The song that Chuck Berry wrote when he got out of prison, became a hit and shone in the 90s with the dance of Uma Thurman and John Travolta

Lovers of the filmography of Quentin Tarantino they know of the good nose of the North American director to select the soundtrack of his films, those songs that seem to sound better in the cinema than anywhere else.

Such is the case of “You Never Can Tell”, the song written by Chuck Berry during the 1960swhat talks about two teenagers who get married and move in together. The legendary musician wrote and produced this song, also known as “Teenage wedding” or “C’est la vie”, in 1963 and after leaving prison where he spent 20 months after being charged and sentenced for “transporting a woman minor for immoral purposes.

chuck berryArgentina

Chuck Berry had met a 14-year-old girl in Mexico and brought her to Saint Louis to work in one of the clubs he ran. It was not her only stay in prison. The “You Never Can Tell” and “Johnny B. Goode” singer was jailed a total of three times.

The song was released as a single from the album St.Louis to Liverpool in 1964, when it reached number 14 in the North American charts and subsequently had numerous versions, such as Emmylou Harris’s 1977, included on the album Luxury Linerwhich peaked at number 4 on the US country charts.

Meanwhile, during that same year of 1964, the Beatles visited the United States for the first time, where they were not yet well known; tour and performances The Ed Sullivan Show were a hit and the song “I Want to Hold Your Man” went on to top the charts..

On the jazz side, saxophonist John Coltrane stood out with his album A Love Supreme. In London, the designer Mary Quant revolutionized the world of fashion with the presentation of the miniskirt. In Argentina, Dr. Arturo Illia of the Unión Cívica Radical del Pueblo, who had obtained 25 percent of the votes in elections in which Peronism was banned while Mafalda, Quino’s character, reflected daily from the back cover of the The newspaper El Mundo y el tango suffered two great losses: Juan de Dios Filiberto and “the man of tango”, Julio Sosa, left.

But back to the subject of Chuck Berry. Since its original publication in 1964, numerous artists have recorded versions of “You Never Can Tell,” including Ronnie Lane, John Prine, Loggins and Messina, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, Aaron Neville (Tarantino’s version of choice); Texas Lightning, Chely Wright or Bob Seger. In 2013, Bruce Springsteen performed his own version of it in a performance in Leipzig (Germany) during the Wrecking Ball Tour.

However, its great relaunch was in the 1990s, when the big screen premiere of pulp fiction put that song in another dimension. The film, Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, intersects the stories of a boxer, a gangster’s wife, two assassins and two thieves. In 1994, the film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival, which coincidentally celebrates a new edition these days, and the following year it received a Golden Globe and an Oscar for best screenplay. But the sequence that won all the praise and was burned into the collective memory is the famous dance to the rhythm of “You Never Can Tell”, starring John Travolta and Uma Thurman.

The plot unfolds until the moment when bully Vincent Vega (Travolta) takes his boss’s wife, Mia Wallace (Thurman), to dinner at the Jack Rabbit Slim’sas the fictional restaurant that recreates American popular culture of the 1950s is called, without imagining that that night they would return home with a trophy under their arms and a great scare that they would never forget.

“I want to dance, I want to win, I want that trophy,” Wallace tells his gangster companion when a dance contest is announced. And it doesn’t take more for them to go on stage.

Tarantino himself has confessed that, of all the scenes in his movies, this is by far his favorite. One of the most emblematic of his filmography and of pop culture in general. With the music escaping from the frame, the three minutes that the scene lasts became one of the biggest leagues in film history, with millions of views on YouTube.

The story behind the story is the backstage that came to light many years after its premiere, as well as some rumors about the anxiety crisis that Thurman would have suffered before going out to shoot the scene with John Travolta, no less, the protagonist of saturday night fever, -at that time with its shares falling-, and they were about to suppress it. Then Quentin told Uma that he didn’t care if they danced poorly, fair or well, he just wanted it to be seen that the characters were having a good time. The actress relaxed and finally it could be done. The scene of that dance, without a doubt one of the great moments of the film, captivated the public of the nineties and continues to be remembered to this day.

In the behind-the-scenes video, the actors and Tarantino himself can be seen wandering around the set before shooting. After shouting “action”, Quentin himself lets himself be carried through the scene to the catchy rhythm of Chuck Berry’s song and starts dancing behind the camera, next to his cameraman and his assistants. Fascinated by the action, he takes a camera to film himself some shots of that fabulous, Olympic scene, one of the most remembered in his filmography.

In addition to other musical versions and their references in the movies, Chuck Berry’s song is mentioned in a section of Stephen King’s novel, rose madder (1995), when a violent cop named Norman is promoted and the narrator reflects on that situation: “It made him think of a Chuck Berry song, one that said ‘C’est la vie, it goes to show you never can tell’. And after the impulse of pulp fictionhas appeared in as many films as Life itself (2018); pregnant (2016); Arthur and the Invisibles (2006); hard to spy (1996) and in various TV series such as The Big Bang Theory, scream or even in Gilmore Girls.

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The song that Chuck Berry wrote when he got out of prison, became a hit and shone in the 90s with the dance of Uma Thurman and John Travolta