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35 Years After 'Disco Demolition Day,' Disco is Back

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TWC News: 35 Years After 'Disco Demolition Day,' Disco is Back
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Thirty-five years ago this weekend, so-called "Disco Demolition Day" declared the end of disco music, but some disco queens say disco never died, and they are still going strong. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.

It was a publicity stunt that was started by a local DJ in Chicago.

On July 12, 1979, in between a double header baseball game between the Tigers and the White Sox, a crate of disco records was blown up and the capacity crowd declared that disco was dead once and for all.

Or was it?

Remember Disco queen Martha Wash? She achieved enormous fame as one of the Weather Girls and she insists disco didn't really die on that summer day in Chicago.

"It was really a stupid promotion they did and the guy decided to use disco since he was anti-disco," Wash says.

Linda Clifford agrees. The native New Yorker burned up the charts with her disco hit "Runaway Love."

"It bothered me a great deal. It made me really angry that someone who is supposed to be somewhat in the same business—the entertainment business—would take a chance and destroy the careers of people without a thought," Clifford says.

James Arena is the author of "First Ladies of Disco." He says the publicity stunt that killed disco is a fascinating chapter in music history.

"I think the only thing that died was the word 'disco' and now I think that word is okay again, so I don't think it's that serious a situation, but it did die in essence at the end of the 70s and that word became very unpopular," Arena says.

If you ask these Disco Queens, disco is back in a big way.

Martha is currently topping the billboard charts and both disco divas are on international tour with the "First Ladies of Disco Show," which has sellout crowds.

"We survived disco—and we women are still turning it out!" Wash says.

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