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Posts Tagged ‘Love is Strange from “Dirty Dancing.”’

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In 1987 the move “Dirty Dancing” became a hit. It starred Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze.  Jerry Orbach played the girl’s father, and the film takes place at a Catskill Mountain “borscht belt” resort. Jennifer plays a nice Jewish girl with a beautiful way about her. Guess what? She falls for the dance instructor.

I loved this movie for a bunch of reasons, but especially because I spent two summers “working” at a resort like that, and the depiction was quite accurate. Those were the best summers ever.  My job at the Hotel Nemerson in South Fallsburg, New York, was on the athletic staff by day and the nightclub staff by night.

 

Here I am (tall guy) with members of the athletic staff in front of the handball court at the Hotel Nemerson, South Fallsburg.  c. 1960.

 

All those “mountain” hotels provided a total experience where no one had to leave the grounds. They all had a professional “dance team” who gave ballroom dancing lessons in their studio by the pool and then performed at night in the club, just like the couple in the movie. Did the staff “mingle” with the guests? –you bet they did! Unknown

Every show up there had 3 acts: a singer, a comedian and a dance team. That is why dancing was such an important component in the movie as was music. There was music all around.

Each hotel had a dance/show band and a Latin band. That’s where I learned to play the claves. (sticks you bang together as part of the rhythm section of a Latin band.)

So here is one of the songs from the soundtrack. Actually it was written in the 1950’s and had been recorded by Buddy Holly and Bo Diddly before Mickey and Sylvia got hold of it for this movie. It has a unique feature: a conversation in the middle of the song.

Here are Mickey and Sylvia with “Love is Strange.” —-Paul Goldfinger, Editor Blogfinger.net

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