by DJ Alex Gutierrez Miami/ Rewind 1039 / SFDJA In 1976 at the age of 15 & 16, two aspiring DJs , unable to get into any of the straight clubs in Miami , found themselves in front of the WindwardResort Motel in Miami Beach. They both agreed that they would say ” We left our IDs in the car ( Those lines worked back then ) Half an hour past their curfew of 10:00pm , they approached the front door and a large bouncer who calmly waved them in, No questions asked . The music was getting louder, the dance floor packed with bodies, and a song that would introduce them to a whole new world of music they couldn’t get at their local record store. The song was ” Love in C Minor” by Cerrone but they wouldn’t find out the name of the song until two weeks later because the DJ had covered the label with tape, a practice back in the day to sound exclusive. I was one of those two kids who would forever be in love with the music known as ” Disco” Jean-Marc Cerrone born 24 May 1952 is a French disco drummer, composer, recordContinue readingCerrone: From France with Love
I’m a huge James Bond fan,so you can imagine when in the opening credits of ” The Spy Who Loved Me” 007 evades several machine gun wielding adversaries while on a pair of skis to a hard pouncing, dance floor worthy Disco theme,complete with scratching wa -was.I wasn’t a big Fan of Roger Moore but the producers ,or should I say Composer Marvin Hamlisch hit it right on the head !!The soundtrack to the film was composed by Hamlisch, who filled in for veteran John Barry. Released in August of 1977 it was almost as if Albert R. Broccoli had predicted the coming of Disco. Biddu Orchestra – James Bond Disco Theme was released in 1978 but never appeared in a James Bond film.
This is something we are extremely proud of.Growing up and listening to his records and then years later being able to actually have a conversation with the Master himself was a real privilege. My number one all time Disco Hit has always been Romeo And Juliette. Listen to the voice that brought us all this beautiful music.No matter hoe he appeared as Love and Kisses, Sphinx,Sumeria,Tony Rallo his productions are testament to the quality that Disco music could achieve. Open House radio is our weekly Disco program heard all over the world on stations such as Generation Soul Funk Disco and AmyFm in France. Wepa.FM in Miami, Disco 935 New York, Radio Sigma and Cultura Web in Brazil and countless more. Enjoy and help ” Keep the Music Alive” Open House Radio #54 Alec R. Costandinos by Open House Radio on Mixcloud
December 16 marked the 26th anniversary of the death of one of Disco’s greatest performers, Sylvester born Sylvester James, Jr. September 6, 1947 in Watts, Los Angeles, California.His music was a staple of nightclubs throughout the world and continues to be included in every Disco set played today. although he had a previous release in 1977 Sylvester first came to our attention with the release of his 1978 ” Step II” which include Dance ( Disco Heat ) ” Gotta a Match?” and Mighty Real on the Fantasy Label.The DJ Promo 12″ was released in 1978, with “Dance (Disco Heat)” as the A-side and “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” on the B-side. Most club DJs at the time programmed both cuts with equal enthusiasm , but my favorite was ” Mighty Real” which in my opinion embodied the feel of the Disco experience as opposed to the grittier ,soulful, Gospel -like ” Disco heat” which was the mainstream favorite. His 1979 album ” Living Proof” produced the mediocre ” Body Strong” which basically used the same drum pattern as ” Disco Heat” .It wasn’t until Sylvester’s album “Stars” that I believed he was back on top of his gameContinue readingHe Made us Feel " Mighty Real "
Produced by Disco Music Icon Ray Martinez founder of Paris International Records and creator of the groups Amant and Passion, Foxy was formed in 1976 here in Miami. The group consisted of vocalist Ish Ledesma ,percussionist Richard “Richie” Puente ( son of Tito Puente), keyboardist Charlie Murciano, bass guitarist Arnold Paseiro and drummer Joe Galdo . Carl Driggs later joined on their second album as vocalist/percussion and shared songwriting credits. Their big international hit of course was ” Get Off” but it was this track ” Get Off Your Ahh and Dance” that introduced alot of local club patrons to Foxy. The track was tailor made for Hustle Dancers , Ray Martinez’s signature sound is evident throughout the track complete with violins, flute and the tropical percussion that would cement Martinez’s image as the creator of ” Miami-Style Disco” Unfortunately this beautiful piece of music was obscured when several months later the better promoted T – Connection released a similar sounding ” Disco Magic” also on TK’s Dash Label. The track continues to this day to be one of the ground breaking records that defined the early disco Era.
