Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Scene. Detroit. Channel 62.


OK... I'm going down memory lane :-)

Someone, and I can't remember who (my memory is failing me now), told me in a joking way that every conversation about black folks eventually leads to Detroit, so maybe you can identify with this entry if you grew up in Detroit... or had cousins who you visited there...

The Scene was one of the hottest TV shows in Detroit back in the 70s and 80s. Everyone raced home after school to watch The Scene, which came on "LIVE" everyday at 6 pm (or 7, depending on the season) on Channel 62, then WGPR-TV. Then it got replaced by something called "The New Dance Show" in the 90s...

It was kinda like a black American Bandstand, but featured Detroit dancers, folks from the hood, the mall (Northland, Eastland, or Fairlane), from around the block or cul-de-sac, depending on what side of Detroit you were from.

The guy with the mic is Nat Morris, the host, interviewing the many celebrities who came to Detroit to be on the show.


We learned such dances like "The Shake," "The Prep," "The Jit," "(The various versons of...) The Smurf." We saw the famous "Scene Line" where dancers would dance down the aisle showing off their latest and greatest moves and hair. Lawwwwd, the jheri curl juice lubricated the screen. But as kids, the folks on the show were our Detroit celebrities... and we'd get so excited running into them at the mall, Belle Isle, the club (well, I wasn't of age then, but have since heard TONS of stories about the boy/girl action among the dancers at clubs).

This summer I ran into
Bernard, now a bookseller in San Francisco, who danced on the show back in the day. Also ran into Lynnelle B., a grad student in L.A., who danced on the show too. I feel like I've been called to try and find many of the old dancers from The Scene. Well, Bernard kinda put me on the case... but I know there's other folks who loved The Scene, too, and are on the case. So case closed... or is it?

So... where is Cheryl, who won the $25K on Dance Fever. Where is Wanda, with the mushroom hairdo and did "the worm" better than anybody else. Eric, the Prince look-alike... Lorenzo, who could do that "thing" with his leg over his head... Fast Freddie... The Singleton Cleaners commercial people? Or the Brady Keyes Burger King dynasty? Anybody else??? I love Detroit memories... there are some great things about having grown up there. Detroit TV oughta think about a reunion, where are they now, type show.

And DO all conversations about black people lead back to Detroit? I'm gonna test it later this weekend :-)
fs

34 comments:

Ibarionex R. Perello said...

We some to be on the same page this weekend as Cynthia and I went to the Soul Train dancers reunion.

If it wasn't for shows like these, I have to say white kids would never had a hope in hell of learning how to dance.

Clay said...

wow - i never heard of this show. pretty cool.

Terrence said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Terrence said...

Informative. I didn't know Detroit had a black dance show. Wonder how many other cities did?

Frederick Smith said...

Ibarionex... I didn't know you were a Soul Train dancer?!?! Very cool. The Scene was Detroit's Soul Train.

Cane and Terrence... The Scene in Detroit was the most popular show in the city. Everyone wanted to be on... only the elite few made it. I never made it, but then again... I can't dance :-)

Cynthia Perello said...

Actually, it was me who was the Soul Train dancer way back in the day. It was truly an awesome time for me! My husband Ibarionex and I went to the Soul Train Christmas Reunion party this past weekend. It was truly a blast from the past!

wendals said...

i use to watch the 'new dance show' everyday. growing up across the border in small town ontario. i loved it! the count, back bacon to name a few. i would pay to see this show again.

Anonymous said...

I live in Cali now but I grew up in Detroit. I was wondering what happened To cheryl Peoples. She was obviously the greatest dancer on The Scene. Last thing I heard she was the victim of a sexual assault in Detroit and moved to LA. Brady Keyes was forced to sell his Burger Kings because he was being extorted by the mafia.

Anonymous said...

If I could dance I would have went down to E. Jefferson and auditioned. A few friends of mine danced on the show and they had great stories. They told me almost all the male dancers were gay so they had a free-for-all with all them fine azz female dancers!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this page! This show is the reason that every white guy from the Detroit area can dance... or at least we think we can.

Does anyone have video footage of The Scene or The New Dance Show?

Anonymous said...

