Monday, 21 August 2017 19:29

The Great American Eclipse Marked 30 Years Of Dirty Dancing

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Dirty Dancing was released on Friday, August 21, 1987 and it captured a generation with a soundtrack full of great music still played at Charleston weddings Dirty Dancing was released on Friday, August 21, 1987 and it captured a generation with a soundtrack full of great music still played at Charleston weddings

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 has been quite the historical day all throughout the United States, especially in those cities and states that were in the path of 100% totality, as was my hometown of Charleston, SC. Estimates of 5 million people visited South Carolina alone to see the "once in a lifetime" eclipse event. From the battery of Charleston up to the greater Georgetown area, there were also couples who wanted to use the Charleston area and it's 100% totality as the backdrop to exchange their vows. Congratulations to all the couples who came to Charleston to tie the knot. I was actually sitting in my house eager anticipating the arrival of the eclipse that we have been talking about all summer and came across a milestone for one of the classic movies of the 1980s and a generation. Having sold over 32 million copies, the Dirty Dancing soundtrack went on to become one of the biggest selling movie soundtracks of all time. It was a hot summer "Friday night" on August 21, 1987 when Dirty Dancing hit movie theaters across America. Starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, the film was an instant hit capturing the hearts of so many, most of which were women of all ages.



A special 20th anniversary of the film was released in 2007, and the soundtrack was expanded to 20 songs up from the original 1987 version which only included 12 songs. For the purpose of this blog post, we'll cover the entire 1987 version of the soundtrack and add in the more memorable songs added into the 2007 version of the soundtrack. I hope you enjoyed the eclipse today and have a little more energy to do some dancing. Be sure to have your partner or significant other nearby as you listen to the songs on this blog.

1. "I've Had The Time Of My Life" | Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
Track 1 of the original soundtrack actually has been the choice for the last song for a lot of weddings and can be seen at the finale of the movie.  Released in September of 1987, it hit Number 1 for 1 week on the Hot 100, and spent 4 weeks at Number 1 on the adult contmeporary charts. If you bought the single in 1987, you might remember the B side had another song we'll mention below "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia Be sure to watch below.

2. "Be My Baby" | The Ronettes
Who knew that 24 years after it's original release in 1963, that another generation would discover the Ronettes. Be sure to watch the clip below as you'll see the attraction develop between Baby (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny (Patrick Swayze).

3. "She's Like The Wind" | Patrick Swayze
Patrick Swayze is not only an incredible actor, but with the release of this song, we found him to be an amazing singer as well. The B-Side was "Stay" by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, which we'll discuss in a bit down below.  This song hit Number 3 on the Hot 100, and number 1 on the adult contemporary charts. I am thinking that I sure miss Patrick Swayze as I put together this blog for you. He died in September of 2009 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

4. "Hungry Eyes" | Eric Carmen
Eric Carmen had been the lead singer for the 70s rock group, the Raspberries, had recorded "All By Myself" and really was out of the limelight until he recorded the biggest song of his career in 1987 for the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack.  Reaching Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, it's still heard on adult contemporary radio stations around America. It's actually one of my favorite ballads of the 80s. I could totally see you dancing to it at your Charleston wedding.

5. "Stay" | Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs
Charleston area weddings are familiar with Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, even before Dirty Dancing was released in 1987. The song appears in the "beach" music playlists of many shaggers all around Charleston and the South Carolina coast.

6. "Yes" | Merry Clayton
She began her recording career in 1962 and is widely known for the duet she sang with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones song "Gimme Shelter".  She did a lot of soundwork work in the 1980s, and even though "Yes" only managed #45 on the Billboard charts,  take a listen, because it'll bring back memories.

7. "You Don't Own Me" | Blow Monkeys
An incredible cover of the Lesley Gore hit from 1963 from the British new wave group. You have to promise me you'll crank this one up. I actually forgot that this song was on the soundtrack and now I want to go back and watch the movie now just to see which scene this songs shows up in.

8. "Hey Baby" | Bruce Channel
Another song that folks around Charleston and coastal South Carolina should be familiar with. This classic is another that one shows up on a lot of beach music compilations.

9. "Overload" | Alfie Zappacosta
Not too much information about this guy, but it's a song that will make you want to dance when you hear it.  

10. "Love Is Strange" | Mickey & Sylvia
Mickey & Sylvia were an American R&B duet who released this song on the Groove Record label in late 1956.  The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2004.  The A side to the single (if you bought) is one of the signature songs of the movie "I've Had The Time Of My Life" by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.

11. "Where Are You Tonight?" | Tom Johnston
Tom Johnston is better known as the lead vocalist and principal songwriter for the Doobie Brothers, but in 1987 he sang a tune for this classic movie. Take a listen down below.

12. "In The Still Of The Night" | The Five Satins
Released in 1956, the song sold over 10 million copies between 1987 and 1988 with the success of Dirty Dancing.  Boys II Men did an accapella version that hit Number 3 in early 1993 too.

1. "Big Girls Don't Cry" | The Four Seasons
It hit Number 1 in November of 1962, and spent 5 weeks atop the charts. It appeared in the 1987 movie, but was added to this special expansion of the movie soundtrack for your listening pleasure.

2. "Some Kind Of Wonderful" | The Drifters
Released in 1961, this was another song that saw a hige resurgence in the 1987 and 1988 timeframe when the movie was released. It reached Number 6 on the American R&B chart, and was covered by Marvin Gaye and Carole King.

3. "Do You Love Me" | The Contours
Do you see the theme? Another early 1960s hit that saw a major resurgence in the 1987 and 1988 timeframe when this movie was released. Charleston weddings were dancing to this long before Dirty Dancing and it shows up on playlists all over today.

4. "Will You Still Love Me" | The Shirelles
Released in 1960 and written by Carole King (who actually released her version in 1971), it was the first all girl group to have a Number 1 song in America.  

5. "Cry To Me" | Solomon Burke
Originally released in 1962, and then again by Betty Harris in 1963.  It's a bit of a song about loneliness and was later covered by the Rolling Stones. Watch the scene below for more romantic moments. 


I don't think I can put into words the impact that this movie had on anyone that was old enough to appreciate it during the 1980s. I cannot tell you how many brides and young women I have met who have told me that they have watched the movie over and over again and memorized every part and became dreamy because of it's romantic scenes. I cannot tell you how many guys have told me over the years that their girlfriends dragged them to the movie theaters and / or a date on the sofa to watch this movie. It's safe to say that this movie can be placed into the iconic category. As a professional wedding DJ who has performed many many weddings all around the Charleston SC area, I can tell you that the soundtrack to this movie can easily serve as a foundation when brides and grooms begin to formulate the playlists for their weddings. The perfect mix of pop music, soft rock ballads, oldies, and even beach music is heard on this soundtrack.  I hope you have enjoyed this special bonus blog on this huge Great American Eclipse day. I had not intended on doing a blog today but once I knew of the 30th anniversary today of Dirty Dancing today, I had to write this one and share. Are you ready to talk music for the biggest day of your life? Click HERE to tell me some details about your upcoming Charleston wedding. I would love to DJ your upcoming wedding ceremony and reception.

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