Since it’s release on Casablanca Records in 1983 Rags to Riches ” El Watusi/ La Bamba ” has been a standard must play in the progamming schedule of every veteran DJ here in the South Florida Area . Of course our large Hispanic population may play a major role in this decision by the jocks, but far from being another straight ahead Remake of ” La Bamba” like Antonia Rodriguez’s 1978 dancefloor hit, Rags to Riches ( 12′) builds it up with a long percussive intro ( 2:51) where a female voice ” narrates” her intentions to steal another girl’s boyfriend ( in Spanish) it is this intro that ” sold” the track to the DJs.The intro weaves seemlessly into ” La Bamba” is a classic style which originated in the Mexican state of Veracruz and combines Spanish, and African musical elements, yet the female voice on the track is speaking with a Carribean Latin Accent ( Dominican,Puerto Rican) Album Tracks A Land Of 1000 Dances Medley 22:07 B El Watusi / La Bamba (Special Dance Mix Version) 6:43 “Land Of 1000 Dances” medley: Land Of 1000 Dances Shotgun Twist & Shout Cool Jerk Walkin’ The Dog El Watusi LaContinue readingLand of 1000 Dances " El Watusi/La Bamba " 12 inch Version… Still a Classic
Although it only represented a ” localized” Disco experience, specifically that of Italian Americans living in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. The film helped propel Disco into the mainstream. Although the music and dancing were secondary in the telling of the story of Tony Manero ,the visuals defined the period and was the mold for new ” Disco Converts” Polyester shirts, Blow Dried hair,gold chains, elevator shoes and other details that would become standard disco style. “Would you just watch the hair? I work a long time on my hair, and you hit it!” was one of my favorite quotes from the movie. The songs used in the film were not really representative of the style of music heard in the nightclubs at the time , but that didn’t keep an 18 year old DJ from seeing it countless of times. In the end Saturday Night Fever would represent ” Disco” and would be the future source of ridicule to generations of people who never really got to know the true essence of the music and the scene. .
So Disco became a “bad word’ Radio stations went back to playing Top 40 and Rock and before you knew it Hip Hop took over.But did it go ” Undercover” ? Did artists influenced by this music continue to produce ” Disco infused” tracks? Do contemporary artists such as Daft Punk, Bruno Marrs,Justin Timberlake, DJ Cassidy, Pharrel and others continue to produce this music and covertly serve it up as contemporary pop? Can there be Disco music without Disco” The Culture” ? Was the music connected to an experience , a musical style that can no longer be labeled Disco” without all of it’s peripheral accessories ? We are a global community of fans ,sharing memories via You tube links .Are we buying the music from the artists that pay homage to this style by incorporating it into their music,. somehow sending them a message that we appreciate their efforts? We should. Below are a just few of the artists that over the recent years have carried the torch for the music that started the party. Jamiroquai is a British funk and acid jazz band formed in 1992. Fronted by lead singer Jay Kay . The groups abilty to fuse Disco and contemporaryContinue readingDisco Undercover
Even one of the Beatles had to give it a try. Paul McCartney’s attempt at this genre wasn’t half bad. ” Goodnight Tonight” released in 1979 is a catchy track driven by it’s bass line that balances very well between the dance world and pop radio. Flamenco Guitar intro lets us know that this is not your usual McCartney track. I do remember this track playing at peak times during the course of a regular club night.As usual the hard core McCartney fans were not too happy about Paul’s dalliance into this forbidden territory , but it worked out for everyone involved. Disco….maybe 50/50 …smart guy. ( by the way that’s his wife at the beginning of the video)
It’s the holidays, everyone’s over the house when suddenly somebody yells ” Put on some Christmas music !!” Instead of the usual Elvis ” Blue Christmas ” or the Bing Crosby standards we usually hear around this time why don’t you take them back ,way back to the 70s ,when even Christmas wasn’t immune to the Disco fever !! ( after all you are wearing a polyester sweater) So here are some of your choices when you want to put a little Disco in your Holidays !! Probably THE most popular choice to ” Discofy” any party is ” Salsoul’s Christmas Jollies” released in 1976 Produced by Vince Montana Jr and even includes vocals by Denise Montana who sang ” You’re My Number 1 DJ” on Goody Goody’s LP. If you are lucky to find the vinyl version snatch it up as the CD Re-Issue appears to be Edited and even includes “remixes” of certain tracks. “Some of the arrangements on the tracks were also changed, and not for the better. In fact, some of them sound pretty bad. The new Silent Night is just one example–with that awful acoustic piano drowning out everything else. That piano piece is anContinue readingPut a Little Disco in your Holidays