As luck would have it, within ten minutes of entering the dance, I hit it off with a very attractive looking young woman that made most of my pals green with envy. While my mates bopped on the dance floor, I was sitting at a table on the balcony upstairs attempting to persuade this gorgeous young woman how lucky she was that she’d met the man of her dreams before 11.00pm.
While I loved bopping, the young woman with whom I was sitting (and fancied the lipstick off), didn’t dance too fluently and preferred to sit, talk and drink. Initially, her exceeding attractiveness took all notion of dancing from my mind...until that is... I heard rising from the dance floor below, Ray Charles’ singing his new record release, ‘What’d I Say’.The stirring sound of this beat and his voice distracted me greatly. I tried to ignore it by focussing my mind on the benefits I would receive during my walk home at the end of the night with the beauty beside me.
But the longer the song went on and the more the dance floor below bounced to the beat of happy boppers, the less I found I could ignore it. I quickly realised that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, however fetching my black-haired beauty was, and whatever secret message her hazel-brown ‘come to bed’ eyes communicated to me.
Sensing the danger of being discarded within the first half hour of meeting the man of her dreams, she stretched out her hand beneath the table with the aim of tempting me to stay put. As Ray Charles pumped out the beat on the dance floor below, I felt my inner thigh being softly caressed, as her hazel eyes tried to hypnotise me with the promise of better things to come before the night had ended.
At that precise moment, the music reached fever pitch and the temptation of a 17-year-old rock and roller who was out for a good night on the town crumbled and dissolved into absolute surrender. I looked towards the temptation of Eve's apple and rapidly concluded that however tasty, the temptress just couldn't compete with my desire to dance. I kissed her gently and dumped the damsel while I quickly made my way downstairs. Within one minute, I was bopping away to ‘What’d I Say’.
Many's the time I’ve wondered how different my life would have been had I opted for a different kind of ‘rock and roll’ with my black-haired brown-eyed beauty that Saturday night instead of hightailing it to the dancefloor downstairs for some of the best rock and roll in town, thanks to Ray Charles?
‘What’d I Say’ is an American rhythm and blues song written and sung by Ray Charles. The gospel and rhumba influences combined with the sexual innuendo in the song made it not only widely popular but very controversial to both white and black audiences. It earned Ray Charles his first gold record and has been one of the most influential songs in R&B and rock and roll history. For the rest of his career, Ray Charles closed every concert with the song. It was added to the ‘National Recording Registry’ in 2002 and ranked at number 10 in Rolling Stone’s ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’.
Love and peace Bill xxx