The days of disco music in the 70’s were too short lived. The genre exploded overnight and then seemed to fizzle out just as fast. Saturday Night Fever came out in 1977, a year after I graduated college, when I actually started having a social life. Discos were all over NYC and there was one, The Lemon Tree, right in my neighborhood. The guys would dress like John Travolta in the movie. They even thought they were John Travolta! Jacket, opened shirt, gold chains…all not very appealing to me…but those were the times and I did love the music. I listened to the Bee Gees and Donna Summer, what else was there?
Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco, had some great hits back then and I never got tired of listening to them, even today. Every disco I ever went to always played “Last Dance” before closing for the night. It was the finale to a night of fun and dancing. And all her other songs “Love To Love You Baby,” Bad Girls,” “On The Radio,” “Dim All The Lights,” “Hot Stuff,” “Heaven Knows,” and so many more hits.
I think back to the great memories I have thanks to Donna Summer. I was pretty much a homebody who had been told to forget about dancing, by my mother, when she saw me trying to dance to American Bandstand, years ago. But with disco, music and dancing were inseparable. How could anyone listen to disco music and not dance? The music just made you want to get up and move. And there were places where you could go on a Saturday night, with a friend or by yourself, and have a few drinks. And, for a couple of hours, you could pretend you were a disco star. Nobody really cared about your moves. It was dark, the disco lights flashed, everyone was dressed and ready to dance the night away. If it wasn’t for the short lived disco era, I might never have gone out to dance my whole life. And, I know I wasn’t good at it, but I loved it!
So sadly I say good bye to Donna Summer. She was only 63 years old and she lost her battle with lung cancer, but she will never be forgotten. She is another one of my icons gone too soon. But, she left me with many great memories and the gift of dance.