Way Back When: Dancing Under the Stars

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Way Back When: Dancing Under the Stars
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(Image: New York Public Library)

By Betsy J. Green

Dancing on the beach was a popular pastime in the past.

Back in July 1919, three nights a week, the energetic folks of Santa Barbara could put on their dancing shoes and head down to the plaza by the beach. There, they could dance to the jazzy tunes of Reed’s Ragtime Rascals. Popular songs in 1919 included: “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody,” “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm,” and that time-honored classic, “Take Your Girlie to the Movies (If You Can’t Make Love at Home).” 

 


Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1918 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the fifth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com​

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RHS Jul 28, 2019 12:29 PM
Way Back When: Dancing Under the Stars

Nothing like having cranky old folks confirm the criticism of their views as cranky by having them vote down commentary on their crankiness. Really, how can folks ignore comments on this post that imply we cannot have public events because of "bangers" (probably dated slang referencing juvenile gang members). Or statements claiming that street events are "always good for a stabbing or two"? Oh well, better to not say things out loud I guess.

Flicka Jul 28, 2019 10:39 AM
Way Back When: Dancing Under the Stars

Interesting dancing to live music at the beach, Chase Palm Park, isn't something new. Nothing to release stress like having fun.

a-1569142798 Jul 28, 2019 09:40 AM
Way Back When: Dancing Under the Stars

How depressing that a good percentage of the commentators here seem to confirm the idea that older people are all bigots and fearful. I am certain that in 1919 the local burghers were just as adamant that their youth were destroying society.

a-1569142798 Jul 28, 2019 08:58 AM
Way Back When: Dancing Under the Stars

I remember the street dances were called the street fights by locals . Always good for a stabbing or two.

a-1569142798 Jul 27, 2019 05:18 PM
Way Back When: Dancing Under the Stars

Just go to Chase Palm Park on Thursday evenings. Did you see how much fun all those people were having? Hardly anyone sitting on their blankets. Ages from babies to over 100 years old just dancing away, laughing and smiling like it should always be. One Love, No Worries. Even just for those few hours is so great for everybody's mental health!!! Just keep dancing and be yourselves...play the music they shall come dance

a-1569142798 Jul 27, 2019 02:36 PM
Way Back When: Dancing Under the Stars

During Fiesta there used to be big dances held near the beach. I remember one in particular being in the parking lot across from SBCC, right next to what is now Shoreline Cafe. Live band, dancing on the asphalt. Back in the early 70s. Couldn't do that now. Too many people, too many bangers.

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