With the passing of Donna Summer (lung cancer) at 63 y/o and Robin Gibb (colon and live cancer) at 62 y/o (the 3rd of the 4 Gibb brothers to pass on) last week, the two most prominent sounds of the “Disco Era” (Donna Summer & The Bee Gees) were silenced forever.
I was not much of a Disco fan, but then again, I’ve always had two left feet, but the Disco Era was the first musical genre, followed by Punk and Grunge to move music from its hard rock center.
Until the mid to late 1970s, Rock & Roll seemed the be all, end all of contemporary music. Disco was the first genre to move away from that, with its pulsating dance beats.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s WKTU in New York was one of the popular FM radio stations in the Tri-State.
Disco’s reach was so great that it inspired its own backlash by the mid-1980s, the “Disco Sucks” movement.
But both Summer and the Gibb’s were able to move beyond Disco and flourish among dance music fans for decades after. In the Bee Gees case, their soft rock roots had showed their resilience prior to the Disco craze.
After the death of Maurice Gibb in 2003, Barry and Robin went on with the Bee Gee sound.
The passing of Donna Summer and Robin Gibb, doesn’t only represent the passing of a familiar sound, but it marks the passing of an age, especially for the Baby Boomers who came of age during the 1970s.