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Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)

(Bernard Edwards/Nile Rodgers/Kenny Lehman)

This song was written by the bassist and singer Bernard Edwards, the guitarist and singer Nile Rogers who were members of the group Chic along with the woodwind player and arranger Kenny Lehman.

It’s catchy dance tune, which was prevalent in the disco era, used the spoken words “Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah” at least twice during the song, bringing it back to public attention after it had been used for the 1969 film, based round a dance marathon set in the Depressions years, They Shoot Horses Don’t They? This was not its origin though as Ben Bernie who was a radio personality and violinist became known for it in the 1920s when he used it as a catchphrase.

When it was first recorded the band went to various record companies who all rejected them until Buddha Records decided they liked it and released it on a 12” single.  Atlantic Records then decided to show an interest in the group after noticing it was successful in the club charts and after giving them a contract in 1977 the label re-released it as a 7” single.

When Chic recorded it in 1977 they were joined by the then relatively unknown Luther Vandross performing the backing vocals who was working as a session singer during that period.  The release of this single, with the song “Sao Paulo” on the B-side, led to them gaining their first American and British hit when it achieved the No. 1 spot on the R&B charts and reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles chart.

The song was released on Chic’s 1977 debut self titled album and has since appeared on at least countless compilations.