Gloria Gaynor


Gloria Gaynor

Infobox musical artist
Name = Gloria Gaynor
Background = solo_singer


Img_size = 202
Img_capt = Gloria Gaynor peforming
Birth_name = Gloria Fowles
Born = birth date and age|1949|09|7
Origin = Newark, New Jersey, United States
Genre = Dance-pop, disco, Hi-NRG, house, urban, R&B, adult contemporary, jazz
Occupation = Singer-songwriter, actress
Years_active = 1965 - present
Instrument = Vocals
Label = MGM (1965–76)
Polydor (1976–83)
Chrysalis (1984–85)
Stylus (1986–88)
Hot Productions (1996–97)
Logic (2000–04)
Radikal (2005–Present)
Associated_acts = Soul Satisfiers
URL = [http://www.gloriagaynor.com/ www.gloriagaynor.com]

Gloria Gaynor (born Gloria Fowles September 7, 1949) is an American singer, best-known for the disco era hits "I Will Survive" (Hot 100 #1, 1979), "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Hot 100 #4, 1974), "Let Me Know (I Have A Right)" (Hot 100 #42, 1980) and "I Am What I Am" (Hot 100 #82, 1983). She was born in Newark, New Jersey.

Early career

Gaynor was a singer with the Soul Satisfiers, a jazz/pop band, in the 1960s. Her first solo single was "She'll Be Sorry/Let Me Go Baby" (1965).

Her first real success came in 1975 with the release of her album "Never Can Say Goodbye", which established her as a disco artist. The first side of this album consisted of three disco songs ("Honey Bee", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Reach Out, I'll Be There"), with no breaks in between the songs. This 19-minute dance marathon proved to be enormously popular, especially at dance clubs. All three songs were released as singles via radio edits, and all of them became hits. This album was so instrumental in introducing disco music to the public, that many later believed that Gloria Gaynor had been the first artist to record disco music. "Never Can Say Goodbye" became the first song to top "Billboard" magazine's dance chart. So, in that sense, she was the first. Capitalizing on the success of her first album, Gloria Gaynor quickly released her second album "Experience Gloria Gaynor" later that same year. While this album was also successful, it was not quite as popular as her previous album in the mainstream.

Some of her lesser-known singles - due to lack of recurrent airplay including, "Honey Bee" (1974), "Casanova Brown" (1975), and "Let's Make A Deal" (1976) - became hits in the clubs and reached the Top 5 on "Billboard"'s disco charts. After her 1976 album, "I've Got You", Gaynor shifted from her hit production team, to work with other productions. While it seemed like a good move, her subsequent producers did not seem to match Gaynor's vocal approach and style as well. This caused her the albums that followed such as 1977's "Glorious" and 1978's "Park Avenue Sound" to be regarded as merely good albums instead of excellent albums.

Major mainstream breakthrough

For the next few years, Gloria Gaynor would only enjoy a few moderate hits. However, in late 1978, with the release of her album "Love Tracks", she climbed the pop charts again because of her song "I Will Survive". The lyrics of this song are written from the point of view of a woman, recently dumped, telling her former lover that she can cope without him and does not want anything more to do with him. The song has become something of an anthem of female emancipation, and is still a staple of office parties and karaoke nights. The song was awarded the first and only Grammy Award for Best Disco Recording in 1980 (the category was discontinued upon disco's fall from favor shortly afterward). In 1999, Pixar animator [http://www.navone.org/ Victor Navone] used this song to create an [http://amfilms.hash.com/search/entry.php?entry=539 alien music video] which for a time was a minor Internet phenomenon.

Interestingly, "I Will Survive" was originally the B-side when Polydor Records released it in late 1978. The A-side, a song called "Substitute", then a recent worldwide hit for South African girl-group Clout, was considered to be more "radio friendly." Boston Disco Radio DJ Jack King turned the record over and recalls being stunned by what he heard. "I couldn't believe they were burying this monster hit on the B-side", says King. "I played it and played it and my listeners went nuts." This audience response forced the record company to flip the songs, so that subsequent copies of the single listed the more popular song on the A-side. King was honored at New York’s legendary “Disco Masters Awards Show” for 3 consecutive years (1979-1981) in recognition of his relentless push of the song.

