Under The Duvet Productions

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Legend GLORIA GAYNOR To Give Disco Party at the Library of Congress 2017 by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

On March 23, 2016, The Library of Congress declared Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem “I Will Survive” an important part of U.S. History and one of 25 new additions to the library’s National Recording Registry. It aims to preserve sound recordings that have great cultural and historic importance to the United States. The collection of sound recordings is considered “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the U.S.” and kept at the Library of Congress. On May 6, 2017 there will be a symposium that includes Gaynor being interviewed by Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts; a demonstration on “the craft of making disco balls”; “Disco and the Remaking of American Culture”; and more. From 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., the library’s Great Hall of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. will be open for a performance by Gaynor and her band, dancing to DJs and tours of the Reading Room and special disco-related exhibitions.

Gloria Gaynor at her home in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, early 1979. Property and Photography by Lisa Pacino.

Gloria Gaynor was born on September 7, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey. She began her career in 1965 in the jazz and R&B group the Soul Satisfiers. Her first real success came in 1975 when she was signed as a solo artist to Columbia Records by Clive Davis soon releasing her album Never Can Say Goodbye. The first side of the album consisted of three songs (“Honey Bee”, “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “Reach Out, I’ll Be There”) with no break between the songs. This 19-minute dance marathon was by the originator of the breakdown section and the remix, producer Tom Moulton, and it proved to be enormously popular, especially at dance clubs. All three songs were released as singles via radio edits and all of them became hits. In October 1978, she became the ultimate disco legend with hit “I Will Survive”  which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in March 1979. It was written by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris and has remained the ultimate disco anthem, as well as being certified double platinum by the RIAA. Her other hits include “Let Me Know”, “I Am What I Am”, and numerous more.

Last year, Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem “I Will Survive” became one of 25 new additions to the National Recording Registry, a collection of sound recordings considered “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States” and kept at the Library of Congress. The wide-ranging registry includes Thomas Edison’s early cylinders, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine and singles by Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, George Jones and Tupac Shakur.
In May 2017, Gaynor is coming to the Library of Congress, where she’ll perform in the Great Hall as part of the Library’s “Bibliodiscotheque,” a series of films, lectures and events celebrating the disco era, capped with — what else? — a late-night dance party in the historic Jefferson Building. All events are free and open to the public. Tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on March 30, 2017. This is the first time the library has honored one particular music genre with this sort of programming, says Bryonna Head, a public affairs assistant in the library’s office of communication. “This is a celebration of an era that changed American culture forever,” Head said. “This celebration is not just for her, but disco culture in general, and Ms. Gaynor just so happens to be the perfect partner for us to bring this popular era to life at the library.”
The centerpiece is a May 6, 2017 symposium that includes Gaynor being interviewed by “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts; a demonstration on “the craft of making disco balls”; and lectures on “Beyonce’s African Dance References” and “Disco and the Remaking of American Culture.” From 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., the library’s Great Hall will be open for a performance by Gaynor and her band, dancing to DJs and tours of the Reading Room and special disco-related exhibitions.
The full series runs from April 12, 2017 to May 6, 2017. Highlights include “Project Runway” host Tim Gunn discussing disco fashion on May 2, 2017; James Wintle of the Library of Congress music division talking about disco’s influence on European dance music on May 3, followed by a screening of “Abba: The Movie”; a 40th-anniversary showing of “Saturday Night Fever” at the Library’s Mary Pickford Theatre on April 27, 2017; and a seven-and-a-half-hour marathon of the British “Queer as Folk” television series on April 15, 2017. Some of the choices are tenuous at best — what does Kid ‘n Play’s 1990 film “House Party” have to do with disco culture? — but it’s hard to say no to free movies.
“The disco era has left a lasting mark on our culture,” librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a news release. “The music, the clothes, those fantastic disco balls — they are a part of Americana that new generations are still discovering and embracing.” —The Washington Post

Gloria Gaynor performing live at Studio 54, New York, John Blair Production. Property of Under The Duvet Productions, New York, (personal copy).

Lisa Pacino and Under The Duvet Productions are based in New York. Photography services are available worldwide. If you wish to book photography services, receive information, and/or license images for commercial and/or promotional use please E-mail: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com

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