Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bad news on the doorstep: 50 years on

Buddy Holly (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959):

Here's a great performance of "Peggy Sue" from "The Arthur Murray Dance Party" in December, 1957.

As an anthropological note: "Arthur Murray Dance Party" served much the same function for people of the Eisenhower Age that MTV's "Total Request Live" did for their grandchildren, without the bong hits. I see that the Arthur Murray dance studio near where I live has recently changed its name, so perhaps it should be mentioned that Murray was the avatar of the kind of dancing that involved numbered foot print charts. It was a different age.

And that brings me to part of what I like most about this clip: the set-up. It's touching to watch the host brace her audience for the appearance of actual rock and rollers on the show, warning them to "keep a nice open mind about what the young people go for," as if she were preparing us to see ritual cannibalism on stage (because heaven only knows what "the young people" may "go for" today)--when after all it's just those polite, clean-cut young boys who called themselves The Crickets.

Perhaps it's a lucky thing for them that "Arthur Murray's Dance Party" went off the air before they ever found out about Country Joe and the Fish. Or what became of Gary Busey.

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