15 Jun

Sukiyaki Number 1

Sukiyaki, by Kyu Sakamoto, reached the top spot on the pop charts.

Kyu Sakamoto from Kawasaki, Japan, reached the number one spot on the pop music charts with Sukiyaki. The popular song captivated American music buyers and was at the top of the Billboard pop chart for three weeks. In Japan, where Sakamoto was enormously popular, Sukiyaki was known as Ue O Muite Aruko (I Look Up When I Walk). The entertainer met an untimely fate in 1985. Kyu Sakamoto was one of 520 people who perished in the crash of a Japan Air Lines flight near Tokyo. He was 43 years old.

There are at least a couple of square dance versions of Sukiyaki. I have a singing call version that has the original Japanese lyrics (spelled out phonetically).

Relevant Records

  • Sukiyaki (Circle D 258)
08 Mar

Optimism Month

Encourage and inspire each other to be optimistic about the future of square dancing.

Here are some songs that come to mind:

  • Zip-a-dee-do-dah (Chaparral 414)
  • Joy to the World (Chaparral 515)
  • Put on a Happy Face (DJ 24)
  • Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good (Solid Gold 503)
  • Smile Medley (ESP 133)
  • New Attitude (Rhythm 198)
  • Hold On Partner (ESP 173)
  • I Feel Lucky (Red Boot 3033)
  • Pack Up Your Troubles (ESP 906)
  • Blue Skies (Silver Sounds177)

Relevant Records

  • New Attitude (Rhythm 198)
  • Something Tells Me IÕm Into Something Good (Solid Gold 503)
  • Zip-a-dee-do-dah (Chaparral 414)
  • Hold On Partner (ESP 173)
  • Put on a Happy Face (DJ 124)
  • Pack Up Your Troubles (ESP 906)
  • Blue Skies (Silver Sounds177)
  • I Feel Lucky (Red Boot 3033)
  • Joy to the World (Chaparral 515)
04 Mar

Microphone Invented

According to Those were the Days, Emile Berliner invented the telephone on March 4, 1877. I find it hard to believe that something like that was invented on a single day…but maybe so. At any rate, clearly square dancing evolved the way it has because of amplified music and the microphone; in the past, each square might have had its own caller in the square.

I don’t know about any particular songs, but certainly our whole activity is dependent on the microphone.

28 Jan

First Telephone Switchboard Installed

The first telephone switchboard was installed in New Haven, Connecticut. The phone company that owned the switchboard had 21 subscribers.

An excuse to break out the telephone songs. I have:

  • Operator, Operator
  • Operator
  • Why Haven’t I Heard from You
  • Lonesome 77203
  • The Devil’s in the Phone Booth
  • That’s My Story (mentions a cell phone

Relevant Records

  • Operator Operator (Lou-Mac 181)
  • Why Haven’t I Heard From You (Chaparral 224)
  • Operator (Hi Hat 5221)
  • That’s My Story (ESP 1191)
  • The DevilÕs In the Phone Booth (RockinÕ M 2005)
  • Lonesome 77203 (Buckskin 1261)
28 Jan

National Kazoo Day

Good day for jug band type songs. If you have a kazoo, you could use it during a grand square break. Two Jim Kweskin classics that I own are “Sister Kate” and “Coney Island Washboard Gal”.

Relevant Records

  • Sister Kate (Big Mac 88)
  • Coney Island Washboard Gal (ESP 503)
23 Jul

National July Belongs to Blueberries Month

Must be blueberry season; time to eat a lot of blueberries.

Can we say “Blueberry Hill”?

There’s also a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band instrumental called “Bluesberry Hill” that a lot of callers are using for patter.

Relevant Records

  • Blueberry Hill (Global Music 923)