Over the last five or so years of my life disco music has become a big part of what I listen to. I’ve always dabbled in disco in the past and I found the genre to be pretty amazing despite the rest of the USA seemingly against it. My first memories of any kind of dance-able music came from the Saturday night broadcasts live at Chauncey’s in Station Square broadcast on 3WS in Pittsburgh, PA. Anytime we were out and driving around on a Saturday night this is the channel my father would put on the radio. The songs were the run of the mill, always present popular disco classics that everyone knew and loved. You’d get Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, and many other assorted one disco wonders from the 70’s. The music was always good and it always gave me joy when I listened to it.
If I hadn’t dug further into the world of disco (thanks to the help of my friend Gil) I would have thought that disco ended with Disco Demolition Night in July 1979 in Chicago, IL. That’s the moment where the white & heterosexual United States turned its back on disco. However disco continued on, finding a home on urban radio stations in big cities (listen to this mix from WKTU 92.3 NYC from 1983) and in gay discos of the early to mid 80’s (including one of my “if I could time travel I’d go back to this destination” locations, The Saint).
This is where the four on the floor disco thing takes off for me. It’s easy to digest the Bee Gees and their infectious groove, but it’s a whole other thing to take it to the next level and start loving the disco of the 80’s. Disco grew in so many ways thanks to the clubs and DJs of the 1980’s, Synthesizers, turntables, and gay culture changed and grew in so many different ways in the 1980’s. All of these changes in music, instruments, and culture influenced and changed disco into something way beyond what you might hear on a KC and the Sunshine Band 7″ record.
2019 Pride marks a huge moment in time, the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. I’ve been seeing a lot of great pieces on this anniversary and in reading those I’ve been giving a lot of thought about this important history and the great music attached to it that inspired this community. It all came together when I read What Was Playing on the Jukebox at Stonewall When The Riot Started? I loved how there was a community out there preserving and saving this unique and important information for our future. You can go into Spotify and search for “Stonewall Jukebox” to find some great playlists that attempt to replicate the original Stonewall Jukebox. Here’s a link to my favorite.
Here in this piece today I’d like to share another playlist with you: my own addition to Pride 2019, a playlist of some of the best disco from every era that I have absorbed over the last five years. You’ll find a few classics, a lot of synthesizers, so much bass drum, and an amazing infectious mood on this playlist. My personal favorite time of the disco era seems to be lodged right between 1980-1987 and this list will reflect that. You’ll hear some songs that may not seem traditionally disco but from what I’ve heard and read about they were bangers in the gay clubs of NYC back in the day. Anywho, I hope you enjoy this playlist, crank it up to eleven, and dance your days and nights away.
ALL the love in the world to the LGBTQ community from myself, Haley, Finn, and Aero. Happy Pride 2019!