Song Of The Day 2/24/2015: The Five Du-Tones - "The Woodbine Twine"

Do the Dance Craze: I spent most of the late afternoon and early evening yesterday chasing down examples of the Twine dance. The Twine was popularized in the early ‘60s among youths on the south side of Chicago, and was furthered by the hit “Twine Time” by Alvin Cash & the Crawlers. I’m also feeling a bit incompetent, like an avant-garde musician trying to lead a class in a round of “Bingo Was His Name-O.” This is because I think I’m a lousy dancer. I’m a lousy line dancer, at least. A couple of people have seen my more spontaneous moves and didn’t think I was a terrible dancer at all. That’s all beyond the point. The point is, my reluctance to dance, or to even admire the efforts of perfect symmetry I see in a bunch of others, has resulted in my being unable to determine the steps to a famous dance without reading line-by-line instructions. Which means I’ve probably combed through about eleven examples of the Twine dance on video this evening and still have no flippin’ idea what the hell it looks like.

What I know is that “Twine Time” was co-written by Andre Williams, the early R&B legend who keeps finding his way onto this blog. Williams also co-wrote the Five Du-Tones’ “Shake a Tail Feather”, their sole claim to fine, and the only one they really needed. ”The Woodbine Twine" was the Five Du-Tones’ supposed update of the Twine dance. Andre Williams didn’t have anything to do with this one.

I don’t know how much “The Woodbine Twine” adapts from the Twine. I do have it on reliable authority that there’s a woodbine plant – otherwise known as the “Virginia creeper,” it’s a woody vine type thing. I also know that it’s known to twine. I’m also guessing this is a well-known fact in certain circles, because I came across a Robert Burns poem which reads, in part:
Aft have I roved by bonnie Doon,
  To see the woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o’ its live,
  And sae did I o’ mine

Wi’ lightstone heart I pu’d a rose
  Upon a morn in June;
And sae I flourish’d on the morn,
  And sae was pu’d or’ noon.
I don’t know if Robert Burns ever went to the south side of Chicago.

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