This blog may go off in any number of directions, but the core will always be a celebration of rock and roll vocalists. Part of that celebration will involve an alternative world view of disco’s importance to rock and roll and the importance of great singers to disco.
There was no greater rock and roll vocal–and no greater shout-back to gut-check soul music–than Jimmy Ellis’ lead on “Disco Inferno.”
Ellis passed away on March 8 in his hometown of Rock Hill, South Carolina.
With any luck, he died knowing he had already long outlived the haters.
(No idea, incidentally, if Ellis or the song’s writers were up on their Mark Twain, but the difference between “Burn that mother down,” and “Burn that mother down, ya’ll” is certainly the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.)