Harlem Shake redux redux redux redux, with video

…so popular?

Even though I was born 3 blocks from the southern boundary of Harlem, even though I attended college in Harlem, even though I’m a radio dj who plays blues, jazz, roots music, much of which emanates from artists with Harlem connections, I was the LAST person in the western hemisphere to learn about the Harlem Shake viral craze.

So, I’m here to make it right.

It all started for me with a link from a Canadian. Can you imagine the mortification: an almost-Harlem native informed about the Harlem Shake by a Canadian! Hank was letting me know that our colleagues at Vermont Public Radio had produced a VPR version of the Harlem Shake. I worried that this might be a bit, hmm, insensitive racially considering the overwhelmingly white audience and population in Vermont. Oh boy. Was I out of it or what?

Well, I’m going to take all of you through the history of the Harlem Shake, thanks to a great article in today’s NY Times. Here’s a very short video clip of the earliest days of the Harlem Shake, back in the ’80s:


Right up to a recent Two Way blog entry on npr.org from Mark Memmott, complete with a video of the Shake being done on a commercial flight (FAA may be reprimanding flight crew).

Finally, here’s an instructional video, in case you think your Harlem Shake chops need a little upgrade:



So, was I the only one out of the Harlem Shake loop? Is there some other “everyone knows about this” thing that you found yourself left out of? Want to share?

4 Comments on “Harlem Shake redux redux redux redux, with video”

  1. Bob Falesch says:

    As one who, ahem, with the most guarded temperance, of course, visits HuffPo on a daily basis, I’ll acknowledge knowing about Harlem Shake. I’m also exposed regularly to the cutting edge in matters emanating from the side-boob subculture, the popular actions of our dumbest criminals, and adoption pleas for the country’s cutest orphaned pit bulls. I’m on top of all that stuff.

  2. Bob Falesch says:

    That came off as an implied criticism of everything presented on HuffPo. Not what I meant. There are stories with cultural significance on that site.

  3. Ellen Rocco says:

    Look out, Bob, I’m going to hire you as a pop culture consultant.

  4. Bob Falesch says:

    …which would soon become known as one of the century’s monumental public radio mismatches!

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