Home » My Life, Random Nostalgia

I Miss Black Folks!

28 May 2008 10 Comments

I’m feeling pretty homesick today and really missing black “folks”. It’s not that I want to go to my parents house or even to my own crib back in Philly, it’s more the kind of homesickness that comes from the distance created by time and space. Being away from any single thing that feels like a reflex always makes me think about the old days. For me, this means watching the same tapes over and over again in the family room with my brother and sister while my parents watched and laughed at us imitating the folks on tv verbatim. The videocassette could never become obsolete, black entertainment would always be excellent, and our little family room would always seem like a huge stage. Did I just get super sentimental? Yeah, I think so.

The video I’m posting as a salute to these sappy memories of mine is from 1985’s “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” special. The most often-played clip from this show is the moment when Michael Jackson first does the Moonwalk and the crown goes crazy. But I have to say, there’s something that really warms my heart about this “Battle of The Groups,” between the Manhattans, Cadillacs, Drifters, Temptations, and Four Tops. For one thing, the special was hosted by a bespectacled and respectable Bill Cosby. I have no business knowing who the Cadillacs or Manhattans really were and I never even listen to this kind of music, but I can’t help but smile at the thought of a bunch of over-the-hill crooners shining up their shoes and rehearsing these steps because “the old gang is going to get together and do one more gig.” Lastly, the Temptations/Four Tops rivalry is the best and most reliable coon-off in history. I hope many of you watch this video before it gets pulled off of YouTube, as they usually do. Sigh…black entertainment I love you so. Note: Watch for the hair and wardrobe choices, Levi Stubbs shouting “Let’s have a hootenany!” and for some extra-special jigging jumping off at about the 7:15 mark.

10 Comments »

  • Laeti├žia said:

    YES! Thank you for stumbling across this clip. It put a giant smile on my face! I swear I was born ten years too late.

  • Dara said:

    love it. im pretty sure this made me cry at some point, but then again i was afraid of pretty much everything as a child.

    NEWS FLASH: so THAT’S who flava flav is trying to be…hm.

  • Thembi said:

    @dara

    are you kidding? you used to do that orginal flava flav shimmy at the age of 2.

  • jazzfan360 said:

    Wow, what the HELL happened to the lead Drifter’s voice? That was depressing.

    Oh the bass Temptation.

    What’s UP with that tired-ass jiggin fool?

    And I hope you didn’t mean “best and most reliable coon-off” LMAO.

  • Thembi said:

    @jazzfan360

    I was hoping you’d stop by to comment on this post because you always pick up right where I leave on when it comes to nostalgia!

    That said, yes, the bass Temptation…

  • KelleBelle said:

    The extra special jigging jumping off was incredible.

    I bet if you look hard enough you can find a suitable replacement in Doha. I know there’s some underground jook joint just waiting for you to discover it.

  • Miss GypsyEyes said:

    Ah, *wipes tear* the nostalgia, I remember swooning several times while watching this live( okay so it was a fake swoon) but the sentiment was there.

  • Anonymous said:

    Thembi,

    I’m 34 and i work in Las Vegas but I’m originally from New Jersey. As a kid I can remember that the MJ part of the show was the ONLY thing talked about at school the next day. Not to mention the fact that you could actually hear WOMEN in my neighbor hood litterally screaming during his performance. (As a child that was some crazy ish!!!)……But as an adult, I found this tape at a pawn-shop and watched it on my flat-screen. Real new-school but enjoying the old-school…..Those day’s were great kinda like remembeing when L.A. & Boston were doing it back in the 80’s. / Today music just seem to lack moment’s like these…..Everyone’s trying to me super-rich and ish……It was a warm feeling that came up when I thought about these old fella’s getting it together for one time to “shine”….There won’t be an era like this anymore…..Somebody definitely has left the gate open…and the power on..but the music and the feel just aren’t the same.

    Peace.

  • Thembi said:

    @Anonymous

    How you gonna leave a comment talkin bout you have the full tape of this special – I CANNOT find it! Holla at me please.

  • Dara said:

    oh dont worry thembi, i have a copy! its right there in the family room. duh.

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