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Sunday, February 5, 2012

The History Of The Electric Slide

Edited by Azizi Powell

Marcia Griffiths - Electric Boogie (The Electric Slide)



TheThreatrics OfTreacherousTactics, Published on Dec 13, 2012

Album: Marcia (1988)

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Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/soul-train-line-formation-video.html for the related post "Selected Videos Of The Electric Slide".

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment and aesthetric purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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I know that Marcia Griffiths recorded the song "Electric Boogie" which is popularly known as "The Electric Slide". But who composed that song and when?

Some recording dates for "The Electric Boogie" are given on Marcia Griffiths' Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcia_Griffiths
Marcia' Griffiths started her career in 1964. From 1970 to 1974 she worked together with Bob Andy in the group Bob and Marcia, on the Harry J label. Between 1974 and 1981 she was a member of the I-Threes, a background group, which supported Bob Marley & the Wailers.

Her song "Electric Boogie" released in 1976 and re-released in 1989, made the Electric Slide, a line dance, an international dance craze. It reached number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it her most successful single. It remains the highest-selling single by a female Reggae singer of all time
-snip-
But for the real backstory about "The Electric Boogie", this Jamaican article can't be beat:
'Electric Boogie' strikes after 10 years
Published: Sunday | August 9, 2009
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20090809/ent/ent1.html

[Excerpt of an interview with Bunny Wailer, composer of "The Electric Boogie"]
There was this track at the time being played called Electric Avenue (by Eddy Grant). That was the most popular song then. So me sey if me ago think pop, me haffi start smell roun' dem kitchen deh. So you going down Electric Avenue to do what? Because him don't stipulate. So me sey him mus ago do the Electric Boogie. So me jus' start formulate the song," Wailer said.

"The song was recorded properly, for we did it good"...

Griffiths and Wailer did the harmony vocals.

"That song went number one in Jamaica, as a R&B. You know when you attempt something that is not really your territory? But we did it so convincing that it became number one in Jamaica and I think it was number one in Trinidad," he said...

That was in 1979, going into 1980...

Wailer kept working on his Electric Boogie, while the one done by Marcia Griffiths "jus a sell more and more and more and more and more until I mean, it just buss!". And he says Electric Boogie was recorded yet again with Marcia Griffiths.

He finished his album, including Electric Boogie, but says he held back from putting it out so as to not cause interference.

Wailer says it looked like the song was about to "become a craze or something", although it had not yet been promoted properly...

His Electric Boogie was eventually released, along with a video involving "nuff stuff. I was trying to display how shocking the video should be".

"That's the true story behind Electric Boogie. Unpolluted, undefiled, true story of Electric Boogie which has brought about this great dance called the Electric Slide," Bunny Wailer said.

Electric Slide put to rhymes
Electric Boogie became more than the song itself. The Electric Slide dance is a key motion to the music, but when Wailer wrote about it, the forward and backward step, turn and slick movement to the side wasn't invented.

In fact, it would be a decade before someone came up with the moves...

Ten years after it was recorded, when Electric Boogie started creating a stir in the US, someone put movement to the music...

It really started getting serious now because everybody was just learning this dance, doing this dance. It was unique because it was everybody moving in a unified manner,"

And according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Slide, "The Electric aka The Electric Slide is a four wall line dance set to the Marcia Griffiths' song "Electric Boogie" was created by choreographer Ric Silver in 1976.

How popular is "The Electric Slide" among African Americans? Well, here are some quotes that answers that question:
Every wedding reception, graduation party, Saturday BBQ in the park, etc. will, at some point, see a large group of people doing the electric slide. I even remember doing the electric slide on the sidewalk during Mardi Gras as a marching band marched past playing Cameo's "Word Up." It's a fun dance, easy to do, and incredibly egalitarian--young and old, men and women, tragically hip and profoundly uncool, everybody can do it.

Friday, February 13, 2009
Black Things I Love #7: The Electric Slide
Posted by Conseula
http://afrogeekmom.blogspot.com/2009/02/black-things-i-love-6-electric-slide.html;

and here's a quote from Nigeria/Jamaica Wedding/ Electric Slide Dance! USA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KlzNv7ZfYo&feature=related

Nice, no matter what kind of gathering we as black people have it's one song gauranteed to play and mostly everyone join. Yesss! The Electric Slide,lol. Sometimes, you got to get gizzy with it and take it to the floor,lol, if your bones and joints will let you. LOL
darknhansum4lyfe. 2010

Of course, it's not just African Americans who do this dance, and it's not only done to "The Electric Boogie" record. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/soul-train-line-formation-video.html "Selected Videos Of The Electric Slide" to find out what I mean.

