40 Years Ago Tonight

It’s the 18TH of October of 2018, and 40 years ago in 1978 this day was a Wednesday. One of my favorite TV shows of all-time – “The Jeffersons” – kicked-off the CBS prime-time line-up at 8 PM with the episode “George’s Dream”. (His dream was a nightmare about 18 years into the future – a future that didn’t involve him.)

On the radio Exile’s “Kiss You All Over” and Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child In The City” were two of the hottest pop smashes from coast to coast, and both of those songs are currently active on my workplace iPod Shuffles. I hear those two songs almost every day !  I still sing along to them.

40 years ago I was 11 years old and in the 6TH grade at Magnolia Elementary School in Lanham Maryland – located just a few minutes away from my house by foot right in my own neighborhood. I attended Kindergarten there (1972-1973) as well as 3RD through 6TH grades (1975-1979).

Here’s a photo of my Elementary School as it looked 3 summers ago when I visited the area:

Magnolia Elementary School

I was a Boy Scout in 1978, so if I had a Boy Scout meeting on that Wednesday night then I probably didn’t see that episode of “The Jeffersons”. I know that I’ve seen it in reruns though.

Tomorrow night the RETRO continues, but 20 years later in 1998.

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

FLASHBACK with me to the Summer of 1978. It’s when Garfield made his debut in the comics section of daily newspapers everywhere. It’s when the world’s first test tube baby was born in England. It’s when Pope Paul VI died at the age of 80, and was succeeded by Pope John Paul I who died just a month later.

I turned 11-years-old on June 05TH 1978, and I successfully completed the 5TH grade at Magnolia Elementary School in Lanham Maryland. After all of these years it’s the 5TH grade that stands out above all of the rest as the most memorable of them all. It was memorable in a positive way – great teachers – great classes – great classmates. I really believe that the latter half of my grade school years (4TH, 5TH, and 6TH grades) were more influential and more valuable in molding my later adult life than the subsequent Junior High and Senior High school years. My writing skills today were conceived and developed during those latter grade school years.

On the radio during the Summer of 1978 Disco ruled, as it crossed-over in a big way from the big city nightclubs to mainstream pop, rock, and soul radio nationwide. The Bee Gees‘ younger brother Andy Gibb was only 20-years-old at the time, but he was one of the hottest solo acts in the world. Here’s his memorable Disco smash that spent most of June and all of July of 1978 at the very top of the national pop chart. It went on to become the # 1 song of the entire year here in the U.S. – as well as one of the biggest songs in American chart music history. Here’s “Shadow Dancing” on the ‘Disco Party’:

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

The 1970s just got another decade further away. Now that the first decade of the 21ST Century is complete we can theoretically state that the 1970s was four decades ago. It’s the decade that I entered as a 2½-year-old toddler, and exited as a 12½-year-old 7TH grader in Junior High School. For me it was the ‘TOP 40 Music’ decade, as it was the running soundtrack of my active childhood years. Whatever was hot on AM and FM pop radio was playing everywhere I went. Whenever I hear the music again from those times I frequently remember what I was doing at the time – good or bad – all of these years and decades later. It’s the music of my life.

This weekend on my ‘Disco Party’ I present to you a local homegrown Cuban / Miami disco act known as Foxy. Their single “Get Off” was their biggest hit – and a 1978 Disco Smash !

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

It’s just past 1 PM CST here in North Texas as I begin compiling this post, and in just about 9 hours I’ll be heading to bed for the final time here. I’ve got an early wake-up call in the morning of 4:30 AM, and I hope to be on the road no later than 90 minutes after that. I hope to enjoy a peaceful and quiet drive southeastward into Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida during the day tomorrow. I’m driving nearly 60% of the way to home tomorrow, and then the remaining 40% of the drive will be on Sunday.

I’m looking forward to returning to my normal routine come Monday morning. It’s always a lot of fun to go on vacation, but I definitely appreciate what I have back at home and at work so much more when I’ve been away for awhile.

This week on my ‘Disco Party’ I’ve got a dude that was born in Glasgow Scotland in 1950, but as a young chap he moved down under to Australia where he’s been ever since. He’s John Paul Young, and back in the early-1970s he played the role of the High Priest Annas in the Australian production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. In 1978 he scored his only worldwide hit, and it was a memorable Disco smash on the radio, at the nightclubs, and at the roller disco.

Here he is – John Paul Young – with his classic “Love Is In The Air”:

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

Disco Ball

31 years ago towards the end of 1978 Disco singer-songwriter Alicia Bridges was the star of one of the hottest hits on the radio and in the roller discos. She co-wrote this long-running gold-certified TOP 5 Disco smash that spent more than 7 months on the Billboard Hot 100.

Here now are the spiritual lyrics to “I Love The Nightlife (Disco ‘Round)”:

And here’s Alicia Bridges performing it via an early-form music video:

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

One of the earliest movies that I can ever remember watching at the movie theatre when I was a little kid was the 1977 into 1978 box office smash “Saturday Night Fever” – arguably one of the greatest movies ever made. It featured the music of The Bee Gees, and together they totally defined the Disco era of the late-1970s.

Disco Ball

Some of the great Bee Gees songs from the movie include “You Should Be Dancing”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Stayin’ Alive”, and the biggest Disco smash of them all – “Night Fever”. It spent 8 weeks at # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March, April, and May of 1978, and it went platinum at retail.

Here it is. “Night Fever”. Let’s dance like it’s 1978. We know how to do it.

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

Disco Ball

A soundtrack of the 100 greatest Disco songs ever made would simply not be complete or even accurate if it did not include this rousing smash from the late Dan Hartman. He was a successful singer, songwriter, and producer, and he played many musical instruments during his shortened career and life.

Here he is as a 27-year-old with lots of energy. It’s his gold pop and disco smash from 1978 as it became 1979. Play it again Dan – It’s “Instant Replay” !

DAN HARTMAN: 1950-1994