Alex Gutierrez Blog

Put a Little Disco in your Holidays

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 !!salsoul-orchestra-the-LP51bcMrAyF9L._SY355_
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 an overdub. It was not in the original recording. Overall, the timbral quality of the sound on this CD is ‘tinny’, as though they had held up a transistor radio to a tape recorder to re-record the music. Somebody attempted to re-engineer the original and messed up the sound quality pretty badly. This CD lacks the heavy, throbbing rhythm and bass that the vinyl LP had. Yet another example of a classic ruined by some fool’s attempt to modernize it.” JohnFTL
Overall though both volumes provide the most ” Disco Christmas ” Bang for the buck.The Rest are pretty standard Christmas fare with a disco beat backing up the tracks. Nice background music for the beginning of a holiday party but that’s it! Not rockin’ disco like I thought it should be.
Of course Wham’s Last Christmas released on Epic Records in 1984,is a modern day Christmas Classic worthy of a mention ( although not Disco) but my favorite in capturing the mood and on the laid back side as opposed to the more energetic ” Christmas Jollies’ Is the Whisper’s Christmas Album . All the standard Holiday hits but with that soulful feel that only The Whispers could have delivered. I personally, strongly recommend this one in addition to the Salsoul one, those two should give you that old school holiday feel you desire. Happy Holidays !!

Alex Gutierrez Blog

DISCO: YES or NO? Queen " Another One Bites the Dust"

The Bass line on Queen’s 1980 single ” Another One Bites The Dust” ( written by Queen’s Bass player John Deacon) is clearly a variation of the one used in Chic’s ” Good Times” which was released a full year before.The percussion track and the hand claps were looped continuously repeating throughout the track.The vocals provided by Freddie Mercury were thought to be from a black vocalist since many were not familiar with Queen before this track hit the United States. It was even rumored that when played backward it’s message was ” It’s Fun to Smoke Marijuana” The track definitely had a ” funky” feel , a nice ” bounce” but Disco? You decide.


DISCO: YES or NO? KISS "I Was Made For Loving You"

During the peak of the Disco craze most notably in 1978-1979 many FM radios around the country switched formats and began programming Disco as their primary format. Established Pop and Rock and Roll artists fighting for valuable space on the airwaves began producing Disco flavored tracks, some successfully other disastrously. In this series ” DISCO: Yes or No” we attempt to examine Disco tracks from Non-Disco artists and the public’s acceptance or refusal to receive these songs as a legitamate form of the genre. You decide.Kiss I was made
Probably one of the best examples of this ” survival tactic” used by Rock bands in the late 70s to penetrate the Disco wall is the band KISS with their 1979 hit ” I Was Made for Loving You” from their album Dynasty written by Paul Stanley, Desmond Child and Vini Poncia on Nei Bogart’s Disco label CASABLANCA RECORDS. The album went on to be Certified Paltinum by the Recording Industry of America as well as achieving #1 Chart status in many countries. Kiss’ Bad Boy Rock and Roll image status was unaffected and the track made it’s way into many nightclubs. In my opinio this was mainly due to Casablanca’s street cred in the Disco market.But …..was it Disco?


Disco Culture : You are The People Who Keep The Music Alive

Disco Music has survived the test of time. The parodys, the satires,Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979. Contemporary Dance music draws upon the structure created by the pioneers such as Alec R Costandinos, Cerrone,Giorgio Moroder, Boris Midney, John Davis, Paul Jabarra and others but it could not have survived without the support of the DJs and the fans that keep this music in their sets and in their hearts. There is a culture , a movement that continues to expose generations to this music. A parent passing it on to his children , a DJ playing it for his crowds , an artist producing music reminiscent of the time ,repackaging for today’s ears. They are out there, consciously or unconsciously keeping the style alive.
I have decided to do a series of Profiles highlighting those people, mainly the fans of this genre who have continued to enjoy and support Disco all over the world. Without these faithful followers the music would not have endured. If you are a Fan and have a personal story of when your ” Love Affair” of Disco began , please LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW so I may contact you for a brief story of your first encounter. Thanks


