Binary stars

The bright lights of Donna Summer and Robin Gibb shine on

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Disco may have died years ago, but the memorial service wasn’t until this past week.

We just lost disco queen Donna Summer last Thursday at 63 and the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb Sunday at 62, both to cancer.

It’s difficult to explain to today’s kids, whose musical tastes are so much more diffuse, how profound an impact Summer and Gibb had on music and culture in the late 1970s and early ’80s. They helped define music in the spring of millions of lives, set the rhythm of a generation and, between them, went a long way toward creating an entire genre.

As much as anyone, Summer was the silky voice and fresh face of disco, her Last Dance helping make both her and the new dance craze the
pivotal and pivoting movement it became.

She strayed into the risque at times, blessed with a sultry voice that may have demanded it. But ultimately she was as wholesome as her name, and she became a born-again Christian and enjoyed a more-than-30-year marriage, a rare high note in her field.

The Gibb brothers, meanwhile, seemed born to popularize disco, and their soundtrack for the movie Saturday Night Fever was a landmark in American musical history. Their quivering falsettos, teamed with beautiful melodies and a beat that became epidemic, were a mighty convergence of talent, timing and fortune.

Disco had its detractors, of course. But its stars still burn bright in our memory, and none more brightly than these binary stars, who seemed to enter and exit the stage at the same time.

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Retired Army
Retired Army 05/24/12 - 01:22 pm
It was the "Night Fever" that

It was the "Night Fever" that led to the "Last Dance" with the "Bad Girl" who was "More Than a Woman" and yet here I am after all that "Stayin' Alive" because "I Heard it on the Radio" and that ain't no "Jive Talkin".

justthefacts 05/24/12 - 08:11 am

Both Summers and the BGs were great. Except for Summer's cover of McArthur Park, which should never have been discoed.

shrimp for breakfast
shrimp for breakfast 05/24/12 - 08:26 am
I hated Disco

But these two musicians were at the top of thier field. They will be missed.

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