Raise your hand if you watched “Solid Gold”.
I began watching “Solid Gold” when I still lived in the islands. I had never, ever seen anything like it. This was American Television not the one-studio local island broadcast television service. No, this show had Ms. Dionne Warwick (there were other hosts later on, too, remember?) and the Solid Gold dancers.
Let’s talk about the Solid Gold dancers for a minute…
Hair — what I would learn decades later wasn’t always “real” — whipping every which way. Too tight clothing — leotards and shiny spandex — with bulging body parts (had I even had “the talk” yet? O__o Had any of us???).
But back to the show…
Of course, the whole idea was to showcase popular entertainers of the time. Solid Gold had the Countdown of the Top 10 popular songs of the week. Remember that? Remember hearing, “8, 6, 7, 5, 3 – 0, niye-eee-ine”…and “Like a rhinestone cowboy…”, not to mention any song by John Cougar Mellencamp (before he used the Mellencamp and was simply, “John Cougar”) singing, “Hurts so good…c’mon baby make it hurt so good…”, Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s get physical, physical…I wanna get physical…” and the puppet Madam? Now, that’s craziness if there ever was crazy right there. “She” was something else. This was not a Sesame Street puppet. Um, she never made it to the neighborhood. By the way, if you didn’t d-i-e laughing when you looked at the video and see her outfit get caught in her mouth and she starts choking ( :50) …funny stuff…you must watch it again. Cry-i-n-g.
I. was. absolutely. glued. to. the. television.
Remember Andy Gibb? (Rest in peace, Andy.) And Marilyn McCoo? I’m still trying to figure her out. If you can shed a light on Ms. McCoo, please do. I’m clueless.
But can we go back to the dancers and the dancing?
What was up with the twirling, butt fanning, slithering on the floor, draping themselves over the stage boulders, sliding down and against the walls, shoulder rolling, and of course, the posing? All. that. posing.
Since I took dance classes for-ever, the “dancing” was questionable. They did a whole lot of stuff to fill the air that had traces of ballet and early hip hop (occasionally, gymnastics was thrown into the mix). But let’s be honest, they didn’t “dance” to the beat 95.5% of the time. They covered up their sashaying with props — lots of props — and
awful 80s dance outfits…
…and hair (weaves).
What was with the hair? Hm? The hair was teased. The hair was high and wide. I was naive What — you mean some of those women (yes, the women of color) didn’t have their own, real hair on their heads?! How could that be?? What do you mean you can buy hair?? When you lived in the islands, you never knew this was possible. America was truly the Land of Wonder.
Alright, that’s it for my little trip down memory lane. Ah, Gen X, we really were treated to some of the best television ever.
“Solid Gold”: It was so camp.
I leave you now with a stylin’ Janet Jackson singing, “Young Love“. Enjoy!
P.S. And still on the subject of the dancers. (Obviously, I have issues…but I’m working through them.) The leotards on the female dancers were cut too high. Way too high.