Friday, September 25, 2015

38. Slow Dancing and Jitterbugging in 1945-46

When Nancy and I were freshman at Gettysburg High School in 1945-46, one of our favorite activities was dancing with friends to the popular music of the day.

Music for dancing was available from several sources including the radio, the Teen Canteen on Baltimore Street, Woodlawn on the Chambersburg Road or school dances. If we had a favorite song we wanted to play over and over, we bought the 78rpm,10 inch record for seventy-five cents and played it on our personal record player.  

The most popular place to dance on a weekend or a holiday was the Teen Canteen where a juke box usually provided the music. On Labor Day in 1945, one hundred and seven teens showed up and danced to the music of the Junior Jivesters from Gettysburg High School.

Nancy and I danced often at the Teen Canteen, but not in our freshman year. We'll save those stories for another day.

When we started dating as juniors, one of our favorite places to dance was Woodlawn on the Chambersburg Road. A colorful jukebox was available with the most popular music of the day, and each song cost a nickel.

Our favorite bands when we were freshmen were Harry James, Les Brown and Woodie Hermann, and our favorite songs were Sentimental Journey for slow dancing and On the Atchison, Topeka & the Santa Fe for jitterbugging.The most popular novelty song was Chickery Chick.

Nancy and I don’t dance much any more, but we still listen to the music from our high school days on Big Band Jukebox on Live 365 and Forties on Four on Sirius Radio. 

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