2.02.2008

Sibling Assignment # 53: The Disco Queen

This week our sibling assignment came from Raymond Pert: "For this week's assignment focus on one piece of music you listened to between the ages of twenty-five and thirty ( I fudged and used twenty-four). If possible, post a video of this song, but not required. I guess you could make your own video if you wanted to. With this piece of music, open the door to some aspect of yourself at this point in your life and what the song makes you think about in whatever way works for you."
Raymond Pert's tour down the early years of MTV and Phil Collins is here and Silver Valley Girl's poignant post is here.

It was the spring of 1979. I was living in my hometown and two-thirds through my second year of teaching. I had a circle of friends that knew how to have fun. We played on a town basketball team, danced late into the night at the local hot spots, and found reasons to have theme parties, birthday parties, and other gatherings. Most of us were single and at that time I had a stereo that played music loudly when I came home from school each day. Donna Summer and her album "Live and More" epitomized that time in my life. She was the Queen of Disco. She belted out lyrics that made lipsyncing with a perfume bottle work perfectly . She had moves that were too much for the Sunshine Inn in Kellogg, Idaho. As we emerged into adulthood we were trying to embrace responsiblity and hard work, but still wanted to hang on to the good times that were part of our lives after high school and/or college.

The song from the album that always takes me back to that spring is "Last Dance." At that birthday party in March of 1979 we played that song over and over again and everyone sang the lyrics until our voices were hoarse and did the best disco moves we knew. It was a time when things were easy. We had fun, enjoyed our friendships, worked hard, and laughed our guts out. Within a year many of us met our future husbands, times togethers were more adult, and we moved into a new era of music.

One day a couple of years ago I was at the drugstore in Kellogg picking up stuff for Mom. It was a difficult time for our family. I walked down the aisle and "Last Dance" began on the speaker system in the store. I smiled and took my time listening to the slow part at the beginning and waited for the beat to pick up and Donna to belt out those famous lyrics.

Whether is is on my MP3 player, at a class reunion, or just in a conversation with friends from that time period hearing those first few bars of "Last Dance" takes me to a time that was "too easy." It reminds me of singing the lyrics in my upstairs apartment on Mission Ave. I remember everyone yelling loudly when they heard those first few bars of the song where ever we were. This song was the best thing that happened to the movie Thank God It's Friday. It also won a Grammy and an Oscar for Best Song in 1978. I guess the Disco Queens of Kellogg, Idaho had good taste in music even then. Enjoy this live performance of Donna Summer's " Last Dance" and perhaps you can reflect on a time when things were easy.

7 comments :

  1. Last Dance is an anthem! I also always, always become instantly happy whenever I catch even a little phrase! We have been unplowed until only recently and spent a week fighting snow. But there are many, many people who were far worse off than us. sigh.

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  2. Now I know why you took those disco lessons at the YMCA. A great post about those easy times. I remember dancing to this at the KJHS and KHS dances...I think they always left it for the end...of course.

    Did you have a glittery outfit like Donna's for your disco lessons?

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  3. Yep, okay, hmmm, okay, yep, I will admit it, I really enjoyed listening to "Last Dance" too.

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  4. Last Dance was one of my favorites too -- although it was eclipsed by More Than A Woman by The Bee Gees in Saturday Night Fever. John Travolta must have weighed all of 130 pounds in that white suit!! I always wondered what happened to Karen Lynn Gorney so I Googled her -- she's done a lot of different things, just nothing I've seen her in. When I hear this song, I stop and savor it.

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  5. oh my goodness, that brings back memories :)

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  6. Donna Summer! Wow could she belt out a song!

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  7. Back in '79 I was about your age, working for a newspaper about an hour west of Washington, D. C. My BF was a young man who also worked for the same newspaper. We weren't dating, but we did so much together -- antiquing, country roads tours, horse country events, etc. -- that people thought we were. Sometimes on weekends when neither of us had other plans we'd take off to one of the clubs near Capitol Hill or DuPont Circle in D. C. and dance into the wee hours. Donna's Last Dance was very often the song that closed the bar each night. My current DH has no use for disco and always makes a negative remark when he hears a disco tune, but I still enjoy them all and have the Live and More album in vinyl.

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