Le Freak Reaches #1 December 9, 1978

The song started with explicit instructions to immediately lose control as if anticipating the effects that this track would have on anyone listening to it.Chic was no stranger to the top 10 having already scored big with their huge hits ” Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” (1977), “Everybody Dance” the first song recorded as Chic (1977)”. I really hadn’t heard about that new dance craze and wasn’t really totally convinced that there was one, but the song sure knew how to make people get on the dance floor the track enjoyed most of its popularity on FM radio, for some reason the club DJs did not pick up on this one and and opted to go with other dancefloor friendly Chic hits such as “Everybody Dance” maybe because of its unmixable intro nonetheless on December 9th 1978 the song reached number one on the Billboard charts.
Formed in 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards in New York the group then known as ” The Big Apple Band” was rejected by every major label until being signed by the small independent label ” Buddah Records’who released a 12 inch containing Dance Dance Dance / Everybody Dance. The record became so popular among Club Djs that Atlantic Records soon signed the band.Chic - Dance, Dance, Dance - Buddah 12 inch
The Freak reached #1 on a variety of International charts and sold 7 million units released in 1978 on the album C’est Chic Cest Chicchiclefreak

Alex Gutierrez Blog

Giorgio Moroder Returns with " 74 is the New 24"

Take a 1/2 cup of his Academy Award-winning theme from the 1978 movie Midnight Express and add 1/4 cup of Donna Summer’s ,Moroder produced track ” I Feel Love” throw in some filters and a couple of Daft Punk vocoder riffs proclaiming that ” 74 is the New 24″ and you have Giorgio Moroder’s New track in over 30 years.
“Dance music doesn’t care where you live,” Moroder said in a press release. “It doesn’t care who your friends are. It doesn’t care how much money you make. It doesn’t care if your 74 or if you are 24 because… 74 is the new 24!”
The track taken from his new album will feature collaborations with a variety of artists, including Charli XCX, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and a few others.
Moroder reemerged back into the limelight with his contributions on Daft Punk’s 2013 release Random Access Memories,and has recently been seen as ” Guest DJ” in a variety of music festivals.

Moroder’s signature sound is all over this track. It is evident that he called the shots in the studio during the creative process. For old school Djs like myself it’s 1979 all over again. The track contains elements from every possible dance genre you can think of smoothly transitioning from Electronic to New Age to Hyper Disco all the while keeping the listener engaged . I’m still a little on the fence on the title of the track ” 74 is the new 24″ which can be a mouth full and may deter some younger listeners who may be turned off by the age gap, but I think the “Collabs” will help with mainstream acceptance.It is great to see these great talents re surfacing. French producer Cerrone has been active in the Dance Music scene for decades. It is time to recognize the men who are responsible for all of Dance Music.giorgio

Alex Gutierrez

Alex Gutierrez Blog

Disco's Only Grammy Award

Gloria Gaynor
Without question some of the best Disco material was released between 1978 and 1979. Many consider the most popular year for disco was in 1979. Disco in some form or another had penetrated just about every facet of daily life and it was evident at the top of the music charts, many radio stations had converted to an all-disco format. Disco flavored theme songs and intros were common on American television. . In the second half of the year, disco’s popularity began to declined due to the saturation and ” Cheese-afication” of the style. 8 of the Top 10 songs of 1979 were Disco.
1 Knack My Sharona
2 Donna Summer Bad Girls
3 Chic Le Freak
4 Rod Stewart Da Ya Think I’m Sexy
5 Peaches and Her Reunited
6 Gloria Gaynor I Will Survive
7 Donna Summer Hot Stuff
8 Village People Y.M.C.A.
9 Anita Ward Ring My Bell
10 Robert John Sad Eyes
It only made sense for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to add a Best Disco Recording category for the 22nd Grammy Awards.
The Nominees were “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth, Wind & Fire, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson, “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” by Rod Stewart, and “Dim All the Lights” by Donna Summer. Most of which were more representative of Soul music than Disco. Absent from this group artists like Alec R.Costandinos,Cerrone, Giorgio Moroder, Sylvester and many others who were recognized by the Disco community for their contribution to the genre.
And the winner is……………Gloria Gaynor with ” I will Survive ” not a terrible choice by any means ,but represented more of the commercial side of Disco instead of it’s purest form. By 1980 “mainstream disco” had ended, but the Genre continued to flourish in cities like Miami and New York and in future styles like house ,trance and EDM. Disco had had not provided record execs with the kind of dependable, multi-platinum acts that the business depended on for its profits. The Disco Category could have continued to exist for a few more years in my opinion at which time the name ” Disco” could have been replaced with ” Dance” The award for Best Dance Recording was first presented to Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder in 1998 for the song “Carry On”.Donna And Giorgio