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RELATED LINK
Click this post on my Zumalayah blog for videos of The Electric Slide In The USA, The Caribbean, And In Africa http://zumalayah.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-electric-slide-in-usa-caribbean-and.html

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Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

9 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your article very much. Quite informitive, thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greetings, Marsha Beede.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  2. I want to thank you for giving me credit for the dance - I have had many complaints because people say How could I have created the dance in 1976 when the song wasn't released until 1982 - well - it was recorded by Bob Marley and his band with Marcia singing and sent to DJs in NYC as a demo (one side pressing) to get feedback - I happened to be a very good friend of one of those DJs and one night as I entered the club on 42nd st. he said he had gotten in a new record that he was sure I was going to love - I did - and as I was leaving that night he handed me the 45 and I took it home and put in on the shelf - a few months later I was asked by my bosses at Vamps Disco to give a re-opening party and "Could I create a dance to premier at that party" - so I pulled the record off the shelf and created the dance - which took off immediately - the club had been designed for Professional Dancers Only - and so I had to create something that was challenging enough for them to enjoy - soon we had lines around the block wanting to get into the club - and the owners decided to open the doors to the general public - at which time I had to pear down the dance to the basics as it would have been too difficult for the average dancer - and so I only taught the 1st couple of sections of the dance - a gentleman from the Chicago area learned the dance correctly - but upon returning home found the dance too simple to have a repeated step (13-16 are supposed to be repeated) and so while teaching the dance he decided to drop the repeat and the dance ended up going around the world as an 18 step dance instead of a 22 step dance which is was originally created as - because my birthday is Jan 22nd - and I wanted it to have 22 steps to honor that .....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, NYCsDancer, for your comment which adds information about the creation of the dance now known as "The Electric Slide".

      Are you Ric Silver? If so, I'm honored that you shared that information on this blog.

      Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia's page on the Electric Slide https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Slide:

      "The Electric (better known as The Electric Slide) is a four wall line dance set to Marcia Griffiths' song "Electric Boogie". Choreographer Ric Silver created the dance in 1976 from a demo of the Marcia Griffiths recording and the original choreography has 22 steps.[1]"...

      Thanks again!

      Delete
    2. Here's another excerpt that I found on Ric Silver and the Electric Slide (Electric Boogie): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7492263
      ..."Mr. RICHARD SILVER (Choreographer, Creator of Electric Slide): It's a series of grapevines to the right, back to the left then straight back and then you step forward and touch and step back and touch and you repeat that step, which is what everybody has forgotten. They don't do the repeat step.

      (Soundbite of song, "Electric Boogie")

      Ms. GRIFFITHS: (Singing) And I'll teach you, teach you, teach you, I'll teach the electric slide.

      MONTAGNE: There are supposed to be 22 steps to the dance because Richard Silver was born on January 22. Most people only do 18.

      Mr. SILVER: When I started going to weddings to bar mitzvahs myself and getting on the dance floor to do the dance and people are coming up to me saying you're doing it wrong, I got very upset.

      MONTAGNE: So what do you say? Excuse me, I invented it?

      Mr. SILVER: Yes."...
      -snip-
      Also, for the record (no pun intended), Ric Silver, the invention of "The Electric Slide" isn't Black.

      Delete
    3. Yes - I am Ric Silver - but my friends know me as New York City's Dancer - hense the email address.....and for the record - I am 1/2 Portuguese and 1/2 Swamp Yankee (or at least that's what grampa told me- which I found out through Ancestry dot com means a Scottish King's descendant came to America and laid with the Indians, French and whom ever else was around to create my Grandparents. My Grandmother was an Adams - and my Father's mother was a Princess in the Azores from Villa Estrellia

      Delete
    4. Thanks for sharing that information with pancocojams readers. Ric.

      I mentioned that you weren't Black because I thought that you were Black since the Electric Slide is so very popular among Black people, I jumped to the conclusion that a Black person had created the choreography.

      Keep on keeping on!!

      Delete
  3. Hey, when was her electric slide video released in North America
    was she living there at the time it was produced
    was she producing reggae at the time it was produced
    and how did she come to produce that sound she produced in the song
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greetings, omalone1.

      From the online information that I've read, Marcia Griffiths was living in Jamaica when the record "Electric Boogie" was first released in the USA.

      Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcia_Griffiths

      Here's a quote from that page:
      "In 1983, she released her re-recording of the Bunny Wailer song "Electric Boogie", originally recorded and released by Wailer in 1976. Although the 1983 version became a minor hit for Griffiths, the song was remixed in 1989, and it was this version that made the Electric Slide, a line dance, an international dance craze.[3][4] It reached number 51 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it her most successful single.[1] It remains the highest-selling single by a female reggae singer of all time.[5] "...
      -snip-
      It should be noted that I've read different dates for the US recording (1982, 1982 and then 1988 or 1989.) I'm not sure which dates are the correct ones.

      Delete