The world was changing dramatically in 1964. The entire world was adjusting to a new president with bold new ideas. America was growing — politics, race, music, foreign policy — was going to change and this song became the theme song for it. Equal measures dance record, celebration, and call to action, Dancing in the Street is 100 percent pure joy. The trumpet introduction — the “fanfare” before the song’s announcement — is one of the defining moments in rock ‘n’ roll history.
Calling out around the world
“Are you ready for a brand new beat?”
The song’s writers — Ivy Jo Hunter, Marvin Gaye and Mickey Stevenson — “tricked” Martha Reeves into doing an extra take of this song so she’d record it a little edgier because they knew she’d be irritated.