On this day in music history: March 13, 1976 -…

On this day in music history: March 13, 1976 – “Disco Lady” by Johnnie Taylor hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 6 weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for 4 weeks on April 3, 1976. Written by Harvey Scales, Al Vance and Don Davis, it is the fourth R&B chart topper and biggest pop hit for the veteran soul singer from West Memphis, AR. Following the collapse of his longtime label Stax Records in 1975, R&B vocal legend Johnnie Taylor signs a new deal with Columbia Records. Recorded at United Sound in Detroit, MI, P-Funkers William “Bootsy” Collins and Bernie Worrell are enlisted by producer Don Davis to play bass and keyboards on the song. Singer and actress Telma Hopkins (Tony Orlando & Dawn, “Gimme A Break”, “Family Matters”) contributes background vocals. Released in January of 1976 as the first single from his ninth studio album “Eargasm”, “Disco Lady” takes off immediately in clubs and on R&B radio. The single has a similar trajectory when it makes its way on to top 40 pop radio. At first, Taylor is unaware of the songs crossover success until he happens to hear record at a nightclub in West Los Angeles. When the DJ plays the record, the predominantly white crowd immediately packs the dance floor. After the song becomes a massive smash, Parliament/Funkadelic leader George Clinton becomes upset at his musicians contributing to an outside project that is such a huge hit, that he does not allow them to play on anyone else’s records outside of the P-Funk collective after that. Selling over two million copies domestically, it is the first single in history to qualify for Platinum status after the RIAA establishes the new sales award in February of 1976. “Disco Lady” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.