The Popcorn Golden Gate, The Champou, Boum Boum and the Viertap, ringing names on the Flemish

disco-scene, were the founders of a unique style in music that appealed to thousands in the seventies and eighties.

Each weekend was a smashing feast in the famous and sometimes notorious discos; DJs could choose from a wide range of records of their own often completed with collector’s items from Great Britain or the U.S. Cherishing their singles and LPs these DJs became authorities on this music-style.

Every week their public was enchanted by the sublime mix of fifties Doowop, Soul, Rhythm & Blues,the high shool sound of Anka, Sedaka and Rydell, and a spark of Cha Cha and Mambo. Later on Jamaican Ska, as an unseperable part of a successful oldies night, turned the place upside down :when dance flours were overcrowded, people climbed the counters to serve their purpose. What atmosphere !

Very soon this exceptional music coctail was called “Popcorn music” or “Popcorn Oldies” after a dancing “The Popcorn” in Vrasene (Flanders, Belgium) It got started in 1969, only opened on Sunday afternoons, but attracted all kinds of people from all over the country and from abroad as well.

Popcorn fans were not interested in the disco which dominated the music scene at the time. Disco was all over the radio. Popcorn music however could only be heard in one of the few dancings in Flanders.

The Popcorn phenomenon remains firmly connected to a special dance style, a kind of soulswing, less explosive than rock’n ‘role form the fifties, but more eligant and more ingenious than any kind of music. Many popcorn-freaks developed into real specialists on the dance-floor and turned it into a real spectacle.

Although “The Popcorn” in Vrasene is stil considered to be the starting-point of the music, we must give credit to Freddy Cousaert who in 1968 began some experiments with soul and rhythm & blues from the U.S. Other discos engaged themselves along these lines in the seventies. The fact that the music played in these places was not available in record shops, added to Popcorn’s own character.

The oldies market was born, DJs set out to find the ultimate single.

Since the notion “Popcorn Oldies” is connected to all music with that specific and typical rhythm, it isnevertheless difficult to name some performers in this kind of music. There are indeed numerousclassics or numbers which were turned and tuned into a Popcorn. Who does not know “Sixteen Tons” by Louis Neefs, “I’m Crying In The Rain” by Major Lance, “You Beat Me To The Punch” by Mary Wells or “I Will” by Billy Fury. But also Gen have made “Popcorn”; And if one oldie did not fit the popcorn beat, the DJ could always tamper a bit with the record speed. Most of then performers however are only known to a few specialists.

Although a small number of discos continue to play only oldies this kind of music seems on the way down. But “Special Popcorn Nights” and oldies-parties are sill very much wanted. “Popcorn Time” is here again.!


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20 Responses to popcorn

  1. Joe says:

    I’ve never even heard of this kind of music. Are you a fan?

  2. penpusherpen says:

    Just playing the video now Sweeti, very upbeat and uplifting too … I can understand the popcorn description… Thanks for the info, always willing to learn as like Joe, I’d never really heard of this type of music … xPenx

    • chicasl10 says:

      so u see Lady P…there is so much to discover lol
      the music was only for the slow swing..
      a kind of sunday swing lol
      hope u enjoyed the music and hows Manu

  3. andro51 says:

    Popcorn Music… I too had not heard of this but I can see that it is something that needs to be rekindled in order to preserve it… Have a wicked Friday Sweeti, and equally a fangtastic weekend of adventure and creativity… Be good now, or else? lol

    Androgoth XXx

  4. prenin says:

    My secret fave from this period was Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots – and if you don’t remember ‘I don’t want to set the world on fire’, or ‘Stompin at the Savoy’ then your experience is sadly lacking!!! LoL!!!

    Love and hugs!


  5. Jorge medico says:

    It’s really scary, but you just lsited four songs I actually know the words to, as well as the melody 🙂 Long live popcorn!
    Be well,

    • chicasl10 says:

      i have a lot of CD’s with this music
      its the slow swing and the bonka bonka rythm
      hehe dont worry Jorge its not scary Even young ppl come there
      they just like the music Its of all ages.
      Music has no age.
      have a nice weekend

  6. Never heard it called popcorn music but can understand it coming out of a generation and era of jukeboxes , drugstores , corner booths , malt sundaes , bubble gum and bobby soxers , love the music from those days , always brings memories of innocent fun and days of growing up.
    Cheers Princess

    • chicasl10 says:

      Hi Ian
      like i said to Jorge Music is without age
      those days the songs were song by artist…Artist may died But the music and songs stay foe ever.
      Music never dies.

  7. prenin says:

    Louie Armstrong – now there was a DUDE!!! LoL!!!

    Jazz can take many forms, but it’ll never truly die!!! 🙂

    Thanks for the visit and comment Angel! 🙂

    This current mess in Japan is beyond measuring – too many dead and destruction beyond words, now a Nuclear Disaster in the making!!!

    The good news – which they aren’t talking about – is that they ARE getting a handle on the situation, but the tsunami has wrecked the electrical switching boards and maybe the pump motors too, so they have to either strip and clean the motors and wire around the switchboards, or replace the motors as a unit.

    Either job will mean they’ll exceed the safe exposure time and we’ll have some very sick heroes…

    Love and hugs!


    • chicasl10 says:

      Indeed Prenin very sick heroes..
      i wonder They say they volunteered I get soma bad taste in my mouth
      will see

      • prenin says:

        Oh they volunteered alright – the younger ones have been withdrawn where possible and guys over 50 volunteered to replace them.

        Now THAT takes guts…

        Love and hugs!


      • chicasl10 says:

        indeed when it is as u say Prenin …we will hear that later when everything will be history.
        Like the guy in tsernobyl with the helicopter..u remember him??

  8. timkeen40 says:

    Thanks for this. Glad to find your blog.


  9. prenin says:

    I remember they used a few helicopters to drop sandbags onto the exposed core of the reactor as well as men who ran onto the roof, threw one item of wreckage back into the hole and many of them took sick and died even from such a short exposure!!!

    The tally was 38 dead, but I am sure there will be more.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster if you want the figures – Greenpeace puts the number of possible deaths from the disaster at 200,000…

    Love and hugs!


  10. Seth@ChaosHQ's says:

    Wow…. some good memories are flooding back to me. Thank you!

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