I had an enormous collection of VHS tapes of most of the shows from 1983-87. I knew then this show had to be taped because a show like this would never happen again. Unfortunately, almost all the tapes were stolen. I still have a few tapes left but those classic Cheryl Peoples tapes are gone. Man, do I miss those. I never seen a girl dance like that

Anonymous said...

I got the scene on about 3 dvds

Anonymous said...

If you have any video of The Scene, especially Fast Freddie or Cheryl Peoples how much for copies??? Seriously.

andra said...

I (Andra Hines) used to dance on the Scene. I would love to get a copy of a few shows. How much? Anyone! Please. My kids don't beleive me.

Angela said...

Hey Fred,

I googled 'Detroit, 'Fast Freddie', and 'The Scene' and found your blog. Thanks for the memories.

Hey RHS c/o '88 is planning a reunion for next year. Please get in touch with Lorinette (Bee) Clark @ class-88@hotmail.com

Peace,
Angela (Williams) Trapp, RHS c/o '88

The first church of Füllüp said...

i accidently stumbled across this on youtube ('the scene' in the early 80ies) but it really blew my mind. coming from germany it is really really interesting to see how the people originally danced to electro music. over here it became the music of nerdy white middle class kids which move(d) in a rather stiff way to it....

Byron said...
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Byron said...

I used to watch 'The Scene' everyday! I even danced in a couple shows of the follow-up show, 'The New Dance Show.' But it wasn't the same as 'The Scene.' Remember the 'Scene' dancer, Lorenzo? He became my boss as a door-to-door salesman of cologne and perfume in 1988. Wanda is now a teacher, and singer, and is married with children. Fast Freddie was featured in GQ magazine a few years ago, and now teaches dance lessons in downtown Detroit. Those were the days! I can even remember going to Northland mall as a youngster, running into some 'Scene' dancers, and being somewhat star-stricken. It was a great time to be a Detroiter!
What did Nat Morris used to say at the end of every show? "What's the name of this town? Mowtown! Sugar is sugar and salt is salt, If they didn't get off today...it's not our fault!" Long live the memories!

Anonymous said...

This is Willonne, aka, Luscious. I used to dance on the Scene, 1984-1986 mostly. I would love to see some video footage from those years. Andra there is enough information archiving you on the web. Look it up and suprise your kids so that they will believe you.

We had a great time then, my how things have changed!

Anonymous said...

Man I miss Detroit. It's awesome how we all share a common ground as if we are one big family. I totally grew up watching The Scene everyday at 6:00 time to rock and we rock don't stop til 7:00......ooh weeeeee. I think that we really should try to put together some type of reunion show. Lord knows our city needs a boost of spirit. It's like dead men walking now.....Kids need something fun and harmless to look forward to. wasn't Cheryl Peoples that deal? I really thought she was "a star" I remember her being at a kiddie disco once and she was very nice to me....man I thought I met Diana Ross.haha..

Too bad we can't turn back the hands but we can make tomorrow a little better....where do we begin? It starts with a great forum like this with like minds.

Also, I am looking for an episode in particular from 1982.....when 2 8 year old girls were guests on the scene for winning a dance contest at hot wheels skating rink on Detroit's East side. If you have it or know someone who does, Please respond. I will be forever grateful.
This web page fills me with pride of my city. You are right growing up there was the bomb. belle ilse.remember the tunnel? ok ok enough.Its ssad though cause being grown there is a bit different it is quite a challenge.....

Forgive me for rambling. I am currently in Japan and am especially missing home...

I hope to hear from someone.

Be blessed yall.."What town is it"? "Moooo..tooooown"

DEBBIE said...

I USED TO WATCH THE SCENE ALL THE TIME.. THIS SHORT MEXICAN GIRL USED TO DANCE ON YOUR SHOW.. DON'T KNOW HER NAME BUT SHE WOULD DO THE SAME MOVES OVER AND OVER. WHAT WAS HER NAME? SAW HER ONE TIME AT THE MEXICAN FESTIVAL IN DOWNTOWN DETROIT BACK IN 1982.

Anonymous said...

If anyone knows how to get a copy of the scene when Davina performed "Cant stop rocking?" please let me know.
T. Watts

Anonymous said...

