R.I.P.: Bobby Freeman

Up to the Big Jukebox in the sky. “Do You Wanna Dance” was major at the after-school dances where I wiggled ineptly with the teenage granddaughters of my babysitter. I loved it — I could sense somehow that it was more Western (Californian, really) than other rock and roll hits.

I know the Mamas and the Papas slowed it down first, but their treatment felt like a stunt to me. Bette Midler’s soul-immolation version, however, first taught me how magnificent she could be. You could not miss how much she adored the song, how she revealed a whole second interior within it.

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