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The Monkey
The Monkey

                the Twist lead the way for many 1960's fad dances however no other dance craze really came close to it. Close to 500 dances would be introduced in the early 1960's, some where offshoots of others while others were unique and some just down right stupid. Only a few dances would become popular such as the Frug, the Swim, Hully Gully, The Mashed Potato, The Locomotion, the Watusi and the Monkey to name a few.

    The Monkey was introduced in 1963 with Major Lance's 'Monkey Time' song. The dance is usually done face to face doing solo improvisations based upon the antics of a monkey. Waving arms up in the air, waving them from side to side, bobbing the head from side to side, scratching of the arm pits, one leg up then hoping onto the other leg, stopping and checking for lice in another dancers hair, picking the lice out, etc.

    What was leading the way for these dances you ask, the answer is "SAND." Surfing was becoming extremely popular with the young and

sand was replacing the dance floors. This sand would prove the death kill to any of the prior dances that required spinning or traveling while promoting stationary dances such as the Twist, Clam, Surf, Watusi, Frug and Monkey among many others trying to cash-in on the market. Some of these songs and dances were just ridiculous. These dancers could basically just stand in place in the sand and do the dances. Movies and Television would also help promote these dances such as American Bandstand, Gidget, Elvis flicks etc.

    Many solo dances would come to be and Girls would be paid to demonstrate the dances of the day while dancing on raised platforms, becoming known as Go-Go Dancers, these dancers would help lead the way for the Mini-Skirt and the Monkey being one of the main dances. The Monkey is considered to be a Philadelphia dance because of the show American Bandstand. The dance is said to have some connections to the old Heebie-jeebies dance.

 

Birth Place

Creation Date

Creator

Dance Type

Philadelphia 1963 n/a Dance Craze / Fad Dance
 

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music preview clip

Various Monkey Music Titles

n/a n/a Video Clip not available at this time 3 Little Weird's (Stein) [Halloween]
   
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Can Your Monkey do the Dog (Do Didley)
   
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Can Your Monkey do the Dog (Rufus Thomas)
            Video Clip not available at this time Do the Monkey
           
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Do the Monkey (Bighead)
           
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Do the Monkey (Beverly Ann Gibson)
           
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Do the Monkey (James Ray)
           
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Everybody Knows The Monkey (Mighty Mighty)
            Video Clip not available at this time Frug Watusi Monkey and Mashed Potato
            Video Clip not available at this time Horror Staccato(Stein) [Halloween]
           
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Lets do the Boston Monkey (Les Cooper)
           
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Let The Monkey Out! (Vinni & Vagabonds)
            Video Clip not available at this time Lollipop
           
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Mickey’s Monkey (Smokey Robinson)
           
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Monkey, The (Dave Bartholommew)
           
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Monkey Doodle Doo (Busse's Buzzards) 1925
           
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Monkey Man (Specials, the)
           
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Monkey Paw (Scott & Raven)
           
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Monkey See, Monkey Do (Five Du Tones)
           
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Monkey Song (Belefonte)
           
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Monkey Time(Major Lance's)
           
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Monkey Time (Tubes, the)
           
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Monkey's Uncle (Funicello & Beach Boys)
... Click Here for Fad Dance Music Titles List

Night Clubs

Theaters

Ballets / Stage

Batman A-Go-Go (CA) n/a  
Club A-Go-Go        
Peppermint Lounge (NY)        
Whiskey A-Go-Go (CA)

Publications

 
      1966 - Dapper Special  
             
 
Video Clips (pop-up)

Films / Movies

Video Clips (pop-up)

Television

Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1952 - as Vegas Story (Hoagy Carmichael) Video Clip not available at this time American Bandstand (Dick Clark Show)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1965 - Village Of The Giants Video Clip not available at this time Clay Cole Show
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1988 - Hairspray [DVD] Video Clip not available at this time Hullabaloo
 

Instructional Videos

Video Clip not available at this time Rate the Records
  n/a Video Clip not available at this time Ready Steady Go!
   
Video Clip Pop-Up Window
Shindig!
 

