Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bobby Freeman

Bobby Freeman, who wrote and recorded Do You Want To Dance, did more for rock and roll dancing than all the Chubby Checker records combined. He put 9 hits into the top 100 between 1958 and 1964. I have 3, one of which came from the American Graffiti soundtrack, one of which came right off the single, and one of which came from a K-Tel LP.

Bobby Freeman:

Do You Want To Dance – The first challenge is to think of all the different versions of this song that I’ve got kicking around: The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas, Cliff Richard, Del Shannon, John Lennon, Bette Midler. The second challenge is to come to terms with the ultimate dance song. This isn’t a slow dance, compared to, say, Dance With Me by The Drifters, or a simple invitation like, say, Dance With Me by Orleans. No. This is a dancing dance song, non-denominational, so to speak, unlike The Twist, The Stroll, The Majestic. Do you wanna dance, sings Bobby, under the moonlight (beating Van Morrison by a dozen years), make romance, let’s just dance! From the spring of 1958.
(I Do The) Shimmy Shimmy – Let’s get down to specific dances. “I do the shimmy when I walk down the street.” I’d love to see that. From the fall of 1960.
C’mon And Swim – Jimmy McCracklin did the walk, Chubby Checker did the fly, The Kingsmen did the climb, why not the swim? The dance, I believe, consisted of making swimming motions with one’s arms while dancing around the room. From the summer of 1964.

1 comment:

michele said...

I want to thank you for telling it like it is !!! You are soooo right Bobby Freeman is fantastic-- as I am his personal manager & very proud of that-- I just read what you wrote to Bobby & he thanks you so very very much from the bottom of his heart!!!
Since you feel as you do I would like to share with you that Bobby looks & sings as well as he has for the past 50 years-- 4real !!!! G-D bless him its true!!!
I want to also add The Mess Around to the list of dances Bobby created.
Thank you again for taking the time & having the wisdom & knowledge you provide--nice to read the real deal once in a while xoxox Michele

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