I was, like probably every other non-goof member of the "Generation of '68," just as anxious to get out of school each weekday afternoon in order not to miss a minute of American Bandstand as anybody else. And while the newness wore off pretty quickly for me that's the facts, jack. Below is a sketch/review that says what I mean better than any further commentary. Adieu Dick Clark.
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Era: The ‘50s: Last Dance, Time-Life Music, 1990
Hey, I have spent tons of time and reams of cyberspace “paper” reviewing many aspects of 1950s American teenage culture (and maybe it spread to Europe too. Think about the Beatles and Rolling Stones and what they were listening to), especially that inevitable school dance and its also inevitable last dance. John and Mick had to ask too, remember. A last dance, by the way, that I have been at great pains to describe elsewhere as the last chance for glory for shy boys like me (or girls, for that matter, but they can speak for themselves). That seminal event also ritualistically involved setting off the wallflowers from the “in” crowd in the school social pecking order. And from there by some mysterious process that pecking order was set in stone through three or four long serf-like years of high school. Or, perhaps, for you and your crowd, your guy crowd, it acted as a test to prove that you that something, some moxie to ask that certain she for the last one.
Of course, the critical question, the world historic question, was whether the last one was to be a slow one that meant that you had to dance close and pray to high heaven that you did not ruin your partner’s feet or shoes in the process. And that the hair cream (Wildroot, a little dab will do ya, of course)had kept your cowlick in place, that using your Gillette steel-edged razor hadn't caused terminal blood lost bit only a tissue sop wound, that the deodorant that was suppose to get you through the night did not wear off although you seem to be sweating, excuse me, perspiring through your tee-shirt, and that that surefire kiss mouthwash that tasted, well, tasted like mouthwash held up as well. Or would it be, with hosanna relief, a fast one, that you could kind of fake that you knew how to dance to, but was not as bound up with the ending of your rising social status like those slow ones. And no worry about hold-your nose mouthwash, hair cream, shaving cream or Right Guard.
As this compilation will let you have memory either as both types of songs are included so you can get “nostalgic” for what did, or did not, transpire in the old days. Or for the younger set to giggle over what your parents or grandparents got all heated up about and thank somebody that you came along in the days of hip-hop nation and avoided all that. Whee!
Standouts here include: Chuck Berry’s Back In The U.S.A. (fast and great doo-woppy back singing parts so you could sing along while you are not paying attention to your partner just in case things didn't work out); Tommy Edwards’ It’s All In The Game (slow, swoony, ouch, I am thinking about that razor-induced neck wound); the legendary late Bo Diddley’s Who Do You Love? (fast and sassy, sassy 'cause girls who liked Bo, well, they "did' it, didn't they, and you know what "did it: means, with all that Afro-Carib beat); and, the Flamingos I’ll Be Home (slow, and only if that certain she turned you down and you had to dance with your sister's best girlfriend, or something like that). How is that for deejaying even-handedness?