SHE’ll BE THERE
To say that Gloria Gaynor was one of the founders of today’s disco revolution is an understatement. At very least this dynamic lady is fixed in the mind of anyone who has stepped into a record store, partied at their favorite disco, or turned the knob on the tiniest transistor radio. Listeners everywhere, young & old, black & white, straight & gay, have heard her clear, sharp refrains.
My memory begins to spark around New Years 1975 when disco had gained an incredible momentum and bowled over the music industry. I can still hear the likes of Van McCoy’s “The Hustle,” Herbie Mann’s “Hijack,” Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” The Jimmy Castor Bunch’s —E-man Boogie,” and Crystal Grass’ “Crystal World.” You may also remember a tune ( “Save Me”) by a then unknown group called Silver Convention. And foremost in my mind the release of an album, Never Can Say Goodbye.
“Never Can Say Goodbye” (many thanks to Clifton Davis) was issued as a 45 some months before the album release (as was “Honey Bee”). To hear the song any less than three or four times a night in such famous Manhattan discos as The Limelight, Lelardin and Hollywood was a disappointing surprise. Sometime later the French version started the process again. Gloria Gaynor’s debut was an instant success. D.J.s (both radio and club) sat on the edge of their turntables waiting for the L.P. promo.
That winter Never Can Say Goodbye hit the market. It was one of the first disco albums to boast an entire side of air play. From the buzzing guitar of “Honey Bee” to the ruckus party lift of “Real Good People” the album was a blockbuster, something that would impregnate the space between each ear drum with Gloria Gaynor’s name.
“Real Good People” was a song about the disco crowd, a crowd which until that time was