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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:56 am 
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GAMBLE & HUFF

Kenny Gamble

Born in Philadelphia on August 11, 1943, Kenny Gamble was always surrounded by music, and much of his youth was spent working in the music industry - he cut his first records at penny arcade recording booths; he used to bring coffee to WDAS morning personalities Georgie Woods and Jimmy Bishop; he operated his own record store in South Philadelphia.
In the early 1960's, his harmony group, "Kenny Gamble and the Romeos," had a regional hit with "Ain't It Baby, Pt. 1" (Arctic 114). The Romeos' lineup - which included songwriter Thom Bell and guitarist Roland Chambers, would continue a decades-long association with Gamble and his songwriting/producing partner, Leon Huff. While with the Romeos, Gamble and Huff discovered they had a shared love of songwriting and composing. "When me and Huff first got together, the first time we wrote, we must have wrote ten songs. We were writing some songs for another group, the Sapphires (including the 1964 hit "Who Do You Love," on Swan 4162). Ten songs in one sitting. And it's been like that ever since." A song Gamble and Huff had written for Dee Dee Warwick, "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," was later covered note-for-note by the superstar pairing of the Supremes and the Temptations, and taken into the Top 10. "One day I was riding home, and I heard Jimmy Bishop say on the radio, 'There's a new record by Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations, "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me,"' and I almost crashed my car. Hearing that song sung by them was beautiful; I enjoyed that, it was like a lift. They took that song to where it needed to be." From that point, Gamble and Huff became the hottest independent R and B producing team of the late 1960's. Artists like the Soul Survivors ("Expressway To Your Heart"), Archie Bell and the Drells ("I Can't Stop Dancin'"), Wilson Pickett ("Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You"), The Intruders ("Cowboys To Girls"), and Aretha Franklin ("A Brand New Me") all benefitted from Gamble-Huff productions. Their collaborations with Jerry Butler produced two #1 R and B hits, "Only The Strong Survive" and "Hey, Western Union Man," providing "The Iceman" with a new singing career.
After some early successes with their own homemade labels, Gamble and Huff created "Philadelphia International Records" in 1971. After a conversation with CBS President Clive Davis, PIR secured a distribution deal through America's largest record label. Almost from the day PIR first opened their doors, artists on this new label began to dominate the R and B and pop charts. Within a year, the O'Jays had #1 R and B and pop hits like "Back Stabbers" and "Love Train," Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes were riding high with "If You Don't Know Me By Now," and Billy Paul earned the label's first Grammy with "Me and Mrs. Jones." During the early 1970's Philadelphia International Records was a dominant force in the R and B and pop music industries. By 1974, Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell (the partners in PIR's music publishing company, Mighty Three Music) placed over 25 songs on the pop and R and B charts, making Mighty Three Music the biggest-selling music publishing company of the year.
Two years after its creation, Philadelphia International was the second-largest African-American-owned music company in America, just behind Motown. And CBS, a label that once dropped Aretha Franklin from their roster, was now distributing more soul music than at any time in their previous history. During these fertile years, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff were able to tailor songs for various artists and musical styles. They emphasized Lou Rawls' deep bass voice for the hit "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." When the Jackson Five left Motown in 1976, they recorded their first two Epic LP's in Philadelphia - with Gamble-Huff songs and the Philadelphia International production crew. Gamble and Huff even wrote hits for the PIR house band, MFSB, creating the long-running theme for the TV dance show Soul Train, "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)". "TSOP" not only reflected the music of Philadelphia and of MFSB, but it also represented the sound and spirit of the City of Brotherly Love - it was freedom at Independence Hall, the vibrations of the Liberty Bell, the locomotive rhythm of a SEPTA subway train, the ebb and flow of a Bobby Clarke slap shot and a Mike Schmidt triple and a Julius Erving dunk.
When Dick Clark hosted American Bandstand from Philadelphia, the common phrase was that it had a good beat and you can dance to it. With "TSOP," the beat was so strong even those with no rhythm found the groove. One of Kenny Gamble's proudest moments in Philadelphia International history involves a song and album he recorded with the entire PIR roster, "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto." Originally designed as a Tobacco Road-style ballad for Lou Rawls, "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto" featured the vocal talents of Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, the O'Jays, Lou Rawls, The Intruders, Dee Dee Sharp and Archie Bell. Young people were hired to pick up garbage, paint over graffiti, and sweep dirty streets in their neighborhood. The successful project was initially endorsed by the mayors of Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and Atlanta, then adopted by states throughout America. Among the proclamations the project received, one was from Pennsylvania governor Milton Shapp, who reserved one week in August each year for "Clean Up The Ghetto Week." The "Clean Up The Ghetto" campaign has evolved into a special personal dream for Kenny Gamble - the renovation of his South Philadelphia neighborhood.
With his Universal Companies, Gamble has given his old neighborhood a new lease on life. He opened a successful restaurant at 15th and Christian Streets; after five years, it became a more successful bookstore. He purchased over 100 condemned and vacant properties, and provided construction jobs to local residents to fix up the properties - which are then rented to low-income and middle-income families. Gamble's Jamiyat Construction Company has already built one mosque in the neighborhood; a second one is being planned. The area framed by Broad and 18th and Christian and South Streets is now thriving, thanks to the efforts of Kenny Gamble. "The Universal Companies encourage economic growth that will help resurrect some of the small businesses in the area. The Universal Business Center is a place where small businesses can have a support system to help them thrive. We have the Universal Institute Charter School, which is an option to public education through the charter school system, that opened in September, 1999 with 300 students. We have the Universal Community Employment Training Center, which has programs for adults to teach them job skills and provide job placement. It's one thing to build a house, but we're doing substantially more than that - we're rebuilding a neighborhood and rebuilding the people in the neighborhood, so they can sustain the neighborhood. If we know better, we do better." "We all need a little bit of religion," said WDAS disc jockey George Woods, "But Games and Huff never preached. They were committed to a single purpose: the well being and welfare of their people. Making lives and conditions better in the community. Teaching responsibility and self-respect. Encouraging people to vote and clean up their neighborhoods. Honoring the importance of family."
During the late 1970's and early 1980's, Gamble and Huff continued to write Top 10 hits for Teddy Pendergrass, the O'Jays and the Jones Girls. They produced million-selling hits for McFadden and Whitehead, Pattie LaBelle and Phyllis Hyman. They also saw many of their compositions become big hits for other artists. In the last fifteen years, their songs were re-recorded by the Communards ("Don't Leave Me This Way"), Tierra ("Together"), Heavy D and the Boyz' ("Now That We've Found Love"), Nas ("I Remember," using the melody from "Cowboys to Girls"), Daryl Hall and John Oates ("Love Train"), and Big Punisher ("I'm Not A Player," which samples from the Gamble and Huff catalog). And today's R and B producers, from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, to L.A. and Babyface, to Puff Daddy and the Family, can all trace their musical roots back to the productions of Gamble and Huff. The power and longevity of Gamble and Huff's music can be shown by one of their biggest collaborations, "If You Don't Know Me By Now." Originally recorded as a Top 10 pop and R and B hit for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the song was remade 16 years later by the British group Simply Red. The song hit #1 on the American and British charts, and the remake eventually won Gamble and Huff the 1989 Grammy for Best R and B Song.
Kenny Gamble's charitable contributions are not limited to his neighborhood. He has provided contributions and support to the T.J. Martell Leukemia Foundation and the AMC Cancer Research Center and Hospital (when the latter organization honored Gamble with their Humanitarian Award in 1980, it was the first time that their award was bestowed upon an African-American individual). He also sits on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Music Foundation, whose goal is to honor the legacy and accomplishments of singers, songwriters and musicians from the City of Brotherly Love. Brass plaques line the sidewalks of South Broad Street, honoring such performers as Bessie Smith, Leopold Stokowski, The Four Aces, Boyz II Men, Phyllis Human, Joan Jett, the Intruders, Teddy Pendergrass - and Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell, who in 1993 saw their plaques installed across the street from the Philadelphia International studios.
After writing or co-writing 3,000 songs, an output that rivals such famed songwriting teams as Lennon-McCartney, Holland or Jagger-Richards, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff were inducted in 1995 into the National Academy of Songwriters Hall of Fame. Four years later, they were awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Grammy, an award reserved for such musical visionaries as The Beatles, Berry Gordy, Frank Sinatra and Walt Disney. Even with all these awards and accolades, Kenneth Gamble continues to write songs every day, collaborating both with his longtime partner, Leon Huff, and with many of the new writers and lyricists of Philadelphia International Records. He still lives in his South Philadelphia neighborhood with his wife Faatimah, his sons Caliph and Salahdeen, and his daughter Princess Idia. And as each new family moves back into his old neighborhood, Kenneth Gamble knows his contributions have made a difference - both in music and in life.

Leon Huff

Born in Camden, New Jersey, on April 8, 1942, Leon Huff was exposed to music through his mother, who played piano and organ for the 19th Street Baptist Church choir. "That's how the piano got in our house," Huff remembers today. "We had our own piano; we were the only family on the block that had a big upright piano in the dining room, up against the wall. My mother taught me some of the basics, but I had some formal teaching through the school system and private lessons. I still like to go to the churches to hear the good music."
Besides his burgeoning piano skills, Huff participated in several "doo-wop" groups throughout Camden. One group Huff participated in, the Dynaflows, auditioned for Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. Another group, the Lavenders, recorded a regional hit, "The Slide" [C.R. 103]. In the early 1960's, Leon Huff was making a living as a session pianist, when by a stroke of luck, he was able to participate in recording sessions with some of the top writers and producers in New York. Phil Spector hired Leon Huff to play on the Ronettes' "Baby, I Love You" [Philles 118], and on Spector's legendary Christmas album [Philles PHLP 4005]. I became friendly with the engineer, Brooks Arthur; he would let me come into the studio. A lot of musicians weren't allowed inside the control room. So I used to go into the studio and watch Phil work. Phil Spector was amazing, he was coming up with that Wall of Sound music that was tearing the music charts up at that time."

While working with a Philadelphia production duo, Johnny Madera and David White, Leon Huff received the opportunity to perform on sessions with his personal idols, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. "It was through Johnny Madera and Dave White, that I met Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. That was a blessing for me to be that fortunate to come in contact with these musical gods. I think Jeff really liked my style of playing, and he asked me to come up to New York and be on some Lieber and Stoller sessions. I knew who Lieber and Stoller was, because I had dreams of being a producer and songwriter anyway. I went to the Brill Building and I walked into the office and saw these guys. At that time, they were producing the Ad-Libs. "Boy From New York City" [Blue cat 102], that was the first session they called me to play on; I was so nervous. So here I am in the studio, and I meet all these incredible people - Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Artie Butler, all these musicians, I couldn't stop my leg from shaking. When I started grooving, that's when I really settled down, because Jerry and Mike cut some really groovy records. "Boy From New York City" shot up the charts so fast, it was like a thrill for me. I stuck that piano out in front, that was so great. That was a great time for me as a studio musician."

Encouraged by Madera and White to expand his musical horizons, Huff began writing songs. He wrote the first major hit for Patty and the Emblems, "Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl" [Herald 590]. Leon Huff set up an office in the Schubert Theatre, where he met his future songwriting partner, Kenny Gamble. "Kenny was on the sixth floor and I was on the second," said Huff, "and we used to pass each other in the elevator, but we didn't know each other." Gamble and Huff later collaborated in Kenny Gamble's band, the Romeos. Huff also played on Candy and the Kisses' Top 50 song "The '81" [Cameo 336]. They found they had common interests in songwriting and production, so Gamble and Huff formed a production company with offices in the Shubert Theatre; and began a songwriting partnership that still exists to this day. Their first hits were for local Philadelphia artists. "Expressway To Your Heart," a Gamble-Huff collaboration inspired by a traffic jam on the Schuylkill Expressway, became the Soul Survivors' biggest hit [Crimson 1010].

Another Gamble-Huff collaboration, "Cowboys to Girls" [Gamble 214], became the Intruders' first #1 R and B hit and their first million-selling song. "The Intruders could really sing," Huff remembered. "They could harmonize - it wasn't really hard for us to rehearse them, once they got the parts, they knew the parts. They had the best harmony - I listen to their records now, and their harmony was just so good. And Little Sonny (Samuel Brown, the Intruders' lead vocalist) had such a unique voice. I was listening to his songs the other day, and I haven't heard a voice like that since." A track Gamble and Huff co-write with Jerry Ross for Dee Dee Warwick, "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," was covered by the superstar combination of the Supremes and the Temptations [Motown 1137]. "That was a thrill of a lifetime. We visited the Motown studios when that song was being recorded. I remember that so clearly - it was raining so hard when we got to Detroit. We were soaking wet by the time we got there, but that didn't bother me at all. When we pulled up in front of the Motown building, we saw this long line of people, just waiting to audition. I had never seen anything like that in my life. And we got past the people, and met Martha Reeves and the Vandellas first, then I remember meeting the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team. I had a chance to go into the studio where all those hits were coming out of, it looked like somebody's basement, but the sound they got out of that place was extraordinary. I saw this building full of people, and music coming out from everywhere. It gave us ideas of how we would create a recording studio if we ever got that opportunity."

