SYLVESTER – 12″ collection (198?-?)
Sometimes, you just gotta hit up the gayest possible thing you can think of. No — not Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”. Even gayer.
I first heard of Sylvester when I was a young kid, watching daytime television after coming home from school. “The Joan Rivers Show” was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen as an 8-year-old (don’t ask me why I wasn’t watching Nickelodeon instead. I had a penchant for daytime talk shows and “Divorce Court”.) One of Joan Rivers’ more outrageous guests that I caught once upon a time was Sylvester:
Sylvester James (September 6, 1947 – December 16, 1988), better known as Sylvester, was an American disco and soul singer, and a gay drag performer. He is considered to be one of the first Hi-NRG artists. Sylvester was sometimes known as the “Queen of Disco”, although this moniker has also been bestowed on some of the ladies of the disco era (i.e. Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer).
On that episode of “The Joan Rivers Show”, Sylvester lip-synched to one of his tracks, and later sat down for an interview. I was transfixed — not because I was into the music, but because the whole thing was so damned silly.
I still am transfixed by the utter banality of early Hi-NRG, and Sylvester’s music happens to be the apex of that flatly ridiculous genre (I would cite The Communards/Bronksi Beat instead, but even I can’t take more than 30 seconds of that stuff at a time. The Sylvester tracks go down much easier, pun or no pun intended.)