Next up at the Discotheque……the lovey Disco Queen SYLVESTER!!!
Now Disco was out around the time where being gay was ok…well it was more or less accepted. But few had an issue with Sylvester. He busted out on the scene and gave no F**** about what people thought! He was a child of Disco and good times. A true free spirit. Even before he became the famous Sylvester he was turning heads with his group of friends known back then as the Disquotays, composed of Sylvester and his friends. Often throwing fancy and fabulous gay parties at the late singer Etta James home back in the 60’s. But by the 70’s the Disquotays had disbanded and Sylvester joined with the Cockettes. Such an appropriate name don’t ya think? With the group Sylvester was involved with the Gay Liberation Movement and a slew of other feats….Auntie was just always in the mix of something going on. Now while in the Cockettes, Sylvester “found himself” so to speak. He dipped and dabbled and had a new fascination of black culture of their yesteryear (Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker) and brought this into his act. Now of course the group split up and some went that way and others went the other way. But Sylvester remained on the stage gaining more and more popularity. Is that enough back story for you? Can we fast forward to the hits and the jams? Well alright!
Well, although Sylvester is a force by himself he always had 2 sista’s with him. More accurately he always had Two Tons O’ Fun with him to tear the stage down. Two Tons was composed of two fabulous black women, Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes. Now although Sylvester had fame and some minor success it wasn’t until the release of Step II when things really started hitting it off. That album had classic Disco hits such as
Dance Disco Heat
And also his staple hit and signature song You Make Me Feel Mighty Real
With this success he recorded a live album Living Proof at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. A sold out night that also had Sylvester being awarded the city and had March 11 be dubbed Sylvester Day! Everything was looking up right? Well the few albums after that were disappointing. It seemed as if Sylvester had a touch of the “Disco Curse”. See there was a whole Disco Sucks movement. The genre was closely affiliated with the “gay lifestyle” and well that was around the time when the G.R.I.D. started to spread. So artists were trying to stay clear of ever recording another Disco song….EVER!! But everybody knows that music never dies no matter what genre it is. It just changes into something else. Dance music is eternal it just gets labeled with a different name every 10 or so years.
Sylvester couldn’t stay away from music that made you get up out your seat and move. Like i said Disco may have died but people always wanted to dance so his next hit
Do You Wanna Funk?
proved that he was still a force. On his next album M-1015 Sylvester did a cover of the Brainstorm classic hit
Lovin’ Is Really My Game
Now here’s a little tidbit about that song. Noah’s Arc fans did that tune sound familiar to you? Well it should. Remember that episode in the first season when Noah and nem helped out Alex at the drag show? Well that was the song they performed! Back to Auntie though, honorable mention to the fact that he provided back vocals on Aretha Franklin’s Who’s Zoomin’ Who album!
Sadly Sylvester only had one more release before he passed away but he touched many many hearts while he was on this earth.Recently his signature track You Make Me Feel had been remixed and featured in a Target commercial. Also, an off Broadway musical titled Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical was produced in 2014 to rave reviews
Here are a few of my favorite Sylvester moments and tracks !
Cant Forget The Love
I Tried To Forget You
You Are My Friend