A major break for the Gamble-Huff songwriting team came when they collaborated with Jerry Butler on the classic "Only The Strong Survive" [Mercury 72898]. The earliest nuances of "Philly Soul" - meaty lyrics of family and survival; a chorus of strings dueting with a thumping bass, and a melody borrowed from equal parts gospel, soul and doo-wop - could be found in this song. But the record also rejuvenated Jerry Butler's career and provided him with a new image - the "Iceman," someone that wouldn't give up, no matter how many times she broke his heart. During the latter part of the 1960's, Gamble and Huff were two of the hottest songwriter-producers in the music industry, as artists like Dusty Springfield, Wilson Pickett, Archie Bell and the Drells, and Joe Simon all recorded Gamble-Huff songs. Even Elvis Presley added a Gamble-Huff song to his repertoire. "'Only the Strong Survive' was later covered by Elvis Presley," said Huff. "That was a big plus for us; we were proud that Elvis covered that song. Colonel Parker called down and said that Elvis was interested in that tune. I've been on cloud nine ever since. Because as a writer, especially a black writer, when a guy like Elvis Presley records one of your songs, that's got to bring you up a little bit. And when he recorded a Gamble and Huff song, that was a hell of an endorsement."

By 1971, Gamble and Huff had formed their own label, Philadelphia International Records, and secured a distribution deal with CBS. Davis (the head of CBS) was the kind of a record guy who knew what was going on in the music business," said Huff. "So I think Clive Davis was aware of Gamble and Huff's independent track record as producers/songwriters. Clive Davis knew about our talents, and he knew about our consistency, because we were pretty consistent with our production company. And I think he was more excited about starting a relationship with us, as we were with him. Because Clive Davis respects talent. It's a proven factor today. I think Clive was looking for us, more so than we were looking for national distribution." With a stable core of artists - the O'Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, MFSB, the Three Degrees, the Ebony's and the Futures, Philadelphia International had monster hits almost from the first day of its inception. Billy Paul's jazz-influenced song, "Me and Mrs. Jones," hit #1 on both the R and B and pop charts and won a Grammy. The O'Jays' "Love Train" and "Back Stabbers" established them as one of the top vocal trios of the 1970's.

After Huff rehearsed the drummer for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes - and found out the drummer could sing - he suggested the drummer, Teddy Pendergrass, sing lead on some tracks, beginning the sensual soul singer's million-selling career. By the end of 1974 Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and co-publisher Thom Bell were the most dominant pop and soul producers, having placed more than 20 hits on the charts that year (Bell's production credits included tracks for the Stylistics and the Spinners). Two years after its creation, Philadelphia International was the second-largest African-American owned company in America, just behind Motown. Mighty Three Music Group, the publishing arm of music from Gamble, Huff and Bell, has been recognized by Billboard magazine as one of the top R and B/soul music publishers in the industry. Gamble and Huff's songs were also reaching an appreciative international audience - the Three Degrees' song "When Will I See You Again" [PIR 3550] was so popular in England that, during a stop on their European tour, the female trio were presented a gold record by Her Highness, Princess Anne. Through the 1970's, the Gamble-Huff collaboration provided major hits for other artists, including Lou Rawls, the Three Degrees, Shirley Jones and the Jones Girls, Thelma Houston, the Dramatics, Third World and the Soul Train Gang. In 1976, Gamble and Huff produced and co-wrote songs for the Jacksons' first two post-Motown albums. During those recording sessions, Michael Jackson paid close attention to the production and songwriting techniques of Gamble and Huff, and learned from those observations to create his own mega-platinum recording career. "There was a message in their music that raised a social consciousness and political awareness without offending," wrote Michael Jackson in liner notes for PIR's three-CD box set. "Theirs is a gift of genius and I love them."

As the 1970's wound to a close, Gamble and Huff collaborated on a series of successful albums for Teddy Pendergrass, who had left Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes for a solo career. Those albums, full of soul and steam and passion, established Teddy Pendergrass as one of the top-selling solo singers of the late 1970's and early 1980's. Huff even released a solo album during this time period, "Here To Create Music" [PIR FZ-36758], with songs like 'Ain't Jivin', I'm Jammin'" [PIR 3122] receiving lots of club and dance air play. During the 1980's Leon Huff continued to collaborate with Kenny Gamble, writing and producing tracks for Patti LaBelle and Phyllis Hyman, as well as for long-standing PIR artists Lou Rawls and the O'Jays. In 1989, Huff and Gamble received their first songwriting Grammy, as Simply Red's interpretation of the Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' classic "If You Don't Know Me By Now" was awarded "Best Rhythm and Blues Song." According to BMI, as of 1996 "If You Don't Know Me By Now" has been performed over three million times.

In the 1990's, the music industry awarded Gamble and Huff some of their highest accolades. In 1993, Leon Huff, along with his songwriting and producing partners Kenny Gamble and Thom Bell, were inducted into the Philadelphia Music Foundation's Walk of Fame, and brass plaques with their names were placed on the sidewalk of Broad Street's Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia, only a stone's throw from the Philadelphia International studios. On May 31, 1995, Gamble and Huff were inducted into the National Academy of Songwriters' Hall of Fame. Songs that they have co-written and co-produced, tracks like "Back Stabbers," "Cowboys to Girls," "Don't Leave Me This Way," "Enjoy Yourself," "For The Love Of Money," "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," "Only the Strong Survive," "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "Love Train," and "TSOP" have received songwriters' awards from Broadcast Music International (BMI). In February, 1999, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff were honored by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, who awarded the songwriting duo the Trustees Award. The award, whose past winners include the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Berry Gordy and Walt Disney, honors Gamble and Huff for their body of work, both as producers and songwriters, and their contribution to the entire fabric of popular music.

Leon Huff continues to produce and write songs to this day, and is never far from a piano or keyboard when the inspiration arises. He also watches as his son, Leon Huff, Jr. ("Pop"), follows in his father's footsteps, recording his own tracks that will someday be popular songs for the new millennium. "It was natural, because during the time my children were babies and my wife wanted me to baby-sit, I would bring them straight to the studio. Come on, kids, we're going to the studio, and they'll be crawling through the halls, making themselves busy. Pop's been coming over to this building since he was two years old. At about eight or nine, Pop started being obsessed with turntables and scratching, and here come the rappers now with their technology. So my son started to gravitate toward that musical trend that was on the rise then. So it was natural for him, I think, to become obsessed with something in the music. It just so happened to be the new style of producing with the beats and the rhymes.

Rounding out Leon Huff's life is his dedicated family; daughters Erica, Inga and Bilail, and his son, Leon, Jr. And the new musical generation keeps coming - with the birth of grandson, Elliott, Huff's family has now moved to the next generation

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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:50 am 
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You're in my brain!!!!
I was ready to do a post at Everyday Disco about Gamble and Huff!!!!
You make a great job here Michael 8)
By the way,do you have any more infos about Walter Gibbons???
It would be great if we find some more about Walter!!!
Jay we need your ''witness'' from galaxy 21 :D


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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:42 am 
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WOW Michael that was a great GAMBLE & HUFF bio---you know how much I love them!!!

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 Post subject: Shep Pettibone
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:08 pm 
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Shep Pettibone

Robert E. Pettibone, Jr. (born 15 July 1959, better known as Shep Pettibone) is a record producer, remixer, songwriter and club DJ, one of the most prolific of the 1980s. His earliest work known to the public was for one of New York City's top disco/dance radio stations, WRKS 98.7 "Kiss" FM, and later as remixer/producer for the disco label Salsoul Records. His prowess at production and mixing led him to work with such artists as Madonna and George Michael in the late '80s during the height of these artists' popularity. Shep's contribution to 1980s club music is too extensive to list completely. He was instrumental in bringing the early underground sound of house music into the pop mainstream by way of a hybrid sound (much to the dismay of some purists who preferred standard disco/dance and R&B). Though he was contemporaneous to others (such as Francois Kevorkian and Arthur Baker), he is certainly the most prominent DJ/Remixer to bridge the high Disco and House eras in popular dance music.
He was one of the first to submit multiple remixes (with different approaches) to be released all on the same single. Today this is standard practice to market a song to a multitude of different radio formats and markets. Shep's remix skills became known to the public starting in 1982 when began to create "Mastermixes" of single hit songs for the New York City disco/dance radio station WRKS (98.7 Kiss FM). Shep's "Mastermixes" were remixes of hit disco and dance songs of the time, and continued into 1983, after which Shep became more closely involved with Salsoul Records and expanded into studio mixing and production. Shep's "Mastermixes" would often incorporate the "dub" version or instrumental version of the 12" single, using the vocal-only track or other unique portions of the various versions of the 12" singles. Shep made ample use of tape splicing and other methods of editing to create repetitive lines of music or vocals, often in quick, staccato rhythm, and he also made judicious use of tape delay and digital delay effects, usually opting for an eighth-note 'triplet' continuous echo effect either effected on a specific vocal or musical point, or set on a continuous mode with limited delay length to allow for an echoing effect as the music played. Some "Mastermixes" he did for 98.7 Kiss FM which featured these effects significantly include those for "Do It To The Music" by Raw Silk, and "So Fine" by Howard Johnson (both hits in 1982). Of such popularity were his "Mastermixes" that in late 1982 Prelude Records released a double-album LP set of "Mastermixes" by Shep for a number of Prelude-released songs. The remixes Shep did for D-Train's "You're The One For Me" and "Keep On" are considered classic "Mastermixes" from this set.
Shep added to his work at 98.7 Kiss FM from 1982 by working in the studio on a number of well-known 12" singles for Salsoul Records in 1983, including hits by Skyy, Inner Life, the Salsoul Orchestra and Loleatta Holloway, among others. His remix of First Choice's "Let No Man Put Asunder" is the version now found in the majority of urban dj's record crates. Shep also had a go at remixing "Dr. Love" (which had anthemized many a disco night in the late 70s as A Tom Moulton Mix). Moulton wished Shep luck, but later hinted that he didn't care for the remix.

Shep formed an early alliance with Pet Shop Boys, mixing "West End Girls" and co-producing some B-side material with the group, like "Was That What It Was?" (1986), "You Know Where You Went Wrong" (1987). He also did a notable "turnaround mix" for Level 42 on their "Something About You" single in 1985, garnering the record airplay and decent sales after its first release had been a flop.

His most famous work by far would be his remixes, writing and production collaborations with Madonna, starting in earnest in 1986 with the "Color Mix" of "True Blue". In 1987, he added new material to Madonna's "Into the Groove", significantly changing the arrangement so that Madonna could get more stage time and a broader performance out of the song. Shep had obviously been smitten with the record, as he had used the basic rhythm arrangement for New York teen queen Alisha's "Baby Talk" in 1985. He went on to remix several more of Madonna's hit singles, including "Causing a Commotion", "Like a Prayer" and "Express Yourself." Most notable were the duo's collaborations on the number one song "Vogue" and the "Erotica" album. Their association appeared to end soon after working on several songs together in 1994 for a Madonna album that did not eventuate. Madonna finished two of the songs with different collaborators (see Unreleased Madonna Songs). A third tune from this session, "Love Won't Wait", was later given to Gary Barlow (Take That's songwriter and singer), to record and it reached #1 in the UK in 1997 with co-writing credit given to both Shep and Madonna.

Shep mixed the famous video version of Janet Jackson's The Pleasure Principle in 1987. He also mixed several of the singles from her Rhythm Nation 1814 album, including the title track, Miss You Much, Alright, Love Will Never Do (Without You) and Escapade.

Shep helped British songbird (now millionaire Kylie Minogue's songwriter and producer) Cathy Dennis, break US radio by means of his mixes of "Just Another Dream" and "Touch Me (All Night Long)". The latter is a definitive example of a "turnaround" mix, where a remixer significantly commercialises an otherwise uncommercial song for single release, usually resulting much improved sales for the associated album. Shep worked with Cathy on her second release, which did not perform as well as its predecessor.

