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Belly Rubbin' Music ~ a flash memoir
by Thomas Givens

In my article about the Vicksburg Red Tops, I mentioned "belly rubbin' and "turnrow" music. These terms are interchangeable, because you bopped to certain tunes because of the beat, BUT you danced slow, smooched and petted on the turnrow to a different tempo. Doo Wop music in the 50's had those two categories.

Slow dancing was belly rubbin', no doubt about it. Now, I don't want to seem nasty, but that was what we were doing and that's what we called it.

I know many USADEEPSOUTH readers go back to the 50's and 60's. Think back.

The Platters had some of the best of songs in this belly rubbin' genre. And remember "Oh, What a Night" by the Dells? I mentioned the Five Satins in the Red Tops article, but their song "In the Still of the Night" is also a classic honored by Ronnie Milsap in his "Lost in the 50s Tonight."

How about "I'll be home" by the Flamingos--and their other great song, "Daddy's Home"?

I could go on and on: "Hushabye" by the Mystics, "There's a Moon out tonight" by the Capris, and, certainly right up there with the best, "To the Aisle" by the Five Satins." (We liked that one when we were in lust but not love, but wanted to tie the knot . . . we thought.)

I think the 50s and 60s generated some of the finest music ever. Look at what we have now. Country Music is pop, and although you have some talent there there's not a lot. I don't think popular music exists anymore. When you see Britney Spears all over the place, something is wrong . . . and rap in any form is garbage.


Judge Tom Givens is a native Mississippi Deltan who now hangs his hat in Oxford, Mississippi.
His memoirs are favorites at USADEEPSOUTH. Here are a few:

The Halfway Store
The Delta Theater
Memphis and the Delta
Whiskey, Chickens and Cherry Bombs

Read many more great stories listed on our USADS Articles pages.


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