As the Ball Turns

Sunday, December 16, 2007

1965 DJs first experiment with mixing records.

1970 The first underground invitation-only dance party is held at the New York apartment of David Mancuso, who later parlays it into a weekly private event called the Loft, a precursor to underground dance clubs.

1973-74 Early rumblings of the disco sound include MFSB's "Love Is the Message."

1975 The 12-inch "disco disc" record debuts to accommodate longer tracks. The Clubhouse opens in D.C. Releases: Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby," Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye" and Van McCoy's "The Hustle."

April 1977 The exclusive, hedonistic Studio 54 opens in midtown Manhattan.

Dec. 16, 1977 "Saturday Night Fever" opens nationwide. Disco reaches middle America through the white faces of John Travolta and the Bee Gees.

1978 The giant underground club Paradise Garage opens in Manhattan's West Village. Disco becomes legitimate in the eyes of the media, Billboard magazine says. New York's WKTU-FM turns all-disco. The number of discotheques in the U.S. closes in on 20,000.

Feb. 1979 Grammys are awarded to A Taste of Honey, the Bee Gees and others involved in the "Saturday Night Fever" album.

April 1979 "Disco Takes Over," Newsweek reports. The Rolling Stones, Ethel Merman and B.B. King ride the disco bandwagon.

July 12, 1979 Disco Demolition, a radio promotion at Chicago's Comiskey Park, destroys 20,000 records, incites a riot and is labeled as the day disco died.

Feb. 1980 Gaynor's "I Will Survive" nabs the first and only Grammy for best disco recording.

June 1980 "Can't Stop the Music," starring the Village People, is released and vilified.

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