Unsung on disco – what an amazing story about a genre of music that touched so many lives. Having roots in New York and Philly and becoming an amazing phenomenon, I can’t help but compare this genre of music to hip hop.
Not to be controversial, but when you think about it, I mean REALLY think about it from a spiritual place, disco was like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. Labeled as a den of sex and sin so-to-speak with its highly sexual overtones and known drug use, disco had a downward spiral. I don’t care what nobody says but if you deny the drugs on the scene during disco, you are a lie. Not everybody did it but it was definitely there. It was even talked about in the episode but the drug scene was definately if full effect. The music of disco was so incredible. It was just beautiful. As a DJ I use the word beautiful because of the beat. The beat of disco which was described as “4 on the floor” means 4 bars to a beat. That’s pure hotness!
Disco was about self-expression and middle America was HOT about it because it was taking over EVERYTHING and as good as it was, it was everywhere. Disco was on top of the world.
I can’t believe that a date was actually created for a “lynching” of disco and nobody fought back! This real live disco inferno impacted not just the artists. The record labels, producers, radio, everything was impacted and nobody fought back? WOW!
Spin on Why DJ’s Love Disco
The disco era created the 12 inch single and that’s what DJ’s in the 80’s “spun” to and for that DJ’s salute disco! Disco would break down EACH song to singles and then there were different versions. I have that Donna Summer “Love To Love You Baby”record and it is THAT LONG and THAT DOPE! My dad would be at the record store like EVERY week bringing home a new record or a new version of a record – LOL. Disco was about dance and DJ’s love seeing people have a good time out on the floor- THAT’S OUR JOB. The beat (four on the floor) that disco followed compiled with feeling, words and openness was just infectious. I mean some of the songs would even tell you what to do like….”dance! dance! dance! …do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight….”
Disco to me was soul infused with a message. Disco wasn’t always about “getting down.” Some of it was very impactful like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” and Candi Stanton’s “Young Hearts Run Free.”
Spin on Classic Sets
I don’t necessary have a “disco” set, I call it a classic set where I mix in a lot of the older grooves but disco and songs that have that disco feel are always included. I LOVE “Love Hangover” by Diana Ross, then there’s The Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine,” then The O’Jays, Marvin Gaye ("Got to Give It Up"), Main Ingredient, Lou Rawls, Thelma Houston and blue eyed-soul group KC & The Sunshine Band. I love a classic set and all the music that comes with it.
Disco and Hip Hop
There is definitely a comparison between the disco and hip hop that cannot be denied. Both have roots in New York and Philly for starters. Crazy that two months after disco ended so abruptly, The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rappers Delight” opened the doors for hip-hop. If disco hadn’t crashed so suddenly, I wonder if hip-hop would be here today??? Hip-hop has roots in disco, definitely! There’s no denying that. Early hip-hop songs like Rapper’s Delight were even recorded/rapped to using disco’s popular song Good Times by Chic.
The Memories and Fashion of Disco
I might have been just a youngin but I have disco memories that will live forever. If you were listening to black radio in the 70s, you definitely heard disco. Patrice Rushen; that was MY GIRL and Boogie Oogie Oogie was THE song. Back then, all the little girls, me included, would make up dances to that song all day every day. When artists recorded classic songs but put that disco spin on it, it gave it a whole new sound and simply catapulted the artist. R&B songs reached a whole new plateau if it was made into a disco song.
If you weren’t nearly naked then you weren’t in true disco fashion. LOL! People were really showy back then! The more visual you were with your fashion, I guess the more you could feel the music??? To me, EVERY music era has some questionable fashion looks and disco is definitely one of them. Did you guys see Barry White in his GREEN SUIT? I LOVE IT! And his hair was LAID!
I wonder if Studio 54 was so picky about who they picked to come in from the line outside because once you were inside you were so mesmerized you just couldn’t believe it?! LOL!!! If you appeared too conservative did you stay outside? I mean who decorates with a neon sign of a moon with a spoon to its nose in the middle of the dance floor!!!?!!!
The story about disco group Chic being turned away at Studio 54 and then going home which resulted in them making the song”Freak Out” was crazy! I LOVE Unsung trivia like that! WHO KNEW!!!!
Disco Does a Body Good
72 year-old Earl Young of The Trammps is still playing drums and doing his thing! Is THAT what DISCO does for you? WOW! What about Janice Marie from the disco group Taste of Honey- GORGEOUS! Those two are REAL musicians. I could see their passion. Disco is looking GREAT on them! The one thing that this episode does for sure is it makes you want to revisit some of those songs.
Disco is NOT dead because I’m STILL playing it and because it simply changed its name and form to dance music. There’s a surge simmering underground with a whole newer version of disco …
Spinderella AKA Spindeezy
TELL US: Give Spinderella a Shout Out and Share Your Favorite Disco Song or Memory!