Senior Resources » Remember Dancing with a Transistor Radio on Your Hip?

Remember Dancing with a Transistor Radio on Your Hip?

I came from a small town where dancing and what they called “wild music” were forbidden.


But this Boomer has always been—and still is—a free spirit.

Elderly couple dancing together.

Remember those little transistor radios back in the day? Any time you saw me, I had one stashed away in my hip pocket. Of course, my hip had to be turned just right for the music to come in clear. Dancing in my small hometown was still a no-no of Footloose proportions, but I had the beat!


On a hot summer day, I’d listen to all the hits. I would sing I’m Sorry by Brenda Lee at the top of my lungs (though it wasn’t anything that’d earn me a record deal)! Some other favorites were Wild Thing, When A Man Loves a Women, and Papa’s Gotta Brand New Bag.

Don’t even get me started on Heat Wave, Sugar, Sugar, and Save the Last Dance for Me.

Little did I know that my all-time favorite—Harper Vally PTA—by Jeanne C. Riley would become a hallmark of my early, wild Boomer life.

Hot pants and go-go boots were my things.


I worked hard and played hard, and oh—did I love to dance! My broom became my dance partner while I cleaned my house. Sometimes, I’d dance the night away when I was trolling the city.

Disco ball in a dancing club.

Along came the song Ride the White Pony, and my disco dancing could clear a dance floor any time.  If possible, I’d stay on a dance floor and close the place down. A lot of people run marathons to stay fit nowadays. I’m here to tell you back in the day, I danced for exercise!

Years passed, so I had to change my style. I met up with a band leader and turned country. Can you believe those apples? I sat with Chuck Berry at one of the places he owned and listened to him get a crowd roaring.  I was on a roll now and switched again.  This time, it was two-stepping, country waltz, ten step Texas style, and Cotton-eyed Joe. Of course, I can’t forget that all-time great hit: Ride Sally Ride. My, oh my, those were the days of music and dancing!

Soon enough, this pesky little thing called “middle age” began to creep up on me, and I found myself sitting on a bar stool listening to The Queen of the Silver Dollar by Dayle Holly. That did it! Time to grow up.

Elderly man listening to music and dancing.

Now, that does not mean that I stopped listening to music or quit dancing. I just changed my way of life. One could say maturity hit me, or maybe I just needed to try something else—meditation music, easy listening, Christian rock, blues and jazz. I even gave opera a chance, but that one night will not be repeated. Great music, but definitely not my thing.


So here I sit today, reminiscing about Chicago, Three Dog Night, The Beatles, and all those other timeless bands that captivated my wild heart. Those tunes will never leave my head, and the rhythm will never leave my feet. Yes, sir—those were some great times. 

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Originally published December 06, 2022

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