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Friday, March 4, 2016

How The Madison (Line Dance) Got Its Name And Other Information About The Madison Dance & Records

Edited by Azizi Powell

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

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 this post features a video of the "Birdland" jazz/swing dance. The "Birdland" nightclub in New York city -if not the Birdland dance itself - is reported to have inspired the Madison line dance. Also, the Birdland ((dance) is one of the calls in Al Brown "Madison" record.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/03/al-brown-and-ray-bryant-madison-records.html for Part II of this series. Part II showcases sound files of Al Brown's and Ray Bryant's "Madison" records and six videos of the Madison line dance.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the originator/s of The Madison line dance and thanks to Al Brown & The Tunetoppers and Ray Bryant Combo for their musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who helped popularize the Madison line dance. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publisher of this video 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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INFORMATION ABOUT THE MADISON DANCE - COLUMBUS, OHIO ORIGIN
From The Ohio Sentinel
"Madison Dance Started In Columbus'
By Lucius E. Lee, June 18, 1960
"Although it has not become a national issue there are certain rumblings of it in Columbus already with club factions vieing [sic] for the honor of either starting the Madison dance craze or bringing it to the city. The dance has become international to the extent that it got front page notice in a London daily and column space in one of the tops in American journalism, Time magazine.

Besides that, it is the most popular dance in the nation and a record, describing its steps by Henry Glover, backed up by Bill Doggett, is at the top of the hit parade. But the dance was first done in Columbus back in 1957 and ’58.

In all probability, the Madison had its start at the LVA Club in Columbus sometime in late 1957. The incidents fall in line like this.

William (Bubbles) Holloway, LVA mentor, was with Sonny Payne and Larry Steele in front of the Birdland in N. York. Bubbles asked Larry how to get to Madison Avenue from the Birdland and he answered: “Take it to the left, young man, take it to the left.”

That remark laid the groundwork for the Madison dance which starts on the left foot, the only dance that does so, and Madison Avenue’s direction from Birdland down Broadway is to the left.


When Bubbles returned to Columbus the Birdland was the craze but that phrase, “take it to the left,” stuck with him. He got Wallace Jones, Eugene Green, Deanna Ely and Carla Singer together with other members of the LVA and, borrowing a step or two from the Birdland, put out a new dance and dubbed it “The Madison.”

Up at the now defunct Downbeat Club, a Nancy Thompson had notions about the same dance but figured it to be a jitterbug version of the Birdland. She trained members of the Downbeat and popularity of the dance spread throughout other clubs.

Its popularity swept the city so the members of Arthur Murray Dance Studio visited the LVA to learn how it was done. The same group visited the downbeat and taught the Cha Cha in exchange for lessons in the Madison.

A group of mail clerks continued to work on the dance at the LVA and organized a team. One member became so enthused that he declared that if the new child in his family turned out to be a boy, he would name him Madison. There is a crumb-crusher with a given name of Madison in the Wallace Jones family now, just about a year and a half old.

According to the incidents, Bubbles is unquestionably creator of the Madison and that makes it a Columbus dance. Be that as it may, there is no doubt he did most to popularize the dance.

He and his team journeyed to Atlantic City shortly after and showed the audience and cast of that fabulous production of Larry Steele, “Smart Affairs,” at Club Harlem how to do the dance. They first danced it for the cast and, just that quick, everyone in the audience was doing the Madison.

Around mid-August of 1959 the team took on a professional role and showed three days at Bubbs Grill in Cleveland. The Madison took on international flavor when Count Basie visited the LVA in Columbus last year and adopted the dance as a feature of his entertainment when he played London and the continent. That is how it got London press notices....

The dance reached its peak of popularity with Columbus folks about a year ago this spring. Madison contests sprang up in all the clubs but the outstanding contest was promoted by the Merry Makers club at Valley Dale which drew the largest crowd ever assembled at the Dale. The contest was won by the 502 Club team. The LVA team, which had really set the basic form for the dance, came in second."...
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Italics added by me to highlight these sentences.

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From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_(dance)
"The Madison is a novelty dance that was popular in the late 1950s to mid-1960s....

The Madison is a line dance that features a regular back-and-forth pattern interspersed with called steps. Its popularity inspired dance teams and competitions, as well as various recordings, and today it is still sometimes performed as a nostalgic dance....

The Madison took on international flavor when Count Basie visited Columbus [Ohio] in 1959 and adopted the dance as a feature of his entertainment when he played London and the Continent, creating press notices in London.[6]...

Called steps included the Double Cross, the Cleveland Box, The Basketball (with Wilt Chamberlain), the Big "M", the "T" Time, the Jackie Gleason, the Birdland, and The Rifleman. "The Jackie Gleason" is based on a tap dance movement known as "Shuffle Off to Buffalo".[7] Additional called sequences are: Two Up and Two Back, Big Boss Cross in Front, Make a "T", the Box, Cuddle Me, and Flying High. "Away We Go" may be the same as "The Jackie Gleason".[8]

Time magazine noted the Madison in April 1960.[9]"....

