Saturday, June 24, 2017

MOTOWN: MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS - DANCING IN THE STREET

It's midsummer, let's dance! What would be a better one to dance to but Dancing on the street, a song co-written by Marvin Gaye for Kim Weston in mind but who passed it onto Martha and The Vandellas in 1964, and that became their signature song and US #2? It eventually made it to #4 in the UK - five years later. 
The song's idea came from people in the streets of Detroit cooling off with the water from opened fire hydrants in summer heat. Martha made several changes to it and then it was recorded in two takes. Motown magic again! Some thought the song was a call to riots and political anthem, in time of the black civil right demostrations but Martha and Motown always insisted it's just "a party song!. 
Notable cover versions include The Mamas and the Papas (it's also the very last song they ever performed live together),  Grateful Dead, Black Oak Arkansas, Van Halen, David Bowie & Mick Jagger (UK #1),  Human Nature, Sonny & Cher 

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