Revised June 29, 2018
This pancocojams post provides information, comments, and speculation about the history of the "Electric Slide" dance.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment and aesthetric purposes.
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Thanks to Marcia Griffiths for her musical legacy and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Marcia Griffiths - Electric Boogie (The Electric Slide) (Promo) (HQ)
Anthony Carter, Published on May 15, 2010
HISTORY OF "THE ELECTRIC SLIDE" DANCE
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".
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
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
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
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.
Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/soul-train-line-formation-video.html for the related post "Selected Videos Of The Electric Slide".
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