Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Disco Photography: NYC Club Royalty

Empress Chi Chi Valenti and DJ/Recording Artist Johnny Dynell. Photo: Paul Brissman

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Kingfish

The Kingfish entrance
 The year was 1987,  a friend of mine took me to Lafayette, Louisiana for the first time and introduced me to this amazing place that now lives in the pantheon among the best clubs in the south.   The place was actually located just outside Lafayette city limits in Breaux Bridge right close to the bayou. The place would open Saturdays from 2 A.M. to noon the next day as an after hours venue where the real party took place.  It had a huge parking lot in the front filled with underage teens hanging out in hopes to get inside this shrine of dance music madness fueled by a rainbow of drugs.
the famous parking lot
A warehouse in the middle of nowhere where all inhibitions were null and everybody was welcomed regardless of race, class and sexual orientation right in the big ole south. The Kingfish was pretty much my indoctrination to the idea of a rave before it was even called a rave or a club space where dancing was priority.  The music was very eclectic with a mixture of house, industrial, goth, free style, techno, synth pop, R&B and even rock. The place even had it's own dances such as "grabbing a rail" and "feeding the chickens".
Inside the Kingfish
There was so much X in that place alone that if word that the police was on its way,  people would drop so many drugs that the dance floor would be filled with the pills.  I was there for the dancing and the music for the most part and I must say that the sound system was quite amazing, Razormaid remixes ruled and the Dj's knew how to work the crowd.  As always, good things had to come to an end and the place was shut down towards the early '90s after so many raids due to it's bad reputation of excessive drug use and its sad after effects.  The place had several reincarnations later under different names but never captured the euphoric glory of the early years as the socio-economic landscape in the south shifted as well.   Choosing what songs to feature here has been quite a challenge and I tell you that I feel like I've experienced a musical rabbit hole while researching the extensive playlists found on several blogs.  Here are a few of the songs I feel captured some of the feeling of the club knowing the spectrum here will never do justice to the eclectic and extensive repertoire played by the Dj's.  For more info on the entire playlist go to The Fish - Robert's Blog  which was a great resource for this posting. Enjoy!


Monday, September 17, 2012

I'll Give It To You

"I'll Give It To You (Come Get It)" and it's my birthday today so I will celebrate it with a campy house song from 1987.  How this house classic escaped me during the late '80s, I don't know so I was thrilled to recently discover this great house tune by Jomanda.  Jomanda was an American female house-music vocal trio from New Jersey. Members included Joanne Thomas, Cheri Williams, and Renne Washington. They were known for their early '90s hit "Got A Love For You" and the underground house and dance floor anthem "Make My Body Rock".  This song was engineered by Kevin Hedge and written by Derek Jenkins.  There are four versions of this song.  Here is the Seduction mix for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Native New Yorker: Lillian Lopez R.I.P.

We start this September month on a sad note honoring the voice of the late Lillian Lopez who passed away this past Tuesday, September 4th at the age of 76 due to complications with cancer.  Ms. Lopez along with sister Louise formed the group Odyssey with singer Tony Reynolds.  The group didn't put that many albums but the few they did became instant dance floor classics.  Released in 1977, "Native New Yorker" is the "other" New York anthem in my book with lyrics that surprisingly still rings true about our beloved city.  The song was written by Sandy Linzer and Danny Randell for the group. It reached number five on the UK charts. In the US, the song went to number three on the disco chart. The song has been recorded by Frankie Valli, Esther Phillips and Black Box.   Nothing can beat the sultry voice passion of Ms. Lopez.  Your legacy will live on forever. 

Lillian Lopez 1936-2012

“Runnin’ pretty, New York City girl
Twenty-five, thirty-five
Hello, baby, New York City girl
You grew up ridin’ the subways, running with people
Up in Harlem, down on Broadway
You’re no tramp, but you’re no lady, talkin’ that street talk
You’re the heart and soul of New York City”

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Happy Labor Day! Here is a Salsoul dance classic to put you in the mood.  "Janice (Don't Be So Blind To Love)" by Skip Mahoney.  Released in 1980, this disco gem never disappoints with the flawless production by James Purdie and arrangement by Matthew Allen.   This mix is by legendary Dj Bobby "DJ" Guttadaro.  Guttadaro became one of the first DJ's that made a name for himself in the 70's and transition from the decks to mixing and remixing.  Rumor has it he used to party hardy with the late Whintey Houston. He was the resident dj at the Ice Palace in Fire Island and contributed to the music selection for the Casablanca Records and Filmworks soundtrack  Thank Got It's Friday. In Manhattan, he was the resident dj at Le Jardin and Infinity. He also did many mixes for the early development period of Disconet.  Sadly he was one of the first Dj's who succumbed and passed from AIDS in the '80s.  I'm sure he is one of the leading Dj's in Disco Heaven.  This is a gorgeous song that will sure lift up.  Enjoy!