Growing up in a certain era, you just accepted the social cues of the time. In the 1980s, you just accepted that you stopped everything that you were doing when “Dirty Dancing” came on TV. The movie was a cultural phenomenon that still reverberates today.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, changing the movie soundtrack history with 55 million copies sold, Dirty Dancing’s original soundtrack spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart and 230 weeks in the top 30 and earned an Academy and Golden Globe Award.

Those lofty numbers crowing it as one of the greatest selling soundtracks of all time, piggybacked with three smash hits: “Hungry Eyes,” “She’s Like the Wind,” and “(I’ve had) The Time of My Life.”

Chicago Scene caught up with sing/songwriters Stacy Widelitz, Franke Previte and John DeNicola on how the movie changed their lives and the impact felt today.

“I have my own small record label, I’m able to continue in the music business through the money that was generated, through the contacts that were generated, and most recently after how many years in the music business, I turned to being an artist and has enabled me to do a couple of records,” DeNicola said. “I’m eternally grateful.”

Franke Previte and Lisa Swayze

When their “Dirty Dancing” friend Patrick Swayze died, Previte and DeNicola contacted Swayze’s wife Lisa and decided to donate proceeds from the sale of the “Dancing Dancing: The Original Demos” to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in memory of Swayze. 

“Dirty Dancing: The Original Demos” features the original recordings (with Previte on lead vocals) of “(I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes.” These original versions are what Swayze and Jennifer Grey filmed their Dirty Dancing dance sequences.

To find more about Widelitz, click here.

To find more about Previte, click here.

To find more about DeNicola, click here.

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