Alex Gutierrez Blog


robertoTorres copyEl OpenHouse copyPicsArt_1396185839462In 1976 I bought two BSR Belt driven Turntables with no pitch control and a Radio Shack microphone mixer mixer with no CUE, with money I had saved working as a busboy at a restaurant. I was the “man “!! Well at least I thought I was . I had been
to a party where instead of everyone bringing their own records (with their name written all over those 45 rpm records in bold black ink) There was an actual guy with his own stuff in a corner playing the records for you. Of course you didn’t know what he was playing because he covered the label with black tape. Oh,and he was getting paid $15.00. I wanted to do what that guy
did. I became his friend ,George Valdes,never saw him after Jr.high School,but he started me out by giving me the Trammp’s ”
That’s where the Happy people Go ” on Atlantic Records. Showed me what ” mixing ” was,showed me where to cut my hair
( Hair Fantasy ) showed me that Pierre Cardin cologne was better than Jovan musk oil. But most important he showed me that
a DJ can’t be taught ,it has to come from within,you have to feel the music.AlMarcrayleo_and_alexMezzanote South BeachCeli Bee

Alex and Betty
Alex and Betty

” It’s been 30+ years since all of that and music has always been a part of my life starting with Disco in the 70s,Freestyle in the 80s,Techno in the 90s and so on. ”
I’ve been fortunate to work at numerous nightclubs in Miami and California , as well as concerts ( Opening for such artists as Oscar de Leon,Gilberto Santa Rosa , Tavares, Carol Douglas , Elvis Crespo And many More ) as well as special events throughout the years. I’ve worked in radio since the mid 90s when the BREEZE a local light Jazz station became EL ZOL. I had always included Latin Music in my alcazabaprogramming but had never focused primarily on it until I met Jesus Salas Program Director for EL ZOL, he invited me to join DJ Crazy J in a show he was creating called ” El Mix en Vivo” ( The first Latin Mixshow } with MC/ DJ Julio Jr. and Carlos Lanzas.
During that time a couple of friends and myself had already been playing around with the idea of BEAT MIXING Latin music. The ” Chief ” Raymond Hernandez from Rhythym 98, Gil Rodriguez , DJ at La Covacha and myself who had been playing at Club
Mystique at the Airport Hilton and Alcazaba at the Hyatt. El Mix en Vivo was a hit,and opened the door to just about every latin
club in Florida. Latin music became my primary focus and I began to perfect my ” Latin Beat mixing” technique that was not well recieved because people wanted the song to end. After a few months I trained my crowds into accepting the ” mix ” it also allowed them to dance a little longer since most latin songs are only about 3:00 min long. I helped pioneer the use of dry beats ,that I would edit into a song before and after allowing me mixing points.2-DCE9A81B-1089496-800Alcax4The Original.jpg copyCharlie Rodriguez Live copy1174597_675450299150617_1856477377_n
I later went on to accept a position at Salsa98.3 FM thanks to Leo Vela a long time friend who started as a DJ at Cherry’s as
an on-air mixer. I enjoyed 3 years there until the station went 100% Reggeaton, and name changed to LA Kalle 98. I stayed a few AlMarcraymonths with La Kalle and then accepted a DIsco Mix Show on Clasica 92.3 FM ” Disco Fiesta” with Susy Lehman ,after that thanks to the late Julio Jr. I was back on el ZOL 95 doing remote broadcasts with the station.
I recieved the New Times Best Club DJ Reader’s Choice Award multiple years and appeared in the PBS Documentary ” El Open House The Soundtrack of our Lives ” . I have remixed tracks for Willy Chirino, Orq.Palenke, Miami’s Band, Mantrap , Tito Nieves and others.
Today The preservation of traditional Salsa and Disco is a battle,the clubs are getting younger and the desire to learn Salsa and appreciate Disco is diminishing,but I keep doing my thing and so far it works. With Open House Radio along with Mike in the Night I have returned to my Disco roots and created a program that is now heard around the world ,playing 70s and 80s dance music. It keeps you alive……Mike passed away December 6, 2012 a devastating blow to all of us here in Miami, the torch was passed to my Friend and producer Lewis Martinee who together continue Mike’s dream as well as producing an additional dance music show RHTYTHM MIX 24/7 . Early in 2013 I founded the South Florida DJ Association and the response has beenSFDJA4x copy overwhelming. Fulfilling a lifelong goal of bringing the DJ Community together.1236144_566666540035574_1972123258_n
Past and Present
Alcazaba,Club Mystique ( Airport Hilton ), Gabriel’s, ,The Forge, Club 41,Poodle Lounge ( Fountainbleu ), Casis, Mezzanote, Valentinos,Bar 609 ( south Beach ) , Club 609 ( Coconut Grove ), Coco loco, Kaffe Krystal, Cafe Iguana ( Kendall ), Cafe Iguana ( Pembroke Pines ), Cafe Iguana ( beach Place ) , Maars Bar ( Kendall) 94th Aerosquadron ( Miami }
Club Z ,Baja Beach Place,St.Croix, Paladium, Bungalow 9, Gemini,Congas,Radius,Monkey Bar,Club Boca,Suzanne’s in the Grove,Azucar,Casino Miami Club Bailo,La Covacha
Radio Stations
Zol 95.7 FM , Salsa 98.3 FM , La Kalle 98.3 FM, Zeta 92.3 FM
The Fever copy

