Stayin’ Alive

Just WOW!!!! If you’ve never seen this movie, get it. Watch it five times…then shoot me an email with your thoughts. Soooo much fun!!! At the bottom is John Travolta in “Welcome Back Cotter”

Sometimes the songs of our youth ring true, even today.  With all the pain, isolation, coughing, tests, headaches and heartache, I got thinking about the times when we could just go out, be free, dance and have some fun.  Today marks the anniversary when the album Saturday Night Fever hit #1 on the billboard charts – and those silly songs still play in my head.  When “Saturday Night Fever”, starring John Travolta, was released in 1977, few could have expected the cultural phenomenon it would become. The soundtrack by British band the Bee Gees (how did he hit those high notes??) was also an enormous hit: You would not believe the looks and faces that Jackie and my girls give me when I try to hit those notes!  its songs, including “Stayin’ Alive”, “How Deep Is Your Love”  and “Night Fever”, epitomized the disco era and the album hit #1 on billboard charts, spending 24 consecutive weeks at No. 1, selling more than 45 million units. Like I do, I dug into the internet and found some great info – so click on the links, crank up the music and “dance” – Enjoy!  And thanks to Wikipedia and YouTube for the info and videos.

Video – Stayin’ Alive
Video – More Than A Woman

Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 American dance drama film directed by John Badham and produced by Robert Stigwood, staring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a young Italian-American man from Brooklyn who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local discothèque while dealing with social tensions and general restlessness and disillusionment with his life, and feeling directionless and trapped in his working-class neighborhood. The story is based upon “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night”, an article by music writer Nik Cohn, first published in a June 1976 issue of New York magazine. The film features music by Bee Gees and many other prominent artists of the disco era.

A major critical and commercial success, Saturday Night Fever had a tremendous effect on popular culture of the late 1970s. The film helped significantly to popularize disco music around the world and made Travolta, who was already well known from his role on TV’s Welcome Back, Kotter, a household name. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, becoming the fifth-youngest nominee in the category.

Disco was already a popular genre by 1977 but the film’s success broke it into the mainstream, and it would remain dominant for the next three years. According to Rolling Stone, top three disco songs are Stayin’ Alive, Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” and Donna Summer “I Feel Love”

The album revitalized the Bee Gees. They had experienced significant success in the 1960s with songs like “Massachusetts” and “New York Mining Disaster 1941” but Saturday Night Fever took them to another level, and their sound was virtually inescapable for months after the album’s release. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring disco songs by the Bee Gees, is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time.

Just look at this musical line up – (bet you know almost all of the songs).
Stayin’ Alive” performed by Bee Gees – 4:45
How Deep Is Your Love” performed by Bee Gees – 4:05
Night Fever” performed by Bee Gees – 3:33
More Than a Woman” performed by Bee Gees – 3:17
If I Can’t Have You” performed by Yvonne Elliman – 3:00
A Fifth of Beethoven” performed by Walter Murphy – 3:03
More Than a Woman” performed by Tavares – 3:17
“Manhattan Skyline” performed by David Shire – 4:44
“Calypso Breakdown” performed by Ralph MacDonald – 7:50
Night on Disco Mountain” performed by David Shire – 5:12
“Open Sesame” performed by Kool & the Gang – 4:01
Jive Talkin’” performed by Bee Gees – 3:43 (*)
You Should Be Dancing” performed by Bee Gees – 4:14
Boogie Shoes” performed by KC and the Sunshine Band – 2:17
“Salsation” performed by David Shire – 3:50
K-Jee” performed by MFSB – 4:13
Disco Inferno” performed by The Trammps – 10:51

The film’s relatively low budget ($3.5 million) meant that most of the actors were relative unknowns, many of whom were recruited from New York’s theatre scene (for more than 40% of the actors it was their film debut). The only actor in the cast who was already an established name was John Travolta, thanks to his role on the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. His performance as Tony Manero brought him critical acclaim and helped launch him into international stardom. (he would repeat the success the following year with another musical smash, Grease).

Travolta researched the part by visiting the real 2001 Odyssey discotheque , rehearsing his choreography with Lester Wilson and Deney Terrio for three hours every day, losing 20 pounds in the process.

Karen Lynn Gorney was nine years older than Travolta when she was cast as his love interest Stephanie. (Jessica LangeKathleen QuinlanCarrie Fisher, and Amy Irving were all considered for the part before Gorney was cast – good decision!).

The film was shot entirely on-location in Brooklyn, New York at the 2001 Odyssey Disco – a real club located at 802 64th Street, which has since been demolished. The interior was modified for the film, including the addition of a $15,000 lighted floor, which was inspired by a Birmingham, Alabama establishment. Since the Bee Gees were not involved in the production until after principal photography wrapped, the “Night Fever”, “You Should Be Dancin'”, and “More Than a Woman” sequences were shot with Stevie Wonder tracks that were later overdubbed in the sound mix. During filming, the production was harassed by local gangs near of the location, and was even firebombed.

The film grossed $25.9 million in its first 24 days of release and grossed an average of $600,000 a day throughout January to March going on to gross $94.2 million in the United States and Canada and $237.1 million worldwide This would be worth $1,090,800,000 today!!

In 2010, Saturday Night Fever was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

“…. You should be dancin’, yea … dancin’ – dance the night away….”  



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!