#1070: 1978, Earth Wind and Fire, September

by George_East on March 13, 2016

There have been a number of sad deaths of music greats this year so far. We have paid tribute to David Bowie, Paul Katner and Signe Toly Anderson from Jefferson Airplane and George Martin. In addition Glen Frey of the Eagles and this week prog-keyboard legend Keith Emerson passed away (the latter from suicide apparently).

One great though, who died in January who we didn’t pay tribute at the time is Earth Wind and Fire front man, Maurice White.  Oddly Disco still doesn’t get the respect it deserves, I feel.  It was a joyous musical form that made dance music central to culture well before the chemical generation were out of nappies.   It coincided with punk and so often got treated as a second rate trivial thing.  Yet it was instrumental in putting gay rights on the agenda, as many of the places where the music first took off were gay clubs.  It was also (the Bee Gees aside) an overwhelmingly black form of music, that did to 1970s black music, what the great soul acts did in the 1960s.

We’ve not featured an Earth Wind and Fire song in Songs To Learn and Sing before.  That is a big oversight.  And has now been corrected. What a song.  Maurice White RIP.

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