Under The Duvet Productions

Covering News And Entertainment.

DISCO SPOTLIGHT: History, Legends & Valentine’s Day 1970 With DJ David Mancuso by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino


Standing: The Three Degrees (Valerie Holiday, Helen Scott, and Freddie Pool), Wardell Piper, Dee Wellmon of the GEMA Foundation, Alfa Anderson of CHIC, Linda Clifford, Cory Daye of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, Delores & Denise of SKYY, Carol Williams. Seated: Anita Ward, Denise Montana, Evelyn Champagne King, and Carol Douglas. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

2015: As we approach the 45th anniversary of DISCO Under The Duvet Productions salutes disco legends who made the genre and the phenomenon possible. Disco began as early as the 1960s but was formally recognized in 1970 when DJ David Mancuso opened The Loft.


On Valentine’s Day in 1970 DJ David Mancuso opened The Loft in New York City at 647 Broadway. It was a members-only private dance club set in his own home, and the first known day of Disco’s creation. “Love Saves The Day” was the name of the event on February 14, 1970. He began the “by invitation only” parties and pioneered the “private party” as distinct from the more commercial nightclub business model. The first article about disco was written in September 1973 by Vince Aletti for Rolling Stone magazine, and the following year, 1974, New York City’s WPIX-FM premiered the first disco radio show. Tom Moulton a record producer, and originator of the remix, the breakdown section, and the 12-inch single vinyl format was responsible for the first continuous-mix album side on Gloria Gaynor’s disco album, “Never Can Say Goodbye” in 1974, earning him the title the “father of the disco mix”. Among some of his other early successes in mixing are The Three Degrees “Dirty Ol’ Man” and MFSB featuring The Three Degrees “Love Is The Message”.

The Origin of the word DISCO:

The first formal disco event was in New York City on February 14, 1970; but the word “disco” is derived from the French word discothèque, taken from the word disque (disc records). The first known use of the word discothèque was in 1954 referring to a library of disc records, as is the French word bibliothèque for a library of books. New York had adopted the French word discothèque to use for the library of records that were played in the location of where people gathered and danced. It immediately became the name of the actual music genre. The genre and clubs are called disco for short; in more recent times discothèques (discos) are simply called clubs, and the genre name remains the same, “disco”.


Disco is a music genre containing elements of funk, soul, pop, salsa, afro-jazz, jazz, psychedelic, electronic, and classical intricately merged; giving its unique sound. This fusion of music known as disco was formulated in New York and Philadelphia. It was most popular in the 1970s and early & mid-1980s. Its initial audiences were club-goers from the African-American, Italian-American, Latino, and Gay Men & Women communities.


There are countless disco legends of the disco genre; and many artists outside of the genre that made cross-over disco recordings in the 1970s and early 1980s. It would be nearly impossible to mention every artist, producer, writer, mixer, DJ, club, and all who made contributions to this extraordinary genre of music. Here’s an incomplete short list. Among them include Anita Ward, First Choice (Rochelle Fleming, Ursula Herring, and Annette Guest), Wardell Piper, The Emotions, Love Unlimited, Denise Montana, Carol Williams, Carol Douglas, Gloria Gaynor, Martha Wash, Jeanie Tracy, The Three Degrees (current members: Valerie Holiday, Helen Scott, and Freddie Pool), Cerrone, Alec R. Constandinos, Bee Gees, Abba, LaBelle, Cheryl Lynn, Evelyn Champagne King, CHIC (Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards, Alfa Anderson, Norma Jean Wright, and Luci Martin), Sister Sledge, Andrea True Connection, Rose Royce, Ms. Sharon Ridley, Arpeggio featuring Jessica Williams, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, Gino Soccio, Carl Bean, Taana Gardner, Linda Clifford, Giorgio Moroder, Tasha Thomas, Candi Staton, Carl Carlton, Claudja Barry, France Joli, Martin Circus, Carl Douglas, Carol Jiani, Amii Stewart, Evelyn Thomas, Grace Jones, Skyy, The Trammps, Machine, Double Exposure, Tavares, Salsoul Orchestra, MFSB, Earth, Wind & Fire, A Taste Of Honey, GQ, Crown Heights Affair, Moment of Truth, The Hues Corporation, Lipps, Inc., Voyage, Shalamar, Silver Convention, Phil Hurtt, Lime, Boney M, Odyssey, Kool & The Gang, KC & The Sunshine Band, Norman Connors, Joe Battan, DC LaRue, David Todd, Bunny Sigler, Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Tom Moulton, and countless more, along with the writers, mixers, producers, DJs, and clubs.

We acknowledge some of the artists and contributors who are no longer with us; Vicki Sue Robinson, Donna Summer, Karen Young, Izora Armstead, Sylvester, Sharon Redd, Vince Montana, Jr., Phyllis Hyman, Dan Hartman, Barry White, Loleatta Holloway, Andy Gibb, Van McCoy, Village People, Steve Rubell, Mel Cheren, Larry Levan, and countless others.


From The Loft to 2001 Odyssey to Studio 54 to Paradise Garage to Better Days: New York and Worldwide there have been tens of thousands of discothèques (discos, clubs, nightclubs). We could not begin to list them. But we know we all had our favorite spots.

It became evident disco was everywhere. Countless artists outside of the Disco genre joined in hoping for a number one hit. Some notable artists who had several successful crossovers hits include Cher, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, The Jacksons, O’Jays, The Supremes, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Blondie, Rod Stewart, Dolly Parton, Frankie Valli, Maxine Nightingale, Elton John, Kiki Dee, Marlena Shaw, Barry Manilow, George McCrae, Esther Phillips, Lou Rawls, George Benson, Prince, Commodores, Johnny Mathis, The Sylvers, The Miracles, Gary’s Gang, Charo, Melba Moore, Irene Cara, Geraldine Hunt, Olivia Newton-John, Ethel Merman, Jimmy “Bo” Horne, Pet Shop Boy, Thelma Houston, Stevie Wonder, Jean Carne, The Clark Sisters, Walter Murphy, Yvonne Elliman, Jackie Moore, Eddie Kendricks, and many more.


Notable films which featured Disco music include Saturday Night Fever, Thank God It’s Friday, Car Wash, Can’t Stop the Music, Roller Boogie, Turn the Beat Around, Staying Alive, Disco Dancer, Skate Town USA, Xanadu, Paris Is Burning, and Disco Godfather.

Again, it would be nearly impossible to mention every artist, producer, writer, mixer, DJ, club, and all who made contributions to this extraordinary genre. Under The Duvet Productions would like to thank everyone would made disco possible; to those who are still with us, and those we have lost. And thank you to those who are keeping disco alive.

If you have an upcoming Disco event and would like coverage please e-mail Lisa Pacino at: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com



The G.E.M.A. Foundation Links: http://www.thegemafoundation.org/Events.html and http://www.thegemafoundation.org/Slide-Show.html


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