Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Puttin’ on the Ritz

on October 3, 2021

I’ve read that performer Michael Jackson was a big fan of Fred Astaire and studied his dance techniques. This became obvious in the style of some of his costumes, and in his own dance routines.

One of my favorite dance numbers by Fred Astaire is “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” The song was written by Irving Berlin in 1927 and published in 1929. In 1930, it became the central theme of the musical, Puttin’ on the Ritz. (See video below.)

The phrase “puttin’ on the Ritz” meant dressing fashionably in the slang of that day. The “Ritz” referred to the Ritz Hotel in London, England.

Fred Astaire performed his famous dance routine in the film, Blue Skies (1946). (See video below.)

Mel Brooks included a dance scene using Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle in 1974, in the movie Young Frankenstein.

The song and the dance were revived by the Dutch singer, Taco, in 1982 and became an international hit – MTV even aired the music video.

The music is still catchy, and makes you want to get up and dance!

Fred Astaire version (1946), courtesy of Drive-In Movie History on You Tube (includes a short clip from Young Frankenstein):

Taco version, courtesy of Taco on YouTube:

Harry Richman version (1930), courtesy of Addehiovy on YouTube:

Ritz Hotel, London, England

Dawn Pisturino

September 29, 2021

Copyright 2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.


7 responses to “Puttin’ on the Ritz

  1. I had never considered the MJ/Astaire influence before!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOVE Fred Astaire. When that man danced he floated. Thank you for this uplifting post. Bless you! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful post, it brought back some beautiful memories, lol. My mom and I were huge fans of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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