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#ThrowbackThursday: “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross

The cover art for Luther Vandross’ 2003 album Dance With My Father.

by Sean Smith

Father’s Day is this Sunday, so if you haven’t gone out and bought that annual tie for your pops quite yet you should probably get on that pretty soon. On second thought, you probably shouldn’t. Let’s be honest, dad already has enough ties as it is and he’d probably like something, ANYTHING, other than another tie.

With Father’s day fast approaching, I started to contemplate what song we should remember this week that dealt with the subject of dads, but could only think of a few that actually had something positive to say about the man of the house. For whatever reason, there are plenty of songs about dads being absent or having an overall negative impact on the lives of their children, but not too many songs that actually paint pops in a positive light. In other words, it’s almost as if that for every “Daddy” by Beyonce there are seemingly ten “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone”‘s by The Temptations. However, when it comes to songs about fathers, there is one song that stands above all the rest for me. Luther Vandross’ 2003 hit, “Dance With My Father.”

Luther Vandross wrote “Dance With My Father” with noted singer/songwriter/producer Richard Marx. It of course delves into the fond memories Vandross had of his father as a child. It was also the first song that he ever wrote about his father, who passed away when Vandross was just seven years of age. “Dance With My Father” was the first single off of the 2003 album of the same name. Shortly after finishing the vocals for that album, Vandross suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. He was unable to promote the song himself due to his ill health, but a video for the song was shot utilizing old pictures of Vandross with his father interspersed with scenes of some famous friends of his with their own dads. “Dance With My Father” earned Vandross Grammy awards for both Song of the Year as well as for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. The single reached the #38 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the album debuted at the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart.

So with Father’s Day fast approaching, this week we remember the 2003 Luther Vandross hit, “Dance With My Father.” And to all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy!

Luther Vandross 

“Dance With My Father”

J Records

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