A staple of The Gong Show was the joyous dancing to Count Basie’s “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” by Gene Gene the Dancing Machine.
Eugene Patton made history as the first African-American to attain membership in the the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, Local 33. But “Gene” transcended that accomplishment when, while warming up the audiences at NBC Studios in Burbank, California, he was thrust into the spotlight by the father of reality programming… Chuck Barris.
Patton exited the planet, a victim of complications from diabetes, at the age of 82. He is survived by children Bonnie, Carol, Sidney and Courtney, his sister Henrietta, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren[ref]The Hollywood Reporter[/ref].
If none of this registers with you… never fear, YouTube is here. You can view Gene’s terpsichore below:
Prayers for Gene’s family, friends, and fans. May God rest his eternal soul.