I love tap
Saturday, 17 February 2007
My first tap dance record was an LP by Baby Lawrence. I got it from a guy in my football team, who heard I collected strange records. Baby Lawrence was a jazz musician who happened to play with his feet in stead of an instrument. It took me quite a few disappointments before I realised that most tap dance records are very different from Dancemaster. That was the title of the LP by Baby Lawrence, by the way.
Among the tap dance records that I bought in my enthusiasm, and never play, is a pile of about twenty 45’s from a tap dance teacher named Al Gilbert. On every record there are four versions of the same song: an instrumental, a vocal version, one where Al Gilbert gives tap dance instructions, and one where you can hear how the instructions should be executed. The records are released on the Stepping Tones label and they are numbered. The highest number in the records that I bought is 337, so for the people who like to have things complete, here is something to do. (And I have similar records on other labels, in case you are looking for a new goal in life.)
Some of the songs are the obvious Broadway classics, like the Hawaiian War Chant and Tea for Two, but most of the records have original compositions by Al Gilbert himself. The records have been gathering dust on my shelves for over a decade, but tonight I listened to them again, for the second time, and I can’t wait till over another ten years!