Dancing In The Street

Album: Dance Party (1964)
Charted: 4 2
  • Calling out around the world
    Are you ready for a brand new beat?
    Summer's here and the time is right
    For dancing in the street
    They're dancing in Chicago
    Down in New Orleans
    In New York City

    All we need is music, sweet music
    There'll be music everywhere
    There'll be swinging and swaying and records playing
    Dancing in the street
    Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear
    Just as long as you are there
    So come on, every guy, grab a girl
    Everywhere around the world
    They'll be dancing
    They're dancing in the street

    It's an invitation across the nation
    A chance for folks to meet
    There'll be laughing, singing, and music swinging,
    Dancing in the street
    Philadelphia, PA
    Baltimore and DC now
    Can't forget the Motor City

    All we need is music, sweet music
    There'll be music everywhere
    There'll be swinging and swaying and records playing
    Dancing in the street
    Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear
    Just as long as you are there
    So come on, every guy, grab a girl
    Everywhere around the world
    They're dancing
    They're dancing in the street

    Way down in LA ev'ry day
    They're dancing in the street
    (Dancing in the street)
    Let's form a big, strong line, get in time
    We're dancing in the street
    (Dancing in the street)
    Across the ocean blue, me and you,
    We're dancing in the street

Comments: 17

  • Retro Ray from Los AngelesVery good history about "Hitsville, U.S.A." and this song: "READY FOR A BRAND NEW BEAT: How 'Dancing In The Street' Became The Anthem For A Changing America," by Mark Kurlansky (Riverhead Books, New York (2013), provides the history and context for this iconic song and the times within which it became an anthem of American pop culture. The book is still available!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 11th 1966, The Mamas and the Papas' covered version of "Dancing in the Street" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #94; and on January 8th, 1967 it peaked at #73 {for 2 weeks} and spent 6 weeks on the Top 100...
    The record's A-side, "Words of Love", peaked at #5 {for 1 week} on January 15th, 1967.
  • Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaJay from New York, you are so right about the Mamas & Papas doing a great cover of this. It was their version that I heard first and was more familiar with than the original, but I love them both. The Ms & Ps' version seems to me to be more timely, coming out during the year of the Summer of Love -- let's get out there and dance together as one, so to speak -- so I was surprised when I first found out it had come out three years prior to that.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 5th, 1965 Martha and the Vandellas performed "Dancing In The Street" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    Four month earlier on August 22nd it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #2 (for 2 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    Four other versions have charted; Mamas & Papas (#73 in 1967), Ramsey Lewis (#84 in 1967), Van Halen (#38 in 1982), and Mick Jagger & David Bowie (#7 in 1985).
  • Olle from Gothenburg, SwedenSwedish group TAGES did a great version in 1966. TAGES was by far the most talented popgroup in Sweden the 60's with 14 Top Ten hits between 1964 and 68. You can watch them performing "Dancing in the street" on Youtube.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlAt the time when this song was released, on July 31, 1964, most radio stations were reluctant to play it, because most listeners would take it as an invitation to start rioting - when Martha Reeves learned of this, she was shocked beyond words-
  • Andre from The Bronx, NyMartha Reeves' close friend Marvin Gaye and her main producer Mickey Stevenson wrote this song with Martha & The Vandellas in mind to perfoirm it. (It was never offered to the sultry Mary Wells and she thus never turned it down.) - Dre
  • Colby from Arthur, IlHitsville USA did not have concrete floors in Studio A. They were mahogany wood floors that helped support the echo. And the clink you hear in the back ground are not tire chains. The sound was dubbed in after the initial recording and is a tire iron hitting an anvil. Slinging chains on a one two beat would be very very difficult, therefore if they had actually done that it would have completely ruined the wood floor
  • Williamson Henderson from Manhattan, Ny"Dancing In The Street" was and remains the ultimate composite Motown song! "DITS" literally established "the Motown sound" in the Summer of 1964. Ironically, the Motown theme song was surprisingly not done by Motown's biggest standard bearers -- The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops or The Miracles nor even Stevie Wonder or Mary Wells. Instead, it was the enduring girl group Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (MRV). That fact makes it all the more impressive. Surprising, too, this symbolic Motown song is not one of the compositions by Holland/Dozier/Holland! It was penned by MRV producer Mickey Stevenson and Mr. Marvin Gaye.

  • Doug from Oakland, CaI think the song is a metaphor for escalating the tactics of the civil rights struggle.
    "Calling out around the world,are you ready for a brand new beat?"In other words,its time to be more militant.The old non violence bag is dead.
    And,of course,during the Summer of 1964,the first ghetto rebellions broke out.
    Dancing in the Streets reflected the New Breed mood.
  • Anonnymous from Nashville, TxVan Halen's cover of this is awesome. Check it out on their Diver Down album.
  • Allen from Dothan, AlMartha Reeves was born in Eufaula, Alabama which is about an hour from my hometown of Dothan, Alabama. She did grow up in Detroit, however.
  • Jay from New York, NyThe Mamas and the Papas did an excellent version of this song.
  • Kyle from Belleville, CanadaBruce Springsteen covered this twice on his 1999 reunion tour with the E street band.
  • Brian from Sydney, AustraliaGravely voiced Jimmy Barnes (Australia)lead singer of Cold CHISEL did a pretty good version of this in 2000 on his 2nd Motown album "SOUL DEEPER" also worth checking out his first CD of this series "Sole Deep"

    Brian Sydney Australia
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesDavid Bowie and Mick Jagger also covered this song in 1985 for the Live Aid cause!
  • Jonnie from St. Louis, MoIf you listen closely to the background "sound
    effects" in this song, you will hear the sound of
    links of a tire chain being hit on the concrete floor as part of the 'back beat' percussion in this landmark song.
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