Patrick Swayze singing stripped back 'She's Like The Wind' from Dirty Dancing is out of this world
6 February 2024, 13:36
The actor wrote and performed the song and fought to have it included on the 'Dirty Dancing' soundtrack.
Listen to this article
The song, which was turned down by a number of producers before being included on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, became an overnight success after the movie's release in August 1987.
- Dirty Dancing: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey play around in adorable rehearsal video from 1986
- Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey wishes she could apologise to Patrick Swayze after real-life "tensions"
- The Story of... '(I've Had) The Time of My Life' from Dirty Dancing
- QUIZ: How well do you remember Dirty Dancing?
Just two months later, Patrick Swayze found himself on stage in Norway after the song became a hit across Europe and reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Adult Contemporary.
The actor appeared on the TV show TopPop after 'She's Like The Wind' reached number 7 in the Norwegian chart, and performed what would become one of the most beautiful, raw and stripped-back versions of the song.
Taking to the stage in his signature jeans and black leather jacket, Swayze performed solo, without a band or backing singers, to the small studio audience and blew everyone away.
The star had come a long way with the track, which had been rejected by a number of music industry insiders before becoming a hit.
- The Story of... The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack: Kate Garraway speaks to iconic movie's songwriters
- Where are the cast of Dirty Dancing now?
- Dirty Dancing: The truth about Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s complicated relationship
Swayze co-wrote the song with his friend, Nashville composer Stacy Widelitz in 1984.
It was originally intended for the soundtrack of a movie he was filming called Grandview, U.S.A., and was meant to be about Jamie Lee Curtis' character in the film. However, the song was not chosen.
In 2020, actor Rob Lowe also revealed that Swayze had tried to get the song included on the soundtrack of Lowe's 1986 film, Youngblood, by the song was once again rejected by showrunners.
However, the actor's luck would change when during production of Dirty Dancing in 1987, Swayze played the demo for producer Linda Gottlieb and director Emile Ardolino, and they both loved it.
The pair passed it on to Jimmy Ienner and Bob Feiden, the soundtrack's executive producers, and despite it being a contemporary soft rock song as opposed to the film's 1960s setting, it was later re-recorded for the soundtrack in November 1986.
'She's Like The Wind' featured at the moment when Johnny (Swayze) and Baby (Jennifer Grey) part ways in the middle of the film, and went on to become known as one of the finest songs on Dirty Dancing.
- Vintage footage of Patrick Swayze 'dirty dancing' with his wife Lisa Niemi is sensational
- Remembering the Dirty Dancing movie prequel starring Patrick Swayze we all forgot
- Dirty Dancing sequel is confirmed as Jennifer Grey returns for new film 33 years later
The 1987 movie would later become one of the most famous of all time, but was initially not seen as a success.
The low-budget feature film was so badly received by test audiences that producers considered releasing it straight to video.
After filming, Jennifer Grey recalled, "When we did it, it felt like it was so under the radar that no one was ever going to see it and we were just torturing ourselves for nothing."
Patrick Swayze She's Like The Wind TopPop Norway 1987
Luckily the initial reaction was short-lived and the movie became a huge breakout success, grossing over £214 million - a far cry from the £6 million it cost to shoot.
The title track from Dirty Dancing '(I've Had) The Time Of My Life' by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes has since become one of the world's most famous pop songs and won an Oscar, Golden Globe and a Grammy Award in 1988.
While Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze created one of cinema's greatest ever romantic duos in Dirty Dancing, the pair's off-camera chemistry was not smooth sailing.
- The Story of... 'She's Like the Wind' by Patrick Swayze
- Why Patrick Swayze hated 'Nobody puts Baby in the corner' line from Dirty Dancing
- Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey opens up about anxiety that stopped her reappearing on Friends
Grey opened up about her regrets from her time working on Dirty Dancing in her 2023 autobiography, Out of the Corner, fourteen years after Patrick Swayze's untimely 2009 death from pancreatic cancer.
She wrote: "The same way Baby and Johnny were not supposed to be together … a natural match, right? And we weren't a natural match.
Smooth's Untold Stories: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's complicated relationship
"And the fact that we needed to be a natural match created a tension. Because normally when someone's not a natural, you… both people move on, but we were forced to be together. And our being forced to be together created a kind of a synergy, or like a friction."
Jennifer added that if she had the chance to say anything to him now, she would apologise to him.
"I would say, 'I'm so sorry that I couldn't just appreciate and luxuriate in who you were, instead of me wishing you were more like what I wanted you to be'," she said.
Before he passed away, Swayze also spoke about their partnership, saying: “One thing that worked beautifully was that it really was a teaching situation."
He also called her "one of the most gifted actresses around in terms of her ability to be present in the moment right now".