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The Monkey Time by Major Lance

"The Monkey Time" by Major Lance

R&B

Ah, sixties dance music and those sixties dances — and The Monkey was one of them.  It was popularized by Major Lance’s “The Monkey Time” and “Mickey’s Monkey” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.  “Monkey Time” was written by singer/songwriter/producer Curtis Mayfield and was Lance’s first hit. In 1963, the song went to #2 on the R&B chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Major Lance grew up in north west Chicago, and Major was his given name, not  just a professional one. He went to school with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler, who were part of the group The Impressions at one point.  In 1962, Lance signed with Okeh Records on Mayfield’s recommendation.

Lance’s first single “Delilah” was not successful, but it established his partnership with a writing and arranging team of Mayfield, Carl Davis, and Johnny Pate, as well as with members of  The Impressions on background vocals. Together they developed a distinctive, Latin-tinged music, which was part of the Chicago sound.

Here are the lyrics to “Monkey Time” by Major Lance:

“There’s a place right across town
Whenever you’re ready
Where people gather ’round
Whenever they’re ready
And then the music begins to play
You feel a groove comin’ on its way

Are you ready, are you ready?
Well, you get yours, ’cause I got mine
For the Monkey Time
Monkey Time
Monkey Time

Now the dance that the people do
I don’t know how it started
All I know that when the beat brings a feel
It’s so hard to get parted
And then the music begins to play
Automatically, you’re on your way

Are you ready, are you ready?
Well, you get yours, ’cause I got mine
For the Monkey Time
I do the Monkey, yeah the Monkey Time
I do the Monkey, yeah the Monkey Time

I twist them hips, twist them hips
Let your backbone slip, let your backbone slip
Now move your feet, move your feet
Get on the beat, get on the beat

Are you ready, are you ready?
Well, you get yours, ’cause I got mine
For the Monkey Time
Monkey Time
Monkey Time

Now the dance that the people do
I don’t know how it started
All I know that when the beat brings a feel
It’s hard to get parted
And then the music begins to play
Automatically, you’re on your way

Are you ready, are you ready?
Well, you get yours, ’cause I got mine
For the Monkey Time
Monkey Time

Do the Monkey, yeah
Monkey Time
Give me a big strong line
Monkey Time
You’re lookin’ real fine”

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “Monkey Time” by Major Lance.

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1 Comment

  1. Eddy Cools says:

    Hello Doowoppers,

    Can somebody help me, I’m looking for other enterpreters of You can dance from the Turbans.

    Thanks

    Eddy

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