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE MADISON- AL BROWN & THE TUNETOPPERS
From http://www.bluesart.at/NeueSeiten/REMEMBERING+AL+BROWN+%281929-2009%29%20.html Text and Photos by Larry Benicewicz
"Having been a disk jockey for over fifty years, I can attest to one verity in the business of getting people on their feet (even the shrinking wallflowers) and onto to parquet----play a line dance.

And in the enormous canon of platter spinning, there are simply no numbers as enduring; be they the “Hokey Pokey” or the “Stroll” of the 50s, the “Locomotion” of the 60s, or latter day, cross generational crowd pleasers such as Marcia Griffiths’ Caribbean flavored “Electric Boogie,” Buster Poindexter’s (David Johansen) salsa laced “Hot Hot Hot,” BLACKstreet’s funky “Booti Call,” or Mr. C The Slide Man’s hip hop imbued “Cha Cha Slide” to start the party rolling.

No less of a cultural phenomenon in this genre was “The Madison,” which in 1960 was the “Macarena” of its era. And first to thrust this dance craze--which with its elaborate footwork became paradigm for its many descendants -- into the national consciousness was Baltimorean AL BROWN, who died of liver failure March 19 at Northwest Hospital Center. He was 79.

....It was at the club Tijuana that the Madison record was conceived; but its true origin still remains a bit murky. “We were playing one night, and this guy from the Joseph M. Zamoiski Co. [an influential Baltimore and Washington, D.C.-based R&B one stop and distributor] recounts to me how he saw this new dance step, but that it needed some music to go along with it,” said Al Brown in a 1998 interview. Another source, Buddy Young (1926-1983), a former Baltimore Colt halfback and then WEBB-AM (1360) disk jockey, claimed that organist Bill Doggett of “Honky Tonk” fame recorded an instrumental number dedicated to a bar, the Madison, in Cleveland and that later while visiting his hometown, Chicago, Young saw teens doing choreography to it. Although Doggett did, indeed, release “The Madison” (King, #5204) in 1959, he utilized his signature, breezy, laid back beat similar to his “Honky Tonk” that didn’t seem compatible to either the more emphatic, syncopated rhythms of the initial dance record of Al’s or any subsequent follow-ups. But there was definitely a Cleveland connection to the Madison (aside from the “Cleveland box” sequence) in that Charles recalled that two heralded Baltimore Colt linemen of that period, Sherman Plunkett and Eugene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb, after having played a football game in that city, described seeing there just such a new, innovative dance routine.

Anyway, Al Brown almost on the spot composed a tune, added some lyrics, and engaged Cookie Brown (no relation) to do the vocal chores. Hastily recorded (with renowned area horn man, Mickey Fields, on piano) at a studio at the Alameda and Cold Spring Lane, the finished product was proffered (probably through a Zamoiski intervention) to fledgling label, Amy, a division of Simon & Shuster, Inc., run by Arthur Shimkin at 630 Fifth Ave. in New York. “The Madison” (Amy, #804) was only the company’s fifth release (April 4, 1960) and it would go on to be one of its greatest triumphs; so much so, that, as a result, Al Brown and members of his band would be invited to the Big Apple to complete an album’s worth of material, The Tunetoppers at The Madison Dance Party, A-1, Amy’s first LP. And over a two-year period, the logo released three more singles (as well as an EP) from these New York sessions---“Sweet Little Love” (#806), “Mention Me” (#811), and “Shimmy Swing” (#829). Although all these latter disks were fine R&B examples of that period, none would have nearly the impact of the of the novelty dance number.”...

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE MADISON - RAY BRYANT & RAY BRYANT COMBO
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_Time
"Madison Time is an album recorded by American jazz pianist Ray Bryant recorded in 1959 and 1960 for the Columbia label.[1] The album was released following the success of the Madison dance craze single "The Madison Time" which reached number 30 on the Billboard chart and number 5 on the R&B chart.[2][3] The single also featured in the soundtrack to the 1988 film Hairspray.[4]"

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From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_Time
"The Madison is a novelty dance that was popular in the late 1950s to mid-1960s.

Description and history

It was created and first danced in Columbus, Ohio, in 1957.[1] The local popularity of the dance and record in Baltimore, Maryland, came to the attention of the producers of The Buddy Deane Show in 1960. Picked up by dance shows across the country, it became widely popular.[2]

The Madison is a line dance that features a regular back-and-forth pattern interspersed with called steps. Its popularity inspired dance teams and competitions, as well as various recordings, and today it is still sometimes performed as a nostalgic dance. The Madison is featured in the John Waters movie Hairspray, and it continues to be performed in the Broadway musical Hairspray. Both the film and the musical feature one of many songs released during the Madison "craze" in the US.

