Wayne Toups – Johnnie Can’t Dance

My father seems to go through phases with music. Growing up, he (and subsequently I) listened to bands such as Bob Seger, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and Janis Joplin. It is why I have such a fondness for that style of music and love Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. My favorite song is “Main Street” by Bob Seger partly because it is my father’s favorite song. He always told me a story about a bar he would frequently visit. Whenever he would walk into the bar, a female friend who was a bartender there would put that song on the jukebox for him.

So, this classic rock phase morphed into zydeco cajun music. For those that are unaware, which I am sure will be about 99% of you reading this, the zydeco cajun music is an upbeat, dance style that incorporates the accordion. It is fun and is a mainstay of southern Louisiana in the cajun country there. It isn’t bad but it isn’t my cup of tea. My father was particularly fond of one artist named Wayne Toups. He was attempting to find an album by Mr. Toups entitled “Johnnie Can’t Dance” but was having difficulty in finding it. This was before the internet and you could pretty much download any song you could ever imagine. We weren’t able to find it locally so upon visiting my paternal grandparents in Florida one year, we enlisted the help of my grandfather to help find it at a local mall. I guess you really do become your parents because the conversation that ensued went a little something like this and as I would find out years later, would occur in a similar fashion with my father taking the place of my grandfather.

Dad: (Looking at the mall map in the center of the walkway) Okay, there are three music stores here so let’s split up. Each one of us can take a store and then come back here in 20 minutes to see if they have it.

Grandpa: What’s the name of the album again?

Dad: Wayne Toups is the singer and the album is called “Johnnie Can’t Dance.”

Grandpa: Right.

We split up and go to the music stores. My store didn’t have the album.

Dad: (Already at the meeting point) Did you find it?

Me: No. They didn’t have it nor have they ever heard of it.

Dad: Same here.

Grandpa: (Walking towards us) Gary (referencing my father), what’s the name of the album again?

Dad: Wayne Toups and the album is called “Johnnie Can’t Dance.”

Grandpa: (Furls brow like something is wrong)

Dad: Did they have it?

Grandpa: Well, no, but I told them it was “Wayne Can’t Sing” by Johnnie Toups.

Me: (Almost doubled over laughing)

Grandpa: (Clearly irritated) What are you laughing at?

Dad: Well, I guess we better walk back there and check.

Grandpa: I guess.

Here is Johnnie Toups with “Wayne Can’t Sing!” I mean Wayne Toups with “Johnnie Can’t Dance.” This is obviously an older clip since Wayne could easily be confused with Billy Ray Cyrus.


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