Good Morning! As I'm sure you already know (cause I've been hinting for a month now) the Senior Center is holding a dance this coming Saturday, October 14th. Besides the hints there are brightly colored signs all over town that are saying the same thing – the Shawnee Senior Center is having a “Mov'n to Motown” Dance with music from the illustrious 60's and 70's.

Good Morning! As I'm sure you already know (cause I've been hinting for a month now) the Senior Center is holding a dance this coming Saturday, October 14th. Besides the hints there are brightly colored signs all over town that are saying the same thing – the Shawnee Senior Center is having a “Mov'n to Motown” Dance with music from the illustrious 60's and 70's. Now just to make sure you all understand I was definitely around in the 60's and 70's and, as I look back, I was listening to the radio and hitting the clubs occasionally and dancing and listening to some pretty good music as probably many of you were. However, apparently I had no idea what kind of music I was hearing back then and, perhaps, some of you were unaware too. But, after a little research, I do know now. And some of it was pretty surprising.

I had no idea where the MoTown” name originated. What was “MoTown music? My guess would have been something from Inner City New York. And as so often has happened, I would have been wrong. MoTown was the shortened down name for Motor City Detroit. Never would've guessed it.

Singers and musicians like Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge or Wilson Picket (among others) enjoyed careers that may have started or transitioned to other types of music but MoTown Music gave them their big hit push. Now the really interesting thing about MoTown music is its start. And that's the fun part!! Muscle Shoals, Alabama. No way you say? Way!!

Fame Studios, a popular record company, needed to get the right sound for its artists and couldn't seem to find it. They heard about a group of musicians in good old Muscle Shoals, Alabama that had a way with a “sound” and could vary that “sound” however they needed. So, being a “we'll try anything to get a hit” kind of company they sent their new “up and coming” money makers down to Alabama. Can you imagine Aretha walking into a group of musicians nicknamed “The Swampers” and thinking this was gonna work? I can just picture the expression she must have had. But, apparently, this all changed when they started to put the music to her song. She sang, they played and a tradition was formed. Fame Studios sent all their artists now to Alabama and regardless of the singer or the type music, The Swampers came up with the sound. From Aretha to Greg Allman and the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones to the Osmond Brothers, and the Gatlin Bros., the Swampers matched the sound to the artist from Rhythm and Blues to Soul and Jazz and even some good old country.

Now that's probably more than you wanted to know about music and the start of the Motown movement but I thought it was a part of the trend that you didn't know and maybe it would give you a different look at the music from the mid 60's and the early 70's. I'm certainly not fluent about any musical era but I know people who are!!

Now back to the dance. We're having our favorite DJ's (that's husband and wife team) James and Tammy Cotton. If you came to our last dance you know the team cause they orchestrated our dancing hours with all the music we needed. Now they will be doing the 60's and 70's music that you remember from your radio listening or dancing youth. If you're not old enough to remember on your own now is the time to hear what your parents and other seniors were listening to waaaay back when. Fun music to listen to and great music to dance to.

Now clothing back then was a part of the deal too. Bell bottom pants were in, and that allowed everyone to wear platform shoes. Now if you're having a problem picturing that – think wearing fancy pieces of 2x4's on your feet and walking much less dancing but it happened and I was there so I know. And speaking about clothes – there will be a Trophy and prizes awarded to the person who comes in with the best MoTown version of dancing apparel. So bring it on!! We'll be watching for those Mo-Town duds.

Keep in mind please that this is not a concert (but you can sit and listen all you want), this is not an exercise class (but you can get up and do your best MoTown dancing movements) this is a Shawnee Senior Center event to provide a safe environment for friends and families to enjoy a fun time at a reasonable price ($5 for adults, $3 for kids 12 and under). The Municipal auditorium will be once again set up as a nightclub with those moving spots of colored lights that bring back the days of drama free events that us “oldsters” remember from dances back then. Doors open at 6:30, dancing or listening starts at 7pm and ends at 10pm.

All of us at the Shawnee Senior Center look forward to seeing you at the dance. If you know one of us, say hi, if you don't we'll probably be saying hi to you.

Our Cruise Director Kate Joyce will be joining “Mike in the Morning” on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 8:35am on KGFF Radio (FM 100.9 or AM 1450) with more information about the dance and the availability for renting event space at the Senior Center.

And remember, at the Shawnee Senior Center “age is just a number.” The website is SHAWNEESENIORS.ORG and our Facebook page is “Shawnee Senior Center”.

Big Shout Out and Thanks to Mike Askins. SEE YOU AT THE CENTER!