In April 1987, Pettibone also produced the first version of the Pet Shop Boys hit "Heart", although an entirely new production would be used for the eventual single and yet another mix was used and produced by Andy Richards (Holly Johnson, Inga and O.M.D. producer), on the album Actually. Which was reached number one UK Single Chart in April 1988. Shep's version was eventually released on the 2001 2-disc re-release of "Actually".
During Shep's peak years at the end of the 1980s, he established a trademark style of mix most easily identified by the use of a sequenced "machine gun"-sounding snare drum. Steve "Silk" Hurley simultaneously made use of a rapid fire snare, usually with more reverb applied. In England, the mixes of Phil Harding would feature this element (as one can hear on Bananarama's "I Can't Help It") and, less in the spotlight, Dancin' Danny D. and Mark Saunders (both respected remixers) were featuring variations of this motif in their own work (Danny D's snare usually lacked the syncopation of Shep's while Saunders was slower and displayed a pronounced "splash" effect). In contrast, Frankie Knuckles used the snare drum in an extremely sparing manner for his trademark "Def Classic Mixes". Shep's "bazooka snare" evolved into a singular sound that can be used with great accuracy to identify his remixes from the period 1988 to 1992, when present.
Today, Shep Pettibone owns the Paradise Nightclub and The Empress Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey also Bingo Begui in Berazategui, Buenos Aires.
Selected remixing credits:

Aftershock - She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not (1990)
Afrika Bambaataa & The Jazz 5 - Jazzy Sensation (1982)
Alisha - All The Night (1985)
Alisha - Baby Talk (1985)
Alisha - Boys Will Be Boys (1985)
Alisha - One Little Lie (1985)
Alisha - Stargazing (1986)
Alisha - Too Turned On (1985)
Alyson Williams - Yes We Can (1986)
Arnie's Love - Date With The Rain (1985)
Apollo Smile - Dune Buggy (1991)
Arcadia - Say The Word (1985)
Art of Noise - Beat Box (1984)
Aurra - Baby Love (1982)
Aurra - Checking You Out (1982)
Aurra - Such A Feeling (1982)
The B-52's - Summer of Love (1986)
The B-52's - The Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland (1986)
Bananarama - Preacher Man (1991)
Barbara Fowler - Kockin' On My Door (1985)
Barone - Shake It Up (´Til Ya Drop) (1985)
Bee Gees - You Win Again (1988)
Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is a Place on Earth (1988)
Belinda Carlisle - I Get Weak (1988)
The Belle Stars - World Domination (1986)
Betty Boo - Doin' The Do (1990)
Betty Boo - Where Are You Baby (1990)
Bianca - My Emotions (1989)
Bobby "O" & His Banana Republic - Somebody (1985)
Boogie Box High - Nervous (1989)
Boys Don't Cry - Cities On Fire (1986)
Bros - Drop the Boy (1988)
Breakfast Club - Express Away To Your Heart (1988)
Breakfast Club - Never Be THe Same (1987)
The Brooklyn, Bronx & Queen Band - Dreamer (1987)
Bros - I Owe You Nothing (1988)
Candido - Jingo (1983)
Carl Bean - I Was Born This Way (1986)
Carol Jiani - Touch And Go Lover (1984)
Carol Williams - No One Can Do It (Like You) (1981)
Casanova - Eye Contact (1983)
Cathy Dennis - Just Another Dream (1989)
Cathy Dennis - Touch Me (All Night Long) (1991)
Cathy Dennis - Everybody Move (1991)
Cathy Dennis - You Lied To Me (1992)
Cat Miller - Ready Or Not (1985)
CC:Diva - I'll Always Follow Me (1988)
Cheri - So Pure (1983)
Cheri - Working Girl (1983)
Clair And Love Exchange Hicks - Push (In The Bush) (1985)
Claudja Barry - Down On Couting (1986)
Colors - Am I Gonna Be The One (1983)
Communards - Never Can Say Goodbye (1987)
Conquest -Give It To Me (If You Don't Mind) (1982)
Cyndi Lauper - Change of Heart (1986)
Cyndi Lauper - What's Going On (1987)
Daryl Hall - Foolish Pride (1986)
David Bowie - Day-In Day-Out (1987)
David Bowie - Never Let Me Down (1987)
David Essex - Rock On (1989)
David McPherson - You Can't Stop (1982)
Debbie Gibson - Electric Youth (1989)
Debbie Harry - Heart of Glass (solo version, re-recorded) (1988)
Depeche Mode - Behind the Wheel (1987)
Diana Ross - Paradise (1989)
Diana Ross - Shock Waves (1987)
Donna Garraffa - Let Me Be Your Fantasy (1985)
D-Train - Keep On (1983)
D-Train - You're The One For Me (1982)
Duran Duran - I Don't Want Your Love (1988)
Duran Duran - All She Wants Is (1988)
Dusty Springfield - In Private (1989)
Dusty Springfield - Reputation (1989)
Eleonor - Adventure (1986)
Elton John - I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That (1988)
Elton John - Healing Hands (1989)
Empress - Dyin' To Be Dancin' (1982)
Erasure - Chains of Love (1988)
Erasure - Blue Savannah (1989)
Falco - Do It Again (1988)
First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder (1983)
First Choice - Dr. Love (1983)
Five Star - Are You Man Enough (1987)
Five Star - Rain of Shine (1986)
Five Star - The Slightest Touch (1987)
Five Star - Somewhere Somebody (1987)
Five Star - Treat Me Like a Lady (1990)
Five Star - Find the Time (1986)
Five Star - If I Say Yes(1986)
The Flirts - You & Me (1985)
The Flirts - New Toy (1986)
Four In Legion - Party In My Pants (1984)
Fox The Fox - Precious Little Diamond (1984)
France Joli - Does He Dance (1985)
France Joli - Gonna Get Over You (1982)
France Joli - I Wanna Take A Chance On Love (1982)
Gayle Adams - Love Fever (1982)
George Benson - Twice the love (1988)
George Michael - Hard Day (1987)
Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive (1990)
Howard Hewett - Stay (1986)
Huey Lewis & The News - Hip To Be Squere (1986)
Information Society - Walking Away (1988)
Inner Life - I Like It Like That (1982)
Inner Life - Moment Of My Life (1982)
Instant Funk - (Just Because) You'll Be Mine (1986)
Jaki Graham - From Now On (1989)
Jaki Graham - The Better Part Of Me (1989)
The Jammers - And You Know That (1982)
The Jammers - Be Mine Tonight (1982)
The Jammers - Let's B-B Break (1984)
Jane Child - Don't' Wanna Fall In Love (1989)
Janet Jackson - The Pleasure Principle (1987)
Janet Jackson - Alright (featuring Heavy D of Heavy D & the Boyz)(1990)
Janet Jackson - State of the World (1991)
Janet Jackson - Love Will Never Do Without You (1989)
Janet Jackson - Escapade (1990)
Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation (1989)
Janet Jackson - Miss You Much (1989)
Jeannette "Lady" Day - Come Let Me Love You (1982)
Jeffrey Osborne - Room With A View (1986)
Jennifer Holliday - No Frills Love (1985)
Jermaine Jackson - I Think It's Love (1982)
The Jets - Cross My Broken Heart (1987)
Junk Yard Dog - Grab Them Cakes (1985)
Karyn White - Romantic (1991)
Katunga - El Negro No Puede (1984)
Keyna - Tell It To Me (1989)
Kim Wilde - You Came (1988)
Laid Back - It's The Way You Do It (1985)
Laid Back - I´m Hooked (1985)
Laid Back - One Life (1985)
Labelle-Patti Labelle, Nona Hendryx & Sarah Dash- Turn it Out
The Latin Rascals - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (1988)
Level 42 - Lessons In Love (1987)
Level 42 - Something About You (1985)
Level 42 - World Machine (1985)
Leroy Burgess - Heartbreaker (1983)
Leroy Burgess - Stranger (1983)♣
Linda Taylor - You And Me Just Started (1982)
Lionel Richie - Love Will Conquer All (1989)
Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam - I Wonder If I Take You Home (1985)
Lisa Stansfield - This Is the Right Time (1989)
Loleatta Holloway - Love Sensation (1983)
Loleatta Holloway - Crash Goes Love (1986)
Louie Louie - Sittin' In The Lap Of Luxury (1990)
Love and Money - Candy Bar Express (1986)
Luther Vandross - Power of Love/Love Power (1991)
Madonna - True Blue (1987)
Madonna - Into the Groove (1985)
Madonna - Causing a Commotion (1987)
Madonna - Like a Prayer (1989)
Madonna - Express Yourself (1989)
Madonna - Keep it Together (1990)
Madonna - Vogue (1990)
Madonna - Justify My Love (1990)
Madonna - Erotica (1992)
Madonna - Deeper and Deeper (1992)
Madonna - Bad Girl (1993)
Madonna - Fever (1993)
Madonna - Rain (1993)
Madonna - This Used to Be my Playground (1992)
Mahogany - Ride On The Rhythm (1983)
Mariah Carey - Someday (1991)
Mariah Carey - There's Got to Be a Way (1991)
MC Hammer - Pray (1990)
Metallica - Enter Sandman (1991)
Miami Sound Machine - Bad Boy (1986)
Michael McDonald - All We Got (It's Not Enough, Never Enough) (1990)
Mico Wave - Star Search (1987)
Mike & Brenda Sutton - Don't Let Go Of Me (Grip My Hips & Move Me) (1982)
Mitsou - Bye Bye Mon Cowboy (1988)
Morris Day - Are You Ready (1988)
Natalie Cole - I Live For Your Love (1987)
Natalie Cole - The Urge To Merge (1987)
Narada - Divine Emotions (1988)
New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle (1986)
New Order - True Faith (1987)
Nia Peeples - Street Of Dreams (1991)
Nia Peeples - Trouble (1988)
Nick Kamen - Each Time You Break My Heart (1986)
Nick Scotti - Get Over (1993)
The Nick Straker Band - A Little Bit Of Jazz (1982)
Nu Shooz - Point of No Return (1986)
Nu Shooz - Lost Your Number (1986)
Nu Shooz - Don't Let Me Be The One (1986)
NV - It's Alright (1983)
NV - Let Me Do You (1984)
Olivia Newton-John - The Rumour (1988)
Paul McCartney - Ou Est Le Soleil?
Paula Abdul - Knocked Out (1988)
Paula Abdul - Forever Your Girl (1989)
Paula Abdul - Opposites Attract (1990)
Paul Ledakis - Tattoo In On Me (1990)
Pebbles aka Perri "Pebbles" Reid - Giving You the Benefit
Phil Collins - Hang in Long Enough (1990)
Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls (1985)
Pet Shop Boys - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) (1986)
Pet Shop Boys - Love Comes Quickly (1986)
Pet Shop Boys - What Have I Done To Deserve This? (1987)
Pet Shop Boys - Always on My Mind (1988)
Pet Shop Boys - Heart (1988)
Pet Shop Boys - Left to My Own Devices (1988)
Pet Shop Boys - Was That What It Was? (1986)
Pet Shop Boys - You Know Where You Went Wrong (1987)
Pet Shop Boys - I Want To Wake Up (1987)
Phyllis Nelson - I Like You (1989)
Pia Zadora - Dance Out Of My Head (1988)
Pierre - Just Right (1984)
Pilot - You Are The One (1984)
Pointer Sisters - Friends' Advice (Don't Take It) (1990)
Pointer Sisters - Gold Mine (1986)
Pretty Poison - Nightime (1988)
Prince - Hot Thing (1987)
Prince - Glam Slam (1988)
Rafael Cameron - Desires (1982)
Ramsey Lewis - This Ain't No Fantasy (1985)
Raw Silk - Do It To The Music (1983)
Rafaga - Aquel Amor (1999)
Red Head Kingpin And The FBI - Get It Together (1991)
Robey - Bored & Beautiful (1984)
Robey - Killer Instinct (1985)
Robey - One Night In Bangkok (1984)
Rockers Revenge - Walking On Sunshine (1987)
Run-D.M.C. - It's Tricky (1987)
Run D.M.C. - Ghostbusters (1989)
The Salsoul Orchestra - Ooh, I Love It (Love Break) (1983)
The Salsoul Orchestra - Seconds (1982)
S-xpress - Hey Music Lover (1988)
Seal (musician) – The Beginning (1991)
Secret Weapon - Must Be The Music (1982)
Shakespear's Sister - Break My Heart (1988)
Sharon Redd - Can You Handle It (1982)
Sheena Easton - Eternity (1987)
Shirley Lewis - You Can't Hide (1989)
Siedah Garrett - K.I.S.S.I.N.G. (1988)
Sinnamon - Thin Line (1984)
Sinnamon - He's Gonna Take You Home (1982)
Sinnamon - Thanks To You (1982)
Sister Sledge - Here To Stay (1986)
Skyy - Call Me (1982)
Skyy - Let Love Shine (1982)
Skyy - Let's Celebrate (1982)
Skyy - Show Me The Way (1987)
Slade - Slam The Hammer Down (1984)
Slay Cabell - Feelin' Fine (1982)
The Springsteen Brothers - She's Fine (1984)
Steve Shelto - Don't You Give Your Love Away (1983)
Stewart Copeland - Love Lessons (1987)
The Strangers - Step Out Of My Dream (1983)
The Strikers - Body Music (1982)
Surface - Falling In Love (1982)
Taylor Dayne - I'll Wait (1993)
Taylor Dayne - Say A Prayer (1995)
Technotronic - Techno Medley (1990)
Terence Trent D'arby - Dance Little Sister (1987)
Terence Trent D'arby - If You Let Me Stay (1987)
Terry Lewis - Can You Feel It (1984)
Third World - One To One (1985)
Third World - Sense Of Purpuse (1985)
Thompson Twins - In the Name of Love (1988)
Thompson Twins - Sugar Daddy (1989)
Timex Social Club - Rumors (1986)
Timex Social Club - Thinkin´About Ya (1986)
Tina Turner - Foreign Affair (1989)
TKA - I Won't Give Up On You (1989)
Toney Lee - Reach Up (1986)
Tracie Spencer - This Time Make It Funky (1990)
2 Brave - After Midnight (1989)
Unlimited Touch - Reach Out (Everlasting Lover) (1984)
Unlimited Touch - Searching To Find The One (1982)
Unique - You Make Me Feel So Good (1984)
Vaughan & Butch Dayo Mason - Party On The Corner (1983)
Vaughan & Butch Dayo Mason - You Can Do It (1982)
Visual - The Music Got Me (1985)
The Wally Jump Jr. & The Criminal Element - Don't Push Your Lock (1986)
The Wally Jump Jr. & The Criminal Element - Jump Back (1986)
Wang Chang - Let's Go! (1986)
Warp 9 - Light Years Away (1983)
Weeks & Co. - Going Out Of My Dream (1983)
Weeks & Co. - Good To The Last Drop (1983)
Weeks & Co. - If You're Looking For Fun (1983)
Weeks & Co. - Knock, Knock (1983)
Weeks & Co. - Rock Candy (1983)
Weeks & Co. - Rockin´It In The Pocket (1983)
Weeks & Co. - Rock Your World (1983)
Weeks & Co. - Tunnel Of Love (1983)
Weeks & Co. - Your Next Door Neighbor (1983)
Wild Party - No One Knows (1987)
Will To Power - Fading Away (1988)
The Wrestlers - Land of a Thousand Dances?!!? (1985)
Whitney Houston - So Emotional (1987)
Whitney Houston - I Belong To You (1991)

Selected album production/writing credits:

Cathy Dennis - Everybody Move (To The Mixes) (1991)
Cathy Dennis - Into the Skyline (1992)
Cathy Dennis - The Irresistible Cathy Dennis (2000)
Gary Barlow - "Love Won't Wait" (1997)
Labelle - "Turn It Out" (1995)
Madonna - The Immaculate Collection (1990)
Madonna - Erotica (1992)
Madonna - GHV2 (2001)
Pet Shop Boys - "You Know Where You Went Wrong" (from b-side of "It's a Sin" single) (1987)
Pet Shop Boys - "I Want to Wake Up" (from Actually album) (1987)
Pet Shop Boys - "Heart" (appears on Actually/Further Listening) (2001)
Taylor Dayne - Soul Dancing (1993)
Taylor Dayne - Greatest Hits (1995)
Taylor Dayne - Dance Diva: Remixes & Rarities (2005)


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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:05 am 
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You know I am a fan of Shep's body of work, he worked with so many diverse artists. Another wonderful informative read Dancer...My thanks to you!

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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:55 am 
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Another Wonderful Bio...

This section ROCKS !!!

Thanks !

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 Post subject: François Kevorkian
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:49 am 
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François Kevorkian

François Kevorkian, alias François K, (born January 10, 1954) is a French DJ, remixer, producer and record label owner of Armenian descent living in the US. Having started his career in renowned clubs such as the Paradise Garage and Studio 54, the NYC-resident is widely considered as one of the forefathers of house music.
Born and raised in France, Kevorkian's passion for music led to playing the drums during his teen years. He moved to the United States in 1975, where he hoped to find more challenging situations than those back home. Due to the heavy competition for any gig as a drummer in those days, he instead tried his hand at becoming a DJ in underground New York City clubs, around 1976. His career then skyrocketed, and he quickly made this his full-time occupation, although some work was at more commercial venues such as the club New York, New York in 1977. He taught himself tape editing and started making disco medleys, some of which are still popular to this day, such as Rare Earth's "Happy Song". He was offered a position doing A&R for a nascent dance indie record label, Prelude Records, which allowed to him to go into the studio and do remixes. His first remix, of a Patrick Adams production, "In The Bush" by Musique became a wild success both in clubs and on the radio. It was the first of many remixes that helped Prelude define the sound of New York's dance music, including many memorable songs, including "You're The One For Me' and "Keep On" by D-Train, and "Beat The Street" by Sharon Redd. His stint at Prelude ended in 1982, the same year where he had the most number one singles in Billboard's Dance Music Chart, which included his remixes of now-classic songs such as "Situation" by Yazoo, and "Go Bang" by Dinosaur L.

During that time, he was privileged enough to play as a guest DJ at such legendary venues as the Paradise Garage, The Loft, Better Days, Studio 54, Les Mouches, Buttermilk Bottom, and AM-PM, as well as a residency at New Jersey's Club Zanzibar on Fridays for over a year. The great success of his remixes led him to record producing, and his first work was the Snake Charmer EP for Island Records, utilizing an all-star cast of Jah Wobble, The Edge, Holger Czukay, and Jaki Liebezeit. His career as a remixer and producer led him to work or collaborate with many more mainstream artists, such as Eurythmics, Diana Ross, U2, Kraftwerk, Mick Jagger, Ashford & Simpson, The Cure, Midnight Oil, Jimmy Cliff, Foreigner, Jean Michel Jarre, Jan Hammer, The Fatback Band, Bunny Wailer, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys, Cabaret Voltaire, and culminated in his involvement in mixing all of Kraftwerk's 1986 studio album, Electric Café. He mixed Depeche Mode biggest-selling album, Violator as well as many of their 12" club remixes.
During this time he decided to build his own recording studio, Axis Studios, which ironically shared the same building as Studio 54. It quickly turned into a major commercial operation. Due to the pressures of studio work, he had abandoned DJing around 1983 to dedicate himself to recording and mixing full-time, but couldn't stay away from the turntables, and started spinning again in early 1990. The scene had really become much more international, and he quickly was able to start traveling and gaining much exposure overseas, including Japan. He toured Japan, DJ'ing with Larry Levan in the Summer of 1992 (the 'Harmony Tour') right before Levan's death in November of that same year. The demand for his DJ appearances led him to start traveling to many of the best club venues around the world, including London's 'Ministry Of Sound' and 'Fabric', Japan's 'Spacelab Yellow', Ibiza's 'Pacha' and 'Space', as well as Italy's 'Angels Of Love' and many large-scale festivals.
By 1995, he decided to start an eclectic independent record label, Wave Music which allowed him to find an outlet for his own creative endeavours, including the FK-EP, as well as signing records by Abstract Truth, Floppy Sounds and a slew of other electronic music releases. Then in 1996, he (along with partner John Davis) became involved in starting what arguably became one of New York's most revered weekly parties, Body&SOUL which took place every Sunday afternoon at Club Vinyl (6 Hubert Street), playing along with co-resident DJs Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell and Danny Krivit for a mixed crowd of ecstatic and faithful dancers from all over the world. The 'Body&SOUL' sound, a unique soulful mix of very organic and spiritual dance music grooves, led to the release of a successful compilation series by the same name.
His career as an artist did not stop evolving, as he rekindled his interest for a more electronic sound, and the release of his Sonar Music set in 2002 marked a turning point; he started playing a much edgier and futuristic style, with more to do with Techno and Dub than the House sound he was mostly identified with as a DJ until that time. In 2002, he also started touring along with Detroit Techno legend Derrick May, playing sets together as the 'Cosmic Twins'. His recent appearances at Berlin's Tresor, Manchester's Sankey's Soap and London's Fabric have helped gain him many younger fans that may not have been aware of his previous work, which in turn has led to the timely Summer 2006 release of his newest compilation CD, entitled 'Frequencies', (Wavetec), which takes the listener on a grand tour of the types of electronic music sounds he has been championing of late, from Electro and Minimal to 'big-room' House and Techno.
In April 2003, he started a residency at a new weekly Monday night event in New York City called Deep Space NYC, which focuses on Dub in all of its forms, and where the format is extremely eclectic, ranging from spaced-out Techno to the deepest Reggae, Dubstep, Hip-Hop as well as Drum & Bass, House music and Disco. His recent musical output has him mixing Deep Space NYC Vol. 1, a compilation featuring several of his own original productions (along with Jamaican dub legends Mutabaruka and U-Roy); he also recently did notable remixes for Moloko, Yoko Ono, Cesaria Evora, Nina Simone, as well as much for his own label. In 2005, he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame as both a remixer and DJ.
Kevorkian now tours the world, taking part in many music gatherings, such as the Sonar Multimedia Festival in Barcelona, Global Gathering (UK), Exit Festival (Serbia), The Big Chill (UK), Electric Picnic (Ireland).
He is also credited for the continuous DJ mix on the dance radio station (Electro-Choc) in the game Grand Theft Auto IV. (April 2008)
To this day, many people (especially in the UK) insist on mistakenly spelling his last name as 'Kervorkian', which can be traced to an erroneous credit on the Violator album he mixed for the group Depeche Mode.

Selected discography:

As an artist
FK-EP (Wave Music) 1996
"Time And Space" (Wave Music) 1998
"Capricorn" (Wave Music) 2000
"Awakening" (Wave Music) 2002
"Enlightenment" (Wave Music) 2002
"Road Of Life" (Deep Space Media) 2007

Compilations
'Masterpiece: Created By Francois K' (Ministry Of Sound) 2008
'Frequencies' - 2 x CD - (Wavetec) 2006
'Deep Space NYC (vol. 1)' (Deep Space Media/Wave Music) 2005
'Live At Sonar' (SonarMusic) 2003
'Body&SOUL NYC (vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (Wave Music) 1998-2007
'Deep & Sexy (vol.1)' (Wave Music) 2001
'Choice: A Collection of Classics' (Azuli) 2002
'Essential Mix - François K' (London/Ffrr) 2000

As a producer
'Snake Charmer' Jah Wobble, The Edge, Holger Czukay and Jaki Leibezeit (Island Records) 1983
"May The Cube Be With You" Dolby's Cube 1985
'Species Deceases' Midnight Oil (Columbia Records) 1985
'We're On The Move' Jamaica Girls (Sire) 1985
"Strong Enough" Loleatta Holloway (Active Records) 1992 co-produced with Yvone Turner and Alan Friedman
"Got To Be In Love" Barbara Mendes (Wave Music) 2003 co-produced with Eric Kupper
"Rootsman" U-Roy (Deep Space Media) 2005 co-produced with Russ Disciple

As a mix producer
'Electric Café' Kraftwerk (EMI/Warner Bros.) 1986
'Violator' Depeche Mode (Mute) 1990
'Erasure' Erasure (Mute) 1995
'Blondosaurus' Rebecca (Sony Japan) 1989

As a remixer
"In The Bush" Musique (Prelude) 1978
"I Hear Music In The Streets" Unlimited Touch (Prelude) 1980
"You're The One For Me" / "Keep On" / "Music" / "Walk On By" / "Misunderstanding" D-Train (Prelude) 1981-1983
"Beat The Street" / "Never Give You Up" / "Send Your Love" / "Can You Handle It" Sharon Redd 1982-1983
"Body Music" The Strikers (Prelude) 1981 co-mixed with Larry Levan
"Let's Go Dancin'" Sparque (West End) 1981
"Situation" Yazoo (Mute) 1981
"Go Bang" Dinosaur L (Sleeping Bag) 1981
"Two Hearts Beat As One" / "New Year's Day" U2 (Island) 1983
"This Charming Man" The Smiths (Rough Trade) 1983
"Tour De France" Kraftwerk (EMI - Warner Bros.) 1984
"Lucky In Love" / "Just Another Night" Mick Jagger (Columbia) 1984
"Blue Light (12" Mix)" David Gilmour 1984
"Solid (As A Rock)" Ashford & Simpson (Capitol) 1984
"Sleepless" King Crimson 1984
"Zoolookologie" Jean Michel Jarre (Disques Dreyfus France) 1985
"Perfect Way" Scritti Politti UK 12" Single ((Version)) (Virgin) 1985
"Why Can't I Be You" / "Japanese Dream" / "Hot, Hot, Hot" The Cure (Fiction-Elektra) 1985-1990
"The Telephone Call" Kraftwerk (EMI/Warner Bros.) 1987 co-mixed with Kraftwerk and Ron St. Germain
"Don't You Want Me" Jody Watley (MCA) 1987
"Rent" Pet Shop Boys (Parlophone/EMI) 1987
"My Bag" (dancing mix) Lloyd Cole and the Commotions (single b-side, Polydor) 1987
"My Bag" (dancing mix)/"My Bag" (dancing dub) Lloyd Cole and the Commotions (Capitol Records) 1988
"Personal Jesus" / "Enjoy the Silence" / "Policy of Truth" / "World in My Eyes" Depeche Mode (Mute / Sire / Reprise) 1990
"Radioactivity" Kraftwerk (EMI/Elektra) 1991
"Higher Love" Depeche Mode (Mute/Sire/Reprise) 1994 co-mixed with Goh Hotoda
"Get Another Plan" Abstract Truth (Wave Music) 1996
"Tout est bleu" Ame Strong (Delabel) 1997
"Sangue De Beirona" Cesaria Evora (Lusafrica / Wave) 1999
"Expo Remix" Kraftwerk (EMI) 2000 co-mixed with Rob Rives
"Hunter" Dido (Arista) 2001
"Swollen" Bent (Ministry Of Sound) 2001
"Josephine" Chris Rea (Warner Bros.) 2001 co-mixed with Eric Kupper
“La La Land” Green Velvet (Music Man) 2002 co-mixed with Rob Rives
“Community” Audio Soul Project (NRK) 2002 co-mixed with Rob Rives
"Forever More" Moloko (Echo) 2003 co-mixed with Eric Kupper
"Walking on Thin Ice" Yoko Ono (Twisted) 2003 co-mixed with Eric Kupper
“Aborigine’s Jam” Cirque du Soleil (Cirque du Soleil) 2003 co-mixed with Eric Kupper
“Aero Dynamik” Kraftwerk (EMI - Astralwerks) 2004
“Welcome Dub” Herbest Moon (Soundscape) 2004
“Disco Infiltrator” LCD Soundsystem (EMI UK) 2005
“Ride a White Horse” Goldfrapp (Mute) 2005 co-mixed with Eric Kupper
“Talk” Coldplay (EMI UK) 2005
"Here Comes the Sun" Nina Simone (Columbia) 2006

As an editor
"Happy Song" (bootleg) Rare Earth (labelled as: "Happy Song And Dance")
"Is It All Over My Face" Loose Joints (West End Records) with Larry Levan --uncredited on label--


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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Hats off to Francois for all his great work and to Dancer for this bio !!

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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:51 pm 
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Another interesting and infomative article about the legendary FK, loved his work so I enjoyed this read very much!..My Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 11:19 pm 
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EARL YOUNG

Philly soul drummer Earl Young kept the beat on countless hits coming out of the City of Brotherly Love during the '60s, '70s, and mid-'80s. As one-third of the classic Baker-Harris-Young rhythm section that included bassist Ron Baker and guitarist Norman Harris, Young played on hits by the Intruders, the O'Jays, Barbara Mason, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the Three Degrees, the Village People, and many others. The trio was an integral part of MFSB, the studio aggregation that was the house band for Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records (PIR). He also played on numerous releases issued by other Philly-area labels and co-formed Baker-Harris-Young Productions, having hits with First Choice, Loleatta Holloway, Love Committee, and other acts on the Cayre Brothers' Salsoul Records out of New York City. Young, who first aspired to be a singer, read drum instruction books and taught himself how to play. As a teen, he began playing drums in a marching band called the Elks. Economics dictated that he concentrate on the drums rather than sing, because it paid better. In the early '60s, Young began his professional recording career with the Volcanos. The group's 1965 R&B hit "Storm Warning" peaked at number 33. They were the house band for the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia. The Uptown was akin to New York's Apollo Theater, a necessary stop for R&B/pop acts of the '60s. While playing at the Uptown, Young backed such stars as Jackie Wilson. In his early twenties, Young was called by Stevie Wonder to join him on his tour of Japan. Wonder, who was a student of influential Motown drummer Benny Benjamin, taught Young some valuable drumming tips. Returning to Philadelphia, Young teamed up with guitarist Norman Harris and bassist Ron Baker where they began playing at area clubs. Of the three, Harris began doing recording sessions first, later bringing in Young and Baker. The group can be heard on Barbara Mason's "Yes I'm Ready" (number two on the R&B charts for two weeks, number five pop, summer 1965) and on the Delfonics' "La La Means I Love You" (number two R&B for four weeks, number four pop, around March 1968) and the million-selling "Didn't I Blow Your Mind" (number three R&B, number ten pop, January 1970). Besides their considerable playing abilities and cohesiveness, what also made the trio so in-demand was the fact that if record producers called Young, he could contact Baker and Harris, thus insuring that there would be a complete rhythm section for the recording session; such "one stop shopping" saved time and money. In the late '60s, producer Kenneth Gamble contacted Harris to play on sessions for the Intruders on his Gamble label. Harris brought Baker, but not Young because the drummer spot was filled by Karl Chambers, a former bandmate of Gamble's when both were in the Romeos ("Precious Memories"). Young can be heard on the gold single "Cowboys and Girls" (number one R&B, number six pop, spring 1968), "When We Get Married" (number eight R&B, summer 1970), as well as the group's later hits, "I'll Always Love My Mama (Part 1)" (number six R&B, spring 1973), "I Wanna Know Your Name" (number nine R&B, fall 1973), and the Three Degrees' platinum single "When Will I See You Again" (number four R&B, number two pop, fall 1974). Most of the PIR catalog has been reissued by Sony Legacy, U.K. label VCI, and PIR itself. The group had the golden touch, not to mention sound, playing on million-selling hits spanning the PIR catalog as well as by Joe Simon (the gold hit "Drowning in the Sea of Love," number three R&B, number 11 pop, December 1971). One album that perfectly captures the era is Wilson Pickett in Philadelphia, a 1970 Atlantic Records album. The LP spawned the hits "Engine Number 9" (number three R&B, number 14 pop, fall 1970) and the gold single "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You" (number two R&B for two weeks, number 17 pop in February 1971). In 1995 Rhino reissued the album on CD. With such success, Baker-Harris-Young began backing such visiting acts as the Jacksons (their self titled 1976 gold LP), the Spinners ("I'll Be Around," number one R&B for five weeks, number three pop, fall 1972; "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," number one R&B, number four pop, late 1972; "One of a Kind (Love Affair)," number one R&B for four weeks and number 11 pop, spring 1973), B.B. King ("To Know You Is to Love You," co-written by Stevie Wonder, number 12 R&B, July 1973; "I Like to Live the Love," number six R&B, December 1973), the Whispers ("A Mother for My Children," number 32 R&B, January 1974; "Bingo," number 40 R&B, summer 1974), Blue Magic ("Sideshow," number one R&B, number eight pop, spring 1974; "Three Ring Circus," number five R&B), and the Temptations ("Think for Yourself"). With such an ever-increasing time-intensive schedule and more work with intricate arranger Thom Bell, Young was taught by Baker and Harris how to read music, as that skill was becoming a prerequisite. Bell arranged "People Make the World Go Round" — number six R&B, number 25 pop, summer 1972 — for the Stylistics. On the track, Young had to contend with the difficult task of shifting between three different time signatures. After logging so much studio time, Baker-Harris-Young decided to get into the business end of music. They started Golden Fleece, a record label and music publishing company. Going to Sigma Sound in Philadelphia, they convinced studio owner Joe Tarsia and general manager Harry Tipitt to donate some studio time. Young sang lead in a bass voice on "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart," a hit for Judy Garland in 1943. An executive at Buddah Records, Neil Bogart (later head of Casablanca Records in the '70s), picked up "Zing..." and the record was a number 17 R&B hit in summer 1972. Three Trammps tracks were released on Golden Fleece: "Love Epidemic," (number 75 R&B, late 1973), "Where Do We Go From Here" (number 44 R&B, spring 1974), and "Trusting Heart" (number 72 R&B, late 1974). Lacking the necessary distribution, the group switched to PIR, releasing two LPs. Another Buddah hit for the group was "Hold Back the Night," number ten R&B, late 1975. Curiously, "Hold..." was released after the group had signed with Atlantic, with their first charting single being "Hooked for Life," number 70 R&B, fall 1975. When he wasn't touring with the Trammps, Young still cut for PIR and other labels, and even recorded with one of his music idols, drummer/singer Grady Tate. Signing with Atlantic, the Trammps began cutting R&B/disco hits, including "That's Where the Happy People Go" (number 12 R&B, spring 1976) and "Disco Inferno" (number nine R&B, number 11 pop, March 1977). "The Trammps"' big crossover break came when "Disco Inferno" was included on the mega-selling movie soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. The track was selected because the Trammps were a favorite at popular Brooklyn, NY, disco club 2001 Odyssey. The club was used as a location for the filming of the movie. The group rode the wave of the wildly popular movie; wherever the movie was playing, The Trammps could find an eager audience. In the late '70s, the trio started Baker-Harris-Young Productions, producing, writing, and playing on disco/R&B hits for Salsoul Records artists Loleatta Holloway ("Hit and Run"), Double Exposure ("Ten Percent," "My Love Is Free"), First Choice ("Armed and Extremely Dangerous"), and Love Committee ("Heaven Only Knows," "Cheaters Never Win," "Law and Order"). The trio was reunited with Eddie Holman, whom they'd backed on "Hey There Lonely Girl" (number four R&B, number two pop, late 1969), for the 1977 album, This Will Be a Night to Remember. Baker-Harris-Young primarily were studio musicians, but toured with MFSB and Vince Montana's Salsoul Orchestra, with whom they also recorded. Baker-Harris-Young's own self-titled Salsoul album was released in fall 1979, later becoming a dance classic. Most of the B-H-Y tracks are available on numerous Salsoul compilations and reissues on their imprint and licensed through Capitol/Right Stuff and U.K. label Charly Records. When Salsoul ceased record business operations to focus a home video division, the trio continued to do session dates and Young continued touring with the Trammps. During the '80s, the trio began to fade. Norman Harris died in 1987. "My Forever Love" (number two R&B, fall 1987) from Levert's 1987 Atlantic LP The Big Throwdown was one of the last completed tracks by the multi-talented guitarist/songwriter/arranger/producer. Bassist Ron Baker passed away in 1991. Without his friends, Young began to scale back, only drumming on sessions he felt were worthwhile. In 1994, Rhino Records issued That's Where the Happy People Go: The Best of the Trammps. The Collectibles label reissued The Legendary Zing Album, Featuring The Fabulous Trammps as Golden Classics in 1992. Still active in the business today, Young tours all over the world with the Trammps, whose "Disco Inferno" is still hot. The track has been featured on various movie and TV soundtracks and in ad campaigns. The group, which now includes "Hooked for Life" co-writer Bunny Sigler, has done TV appearances on Oprah, The Ricki Lake Show, VH1's Where Are They Now, and the Mike Douglas Show. Young accompanied Jocelyn Brown on her remake of the Ashford & Simpson song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," originally a 1967 hit for Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell. Brown sang lead on a 1981 disco-oriented remake for Salsoul Records act Inner Life. The veteran drummer is also working with Salsoul Records on a tribute compilation to Baker-Harris-Young. The trio is memorialized with a plaque in front of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:22 am 
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Earl Young and Chic's Tony Thompson are the most important and influential drummers for the dance music!
A wonderful bio,thanks again Soul-Boy!!!


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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
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I had the pleasure of hearing Francois K. play at AM/PM several times in 1982.
He always had the crowd going and ALWAYS changed the music.

He is the only DJ that spinned a VARIETY of different music ON-BEAT and kept the crowd into it!!
I heard in one set: "Super Freak"-Rick James, "Bedsitter"-Soft Cell, "Bostich"-Yello, "Start Me Up"-The Stones, "Loveland(Remix)"-B52s---I forgot what order but everyone in the club was screaming!!! I remember The B52s track was brand new!!!

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 Post subject: EARL YOUNG
 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 5:32 am 
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EARL YOUNG


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cGU74yPNbc


and look who's STILL "doin the doo" on the drums!!!
Look closely!!!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbh3KR8GNkc

Thanks Mikey for the EARL BIO!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: EVERYDAY DISCO
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THANKS Mikey !!! :D
Me like !!!

// Discoguy

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 Post subject: WALTER GIBBONS
 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:30 pm 
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I cannot tell the story of WALTER GIBBONS better than Tim Lawrence does;
Here is PART ONE:

Disco Madness: Walter Gibbons and the Legacy of Turntablism and Remixology


"Disco Madness: Walter Gibbons and the Legacy of Turntablism and Remixology"

by Tim Lawrence

Journal of Popular Music Studies





This story begins with a skinny white DJ mixing between the breaks of obscure Motown records with the ambidextrous intensity of an octopus on speed. It closes with the same man, debilitated and virtually blind, fumbling for gospel records as he spins up eternal hope in a fading dusk. In between Walter Gibbons worked as a cutting-edge discotheque DJ and remixer who, thanks to his pioneering reel-to-reel edits and contribution to the development of the twelve-inch single, revealed the immanent synergy that ran between the dance floor, the DJ booth and the recording studio. Gibbons started to mix between the breaks of disco and funk records around the same time DJ Kool Herc began to test the technique in the Bronx, and the disco spinner was as technically precise as Grandmaster Flash, even if the spinners directed their deft handiwork to differing ends. It would make sense, then, for Gibbons to be considered alongside these and other towering figures in the pantheon of turntablism, but he died in virtual anonymity in 1994, and his groundbreaking contribution to the intersecting arts of DJing and remixology has yet to register beyond disco aficionados.

There is nothing mysterious about Gibbons's low profile. First, he operated in a culture that has been ridiculed and reviled since the "disco sucks" backlash peaked with the symbolic detonation of 40,000 disco records in the summer of 1979. Second, he occupied a liminal position within that culture, where he attempted to express the aesthetically progressive priorities of downtown New York's private party scene in a series of public discotheques that were always vulnerable to conservative cooption. And third, just as he was approaching the pinnacle of his remixing career, he became a born-again Christian, which set him in opposition to a movement that was already about to become marginal. Gibbons continued to produce remixes that were lucid and daring, yet he did so from the outside, and his isolation increased when he became sick with AIDS and joined a community that was widely deemed to be untouchable. During the first half of the 1990s, when the epidemic peaked in New York's gay male community, it was difficult to even give away disco records ⎯ as the executors of Gibbons's collection of vinyl and reel-to-reel tapes discovered.