Ray Bryant recorded "Madison Time" for Columbia Records in 1959.[3] Billboard stated that "The footwork for the Madison dance is carefully and clearly diagrammed for the terpers."[4] The Ray Bryant version was the version featured in the film Hairspray. The other popular version was by Al Brown & The Tunetoppers....

The Madison basic, danced in the film Hairspray, is as follows:
1.Step left forward
2.Place right beside left (no weight) and clap
3.Step back on right
4.Move left foot back and across the right
5.Move left foot to the left
6.Move left foot back and across the right

Called steps included the Double Cross, the Cleveland Box, The Basketball (with Wilt Chamberlain), the Big "M", the "T" Time, the Jackie Gleason, the Birdland, and The Rifleman. "The Jackie Gleason" is based on a tap dance movement known as "Shuffle Off to Buffalo".[7] Additional called sequences are: Two Up and Two Back, Big Boss Cross in Front, Make a "T", the Box, Cuddle Me, and Flying High. "Away We Go" may be the same as "The Jackie Gleason"."

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From http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2152
"The Madison Time" by Ray Bryant Combo
Album "Groove And Grind"
Released- 1960

....The Madison steps were popularized on a Baltimore TV dance party hosted by Buddy Deane. Instructions were stated by another Baltimore DJ, Eddie Morgan.

This was featured in the John Waters movie Hairspray.

["The Madison Time"] was the only top 40 hit for Ray Bryant, the uncle of guitarist Kevin Eubanks (who was the band leader of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno)

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LYRICS: AL BROWN & THE TUNETOPPERS - THE MADISON
Featuring Cookie Brown

Hey, everybody
Gather round
It's Madison time

Give me a big strong line
And make it hook real fine
We're gonna Madison now
If you don't know how

Listen to my call
Put you on the ball
Madison time

Like, two up, two back
Boss turn, Birdland twice
Reverse that bird, step back over
Rock it back into the Madison
When I say hit it like a rug

Let's, uh, hit it

Two up, two back
Boss turn, looking good
Birdland twice, one more time
Reverse that bird, step back over
Rock it back into the Madison

Oh, the line sure swings
The cat's a Madison king
The line is nice and strong
Couldn't catch a single cat wrong
If you take my call
You'll be on the ball
Madison time

Like, two up, two back
Into the M, erase it
Gimme a I, Johnny
Rock it back into the Madison
When I say like a rug
Hit that thing, hit it
Two up, two back
Into the M

Swinging, son
Erase that thing
Gimme the I
Rock it back to the Madison

You hear the Madison groove
Makes you really wanna move
For kids from eight to eighty-three
Just as easy as can be

It's a relaxing dance
Lets you really prance
The Madison, the Madison
The Madison

The Madison, the Madison
The Madison


Source: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/a/al+browns+tunetoppers/the+madison_20783187.html

Songwriters: Brown, Al

The Madison lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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LYRICS: RAY BRANT COMBO - THE MADISON TIME (Part I)

It's Madison time, hit it
You're looking good
A big strong line

When I say hit it
I want you to go
Two up and two back
With a big strong turn
And back to the Madison

Hit it!
You're looking good

Now when I say hit it
I want you to go
Two up and two back
Double cross, come out
Of it with the Rifleman

Hit it!
Crazy!
Now when I say hit I want the big strong M
Erase it and back
To the Madison

Hit it!
Walk on
You're looking good

Now then, when I say hit it
It'll be T time

Hit it!
Big strong line

Now when I say hit it
I want the big strong Cleveland box and
Back to the Madison

Hit it!
Crazy

Now when I say hit it
I want the big strong
Basketball with the Wilt Chamberlain hook

Hit it!
Two points

Now this time
When I say hit it
I want the big strong Jackie Gleason and
Back to the Madison

Hit it!
And away we go

Now then, when I say hit it
Birdland, till I say stop

Hit it!
How about a little Stiff leg there
You're looking good

Now when I say hit it
Come out of the Birdland
Back to the Madison

Hit it!
Crazy
When I say hit it
Go two up and two back
Double cross and freeze
Hit it!

And hold it right there

Source: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/r/ray+bryant+combo/the+madison+time+part+1_21083555.html

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ADDENDUM - VIDEO OF THE BIRDLAND (DANCE)

DC Dance Festival - "Birdland"



MsCharlese, Uploaded on Jul 23, 2011

NHDA and Smooth & EZ performed at the DC Dance Festival, July 23. The event was titled, "Hand Dance: From Classic to Contemporary" and included both Old School and Contemporary Hand Dance performances. This event took place at the National Portrait Gallery
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Here's a comment from that video's discussion thread:

seywhut2985, 2014
"Now that is the true Birdland. Haven't seen anybody do that in years. Not as easy as it looks if you are used to jitterbugging."
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I wonder if that commenter meant "...if you aren't used to jitterbugging".

Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdland_(New_York_jazz_club) for information about the Birdland (Jazz Club) in New York City.

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This concludes Part I of this series.

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