September 4, 1976: Ritchie Family, Rick Dees, Dinah Washington, The Real Thing, Barrabas

New Spins

RITCHIE FAMILY: ‘The Best Disco In Town (Pts. 1 & 2)’ (Polydor 2058777) (Billboard chart debut 7/10/76)
Here it is, the great girlie group dancer that cleverly quotes key hook phrases and sounds from all the big disco by artists such as Silver Convention, O’Jays, BT Express and more.  Part 2’s got the best bits and the most impact.

RICK DEES & HIS CAST OF IDIOTS: ‘Disco Duck’ (RSO 2090204) (Billboard chart debut 9/11/76)
Silliness from a Memphis DJ, who invents a new dance craze and starts talking like Donald Duck!  Good novelty and a strong disco beat.

DINAH WASHINGTON: ‘September In The Rain’ (Mercury 6167419)
Actually a Spring record if you but listen to the words, it’s a lovely old romancer and great MoR.  The dead slow flip is her original ‘What A Diff’rence A Day Makes’.  Continue reading “September 4, 1976: Ritchie Family, Rick Dees, Dinah Washington, The Real Thing, Barrabas”

August 28, 1976: Ohio Players, Brothers Johnson, Fatback Band, Tavares, Black Oak Arkansas

New Spins

OHIO PLAYERS: ‘Fire’ (Mercury 6167420)
From ’74 and a huge influence on Bowie’s ‘Fame’, this classic hunk of heavy funk has a great intro and lasting appeal.  ‘Skin Tight‘ flip’s a revival, too.

BROTHERS JOHNSON: ‘Get The Funk Out Ma Face’ (A&M AMS 7251) (Billboard chart debut 5/15/76)
Worth the wait, for the short album track is now padded out to six minutes for the single version!  The funkiest sound around and a smash.

FATBACK BAND: ‘Disco Crazy’ (from LP ‘Night Fever’, Spring 2391235) (mentioned in Billboard column 7/24/76)
Fast ‘n frantic leaper, already much bigger than ‘Night Fever’, which mixes nicely into the Ritchie Family.  Their ‘December 1963‘ is the other prime cut.  Continue reading “August 28, 1976: Ohio Players, Brothers Johnson, Fatback Band, Tavares, Black Oak Arkansas”

August 21, 1976: George Benson, Nature Zone, Charlie Rasp, Undisputed Truth, Soulful Dynamics

Ben Cree, fighting back at the rebels within the National Association of Disc Jockeys, is claiming majority support from his regional officers. However, out of twenty-two serving officers, only nine had written to him by Monday morning, with six votes of confidence and three resignations.

This compares with the rebel faction’s figure of fifteen officers having declared by telephone their intention to resign and support a new breakaway DJ federation.

In a move which may affect the feelings of some exhibitors, Cree has conceded that an NADJ-mounted Disco ’76 show need not necessarily be run by himself. He mentions the possibility of recalling from Oslo his Scandinavian officer, Neil Jensen, who helped run Disco ’75, and he remains confident that the NADJ can put on a trade show by Christmas.

Meanwhile, Dave Durie of Optikinetics has invited a professional exhibition organiser to attend the manufacturers’ and DJs’ meeting on September 6 at London Ski Club.

Last week’s story may have given a false impression of Mr. Durie’s role, overstating his involvement with an “action group” that does not exist. He was merely the first person to take up a suggestion of Roger Squire to contact members of the disco industry and invite them to a meeting to discuss the formation of an industry association, at which meeting he will be but one of many interested parties.

Our apologies for any embarrassment to Mr. Durie and Optikinetics, and also to Ben Cree, Roger Squire, Dougall DJ and all the exhibitors at Disco Scotland (who somehow became “happy customers”!).  Continue reading “August 21, 1976: George Benson, Nature Zone, Charlie Rasp, Undisputed Truth, Soulful Dynamics”

August 14, 1976: Edwin Starr, Ronnie Dyson, Rocky Sharpe & The Razors, Steam Machine, Rumours

Ben Cree, head of the National Association of DJs, last week withdrew his earlier offer to resign from the NADJ leadership. The majority of the regional officers have now resigned themselves, and are planning to set up a new British DJ Federation.

Behind the breakaway move are regional officers Theo Loyla (South East), Dougall DJ (South Scotland), Keith Main (North Scotland) and John Harding (West Country). They have organised a meeting on Monday, September 6, at 10am at the Ski Club, 118 Eaton Square, London SW1, to discuss the new Federation and dates for the ill-fated disco trade exhibition.

All manufacturers, retailers, Disco ’76 exhibitors, ex-NADJ officers, record companies and any other bodies are invited to the meeting.

The new Federation will automatically give a one year’s free membership to all current NADJ members, plus a magazine, and will be run by the original NADJ regional officers. The new Federation will also include manufacturers and retailers.

