439. Disco: Sex and Race in Seventies America

Music for sex, dancing, and watching the straight world go by… The explosion of Disco provides an extraordinary window into the tumultuous world of the 1970s, with its themes of sex, drugs, race and sexuality. By the start of the 1970s, America was a nation of dystopian gloom. The radical dream of the 1960’s had dissipated, with economic decline, Vietnam and Watergate polarising and disenchanting the public. Then, at a party in New York held by the DJ David Mancuso, something new was born: Disco. An intoxicating kaleidoscope of dancing and colour with an orgasmic new sound, it united disparate groups under the banner of music. An escape from the concerns of the day, it captivated the mainstream imagination with its idealism, open drug use, self-consciously flamboyant clothes, and acceptance of race and homosexuality at a time when the Civil Rights Movement was raging and gay rights still contentious. But, with its rising orthodoxy, Disco was also attracting a dedicated base of critics and detractors. They decried its hedonism, its debasement of traditional masculinity, and, with the Aids crisis swirling, its immorality. Join Dominic and Tom as they discuss the rise and fall of Disco, culminating in the shocking night of Disco Demolition at a White Sox game on the 12th of July 1979. Could it survive this ultimate reckoning? *The Rest Is History LIVE in 2024* Tom and Dominic are back onstage this summer, at Hampton Court Palace in London! Buy your tickets here: therestishistory.com Twitter: @TheRestHistory @holland_tom @dcsandbrook Producer: Theo Young-Smith Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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