Rediscovering the Groove: PBS Presents "DISCO: SOUNDTRACK OF A REVOLUTION

Francis Page Jr. | 2/12/2024, 2:38 p.m.
Get ready to groove as PBS unveils a captivating three-part docuseries that delves into the surprising and overlooked history of ...

Get ready to groove as PBS unveils a captivating three-part docuseries that delves into the surprising and overlooked history of disco – the quintessential music genre of the 1970s. "DISCO: SOUNDTRACK OF A REVOLUTION," announced by PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger during the network’s TCA Winter Press Tour, promises to captivate audiences with its exploration of disco's rise, fall, and enduring legacy.

Narrated by original musicians, promoters, and modern-day icons, "DISCO: SOUNDTRACK OF A REVOLUTION" offers a fresh perspective on the disco era, from its humble beginnings in the basement bars of '70s New York City to its global domination. Premiering Tuesday, June 18 on PBS (check local listings), PBS.org, and the PBS App, this BBC Studios Production promises to be a must-watch event.

Disco, with its pulsating beats and infectious rhythms, embodied the glamour and liberation of the 1970s. However, its significance extends beyond the dance floor, intertwining with major liberation movements of the era, including LGBTQ+ rights and female empowerment.

Sylvia Bugg, chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming at PBS, emphasized the series' focus on reclaiming disco's roots. "Before commercialization, discothèques belonged to the marginalized and the dispossessed, who tapped into the beat-driven music and the disco scene in a battle for community, identity, and inclusivity."

Jonathan Rothery, head of popular music TV at the BBC, highlighted the far-reaching impact of disco. "DISCO: SOUNDTRACK OF A REVOLUTION" will shed light on many new or untold stories of the genre, showcasing its cultural and social influence."

The three-part docuseries unfolds as follows:

Episode 1: "Rock the Boat" - Premieres: Tuesday, June 18

This episode traces disco's origins from the basement bars of New York City, where pioneering DJs and musicians laid the groundwork for a global phenomenon. Through interviews and archival footage, viewers will witness the birth of a distinct sound and a new way of spinning records.

Episode 2: "Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now" - Premieres: Tuesday, June 25

Set against the backdrop of Black power and sexual liberation, this episode explores disco's mid-'70s heyday. It celebrates the rise of disco divas and icons, highlighting their influence on mainstream culture. However, as disco gains mainstream success, it faces challenges that threaten its inclusivity and freedom.

Episode 3: "Stayin’ Alive" - Premieres: Tuesday, July 2

The final episode chronicles disco's decline amidst backlash and controversy. From the "Disco Sucks" movement to the AIDS crisis, disco confronts challenges that push it underground. Yet, from adversity emerges resilience as disco pioneers evolve the genre into electronic dance music.

Featuring interviews with disco legends and modern-day icons, including Vince Aletti, Nona Hendryx, Earl Young, Marshall Jefferson, Ana Matronic, and more, "DISCO: SOUNDTRACK OF A REVOLUTION" promises to be a captivating journey through one of music's most iconic eras.

For more information, including clips and episode previews, visit the PBS PressRoom. Don't miss out on this immersive exploration of disco's revolutionary legacy!