“Dancing In The Street” is an all-time great sixties song , recorded during the era when Motown Records owned the Pop Charts. One hit after another came out of Berry Gordy’s Detroit-based label, which, at the beginning was simply Gordy’s own relatively small house in Detroit, where he lived with his family on the second floor, having turned the first floor into a recording studio he called “Hitsville U.S.A.”
For a fairly long stretch, it seemed like every ‘R & B’ dance hit was written, arranged and recorded at Hitsville, soon to become “Motown.” Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, etc. all were introduced from this one studio on 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI. It actually wasn’t until I first heard this song that I realized that Motown was short for The Motor City, because Detroit was the Car Capital of America. (Motor City = Motown.)
The most musically interesting thing about this song are the use of the horns. From the blaring opening of the song, the horn become an integral part of this perennial classic. Here’s a picture of Gordy’s original home/studio, and the lyrics to this 1964 Motown classic:
Calling out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street.
They’re dancing in Chicago,
Down in New Orleans,
In New York City.
All we need is music, sweet music. There’ll be music everywhere.
There’ll be swinging and swaying and records playing, dancing in the street.
Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear just as long as you are there.
So come on, every guy, grab a girl. Everywhere around the world
They’ll be dancing. They’re dancing in the street.
It’s an invitation across the nation, a chance for folks to meet.
There’ll be laughing, singing, and music swinging, dancing in the street.
Baltimore and D.C. now.
Can’t forget the Motor City.
All we need is music, sweet music. There’ll be music everywhere……
There may be a very few fleeting moments when you might notice “Dancing In The Street” dating itself, and yet, most of the time, it sounds as fresh as it did when it was first released fifty-two years ago. A can’t miss dance treeasure.
Let me know what you think.