Summer is here! Let’s kick it off with this groovy clip from 1964’s “Muscle Beach Party.” When it comes to 60s beach party movies, this one has it all. Annette and Frankie? Check. Amusing character actors? Don Rickles and Buddy Hackett. Check. The latest music stars? Well there’s legendary surf guitarist Dick Dale and then there’s this guy, Little Stevie Wonder, on the cusp of being just Stevie Wonder. Check and check. I’ll bet you didn’t know that Annette Funicello and Stevie Wonder worked together.
I don’t think I need to explain Stevie Wonder’s place in pop culture. We all know. If you have the opportunity to see him, take it.
After Stevie’s number, enjoy the closing credits. That girl dancing along side him courtesy of cinematic magic? That’s Candy Johnson. You might have seen her among the dancers in the first half of this clip. She was a regular in the beach party movies.
In every film, she worked that fringe dress like a gold miner.
She performed live for several years. Legend has it that after seeing her show, the New York rock group The Strangeloves were inspired to write their hit single “I Want Candy,” which reached #11 on the Billboard charts.
I love that song, but I’m not sure how true that story is.
Have a groovy weekend!
Groovy Friday extra:
Candy Johnson, “the perpetual motion dancer.” This is from the closing credits of “Beach Party,” 1963. Damn! Look at her go.
I Want Candy