SO YOU’RE BACK FROM OUTER SPACE: Gloria Gaynor To Perform At Library Of Congress Tribute To Disco

The Washington Post reports:

Last year, Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem “I Will Survive” became one of 25 new additions to the National Recording Registry, a collection of sound recordings considered “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States” and kept at the Library of Congress. The wide-ranging registry includes Thomas Edison’s early cylinders, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine and singles by Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, George Jones and Tupac Shakur.

In May, Gaynor is coming to the Library of Congress, where she’ll perform in the Great Hall as part of the Library’s “Bibliodiscotheque,” a series of films, lectures and events celebrating the disco era, capped with — what else? — a late-night dance party in the historic Jefferson Building. All events are free and open to the public. Tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on March 30.

This is the first time the Library has paid tribute to a specific genre of music. (Tipped by JMG reader Jimbo)

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    Joe, you missed one of my faves of Gloria’s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zreTvtpTeoU

    • Mike_in_the_Tundra

      I wish I could give you 10 upvotes.

  • TheManicMechanic

    Well, if not before, now she will survive. 😀

  • geoffalnutt

    With the National Endowment For The Arts about to be erased – no artist should come anywhere near the current regime.

    • Ernest Endevor

      I rather doubt that will happen. But given the extraordinary history of the library and of the work they do and have done I’m rather thinking that now more than ever they need our support. I see the library as being as much a victim as the arts institutions under attack. Plus copyrights! Gotta have copyrights.

      • m_lp_ql_m

        Just ask Mickey Mouse.

        • Ernest Endevor

          What do you mean?

  • Hip Byroads

    Do you remember where you were the first time you heard I Will Survive?

    • Butch

      I can’t hear it without thinking of the scene in Priscilla.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      It’s hard to remember the time before I heard that song.

      • Hip Byroads

        I know what you mean. But there once was a time …

    • Joe in PA

      Sweaty, shirtless on a dance floor in Dallas. 🙂

      • Hip Byroads

        That sounds about right. Do you remember when?

        • Joe in PA

          Yikes, I just googled… it was released in 1978…so yea I guess so. I wasn’t born yet of course. /s

          • Hip Byroads

            So it’s safe to say it’s a good many years after 1978 when you first heard this song, right?

            It’s just that I’m just curious about little things concerning music from that era and how people were affected by it, even people not from that era.

          • Joe in PA

            pssst: I was teasing about the ‘not being born’ part. I lived it real time. 🙂

          • Hip Byroads

            Another survivor then.

      • Gustav2

        Ms Gaynor preformed at a gay disco in Columbus, by then we all knew the words and she gave us such a look. lol

      • Mike_in_the_Tundra

        Sort of the same idea – sweaty, shirtless in a VW Beetle.

    • Gustav2

      Make me a “Stinger” and I might remember.

      • Joe in PA

        I can just see you doing that line from the Sondheim song…Ladies who lunch. Ms Stritch…sing it!

    • Natty Enquirer

      Probably with bedroom with the headphones on, listening to B-100 FM.

      • Hip Byroads

        Where was B-100 FM?

    • Lars Littlefield

      I was relaxing at the bar at Febe’s cooling down from a hard sweat worked up in the sling room (top, not bottom). It was 1978. Folsom Street leather bars were such calm and free places in those days. 😐

      • Hip Byroads

        So you heard it at the bar. Do you remember if it was the same music playing in the sling room?

        • Lars Littlefield

          In those days the same music was piped throughout an establishment, especially in pig leather bars. Febe’s didn’t have a space to dance. 🙂

          • Hip Byroads

            Oh I do remember those days. Unfortunately never made it out to Folsom Street back then. I don’t remember guys going to leather bars to dance anyway. That’s why I didn’t go to them. I loved the music and wanted to dance.

    • John

      Yep. I was ‘flogging’ the hits at 99.7 KYUU in San Francisco. I say ‘flogging’ because we had a limited playlist and we played the same songs over and over and over. “I Will Survive” was one song I never dreaded hearing repeatedly at work or in a disco.
      “Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end…”

      • Hip Byroads

        Did you hear it in the disco before you played it on the radio?

        • John

          I’m pretty sure I heard it first at work. I worked at night so “dancin’ the night away” was kind of restricted entertainment

          • Hip Byroads

            Thanks. It always interested me, back then and even before, how often you’d hear songs in the clubs before they made it to radio, sometimes even a year or two, Honey Bee, for example, Gloria Gaynor’s first song.

    • Beagle

      I don’t specifically remember the first time, but I do remember when it was on the charts. I was a high school junior in Janesville, Wisconsin. I knew I didn’t belong in a small city in Wisconsin, but I’d only figured out a few of most of the reasons why. I was biding my time until I could graduate and go to college, preferably a long distance from Janesville. And “I Will Survive” told me that I would get through it.
      Half teenage melodrama, half reality.
      I did go to college a long way from Janesville and eventually found myself. Took a long time and wasn’t as easy as I expected. Also didn’t turn out to be the “myself” that I expected to be. But “I Will Survive” has a special place in my mind.

