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I wrote two serious diaries yesterday and I had a serious diary scheduled for tonight (don't worry, JekyllnHyde, you're still going to get spanked for Guernica in browns and oranges, just next week). A comment brillig made about the song I posted (Eddie Kendricks, "Date with the Rain") in last night's weather-related songs diary

I've never heard this! (5+ / 0-)

I can hear disco in this... thank you for sharing something new to me!

made me think that maybe it would be a good idea to go into my memory and give you an idea what we danced to in gay bars where men COULD dance together before there was such a thing as disco.

You really didn't want anything meta tonight did you? GOOD. Now, climb the staircase to the large open space above the art gallery on the south side of Sutter Street in San Francisco and let's see what they're going to offer for us to dance to.

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Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home!

I thought I had a picture of the building at 567 Sutter Street, on the south side between Powell and Mason. That was the location of the Rendezvous, the premiere dance bar for gay men in San Francisco in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Every major city had one, and all of them were located in parts of the city that didn't get much traffic after dark. Jim and I actually met at the one in Boston, the 1270 Club, behind Fenway Park and half a block from the Fens, when our eyes locked on the dance floor.

But of course there were places like this, and not just for gay people either. Discotheque is as I'm sure you recognize a French word, a neology of the late 1950s, that describes a place where people dance to music that isn't performed by a live band but is produced by disk jockeys playing records (a discaire) Sybil Burton (the woman Richard Burton left for Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of Cleopatra) famously opened the first one in East 54th Street in New York in 1965, and, three years later, the oldest continuously operating dance bar in Los Angles, Oil Can Harry's, opened on Ventura Boulevard.

So records. It's really unclear if bars where mixed couples danced really danced to other kinds of music, considering that the catch-phrase review from American Bandstand which ran through the 1960s was "It has a good beat and you can dance to it." I've also reviewed the music (well, five songs) that we know was played in New York dance bars between 1972 and 1974 in my diary about Dancer From the Dance. (Odd how I keep coming back to that particular diary, but ah, well.)

I ended that diary with a song that I remember dancing to at the Rendezvous in 1972.

So of COURSE Motown, and singers associated with Motown. We'll come back to that.  But also bands that have become staples of classic rock and album-oriented rock stations. Like this, which we also danced to at the Rendezvous:

And really improbable songs, like this by the Stampeders:

And, like "Date with the Rain," songs that have some disco about them. From the same album, by Eddie Kendricks, the former lead singer of the Temptations, and this has a story. Marvin Gaye, who had become Motown's biggest star, had recorded some topical songs, like "Mercy, Mercy Me" about environmental issues. Kendricks watched to do something topical himself, about women's liberation. So he recorded this in 1971 too. Listen to what happens about three minutes in:

More serious material next week, I promise (or threaten, I'm not sure).

And now for the stuff that makes this Top Comments:

July 24, 2013

Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU when you find that proficient comment.

From smileycreek:

In Aji's New Day diary [note the magpie at the end of the fourth row of the picture quilt], I passed on a friend's advice on how to avoid hitting squirrels by lightly tapping your car horn to help them find their direction, and to us two-legged animals who are equally confused and frantically running about frantically running about.
From Tara the Antisocial Social Worker:
Hunter's diary on "Ew!" Jackson, Gun violence is caused by sexy people,had some great comments.  Wanted to pass along this one from gtomkins, offering excellent evidence against Jackson's theory.
From Steveningen:
In Vyan's diary Stevie Wonder should Sue Nugent for Defamation, Yoshimi gets a good one off on the skeezy man who soiled himself for a week to avoid the draft.
From your intrepid diarist:
Steveningen had this to say about embedding "It's Raining Men" and Barbra Streisand in brillig's weather-related Top Comments diary and gizmo59 suggested it would be wrong for her to complain.

July 23, 2013

(excluding Tip Jars and first comments)

  1) Maybe you don't see it by marina — 185
  2) Markos killed irony by FishOutofWater — 129
  3) Oh my. by jpmassar — 105
  4) I like her style! by lyvwyr101 — 101
  5) I had an interesting Facebook exchange by suzq — 96
  6) And so it begins.  Everyone and their by EducatetheMasses — 94
  7) He should never ever be allowed by Richard Lyon — 91
  8) Yeah, and by Words In Action — 90
  9) Amen. by loggersbrat — 90
10) Judge, jury and executioner:  if you are a gun by Boston Beans — 88
11) Tasers maim and kill by Zwoof — 86
12) Dude... the context is the guy getting by xxdr zombiexx — 85
13) Young Women Like This... by Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder — 83
14) How about we get one of the women by DisNoir36 — 81
15) Exactly, and remember what Mealy-Mouth Mark said.. by Tommy Aces — 80
16) The GOP Response to This Tragedy by JekyllnHyde — 79
17) "Our adversaries" = concerned citizens. by Words In Action — 77
18) Or w/ private contractors tracking every move by RFK Lives — 77
19) While I don't agree with the "privilege" by David Harris Gershon — 75
20) The rules are different for pretty white girls by FishOutofWater — 72
21) That was foolish but unimportant by Dallasdoc — 70
22) They affect all of us by shaharazade — 67
23) All 4 of my children, my 2 daughters, my by second gen — 67
24) I never thought the day would come when by peregrine kate — 66
25) This statement sounds like a frantic by 3goldens — 66
26) Whatever FIRE wants, FIRE gets by RFK Lives — 66
27) Zimmerman didn't just by Red Bean — 65
28) But definitely NOT for pretty black women by rhetoricus — 65
29) I think the issue is more that by Words In Action — 64
30) Oops!   by TomP — 63
31) How it matters to them by Dogs are fuzzy — 63
32) Electricity can kill? by happy camper — 63
For an explanation of How Top Mojo Works, see mik's FAQing Top Mojo

July 22, 2013

Enjoy jotter's wonderful PictureQuilt below. Just click on the picture and it will magically take you to the comment that features that photo. Have fun, Kossacks!

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