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"Chicago Streetwise Editorial " & "The Citizen"



would have made the perfect manager for THE FOUR SEASONS.  If you’re really up on your nostalgia you know who the princess was and more on that later.

   I was in my second year of Wilson Jr. College in ’62 when the radio started playing this strange sounding record on the radio that was NOT by Alvin and the Chipmunks because only the lead voice sounded almost like David Seville’s work.  The other reason, the rhythm was too funky.  Great guitar and bass, drums…and the other voices were normal.  So there you have it, the first time I heard “Sherry” on WLS and WCFL.

     “Sherry” was very unusual with the high falsetto voice of Frankie Valli over the more mellowed background of Nick Massi, Tommy DeVito and “Sherry” writer Bob Gaudio.  Bob put her words and music together in 15 minutes. andI’m sure Bob’s piano lessons helped in the process and the song went on to be number one. The group was not the overnight success you might think.  Frankie’s first record was made in 1953.  The group, from New Jersey went around the world on the strength of their hits including Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, Candy Girl, Dawn, Rag Doll and Lets Hang On.  The Seasons original name was The Variatones, Four Lovers, and in 1962 the group ended up on Chicago’s black owned Vee Jay Records until 1964 when they switched to Phillips Records also with a Chicago connection.

     Frankie Valli later solo recorded with his hit effort on the hit parade in June of ’67, when “Can’t Take My Eyes Off OF You” went to number one.  I really liked “Swearing To God” the follow-up.

     “Jersey Boys” the musical biography of the Seasons is currently in production in Chicago and doing well.  It’s well worth seeing and hearing just like those circa 1962 45s on the Vee Jay label.

     HELP NEEDED.  I forgot what local TV show Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring was on.  E mail me the answer please at  (NOTE FROM THE WEBLADEE ... it was "Super Circus" my favorite show when I was a kid)

IT’S A TRADITION AT THE STAR Plaza but usually it’s in late February or March.  It’s that concert where you get the best of the SEVENTIES GROUPS and the chance to hear them in one of the best theatres in the area.  November is not on schedule but so what when you’ve got the OJAYS, WHISPERS AND DELLS on the same show.
     This issue of STREETWISE just made it to your eyes so let’s be title clever here >> The OJAYS were on the Love Train because I Love Music especially their Thanksgiving Family Reunion… so forget their Backstabbers and  WHISPERS as they Rock Steady when The Beat Goes On with their Lady  ‘cause It Just Gets Better With Time >> In Harvey IL. you’ll come to 151st street and see that the sign with “DELLS WAY” where the group got a Standing Ovation when they Stayed In My Corner and were Always Together singing their classic Oh What A Night.

     IF you have seen any of Jackie Taylor’s classic rock and roll dusty record shows at the Black Ensemble Theatre, you should have been at the Star Plaza for this show.

RADIO EYE TOLD YOU SO Remember?  Radio changes were a comin’ and so they did…with WLIT losing the Whoopi morning show, bringing back the former personnel, then Losing the evening show re-instituting “Love Notes” (good). >> WCKG gives up on talk and goes into competition with three other music stations in the same arena with their “FRESH” approach to radio. >> Next door to CKG at 106.3 is WSRB but we still can’t figure, and they can’t either…but we wish them luck.  Enuff said.>> I say give Pervis the whole night for blues on Saturday at WVON. >> I actually listened to and sang along with the Christmas LITE the other night on 294 from O’hare to I-80…kept me awake! >>

The Citizen


DIRTY NOT AT ALL to some but filthy to others.  The words culture, community and crowd come into play with the advent of “JUKING” as written or “JUKIN’” as pronounced.  Just in case you’re not up on the latest dances, JUKING is the 2007 equivalent to what “Dirty Dancing” was supposed to be in the ‘80s movie of the same name. So the dirty dancing parents now find their kids or grandkids doing the same thing?  This has got to be the best reality show on the dance floor.
     WE’VE GOT TO START SOMEWHERE so lets fast forward through the waltzes, minuets, native American rain dances, African tribal movements and all other ethnic rhythms including the polka and get to 2007.  It was probably 2001 when I first heard the term JUKIN’, meaning the dance, used to describe a type of party.  Yes this was an African American event and I only had to use my somewhat conservative imagination to mind-picture the group of 300 patrons and what they were doing.  The sound of the word JUKIN’ is so…..So now you know how I felt for about three seconds.
     IT’S 1936 and you’re in Harlem to witness the birth of the new dance called the Lindy Hop, a rather athletic rhythmic device done to the music of live bands.  It was the Savoy Ballroom where young Negro couples did the latest steps to the “Lindy”, which led the way to the “Jitterbug”.  From these dances the art form evolved into whatever you did to Rock N’ Roll with Bill Haley and The Comets.  AMERICAN BANDSTAND hit the ABC Network and then Soul Music comes along and the approach of “FUNK” is set with James Brown leading the way.  Disco is in effect in the mid 70’s with “Saturday Night Fever” attached.  DON CORNELIUS is there and the “SOUL TRAIN” is rolling.  And now the FUNK is in full effect in the era of CAMEO and THE COMMODORES, and the early 80s.
     DO WE REMEMBER the first dance/music shows on cable, MVT – VH1 and BET. And so, we’ve gone from Dick Clark’s Philadelphia Bandstand to the Dances Done Around the world.  I get the feeling that since the days of  Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor and Earth Wind and Fire, the art of the dance has not peaked yet.  NOW it’s 1978 and then BANG it’s Curtis Blow and the Sugar Hill Gang, and Rap and Hip Hop are introduced to the world via TV.
     WHERE DO THEY GET the girls for those countless videos and who is teaching them the dances?   The TWIST was one of the most popular dances and so was the MACARENA but the “SLIDES”  prevail.  The reason for the Sun-Times article revolves around the fact that non-blacks are learning how to dance like the women in the videos, like black club population.  It’s no problem until  “My baby is dancing like ‘Destiny’s Child”. Let them keep watching and they’ll be beyond BEYONCE’.   The prom will never be the same.
     P.S.  It’s about time that everyone wakes up to the CUPID SHUFFLE…as I predicted, this dance will eventually be bigger than  “THE CASPER slide.”    I am going to do the CUPID at The Dusty Record Convention.
I still feel that ALL people should learn to do the CUPID, It’s great exercise.

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