Sunday, April 13, 2008

I appeared on the Milt Grant Show in Washington DC, and won

Tune: Rumble by Link Wray

When I was in 9th grade at North Bethesda Junior High School, our class was invited to the Milt Grant show in Washington, DC. Milt hosted a Rock and Roll, dance show similar to Dick Clark's American Band Stand. One of the shows highlights was a dance contest. I loved to dance and my girl friend, Myrtie Mae, and I had a few favorite dance steps of our own. It's hard to describe in words, but in one step, I bent down, turned and twisted my arm behind my back while holding on to Myrtie's hand- this was followed by Myrtie Mae's turn to bend down and then I kicked my leg over her back. This must have impressed the judges- besides the fact that Myrtie was just plain cute. We won first prize: two 6 packs of Coke, the top ten 45 RPM records, and a long playing (that's 33 1/3 RPM) record album featuring George Hamilton, III, and his rendition of "A Rose and a Baby Ruth. We split up the loot and I remember I got the 45 for Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen". When I got home late in the afternoon, I went down to the little "rec" room in our house and played that 45 until it turned red hot- and danced with an imaginary partner

This evening I did a little surfing, starting out by googling "The Washington Evening Star", my home town newspaper, and I eventually came upon a vintage article about Milt Grant and his house band featuring Link Wray. Apparently Link couldn't come up with a tune for a popular dance of the day called the Stroll. So, Milt hummed the first line of a tune from his head, the drummer picked up a beat, and the tune "Rumble" was born. I didn't realize until now that the tune became very popular, even world-wide popular. Even though it was just an instrumental, it was considered as a symbol promoting juvenile delinquency and was even banned in some communities. Hardly believable considering the media of today's youth.

Hey, it was just a simple tune guys. And me, a juvenile delinquent? Never.

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