Disco: A history
Is there a genre of music more likely to get any audience of people on their feet and dancing
than disco? Disco artists have always been popular with booking agents, and that should come
as no surprise – it’s a feelgood sound that’s almost universally enjoyed.
Disco music peaked in popularity between the mid 1970s and the mid 1980s, at a time when joy
was thin on the ground in other areas of life in the USA. The vibrant counterculture movements
of the 1960s were on the decline, the economy was not faring well and unemployment was
soaring, so people didn’t want to listen to music reflecting that – they wanted escapism.
The first disco was played in underground dance clubs in New York City, and the euphoric
sounds that characterised it were indicative of the freedom slowly becoming a reality for those
frequenting the clubs – lots of gay men and African Americans.
The sound had roots in soul and motown, but artists embraced bright, flamboyant outfits,
equally colourful lighting and a much more freestyle dancing than had previously been seen
before. Songs also started to appear in the form of remixes, something which had not previously
happened in the music industry, but which was to become a staple of dance music in the
Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band and Gloria Gaynor were some of the biggest
names on the scene at the time, and because of her popularity and her prescient songs, I Will
Survive and I Am What I Am, Gaynor became a true icon of the gay community, as well as
immensely popular almost universally.
The disco genre began to face backlash in the middle of the 1980s and its heyday was a
relatively short period of time, but it was one that changed the face of music forever.
Gloria Gaynor agent
Get in touch with the agent for Gloria if you’re interested in booking this queen of disco – she’s a
diva who’s lost none of her shine in the intervening years, and she’s sure to light up any room
that she walks into. For a fun and feelgood performance she’s a natural choice.