      • Hip Byroads

        And you got through it all, didn’t you?

        To think that a simple song could do that, give you that sort of encouragement that nothing else at the time could. I think about that sometimes. How could I, a boy turning into a young man, have got though that decade without the music there for me, and the artists who made it, to guide me?

  • PickyPecker
    • Joe in PA

      🎼Ain’t no party like a disco party. 🎼

      • PickyPecker
        • Gustav2

          Picky, that’s the dance floor from the Grotto in German Village (Columbus) in the 1970’s

          You were there! /s

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            LOL, No, but I was.

          • Gustav2

            Nice to see you again!

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            Were you a frequenter of the Garage also? I may have handled your ID.

          • Gustav2

            Did you ever do the ID’s at the back door to the patio…then yes, occasionally when they checked at the door. The Grotto was more of a cocktail hour bar for me.

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            Nope, I was always at the front.

          • Gustav2

            I could walk, lived on Deshler then Thurman.

          • Mike_in_the_Tundra

            I always got a kiss from the ID guy in The Brass Rail in Minneapolis. I hope you were just as nice.

          • PickyPecker

            All I remember about the Rail was the oil cherub ‘rain lamp.’ The Rail was a later stop…hopping up Hennepin to end at the 90’s for the evening. 😉

          • Mike_in_the_Tundra

            Actually, we would also start at the 90s for dinner.

          • PickyPecker

            They served a mean steak!

          • Mike_in_the_Tundra

            I was a walleye man.

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            Unfortunately, I usually had to work behind a booth, which limited my kiss positioning.

          • Gustav2

            Jeez, I misread, thought you were still talking about the Grotto. I met my husband at the Garage in 1984. We’ve lived together since 85

          • Tawreos

            I heard so many good things about the Garage, sadly, I got to Columbus just as it was closing.

          • fuzzybits

            I was. There was a time when you could just park and stumble to all the downtown bars.

          • JDS

            Yes there was. The Garage, The Eagle (or what it was before) and the other “leather” bar next to the Eagle.
            Now its all gone.

          • fuzzybits

            Tradewinds. Herbie’s was downtown too where Nationwide Arena is now. And there was Wall St. Here’s a list of bars. https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusGayBars/posts/495228410638517

          • JDS

            Herbies, great little place. The bar in front of the Garage used to have live entertainment. I remember a husband and wife duo that sang there.

          • djcoastermark

            Kismet before the Eagle.

          • JDS

            That’s it couldn’t remember the name. Wow, brings back memories.

          • Richard, another Canuck

            I was at Paradise Garage a few times on visits to NYC as a wee gayling. I learned to play tambourines there and at 12 West…

          • Joe in PA

            About the same time period…I was in a bar in Galveston Texas…lit-from-underneath dance floor except there were cock and balls images everywhere. 🙂

          • JDS

            I didn’t come out until 1980, but I heard about The Grotto,

          • djcoastermark

            Or the dance floor at Trends, before the Garage was even open.

        • Joe in PA

          LOL You got some moves there PP!

      • greenmanTN

        I was a bit late for the disco party. Imagine, if you will, a young Gayling in Tennessee in the kitchen with his mother, not long after the release of Saturday Night Fever. One of her magazines has an article about disco dance steps, complete with diagrams, so she makes chalk marks on the linoleum floor so they know where to step. So there they are, trying to “disco dance” but looking more like they are doing the Stomp, trying to hit those marks!

        I was more New Wave, later, but that is a fun memory, and this is a favorite song from that era, though a bit later.

        https://youtu.be/3XcKN0XbCbU

        • SpiderPIG

          Oh, oh, oh… I love that one!
          Some really cool trivia info I recently “found” on wikipedia:
          (I either didn’t know or have forgotten about it).

          “Quincy Jones assembled an all-star choir for Summer’s recording, including Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick, Michael Jackson, Brenda Russell, Christopher Cross, Dyan Cannon, James Ingram, Kenny Loggins and Stevie Wonder. Jones has claimed that this song laid the foundation for the group effort “We Are The World,” which was written by Jackson and Richie and was produced by Jones, who called upon many more of his famous friends for help.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Independence#Donna_Summer_version

    • Joe in PA

      They used to feature this song on Allie Macbeal. (sp?)

      • PickyPecker

        Ain’t nuthin’ like Barry’s voice!!

  • Joe in PA

    Personal anecdote about the I Will Survive song: I bonded with my then 16 year-old gay stepson over this song. I used to pick him up after swim practice, I’d have that song queued up on the car stereo…just as he hit the door I’d blast it. We both new all the words and sang it as loud as we could. And yes, hand gestures were featured. 🙂

  • m_lp_ql_m

    “Back from outer space.” For some reason, in my youth, because of that line, I thought I Will Survive was supposed to be a sequel to Bowie’s Space Oddity.

