Long before modern line dances or soul trains, there was the Stroll. Created by the dancers on “American Bandstand,” it was initially danced to the slow beats of Chuck Willis’ hit “C. C. Rider.” Willis’ song, and the dance craze it inspired, earned him the nickname “King of the Stroll” in 1957. The dance was immortalized the following year when Canadian vocal group the Diamonds recorded “The Stroll.”
“The four of us were watching television one afternoon when we saw a bunch of kids doing a line dance they called the Stroll. But there was no song called ‘The Stroll,'” co-founder and original lead singer of the group, Dave Somerville, recalls in “Doo Wop 51,” a 2000 PBS production. “If you were watching ‘American Bandstand’ or any of the bandstand shows during ’58, you saw long lines of kids strolling to the Diamonds’ second-million seller, and the longest surviving line dance in the history of the music industry.”
The popularity of “American Bandstand”spawned many regionally produced teen dance shows. “Seventeen,” featured in the video below, was produced in Iowa for high school kids.
Take a “stroll” to the past and enjoy learning the steps along with them!