You Can Do Magic _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byLimmie & Family Cookin'and reaching number 3 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date03/08/1973Duration of dance - 2.46 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Limmie & Family Cookin' was an American family pop group fronted by Limmie Snell (b. 1945), who began recording at the tender age of 11. In the early 1970's he founded Limmie & Family Cookin' with two of his sisters, Martha & Jimmie. Jimmie sang lead on their two big hits, "You Can Do Magic" & "A Walkin' Miracle".
"You Can Do Magic" was released in the USA in October 1972, peaking at No. 84 on the Billboard Pop Charts. The UK release date was 19 January 1973, which means it took 6 months until the single finally charted. It became a respectable hit though, reaching No. 3 in a 13-week run. When TOTP was aired on 03/08/73, the single had leapt from No. 33 to No. 18, so as a new entry in the Top 30 it was due to be featured on the show. I guess the family wasn't available yet (being Americans), good for us because this paved the way for a memorable Pan's People routine.
As this show was wiped by the BBC, all we have is the black and white recording from the PVL. But instead of lamenting about the absence of colour, let's focus on the strengths of the routine. First of all, this is quite a humorous performance. The literal interpretation of the lyrics will often make you smile. Some of the hand movements were later reused in the "Monster Mash" film. Secondly, the clip is full of nice close-ups. All the girls get their fair share of camera time. And whether it's the heartbroken Cherry, sing-a-long Babs or Louise the loser, it's always done with a wink.
This was also a time when the BBC did a lot of experiments with their cameras. Now, what may have been exciting 43 years ago often looks somewhat dated today, but at least it provides a bit of variety in this monochrome set. So, at the end of this routine we do not see five but fifteen dancers!
Even though this performance will never be one of my top favourites, I really like it for its cheerfulness. It would probably receive a higher rating in a colour version, but even in black and white it's still good enough for
Yes, this one is fun and surely couldn't fail to cheer us up on the dullest day. I like the playfulness and I actually think the Black and White is quite striking in this Performance; it may even be my favourite B&W rendition. The faces are quite wonderful and I like the simple special effects too. Babs mouthing the words, Louise's slightly unbelievable loser and Cherry's alter ego are the highlights for me. Also I can't help wondering if there might have been 30 dancers eventually! Anyway I fruitlessly nominate Babs in this one for my DotD and this Dance earns 9/10 from me. Great to have it blogworthy, thanks Anon
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Just by looking at Vin's screencaps we can see this is a routine with loads of glorious close-ups, something i hold dear in routines and always something to get my score rating heading upwards. I really like the Babs lip-syching and even Louise gets into that as well. Obviously a colour version would get my score rating up to ten, but im just shy of that at `9.5 out of 10`.
I wonder if Flick thought of this routine, when she created the one for `Do Me Wrong, But Do Me` on the Jack Jones show. The bit at the end where the girls are facing their twins is a very similar idea.
I thought there was only four dancers at first as Ruth hardly appears for the first half. And towards the end Cherry goes missing for a bit. Love the way Pan's People used to do that standing in a line thing where the girls behind are obscured until there are variations in the choreography. Legs didn't do that so often (Supernature springs to mind but it was rare). Yes, its a black and white tele-recording, but it's a glass half full scenario as we are very lucky to have this. And I think the black and white actually enhances Louise's extraordinary cheekbones, so that's a bonus. A fun routine to a memorable record.
I'll give this an 8/10
This is truly a beautiful routine so well interpreted and the girls excelled so well. I could watch this one all day. Would have loved to have seen this in colour and know what colour those dresses were. Irrespective that it is black and white I will still award this routine ten out of ten and the best dancer to Babs as she looked so lovely and miming the lyrics beautifully. Brought back lots of memories when we had a black and white TV and Babs and Andi always stood out for me with their lovely blonde hair.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
My first thoughts when I watch this is I wonder what colour those dresses were? Maybe dark red and pink, or is the darker colour a blue? I guess we'll never know unless there's a picture in an archive somewhere. Overall I like this routine and the song, so thanks to Ken for recording it all those years ago. 9/10.
