I have to make a confession. During the past year or two, Paul Oakenfeld’s remix of Elvis Presley’s “Rubberneckin'” has torn up dance floors across the country and probably half of Europe. I must admit though that I really don’t care for that version of the song. Confessing this may cost me a gay point or two, but I have to finally come clean on this.
I really like the original version from 1972. My mother had the album with this song and I used to crank it up on her GE “Wildcat” record player. This record player was a birthday gift from my grandmother and was your typical early 70s high fidelity unit. The turntable folded up into the speakers to form a convenient carrying case. It could be loaded with as many as six albums at once so you could program your party music ahead of time. It had the adapter for 45s so you didn’t have to put that little yellow adapter in the middle to play your singles.
It was wicked cool. And it played “Rubberneckin'”. A lot.
I remember dancing like a fool in my first grade classroom, having brought the record to show and tell. My teacher, Miss Kania, found my fondness for the track amusing and she told me that she liked the song very much. Now that I think about it, I usually monopolized the record player in first grade during the play time before school actually started, when kids were arriving for the day. I’d play favorites for the class including “Free To Be You And Me” from that Marlo Thomas record, some Three Dog Night song that I would occasionally liven up by playing it at 78 RPM and of course “Rubberneckin'” would round out the set. Then the bell would ring and we’d have to sit at our desks ready to learn how to spell or do math. How I was preparing for the impending disco era!
I found Elvis’s original “Rubberneckin'” on iTunes today. I danced like a fool once again.