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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Disco Legends: Buddy Beaverhausen's Brief Remembrance

2012 was, sadly, a year of major losses in pop music, a large number of whom are associated with classic disco and dance music. Not wanting to be maudlin, but attempting to show my respects to idols, legends, superstars, here is an overview of people we dance-music lovers will seriously miss in 2013.

Remember when weekend-afternoon television could entertain us with dynamic talent? There was a time, you know. Soul Train brought us many of the great artists of the classic disco era, and American Bandstand added disco singers to its roster during the genre's heyday. Host and producer of Soul Train, Don Cornelius, passed away early in the year, with Dick Clark of American Bandstand -- upon which Soul Train was modeled -- leaving this mortal coil just two months later.

There probably is no greater icon of classic disco than Ms Donna Summer who, shockingly, left us in May. Ms Summer, posthumously inducted into the 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, appeared on both Soul Train and Bandstand back in the day. The Queen of Disco continued to have successes in the ensuing decades, always primarily a dance diva (despite her masterful ability to assay other musical genres like jazz or ballads), whether the style of her dance music had then evolved into hiNRG or house.

Another iconic diva, Whitney Houston, passed away in 2012, also sending shock waves throughout the world of pop music. Daughter of  Cissy Houston (who had her own disco hits), she was a second-generation dance diva who energized the dancefloor with the remixes of a string of hits that were often the essence of fabulousness.

2012's other losses from disco days gone by include Jimmy Ellis of The Trammps ("Disco Inferno") and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees ("Stayin' Alive"), while Andy Williams was known to knock out a disco tune or two, and rapper Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys was not a total  stranger to music for the dancefloor himself ("Shadrach"). The contributions of all these people will genuinely be missed in the new year, but it's through their music that they will continue to live on.

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