How

July 23rd, 2013
Old songs like old photographs are the purveyors of a kind of double imagery.  They  are  short circuits in time that make yesterdays events, today’s reality.  One such song, is "DANCING IN THE STREET" by Martha and the Vandellas.  Almost a work of art, it conveys and captures an entire ethos in its 2 minutes and 36 seconds.  

It was recorded in the summer of l964.  The beginning of the Vietnam War, and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement.  It was the Mississippi Freedom Summer;  we’d see the passage of the Civil Rights Bill and it was a time when serious and ironic was becoming the meme of the day. Yet this pop song would become the anthem for changing America.

It’s the subject of best selling author Mark Kurlansky’s Ready For a Brand New Beat: How "Dancing in the Street" Became the Anthem for a Changing America.


My conversation with Mark Kurlansky: