Forget that “disco” stigma that mainstream media unfairly dumped on them in their top-charting heydays. These are great singers, plain and simple, regardless of labels. Mixing R&B, dance music, gospel and even theatrical elements (on Linda Clifford’s classic Runaway Love particularly)- what you have are brilliant vocalists belting them out while exhibiting impeccable showmanship.
Each legend did a short three to half dozen or so song set followed by the tremendous back-up singers rocking on Two Tons of Fun’s immortal Just Us, and then the grand finale as the three greats did a rousing collection of classics together.
This wasn’t yet another oldies show playing off of nostalgia with faded talents- it felt like a true event with world class vocalists who haven’t lost a note in 40 or so years.
Would I have liked to have heard Ms. Wash do It’s Raining Men or Linda Clifford do some of her wonderful songs that she recorded with Curtis Mayfield? Of course. Did everyone walk out with a smile on their faces having had a good time regardless? Indeed they did.
The show was hosted by James Arena who has championed the music; the event and group were inspired by his five volume set including the initial tome, First Ladies of Disco, on the history of disco and dance music.
In short, a savvy promoter would be smart to book this package in every major city worldwide as the packed mid-week club indicated there is a demand for just such shows.
Bravo to a polished, fun, at times even great First Ladies of Disco show. If they come to a city near you, don’t you dare miss it.
Amazon author page link- James Arena music series
Evan Ginzburg is the Associate Producer of The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke and the upcoming 350 Days with Brett Hart and SuperStar Billy Graham. He is the author of Apartment 4B, Like in Brooklyn about the East Flatbush of the 60's and 70's. He is host of The Evan Ginzburg Show on www.villlageconnectionradio.com Sundays 11AM-1PM.