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Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)

by

Chic



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was Chic's first hit single. In 1977, the band recorded it as a demo and shopped it around to various record companies, all of which rejected it. Shortly thereafter, a small label called Buddah decided to take a chance and released it as a 12" single. The song's success on the club charts led to the band's discovery by Atlantic Records. Toward the end of 1977, the band signed with Atlantic, and the song was re-released nationally.
At Studio 54, a legendary dance club in New York City, this was a very popular song, but on New Year's Eve of 1977, Chic leaders Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers were turned away at the door. Rodgers quickly wrote a song about the experience called "F--k Off," which was eventually changed to "Freak Out" and became their huge hit "Le Freak."
In this song, the line "Dance, dance, dance, dance" appears 26 times. The word "dance" itself is repeated more than 100 times.
Luther Vandross provided backup vocals. He was working as a session vocalist at the time.
As far as references go, the word "yowsah" (an African-American slang term for the word "yes") was used for the first time by Ben Bernie, a jazz violinist and radio personality. When he became a radio personality, the word became his trademark. Some sources say that he coined the word but this has not been confirmed. During the Great Depression, this word was considered African-American slang. This song helped the word regain popularity. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for all above)
In The Independent newspaper on November 29, 2003, Chic drummer Tony Thompson said: "We actually started as a rock band. At the time, no one would hear of 3 black brothers playing Rock'n'Roll! So Bernard and Nile came up with the whole Disco thing. I didn't even know what Disco was. We pressed 'Dance, Dance, Dance' ourselves as we didn't have a record deal. We took it to a club, the DJ played it and people just freaked. From there, we signed to Atlantic." (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
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Comments (3):

*** LUCKY SIXES ***
On February 19th 1978, "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" by Chic peaked at #6 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it entered the chart on October 23rd, 1977 at position #90 and spent over a half-year on the Top 100 (28 weeks)...
It reached #6 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart, #6 in the United Kingdom, and #6 in Canada...
And on October 16th, 1977 it peaked at #1 (for 8 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart...
Was the first of six straight #1s for the group on the 'Hot Dance Club Play' chart; started with this one, "Everybody Dance", "You Can Get By", "Le Freak", "I Want Your Love", and "Chic Cheer"...
R.I.P Bernard Edwards, founding member & bassist, (1952 - 1996).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
I heard Chic described as a disco version of Steely dan around 1979
- Zappy, Geelong, Australia
This song was mainly a disco-fied tribute to the dance marathons back in the 1930s and 1940s, hence the "yowsah, yowsah, yowsah" in the background-
- Kristin, Bessemer, AL
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