Look under the "borrowed by white folks" and you might find Bobby Freeman's Do you Wanna Dance by The Beach Boys. Bobby wrote it. He was an African-American R&B performer who ended up as the house band for the legendary Condor Club (a nasty San Francisco strip club!) backing the "swinging 60s" boobs of topless dancer Carol Doda. He wrote Do you Wanna Dance in 1957 at the age of 17. How it came to the attention Brian Wilson is unknown to me, but they did a good job. Who else? Everyone from Del Shannon to T. Rex and the Ramones.
(By the way, for all the media about The Ramones being a punk group, they were after all a pop group. I am sure Joey did the song without irony. The Ramones punk music is as much surf music. Joey Ramones loved the genre, and The Ramones recorded Surf City after all.)
Check out Dick Clark the Dick and Tony Randall digging Bobby in 1958! Bobby mugs the song in a ringmaster outfit with a Baby Elephant! I have no idea why. This would be a WTF television performance. Still, one can imagine an impressionable Brian watching and thinking "my brother's and I could do that." They do…and here the highlight here is the white man boogie of Mike "STICK TO THE FORMULA, BRIAN" Love, despite the attempt at producers to provide a dozen females in suits to draw attention from his nearly learned "moonwalk" moves.
Several years later, Mr. Freeman was back and he hit gold again. C'mon and Swim started a mini-frenzy. Not so much as the Twist, but it did reach all the way to the beach. Guess who produced the record? A 20 year old Sly Stone.
Back to Bobby Freeman's Condor Club days. He would perform in the background as surgically enhanced topless dancer Carol Doda rode atop a grand piano being lowered to the stage floor. The piano was not the only thing defying gravity. Doda combined BOTH of Bobby's hits into the "Topless Swim Dance" and sold slides of it.
That piano committed murder! in 1983, the club bouncer and his exotic dancing friend decided to use the piano for a tryst, and the cable unexpectedly kicked in. The bouncer was crushed, and the dancer nearly so. Unfortunate. It wasn't Carol though. She had gone on to running a lingerie shop when the crowds left.
Carol Doda (or rather her ta-tas) performed for 21 years before sleazy urban blight made the Condor Club too skanky to exist any longer. No longer was Doda drawing in enough patrons to justify her TWELVE SHOWS A NIGHT when the topless craze was happening. Beatnik thrills for businessmen!
Doda turns up again in The MONKEES motion picture Head. She also worked in a rock band of her own called the Lucky Stiffs. Ahh, show business. The big beat and big boobs.
True Burlesque Tana Louise, fetish model and sometimes burlesque dancer appears on the cover of Comedy the gag digest.
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True Burlesque Anonymous Burlesquing Burleskers Entertain the Troops 1960
Original Vintage Snapshot collection True Burlesque
Labels: True Burlesque