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Playlist: American Jukebox

Compiled By: Roland Foster

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American Jukebox ® (Series)

Produced by Garrett Stack

Most recent piece in this series:

Disco: A Closer Look - A Black History Special

From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox ® series | 01:57:58

Disco_-_a_closer_look_small American Jukebox® 280 - Disco: A Closer Look - A Black History Special

The disco movement in popular music started in the early 1970's and by 1976 it was firmly established. Radio programmers, jukebox operators and dance clubs cashed in on the driving beat that liberated club goers and had others turning up the volume on car radios and stereo systems. With a few exceptions, the music was almost entirely perfromed and recorded by black artists. Record sales soared as artists like Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Barry White, The O'Jays, and countless others fed the industry.

What made this music stand out was the elaborate productions that included large orchestras, special sound effects, high energy vocals, and grit. It was a melding of soul, Latin rhythms, pop, and fine musicianship. The sum total was music that made you dance.

After steady growth and popularity in black, Latin and gay clubs radio finally started paying attention and by 1976 disco was in heavy rotation with rock. With the release of the disco-themed film, Saturday Night Fever, disco's crossover to mainstream America was cemented.

This unique sound, with many club-only megahits included in this program, is sure to have listeners dancing in thier kitchens, on their proches and in the streets.