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Old 10-28-2019, 04:29 PM
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What did older people think of Disco back in the 70s?


The generational gap between the kids who liked rock in the 50s and 60s, and their parents despising it, is very much documented. Punk being thought of by elders as the harbinger of anarchy, especially in the UK and a genre only thugs listened to is also documented.

But, what about Disco?

What did your average person say who was at or above 50 at any point in the 70s think of that music?
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:45 PM
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Something like, "why would anyone want to dance to that junk when they could dance to something like this?"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XCvfy6Huyc

Last edited by PastTense; 10-28-2019 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:58 PM
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As I remember it, middle aged people in the late 1970s were largely ambivalent about it. I've never heard any say they hated it, but then I never heard them say they loved it either. I think they respected it as a fun social sign of the times. These same people hated rock though, especially hard rock.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:23 PM
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As I remember it, middle aged people in the late 1970s were largely ambivalent about it. I've never heard any say they hated it, but then I never heard them say they loved it either. I think they respected it as a fun social sign of the times. These same people hated rock though, especially hard rock.
Of course they did. It was the devil's music /s.

Last edited by Kennedy1960; 10-28-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:25 PM
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Most of the adults I knew figured it was a flash in the pan and would be gone soon, so why worry about it?
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:30 PM
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Most of the adults I knew figured it was a flash in the pan and would be gone soon, so why worry about it?
They show a scene older people trying to learn the Hustle in Saturday Night Fever, so I figured that reflected reality.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:30 PM
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My parents certainly never listened to it on purpose. Now that I'm old, I completely understand that.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:41 PM
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Alice Cooper's take on the death of Disco:

"No kid wants to be dancing a club, look over and see his mom and dad dancing next to them."

I think that answers the OP.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:44 PM
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My mom and dad actually signed up for disco dance lessons. They were in their 40s and asked my opinion on good dance songs.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:13 PM
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Dance music appealed to many of the middle aged people that I knew in the 70's. Just my perspective as a teen at the time.

Groups like the Bee Gees weren't as threatening as the hard Rock bands.

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-28-2019 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:17 PM
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I was in my early 20s and I hated it.

I don't care for dance music and I really dislike repetition in music, so it had no appeal to me whatsoever. At the time, I was more into punk, art rock, and new wave.

However, it was clearly a fad. It had nowhere to evolve, so I knew it would die out.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:20 PM
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I think pretty much everybody was into Disco for at least a little while. Not everybody will admit it, however.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:23 PM
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I think pretty much everybody was into Disco for at least a little while. Not everybody will admit it, however.
I'll admit it. Six months in 1978. I am still ashamed and embarrassed.

Last edited by Procrustus; 10-28-2019 at 06:24 PM. Reason: got the year wrong
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:33 PM
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However, it was clearly a fad. It had nowhere to evolve, so I knew it would die out.
It is now known as techno/electronica.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:51 PM
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As I remember it, middle aged people in the late 1970s were largely ambivalent about it. I've never heard any say they hated it, but then I never heard them say they loved it either. I think they respected it as a fun social sign of the times. These same people hated rock though, especially hard rock.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMurdock
Alice Cooper's take on the death of Disco:

"No kid wants to be dancing a club, look over and see his mom and dad dancing next to them."

I think that answers the OP.
It also gets at one of the reasons rock fans hated disco during the late 70s: it was safe. It was edgeless dance music that white middle-aged people wouldn't find objectionable. Granted, there was a decadent side to disco but it was The Establishment's form of decadence. It wasn't like rock which was loud, discordant, and proudly reveled in anarchy (never mind the fact non-punk rock was engrained in the entertainment establishment by then).
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:54 PM
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As I remember, as soon as it went mainstream, (ie: George Jefferson was shown being into it) Disco was on the way out.

Others say it was the Disco Sucks movement, (ie Steve Dahl and the Disco Demolition debacle) or plain old homophobia.

If you knew any of the trailer trash Steve Dahl fans, you could very well believe the homophobia theory.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:54 PM
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I think pretty much everybody was into Disco for at least a little while. Not everybody will admit it, however.
Not always. Sometimes everybody was Kung Fu fighting.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:57 PM
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I think pretty much everybody was into Disco for at least a little while. Not everybody will admit it, however.
Even the KISS Army was subjected to it.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:59 PM
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I still enjoy the Bee Gees and Donna Summer. Once in awhile I enjoy their hits.

I don't listen to the one hit wonders like KC and the Sunshine Band and Village People. Their time had passed.

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-28-2019 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
I think pretty much everybody was into Disco for at least a little while. Not everybody will admit it, however.
The first rock/pop album I ever bought was...

"Go West," by the Village People.

