It's Been So Long _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byGeorge McCraeand reaching number 4 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date31/07/1975Duration of dance - 2.18 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Ruth, Sue _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
George McCrae had been in the music business since the early 60's, and he and his wife Gwen even recorded a few singles together which did nothing, though. When Gwen went solo, he became her manager and planned to return to college. But suddenly he got his lucky break. Richard Finch and Harry Wayne Casey (of KC & The Sunshine Band) had written a song that they were unable to sing because they couldn't reach the high notes. The backing track had already been laid down and Finch & Casey had planned to finish the recording with Gwen as lead singer. But she was late and so they invited George to try his luck. The song was called "Rock Your Baby" and the rest is history.
Between 1974 and 1976 George scored seven hit singles in the UK Top 40. His fifth single (and the second from his second album) was "It's Been So Long", a catchy disco record that sounds more like KC & The Sunshine Band than "Rock Your Baby" did. It went as high as No. 4 in the UK charts and became his second biggest hit.
The Pan's People performance to this record was lost in two ways. Not only was that episode wiped by the BBC, but it also seemed that noone remembered the routine at all. Even "Popscene" didn't have an entry for this record in their episode guide for that week (neither for Pan's People nor for the artist). It wasn't until June 2012 that it was mentioned – for the first time as far as I know – by ALEXMITCH on PP.com who recalled to have seen it, but still there was no evidence. Barely three months later, a clip from that same TOTP episode ("New York City" by T. Rex) was uploaded to YouTube by a guy called Frank who recorded it off air in Belgium on a Sony U-Matic VCR. And, much to our delight, he also had a recording of "It's Been So Long" which he posted in October 2012 by request from our own JEZ! For fans of the dancing troupes, this was one of the most important finds of 2012.
Now have a look at our girls. Don't they look just splendid in their pink costumes? Watching the swirling of their skirts is certainly a highlight in this routine. Besides the usual synchronous dancing we are treated with several mini-solos and nice close-ups here. The setting is bright and friendly, just what you would expect in the middle of a hot summer. My only gripe would be the quality of the recording which leaves a bit to be desired, but taking into account that this would be an otherwise lost routine, this is just a very minor gripe. With the song being one of George's best, there is nothing that can keep me from rating this performance quite highly:
9.5 / 10
Regarding Dancer of the Day, well I guess, I'm having a weakness for Ruth at the moment, and the way she looks into the camera around 0:25 here easily does it for me.
Finally I'd like to thank Frank from Belgium again for this wonderful clip.
A great find for fans of 'Perfect Pans' so I'd like to echo VV's thanks to Frank, and of course to Jez, that bloodhound on the Pans trail. Well I like the song, I like the dance and I like the costumes, elements of which had been hustled back into use from six weeks previous. And have there ever been a groups of five more lovely dancers. I think not! Absolutely gorgeous from start to finish and I even like the negative projection effect on the back and side walls towards the end of the routine.
Another winner which gets another 10 from me, and although in truth all five ladies are great at this date Sue is always going to be my Dotd.
An interesting dance routine here, we have what appears to be a pink sun(?), casting a strange hue over the stage, & the dancers are wearing very pronounced white skirts, that seem to completely over-shadow their blouses, which, are rather more insignificantly cream coloured, & don't grab one's attention as easily, especially as the ladies, repeatedly do happy twirls whilest clutching their flowing lower-bodily apparels.
If these girls enjoyed doing this, as they seemed to, then it's mightily fine by me.
THanks for recounting the story of the origin of this clip Vin, it's a classic tale of memory feats, kindness and sleuth-like persistence IMO. Anyway back to the performance; the song is good but not great in my estimation and the Dance somewhat similar. I like the mobile skirts and the bright and breezy nature of the whole thing but I don't find it grabs my attention or emotions like some routines do and I don't choose to watch it over other performances very often as a result. It's really difficult to single out any one Dancer here as they are all good and we don't get really close to any of them (another slight gripe). I am drawn to Cherry again so there it is; my obsession continues. Is there a Gillespie Admirers Anonymous I wonder? The mark for me is 8/10 and that's with the boost for being such a triumphant find.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
George was as usual hitting all the high notes with his plea of ‘It’s Been So Long’ but I’m afraid Pans People missed their cue with this one. This dance was far too pedestrian for a song of this calibre and I’m sure KC and his boys would have preferred something far more up tempo for their efforts when writing this track.