Gibbons did not contribute to the most flagrantly commercial aspects of disco, but has suffered from implicit association. Elitist and hierarchical, Studio 54 dismantled the core ethos of early disco culture ⎯ that the dance floor should function as a space of communal dance ⎯ while Saturday Night Fever whitened and straightened a culture that had been forged by African American, Italian American and Latino gay men. As the majors flooded the market with a glut of second-rate disco recordings just as the economy entered a deep recession, disco was critiqued for being superficial, materialistic and irretrievably commercial, and this caricature endured as the commonsense interpretation of disco because the postdisco dance movements of house and techno failed to establish the kind of following that would have supported the writing of an alternative history. Like disco, hip hop also struggled to gain recognition early on, but the culture received its first serious historical treatment when David Toop published Rap Attack in 1984, and the simultaneous emergence of Def Jam marked the beginning of a period of rapid growth that has supported the publication of a plethora of historical accounts that cite DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa as key figures. In contrast to hip hop's relatively continuous history ⎯ a history that has escaped the schism of a national backlash ⎯ the disrupted story of disco and post-disco dance forms has give rise to a fragmented knowledge in which contemporary participants are unlikely to have heard of a pioneering figure such as Gibbons.

However the analogy between Gibbons and hip hop spinners such as Herc, Flash and Bambaataa is conjured not to illustrate the relative bad luck of the disco DJ, but instead to open up a conversation about the relationship between disco and hip hop that to date has been explored in only the most tentative ways. Timing and territory have contributed to the dialogue being foreclosed. Hip hop barely registered beyond New York's boroughs during the 1970s, the decade in which disco surged to international prominence, and the cultures continued to move in inverse relationship to one another when the collapse of the disco market coincided with the breakthrough success of "Rapper's Delight" in the summer of 1979, since when disco has surfaced only intermittently, and largely as cliché, while hip hop has become one of the best-selling alternatives to rock. In addition, the contrasting claims to territory as espoused within disco/dance and hip hop/rap have given rise to a sense of cultural disjuncture, with the former operating according to a range of interiors (the darkened club, the feel of the music, the psychic journey of the trip), and the latter a series of exteriors (the urban ghetto, the conflict with the state, the possession of material objects). Yet if these temporalities and outlooks suggest only contrasts, a consideration of Gibbons opens up a space in which a range of shared practices can begin to be teased out.

Overly simplistic assumptions about the sexuality of purportedly "gay" disco/dance and "straight" hip hop/rap have conflated the reigning sense of immutable difference, and hip hop has contributed more words to the exchange thanks to its sustained success as well as its emphasis on rapped vocals, a number of which have been provocative. As Peter Shapiro notes, the lyrics of "Rapper's Delight", hip hop's breakthrough single, contained homophobic elements that have been repeated as if they are part of hip hop's accepted social reality, and it has become commonplace (although not mandatory) for disco to be dismissed for being insufficiently masculine. Noting that clubs DJs were often gay, Houston A. Baker, Jr. (1991) commented that disco "was not dope in the eyes, ears, and agile bodies of black Bronx teenagers," before he concluded: "Hey, some resentment of disco culture and a reassertion of black manhood rights (rites) — no matter who populated discotheques — was a natural thing." The disdain for house, disco's most obvious generic descendent, was illustrated when Chuck D of Public Enemy described the genre as "sophisticated, anti-black, anti-feel, the most ARTIFICIAL shit I ever heard. It represents the gay scene, it's separating blacks from their past and their culture, it's upwardly mobile." More recently, 50 Cent's derogatory references to "homie" culture and the positioning of female pornography as routine in "Disco Inferno" suggested not so much an engagement with disco as a proposition that the roots of this queer and female dominated culture should be quashed. "For a generation of gays and lesbians raised on disco, hip-hop is foreign territory distinguished mostly by the homophobic trash talk of its superstars," wrote Derrick Mathis in The Advocate in 2003.

The jousting conceals a nuanced and variegated history in which disco/dance and hip hop/rap DJs drew on the same pool of funk, soul, uptempo R&B and imported records, developed intersecting turntablist practices, set up inclusive record pools, nurtured dance styles (breakdancing and vogueing) that blended athleticism and angularity, and produced a set of recordings that were mixed back-to-back in clubs during the first half of the 1980s. Hip hop chroniclers Jeff Chang, Murray Forman, Nelson George and Tricia Rose have captured shards of this history: that Kool DJ D, Disco King Mario and other Bronx River DJs like DJ Tex played uptempo disco music; that Flash saw Pete "DJ" Jones extend disco records by mixing two copies of the same record; that Bronx discotheques such as Mel Quinns's on 42nd Street and Club 371 in the Bronx were incubators for early rap; that instrumental disco tracks underpinned some early rap recordings; and that "Rapper's Delight" received club play. The citations might have been more extensive if the history of disco had been charted more thoroughly when these and other hip hop historians went about their work; as it is, or was, disco's ahistorical status also made it vulnerable to parody. However, recent research has established a platform upon which it possible points of intersection can be traced more easily, and thanks to his aesthetic outlook, the figure of Gibbons encourages an exploration of the intersecting practices and priorities of disco and hip hop.

Gibbons immersed himself in disco culture, yet his excavation of the break across the 1970s and 1980s makes him an articulate advocate of the links that ran between dance and hip hop. Paralleling Herc, Gibbons started to mix between breaks when he DJed at Galaxy 21, where he developed a quick-fire technique that was comparable to Flash. Ahead of disco and hip hop spinners alike, Gibbons started to construct reel-to-reel mixes of his edits in his home that he would play live and also pass to friends, and popularising this turntablist practice, Gibbons drew on his DJing sensibility when mixed the first commercial twelve-inch single for Salsoul in 1976. A short while later, and as the first DJ to be granted access to the multitrack tapes of a recording, he began to explore the way in which sound could be manipulated further in order to accentuate the energy of the dance floor. During the 1980s he continued to explore the aesthetic potential of the looped break when he recorded the haunting, heavily syncopated "Set It Off", and he continued to pursue his interest in off-kilter, skittish beats with the musician and producer Arthur Russell. For these and other reasons, Gibbons compels us to remember disco and to ponder its relationship to hip hop.


The Break

Walter Gibbons stood at five foot five, sported a wispy moustache, and parted his brown hair right to left. He was also shy and softly spoken. Yet when he stood behind the turntables, he became hurricane articulate, as though he kept his daytime thoughts to himself because he could express them so much more forcefully at night. Aware the process of splitting the nucleus of a song into smaller nuclei could produce a significant release of energy, Gibbons approached his work in the DJ booth with the mindset of a nuclear physicist, and once he deduced that drums lay at the atomic heart of dance music, he began to hunt down songs that included a long drum intro or, alternatively, a break — the technique transplanted from jazz and gospel into soul, funk and early disco whereby the vocalists and musicians would stop playing, often simultaneously, in order to let the drummer play solo. Purchasing two copies of any record that contained one or more of these percussive gems, Gibbons specialized in stretching them beyond the horizon of New York's tribal imaginary by mixing between two copies of a record.

Born in Brooklyn on 2 April 1954, Gibbons started to forge his sensibility at a young age. At the Walt Whitman Junior High in Brooklyn, recalls one friend, "he was the lone white boy hangin' out with the sistahs… a fairly tough group of black girls" who probably "helped cultivate his musical taste," and by June 1972, when he met Rich Flores on a Gay Pride event, he had accumulated a collection of 1,500 seven-inch singles. Soon after Flores visited Gibbons, who was still living with his mother, and witnessed him play records on an amp and two Gerrard turntables. "He had one turntable plugged into the left channel and the other turntable plugged into the right channel, and he also used low spindles and paper sleeves to help the records slip," recalls Flores. "He had two copies of Bobby Byrd 'Hot Pants', and he extended the opening of the record by using headphones and the fader, which he also used to hear how to cue the incoming record. He could keep it going for as long as he wanted. It was easy for him."

Gibbons had already DJed for a month or two at a club called Sanctum Sanctorum, where an African American spinner called Alfie Davison was resident, but he was more focused on playing at private house parties, where he would set up his home stereo system and sometimes make a little money. "He was this mamma's kid," remarks Flores, who moved into an apartment with Gibbons in the autumn of 1972. "He was green. He knew nobody in the industry and he had no connections." That began to change when Gibbons started to work at Melody Song Shops (informally known as Melody Records) in the spring of 1973, and toward the end of the year he started to DJ at the Outside Inn, a gay venue situated in Jackson Heights, Queens, after Flores took it upon himself to call around the clubs that were listed in Michael's Thing, a gay magazine. When MFSB released "Love Is the Message" (Philadelphia International, 1973) around the same time, Gibbons took to extending its instrumental section, after which he began to blend it with spoken extracts from the Wizard of Oz, yet it was his ability to extend the break that became his trademark skill. "I was amazed at the way he would mix," remembers Mark Zimmer, who went to listen to Gibbons after meeting him in Melody Records towards the beginning of 1974. "He was working with these short little records, which were just two or three minutes long, with maybe a two-measure introduction, and he had the mixing down pat. He would extend the break until he got exhausted, or until the people on the dance floor became fatigued. It was just magnificent to see him do it."

Gibbons went on to DJ at Galaxy 21, an after-hours venue on Twenty-third Street, around late 1974, or possibly early 1975, and it was there that he began to play records such as Rare Earth "Happy Song" (drawn from the 1975 album Back to Earth), Jermaine Jackson "Erucu" (released by Motown on the Mahogany soundtrack in 1975) and the Cooley High soundtrack number "2 Pigs and A Hog" (also released in 1975), all of which contained prominent breaks. "Walter was so innovative," notes Kenny Carpenter, who witnessed Gibbons forge his craft in Galaxy 21, where he worked the lights (and briefly dated the DJ). "He would buy two copies of a record like 'Happy Song' and he would loop the thirty-second conga section." Hired to play drums alongside Gibbons, much to the irritation of the DJ, François Kevorkian recalls how listeners "would never hear the actual song" when Gibbons worked two copies of "Happy Song". "You just heard the drums," he adds. "It seemed like he kept them going forever, although I imagine it was actually about ten minutes." (Lawrence 2003: 216)

It was in the late-night setting of Galaxy 21 that Gibbons was able to fully develop his craft. "You could get away with things at an after hours venue that you couldn't get away with at a regular club night," notes Tony Smith, the DJ at Barefoot Boy, who met Gibbons in mid 1975. "After five hours [of dancing in another venue] people would have heard most of the things they wanted to hear and they would be ready for something new. You could go to Galaxy 21 at seven-a.m." ⎯ most other discotheques closed at four-a.m. and Galaxy 21 opened at four-forty-a.m. ⎯ "and the club would still be packed." Looping breaks in order to generate tension before switching to a euphoria-inducing vocal crescendo, Gibbons acquired a reputation for being for being a highly skilled original. "Walter was making a lot of flawless mixes," says Danny Krivit, who started DJing at the Ninth Circle in 1971. "He would go back and forth, very quickly, which made it sound like a live edit. It was very impressive." Disco historian Peter Shapiro (34) notes that people started to refer to the spinner's style as "jungle music".

Gibbons was operating at the fulcrum of converging historical forces. The age-old practice of dancing to drum-generated rhythms echoed beneath his beat-mixing aesthetic, while the potential to repeat that experience with pre-recorded music in an industrialised western setting had been established when jazz musicians began to lay down drum breaks on their records. The likelihood of these breaks being looped in consecutive succession increased when David Mancuso and Francis Grasso started to select records for the predominantly gay crowds that congregated at the Loft (a private party situated in NoHo) and the Sanctuary (a public discotheque situated in Hell's Kitchen) at the beginning of 1970. Previously dancers had been required to move within the physically restrictive matrix of the heterosexual couple, while DJs were charged with the task of "working the bar" (in order to maximize venue profits) and accordingly interrupted the rhythmic flow in order to encourage dancers to drink. But the predominantly gay crowds who congregated at the Loft and the Sanctuary weren't used to dancing with partners of the same sex ⎯ indeed New York law continued to forbid such activity until December 1971 ⎯ and the post-Stonewall celebratory fervour that swept through these venues contributed to the emergence of a new antiphonic dynamic. From this point onwards, dancers moved in freeform patterns that were connected to the broader fluctuations of the assembled crowd, while DJs selected records according to the mood of the floor and programmed them to flow across the course of an entire night.

Picking out tracks that would have cleared the dance floor in another setting, Grasso substituted Santana's guitar-led "Jingo" (Columbia, 1969) with Olatunji's original version, "Jin-Go-Lo-Ba (Drums of Passion)" (Columbia, 1959), while Mancuso began to spin the heavily-percussive "Exuma, the Obeah Man" by Exuma (Mercury, 1969) and "City, Country, City" by War (United Artists, 1972) around the same time. "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Benny Goodman (Victor, 1937), "Revelation" by Love (Da Capo, 1967), "Girl, You Need A Change of Mind" by Eddie Kendricks (Motown, 1972) and "Sultana" by Titanic (RCA, 1971) also became popular, in part because dancers loved the rhythmic dynamism of their breaks as well as the way in which these percussive interludes contrasted with other instrumental and vocal parts, and accordingly generated tension and release. Within the space of a few short months, the break had assumed a central position within New York's nascent dance network.

