Dance Crazes: The Hucklebuck

huckle

The Hucklebuck dance was inspired by an instrumental jazz/blues recording from 1949 by Paul Williams and His Hucklebuckers on the Savoy label.

The Hucklebuck became a wildly successful dance craze in 1949, partly due to its sexual connotations. The basic dance has been described as having “a double point with the feet to the side on each side (four counts) then a lift and twist of the leg and a small kick, then a shimmy and a hip gyration.

The success of Williams’ instrumental recording led to words being written to the tune, by Tin Pan Alley lyricist Roy Alfred. The lines included: “Wiggle like a snake/ Waddle like a duck/ That’s the way you do it/ When you do the Hucklebuck”.

The first artist to have success in the U.S. R&B charts was Roy Milton.

Chubby Checker would release a version of the song which reached number 14 in the Billboard charts.

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