Winter Dance Party – a quiz for seniors

day the music died
Surf Ballroom poster announcing Buddy Holly Concert dated Feb. 2, 1959. The day the music died was Feb. 3
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – January 7, 2022

2022 eNewsletter #1

Winter Dance Party – a Doo Wop Quiz for Seniors

Columnist Tom Blake

On Wednesday at about 6:30 a.m., I was sitting in front of my computer pondering what to write about in this week’s eNewsletter. The senior dating news from Champs has been a little slow with the uptick of the Omicron variance.

Events are being canceled and older singles are “sheltering in place,” trying to avoid getting Covid. Not to mention the horrendous weather that has hit the USA since Christmas. Dating and trying to meet a mate isn’t a top priority now. 

I checked my inbox. I had an email from one of our most devoted Champs, Larry Leach, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. If his name and city sound familiar, it’s because Larry and his wife Bonnie have been featured or mentioned in our newsletter previously.

They’ve been married for 61+ years. Larry is a couple of years older than I, and was a classmate of my brother Bill in Jackson, Michigan, “a long, long time ago” (opening words to the song American Pie). Larry’s email subject line got my attention: Doo Wop Test. 

The test included in his email has 30 multiple-choice trivia questions about the 1950s – 1970s music. And the email also stated: “Answers at the bottom, don’t cheat!” Larry wrote: “I got 9 of these 30 questions right. Give it a try.”

My curiosity took over. I’m pretty darn good at identifying oldies songs from the 1950s – 1970s. The test that Larry sent was taken from the St. Louis Park School (Minnesota) Class of 1958 website (link listed below). With a cup of morning coffee on my desk, I decided to take the “Doo Wop” Test. I grabbed a pen and a blank sheet of paper to write down my answers.

It was fun and boy did the questions bring back memories. They will probably bring back memories for many of you as well. So, I decided to include the test in today’s edition. I hope today’s eNewsletter doesn’t bore our younger (70 and below) Champs.

My brother Bill loved music. His love of music rubbed off on me. I’m an oldies nut.  I remember listening on the radio on Saturday mornings, often with brother Bill, to the Marty McNeeley Morning Music Hall Show on WJR, Detroit, which was a top-10 countdown program.

Plus, McNeeley would play new songs on the show that had just come out. I heard a new song previewed one morning. Bill hadn’t been listening. I walked into his room and said, “I just heard a song that I predict is going to be a huge hit.” Bill said, “Who sings it?” I said, “A guy named Elvis Presley.” What’s the name of the song?” “Heartbreak Hotel.” I was right; it went quickly to the top of the charts.  

Sometimes, Greta plays YouTube music and I nail most of the 50s, 60s, and 70s on the first couple of notes. For example, Tuesday night, I drove her crazy identifying songs. Included were: Heart of Gold – Neil Young. Turn The Page – Bob Seger. Carol – Paul Anka. American Pie – Don McClean (see postcard above). Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond. Bolero – Andre Rieu Orchestra.

Speaking of oldies history, one of the first radio stations in the states to play Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” was WIBM in Jackson, Michigan. The overnight D.J. used it as his theme song before it became popular. That’s the same station where Jack Parr got his start. 

I got to see Bill Haley in person perform that song at the Atlanta Underground in 1968.You can take the test in one of two ways. By scrolling down this page. All of the questions and answers are listed here.Or, just click on the link. Again, the test that Larry sent was taken from the St. Louis Park School (Minnesota) Class of 1958 (Minnesota) website, so credit to them.

Here is the link: 

Remember, just scroll down, don’t sneak a peek at the answers until the end. Count your tally. If you wish, let me know how you did. I share my score at the end of today’s eNewsletter.

Here are the first 3 Doo Wop questions and the answers follow: 
1. When did ”Little Suzie” finally wake up?
(a) The movie’s over, it’s 2 o’clock
(b) The movie’s over, it’s 3 o’clock
(c) The movie’s over, it’s 4 o’clock

2. ”Rock Around The Clock” was used in what movie?
(a) Rebel Without A Cause
(b) Blackboard Jungle
(c) The Wild Ones

3. What’s missing from a Rock & Roll standpoint?
Earth _____(a) Angel(b) Mother(c) Worm

Answers to the first three questions :
1. (c) The movie’s over, it’s 4 o’clock
2. (b) Blackboard Jungle
3. (a) Angel
I missed the first question, “What time did little Susie wake up?” But, I nailed 25 of the 30, which included a couple of lucky guesses. How did you score on the test?

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at

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