In late 1979, she released the album "I Have A Right" which contained her next disco hit, "Let Me Know (I Have The Right)", which featured Doc Severinsen of "The Tonight Show" fame, on trumpet solo. Gaynor also recorded a disco song called "Love Is Just A Heartbeat Away" in 1979 for the vampire movie "Nocturna" which featured a number of disco songs.

tateside career decline

In 1980 and again in 1981, Gaynor released two disco albums which were virtually ignored in the US due to the backlash against disco, which began late in 1979. Surprisingly, neither albums' singles registered on Urban contemporary radio, where disco music remained popular. In 1982, she became a Christian and began to distance herself from a past she considered to be sinful. She would not release an album in 1982. In 1983, she released an album entitled "Gloria Gaynor", in which she rejected disco for mid-tempo R&B and Pop style songs. The album contained a patriotic song called "America" as well as a new version of "I Will Survive". In this new version of "I Will Survive", she changed the lyrics of the song in order to advertise her new conversion to Christianity. The words "It took all the strength I had not to fall apart" were changed to "Only the Lord could give me strength not to fall apart". The album was not a success in the Pop, Dance or Urban markets. This move proved to be a turn off to all other than her hardcore fans.

Gaynor would achieve her final success in the '80s with the release of her album "I Am Gloria Gaynor" in 1984. This was mainly due to the song "I Am What I Am", which became a hit at dance clubs, and then on the Club Play chart in late 1983/early 1984. "I Am What I Am" made Gaynor a gay icon. However, her career went into sharp decline following this hit. She mainly made her living outside of the US where there was never any disco backlash. Her 1986 album, "The Power of Gloria Gaynor", which was almost entirely composed of cover versions of other songs that were popular at the time, was both a critical and commercial failure.

Career Revival

Gloria began to revive her career worldwide with the aggressive revival of disco beginning in the early to mid 1990's.

During the late 1990s, she dabbled in acting for a while, guest starring on "The Wayans Bros", "That '70s Show", and "Ally McBeal" before doing a limited engagement performance in Broadway's "Smokey Joe's Cafe".

She returned to the recording studio in 2002, releasing her first album in over 15 years, entitled, "I Wish You Love". The two singles released from the album, "Just Keep Thinking About You" and "I Never Knew", both topped "Billboard"'s Hot Dance Music/Club Play. Both singles also secured moderate to heavy Dance format radio airplay. The latter song also charted #30 on "Billboard"'s Adult Contemporary chart.

After almost 30 years of its release, Gaynor continues to ride the success of "I Will Survive", touring the country and the world over and performing her signature song on dozens of TV shows. A few successful remixes of the song during the 1990s and 2000s along with new versions of the song by Lonnie Gordon, Diana Ross, Chantay Savage, rock group Cake and others as well as constant recurrent airplay on nearly all Soft AC and Rhythmic format radio stations have helped to keep the song in the mainstream.

On September 19, 2005, Gaynor was honored twice when she and her music were inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. She was inducted in the "Artist Inductees" category along with fellow disco legends Chic and the late Sylvester. Her classic anthem, "I Will Survive" was inducted under the "Records Inductees" category.

In 2004, Gaynor re-released her 1998 album "What a Life" under the name "The Answer" as a follow up to her successful hit album, "I Wish You Love." The album includes her popular club hit, "Oh, What A Life."

In January 08, The American Diabetes Association named Gloria Gaynor the Honorary Spokesperson of the 2008 NYC Step Out To Fight Diabetes Walk. The link to the Step Out To Fight Diabetes Walk is [http://stepout.diabetes.org/site/TR/StepOut/StepOut080058010?pg=entry&fr_id=5415] .

Controversy

Since Gloria Gaynor became a born-again Christian in 1982, she has persistently revealed in interviews that she believes that she has a new role to play in spreading Christianity.

In 1997, Gaynor published an autobiography entitled "I Will Survive". The book is filled up mostly with her religious convictions and her regrets about the sinful life she led during her disco days in the 1970's. In the book Gaynor claims to have regular conversations with God, "in which the Almighty is an active participant."

On 13 July 2007, Gaynor was interviewed by BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. The singer talked about her youth, her career, about some of her most famous songs, several of which have become gay anthems. She refused to describe herself as a feminist. She also talked about her becoming a born again Christian.

Finally the interviewer asked her about her status as a gay icon. She said she was really pleased with this and that saw it as an opportunity to lead her fans towards Christ. The interviewer then asked several times if there might be a contradiction between her faith and her having a gay fan base, if she considered homosexuality as a sin. Gaynor each time refused to answer the question directly. She only said that she is leading her fans to Christ and what He has to offer to them. [ [http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-4931.html I Will Survive singer wants to 'lead gays to Christ'- from Pink News- all the latest gay news from the gay community - Pink News ] ] [ [http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid47396.asp Gloria Gaynor wants to "lead gays to Christ" | Entertainment News | Advocate.com ] ] [ [http://www.afterelton.com/taxonomy/term/1226 Gloria Gaynor | AfterElton.com ] ]

The interview is available to listen to [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/01/2007_28_fri.shtml here] .