Not my cup of tea at all this having to listen to ole Georgy shrieking away. The routine itself, whilst being a great find is rather uneventful. The costumes do nothing at all for the ladies either. Picking a DOTD is difficult, none really stand out, so i will pick the big blonde one, `Babs`.
maybe I'm missing something here as had this lower than any mark so far...need to watch this more times -ten for the belgian guy though who i think jez prsuaded to share thanks Jez
confused of east sussex
Nothing too sophisticated and neither the song nor the dance will linger too long in the memory, however the pink set and outfits give this a pleasant feel, and each of the dancers gets reasonable camera time.
It's always nice when a previously lost routine resurfaces, and I think we can excuse the technical gremlins in the circumstances.
I will score it 8 out of 10, and dancer of the day goes to Cherry.
the Belgian dude who donated this for free
Jez for persuading him
Girls look lovely as usual but not really breaking sweat
that's about all
disappoints because :
not really special like a boring version of laughter in the rain without the umbrellas
George's wailing especially at the end
my idea of a generic frisbee off the shelf routine - generic and twirly
does not stand up to the originality,complexity or raunchiness of the best pans 1975 routines
leaves me feeling a bit shortchanged
I love the song, and I think this light and breezy routine matches the euphoria and joy of the track. I also love the flow of the spins and the choreography is executed perfectly; I can't pick up any discernible faults.
DotD: Ruth (I too love her smile in close up during her solo part)
It's not a bad song. It sounds like Motown updated for the fledgling disco age. Opinion is divided on them, but the best thing for me is the swirl and swish-friendly dresses. I can't quite decide whether they're pink, or white and given a pink hue by the lighting. Anyhow, the girls look just lovely gliding about in them. I could have scored this one highly if it had an array of good close-ups instead of a sparing amount. As much as I like the swirling I would have traded close up spinning skirt for faces! And at times the group shots were unnecessarily wide.
Nice and simple routing, nothing fancy but gently satisfying.
The big twirling skirts are the main feature, and look great. And some good tight group sweeps around the stage, lesser dancers may have got tangled up in one another. The crowd are down to just one ghostly face low-down at around 1'23".
I can't help noticing how much more elegantly the girls move when not lumbered with big stocky platform heels.
Not the best quality clip - but we're lucky to have it all! So big thanks to Frank and U-Matic. I wonder what he might have!?
7/10 - and Babs for her beaming little solo for DotD.
i had this record back in the summer of 75 and loved it ,i still like the song very much everytime i hear it ,i can feel myself back in that summer of 75 ,i can remember i used to play the b side of this record a lot as well it had another catchy tune ,the routine is lovely the costumes look all sweet girly girly ,and i like the dance very much ,a well deserved 8.5 from me ,and cherry seems to stand out as the dancer
Gosh what a lot of pink!. This is all very light and family friendly but sadly not my cup of tea. One of the main issues is the camera work is all over the place, often seemingly quite distant, although at least they did'nt use the tilting cam that week. A few close ups would have been nice!!.
On the plus side the routine is well performed, moving well as a unit through the various spins although we don't really get to the end before the tape gives up but that part (circle spinning) looked like it would have been really good.
I'm not particular taken by this one... I'm very pleased it's one of the survivors but apart from that and featuring five of our lovelies, I can't find too much to rave on about. The song itself doesn't do a thing for me, I'm not sure if it's the singer's voice or the way it's recorded but I find it completely lacklustre.
As for the frocks... they seem to be an over frilly throwback to the 1950s. Certainly the girls look demure and as lovely as anyone could in those dresses but visually I find them very unappealing. There's some nice swishing and swaying of the skirts in places, otherwise there's very little here in the way of plus points. Therefore, probably my lowest possible scoring of 3/10. DotD Cherry.