Remember “Let’s Dance” From David Bowie? Here Are Some Cool Facts You Didn’t Know About This Hit
David Robert Jones, born January 8th, 1947, better known as David Bowie, was a famous singer and actor who hailed from the Brixton suburb of London, England. While few individuals in the modern day may recognize the name, he did indeed have an influence on music as a whole.
Now thirty-six years old, Let’s Dance continues to entertain the masses today. But as with all things, there is more to the song than meets the eye. Some would say ‘legendary’ even. Here are a few facts you probably didn’t know about the song:
1. It Was Produced By Nile Rodgers
Nile Rodgers has to be one of the most influential people to ever touch the music industry. He has accolades as an arranger, guitarist, composer, musician, record producer, and songwriter.
It is no surprise that the producer behind Let’s Dance was granted a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rodgers also happens to be the chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Thanks to his magic, a record 500 million albums, and 75 million singles have reached ears across the globe and transcended cultural barriers.
2. That Sweet Guitar Solo at the End?
Listening to the song, the guitar solo at the very end is absolutely amazing. But did you know who actually played it? It was none other than Stevie Ray Vaughan plucking the string of his electric guitar to accompany Bowie’s vocal style.
Vaughan started learning to play as early as age seven thanks to his older brother. While he played with many bands, his first official guitarist position was in the Nightcrawlers. He also played with the Thunderbirds and James Brown.
Vaughan died in 1990 at age 35 in a helicopter crash in Wisconsin.
3. One of UK Top Best Selling Singles Ever
Writing music itself is hard enough as it is, but can you imagine the stress of waiting to see what spot it takes in the music charts? Joining only a few other songs that have right earned the honor, Let’s Dance is among was of the best-selling singles to ever grace UK radio.
Bowie had two other songs, China Girl and Modern Love, which also made it on UK’s Top Singles list later that year. Modern Love was the only one of the pair that came close to lasting as long as Let’s Dance at five weeks on the charts.
4. Who’s The Girl in the Beige Dress?
That woman, who was in the music video at the age of 22, is an Aboriginal Australian resident Jolene King. It’s understandable that when she was chosen for the video, it was at first hard to fathom. “Why would David Bowie want me for the video?” was likely her first thought hearing the news.
“I was quite shocked that I got it… maybe it was the nose… it was definitely the nose,” were the thoughts she shared on it.
I don’t know, Joelene, that wonderful head of hair might have also been one of the reasons.
5. Joelene King Still Has that Dress
Remember the beige dress I mentioned earlier? That’s right, Joelene still possesses it to this very day. She says that she keeps that dress as a reminder of how far life can take her.
And before January of 2016, not a single soul had laid eyes on it for three decades.
6. The Setting Wasn’t Exactly “Planned”
When it comes to the venue for a music video, producers will usually scout out the territory before gathering the required permits for filming. So what do you do when you already have everything ready to go? You hit locals with a surprise.
Filmed at the Carinda Hotel, the residents of the New South Wales town were not expecting to see Bowie when they decided to stroll down to the hotel’s bar that day.
It’s not hard to tell from the video that producers simply told patrons to “have at it” and dance to the music naturally.
7. Who Has the Red Shoes?
If you have seen the music video, then you know about the red shoes that Jolene King dances in before her group looks to a mountain range. As bright and important as these shoes were to the music video’s story, no one has been able to track them down.
They have been missing for nearly 40 years and no one knows where they could have gone.