When you hear the word disco, it might bring to mind the sound of cheesy manufactured dance music or images of John Travolta on the dance floor in “Saturday Night Fever” — but disco was more than that. In fact, it was radical.
Disco clubs arose out of gay subculture and its sound, which came to be dominated by female artists, was rooted in soul and R&B. As disco became mainstream, it started to redefine American sexuality and Black and female artists took over the airwaves, prompting a backlash by radio DJs and rock ‘n’ roll fans.
Some might say disco is dead, but its legacy lives on. Not just through its impact on dance music and club culture, but in the ways that it redefined what it meant to be gay, what it meant to be a woman, and what it meant to be a man – and what sex in America was all about.
In case you missed it, check out the first episode of Pop Americana – which explores Dolly Parton as a working-class icon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmZtc…
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