The Disco ’76 show, originally planned for the same date as this new meeting, is still booked at the Bloomsbury Centre Hotel as a temporary measure by Roger Squire, who has advised all exhibitors to contact each other and form a consortium. Squire – because of his retailing position in the trade – feels that he isn’t the right person to either mount or sponsor the show himself.

But he will be putting on at least six private shows in the provinces (including Glasgow) during the next few months, and will participate in any other trade shows sponsored by “responsible” organisers.

Acting now as temporary chairman of the “Disco exhibition action group” is Dave Durie of Optikinetics (Luton 0582-411413), who has contacted all Disco ’76 exhibitors about the September 6 meeting. But it does seem unlikely that any sponsors will miraculously appear by September, and thus the exhibition will almost certainly be postponed until maybe as late as January.  Continue reading “August 14, 1976: Edwin Starr, Ronnie Dyson, Rocky Sharpe & The Razors, Steam Machine, Rumours”

August 7, 1976: Judge Dread, Fatback Band, Silver Pony, Kay-Gees, Johnny “Guitar” Watson

Roger Squire has yet to confirm a new sponsor for the disco trade exhibition which was due to take place at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel next month, and has extended his provisional booking for the venue. The NADJ’s Ben Cree has evidently capitulated in his efforts to run a Disco ’76 show, but it appears that his offer to run the reconstituted exhibition has so far not been accepted. There is now a strong possibility that the show will be postponed until January, by which time the participating manufacturers may have formed themselves into a trade association or its equivalent.

New Spins

JUDGE DREAD: ‘Viva Suspenders’ (Cactus CT 31)
His best yet, a hilarious rewrite of – you guessed? – ‘Y Viva Espana’, full of all the original partytime jollity but now funny as well.  Immensely useful.

FATBACK BAND: ‘Night Fever’ (Spring 2066706) (mentioned in Billboard column 7/24/76, Billboard chart debut 8/7/76)
Still in hustling Spanish groove, this tearaway cymbal sizzler will get lots of attention despite being nothing very different.

SILVER PONY: ‘The Lonely Ranger’ (EMI INT 524)
Out next week but a disco sensation already, it’s the galloping William Tell theme so loved by arms-linked liggers, done synthetically with send-up voices.  A smash!  Continue reading “August 7, 1976: Judge Dread, Fatback Band, Silver Pony, Kay-Gees, Johnny “Guitar” Watson”

July 31, 1976: problems with NADJ’s “Disco ’76” trade exhibition

Disco ’76, the NADJ-run trade exhibition scheduled for September 6/7/8, at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel, may now take place under different auspices.

Ben Cree, NADJ organiser, last week confessed to a meeting of exhibitors that their Disco ’76 deposits had already been used for other unrelated NADJ activities, and that he had been unable to pay the hotel its advance booking charge to confirm the venue. It is understood that the Centre Hotels group have cancelled the NADJ’s booking.

Undaunted, Cree is now looking for a new London venue, and says: “the NADJ is definitely running a Disco ’76 show in London.”

Naturally concerned at this turn of events, the exhibiting manufacturers have passed a vote of no confidence in Cree’s handling of Disco ’76, and are planning to mount the exhibition under another name and with a new sponsor.

As a temporary measure until a new sponsor can be found, the September 6 and 7 dates at the Bloomsbury Centre are being held as a provisional booking by Roger Squire, the Disco Centre chief.

In a message to manufacturers, Squire says “exhibitors should not panic, as the exhibition will be reconstituted one way or another, although at this stage it’s uncertain under whose sponsorhip.”

It is possible that a committee of five or six manufacturers will be formed to organise the mounting of the exhibition, and there is talk of co-operation between competing firms to help the disco industry as a whole.

Under the new plans, it appears that deposits already paid to NADJ for exhibition space will be honoured by the trade consortium as if paid to them, but from this point on all other intending exhibitors must be sure that they know for which exhibition they are booking.  Continue reading “July 31, 1976: problems with NADJ’s “Disco ’76” trade exhibition”

July 24, 1976: Dion, Hank Thompson, Terese Stevens, The Monkees, Blue Magic

New Spins

DION: ‘Runaround Sue’ (Philips 6146702)
An obvious choice, his other best-known classic has a skippable slow intro before the hand-clap beat begins and the fun starts.

HANK THOMPSON & HIS BRAZOS VALLEY BOYS: ‘Rockin’ In The Congo’ (Capitol CL 15877)
From 1957, the Texas Swinger does a jungle rocker that bops a lot and follows you know what!

TERESE STEVENS: ‘Nothing To Declare’ (Pinnacle P8424)
Stereo airplane touches down and then a supremely silly song bounces along so happily that it has to hit.  Continue reading “July 24, 1976: Dion, Hank Thompson, Terese Stevens, The Monkees, Blue Magic”