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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Al Brown's And Ray Bryant's "Madison" Records & Six Videos Of The Madison Line Dance

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two Part series on "The Madison". The Madison is an African American originated late 1950s, early 1960s line dance

Part II showcases a sound file of Al Brown & The TuneToppers' "Madison" record and the Ray Bryant Combo's "Madison" record. Part II also showcases six videos of the Madison line dance and record. A sound file of the Al Brown & The Tune Toppers and the Ray Bryant Combo "Madison" records are also included in the Addendum to this post.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/03/how-madison-line-dance-got-its-name-and.html for Part I of this series. Part I provides information about the origin & early years of the Madison dance and records. Lyrics for Al Brown & The Tune Toppers' "The Madison" and Ray Brown Combo's "The Madison Time" are included in this post. The Addendum to Part I features a video of the Birdland dance. The Birdland jazz/swing dance is one of the calls in Al Brown's Madison record.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Al Brown & His TuneToppers and the Ray Bryant Combo for their musical legacies. Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/03/black-teens-and-buddy-deane-show-1957.html for a related post on Black Teens And The Buddy Deane Show.

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
With these exception of the Al Brown and Ray Bryant sound files, these examples are given in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube with the oldest example given first.

I've chosen to showcase the Al Brown record first because it is one week older than the Ray Bryant record.

These selected comments from these examples' discussion threads are given in chronological order by year, except for replies. However, the comments may not be in consecutive order. I'm most interested in comments about The Madison dance itself, commenters' memories about this dance, and comments about the video or sound file example itself.

A few additional comments are included in pancocojams' post "Black Teens And The Buddy Deane Show" whose link is given above.

Example #1: Al Brown's TuneToppers - The Madison - Mo' Madison 1960



ksdaman, Published on Feb 1, 2013

Featuring Cookie Brown.

Before The Twist for a brief period of time the dance craze was line dancing to "The Madison". This song and Ray Bryant's "Madison Time" were both chart topper's at the same time, This song unfortunately has now been overlooked as Ray Bryant's version now is the one that people most remember. This is both side A and side B. Here is the dance being performed in 1960.
-snip-
Selected comments from this sound file's discussion thread:
seywhut2985, 2014
"I only remember here this once or twice. It was Ray Bryant's version that was the monster hit. I loved doing the Madison. You always did it really cool like you were bored to death to be there doing it. LOL. There were changes to the Ray Bryant version. They were both good."
-snip-
The word "here" in that first sentence is probably a typo of the word "hearing".

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2016
Buick Le Sabre
"the original version and the writer of The Madison is of course Ray Bryant !"

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Reply
ksdaman
"+Buick Le Sabre Not quite. Ray Bryant's was released a week after this.
http://www.columbusmusichistory.com/html/madison_1.html

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ksdaman
"I think this got popular locally with people making an array of different calls on the dance steps. Maybe Bryant and Brown took those calls and finally formed the dance step
progressions and put them on record so everyone could follow along easier."

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Reply
Buick Le Sabre
"+ksdaman .. the story goes that some coloured teens made up the steps by them selves at some Hops and then Bryant (lol) came along. Something like that .. There,s a documentary about all the dances in the 50s...."
-snip-
I edited this comment as (it appears to me) that the remaining portion was the commenter suggesting a few late 1940s and 1950s Blues records that he likes.]

"Coloured" ("Colored" is the American spelling) and Negro are no longer used referents for African Americans.

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Example #2: It's Madison Time Part 1 & 2 Ray Bryant Combo '60 Columbia 4 41628



doowopAmnon, Uploaded on Oct 22, 2011
-snip-
Selected comments:
2014
merriell brown
"Wow..Thanks for posting this..wish there was someone around that still knows how to do the Madison..I miss dancing this jig with my mom !!"

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FerrariCarr
"I LOVE part 2! Reminds me of when my friends and I used to drive around the industrial parts of town, near the train tracks late at night listening to one of the old jazz stations."

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Example #3: Dancin' the Madison on "The Buddy Deane Show"



MarylandPublicTV Uploaded on Apr 30, 2008

Clip from Shake, Rattle, and Roll: The Buddy Deane Scrapbook
-snip-
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
2010
yankeerebel65
"This is the ONLY surviving videotape or kinescope clip of Buddy's show. It seems that only about 8 minutes of 8mm footage survived the years also. It was shot in late 57 or early 58."
-snip-
This comment is also included in pancocojams' "Black Teens & Buddy Deane Show" post whose link is given above.

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2011
mortyfromc
"It was shows like this back in the 50's and 60's where the rest of us learned how to do the steps. We didn't have dvr's back then either. You had to get it the first time or hope they would dance it the next show so you coud get it then. It was a good time."

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Bailey Randolph
"wow the white people really couldnt move could they?"

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Reply
Direness
"+Bailey Randolph @wedance4ever95 If you read the comments, they didn't have a lot of space to move, and they weren't allowed to flavor or improvise very much, as TV was a new medium - decorum had to be followed. Remember that Elvis was first filmed only above the hips because they felt his hip movement was scandalous? Feel free to continue thinking INSIDE the box, though!"

