Last Night

Thursday Night Fever

By Josh Feit June 3, 2011



Okay, absolutely not my beat, but I am someone who gets a little obsessed (uptight, I guess) about historical revisionism when it comes to pop culture.

So, I was happy last night when pop music historian Tony Fletcher posted a set of songs to accompany chapter 13 of his invaluable book All Hopped Up and Ready To Go: Music From The Streets of New York 1927-77.

Fletcher has been posting accompanying sets for each chapter—Harlem Jazz, Afro-Cuban dance music, 1950s Doo-wop, Brill Building pop, 60s folk rock—with about 10 songs for each.

Chapter 13 is the disco chapter, and Fletcher went and posted 31 songs last night. Fletcher's chapter on disco music will surprise most people who think John Travolta invented disco in the late 70s. For Fletcher, the disco era begins in the late 60s, starting with druggy loft dances and gay clubs, and stops in 1976, right before Saturday Night Fever and the Hustle co-opt the whole thing.

Listening to his mix tape is all the evidence you need that he's right. And disco music is so much richer than you think.
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