The Jerk was a popular dance craze from the 1960s. The song “The Jerk”, written by Don Julian, and first recorded in 1964 by his Los Angeles soul vocal group The Larks for the Money label, scored a top-ten chart position.
The Jerk is similar to The Monkey. The arms move and hands move as if conducting a band. The wrists cross in front of the chest and then sweep out in time, or at half time with the music. The hands are up at face level. On count 1, the outward sweep, the hands are quickly pushed out, giving the jerky motion. For a little more style, the fingers are snapped on the two outward movements — the first and third counts of the hand motion.
The Capitols performed a 1966 hit song called “Cool Jerk”, written to capitalize on the Jerk’s popularity. The song has been covered by several bands, including The Go-Go’s. The band Rocket from the Crypt recorded the song “When in Rome, Do the Jerk” in 1998 as a homage to the dance.
Can you shimmy, watusi, do the jerk, tighten up, mashed potatoes, twist, funky chicken, hustle, cabbabe patch, running man, electric slide, Texas two step? Want to learn a few steps of the oldies but goodies? Stay with 3 Chics this week, as we get down with it. don’t hurt yourselves, now!