Wax Poetics Unveil Mythical Walter Gibbons Remix
Million Dollar Disco don and compiler of our exhaustive new disco documentary ‘The Men In The Glass Booth’, Al Kent delves into the history of a previously unreleased 1970s Walter Gibbons remix, finally seeing the light in 2017.
“In a 1979 issue of Billboard magazine, Montreal was described as “the second most important disco market on the continent outside New York,” while one city resident at the time was quoted as saying “Every night in Montreal is like New Year’s Eve in New York.”
And thank God for Canada. Without that love of disco one of the greatest records of the era may never have seen the light of day.
In his “Disco Mix” column, from another 1979 issue of Billboard, Barry Lederer told us to watch out for two albums: Dancing With Melba and Dancing With Gladys. The former, a set of Melba Moore tracks remixed by Firehouse and Flamingo DJ Richie Rivera was released soon after. The latter—what is widely believed to have been a companion album featuring remixes of Gladys Knight tracks by another DJ, Walter Gibbons—never saw the light of day.
Walter Gibbons was a maverick music lover from Queens in New York who’d built a reputation not only as a formidable DJ but as a progressive, bold remixer, having been responsible for a number of pioneering remixes in the preceding years. He was held in high esteem by his peers, who would congregate to hear him play after hours at Galaxy 21 where he was the resident DJ for a period in the mid-1970s. And no one was a bigger fan of Gladys Knight than Walter.”