New York DJs set about deploying the technologies of the turntable and the mixer to intensify the experience of the dance floor. Leading the way, Grasso pioneered the art of extended beat mixing, while Mancuso stuck to rudimentary segueing in order to stay focused on developing themes around lyrical meanings and instrumental moods. After that, New York spinners such as Jim Burgess, Michael Cappello, Steve D'Acquisto, Armando Galvez, Bobby "DJ" Guttadaro, Richie Kaczor, Frankie Knuckles, Robbie Leslie, Larry Levan, Howard Merritt, Richie Rivera, David Rodriguez, Tom Savarese, Tee Scott, Nicky Siano, Jimmy Stuard and Ray Yeates began to beat-match, interrupt records in mid-flow, manipulate the equalizer, and even mix with three turntables. Plying their trade in Boston and Philadelphia, John Luongo and David Todd mixed between the breaks of records, while Siano might have been the first DJ to virtually insist he would only play a record if it contained a break. Gibbons appreciated the work of his peers: in his opinion, Todd could beat-mix for longer than any other spinner, while Kaczor (he told Zimmer) was "one of the first DJs to do this type of mixing." Amidst the turntablist frenzy, Gibbons acquired a reputation for championing the break. "["2 Pigs and a Hog"] is only 1:46, but the DJs play it two or three times in a row, making it longer," reported Tom Moulton in Billboard in October 1975. "The LP has been around for several months and Walter [Gibbons] believed in the record enough to try and convince others."

DJ Kool Herc began to lay down a similar breakbeat aesthetic about a year after Gibbons started to DJ in public. Having arrived in New York from Jamaica, Herc had played reggae at his first party, which he staged in the rec room of the apartment building where he lived on Sedgwick Avenue in August 1973, but as Jeff Chang points out in a narrative that has acquired folklore status, the crowd "wanted the breaks", so he "dropped some soul and funk bombs" (Chang: 70). In the summer of 1974 Herc started to put on free outdoor parties, and at some point he started to work a technique that became known as the "Merry-Go-Round," which involved him using two copies of a record in order to extend the break. Toop (6) notes that Herc "switched to Latin-tinged funk, just playing the fragments that were popular with the dancers and ignoring the rest of the track", and adds that the "most popular part was usually the percussion break." Electro pioneer Afrika Bambaataa recalls Herc began to turn to "certain disco records that had funky percussion breaks… and he just kept that beat going" (Toop 2000: 6).

The question remains: if dancer desire for the break was so explicit, why hadn't other DJs started to extend these sections at an earlier moment? Offering an explanation, Garnette Cadogan (2007) suggests Herc was not simply responding to his Bronx-based dancers, but also channelled their will through a set of priorities and techniques he had absorbed in Jamaica, where sound system DJs would head from the party to the studio in order to edit records according to the responses they had just witnessed on the dance floor. Because Herc lacked that kind of studio set-up in New York, he worked out how to reproduce the looped process on the spot, and so a modified Jamaican outlook was brought to bear on a set of non-Jamaican records. "We can think of Kool Herc as a one-man sound system-cum-studio, or, if you prefer, a selector-cum-sound system-cum-studio who fused economic expediency with imaginative remixing and improvisation," Cadogan adds in conversation. "Like the dub musicians who reused existing rhythms to useful and even exhaustive effect, Herc developed a technique that made perfect economic and creative sense, and supplied an aesthetic in which the pleasure of dancers (and a quick, ready responsiveness to them) reigned paramount. Perhaps more than anything else, this is how Jamaican popular music influenced hip hop." Acknowledging the attention to the dance floor was not specific to Jamaica, but was also an established practice within the tradition of African American jazz dance and related forms, Cadogan concludes: "Although Kool Herc's techniques marked a departure, I see the departure as less a break than an apotheosis, or a confluence of earlier practices."

Along with Luongo and Todd, Gibbons developed a comparable practice, perhaps because the darkened space of the discotheque, in which time and space could be collapsed and extended in unconventional ways, encouraged him to adopt an aesthetic that sounded both primeval and futuristic. Yet whereas Herc talked over records in a style reminiscent of Jamaican MCing, Gibbons abandoned the radio tradition of talking between and sometimes over records, and while the Bronx DJ faded from one record to the next without lining up the beats ⎯ much to the frustration of listeners such as Flash ⎯ Gibbons combined precision and spontaneity in his mixing. "The break in 'Happy Song' is only thirty seconds long and he [Gibbons] knew exactly how to make it click because to me it sounded like one record," recalls Kevorkian. "I was playing along with the drums and it was always the same pattern, always the same number of bars. He had this uncanny sense of mixing that was so accurate it was unbelievable." The Galaxy DJ's technical perfection disguised the difficulty of the mix. "When you listened to the record it was like, 'Wait a minute, where do I cue up to know exactly where I am?' It's not easy. The record doesn't just start. It fades up. You really have to have a very keen ear to pick it out through the headphones."

The contrasting approaches of Gibbons and Herc were grounded in the culture of their respective dance crowds. At Herc's street parties, athletic young dancers ⎯ break boys, or b-boys, as Herc dubbed them ⎯ would compete with each other, and as their skills became more developed and the competition intensified, other partygoers began to circle around them in order to watch the unfolding spectacle. "Each person's turn in the ring was very brief ⎯ ten to thirty seconds ⎯ but packed with action and meaning," Nelson George (Rose 1994: 47) has noted of the nascent form. "It began with an entry, a hesitating walk that allowed him to get in step with the music for several beats and take his place 'on stage.' Next the dancer 'got down' to the floor to do the footwork, a rapid, slashing, circular scan of the floor by sneakered feet, in which the hands support the body's weight while the head and torso revolve at a slower speed, a kind of syncopated sunken pirouette, also known as the helicopter. Acrobatic transitions such as head spins, hand spins, shoulder spins, flips and the swipe ⎯ a flip of the weight from hands to feet that also involves a twist in the body's direction ⎯ served as bridges between the footwork and the freeze."

The athletic style of the b-boys did not require Herc to mix smoothly between records such as "Bra" by Cymande (Janus, 1972), "Funky Music Is the Thing" by the Dynamic Corvettes (Abet, 1975), "Apache" by the Incredible Bongo Band (MGM, 1973), "Get Into Something" by the Isley Brothers (T-Neck, 1970), or "It's Just Begun" by the Jimmy Castor Bunch (RCA, 1972). According to Rose (47), breakdancers executed "moves that imitated the rupture in rhythmic continuity as it was highlighted in the musical break," and it follows that Herc's abrupt transitions might have been welcomed as an additional challenge. Shapiro (237) adds that the hip hop break functioned in a different way to the disco break, for while the latter created a moment for dancers to "relax", the former was "just the opposite." Shapiro oversimplifies in order to make his point, because so-called hip hop records such as "The Mexican" by Babe Ruth (Harvest, 1973), the live version of James Brown's "Give It Up or Turnit A Loose" (King, 1970), and "Think (About It)" by Lynn Collins (People, 1972) were played regularly in disco settings, while protagonists from the private party and public discotheque network attest to the way the disco break was experienced as a moment of intense excitement and energy. If there was a difference in the private party or public discotheque setting, it lay in the way dancers sought to merge into the crowd rather than stand out as spectacular individuals. DJs such as Gibbons contributed to the dynamic by developing a mixing technique that created a mesmerising flow and encouraged dancers to abandon themselves to the rhythm of the music.

As Flash, Bambaataa and other spinners came to the fore, innovative techniques such as scratching and the quick-fire mixing of multiple records consolidated the impression that hip hop and disco spinners were assuming distinctive styles as they pursued contrasting goals. Yet these differences should not be allowed to override the common turntablist ethos that linked both sets of DJs from the outset as well as the way Gibbons bridged the ostensibly disconnected worlds of Manhattan and the Bronx. The son of Puerto Rican immigrants, John "Jellybean" Benitez grew up on Davidson Avenue in the South Bronx and witnessed DJs such as Bambaataa scratch and quick-cut before he went on to hear Gibbons spin at Galaxy 21. "He [Gibbons] would cut up records creatively, he would play two together, he did double beats, he worked the sound system, and he made pressings of his own edits," says Jellybean (Lawrence 2003: 217). "Walter played a lot of beats and breaks, and I had never heard a disco DJ playing those kinds of records before. His style appealed to my Bronx sensibilities. He just blew me away."



Disco spinners were also left open-mouthed. "Walter was doing things other DJs wished they could try in their clubs, including me," remembers Smith, who became close with Gibbons during this period. "I heard every DJ, straight and gay, because I wanted to know what was going on in the music world. Walter was the most advanced." Having heard the future, Smith started to go to Galaxy 21 on a regular basis once he had wrapped up for the night at Barefoot Boy. "Everyone was going to hear Walter," adds Smith. "Most DJs finished at four so we could hear Walter from five until ten. DJs couldn't go and listen to too many people because we had played all night and didn't want to hear the same thing all over again. But we knew Walter would turn us on. Everyone showed up." Smith remembers how the collective fascination with Gibbons emerged in a very short space of time. "It happened close to overnight. DJs were saying, 'Oh, did you hear Walter?' because no one else was doing it. There were lots of good DJs around, but nobody was spinning like Walter."

Once Gibbons had finished his set, he and Smith would go for breakfast and, weather permitting, a trip to the beach, where they would talk about music. "Walter loved progressive music," recalls Smith. "That's why I bought him 'New York City' by Miroslav Vitous. He was the first person to play 'Love Is the Message' with Funkadelic in the background. That was the kind of music he was into." Whereas spinners such as Mancuso and Siano were able to develop a similarly broad-ranging musical agenda because the private status of their parties enabled them to stay open late and attract a predominantly gay crowd that was in search of intimacy and innovation, Gibbons lacked that kind of set-up yet still managed to forge a daring aesthetic. As Smith notes, "The amazing thing was that Walter did what he did for a predominantly straight crowd when it was thought they weren't as musically progressive as the gay crowds."


Tape and Acetate

The task of mixing between the breaks that appeared in disco and funk records was doubly difficult. The subtly shifting time signatures of their live drums meant the DJ could never hope to lock into an unchanging tempo, while the truncated length of the percussive solos added to the challenge. If a break lasted for thirty seconds, that was long, so Walter Gibbons had to be dextrous and sharp-eared if he was to mix between the breaks more than once ⎯ a feat that required him to play the break in record A and then return to the beginning of that break before the equivalent break in record B ran its course. "These quick-fire mixes were work," says Tony Smith. "There were so many short songs where he had to do this mixing technique that after a while he started to put his beat mixes on reel-to-reel at home. Walter became really adept at reel-to-reel." Kenny Carpenter notes that Gibbons would still perform lives mixes, but adds that "if there was a mix that went over well Walter would perfect it on reel-to-reel." For the most part these tape edits were not pressed to acetate ⎯ or the cheap and ephemeral "dub plate" disc format that was used to test original recordings before they were pressed up onto a "master disc" and reproduced for retail. "Galaxy 21 had a reel-to-reel player/recorder for him to play his edits. He worked in this way to protect the exclusivity of his mixes since, in those days, you couldn't make a copy of a reel-to-reel."

A range of dub producers, experimental composers and recording artists ⎯ among them the Beatles, Miles Davis, Alvin Lucier, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Steve Reich, Pierre Schaeffer and King Tubby ⎯ had started to explore the sonic possibilities of splicing and looping tape before Gibbons, while Tom Moulton had recorded a non-stop cassette mix for the nascent discotheque scene after he visited Fire Island in the early 1970s. Yet Gibbons appears to have pioneered the practice of developing homemade reel-to-reel edits and pressing them up onto acetate when he produced a custom-made mix of the Temptations "Law of the Land" in 1973 (the year of the song's release on Motown). "'Law of the Land' starts with clapping and he used to extend that section in real time," comments Rich Flores. "But there were a few fuck-ups, so I said, 'Why don't we record the song over and over again, just the beginning of it, and then splice the magnetic tape together?' I didn't have a proper splicing block, so it was ninety-five percent good. Then we pressed it to acetate."

Situated on Forty-seventh Street and Broadway, Angel Sound appears to have been the first company to start pressing up dance records onto acetate for club play. "I had done the big stuff for so long I decided I wanted a smaller place, so I set myself up to do something the larger studios didn’t care to do ⎯ small recordings and the cutting of discs," says Sandy Sandoval, who opened Angel Sound in 1966. "I was a lot more successful than I ever imagined." Having spent most of his time working in rock 'n' roll and rock, and even engineering Hendrix, Sandoval was surprised when club-based spinners began to pour into his studio in 1972, and by the mid 1970s he says the approximate figure had risen from ten to forty or fifty, which accounted for something like twenty percent of his total business. Sandoval adds that a number of Jamaican reggae DJs also passed through his studio to press up acetate recordings, but maintains there were "no hip hop guys". Then again, how could Sandoval or anyone else have distinguished between a hip hop guy and a disco guy during the first half of the 1970s?

