Like many others, I like the dancing men featured on Cowboy State Daily, moving each day to the beat of a different song.
What readers might not know is that the bigger guy who enters at the second stanza is Paul Parker, a retired public school teacher in Muscle Shoals, AL.
Muscle Shoals was the home of the famous recording studio (actually located next door in Sheffield), Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, there from 1969 to the mid 80s.
The Rolling Stones cut records there, including "You Gotta Move", "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses.”
In 1972 , the Staple Singers recorded their hits “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There” at the Muscle Shoals studio, following by Luther Ingram’s “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right)” — all big sellers, high on the charts.
Muscle Shoals is about a two hour drive north of Birmingham, midway between Memphis and Chattanooga, well known to rock and roll aficionados of that era.
Paul Parker taught in the Muscle Shoals school system since 1974 (at age 36), so he probably missed the Rolling Stones, the Staple Singers and Luther Ingram, but knew of the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, the “it” spot for southern rock and roll fans who loved to dance.
They say he taught everything from drama to science. Paul retired in 1997, but hung around as a substitute teacher, also entertaining the young people with his signature moves, including “buck” dancing at all of the school pep rallies.
Here is a photo of him in late April 2021 (when he was 83), getting a certificate from the superintendent of the school district following the city of Muscle Shoals declaration of “Paul Parker Day.”
That man could dance (and maybe still does)…
Ralph R. Frerichs
Sierra Madre, California
PS: Although growing up in Evanston, Illinois, I spent many of my early years camping and then working at the Peter Hansen Ranch 40 miles south of Rawlins.