In 1974, I was 11 to 12. Now, this is a difficult time for any kid. In the early 70′s.music was all over the place. There was rock, there was glam, there was punk, there was some techno, and most of all, there was disco. Now, for a pre-teen trying to figure things out, that made things complicated. Each music scene had its own dress code, slang, and cliques. People weren’t terribly concerned with being flexible. This created problems for me. At the time, all the hot chicks I knew were
into disco. All my guy friends were into rock. So, if I did go to an event ( all proms and school dances featured disco ), I was sort of left out in the lurch as far as actually enjoying the music. Now, I was the kind of guy that would dance to anything, since that’s how you actually got to touch a girl without a whole lot of effort. But, it always became kind of boring since I didn’t like the music. A few disco songs did cross over and I actually admit that I liked them. One song that always got me going was “Jungle Boogie” by Kool and the Gang. It was a totally nonsensical fun song with a heck of a beat and very easy to listen to vocals. Kool and the Gang were pretty much THE band that brought horns to disco. I truly think every song KC and the Sunshine Band did was a knock-off of Jungle Boogie. Thanks to Kool and the Gang, and a couple of others, I survived the disco scene with my senses intact and gained the confidence it took to move on to more of what I liked ( read, stuff the chicks didn’t like at the time like David Bowie, Gary Numan, and ACDC ).
Usually when I comment on someone here, I like to put pictures of them
somewhere so people can identify with the person. Finding individual pics of Claydes Charles Smith proved sort of futile. So, I thought I’d post what Claydes’ impact on people was. This clip is from a 1974 broadcast of Soul Train. Now, it could have been from Dance Fever or ANY of the many dance shows at the time. Everyone played Jungle Boogie. Everyone danced when it played.
I think that’s the image Claydes would have preferred when people think of him. Claydes died yesterday of natural causes.