Glenn Durlacher looks back over his family’s legacy of square dance calling on Long Island with deserved pride. His grandfather Ed pioneered square dancing in the New York City area starting in the 1930s.
At the urging of his friends in the Top Hands band, Ed Durlacher made a name for himself calling dances and traveling to promote the use of his records and square dancing to phys ed teachers across the country.
This led to an association with Robert Moses and gigs calling at the 1939 World’s Fair as well as in Central Park. But it was at the Jones Beach Bandshell that he made his greatest impression. First Ed, then his son Don, and then family friend Primo Fiore hosted weekly square dances every summer at the beach for over sixty years.
On this episode of the Long Island History Project podcast, Glenn relates the history of square dancing in his family and what he remembers of being at so many of those Jones Beach nights. We also discuss Glenn’s hopes for a more permanent commemoration of the importance of square dancing at Jones Beach.
You can listen to the podcast here.
The Long Island History Project is an independent podcast featuring stories and interviews with people passionate about Long Island history. It is hosted by academic librarian Chris Kretz.
For a full list of this week’s New York Almanack podcasts announcements click HERE.