Welcome to Belair Blvd's Cyber Sock Hop. If you're running our Real Audio Radio in the background you'll need to close it before starting any of these midi files. Click on any record title to hear the midi with the Crescendo Midi player. The midi jukebox is located below. Select the song you wish to hear from the drop-down list below.
Well let's travel back now to the late fifties or early sixties. It's Friday night and time for another dance at your local school or in my case the local youth center. The dances were held in the largest room, normally the gymnasium, and on the wooden basketball floor. I don't know about you, but we couldn't wear street shoes on the gym floor, thus the term "sock hop" was born. Back then kids didn't have a steady girlfriend when you were fourteen or fifteen and just starting to go to dances. The girls usually arrived together and staked their claim to one side of the gym. The guys gathered on the other side of the gym. The music was provided by a record player playing over the loudspeaker system. There wasn't a professional DJ onhand so the playlist would be whatever records were available. Maybe early in the evening you'd hear a record like "Those Oldies But Goodies" and the girls would take the floor (usually with each other) while the guys stood by looking on and trying to act cool. The girls would try to encourage the guys to join them, but most guys were waiting for the slow songs before mustering up the courage to ask a girl to dance. The girls would dance to all the music and during the evening you'd hear songs like "Blueberry Hill" and "That'll Be The Day". Then the big moment would arrive, a slow song such as "In The Still Of The Night" would come on and it was time for the guys to make their move. I can still remember how nervous I was asking a girl to dance and dreading what would be a long walk back to the other side of the gym if she would say no. This was a "rite of passage" that I'm sure was replayed across a thousand dance floors over the years. The night would continue with this pattern until it was time for the last slow dance of the evening. A record such as "Only You" would come on, and it would be time for the guys to find a partner again. Well the dance was almost over and since you didn't drive at fourteen your options were limited. If you liked the girl you danced with and her parents weren't coming to drive her home, you offered to walk her home or to the local hangout to grab a bite to eat. After seeing her to her front door, you headed home, secure in the knowledge that you had seven more days until you went to your next dance. And telling yourself that next week you were going to even try fast dancing. But some of us never did.
I hope you enjoyed this little cyber "sock hop" and hope it brought back some pleasant memories for you. If we knew then what we know now, we'd probably danced every dance and not worried whether we looked cool or not.
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Cartoon images by Sean Thorne Cartoons & Illustration, Copyright 1998