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Gay Disco Music History – July 7, 1979: France Jolie Fills In For Donna Summer On Fire Island and Becomes A Star (Video)

Fran Joli Fire Island

 

Disco star France Jolie literally lived the old “42nd Street” movie line “of you’re going out a youngster but you are coming back a star” when on the hot summer night of July 7th. 1979 before an estimated audience of 5000 screaming gay men on Fire Island when the 16 year old singer at the last minute was asked to fill in for Donna Summer at an all-star disco music concert.

Jolie remembers it vividly. “Sister Sledge was there. EVERYBODY was there!”

When it came time for her to perform. She stepped up to the microphone and began to sing, never realizing that she was about to turn the first major corner in her career and in the process steal the show from the biggest and brightest names in the industry. Seven minutes later, when she took her bows, the crowd went wild, flipping head over heals for this unknown Canadian teenager and proclaiming her, from that day forward, a star in the truest sense of the word.

“Come to Me” became the number one disco song of the summer, and the definitive Fire Island gay dance classic.

 

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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1 thought on “Gay Disco Music History – July 7, 1979: France Jolie Fills In For Donna Summer On Fire Island and Becomes A Star (Video)”

  1. God those were the good old days. We didn’t have marriage but we had such freedom from HIV. It was so much fun. But it all crashed shortly after. It was a very dark time for many years. I feel so lucky to be alive.

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