Sam Cooke - TWISTIN' THE NIGHT AWAY

First performance: 5/10/1974


Coverinfo

Bruce covered Sam Cooke's Twistin' the night away live at least five times at full in his career but no audio recording of any of these performances has surfaced among collectors. Springsteen has also used snippets of the song at concerts as part of other songs, including Quarter to three, Mary's Place and My city of ruins. 
 
1974-10-05 - BOLLMAN CENTER, ALBRIGHT COLLEGE, READING, PA
Of major historical interest is Bruce's rendition of Sam Cooke's "Twistin' The Night Away", the only verified performance by The E Street Band. One show, held in the sold-out 2,000-seat Bollman Center. Springsteen & The E Street Band headline. Folk stylist Jae Mason (and his band) opened with 45-minute set. Although violinist Suki Lahav had made her debut the previous night, she is not present at this show or the following night at Clark University. The partial setlist from the show is mentioned in an extensive review that appeared in the school newspaper and a review in The Gettysburgian, student newspaper of Gettysburg College. Springsteen's set lasted for 2½ hrs (no intermission) and Bruce actually comments to the student reporter after the show that this was one of his longest shows to date. The reporter states that following the show the band (including Springsteen) were laid spread out on the stage in a state of total exhaustion. 
 
 
1976-10-29 - PALLADIUM, NEW YORK CITY, NY
Gary U.S. Bonds, whom Bruce had met for the first time a week or so before, guests on a moving "Quarter To Three", which includes a bit of "Twistin' The Night Away" in the midsection. 
 
2002-04-13 - THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK, NJ
Private benefit for the Rumson Country Day School. 
 
2002-04-14 - THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK, NJ
A second private benefit for the Rumson Country Day School. 
 
2002-12-08 - CHARLOTTE COLISEUM, CHARLOTTE, NC
"Mary's Place" includes snippets of "Twisting the Night Away" and "Rescue Me".
 
2003-04-30 - THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK, NJ
The second year of the private Rumson Country Day School benefits with Bruce, Patti Scialfa, Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny and Bobby Bandiera (is is not known who played on what songs). 
 
2003-06-14 - PARKEN STADIUM, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
Mary's Place" includes "The Monkey Time", "Twistin' The Night Away", "Let's Get It On", and "Baby, I've Been Missing You". 
 
2004-04-25 - THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK, NJ
The third year of the private Rumson Country Day School benefits with Bruce, Patti Scialfa, Southside Johnny and Bobby Bandiera. Bobby Bandiera and his band provided backing throughout the night, along with Jukes horns Ed Manion, Joey Stann, and Chris Anderson. 
 
 
 
2012-09-22 - METLIFE STADIUM, EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ ( at 10.30 ) 
Bruce and band take the stage to "In The Midnight Hour" for their last show of three at Metlife Stadium, and the final stadium show of 2012. The set was delayed by two hours due to thunderstorms passing over the stadium. "My City Of Ruins includes "Twistin' The Night Away". At midnight the crowd sang "Happy Birthday To You" to Bruce and prior to "Twist And Shout" Bruce cut a cake (delivered by Bruce's mom Adele, his oldest sister Ginny, Patti Scialfa's mother - introducing whom Bruce sings a line from Allen Toussaint's "Mother-In-Law" - and brother, plus Maureen Van Zandt) for his 63rd birthday, and shared it with fans in the pit, who once again sang "Happy Birthday". Patti Scialfa is not present. 
 
Bruce singing :
 
"Let me tell you 'bout a place Somewhere up a New York way Where the people are so gay Twistin' the night away..." 
 

Songinfo

"Twistin' the Night Away" is a song written and recorded by Sam Cooke. It was released as a single in 1962. It was taken from the album with the same name. The song was recorded with The Wrecking Crew as session musicians, including Rene Hall as band leader, Red Callender on bass, Earl Palmer on drums, Tommy Tedesco and Clifton White on guitars, Ed Beal on piano, John Kelson, John Ewing and Jewell Grant on saxophone and Stuart Williamson on trumpet.
 
 
 

Other cover versions

 

Bruce on the artist

Lyrics

Let me tell you about a place
Somewhere up-a New York way
Where the people are so gay
Twistin' the night away

Here they have a lot of fun
Puttin' trouble on the run
Man, you find the old and young
Twistin' the night away

They're twistin', twistin'
Everybody's feelin' great
They're twistin', twistin'
They're twistin' the night away

Here's a man in evening clothes
How he got here, I don't know, but
Man, you oughta see him go
Twistin' the night away

He's dancin' with a chick in slacks
She's movin' up and back
Oh, man, there ain't nothin' like
Twistin' the night away

They're twistin', twistin'
Everybody's feelin' great
They're twistin', twistin'
They're twistin' the night

Let's twist a while!
(Lean up!)
(Lean back!)
(Lean up!)
(Lean back!)
(Watusi!)
(Now fly!)
(Now twist!)
They're twistin' the night away

Here's a fella in blue jeans
Dancin' with an older queen
Who's dolled up in her diamond rings and
Twistin' the night away

Man, you oughta see her go
Twistin' to the rock and roll
Here you find the young and old
Twistin' the night away

They're twistin', twistin', man
Everybody's feelin' great
They're twistin', twistin'
They're twistin' the night

One more time!
(Lean up!)
(Lean back!)
(Lean up!)
(Lean back!)
(Watusi!)
(Now fly!)
(Now twist!)
[fades out]