According to Sandoval, the DJs would enter the studio with reel-to-reels and cassettes that contained looped breaks and other reworked instrumental sections, and they also used the studio to grab nonrhythmic parts (such as speech extracts) and overlay those parts onto other tracks. "We'd make transfers and adjustments to the timing, and sometimes we'd carry out the edits they wanted, as well," he notes. "They would get these tapes together, but the tapes couldn't be used for DJing [because most clubs were only equipped with turntables], so they came to us to have the music put onto disc. They would exchange recordings and make compilations of these things. They were all striving to have something that was a little bit different." The names of the DJs who pressed up these cuts, as well as the dates they went about their work, have been lost to the vagaries of this indelibly transient, anonymous, black-market economy, yet Sandoval recalls their enthusiasm with fondness. "The DJs were really into it," he comments. "They played in rough clubs, but they were basically just people who liked music. They probably didn't have the talent to play an instrument, but disco gave them a chance to work in music."

Initially DJs went to Angel Sound with the sole intention of pressing up acetates of rare records, but when Gibbons played Flores two Angel Sound bootlegs ⎯ Max B's "Bananaticoco" and "Nessa", which had been released originally on Wah Wah in 1972, and Eric and the Vikings "Get Off the Street Y'All", which came out on Soulhawk, a Detroit-based record company ⎯ Flores became inquisitive. "Walter came over to my mother's house before we moved in together, took these ten-inch acetates out of a green sleeve, and played them," recalls Flores. "The Bananaticoco had a lot of heavy bongos, and it was very jungle-like. The Eric and the Vikings was a very obscure instrumental track. I was impressed." When Flores discovered Sandoval charged seven or eight dollars per acetate, he decided to purchase his own record-cutting lathe in order to combine his technical know-how with his boyfriend's impressive record collection. "I knew we were going to have strangers come up to the apartment so I said, 'Let's put the machine in the foyer so people don't have to come into our living room or bedroom,'" recalls Flores. "We had a favourite record by Boris Gardner that was called 'Melting Pot' ⎯ it was a Jamaican record that the DJs used to play in the clubs ⎯ so that's what we called our company.'"

Twenty two-sided seven-inch acetates were pressed up on Melting Pot, and when sales turned out to be slow, Flores and Gibbons arranged for them to be listed at Downstairs Records, where DJ customers were invited to place orders. The selection of artists and tracks pressed up on Melting Pot ⎯ MP-01 Kongas "Jungle" / Tony Morgan "Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys", MP-02 Max B "Nessa" / Elephant's Memory, MP-03 Eric and the Vikings "Get Off the Streets Y'All" / United 8 "Getting Uptown to Get Down", MP-04 Titanic "Santa Fe" / Edwin Starr "Time", MP-05 Andwella "Hold On to Your Mind" / Apatchi Band "Issmak", MP-06 Julio Gutierrez "Revival" / Edwin Starr "Runnin' Back and Forth", and so on ⎯ reveals the common aesthetic that was surging within the nascent disco and hip hop scenes. Running to MP-20, the series also included edits of "People Get On Up and Drive Your Funky Soul" by James Brown, "Exuma, The Obeah Man" by Exuma, and… "It's Just Begun" by The Jimmy Castor Bunch. "None of these records were edits," notes Flores. "They were all direct copies. The only edits we did were 'Law of the Land' and then 'Love Is the Message'."

Taken together, these sounds, formats and practices repudiate the idea that discotheque turntablism amounted to a conservative practice. "Disco was brand new then and there were a few jocks that had monstrous sound systems but they wouldn't dare play this kind of music," Grandmaster Flash told David Toop (2004b: 233-45) in one such critique. "They would never play a record where only two minutes of the song was all it was worth. They wouldn't buy those type of records. The type of mixing that was out then was blending from one record to the next or waiting for the record to go off and wait for the jock to put the needle back on." Yet discotheque DJs such as the exemplary Gibbons were mixing between two copies of the same record, as well as pioneering a range of other techniques that led them to manipulate pre-recorded music in order to keep their dance floors moving. Just as hip hop DJs would begin to introduce innovative mixing techniques during the second half of 1974, so discotheque DJs searched tirelessly for new ways to massage sound in order to keep their dance floors moving, and across 1972 and 1973 this outlook gave rise to a reel-to-reel and acetate economy that came to isolate and extend the fragment of the break. Indeed their commitment to reworking records where "only two minutes of the song was all it was worth" was so forceful it would give rise to a new format ⎯ and Gibbons was once again positioned at the centre of the sonic storm.


Ten Percent

Walter Gibbons was tenacious in his pursuit of music and, according to Mark Zimmer, he "knew how to be a little aggressive" in order to have his name added to the door list of a club or get promotional records. On one occasion Gibbons showed Zimmer a Top Twenty list that had been published and asked him if he noticed anything peculiar about it. "I took a good look and I said, 'Oh, every song is from a different record company!'" recalls Zimmer. "Walter knew how to use these lists to his advantage, because that meant he could call the companies and say, 'Look, I have your record in my list!' If it was a Top Forty list he would have listed records from forty different companies." The outlook served Gibbons well when he approached Salsoul, a newly formed independent label, and offered to promote their records for free ⎯ as long as he did not have to pay for them. "Walter was very aggressive when it came to searching out new records," says Ken Cayre, the co-owner of the company. "He became friendly with Denise Chatman, our promotions girl, and we went to hear him play. I was very impressed with his skills."

With only a limited background in music, Cayre had put Salsoul on the map by persuading the Philadelphia International musicians Vince Montana (vibes), Ronnie Baker (bass), Norman Harris (guitar) and Earl Young (drums) to play on "Salsoul Hustle" (Salsoul, 1975), which referenced Van McCoy's smash hit "The Hustle" (Avoc, 1975), and he attempted to build on this success when he commissioned the Philadelphia band Double Exposure to record the album Ten Percent (Salsoul, 1976). In order to promote the album's title single, Cayre released a non-commercial promotional twelve-inch test pressing of the six-minute-fifty-second album version, which consisted of the standard single plus an extended jam, and when inquisitiveness led him to go and hear Gibbons play at Galaxy 21, the DJ worked two copies of the promo in his trademark fashion. "He did this fantastic edit and the reaction in the club was phenomenal," recalls Cayre, who went to the club with Chatman. "I said, 'Can you do that in the studio?' He said he could." Having been impressed by the seriousness and diligence displayed by Gibbons in his dealings with Salsoul, Cayre concluded that the DJ was atypical of his peers and could be entrusted with the remix. According to Smith, Gibbons was interested in remixing "Ten Percent" because the record was "more progressive than the label's attempt to compete with Van McCoy."

By this point the collective desire for extended mixes was tangible. Ever since they started to play extended sets, New York's insomniac spinners had sought out long, experimental album cuts that would enable their dancers to lose themselves in the music, and because these cuts were scarce, they had also adopted the habit of buying two copies of a seven-inch single in order to extend an original recording beyond its three- to four-minute limit. Scepter's Mel Cheren was the first record company executive to respond to the demand, and having commissioned Tom Moulton to remix of "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)" by B.T. Express (Scepter, 1974) and "Dream World" by Don Downing (Scepter, 1974), which were squeezed onto seven-inch singles, he released another remix ⎯ Bobby Moore's "Call Me Your Anything Man" ⎯ as a promo-only twelve-inch dance single in June 1975. Although there is some dispute as to whether the Moore remix amounted to the first twelve-inch dance release, the fact that remixes of "I'll Be Holding On" by Al Downing, "So Much for Love" by Moment of Truth, "(Baby) Save Me" by Secrets, and "Train Called Freedom" by South Shore Commission can also lay claim to that honour highlights the way club-based DJs and disco-friendly labels were set on establishing an extended dance format.

Cayre's contribution turned out to be twofold. He was the first label head to grasp that the twelve-inch single would appeal to dancers as well as DJs, and accordingly released "Ten Percent" as the first commercially available twelve-inch single. And he also understood that, despite their lowly position within the music industry, discotheque DJs were more adept than producers when it came to grasping the way the dynamic of the dance floor might be transposed onto vinyl, and so he commissioned Gibbons to team up with the engineer Bob Blank and produce a remix of "Ten Percent". They were given three hours to complete the job ⎯ in effect, one hour to put up the mix and channel the sound, one hour to break down the recording, and one hour to cut up tape with a razor blade. "Walter was prepared but he couldn't prepare everything," says Blank, who would go on to become the most revered engineer in the dance scene. "He had to be ready to do 'brain work' on the spur of the moment. The session was very intuitive. Walter was a real genius."



By the end of the session, the diminutive DJ had transformed the album version of "Ten Percent" into a nine-minute-forty-five-second roller coaster that stretched out the rhythm section, the strings and T.G. Conway's keyboards. Gibbons was paid $185 for his efforts — $85 to cover a night's work at Galaxy, plus $100 for the mix — and he started to spin an acetate of the remix (which was effectively a readymade version of the lightning-quick collages he had already been creating at Galaxy) in late February/early March 1976. Released in May, the remix captured the way in which disco's novel aesthetic was beginning to influence wider music culture. "I heard it on an acetate in the Gallery," recalls Mixmaster editor and downtown connoisseur Michael Gomes (Lawrence 2003: 218). "It sounded so new, going backwards and forwards. It built and built like it would never stop. The dance floor just exploded." To the frustration of Rich Flores, Gibbons took the tapes to be mastered at Sunshine Sound, which would go on to become a significant rival to Angel Sound. "Walter could have easily said to me, 'Would you like to master the 'Ten Percent' twelve-inch?'" claims Flores. "He could have said, 'Hey, Rich, are you eating good?' That's my one resentment with Walter." Flores would have probably landed the job if he and Gibbons had not broken up towards the beginning of 1975, having released something like 250-350 acetates on Melting Pot.

Sales of the "Ten Percent" twelve-inch single quickly outstripped the regular seven-inch by two to one (McGee 1976; Garcia 1976), but the record's original architects were disappointed with the result. "The mixer cut up the lyrics and changed the music," comments Allan Felder, who co-wrote the song with Conway (Lawrence 2003: 218). "It was as if the writers and producers were nothing." Felder's outlook was widely shared in the 1970s ⎯ DJs were widely regarded as musical parasites, and the idea that someone like Gibbons should be given carte blanche to remix an "original work of art" was doggedly opposed ⎯ but Cayre understood their potential importance. "Walter was the first DJ to show the record companies that they should be open to different versions of a song," he notes. "They were in the club night after night so they knew what worked and what didn't work. Walter was pivotal. He convinced producers and other record companies to give the DJs an opportunity to remix records for the clubs. And he showed us that these records could be commercially successful. People didn't believe that was possible before 'Ten Percent'. Walter was a pioneer."

Gibbons remixed "Sun… Sun… Sun…" by Jakki around the same time he worked on "Ten Percent". Produced by Johnny Melfi and released on Pyramid as a twelve-inch in 1976, the record sleeve information contained no reference to Gibbons, but Chatman, who was nicknamed "Sunshine" because of her cheerful personality, remembers Gibbons phoning her up to tell her he was remixing the record. "Walter called me and said, 'Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine!'" she remembers. "Then he told me the name of the record." The remix consisted of three parts: the regular song (which was released as a seven-inch single), a looped break (snatched from the beginning of the second side of the original seven-inch), and a mix of the A- and B-sides of the seven-inch. The break — which was highly percussive, and included trippy vocal clips that faded in and out — was typical of the drums-for-days reel-to-reel edits Gibbons had been developing at Galaxy 21, and it was this section of the record that set it apart from "Ten Percent". "It was a really bad song and Walter turned it into a nine-minute mix," says Smith, who remembers the release being slow to attract attention, in part because Pyramid was a small company, in part because the remix was so off-the-wall. "We would just play the break and after a while we grew to like the rest of the song. The record got no play until it was mixed by Walter."

But it was Salsoul rather than Pyramid that went on to develop a pivotal affiliation with Gibbons when Cayre invited the DJ to remix "Nice 'N' Naasty" and "Salsoul 2001" by the Salsoul Orchestra. Gibbons included a trademark thirty-second percussive break in his A-side remix of "Nice", yet it was the B-side version of "Salsoul 2001", which was re-titled "Salsoul 3001", that revealed Gibbons's willingness to record increasingly abstract and strange remixes. "Salsoul 3001" opened with jet engines, animal whoops, congas and timbales before the record soared into a powerful combination of orchestral refrains and synthesised sound effects that were played out against a backdrop of relentless Latin rhythms. "This has got to be one of the year's most extraordinary products and although it may be too overwhelming and bizarre for some clubs, others, like New York's Loft, turn to pandemonium when the record comes on," reported Vince Aletti (1976) in his highly regarded "Disco File" column in Record World. "Experiment with it if you haven't already." Moulton was taken aback. "Walter did this weird, off-the-wall stuff with '3001'," says the remix pioneer, who also started to work for Salsoul in 1976. "I said, 'Walter, what was going through that brain of yours for '3001'?' It was nothing like '2001'." A non-DJ who did not like to go out dancing, in part because he disapproved of the night scene's association with drug consumption, Moulton concedes he "couldn't understand" the aberrant angles of the remix. "It was like Walter wanted to come out with an album that was tripping. Walter was the first radical one."



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Jayski
"Doin'The Doo"


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