Alex Gutierrez Blog

Happy Birthday Melba Moore ( October 29, 1945)

Her real name is Beatrice Melba Smith.Her first break came in 1967 as a member of the original cast of the musical ‘Hair’.1976 saw her biggest chart success with the Van McCoy-penned song ‘This Is It’.
‘This Is It’ reached the Billboard Hot 100, the top twenty position on the R&B chart and also made the Top ten in the U.K.1982 saw huge success with the release of the album ‘The Other Side Of The Rainbow’, an album that featured the songs ‘Love’s Comin’ At Ya’ (U.K. Top 20 and produced by Paul Lawrence Jones III and Kashif), ‘Mind Up Tonight’ (U.K. Top 25) and ‘Underlove’ (U.K. Top 75).
Her biggest Disco hit is YOU STEPPED INTO MY LIFE (Producer – Gene McFadden And John Whitehead ) a song released by the Bee Gees in September 1976.Her version reached #47 in the US, #17 in the US R&B Charts and #5 in the US Hot Dance Club Songs in 1978.It’s sexy and sultry vocals combined with a lower BPM than usual fit comfortably as an opening track at many Miami nightclubs.
Melbamelba 2melba 3

Alex Gutierrez Blog

Miami Disco Fever's Charlie Rodriguez

There are a very few people in this town you can always count on to carry the Disco torch .Individuals who share a passion for Disco music and are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Organizing events and Disco themed concerts for over 25 years Charlie Rodriguez has proven time after time that he is the” Barnum and Bailey” of Disco music assembling some of the genre’s finest talents and presenting them in large venues for the Miami public. Presenting Superstars of Disco such as France Joli, Tavares, Lime. GQ, Carol Douglas, Teri De Sario, Ray Martinez and Amant and many more. ” Disco Music is the Soundtrack of Miami and we have a responsibility to pass it on to future generations ”
Charlie Rodriguez & KC
His most recent project on a smaller scale is the Disco Flavored night at The Fusion Cafe in Davie.Ideally located in an area that is able to serve both Dade and Broward residents with the music they love. Under the Miami Disco Fever Brand this event brings together die hard disco dancers of clubs like the Limelight, Pete and Lenny’s, Mr.Pips as well as those fans that have no outlet in which to enjoy this music. Since grand opening night Fusion has hosted their share of musical stars such as France Joli, Teri De Sario, TKA , Noel, Nyasia and Erotic Exotic .The venue itself boasts a varied menu and very friendly staff as well as an extremely large bar with every cocktail imaginable.The ample parking guarantees that there will be plenty of room for all the disco and Freestyle people of South Florida. The event takes place every Saturday at 9pm at the Fusion Cafe 15531 Sheridan Street with DJ Alex Gutierrez and DJ Lewis Martinee playing all the Disco and Freestyle we grew up with, of course I’ll throw in Classic Salsa tracks for all you old school Salseros!
Go To Miami Disco fever Here
Charlie Rodriguez

Charle and France Joli
Charle and France Joli

Lewis and Alex