Discography

Albums

*1975: "Never Can Say Goodbye" (MGM - US Pop #25, US R&B #21
*1975: "Experience Gloria Gaynor" (MGM) - US Pop #64, US R&B #32
*1976: "I've Got You" (Polydor) - US Pop #107, US R&B #40
*1977: "Glorious" (Polydor) - US Pop #183
*1978: "Park Avenue Sound" (Polydor)
*1978: "Love Tracks" (Polydor) - US Pop #4, US R&B #4
*1979: "I Have a Right" (Polydor) - US Pop #58, US R&B #56
*1980: "Stories" - US Pop #178
*1981: "I Kinda Like Me" (Polydor)
*1983: "Gloria Gaynor" (Ecstacy)
*1984: "I Am Gloria Gaynor" (Chrysalis)
*1986: "The Power of Gloria Gaynor" (Stylus)
*1990: "Gloria Gaynor '90"
*1992: "Love Affair"
*1995: "I'll Be There" (Radikal)
*1997: "The Answer" (Florical)
*2002: "I Wish You Love" (Bell)
*2005: "Live! At John J. Burns Town Park" (Instant Live)
*2007: "Christmas Presence" (Glolo)

Compilations

*1977 - "The Best of Gloria Gaynor"
*1982 - "Greatest Hits"
*1995 - "I'll Be There"
*1998 - "I Will Survive: The Anthology"
*1998 - "The Gloria Gaynor Album"
*2000 - "20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Gloria Gaynor"
*2001 - "Ten Best: The Millennium Versions"
*2002 - "I Will Survive"
*2006 - "All The Hits Remixed"

ingles

*1974: "Honey Bee" - US R&B #55
*1974: "Never Can Say Goodbye" - US Pop #4, US R&B #34, US Dance #1, UK #2
*1975: "Reach Out I'll Be There" - US Pop #60, UK #14
*1975: "Real Good People" - US Dance #6
*1975: "Walk on By" - US Pop #98, US Dance # 8
*1975: "All I Need Is Your Sweet Lovin'" - UK #44
*1975: "Casanova Brown/(If You Want It) Do It Yourself/How High the Moon" - US Dance #1
*1975: "(If You Want It) Do It Yourself" - US Pop #98, US R&B #24
*1975: "How High the Moon" - US Pop #75, US R&B #73, UK #33
*1976: "Let's Make a Deal" - US R&B #95
*1978: "I Will Survive/Substitute/Anybody Want to Party?/I Said Yes" - US Dance #1
*1978: "I Will Survive" - US Pop #1, US R&B #4, UK #1
*1978: "Substitute" - US R&B #78
*1979: "Anybody Want to Party?" - US R&B #16
*1979: "Let Me Know (I Have a Right)" - US Pop #42, UK #32
*1981: "Let's Mend What's Been Broken" - US R&B #76
*1983: "I Am What I Am" - US R&B #82, UK #13
*1984: "Strive" - UK #86
*1987: "Be Soft with Me Tonight" - UK #80
*1993: "I Will Survive" (remix) Made popular by Hermes House Band - UK #5
*1997: "Mighty High" (featuring The Trammps) - US Dance #12
*2000: "Just Keep Thinking About You" - US Dance #1, UK #99
*2002: "I Never Knew" - US Dance #1, US AC #30
*2006: "The Power of a Woman In Love" - Released in Austria as a promotional single for the musical "Rebecca"
*2008: "Hacer Por Hacer" (with Miguel Bosé) - Spain #17*

ee also

*List of artists who reached number one on the Hot 100 (U.S.)
*List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Dance chart
*List of number-one dance hits (United States)
*List of number-one hits (United States)

External links

* [http://www.gloriagaynor.com/ Official website]
* [http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldtalklive/va/2008/06/20/gloria-gaynor-interview/ 2008 Interview with Brett Cohen on World Talk LIVE!]
* [http://www.discomusic.com/people-more/36_0_11_0_C/ Gloria Gaynor interview]
* [http://www.famousinterview.ca/interviews/gloria_gaynor.htm Interview with Gloria Gaynor]
* [http://www.soon.org.uk/page32.htm "Beyond Surviving"] , another interview

References


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