    • Natty Enquirer

      So go on, go. Walk out that airlock…

    • coram nobis

      “I Will Robinson” maybe.

      • BearEyes

        does not compute.

        • coram nobis

          Danger Wil Robinson?

          • BearEyes

            I was mimicking his buddy the robot

          • coram nobis

            Actually the campy character on that show was Dr. Zachary Smith.

  • Natty Enquirer

    Dig the piano intro stolen from Rachmaninoff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xui7x_KF7bY

  • coram nobis

    We’ll always have Alice Springs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DJC-ECU8IE

    • Lars Littlefield

      Doesn’t matter when, where, or how often . . . if Priscilla shows up on TV. I have to sit down and watch it.

      • GayOldLady

        Me too!

        • Lars Littlefield

          Terrence Stamp still makes me weak in the knees. sigh

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      • LesGS

        When my younger daughter was around 10, we rented the video and she watched it about 5 times in a row. Then she turned to me and said, “If I were a boy, I would grow up to be a drag queen.”

    • The_Wretched

      I loved Elrond in the dessert.

      • Lazycrockett

        A cock in a frock on a rock.

    • Butch

      My original comment is way down below but this scene is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear this song.

  • The Sentinel
    • Natty Enquirer

      So she’s pulling a Michelle Shocked, eh? Let’s remember that black disco divas were recruited from the ranks of gospel singers.

      • Cuberly

        Gaynor had been interviewed many times where she had less than stellar opinions about disco and the people that loved it.

        I know of very few artists that are perfect.

        • Natty Enquirer

          Gaynor is part and parcel of the commercial appropriation of what had been an underground queer music scene. But this is really about religion and hypocrisy. Her god tells her gay people are sinners but she’ll take their money any day.

          • Cuberly

            Agreed. I’d still dance to it though.

  • Lazycrockett

    Seems kinda late.

  • Lars Littlefield

    I’m so confused. I thought Gaynor was dead. My bad.

    • edrex

      only in our hearts.

  • HZ81

    Cool, and BTW—it’s Chaka’s Bday!!!!

    • Lars Littlefield

      Go Chaka Kahn! (Uh, is Chaka another evangelical who thinks she’s a portal to Jesus? If so, ick.)

      • HZ81

        I feel for U, bitch! 😉

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Chaka Kahn Chaka Kahn ?

      • HZ81

        Ain’t Nobody else I am talking about! 🙂

  • this is good. i’m glad they did this before all of her generation is dead and gone. it’s not an insignificant part of American cultural history, no matter how much white people want to pretend that Disco and R&B don’t exist. in fact, if had only ever been the white people in this country making music? America would not have dominated the last half of the last century.

    yall know that, right? it wasn’t our bombs. it wasn’t our money. the reason “the Wall fell” etc wrt the end of communism was… black American music. really. commies used to kill each other for that shit, cause it was banned over there.

    yes, this deserves to be in one of our national museums, along with a lot of other stuff that stirred the outer world to movements towards freedom. don’t die this year, GG. last year was so hard, on your generation. i don’t need anymore reasons to cry right now, yo.

    • Derrick Johns

      Interesting comment, Chicago. I didn’t want to ignore it.
      I’m one of those rare f-ggots who didn’t really love Disco. I loved the beginnings of House Music, but that was a few years after Gaynor’s Gay anthem.

  • Descamisado

    Did Jesus tell here she could stop hatin’ the gays yet?

    • Natty Enquirer

      She doesn’t hate them enough to stop taking their money. Render unto Gloria what is Gloria’s.

  • fuzzybits

    Hope they play this there! https://youtu.be/emuAVTtHf9U

    • I heard this often while trying to pick up the bouncer at Maggie’s in Phoenix. (Well, both of them actually.) And yes, I succeeded…with both of them.

      Ah, youth!

    • Natty Enquirer

      Love the clarino at 2:00. Reminds me of the theme from The Magician.

    • Lars Littlefield

      Dig those Marilyn Chamber-style porn bodies them wimmins is sportin’. I get a chubby watching them.

    • Jack

      Pandora played that for me today.

  • ETownCanuck

    I will never not hear this song and think of this…
    https://youtu.be/ybXrrTX3LuI

    • JDS

      I love this short little video. I think the guy who did it went on to work for Pixar or Disney.

  • bkmn
  • Captain Jack

    I use to like I will Survive until so many of my friends didn’t.. it became too depressing to listen to..

  • Lawerence Collins
    • DennisH

      The one, true Queen of Disco.

  • nocadrummer

    Whenever I hear “I Will Survive”, I think of this version (Gloria’s voice) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUhGWvbi5jg

  • BeaverTales

    I was dancing to this on the radio as a 5th grader…on roller skates…I always want to dance to it even as an adult. Then it became the gayest song ever, just like when I became a gay teen. Congrats GG!

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