Waltz has a dance form all its own, a form of dance, a particular, very specific dance form. The way in which Waltz was perceived in the period, and that in other dances as well, is a function of this particular dance form. It didn’t fit very well into any other dance, as a whole, like a lot of the dances like the Cajun. It was seen as one particular dance for the period. And so it was important that the forms of Waltz, to use the word that Waltz is used, didn’t fit all too well into other dances.
What would be the significance of Waltz in popular music?
Well, it was used in the jazz style music in the 1930s, 1940s. It wasn’t particularly popular. But it certainly had a very popular influence on blues music in the period, and in the mid-century, and it definitely had a large impact upon the R&B, so to speak.
As far as blues goes, in the ’50s, in the ’60s, it really was a big part of the style. It was popular because it was a kind of a new dance form. Waltzing was a very, very popular form. It was the first time, to my knowledge, that people were really taking the technique that Walt was developing in the early 19th century and applying them very successfully to the blues, to the pop, and to the R&B.
It’s interesting, because the Waltz movement itself had its origins in this early 19th century jazz style. It seemed to me when I met Walt in the ’70s and began my study of Walt, that, for all his music, which was certainly an incredibly rich, full and rich, very complex and interesting musical style throughout those years, it had almost nothing to do with Waltzing. There was very little that you might call Waltzing.
So the fact that you could take the technique and apply it to popular music and see it having very little impact upon it, the fact that you could apply the same approach to the blues music, and see it having very little influence upon it?
So that really is one of the interesting aspects, and it really came to the fore at one point during the 1970s. When he released what was then the first film about him, and it was a film that had a lot of influence on folk music in general around the country, especially in Texas,