The PopCulteer
April 26, 2024

Your PopCulteer is hitting the road for a quick trip this weekend, and if you behave yourselves I may come back with some news and photos and stuff. In the meantime, we have a very special episode of MIRRORBALL and other radio notes to tell you about.

This week, as we prepare for a big-deal Fourth Anniversary/100th Episode of The AIR’s Disco Showcase next week, we have one more new episode of MIRRORBALL debuting Friday afternoon on The AIR. The AIR is PopCult‘s sister radio station. You can hear our shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player found elsewhere on this page.

Friday at 2 PM on The AIR, Mel Larch goes back to ground zero and explores the Disco scene of 1975 that inspired the movie, Saturday Night Fever.

It was 1974 and 75 when writer Nik Cohn investigated the discotheque scene in Brooklyn for New York Magazine. His article, “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” was published in July, 1976, made national news as a human interest story and was later turned into the movie, Saturday Night Fever. Cohn later claimed to have fabricated the entire article, but he did provide detailed notes at the time, and may have just been saying that to fend off any lawsuits from the people mentioned in the piece.

The importance of this article cannot be denied.  In 1998 The New York Times, in a profile of Cohn, wrote:

Without Cohn’s original story, it’s possible that disco would be a dimly remembered fad from the days of the Ford administration: no Bee Gees megahits, no Travolta superstardom, no nostalgic polyester parties for decades ever after. Barry Gibb reportedly once said to Cohn, “It’s all your bloody fault, isn’t it?” He may have been right.

In this week’s MIRRORBALL you’ll find sixty minutes of the records that Nik Cohn mentioned in his notes for the article. This formed a playlist that was copied in clubs worldwide as Disco became a thing and made the leap from the dimly lit dancehall dens of the day to a multi-million-dollar industry that took the underground Gay and Black club scene into the mainstream and made “Disco” a household name.

Back then, this was just the most danceable Soul and R&B available, but the iconic elements that became Disco are all present: The strings, the backing vocals, the postive lyrics and most of all, the beat. These are the quintessential songs that “have a good beat that you can dance to.”

Mel wanted to take a dip back into the origins of Disco as she prepares for her 100th episode, which will premiere next Wednesday, and kick off a four-plus day marathon of every episode of MIRRORBALL on The AIR.

Check out the playlist…


Blue Magic “Welcome To The Club”
The Major Harris Boogie Blues Band “Each Morning I Wake Up”
Faith, Hope & Charity “Mellow Man”
Ecstasy, Passion & Pain “Good Things Don’t Last Forever”
Jimmy Ruffin “Tell Me What You Want”
Sons Of Robin Stone “Got To Get You Back”
Satyr “Free And Easy”
Richard ‘popcorn’ Wylie “Georgia’s After Hours”
Ivano Fossati “Night Of The Wolf (Tema Del Lupo)”
Gloria Scott “Just As Long As We’re Together (In My Life There Will Never Be Another)”
Eddie Kendricks “Date With The Rain”
The Intrepids “After You’ve Had Your Fling (Get Down To The Real Thing)”
Margie Joseph “I Can’t Move No Mountains”
Act 1 “It’s The Same Old Story”
Creative Source “You Can’t Hide Love”
John Gary Williams “The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy”
Moment of Truth “Helplessly”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays throughout the following week Monday at 9 AM and Tuesday at 1 PM and a mini-marathon Saturday nights at 9 PM

At 3 PM, speaking of anniversaries, we bring you an encore of an episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat from 2022.  This was the show where Sydney Fileen celebrated six years of bringing you classic New Wave Music on The AIR by producing a new show that had every artist from her pilot episode, in the same exact order, only those artists were all represented by different songs.

In case you missed it the first time around, here’s the playlist…

Big Electric Cat 093

M “Neutron”
Bow Wow Wow “Mile High Club”
The Humans “Pipeline”
The Fixx “Stand Or Fall”
Adam Ant “Dog Eat Dog”
Kim Wilde “2-6-5-8-0”
The Buggles “I Love You Miss Robot”
The Human League “The Lebanon”
Romeo Void “A Girl In Trouble”
Split Enz “Shark Attack”
Yazoo “Situation”
Pete Shelley “Telephone Operator”
The Waitresses “Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful”
Elvis Costello “Secondary Modern”
Ultravox “The Ascent”
Depeche Mode “Wrong”
XTC “Meccanic Dancing”
Martha and the Muffins “This Is The Ice Age”
Missing Persons “Hello I Love You”
Trio “Hearts Are Trump”
Wall of Voodoo “Two Minutes To Lunch”
The Go Gos “We Got The Beat”
Animotion “Let Him Go”
Gary Numan “I Nearly Married A Human”
Orchestral Manuevers In The Dark “The Punishment of Luxury”
The Beat “Rough Rider”
ABC “4 Ever 2 Gether”
Heaven 17 “Who’ll Stop The Rain”
Thompson Twins “No Peace For The Wicked”

 Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard every Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon,  Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday morning at 10 AM.

That’s what’s new on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for our regular features every day.