For my pointless dotd nomination, well Cherry was nice but I think I'll pick singalong Babs this time.
I feel a bit bad here nominating Babs for Best Dancer award and I have just rewatched it earlier and loved the way Louise interpreted the second verse so I am going to change my mind and opt for Louise as best dancer but as always all of them were lovely.
Yes I would have loved to have known what colour the dresses were. I will opt for rust as that was the in colour in the early seventies.
I have previously emailed Dee Dee from her website with various questions on the routines but so far to no avail.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
If I watched this originally then it was in the same black and white medium as it narrowly predates the magical moment I arrived home from school to find our first colour set had arrived. Now sadly it looks stark against the contrasting frivolity. Yeah it's pleasant but the moves are too familiar (arms outstretched to us a few times are welcoming but too often and it gets tiresome) and some don't appeal at the best of times, and much of the expressiveness is frankly more suited to Play School than a show devoted to the latest sounds. Some cute little moments in the close-ups and nice maxi dresses but there's nowhere near enough to cast a spell on me.
3.75/10 may seem harsh but any more would be dishonest in terms of enjoyment. Unrewarded DOTD Dee Dee.
I think this is one performance that possibly may actually look better in b & w rather than colour although difficult to be sure without seeing the colour version. There is an illusion theme to this whole routine with plenty of sleight of hand, camera trickery and the pattern on their dresses blending well with the dark background. The song is quite good as well.
They haven't quite pulled a rabbit out of the hat but this is enjoyable enough for me to score it 8 out of 10.
Well I enjoyed this piece of magic in monochrome. An upbeat tune, given a routine to match, I didn’t notice anyone put a foot wrong also the camera effects complemented the performance and didn’t spoil it in anyway. 9/10
I like this a lot, a fairly unconventional style it may be but somehow it fits together very nicely. Essentially another collection of short clips edited together (like i get a kick out of you), but there are some really neat ideas playing on the ideas of magic such as the disappearing and reappearing and the (not quite) mirror images interspersed with some lovely close ups and acting. Particular highlights are Cherry's confusion at seeing the mirror image of herself, Louise's repeated journey past the camera as she gradually gets happier each time, and Ruths wink (yeah i had to put that in!). They do save the best for last however, those distant shots of the 5 in different positions is brilliantly done and perfectly in sync, a bit of shame we never make it to the 5 groups. Oh and the song is very nice too. And the score, abracadabra...its a 10/10, DOTD Cherry.
Fun is certainly the order of the day here and it's great that the visual appeal of the performance is not harmed by surviving only as a black & white recording. In fact the lack of colour almost brings the movement and multi-layered sections into sharper focus against the stark blackness. I'd love to know how much of this type of routine (which obviously required a good deal of editing to piece together) was planned purely by Flick and how much might have been suggested by the videotape editors of yesterday by way of what could be achieved. In a way this has many similarities with the Jack Jones performance "Do Me Wrong But Do Me" which also works very well but required Jack to be on the ball throughout which in places he isn't totally. Anyway, back to this one... it's fun, everyone looks great and seems to be enjoying themselves with the choreography and editing tricks fitting the single well. 7.5 with DotD Louise
I will comment more later, but I am pretty sure this is a routine I saw at the time. The images and scenarios are very striking and memorable, and the ladies look fantastic in these eye-catching dresses.
But I am sorry that I will not be able to help with which colour the dresses were- as I would have seen it as we see it here- in black and white. And I think it ended with 5 groups of dancers, but cannot be completely sure about that.
Very good catchy song too and a very well worked out performance.
Welcome to the Pan's People comments section, Hanway2! Thanks for your remarks and recollections.
As you may have already realised, most members like to give ratings between 1 and 10 for the routines, so you're welcome to do the same if you want.