“The Monkey Time” Performed By Major Lance (1963)

September 9, 2010


Major Lance by Hank Parker

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#2 R&B, #8 Pop

This is one of the few songs that I ever remember seeing my Mother dance to.  She showed me “The Monkey” and “The Pony” and of course “The Twist” and it was usually to a song by Major Lance or The Four Tops,  two of her favorite artists of the Sixties.

This smash hit and Motown’s Miracles hit’ ” Mikey’s Monkey,” solidified this dance craze of summer 1963 and beyond.

Although born in Mississippi, Lance grew up in Chicago.  Before he got his first recording contract he tried Boxing and other odd jobs.

Major had many releases on many labels, both before and after, “The Monkey Time” — but “The Monkey Time” was at the height of his music career.

Check out this Shindig live performance of the tune for as long as it lasts on the beloved YouTube.

TRIVIA: Gene Chandler (The Duke of Earl) really, really wanted to record this Curtis Mayfield tune, but Curtis had written “The Monkey Time”  especially for his childhood friend Lance.

Musically Yours,

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Filed under:Chicago Soul,Curtis Mayfield,Dance to the Music,Magnificent Male Vocalists,Major Lance,Okeh Records,Pop/Dance,R&B,R&B/Soul,Sixties,The Monkey Time

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SupaStarry September 10, 2010 at 4:51 am

ive heard of the dance The Monkey, even Mickey’s Monkey but ive never heard this song. which sucks if he started the whole craze. He was killin it in the vid though!even saw a lil JB there (whats with the dog in the audience? LOL)

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2 SonDan September 10, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I used to love this song. I always like it better than Smokey’s Mickey’s monkey. Smokey’s was pop-ish (see, now you got me making up words to), but Major Lance’s was funky. And you are so right – man could dance!

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