#14: I Only Want To Get Up And Dance by The Raes

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CIHI
Peak Month: May 1979
Peak Position in Fredericton #5
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Disco chart ~ #47
YouTube: “I Only Want To Get Up And Dance
Lyrics: “I Only Want To Get Up And Dance

The Raes were the British-Canadian husband-and-wife singing duo of Robbie Rae (born Robert Henry Bevan in 1954) and Cherrill Rae (born Cherrill Yates), who had a handful of disco-infused pop hits in the late 1970s. Robbie Rae grew up in Wales and began his recording career as a pre-teen. Though his version of “The Lord’s Prayer”, sung in Welsh, was banned by the BBC, who considered it blasphemous. Before long, he was touring Europe and had his own television variety show in Wales. Cherrill Rae was born in England but lived in Ontario as a child. In Canada she developed an appreciation for R&B, especially the Motown sound. She moved back to the United Kingdom to continue her musical studies and pursue a singing career.

Robbie and Cherrill met in England when Cherrill was performing on Robbie’s TV show, and were engaged soon afterward. Since their solo careers in the UK kept them apart for too long, Robbie and Cherrill moved to Canada, where they began to perform and record, first as Cherrill and Robbie Rae and then as a duo called the Raes. They scored their first hit in Canada in July 1977 with a disco-styled remake of Doris’s “Que Sera Sera” and followed it up with their self-titled debut album, The Raes, the following year.

Their second album, Dancing Up a Storm, was released in 1979. Picked up for U.S. release by A&M Records, it included their best-known song, “A Little Lovin’ (Keeps the Doctor Away)”, which became a top-five hit on the Billboard Dance Club chart. After the record was added by influential radio stations on the East Coast such as WKTU in New York and WRKO in Boston, it reached #61 on the Billboard Hot 100. The duo appeared on Soul Train and American Bandstand. Their followup single was called “I Only Wanna Get Up And Dance”.

I Only Want To Get Up And Dance by The RaesI Only Want To Get Up And Dance by The Raes

“I Only Want To Get Up And Dance” was written by Sylvester Levay and Pete Bellotte. In 1943, Peter John Bellotte was born in High Barnet, a market town north of London, UK. He learned to play guitar in his youth and by the age of 19 was in a beat band called the Sinners. In the mid-sixties he toured France and Germany with British singer Linda Laine. In 1965 Linda Laine and the Sinners had a #5 hit on the German pop charts with a cover of the 1958 doo-wop classic “Get A Job” by the Silhouettes. While in Hamburg, Pete Bellotte met Bluesology and became friends with Reg Dwight (who later adopted the stage name Elton John). Having learnt German, Pete Bellotte teamed up with producer Georgio Moroder who had written a song in German titled “Nachts scheint die Sonne” (In the Night Shines the Sun). Bellotte wrote the English lyrics to “Son Of My Father” which became a number-one hit on the pop charts in Argentina, Belgium, Spain, South Africa and the UK in 1972 (as well as Top Ten in Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway).

Around 1974, Moroder and Pete Bellotte met a young singer-actress-model named Donna Sommer (formerly Donna Gaines, she had married Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973). Donna Sommer had moved from the USA to Germany and performed in German productions of Hair, Godspell and Show Boat. Moroder, Bellotte and Sommer’s collaboration resulted in her first studio album released in 1974 titled Lady Of The Night. The album contained the single “The Hostage” which climbed into the Top Ten in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. Due to an error on the record cover her name was not spelled Donna Sommer, but Donna Summer – and the error inspired her new stage name. In 1975 Donna Summer released her second album titled Love To Love You Baby. The 16-minute title-track, according to the BBC, included 23 orgasms. “Love To Love You Baby” was co-written by Georgio Mororder, Pete Bellotte and Donna Summer. The single was released in 1975 and became an international hit topping the pop charts in Canada, and climbing into the Top Ten in at least a dozen other countries.

Georgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte wrote and co-produced almost all the songs for Donna Summer on her first six studio albums. Bellotte also wrote or co-wrote other hits for Donna Summer, including “I Feel Love”, “Rumour Has It”, “Heaven Knows”, “Hot Stuff”, and number-one Dance chart hits “Try Me, I Know We Can Make It” and “Love’s Unkind”. Pete Bellotte also produced “Bad Girls” and “Dim All the Lights” for Donna Summer. In 1976 Pete Bellotte also wrote “Trouble Maker”, a number-one Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart hit in July 1976. Then in 1979, Moroder and Bellotte co-wrote “Harmony”, a number-one Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart hit in November 1979.

In 1980, Bellotte, Moroder and Donna Summer received several Grammy Award nominations. One was for Album of the Year for Bad Girls which was awarded to Billy Joel for 52nd Street. They received a second nomination for the single “Bad Girls” was for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Bellotte also received a third nomination at the 1980 Grammy Awards in the Best Disco Recording category for “Dim All the Lights”. Pete Bellotte published his first collection of short stories in 2016 titled The Unround Circle.

“I Only Want To Get Up And Dance” is a song about dancing the blues away. If you’ve had a break-up with someone, the beat of the music will make you “forget about that man.” Remember, “the music takes you higher.”

“I Only Want To Get Up And Dance” peaked at #5 in Fredericton (NB), #7 in Ottawa, #13 in Toronto, #16 in Vancouver (BC), and #17 in Saskatoon (SK).

A followup release, “Don’t Turn Around”, peaked at #10 in Fredericton (NB) in August 1979. However, the single failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100 or the Canadian RPM Singles chart.

The duo were nominated for two Juno Awards and hosted their own network variety show called The Raes on CBC from 1978–1980. They had many guests including Chubby Checker, ventriloquist Shari Lewis & Lamb Chop, Grace Jones, Sylvester, Robert John, Prism, Stonbolt, Pat Benatar, Ian Tyson, Patti Page, Denise McCann and others.

In 1980, the act split up as Robbie and Cherrill headed for divorce. Their album release, Two Hearts, sold poorly.

Robbie and Cherrill pursued separate careers after their divorce in 1982. Robbie recorded for Quality Records for a time and was a member of GNP (Gilmour-Negus Project), along with former Saga members Jim Gilmour (guitar) and Steve Negus (drums). GNP recorded one album for Virgin Records, Safety Zone, released in 1989, along with the single “How Many Times”. In the 1990s, he went on to perform the club circuit in Toronto. In 1996, Robbie and his wife Martine Bergeron moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates where Robbie performed for American troops as well as in a nightclub called The Cyclone. In 1999, they moved to Phuket, Thailand, where they ran a tourist pub in Kamala Beach. In 2001, after being married 12 years, he and Martine divorced. On December 26, 2004, Robbie went missing as one of many victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster when Phuket was devastated by flooding. He was found safe a short time later. However, less than 14 months later, Robbie died in February 2006, in Phuket, following a short illness.

Cherrill remarried another musician, Nick Cucunato, and has revitalized her career by performing in several acts, including Backstreet, Rae and Rockit, the Cherrill Rae Trio lounge act, as well as a fly-on act with Carnival Cruise Lines. Today, she continues to perform her nightclub act on occasion and resides in Florida.

January 22, 2024
Ray McGinnis

Northchapel-based Pete Bellotte and his Literary Ambitions,” Sussex Life, November 10, 2016.
The Raes (TV series),” Wikipedia.org.
The Raes,” Canadianbands.com, April 11, 2022.

I Only Want To Get Up And Dance by The Raes
CIHI 1260-AM Fredericton (NB) Top Ten | May 11, 1979

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