It seems cliche to say that my favorite movie soundtrack is from “Dirty Dancing”. It’s so cliche in fact, I’m embarrassed to put it in writing. But no other movie soundtrack in recent history can bring to mind a movie, or the emotions I felt watching the movie, better than this one does.
I was 13 the first time I saw “Dirty Dancing”. My best friend was having a birthday party and it had just become available at the video store in town. Back then it took forever for a movie to become available for rental, so it had been out of theaters probably close to a year before I saw it. A group of us girls sat in the floor in front of the television and we popped the movie into the VCR. From the first minute I was hooked.
Watching Baby dance around Kellerman’s and learn to dance with Johnny fascinated me. I still find myself stopping if I find the movie on television today, and I can quote more lines of dialogue from the movie than I should ever admit. But “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” has to be one of the best songs used in a movie ever. That song can come on the radio today and I still get tears in my eyes. I automatically go back in my mind to watching Baby and Johnny dance their last dance.
To me, I know I’ve connected with a movie if I still feel the emotions I first felt even years later when I hear the song. Every song in “Dirty Dancing” does that for me. Even that silly song they sang at the end of the talent show makes me smile.
I never would have realized what a great singer Sam Cooke was if “Dirty Dancing” hadn’t introduced me to his music. I might never have learned how to “Mash Potato” or how to do “The Twist”. I knew some of the songs from the movie, but they made me hear them in a whole new light. It’s almost as if the music is another character in the movie, that lives on long after the movie is over.