Edited by Azizi Powell
This post provides information about and examples of the dance movement and Jazz song "Peckin".
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INFORMATION ABOUT "PECKIN"
"Peckin is not a dance but a vernacular movement within another dance.
Frank Sebastion's Cotton Club (not related to the New York Club) in Los Angeles is said to have done the first public routine with the "Peckin' Motion" (Chicken) done by a group called the Three Chocolateers (Eddie West, Paul Black and Albert "Gib" Gibson) in 1934 and became a Swing and Ballroom sensation. The Three Chocolateers can be seen doing it in the feature length film entitled "New Faces of 1937" * by RKO Radio films and "Murder at the Vanities."
Later the “Cotton Club Express” (a dance group) at the Cotton Club in New York would introduce “the peckin dance” in 1937 to the dancing public. Basically, it was done with the head bobbing forward and back to each beat as the couple face each other, with a “Pecking motion” (like a chicken) toward each other’s head.”...
*This video is found below as Example #4.
From http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ezk4TWNy8M [This sound file is found below as Example #1.]
"Pecking", the name of this song, was a dance move in which each partner would move their heads towards each other and then back, alternating between the right and left. Their faces never touched, but would be to one side or the other. It was supposed to resemble a bird pecking at something - sort of.
Peckin, while seeming smiliar to a peck or kiss, actually stems from 20s animal dances such as camel walks, turkey trot, the snake, and the fox trot. Peckin is meant to resemble Bird like behavior."
In Standard American English, a “peck on the cheek” is a little kiss on the cheek and not the lips.
I would probably categorize "Peckin" as a bird dance instead of an animal dance. But that's nit picking.
(These examples are presented in chronological order with the oldest dated examples presented first.)
Example #1: 1937 Jitterbug: Benny Goodman & His Orch. - "Peckin'"
240252,Uploaded on Jun 16, 2008
Benny Goodman & His Orch. - Peckin' (H.James /B.Pollack), Victor 1937
The term "jitterbug" comes from an early 20th century slang used to describe alcoholics who suffered from the "jitters" (delirium tremens). During the early 1900s, the term became associated with dancers who danced without any control or knowledge of the dance. In the Swing era, the term was adopted by band leader Cab Calloway to describe the swing dancers who, as he put it „look like a bunch of jitterbugs out there on the floor", due to their fast often bouncy movements. Calloway's 1935 recording of "Call of the Jitter Bug" and the film "Cab Calloway's Jitterbug Party" popularized use of the word "jitterbug". Lyrics to "Call of the Jitter Jug" clearly demonstrate the association between the word jitterbug, and the consumption of alcohol. "If you'd like to be a jitter bug, First thing you must do is get a jug, Put whiskey, wine and gin within, And shake it all up and then begin. Grab a cup and start to toss, You are drinking jitter sauce! Don't you worry, you just mug, And then you'll be a jitter bug!"
World War II facilitated the spread of jitterbug to Europe. For instance, by May 1944 in preparation for D-Day, there were nearly 2 million American troops stationed throughout Britain. Time Magazine reported that American troops stationed in France in 1945 „jitterbugged", and by 1946 jitterbug had become a craze in England.
Example #2: Lindy Hop funny instructional video : Groovie Movie (1944)
SandetLudo, Uploaded on Mar 17, 2011
The clip about peckin begins at 1:57 & ends at 2.16.
Example #3: Peckin' (Cab Calloway & Orch 1937) 120 bpm
Swing Dance Montreal, Published on Apr 10, 2012
Pièce musicale swing idéal pour danser le Lindy Hop, Balboa, Blues et Ballrooming
In the beginning of this song the dance "truckin" is mentioned.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-jazz-dance-truckin-information.html for a post about "truckin".
Example #4: 1937 Peckin' Dance by the 3chocolateers
Sonny Watson, Uploaded on Feb 3, 2013
1937 Peckin' Dance by the 3chocolateers.
Frank Sebastion's Cotton Club (not related to the New York Club) in Los Angeles is said to have done the first public routine with the "Peckin' Motion" (Chicken) done by a group called the Three Chocolateers (Eddie West, Paul Black and Albert "Gib" Gibson) in 1934 and became a Swing and Ballroom sensation. The Three Chocolateers can be seen doing it in the feature length film entitled "New Faces of 1937" (see clip) by RKO Radio films and "Murder at the Vanities."
...for more inf on Peckin' and more see:
Here's a video of a Cinco de Mayo "pecking dance". I'm not sure if thackPe
Jose Aguirre• Uploaded on May 8, 2008
SPVHS Cinco de Mayo Celebration
This dance clearly is very similar if not the same as the Jitterbug "peckin" dance movement. I'm not sure if this was appropriated from that Jazz dance, or developed independently of that dance.
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo for information about Cinco de Mayo.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-pigeon-wing-buck-wing-and-buck.html for a post about African American bird dances.
Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-tisket-tasket-information-lyrics-and.html for a post about the song "A Tisket A Tasket". A verse of that 1938 song mentions "peckin".
Thanks to the creators of the peckin dance. Thanks also to all those who are featured on in this post, including Cab Calloway and Bennie Goodman for their musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and the publishers of these YouTube examples.
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