By Carol Anne Szel
"Dirty Dancing" gave us the time of our lives. Anyone who grew up in the generation of summer love where even today we remember the song that was playing when we had our first crush, our summers where we grew up, spent time with people we saw once a year in a setting that brought us outside our everyday routine, captured in a bubble of wonderment and magic.
And now, with the marking the 23rd anniversary of its release in August of 1987 and the one year anniversary of the passing of iconic actor Patrick Swayze approaching on September 14, "Dirty Dancing" is brought back into the forefront of our lives today as it was yesterday.
Today marks the release of "Dirty Dancing: The Original Demos," released by Franke Previte, John De Nicola and Don Markowitz, who wrote both the movie’s climactic tune "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", and "Hungry Eyes", which won them both the Oscar and Golden Globe for their “Dirty Dancing” contribution.
Garnering an astonishing 48 million in sales worldwide, The Dirty Dancing original soundtrack spent 18 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart and 230 weeks in the Top 30. As one of the greatest selling soundtracks of all time, and with the movie becoming an iconic classic almost as soon as it hit the theaters, releasing these original demos with the blessing from Lisa Niemi Swayze, Patrick’s wife, was done to honor Swayze and raise money in his memory for the Patrick Swayze Pancreas Cancer Research Foundation at Stanford.
"Dirty Dancing" was a nostalgic look back at a time gone by when families vacationed together at summer cottage resorts where the locals mixed with the temporary residents in that sort of dream-like state where innocence meets passion, working class meets affluence, and new love meets young hearts. The film was set in 1963 when the New York City Houseman family were vacationing at the affluent Jewish family resort in the Catskill's, Kellerman's. Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) develops a crush to Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) who plays the resort's dancing instructor. And the rest is, as they say, classic romantic movie history.
Every time I hear the songs from the new demo collection, it makes me pause, reflect, and smile at those days of youth where anything was possible, the path to life ahead of us was lined with good intent, and we were looking ahead with a sense of wonderment and passion known only by the young. And when listening to this soundtrack again, by the young at heart.
"Dirty Dancing: The Original Demos," is available through CD Baby on iTunes and all major digital download destinations.
Listen at www.myspace.com/dirtydancingdemos.
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