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180226 February 26, 2018


The Pony

A Few More Dances of Our Times
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    The Pony was a dance made popular in the 1960s by the Chubby Checker song "Pony Time". The beat is 1&2, 3&4, etc. In the dance the feet are kept comfortably together, while various arm and hand motions are possible. Movement around the dance floor may occur, but there is no line-of-dance. Couples, who generally face each other, do not touch and turns and chase positions are possible.

    "Pony Time" was recorded by Chubby Checker in 1961, becoming his second US #1 (after his 1960 single "The Twist.") Chubby Checker's recording of "Pony Time" was also a number one hit on the R&B charts.

    The song introduced a new dance style, The Pony, in which the dancer tries to look like he or she is riding a horse. It was featured in the film "Hairspray". 

The Locomotion

    "The Loco-Motion" is a 1962 pop song written by American songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King. "The Loco-Motion" was originally written for Dee Dee Sharp, but Sharp turned the song down. The song is notable for appearing in the American Top 5 three times, each time in a different decade: in 1962 by the American pop singer Little Eva (U.S. No. 1);[2] in 1974 by the American band Grand Funk Railroad (U.S. No. 1);[3] and finally in 1988 by the Australian singer Kylie Minogue (U.S. No. 3).[4]

    The song is a popular and enduring example of the dance-song genre: much of the lyrics are devoted to a description of the dance itself, usually performed as a type of line dance. However, the song came before the dance.

The Mashed Potato

    The Mashed Potato is a dance move which was a popular dance craze of 1962. The dance move and mashed potato song was first made famous by James Brown in 1959 and used in his concerts regularly. It was also danced to songs such as Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time". The move vaguely resembles that of the twist, by Sharp's fellow Philadelphian Chubby Checker. 

    The dance was first popularized internationally after being named in the lyrics of Motown's first mega-hit in the song "Do You Love Me" written by Berry Gordy, Jr. and performed by The Contours in 1962.

        Memphis, TN - Well, I hope you are enjoying looking back at the dances of our times. If not, then I have been wasting my time I guess. I have to admit I do not know the names of today's dances, or even if they have names. I know back in our time we were introduced to new dance steps on a regular basis on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" and we all tried to learn and copy the steps.

    Of course, when we talk about dances of our times, one venue stands out above all the rest. That would be Britling's Cafeteria and someday soon I will do a story on that place. For now I will continue to share the physical dances themselves unless I get a majority of emails telling me not to. 

Collins (C.E.) Wynn
LHS '64

    Like most everyone else I have lots of school days memories....funny, though! I don't remember much of anything having to do with academic instruction except the time I told my 9th grade science teacher I was color blind. What makes that a "life lesson" is I made the statement with a straight face and she actually believed me. We talked about my affliction several times in class over the next few days and I enjoyed my 15 minutes of fame immensely. In later years, I would use this same approach in bars throughout the world. I, of course, am not color blind. The ability to lie with a straight face is an acquired skill.


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    C.E.'s Story

Woody Beck

LHS '65

    C.E.'s recollection about the little family cemetery next to the road in Jones Valley brings to mind the vast number of CC's (Country Club) that were popped open there. Some of the Huntsville High kids also found it to be a welcoming site for indulgence. And that brings also remembrance of the shabby beer store near Shoney's where a case of CC could be acquired by offering to buy one of the patrons a bottle of Thunderbird. A few years ago while visiting my brother in Huntsville I made a pilgrimage to that little Jones Valley cemetery and was attempted to down a cool one in homage.

More Jones Valley Escapades
Walter Thomas

    It was with a smile and a groan I read the story of “Chiz Whiz” from long ago in Jones Valley. I remember that night vividly. I had moved to California the year before, and had returned to spend the summer in Huntsville between junior and senior years. Naturally, I hooked up with my lifelong partners in ….well…not exactly crime, but let us just call it “mischievous behavior “.

    That same summer I had broken a bone in my foot while participating in summer workouts with Lee’s football team, of which I was a former member. I had a walking cast which allowed me to be mobile enough to participate in most of the nocturnal fun……most always in Jones Valley. Usually the characters involved were the same “regulars” from episode to episode, with various others participating.

    One night it was Chiz’s turn to drive. Somehow we had procured a case of beer and proceeded to Jones Valley. It happened to be a busy night, as there was another carload of guys there from Lee. I remember Carl Scheer was driving a VW bug, and I think Lynn Baeder and maybe Larry Wiggins were with him. Carl had pulled over and he and others gone into the woods to water the trees. Mike Smith had gotten out of Chiz’s car and was leaning in the driver’s side window talking with someone in the VW,  when surprise, surprise…….along came a car with two representatives of Huntsville’s finest.

    They pulled up alongside Chiz and I and started to get out….and us with a case of beer in the back seat with me and my cast. About that time Mike Smith decided to do what any lightning fast thinker would do…..he jumped into the driver’s seat of Carl’s VW and took off south down Jones Valley. The policeman told Chiz that we had better be there when they came back and took off after Smith. It only took a nanosecond for Chiz and I to decide that wasn’t gonna happen. I started chunking the beer out while Chiz performed what should have been a beautiful “Y” turn, except his rear wheels got stuck in the mud. So me with my cast got out and was pushing while he was slinging mud all over me. We finally got unstuck and beat it towards town.

    I fail to remember the sequence of events after that, except we headed for Jerry’s Drive-In, and the ones abandoned in the woods in Jones Valley began to straggle in. Somehow I seem to remember that Mike Chisum got recognized pulling thru Jerry’s and was escorted downtown or home. I can’t remember what happened to Mike Smith that night. I do know another night Mike S. was taken downtown when Goose, him and myself were at Jerry’s.

    But that’s another story for another time.

    P.S. The next day, either Chiz and I or Goose and I went back looking for the beer and found where they had maliciously knifed each can and drained it. No pop tops then, so at least they had to work some at it.



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