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Reply
Bailey Randolph
"+Direness @Direness calm down...there was no diss involved.. way to make a big deal out of a comment on an internet video though"

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Diane Bryce
"the announcer keeps announcing different steps but these kids keep doing the same steps over and over. whats wrong with them cant they follow the song or is this the only step they know?"

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Reply
kpitt1204
"+Diane Bryce @TheRainydaywoman43 ROTFL! I was thinking the same thing!!!!!!!! That made me laugh even more!"

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Reply
Richard Powers
"I'm afraid that TheRainydaywoman43 doesn't understand the calls. Al Brown quickly tells the whole pattern that will be coming up, but the dancers have to wait until he says "hit It." then they do exactly what was called. Same for the second figure, the M."

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2013
utubewatcher806
"+Wolfgang Gunn These shows were the local predecessors of syndicated shows like American Bandstand, Hullabaloo, and Soul Train."

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2014
seywhut2985
"I loved doing the Madison. I'm laughing at these kids. You almost always got off of step like the guy on the front line shaking his head. LOL! You absolutely had to have the record completely memorized from start to finish. I remember this version on a couple of times. It was Ray Bryant's version that was the monster hit. I remember playing it over and over and over again in my room practicing because you had to have the steps down so you could look really cool like you were bored to tears when you danced it. LOL. Just like the kid with the pompadour in the front row. You were like, "What - again? Oh all right. I'll dance it again." LOL"

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david lincoln brooks
"Shouldn't the group handclap fall on the backbeat... not the downbeat? White people dancing, indeed!"

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Wayne Brasler
"I learned the Madison at a house party in St. Louis in 1959. My buddy and I were the only white people there! Even in an era where segregation reigned, white kids who wanted to know black kids and black kids who wanted to know white kids managed to do. A lot of the credit goes to parents who wanted their children to know all of life, not just part of it."

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mkrcompton
"Is this video the inspiration for John Walters's epic film "Hairspray?"."

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Manuel Orozco [2016]
"+Lester White The Madison actually existed before Hairspray. The Buddy Deane Show and John Waters boyhood in 60's Baltimore inspired the movie stage musical movie remake and soon NBC TV production into being. "

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MsOldGregg
"I was a senior at a Catholic girls school in 1960. The powers that be thought it would be nice to have some of us dance for the alumnae in uniform. Someone chose The Madison and four of us performed it masterfully. Afterward we waited for our accolades but instead heard "We didn't like your dance" and "Why are your skirts so short?" (we had rolled up the waistbands in classic Catholic school girl fashion.) We ran for the parking lot half expecting to be followed by little old ladies with torches."

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2015
pat brun
"I was on the show several times as an African American teen."

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Reply
Saivon Desper
"+pat brun ............ If you don't mind me asking. How old are you?"

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Reply
pat brun
"I'm 67.

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Reply
imusfan48
"+pat brun That is soooo neat, I am 67 too, love this dance/song,,,do you ever see yourself in these videos?"

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Reply
pat brun
"+imusfan48 No because there is no African American footage available."

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Reply
imusfan48
"+pat brun Like 'Black People' didn't exist! What a joke, a lot of people today, don't realize that segregation, Jim Crow Laws, etc. existed not that long ago. I remember going down to Nashville to see the 'Grand Ole Oprey' with my parents (1957?) and seeing separate drinking fountains and RR's. I was from Ohio, and about 8 or 9, and even at that age, knew that it wasn't right?"

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pat brun
"It's so refreshing to hear an honest white person speak the truth on these issues. I heard there was a demonstration at the studio concerning the separation of the races on the show. It's been more than 50 years, and I'm just hearing about this. That may have been good cause to dispose of footage. Who knows? I enjoyed the show and would have loved to see myself dancing all those many years ago. The grands would get a kick out of it"

-snip-
This comment exchange is also included in pancocojams' "Black Teens And The Buddy Deane Show" post.

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Example #4: Ray Bryant Combo "The Madison" 1960*


Bobby Cole, Uploaded on Feb 20, 2009
Everyone might be familiar with this song through the movie "Hairspray".

Well here is the original video from 1960 starring the Ray Bryant Combo

One of the coolest line dance songs ever. Most are quite corny.
-snip-
As several commenters noted, the Ray Bryant Combo isn't the band that is featured in this video. Ray Bryant Combo was an African American band.

Selected comments:
ohbopshbam, 2010
"Thanks to all of the sharp eyes and good memories out there. The pianist and the group has nothing to with Ray Bryant. Look at the photo to the right of this page where it states, Ray Bryant - Little Suzie, and that's the guy. "The Madison Time was released on a Columbia Records 45-rpm recording in 1959. The first side featuring the voice of DJ Eddie Morrison calling the dance steps. The flip side was instrumental."

