Losing Loleatta Holloway

These things always come from out of the blue, but I can’t help but try to tie threads together between happenings in the world and my own life and path and art. So, it goes without saying that I have been contemplative since learning yesterday of the death of Queen of Disco Loleatta Holloway (and yes, I believe it is LH that deserves that title above others.)

I certainly don’t need to eulogize her here, as there are many other accounts of that you can read. It should be noted that I had to look overseas for a story other than a brief in the US News. Disappointing to say the least, but not surprising.

For me, it can be summed up in one moment I had last night with the kids at the Lab. Jason and I were listening to the Freemason’s Mix of “Love Sensation,” and I started talking about the original track and its unbelievable intro and break in the middle. I had played it at a gig earlier that night in tribute, and still couldn’t get it out of my head.

Deep in the middle of that ridiculous instrumental breakdown, I said “This is the good stuff… the REALLY good stuff. This is what it is all about.” That may seem sort of pedestrian in celebrating the rich career of a woman whose entire body of work often gets overlooked for a mere few tracks. Hardly a flash in the pan, her multiple hits kept on adding layers to the one before to the point where she transcended just being a pop artist, but someone whose talent defined the Salsoul sound.

That sound has been sharpened to a fine point over time, and makes its mark. It made a deep one on me, and that’s why I needed to take a moment to say thank you to a phenomenal artist with a powerful and much-admired voice. This was the sound that came out of the radio when I was young, and as a result of its early impression, my mind now dreams in disco and boogie (among other things…)

She is certainly in good hands now. Congrats to the audience of heaven. You just got some serious starpower in your presence.