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Music History Events: Disco

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August 8, 1980 The fantasy musical Xanadu, starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, debuts to scathing reviews ("In a word, Xana-don't.") and inspires the Golden Raspberry Awards for the worst films of the year. But it has a killer soundtrack thanks to "Magic."More

August 18, 1979 Chic's "Good Times" hits #1 in America as disco still has some dance. It holds the top spot for one week.

July 12, 1979 It's "Disco Demolition Night" at Comiskey Park, where the White Sox and Tigers are playing a doubleheader. The plan is to blow up a bunch of disco albums between games, but it goes horribly wrong when fans become unruly and rush the field, forcing the White Sox to forfeit the second game.More

March 24, 1979 Disco is still going strong as the Bee Gees' "Tragedy" hits #1 in the US.

March 10, 1979 Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" hits #1 on the Hot 100. It becomes a female-empowerment anthem, but the song was written by two men.More

January 6, 1979 The Village People appear on American Bandstand, where the crowd does the soon-to-be famous arm movements spelling out "Y.M.C.A." Host Dick Clark makes sure they learn those moves, and they do.More

January 5, 1979 The double-album soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever reaches sales of 25 million worldwide, making it the best-selling LP in history.More

May 13, 1978 After eight weeks at #1, "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees is finally bumped off, replaced by Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You," another song written by the Bee Gees and also featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.More

December 14, 1977 At the peak of the disco era, the film Saturday Night Fever opens in theaters. The soundtrack contains two previous #1 hits and four new ones.More

October 1, 1977 #1 on the Hot 100 is "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" by Meco. It's a 15-minute song made up of Star Wars music set to a disco beat. There's even an R2-D2 bleeping solo.More

August 20, 1977 The Emotions hit #1 in the US with the disco track "Best Of My Love" for the first of five weeks. Two years earlier, the Eagles hit #1 with a song with the same title.

April 26, 1977 The most famous club of the disco era, Studio 54, opens for business at 254 West 54th Street in New York City. Over the next three years, celebrity guests include Cher, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Brooke Shields, and Liza Minnelli. Donald Trump and his wife, Ivana, attend on opening night.

April 9, 1977 ABBA goes to #1 on the US singles chart with "Dancing Queen," the group's seventh US Top 40 hit and first #1. The song is also a #1 in the UK and 12 other countries.More

October 16, 1976 Disc jockey Rick Dees hits #1 in the US with "Disco Duck," a goofy number that envisions Donald Duck enjoying the spoils of the disco era. It is the last novelty song to top the Hot 100.More

June 7, 1976 New York magazine runs a cover story called "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night," describing the disco-fueled nightclub scene. The article gives Bee Gees manager Robert Stigwood the idea for Saturday Night Fever.More

May 29, 1976 Diana Ross' "Love Hangover" hits #1 in America. It's the first disco hit for Motown Records, which is slow to embrace the sound.

April 3, 1976 Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady" hits #1 on the Hot 100, becoming the first chart-topper with the word "disco" in the title.

December 29, 1975 Time magazine introduces the phrase "Sex Rock" in an article taking aim at Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby."More

November 22, 1975 "That's The Way (I Like It)" by KC & the Sunshine Band goes to #1 in America.

July 6, 1974 "Rock The Boat" by The Hues Corporation becomes the first disco song to top the Hot 100.

July 15, 1983 The Saturday Night Fever sequel Staying Alive debuts in theaters, starring John Travolta. The Bee Gees also return for the soundtrack, introducing five new songs, including "The Woman In You."More

May 31, 1980 The disco group Lipps, Inc. goes to #1 in America with "Funkytown," a tribute to New York City.

January 18, 1980 Studio 54 owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager are sentenced to 3 ½ years in jail on charges of tax evasion, which soon brings the legendary disco to an end.

February 10, 1979 Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy," a disco diversion for the British superstar, hits #1 in the US.

May 17, 1978 The disco film Thank God It's Friday, starring Donna Summer and Village People, premieres in Los Angeles.

June 11, 1977 KC and the Sunshine Band's "I'm Your Boogie Man" hits #1 in America.

April 23, 1977 Thelma Houston's disco plea "Don't Leave Me This Way," originally recorded by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes in 1975, hits #1 in America.

October 9, 1976 #1 on the Hot 100 is a disco version of a classical favorite: "A Fifth Of Beethoven" by Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band.

November 29, 1975 Silver Convention's "Fly, Robin, Fly" hits #1 in America for the first of three weeks. The disco tune has very few lyrics because the German group can't speak English.

May 6, 1994 Donna Summer appears on an episode of Family Matters, playing Steve Urkel's shy Aunt Oona (from Altoona). Oona comes out of her shell when she belts out "Last Dance" at karaoke.

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