Retro Spin.

It’s always good to perk up your evening with a retro dance track or two off your iPod. We’re not going way back tonight, as I’m currently listening to “Justified and Ancient” by the KLF featuring Tammy Wynette, The First Lady of Country Music.

It’s funny, when I listen to music I tend to look up these lost artists I’m listening to on Google. I’m kind of curious as to what they’re up to. Of course Tammy Wynette is no longer with us, but as I was doing a little research on her participation with The KLF for “Justified and Ancient”, the next song on my iPod came on…

“Boom Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back To My Room)”, Paul Lekakis, 1987.

Who would know that Paul Lekakis would have his own website? And it has his resumé on it. Very odd. I feel rather old as this song came out in 1987 and it seems like it was just yesterday that I was dancing to this track in a little bar in Jamestown, N.Y. called “Doc’s”. My college roommate Steve and I would go out with a bunch of friends from the music school at SUNY Fredonia. The bar was called “Doc’s” because it was in the basement of a doctor’s office. That must have been a hoot for the patients in the waiting room. “What’s that thumping noise?” “Oh, it’s just the gay boys cranking up the tunes in the basement.” “Oh.”

“Baby Love”, Regina, 1986.

Now we’re on to “Baby Love” by Regina. I remember this song very well as it came out when I graduated from high school. Co-written by Stephen Bray (who worked with Madonna on early records), this could easily have been a Madonna cast-off, but contrary to the rumors, this track was never offered to her.

Because I first heard this song in spring ’86, I always think of summer when I hear this track. It does have a summertime feel to it. This song is definitely in the J.P. Top 25. I should compile that list some time and share.

Speaking of summertime, it’s always good to spin this track up at the end of January…

“Summertime, Summertime”, Nocera, 1986.

Another track from 1986, the year that dance tracks started making a return to radio. One of the first freestyle tracks I ever heard, I found the syncopation in this type of music very fun. “Together Forever” by Lizette Melendez and “Temptation” by Corina were both bigger freestyle tracks as far as chart action goes. Both of those songs use almost identical beat tracks, in fact, when I was a DJ I used to spin those two back-to-back, followed by “What Goes Around (Comes Around)” by Giggles. It worked for a while but then the crowd would get bored and I’d have to change it up.

“Situation”, Yaz, 1983.

Yaz/Yazoo (depending on what record you’re looking at) can always fill the dance floor with “Situation”. At least they could up until 2001 when I stopped spinning. But it had to be late in the night. Always late in the night, after folks were liquored up a little bit. The later into the night, the more daring I could get with music selection. That’s what makes spinning in Buffalo or Albany fun, the bars are open until 4:00 a.m. and people really get into the music in the later hours.

“Because of You (The Original Mix)”, The Cover Girls, 1987.

The last song on my iPod tonight. When I worked in a home for disabled senior adults, this song used to come on the radio as we were driving back from the day treatment center. (I always hated that term: “day treatment”.) Anyways, my co-worker and friend Dawn and I taught the folks some hand movements to do to this track. It made the drive go by faster. Now that I think about it, Dawn and I once took the folks out for a ride and drove to a place where there were rumored to be satan worshippers. So there we were in two vans full of senior adults driving in a gravel bed. It’s a wonder we didn’t get fired.

“Because of You” is a great track but it never really did that well on the charts. People are more familiar with “Show Me” and “Wishing On A Star”, the latter being a remake of the Rose Royce classic. “Wishing…” was also the last song ever played on the radio station I used to work for.

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