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Old 10-28-2019, 07:14 PM
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It also gets at one of the reasons rock fans hated disco during the late 70s: it was safe. It was edgeless dance music that white middle-aged people wouldn't find objectionable. Granted, there was a decadent side to disco but it was The Establishment's form of decadence. It wasn't like rock which was loud, discordant, and proudly reveled in anarchy (never mind the fact non-punk rock was engrained in the entertainment establishment by then).
I Feel Love came out in 1977, and had a bigger impact on the next 40 years than any guitar band of that era ever did. And I'm quite fond of a fair few guitar bands of the late 1970s but, y'know, there wasn't a hell of a lot of innovation going on.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:29 PM
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Probably about the same as I feel about hip hop or rap right now. I know it's out there. I know of some "artists." But I don't know any songs and I don't care to learn any more about any of it.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:41 PM
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I Feel Love came out in 1977, and had a bigger impact on the next 40 years than any guitar band of that era ever did.
This is silly. I love Donna Summer and especially Bad Girls but she just wasnt that influential. Van Halen and Metallica were much more influential and Metallica still rocks stadiums around the world. Summers music didnt even hint at the rise of rap and hip hop.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:50 PM
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This is silly. I love Donna Summer and especially Bad Girls but she just wasnt that influential. Van Halen and Metallica were much more influential and Metallica still rocks stadiums around the world. Summers music didnt even hint at the rise of rap and hip hop.
Who said anything about rap and hip-hop? Also, and somewhat crucially, the music was Georgio Moroder's. Donna was of course the perfect vocalist for it, a strange happenstance that they were both in the same part of Germany at just the right time.
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:11 PM
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What did your average person say who was at or above 50 at any point in the 70s think of that music?
I guess it depended on their definition of disco.

Last edited by Kent Clark; 10-28-2019 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 09:06 PM
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I was a kid at the time but it didnít seem like it was the kids music. It felt like a widespread fad. It grew out of dance clubs filled with adults not with kids. Punk was the music of the kids.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:49 PM
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Who said anything about rap and hip-hop? Also, and somewhat crucially, the music was Georgio Moroder's. Donna was of course the perfect vocalist for it, a strange happenstance that they were both in the same part of Germany at just the right time.
Indeed. Daft Punk even had a song called Moroder on Random Access Memories.

Not to mention that rap & hip hop has had some heavy influence by electronica in the last decade (lots of thanks to Kanye West actually - Stronger with Daft Punk and then 808s and Heartbreaks broke a door open that had been letting in electronic influences for a while).

As for more pop disco - who do people think artists like Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake were influenced by?

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Old 10-28-2019, 11:09 PM
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I still enjoy the Bee Gees and Donna Summer. Once in awhile I enjoy their hits.

I don't listen to the one hit wonders like KC and the Sunshine Band and Village People. Their time had passed.
KC and the Sunshine Band were hardly one hit wonders. And that's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:12 PM
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My parents were in their late 40's when The Hustle came and they gushed about how they danced to it and other disco songs at a company party.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:26 AM
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Back in 1976, I had an art teacher who was in her 40s (I was in high school). A little old to be a Baby Boomer, but still kind of hip and with it. She liked the idea of kids wearing fancy clothes to go out and learning complicated dance steps, as a tonic to the hippie love-in t-shirts and denim of a couple years earlier.

My parents? WWII generation? They couldn't stand that shit.
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:41 AM
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I strongly object to the remark that everyone was into disco at some point. Disco was - and is - a million miles away from my musical tastes.

(Ok, you might catch me tapping my toe to Stayin’ Alive, but that’s about it).




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Old 10-29-2019, 08:11 AM
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I strongly object to the remark that everyone was into disco at some point. Disco was - and is - a million miles away from my musical tastes.

(Ok, you might catch me tapping my toe to Stayiní Alive, but thatís about it).
Agreed. I didn't listen to disco when it was popular, and the closest I'll get to it now is Cake's cover of "I Will Survive".
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:18 AM
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This is silly. I love Donna Summer and especially Bad Girls but she just wasnt that influential. Van Halen and Metallica were much more influential
How are we defining "more influential"? Never mind "much more"?
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:23 AM
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After 45 years, the passage of time has dulled my disgust for disco. Some songs are OK, many are crap. Take the good and leave the rest, just as with any genre, be it baroque, classical, jazz, swing, pop, rock, metal, r&b, rap...

I think living through a fad can cause a instant backlash that is sometimes undeserved. We hated disco because it was disco, and if there was a good song that was "disco" we hated it because. Like how I hated the Stray Cats when they were new, because they were pretending to be fifty's rockabilly but doing it all wrong But now, it has been twice as long from now back to the early 80s as it was between the SC and the era they were ripping off/paying homage to. Now I can appreciate them. (My 80s self would never speak to me, I'm sure!)
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:33 AM
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Divorce among the 30-40 something crowd was epidemic in the late 70s and the disco was made to order for a generation of newly single people who thought a spouse and kids had made them miss out on the freewheeling 60s.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:46 AM
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I think pretty much everybody was into Disco for at least a little while. Not everybody will admit it, however.
I once owned a leisure suit.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:18 AM
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My parents were in their early forties when disco was peaking, and I don't remember them caring about it one way or 'tother.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:26 AM
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I think pretty much everybody was into Disco for at least a little while. Not everybody will admit it, however.
Uh, no. I was in my mid-20's. Everybody I knew was waiting to see what the Beatles were gonna do since they'd broken up; bands like Blood Sweat & Tears, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Yes were (too our ears) breaking boundaries and heading for new things, and we were all ready for...

