The wry, campy disco cabaret of Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes was produced by Bob Crewe as a showcase for hairdresser Sir Monti Rock III, aka 60's teen idol Joseph Montanez, Jr. "I Wanna Dance Wit' Choo" was the second major disco hit of this outfit, but they would soon fade from prominence. Van McCoy's "The Hustle" celebrated what would become the central dance step combination in discos around the world. Evolving into myriad variants - Latin, Street, Tango among them - the Hustle remains the Twist of the disco era.
BROTHERS - "Are You Ready For This" (RCA)
The Brothers were a mid-1970s soul group recording for the RCA label who had a brief flirtation with success in disco clubs. Warren Schatz, the producer of "Are You Ready For This" also worked with Vicki Sue Robinson and Evelyn King.
Consumer Rapport - "Ease On Down the Road" (Wing and a Prayer)
Consumer Rapport was a studio only disco project. The lead vocals for this disco version of "Ease On Down the Road" from the Broadway musical The Wiz were provided by Frank Floyd who was one of the background singers for the stage show.
Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes - "I Wanna Dance Wit' Choo" (Chelsea)
Songwriter and producer Bob Crewe helped put together Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes as a star vehicle for Sir Monti Rock III, aka 60s teen idol Joseph Montanez. The campy, cabaret feel of the group's recordings helped bring a gay aesthetic to the evolution of disco. Future dance diva Jocelyn Brown sang backup for Disco Tex.
Gloria Gaynor - "Real Good People" (MGM)
"Real Good People" was a follow up to Gloria Gaynor's massive "Never Can Say Goodbye" success. This song has a deeper R&B groove instead of the smooth disco mix of the previous hit. It is a showcase for Gloria Gaynor's vocal power.
Van McCoy - "The Hustle" (Avco)
Songwriter and arranger Van McCoy stepped into the spotlight as a recording artist with this landmark disco hit. It reportedly was written in under an hour after Van McCoy listened to his musical partner Charles Kipps describing an elegant dance called "The Hustle" that he had seen being performed at New York's Adam's Apple club. The result was a #1 pop hit and the song that helped turned "The Hustle" into one of the most popular dances of the disco era.
Sister Sledge - "Protect Our Love" (Atco)
"Protect Our Love" was the second big disco hit of 1975 for Sister Sledge and the second from their debut album Circle Of Love. The song was written by Gwen Guthrie who would later have her own massive #1 dance hit "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But the Rent" in the mid 1980s.
South Shore Commission - "Free Man" (Wand)
Like many of their fellow mid-1970s disco vocal groups, South Shore Commission began their career as an R&B vocal group in the 1960s. Their debut self-titled album was produced by Philly soul architect Bunny Sigler, mixed by disco pioneer Tom Moulton and included instrumental backup by the musicians who would form the core of Instant Funk.
Trammps - "Trammps Disco Theme" (Golden Fleece)
It might seem a bit ironic that the first major disco hit by the group who would become best remembered for the powerful vocal workout on "Disco Inferno" was an instrumental. This is an excellent example of orchestral Philly disco.
Frankie Valli - "Swearin' To God" (Private Stock)
Frankie Valli was the lead vocalist for seminal 1960s vocal group the Four Seasons. By the early 1970s, however, the group's commercial success had largely dried up. Working with producer and songwriter Bob Crewe, Frankie Valli headed to the Private Stock label and had a major pop comeback in 1974 with "My Eyes Adored You." He followed it with another top 10 hit "Swearin' To God" that perhaps is best described as adult contemporary disco. The album Closeup included a 10 minute long disco mix of the song.
Dionne Warwick - "Take It From Me" (Warner Bros.)
Bob Ragovoy, the writer of "Take It From Me" is best remembered for writing a number of Janis Joplin's key hits like "Piece Of My Heart" and "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)." He wrote this song that helped Dionne Warwick slide into another genre music after success with pop, soul, and adult contemporary audiences. The production here is similar to the #1 pop hit with the Spinners "Then Came You" which lent its title to the album kicked off by "Take It From Me."