There was no higher priestess of disco than the late Loleatta Holloway.
Here’s a preview of my appreciation of her in the upcoming GAY CITY NEWS
I sadly note the passing of singer Loleatta Holloway, at age 64,of reported heart failure. To me, there is no higher, funkier diva in all of the most hallowed halls of disco than she. Searing and soaring were the best words to describe her unique voice, which helped a generation of gay men come out in the clubs with “Hit and Run,” which helped get the party started opening night of Studio 54 (I was there, trust me); “Relight My Fire” and “Love Sensation,” which always combustibly ignited the floor of Paradise Garage. When, on that last song, she sonically wailed “And time won’t take my lo-ove AWA-A-A-Y-Y-Y,” churning it out, you could have had a heart attack from the sheer power and excitement. Then there was the classic, “Dreaming,” the lyrics of which I always quoted to any so-called friend who tried to move in on my romantic territory, “I don’t want nothin’ that’s yours/ I don’t want nothin’ that LOOKS at you!”
Her sound was the one that gave Marky Mark Wahlberg his only hit, “Good Vibrations,” and somehow it doesn’t seem right that she should die so soon, while Wahlberg, who, in his violent, racist youth, permanently blinded a Vietnamese man, is King of Hollywood.
There was a back stairwell of the Garage where we used to chill, and I’ll never forget her, coming off the stage, sweaty and elated after bringing down the house once again, seeing us, and saying, “Oo, this is where the cool people hang!” Where was she going? Well, wherever she is, I hope she’s fully in her glory now.
DJ Nicky Siano spun at Studio 54 back in that fabulous day and here is his tribute to her he emailed to me:
I am so saddened by the news that the true QUEEN OF DISCO has passed, diva Loleatta Holloway…I will never forget her very FIRST performance EVER of her then NEW album on SALSOUL, including Hit and Run, Dreamin, and We’re Getting Stronger, a song I used on the Gallery compilation. It was the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, our space was packed with more then 1500 people, she came on and started singing, and she was supposed to sing 3 songs. The crowd was going wild, so she continued singing more then 6 songs! When she got to the ballard “A Man’s Way” she belted and improvised the line “he don’t even take me to the FUCKIN grocery store” The place erupted, she was one of a kind, and no one could belt a song the way she could…I will NEVER EVER forget that night…and many others that I spent with her…ill give you another later. RIP my DIVA OF DIVA’S, you will always be my DISCO QUEEN.
I have posted a picture of her from the movie LOVE IS THE MESSAGE on my web site.