milan Williams)
The Commodores
Machine Gun
Motown 769 1974

“The Twist (Yo, Twist)”
The Fat Boys
Tin Pan Apple 1988

“The Wiggle”
Rappers Convention

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instant dance party

just add good-time people, 
a sound system, and a dance floor
this list might be cliché, but if people 
can sing along and know the song, 
they're more likely to get off the wall

get on the floor

Intro: “2001” Deodato

“Family Affair” Mary J. Blige

“Hey Ya!” OutKast

“Celebration” Kool & the Gang

“Love Shack” B-52s

“Let’s Dance” Ramones

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” Cyndi Lauper

“Bad Boy Boogie” AC/DC

“Anarchy in the UK” Sex Pistols

“Super Freak” Rick James

“1999” Prince

“Sex Machine” James Brown

“Brick House” Commodores

“Rollercoaster” Ohio Players

“Flashlight” Parliament

“Why Can’t We Be Friends” War

“Car Wash” Rose Royce

“Dancing Queen” Abba

“I Feel Love” Donna Summer

“Heart of Glass” Blondie

“Le Freak” Chic

“Ring My Bell” Anita Ward

“Boogie Wonderland” Earth, Wind and Fire

“Rapper’s Delight” Sugarhill Gang

“King Tim III” Fatback Band

slow it down
(add when needed)

“Easy” Commodores

“All of Me” John Legend

“Time After Time” Cyndi Lauper

“Strawberry Letter #23” Brothers Johnson

“Wonderful World” Sam Cooke

Mid-tempo transition
(add when needed)

“Wonderful World Beautiful People” Jimmy Cliff

“I Can See Clearly Now” Johnny Nash

“Brown-Eyed Girl” Van Morrison

“Lowrider” War

“My Girl” Temptations

“What’s Going On” Marvin Gaye

“Baby Love” The Supremes

“Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” 4 Tops

“ABC” Jackson 5

“Everybody is a Star” Sly & the Family Stone

“Three Little Birds” Bob Marley

get on the Floor (Again)

“Stir it up” Bob Marley

“Shout” Isley Brothers

“I Want to Take You Higher” Sly and the Family Stone

“Stand” Sly and the Family Stone

“Dance to the Music” Sly and the Family Stone

“Everyday People” Sly and the Family Stone

“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)” Sly

“Loco-motion” Little Eva

“Shotgun” Jr. Walker

“Superstition” Stevie Wonder

“Superstition” Jeff Beck, etc.

“Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” The Temptations

“You Can’t Hurry Love” The Supremes

“Upside Down” Diana Ross

“On the Floor” Jennifer Lopez

“Wild Thing” Tone Loc

“Wild Thing” Troggs

“Tequila” The Champs

“Louie Louie” The Kingsmen

“Don’t Leave Me this Way” Thelma Houston

Outtro: “2001” Deodato