Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You SO Much ... But You Shouldn't Have ...

We can be thankful that the French have given us so many things in life; wine, cheese, baguettes and the croissant, the 'Emmanuelle' films, café society, French fags and the French letter.

But imagine yourself at a Christmas office party or a wedding and the DJ slips on the dance-hit that (when sober) we could never see ourselves 'getting-down-to'. It's the tune with a life-long guarantee and which only takes one person up on the floor to get a crowd together; The Village People's 'YMCA'. Yup, and because of a Frenchman, Jacques Morali, the producer and driving force behind the band and their music.

Morali began his musical career selling records in a shop at Orly airport. He fell in love with the 'disco' sound in the early 70's and felt that he just had to be part of the action. Philadelphia International Records were the label who produced many of the 'hot toones' of the time so Morali jumped on a plane for the US and soon found his way into a job at Sigma Sound where most of the Philly classics were recorded. He began co-writing and co-producing a number of hits.

In New York, Morali found himself at a costume ball at 'Les Mouches', a gay disco in the Village. Apparently, as he gazed around the room, he was overwhelmed by the amount of male stereotypes portrayed by the invitees. His idea was to bring together a group of dancers and singers, each one to play out a different gay fantasy figure. The rest is history.

The only bun-mote being that in 1980 a feature film was made starring the Village People - 'Can't Stop The Music'. It was a critical and commercial failure.

Morali's life was ended by AIDS on November 15th 1991 ... his anniversary is next week.

See? I bet you didn't know that when you woke up this morning?



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