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Gloria Gaynor

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Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor made a cameo guest appearance as herself in the episode "Pop's Last Hurrah".

Nickname

The Queen Of Disco

Birthname

Gloria Fowles

Born

(1949-09-07) September 7, 1949 (age 67)

Birthplace

Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

Musical genre

Disco, R&B, dance music

Occupation

Singer-songwriter, actress

Years active

1965–present

Music labels recorded for

MGM (1965–76)
Polydor Records (1976–83)
Chrysalis Records (1984–85)
Stylus Records (1986–88)
Hot Productions (1996–97)
Logic Records (2000–04)
Radikal Records (2005–Present)

Appearance on The Wayans Bros.

As herself in the episode titled "Pop's Last Hurrah"

Wayans Bros Long script logo-1062px


Gloria Gaynor (born September 7, 1949) appeared as herself in The Wayans Bros. epiosde titled "Pop's Last Hurrah". A legendary R&B/Disco era diva, she is best known for the disco era hits; "I Will Survive" (Hot 100 number 1, 1979), a cover verison of the Jackson 5ive smash hit song "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Hot 100 number 9, 1974), "Let Me Know (I Have a Right)" (Hot 100 number 42, 1980) and "I Am What I Am" (R&B number 82, 1983).

BiographyEdit

Early Life and careerEdit

Gaynor was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Queenie May Proctor and Daniel Fowles. Gaynor's grandmother always lived nearby and was involved in her upbringing.[1] "There was always music in our house," Gaynor wrote in her autobiography, I Will Survive. She enjoyed listening to the radio, and to records by Nat "King" Cole and Sarah Vaughan. Her father played the ukulele and guitar and sang professionally in nightclubs with a group called Step 'n' Fetchit. Her brothers sang gospel and formed a quartet with a friend. Gaynor was not allowed to sing with the all-male group, nor was her younger brother, Arthur, because he was too young. Arthur later acted as a tour manager for Gaynor. The family was relatively poor, but Gaynor recalls the house being filled with laughter and happiness, and the dinner table being open to neighbourhood friends.


Gloria's family moved to a housing project in 1960 and Gloria grew up as a tomboy. "All through my young life I wanted to sing, although nobody in my family knew it," Gaynor wrote in her autobiography. Gloria was a member of her school choir, the mixed chorus, and the girls' glee club. Because no one in the house paid attention to her singing she never got the feeling that any of them thought she had a good voice but after an initial rush of stage fright before her first solo, Gaynor's confidence in her singing grew. Gloria graduated from high school with honors and knew she wanted a singing career. To appease her mother, who wanted Gaynor to have "something to fall back on," she went to beauty school and took business courses. While she continued to practice her singing, she worked many non-singing jobs in the years after high school, including a job at Bamberger's department store.

Early careerEdit

Gaynor was a singer with the Soul Satisfiers, a jazz/pop band, in the 1960s. Her first solo single was "She'll Be Sorry/Let Me Go Baby" (1965).

Her first real success came in 1975 with the release of her album Never Can Say Goodbye, which established her as a disco artist. The first side of this album consisted of three disco songs ("Honey Bee", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Reach Out, I'll Be There"), with no breaks in between the songs. This 19-minute dance marathon proved to be enormously popular, especially at dance clubs. All three songs were released as singles via radio edits, and all of them became hits. The album was instrumental in introducing disco music to the public, "Never Can Say Goodbye" becoming the first song to top Billboard magazine's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. Capitalizing on the success of her first album, Gloria Gaynor quickly released her second album, Experience Gloria Gaynor, later that same year. While this album was also successful, it was not quite as popular as her previous album in the mainstream.

Some of her lesser-known singles, due to lack of recurrent airplay — including "Honey Bee" (1974), "Casanova Brown" (1975), and "Let's Make A Deal" (1976) — became hits in the clubs and reached the Top 5 on Billboard magazine's disco charts. After her 1976 album, I've Got You, Gaynor shifted from her hit production team, to work with other productions. While it seemed like a good move, her subsequent producers did not seem to match Gaynor's vocal approach and style as well.

Major mainstream success with "I Will Survie"Edit

In the next few years, Gloria Gaynor released the albums Glorious and Park Avenue Sound, but would only enjoy a few moderate hits. However, in late 1978, with the release of her album Love Tracks, she climbed the pop charts again because of her song "I Will Survive". The lyrics of this song are written from the point of view of a woman, recently dumped, telling her former lover that she can cope without him and does not want anything more to do with him. The song has become something of an anthem of female emancipation, and is still a staple of office parties and karaoke nights.

Interestingly, "I Will Survive" was originally the B-side when Polydor Records released it in late 1978. The A-side, a song called "Substitute", then a recent worldwide hit for South African girl-group Clout, was considered more "radio friendly". Boston Disco Radio DJ Jack King turned the record over and recalls being stunned by what he heard. "I couldn't believe they were burying this monster hit on the B-side", says King. "I played it and played it and my listeners went nuts!" This massive audience response forced the record company to flip the songs, so that subsequent copies of the single listed the more popular song on the A-side. King was honored at New York's "Disco Masters Awards Show" for 3 consecutive years (1979–1981) in recognition of his relentless push of the song. The song was awarded the only Grammy Award ever for Best Disco Recording in 1980.

As a disco number, the song was unique for its time by virtue of Gaynor's having no background singers. And, unlike her first disco hits, the track was not pitched up to make it faster and to render Gaynor's recorded voice in a higher register than that in which she actually sang. Most disco hits at the time were heavily produced, with multiple voices, overdubs, and adjustments to pitch and speed. "I Will Survive" had a much more spare and "clean" sound. Had it been originally planned and released as an A-side, it would almost certainly have undergone a substantially more heavy-handed remix. In late 1979, she released the album I Have a Right which contained her next disco hit, "Let Me Know (I Have a Right)", which featured Doc Severinsen of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson fame, on trumpet solo. Gaynor also recorded a disco song called "Love Is Just a Heartbeat Away" in 1979 for the vampire movie Nocturna: Granddaughter of Draculs which featured a number of disco songs.

Career revivalEdit

Gloria's career received a revitalizing spark in the early and mid 1990s with the worldwide Disco revival movement. During the late 1990s, she dabbled in acting for a while, guest starring on The Wayans Bros, That '70s Show, and Ally McBeal before doing a limited engagement performance in Broadway's Smokey Joe's Cafe. In 2001 Gaynor performed "I Will Survive" at the 30th Anniversary Concert for Michael Jackson.

On September 19, 2005, Gaynor was honored twice when she and her music were inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. She was inducted in the Artist Inductees category along with fellow disco legends, the R&B/dance band Chic and the late R&B disco singer Sylvester. Her classic anthem "I Will Survive" was inducted under the Records Inductees category. In January 2008, The American Diabetes Association named Gaynor the Honorary Spokesperson of the 2008 NYC Step Out To Fight Diabetes Walk.[2]

More television appearances followed in the late 2000s with 2009 appearances on The John Kerwin Show, The Wendy Williams Show, and ABC-TV's The View to promote the 30th anniversary of "I Will Survive".[3] In 2010, she appeared on Last Comic Standing and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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