Legends of Disco

Forty Stars Discuss Their Careers

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About the Book

In this candid retrospective of the disco era, 40 men and women who reigned over the dance music industry of the 1970s and 1980s recall their lives and careers before, during and after the genre’s explosion. Artists interviewed include Alfa Anderson, formerly of Chic (“Good Times”); Ed Cermanski and Robert Upchurch of The Trammps (“Disco Inferno”); Sarah Dash (“Sinner Man”); producer John Davis (“Ain’t That Enough for You”); Janice Marie Johnson of A Taste of Honey (“Boogie Oogie Oogie”); France Joli (“Come to Me”); Denis LePage of Lime (“Babe, We’re Gonna Love Tonite”); Randy Jones of the Village People (“Y.M.C.A.”); Rob Parissi of Wild Cherry (“Play That Funky Music”); producer Warren Schatz (“Turn the Beat Around”); Debbie, Joni and Kim Sledge of Sister Sledge (“We Are Family”); and many more.

About the Author(s)

James Arena is a New York-based author, host and commentator who has been featured on MSNBC, Fox, SiriusXM and other networks. He is the author of the pop culture books Fright Night on Channel 9, First Ladies of Disco and Legends of Disco and a recipient of a G.E.M.A. Foundation/City of Philadelphia award for preserving dance music history.

Bibliographic Details

James Arena
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6496-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2457-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Foreword by France Joli 1

Preface 3

Professionals Behind the Scenes 7

Alfa Anderson, formerly of Chic—“Le Freak” 19

William “Bubba” Anderson, James “Ajax” Baynard, LA Blacksmith, Tyrone Cox, Mark Lipetz and Phil “Flip” Thomas of Crown Heights Affair—“Dreaming a Dream” 28

Clare Bathé, formerly of Machine—“There But for the Grace of God Go I” 36

Anthony Brooks of Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes—“Bad Luck” 42

Ed Cermanski and Robert Upchurch of the Trammps—“Disco Inferno” 46

Sarah Dash—“Sinner Man” 53

John Davis—“Ain’t That Enough for You” 59

Leonard “Butch” Davis and Joe Harris of Double Exposure—“Ten Percent” 66

Venus Dodson—“Night Rider” 75

Joy Dorris of Lime—“Your Love” 81

Bob Esty—“Last Dance” 84

Jimmie Bo Horne—“Spank” 92

Geraldine Hunt—“Can’t Fake the Feeling” 97

Carol Jiani—“Hit’n Run Lover” 102

Janice Marie Johnson, formerly of A Taste of Honey—“Boogie Oogie Oogie” 108

France Joli—“Come to Me” 115

Randy Jones, formerly of Village People—“Y.M.C.A.” 123

Shirley Jones, formerly of the Jones Girls—“You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else” 130

Denis LePage/Nini Nobless, formerly of Lime—“Babe, We’re Gonna Love Tonite” 135

Robbie Leslie—Studio 54 DJ 144

W. Michael Lewis—“Cocomotion” 150

George McCrae—“Rock Your Baby” 157

Denise Montana—“#1 Dee Jay” 163

Eddie ­O’Loughlin—“Doctor’s Orders” 168

Rob Parissi, formerly of Wild Cherry—“Play That Funky Music” 175

Bonnie Pointer—“Heaven Must Have Sent You” 182

Warren Schatz—“Turn the Beat Around” 190

Debbie Sledge, Joni Sledge and Kim Sledge of Sister Sledge—“We Are Family” 199

Arthur “Pooch” Tavares of Tavares—“Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel” 210

Richie Weeks, formerly of Weeks & Co.—“Rock Your World” 215

James “D-Train” Williams—“You’re the One for Me” 220

Afterword by Henry Stone 227

The Turntable: Recommended Listening 231

Index 235

Book Reviews & Awards

“If you James [Arena], you know how much disco music means to him. It has been a passion and true love that has remained with him for decades…. I encourage all who love disco music and its personalities to pick up this book. It is the perfect record of note giving you a first rate education on the lives, past and present, of some of the greatest entertainers in the music’s history. Disco is not dead, its been immortalized within the pages of Legends of Disco, and we all should be thankful and grateful to James Arena.”—Beatselector Magazine; “James Arena’s passion for capturing the history of disco is not only interesting to discover, but a worthwhile discovery of all the artists who created all those ‘good times.’”—Edge Media Network.