My oldest two kids take dance classes (at a school we highly recommend), and my daughter has been itching to practice one of her numbers at home. Problem was, we couldn't find the song she was dancing to *anywhere*. The song is "Dancing in the Street", and I know you're thinking, "What? You couldn't find Dancing in the Street?" Well, sure we could. We could find the original by Martha and the Vandellas, we could find the Van Halen cover, we could find the Mick Jagger/David Bowie version from Live Aid... but not the version her dance class was using. Friends, let me tell you this:
There are almost as many versions of "Dancing in the Streets" as there are of "Yesterday", and I think we found them all except the one we needed.
Ever heard of an artist named Myra? No? Me neither. This is no slam on Myra; it's just that you, like me, are probably not a 9 year old girl. You, like me, probably don't turn to Radio Disney for your daily dose of pop culture. (Neither, for that matter, does my daughter which complicated matters-- she didn't know the name of who did the song, and so listened to a lot of different versions while saying "No, that's not the one.")
And you, like me, might hear the name and think of a couple of similarly named singers (Mya? Maya?) and get frustrated upon finding no evidence that these similarly named singers have covered "Dancing in the Streets". But thankfully, we have the intertubes nowadays, and thanks to the All Music Guide I was able to find "Myra". Turns out her version of "Dancing in the Streets" is included in the movie "Recess: School's Out" which, frankly, I must have missed entirely because I never heard of it. Unable to find it anywhere online (because we only wanted the one song, not seeing the need to further familiarize ourselves nor our daughter with Myra's oeuvre) I took myself after work last night to the Newbury Comics in Harvard Square.
I have been going to Newbury Comics for music (and t-shirts, and random items) for over 20 years. It's a hip place. It is not a place to go and ask the people to help you find a CD by Maya. Nonetheless, I quietly approached one the of the people there, and told them what I was looking for.
Long story short: Newbury Comics took care of me and my daughter. Alicia (at least I think her name was Alicia; I could be mistaken but hey, I'm old now) at the Harvard Square location looked in the Children's section for me. Not finding the CD, she looked it up on their MUZE system. Then checked to see if they had it in any of the Newbury Comics locations. They did-- a discounted copy for $1.99 at the Newbury Street location. She called. They held it for me. I took the #1 bus over from Harvard Square to the Hynes/ICA stop, walked up Newbury and voila: my quest, it is complete. There will be swingin', swayin' and indeed, records playin', and dancing in the street.
Confidential to anybody at Newbury Comics corporate offices: Alicia should get a raise. That was some serious attention to customer service for a $1.99 sale.