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moibidipe, 2015
"The musicians are french : thats is the Claude Bolling sextet : Claude Bolling is the piano player, and GĂ©rard Badini plays tenor sax"

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Example #5: Madison Time



Bobotmedia Uploaded on Jun 9, 2011

Clip of "The Madison" from the movie Hairspray with Ricki Lake. "The Madison" is a novelty dance that was popular in the late 1950's to mid 1960's. Ray Bryant Trio recorded "Madison Time" for Columbia Records in 1959. "It's Madison Time!"
-snip-
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
MarkinDC, 2012
"THANKS for posting, still the coolest line dance (and one of the trickiest) going. Although the Birdland step was left out of this, this is the best "version" I know of on film. They really get the moves and feel right.

I used to work as a dance instructor, and had to teach this for some friends of mine getting married. Somone who originally danced on the Buddy Deane show, and taught us the missing step (the Birdland).
-snip-
A video of the Birdland (jazz/swing) dance is included in the "Black Teens & The Buddy Deane Show" post whose link is given above.

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Wayne Brasler, 2014
I learned the Madison at a house party in St. Louis in 1959. This is the dance exactly.

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Reply
Wayne Brasler, 2014
"+NelsonClick There's more to the story! I went to a junior college that was half black and half white. We all got along just fine because the blacks and whites had nothing to do with each other except be polite. A group of us who ran the campus paper (which, the one semester I was managing editor, got the top rating from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in New York City) included both blacks and whites and we worked together to get the two parts of the student body together. I won't go into how we did it, but we did do it, and that got me, a white boy, invited to dances at black home and I would bring with me friends from the suburban high school I came from. And, yes, dance and music proved a big part of bringing the walls of separation down without a great deal of drama."

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Wali Bashir, 2015
"Heard this song on SOULTOWN countdown of dance music. Had to check this dance out being a linedancer. Classic linedance to me."

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Example #6: Annette dancing The Madison



NRRArchives3, Published on Mar 29, 2013
Coke Time. June 27, 1960.
-snip-
The dance begins at .48 of this video.

Here's an excerpt from a review of this film clip which identifies the (White American) teen idols who were featured in this clip:
From https://theslippeddisk.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/annette-funicello-dances-the-madison-on-the-coke-time-1960-program/
"Annette Funicello dances The Madison on the Coke Time 1960 program
Posted on 2015-02-16 by markbarclay

Bob Denver doing his Maynard G. Krebs character, Edd Byrnes and Pat Boone introduce Annette Funicello on Pat Boone’s Coke Time 1960 program from June 27, 1960"

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Example #7: Madison Line Dance demo from The Definitive Madison Instructional DVD



lindyland Published on Dec 10, 2012

This clip is taken from The Definitive Madison Instructional DVD released back in 2005 featuring swing and Madison dance specialists Jennifer Comar and Paolo Pasta Lanna. This particular version contains all the original steps that were choreographed back in 1958 to match the calls of DeeJay Eddie Morrison featured on The Madison Time recording by Ray Bryant.

This demo was made possible after several years of research, encouragement by Lance Benishek who had an inclination that steps being showcased were not all original patterns, some trips to Baltimore, interviews with former Madison dancers such as Linda Snyder (one of the original "committee" dancers on the Buddy Dean Show.) Most importantly, it was the footage provided by Arlene Kozak (producer of The Buddy Dean Show broadcast out of Baltimore, Maryland in the 1950's), that provided an accurate glimpse into it's history. That year, a dance couple had been commissioned to travel the states and demonstrate this line dance. There was one short film clip that showcased them, and that provided the answers to the missing puzzle.

I am finally releasing this demonstration filmed in 2005 on youtube to help spread these steps world wide.

Note: The Definitive Madison Instructional DVD also features another line dance based on the musician Al Brown and the Tune Topper's version of the Madison. In addition, there are Partner Style demonstrations that were developed by both Jennifer and Paolo with influence from Ryan Francois. More historic notes and Instruction for all the footwork is also available on this DVD. © 2006 Jumpin Entertainment
-snip-
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
Patrick Coffey, 2014
"This is the first time I have seen a video of the Madison where all the steps were done correctly….good job guys you are awesome"

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Reply
Avery Pack, 2015
"+Patrick Coffey Yep, especially the Rifleman part. That's closer to how my mom showed me how to do it...."

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loveyouall66, 2016
"LOVE THIS DANCE. GREAT! LOVE THE JACKIE GLEASON MOVE."

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Example #8: The Madison Line Dance | Al Brown's Version | From the Definite Madison Instructional



lindyland Published

This clip is taken from The Definitive Madison Instructional DVD released back in 2005 featuring swing and Madison dance specialists Jennifer Comar and Paolo Pasta Lanna. This particular version contains all the original steps that were choreographed back in 1958 to match the calls featured on The Madison recording by Al Brown & The Tune Toppers
-snip-
Subsequent paragraphs found in the summary for Example #3 are also found in this summary.

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This concludes Part II of this series.

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