from MSNBC.com contributor Tony Sclafani
It was a catchphrase you couldn’t avoid hearing three decades ago when a backlash started to develop against the ’70s dance music genre that dominated Top 40 radio stations. The resentment culminated in an unexpected riot July 12, 1979 at Comiskey Park in Chicago. It was there fans charged onto the field during a promotional event called “Disco Demolition Night,” after Chicago DJ Steve Dahl blew up a box of disco records.
Smashing up disco records was a stunt Dahl did at area bars, but he got to bring his shtick to a wider audience when White Sox management started arranging publicity stunts to boost attendance. Over the years, the event has come to signify something larger in the culture — a point at which the implicit musical divide between whites and African-Americans became uncomfortably explicit. It also helped kill disco as a viable genre.
The hostility towards disco came to a head less than two years after the movie “Saturday Night Fever” was released, mostly because radio listeners grew tired of how dominating disco had become. Additionally, the music got associated with the lifestyle of the rich and famous because of its connection with New York’s swanky disco Studio 54. That’s ironic, because disco was forged much the way rock music was — by people who were considered outsiders...
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