Do You Wanna……
I purchased a copy of Bobby Freeman’s “Do You Wanna Dance” back in 1958, with that being one of my earliest purchases (others were “Splish Splash” – Bobby Darin, “I Cried a Tear” – Lavern Baker, “Get a Job” – The Silhouettes, and “Charlie Brown” – The Coasters – to name a few).
Bobby was from San Francisco, California and started off very young at age 14 as a member of a vocal group called the Romancers and then later a group called The Vocaleers. But my reason for this Post is due to the longevity of the song “Do You Wanna Dance” which was penned by Freeman. When presenting a trivia question to other record guys I have always like to pose the question, name five hit versions of “Do You Wanna Dance”, which for collectors and enthusiasts is no big deal, but a fun question never the less, just because the various versions are so diverse and I liked every one of them.
Bobby’s version charted in the Spring of 1958 reaching number 5 on the Hot 100 (#2 R&B). Next up was Del Shannon’s version in September, 1964 who managed a number 43 ranking. The Beach Boys followed in February of 1965 also reaching the Top 10 with a number 8 position. Then a totally different treatment by the Mamas and Papas in November of 1968 logging in at number 76. Then it was Bette Midler in December of 1972. This was her very first charting record topping out at number 17. That was probably enough – but finally the punk pioneers, The Ramones took a stab in 1978 reaching number 86!
Once the interview is over with Tony Randall – a nice early (1958) video of Bobby Freeman.
And here’s a rousing version by the Beach Boys with Dennis Wilson taking lead vocals!
And the late Del Shannon’s version from the movie “Rock and Roll High School”.
And the Ramones!
Bobby continued to chart over the years with moderate success, reaching the Hot 100 six more times before exploding onto the Top 10 with his number 5 success “C’mon and Swim”, in July, 1964. A few months later Freeman would release his follow-up “S-W-I-M” which made it to number 56. Both of these songs were penned by a then largely unknown Sylvester Stewart, later of “Sly and the Family Stone”.