Don Campbell (dancer)
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Don "Campbellock" Campbell (January 7, 1951 in Saint Louis, Missouri) is an American dancer and choreographer best known for having invented the "locking" dance, and for his work with the Lockers which included former member Fred Berry.
In 1971, Campbell joined the cast of Soul Train once the program arrived in Los Angeles. He was a featured dancer until 1973, when he was removed from the program for requesting that performers be paid. He then recruited other dancers who had been removed for the same reason, and with them founded the Lockers.
Don recorded a song appropriately titled, “The Campbellock”, to go with his new high-flying, groundbreaking new dance, in March 1972 Stanson Records released his single "the Campbellock". Don also established his own dance ensemble, “The Campbellock Dancers”. The name was later changed to “The Lockers”.
Fred Berry (Dancer/Actor “Rerun” from TV’s What’s Happening), Don’s girlfriend at the time-Toni Basil (Choreographer/Recording Artist), and Adolfo “Shabadoo” Quinones (Dancer/Actor “Ozone” from the films- Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2-Electric Boogaloo) were onetime members of the group,
Don and “The Lockers” appeared with some of the greatest entertainers of all time: Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Carol Burnett, Doris Day, Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, Bill Cosby, Roger Miller, Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke, Aretha Franklin, John Denver, Roberta Flack, Michael Landon, Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Donny and Marie Osmond, Howard Cosell, and Cheech & Chong.
“The Lockers” also appeared on TV shows including The Carol Burnett Show (as The Campbellock Dancers), The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (first as The Campbellock Dancers, then as The Lockers), What’s Happening (as "The Rockets"), ABC in Concert, The Grammys, The Oscars, and Saturday Night Live (as the first non-musical group to perform on the show). Don and his various troupes went on to amass over 80 credits to their name before calling it quits in the early ’80s.
Some of the most popular videos of years past have featured Don’s signature steps, predominantly by artists such as The Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Wyclef Jean, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Busta Rhymes, Aaliyah, and Mýa. The videos Janet Jackson made to help promote her “Rhythm Nation” album and subsequent videos since feature Don’s original steps. Michael Jackson used Don’s Locking Style extensively in his choreography for all of his tours and videos. Actor/Comedian Eddie Griffin has highlighted some of Don’s moves throughout his movie career.
New generations of street dancers have helped bring back The Legendary Don “Campbellock” Campbell and his Revolutionary dance. The dance is making its way back thru the clubs, thru videos, and in the street. “Locking” is now considered a part of HipHop Culture, under the umbrella of Street Dance.
Don’s new role is that of an instructor and ambassador, using a documented video biography, and combining it with revolutionary hands-on teaching. Don has taught classes in cities and states such as: Philadelphia, New York, Hawaii, Colorado, Atlanta, Miami, Oakland, and San Francisco. Don has also taken his approach around the world to such countries as: Japan, Canada, Portugal, England, The Netherlands, and Germany.
Because of the state of Hip-Hop culture’s expansion worldwide, Don has made his presence felt attending many of the culture’s prominent events that encompass the full spectrum of Hip-Hop: Rennie Harris Puremovement Presents Illdelphi Legends and The Legends of HipHop, The Back to Mecca Conferences, The Bboy Summits, The American Street Dance Championships, The 1st Annual HipHop Dance Awards, The Bboy Pro-Am, The Zulu Nation Anniversary, The USA/World HipHop Dance Championships, Up Jump The Boogie, and so on.
Don was also honored at the first ever Hip-Hop conference sponsored by and at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Artifacts such as Don’s outfits worn during His career, were on display inside The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as well as abroad, as part of an exhibit designed to help promote awareness about Hip-Hop culture.
The media has had renewed interest Don over the years, as well. Articles have appeared in publications Like: WAV/Kotori Magazine (2005), Elemental Magazine (05/04), V Magazine (09/02), RapPages (04/99 and 12/98), Insomniac (1/99), Vibe (9/98), New York Press (9/98) LA Times (3/94), as well as, 360HipHop.com (07/00) and Charged.com (09/98). Don also headlines a chapter on early LA Hip-Hop in the coffee table book “Vibe’s History of Hip-Hop”
Presently, as well as making teaching, judging, and speaking engagements, Don is also working on a number of projects with his son Dennis which include: An illustrated book of his dance and its teachings, an autobiography, a DVD that details his life, and a feature film based his life story.
- The Bio of Don "Campbellock" Campbell, from Campbell's official MySpace page, posted July 3, 2006, retrieved March 1, 2011
- Hip Hop Culture, by Emmett George Price, p. 147, published 2006 by ABC-CLIO (via Google Books)
- Independent Record Labels Of Ohio: Stanson Records, at 45RPMRecords.com, retrieved March 1, 2011