Friday Flashback: It’s (still?) Time for the Percolator!

I was at a sweet sixteen party a few weeks back and the DJ played this classic(?) about a coffee pot. After it started, I just looked over to my cousin and said, “They still play this at things?” It successfully made us both feel old and confused at the same time. Actually, we already felt old, this just hammered the point home. The confusion was that it was still relevant enough to be played at a sixteen year old’s birthday party. If you have somehow escaped life to this point without knowing what I’m referencing, then read on and get educated on a realm of music I’m not so well versed in.

Holy butts, Batman!

This jam was put out by a Mr. Curtis Alan Jones aka Cajmere. Who’s that? Well, I didn’t know back in the 90’s and still didn’t really know until I used the magic of the interwebs. According to his Wikipedia entry, he originally studied chemical engineering before becoming a professional musician. This song, “Coffee Pot (It’s Time for the Percolator)”, was released in 1991 and was his first big hit song. He went on to keep making music but I’m not going to get into that. If you’re curious for some reason, head on over here or here.

This song has apparently endured the test of time. It was a staple at all the elementary school dances I remember, then even later at proms, and now still relevant at a party in 2012. My most vivid memories of it playing were the elementary school dances. I never really did the percolator or even much dancing at those dances. I mostly just sort of awkwardly stood around the bleachers and talked to a few people while watching everyone else. I went to a Catholic school, so it was always fun to watch the chaperons on patrol to make sure we were all leaving room for the holy spirit. My cousin, who’s three years older than me, related how when she was old enough to hit the clubs it was still pretty popular. Clubs were never really my scene though, so it’s events like these (and maybe a few bars) that shine a light on its ongoing popularity.

I suppose the fact that it has its own dance associated with it (the percolator, duh) is a big factor in helping to keep it alive. Oh, you didn’t know that him repeatedly telling you that “It’s time for the percolator,” meant that you were supposed to actually do the percolator? Do you not even know what the percolator is? Well, at heart, the dance is based off the Charleston with some added flair. Do you need some visual instruction? Well, you’re in luck because I found this instructional video that might help. Ok, maybe that was more for entertainment value but they do explain it. For further instruction, let’s go straight to the source, Professor Cajmere himself.

Now that you’ve sufficiently been instructed on the percolator, I expect you all to practice, get those legs movin’ and record yourself doing it so you can share. And by all of you, I mean the two (maybe?) of you who actually read this blog.

That is all I have. Thank you and I’m sorry.


One response to “Friday Flashback: It’s (still?) Time for the Percolator!

  1. Great story! When I saw the title I thought you might be talking about “Popcorn,” which if I remember right from my childhood was used in a percolating coffee commercial. Even though we’re a generation apart it’s always cool to see how common the experience of music associated to memory is. You can check out “Popcorn” here if interested: Nowhere near as funky, but still kinda retro-cool.

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