Other Related Dances of the time...

Alligator, the Bunny Hop, the Finger Poppin' Locomotion, the Shag, the
Bend It, the Bus Stop, the Fly, the Madison, the Shampoo, the
Big Bea, the (Frug) Calypso Freddie, the Mashed Potato Shoulder Shake, the
Bird, the Cavern Stomp Frug, the Monkey Bird Slop, the
Block, the Chalypso Funky Chicken, the Monkey Shine Stroll, the
Boogaloo, the Ching-A-Ling Harlem Shuffle, the Monkey Stroll Surf, The (Frug)
Bop, the Clam, the Hitchhike, the Monkey Walk Surfer Stomp
Bossa Nova Clapping Dance Hucklebuck, the Mule, The Swim, The
Boston Monkey Continental Walk Hully-Gully Philly Walk Thunderbird, the (Frug)
Bristol Hop, the Dog, the Jerk, The Pony, the Twist, the
Bristol Stomp, the Duck, the
Krunch, the Rebel Walk Ubangi Stomp, the
Bug, the Elephant Walk, the Limbo Rock (Limbo) Shadow Walk Watusi, the
Bump, the        
 

Dancers, Choreographers etc.

Political

Chubby Checker Patrick Kerr BYU (Banned in 1966)
Dick Blake Theresa Confrey  
'Killer Joe' Piro Toni Basil  
     
 

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...

Title Author Date Published Publisher
Discotheque Dances Blake, Dick 1965 World Publishing Co.,
$ Jazz Dance: The Story of American ... Stearns, Marshall 1994 Da Capo Press
Let's Go Dancing Romain, Elizabeth & Colby, Flick 1979 Octopus Books Ltd
 

Musicians / Bands

Singers

Poets / Writers

Don George Annette Funicello n/a
Frankie Stein      
Hollies, the      
Martin Denny      
Miracles, the      
Nitecaps, the        
Tubes, the        
         
 

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

Dance Crazes      
1960's Fad Dances      
Hipster      
Go-Go Dancers      
       
 
Monkey Time Lyrics The Monkey: Basic Dance Steps (by Dick Blake)
Now there’s a place right across town, whenever you’re ready
Where the people gather ’round, whenever they’re ready
And then the music begins to play
You feel a groove comin’ on it’s way Are you ready? yes I’m ready.
You get yours, I got mine
For the monkey time, monkey time Now this dance that the people do, don’t know how it started
All I know is when the beat brings the feel
It’s hard to get parted
And then the music begins to play
And automatically you’re on your way Are you ready? yes I’m ready.
You get yours, I got mine
For the monkey time, monkey time Do the monkey yeah,
Do the monkey yeah,
Do the monkey yeah, yeah
Do the monkey yeah, yeah Twist them hips
Let your backbone slip
Now move your feet
Get on the beat Are you ready? yes I’m ready.
You get yours, I got mine
For the monkey time, monkey time [spoken]
Say fee, are you ready tonight?
I’m ready baby.
But you’re ready for what, fee?
I’m ready to do the monkey.
But are you ready for my monkey?
I’m ready, and my monkey’s ready.
Your monkey? ! oooo, you’d better put that baby on a chain!
Say baby, my monkey know what he talkin’ about.
Now stop it fee! Want a whole lot o’ love tonight
Treat your monkey right
Want a whole lot o’ love tonight
Monkey time tonight
1) Taking a fighter's crouch, face your partner and stand with feet apart, knees bent. Bend arms and close fists, thumbs up.
2) Bend forward from waist to the left, raising right arm. As your body bobs, your head also bobs forward on each count. The whole effect is jerky.
3) Straighten up to original position.
4) Bend forward from waist toward your partner, facing center, switching arms as you
do so.
5) Straighten to original position. Hands and head should give impression of monkey holding two bananas.
6) Bend forward from waist to the right. Straighten to original position.
7) Bob back to center, bending at waist and again switching hands.
8) Repeat entire pattern. Counts are double time, hitting every accent in the music.
March 22, 2013
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