A 1970’s Time Capsule
Be sure to visit my News and Noteworthy post today as well.
The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on. Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE
Ah Disco! What does that one word conjure up in your mind? Music of course but disco is so much more. It was fashion, it was lifestyle, it was dancing and yes it was music. Let’s start out with a little to make you want to get out on that dance floor.
For me this song defines disco. I was just entering my teen years when the movie Saturday Night Fever was released. Of course I wasn’t old enough to go see it. I saw it much later but not seeing it then didn’t prevent disco from its influences. What I remember most about the late 1970s is that you either loved disco or you thought disco sucked. Sometimes you had to play it both ways dependent on what friends you were with.
When all the spectacular disco music hits were playing on the radio, I wanted to own them all. What did you do when you were young and didn’t have much ready cash. You bought 45s. I can’t remember how many of them I owned but every time I had a little cash I went to the record store and bought a 45. Record stores. Those were memories. I noticed recently that vinyl is making a comeback. It seems to be a nostalgic phase.
I may have selected a subject for the letter D that is too big to do in a simple post. I’ll just touch on a few aspects.
Disco is a genre of dance music containing elements of Rhythm & Blues, funk, soul, pop, and salsa.
Well-known 1970s disco performers included Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Boney M, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Trammps, Gloria Gaynor and Chic.
Films such as Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Thank God It’s Friday (1978) contributed to disco’s rise in mainstream popularity.
Disco was the last mass popular music movement that was driven by the baby boomer generation.
By the late 1970s most major U.S. cities had thriving disco club scenes, where DJs would mix a seamless sequence of dance records. Studio 54 in New York is the most famous disco club. It was very popular with celebrities.
Popular dances included The Hustle, a sexually suggestive dance.
Discotheque-goers often wore expensive, extravagant and sexy fashions.
There was also a thriving drug subculture in the disco scene, particularly for drugs that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud music and the flashing lights, such as cocaine. Disco clubs were also associated with promiscuity.
By the late 1970s, a strong anti-disco sentiment developed among rock fans and musicians, particularly in the United States. The slogans “disco sucks” and “death to disco” became common. I previously wrote about Disco Demolition Night, an anti-disco protest held in Chicago on 12 July 1979, is commonly thought of as a factor in disco’s fast and drastic decline.
Regardless of the fate of disco, some of the music will live on forever and always get us up dancing.
Here is one of my favorites. It is quite early in the disco period. TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” is a 1973 hit recording by MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) featuring vocals by The Three Degrees.
A to Z on the Music Charts
I won’t be including Disco Duck by Rick Dees. I can hear the collective sigh of relief. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 7, 1976 where it remained for four week. It is the performance of this song in 1985 at Live Aid in Philadelphia that is my favorite.
Not number one on the Hot 100 but it did reach number 3. It was number one on the country charts and an all time favorite. Please enjoy the Devil Went Down to Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band from 1979.
A to Z At the Movies
One of the most disturbing movies I have ever watched, Deliverance (1972) was nominated for three Academy Awards. Although it didn’t take home an Oscar, the dueling banjos and that scary disturbing sexual scene is one you just can’t forget.