FIT INSTRUCTOR CO-WROTE GRACE JONES’S “PULL UP TO THE BUMPER.” YES, THAT SONG. YES, REALLY.


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Hue is mad for all things Grace Jones.  Hue digs her hair, clothes, bad attitude, and cheek bones.  Hue cherishes the fact that Grace Jones was pals with illustrator Antonio Lopez, Illustration ’64.  Sometimes we find ourselves walking down the street with our ginormous headphones on, listening to Grace Jones sing in that perfectly cool, kinda butch voice, and we find ourselves thinking, “There never has been, and never will be, anyone as fabulous as Grace Jones.  Ever.”

When Hue found out that Dana Manno, who teaches dance at FIT and is the college’s Theater Ensemble advisor, wrote Grace’s big hit, “Pull Up to the Bumper,” we were nearly apoplectic.  We raced over to interview Manno.  The results can be found in the latest issue of Hue, page 13.

“Pull Up to the Bumper” is one of those songs that doesn’t age.  Though it was released in 1981, it still sounds perfect blasting out of your car’s stereo speakers.  On the off chance that you’ve never heard it, you sad creature, we present it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy0E13EtnVA

In addition to penning the words to an immortal pop tune, Manno’s done quite a lot of other things, like dance with Katherine Dunham and the Metropolitan Opera Company.  She also acted in and choreographed Gordon Parks’s 1976 bio-pic, Leadbelly.  You can watch her dance and perform in this clip, beginning at about 7:45:

embedded by Embedded Video

Manno is also a happy, upbeat person, as you can see in this picture of her performing the song last summer in Central Park.

Manno says she's always had a fondness for double entendre.

2 thoughts on “FIT INSTRUCTOR CO-WROTE GRACE JONES’S “PULL UP TO THE BUMPER.” YES, THAT SONG. YES, REALLY.

  1. Herbert Pinnock

    The virtuosity of Dana Manno is simply astounding. A dancer, actress, songwriter, teacher and mentor, hers is a talent seldom equaled.

    Manno has worked with, and has been associated with, some of the legends of music film and stage, including groundbreaking film maker, and Renaissance man, Gordon Parks, iconic actress and singer Eartha Kitt , dance and choreographer extraordinaire Catherine Dunham, celebrated singer Grace Jones, and jazz great Ornette Coleman.

    It is always an enormous pleasure to see this great lady in one of her many guises, regardless of the venue, totally enthralling, and making it all appear so very easy.

    Reply
  2. Helene Abrams

    Dana Manno, and I have been colleagues and friends for over 20 years. She never ceases to amaze me with her exceptional talents. This multi-talented performer, with her acting, singing, songwriting, dancing, choreography, writing, and directing skills always touches her audiences and students to the core of their being. It is a joy to know that FIT has such distinguished teachers, as Dana Manno, on their faculty, so their students get the benefit of being so richly influenced by such a gifted professor who has her roots planted so firmly in the entertainment field.

    Reply

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