Well, not disco.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:28 PM
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How are we defining "more influential"? Never mind "much more"?
Donna Summer had a respectable pop/r&b career that bled over into the disco revolution. She was never in the pantheon of great R&B singers like Aretha Franklin or Whitney Houston. She had a very nice career. But her music was never revolutionary and game changing like an Eddie van Halen and she never had the worldwide fame that Metallica has to this day.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:41 PM
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Donna Summer had a respectable pop/r&b career that bled over into the disco revolution. She was never in the pantheon of great R&B singers like Aretha Franklin or Whitney Houston. She had a very nice career. But her music was never revolutionary and game changing like an Eddie van Halen and she never had the worldwide fame that Metallica has to this day.
Plus, her music made that scene in The Full Monty where they guys are dancing in the dole line to Hot Stuff!
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:54 PM
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KC and the Sunshine Band were hardly one hit wonders. And that's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
I'd forgotten that KC had other hits like Shake Your Booty and Get Down Tonight. I hadn't heard those songs in decades. I probably won't hear them again for quite awhile.

They were more successful than I remember.

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-29-2019 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:44 PM
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My grandpa, who's now 92, loved the Bee Gees and continues to love them. I don't know how he feels about disco as a genre, he probably doesn't know much about it, but he loves that particular band.
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:14 PM
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Donna Summer had a respectable pop/r&b career that bled over into the disco revolution. She was never in the pantheon of great R&B singers like Aretha Franklin or Whitney Houston. She had a very nice career. But her music was never revolutionary and game changing like an Eddie van Halen and she never had the worldwide fame that Metallica has to this day.
"I Feel Love" is one of the most important and influential songs to come out of that era. It still sounds fresh to me today. Now, ok, I do think of that more as a Giorgio Moroder song, but everyone knows it as a Donna Summer track.
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:20 PM
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For young people disco was a way to meet the opposite sex at singles bars. The women liked to dress up and dance and drink, and the men liked women who liked to dress up and dance and drink. I'll bet the women liked the men starting to dress better also. Note though, those were 70s style clothes, not sure it would be appealing today.

The older folks, I'm not sure about. If they were old enough disco might remind them of when people danced to music, or just generally reminded them they could act young again without listening to old how tunes and Frank Sinatra.

ETA: Anything from Donna Summer was fine with me. Otherwise, Disco Duck was height of the genre for me.

Last edited by TriPolar; 10-29-2019 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:40 PM
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It is now known as techno/electronica.

Yeah, Disco never died. It just morphed. I've been in and out of dance clubs and events since the late 70s and once that that four on the floor beat hit, it never went away.

I think my parents had it on ignore. The last dance they learned was the jitterbug. My dad was into opera and my mom was into some of the contemporary pop of the times, but never disco.

Personally I found it fun to dance to when partying but never listened to it outside of a dance floor.
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:53 PM
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What did older people think of Disco back in the 70s?


I'm afraid I didn't take note, I was face-down in a bowl of cocaine at the time.
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:15 PM
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"I Feel Love" is one of the most important and influential songs to come out of that era. It still sounds fresh to me today.
Love to Love You Baby - OMG. Listening to that on the headphones was the closest I got to sex for a long time!


is it hot in here?

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 10-29-2019 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:26 PM
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But her music was never revolutionary and game changing like an Eddie van Halen and she never had the worldwide fame that Metallica has to this day.
You don't listen to 80s synthpop, eurodance, EDM or pop, do you?

Her music with Moroder was unquestionably gamechanging, and I'll happily bet money that more people worldwide would recognize (or enjoy) a Donna Summer tune than a Metallica one. Hell, most of them wouldn't know who "James Hetfield" is. Donna Summer is still being referenced in modern pop, by such names as Beyonce and Madonna. Do Eddie or James have a currently touring Broadway biographical musical on the go?
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:59 PM
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I'd forgotten that KC had other hits like Shake Your Booty and Get Down Tonight. I hadn't heard those songs in decades. I probably won't hear them again for quite awhile.

They were more successful than I remember.
They were so popular, KC (aka Harry Wayne Casey) was even a guest on the Hollywood Squares.
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:02 PM
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They were so popular, KC (aka Harry Wayne Casey) was even a guest on the Hollywood Squares.
He's got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the band is still on tour.
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