...Yea the TV was mine from 6 til 7pm weeknights. I even remember when The Scene had cartoon character on the walls in the 70s. I really like the shows that had the Funkateers and other dance groups. I still pop, lock, and funkateer til this day...

sunflowerstyle said...

It's 6 o'clock and it's time to rock and we rock none stop til 7 o'clock we don't stop, we don't stop, we rock no stop till 7 o'clock now dancers come from all around to throw down in this here geek town the lastest steps the lastest styles pretty faces and pretty smiles we looking good everybody's clean it's 6 o'clock time for the SCENE !!! the SCENe now here's your host Nat Morris. Geek!Geek! Geek!. That was back in the day yall. You are so right had to be home at 6. Cheryl People and Lorenzo remember when they were on Dance Fever.

Anonymous said...

Hey Fred. I danced on the scene in 1983 and 1984.

I stood under that big butterfly in front of the station every Friday I could just looking for a chance to get on and visit Geek Town... and yes I WAS ready to throw down.

I actually found footage on you tube this evening that shows me going down the line. I learned to dance and then breakdance because of the show. Great memories! I will never forget them. If you want to see the video lookup the scene and slingshot. I'm the last dancer in the clip.

Anonymous said...

i remember the scene and that it came on at six and the roach commercials and the planned parenthood and dont forget the singleton cleaners. the channel itself was so hood. a wonderful walk down memory lane and for those who dont know what it was it was black america in your living room for an hour

cb said...

I was on the scene in 1983. I was with a dance group, we were all children. Nat Morris allowed us on the scene ONE TIME ONLY to dance and our routine. I was age 9 and there were about 6 of us. When the camera rolled it started with us at the beginning of the dance line stacked up on each others legs moving back and forth. we all jumped down and started doing the shake, and water-wave. Does anybody out there remember that day? I'd like to see it on video or You Tube. I have never seen myself but in the years that followed others had seen it and told me they remember that.

Anonymous said...

Whoever is asking for the video with the 2 little girls about 8 years old, I believe this was me. I am also looking for that video, I was 9, and my friend was 8 and we performed in a group with about 5 others everywhere. Skating rinks, Kelly and Company, if anyone remembers that T.V. Show. We danced at Cody High, you name it.

Anonymous said...

Cheryl Peoples is an outstanding Detroit Police Officer now. She just won Officer of the Quarter.

washingtontheodore said...

Yes it is so true.....I also was a dancer on the show for about 3 years....I even got my card ( which was used to determine the regular dancers from those that were considered guest ) I still have it to this day....Yes Cheryl is a police officer just recently saw her downtown Detroit....I remember when we used to dance at the state fair grounds and they would push us into the crowed rooms on risers above the crowd and they wold go CRAZY and then on Saturday mornings we would go to Northland mall and sign autographs for those who asked for them while we shopped for clothes to wear for the upcoming weeks....Oh my God we really thought that we were stars......Does anyone remember Charlene Johnson......Stacy Gist was murdered in a drug style execution......Wow thanks for the memories of when I was younger......

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I learned last summer that a number (myseteriuosly large number) of the original and 90's scene dancers had passed away. How, I'm not sure, but it's the eariest situation I've ever seen.

It seemed like all if not a good 90% of them are dead. I really pray there were no illuminati connections as I remember a famous dance they did during the 80's, where they tipped their fingers back and forth, as they starngely resembled devils horns. Of course, growing up, I had no such knowledge of any such thing. Sad, but true!

dggd said...

Stacy Gist, a dancer on "The Scene" was my cousin. Today 07/31/12, her son also died. RIP Stacy and JaRon Gist. He was just a baby when Stacy died.

Martha said...

Yes, The Scene was that JOINT!!! Back in the day. You can connect with them on Facebook @
https://www.facebook.com/TheSceneDanceShow

Cheryl said...

Hey, I would like to say Hello to everyone. It's a good feeling when I run into people that recognize me from dancing. "The Scene" reunion was fun, it was so good to see everyone after so many years. Thank you; Nat Morris.... I still love dancing. Dance was my first love.... I have a god daughter in New York that's in a dance company. She studied ballet, like myself as a child. I'm proud of you Amber.... **Much Love** I would like to comment on a post on this page. I have never been a victim of sexual assault. Funny rumor's get started from who knows where? Well until some other time.... **Much Love** Cheryl