NEPA Scene Staff

Kings of Disco, featuring former Village People members, perform at Scranton Cultural Center on June 21

Kings of Disco, featuring former Village People members, perform at Scranton Cultural Center on June 21
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From a press release:

The Kings of Disco, a musical group featuring original and longtime members of the Village People, will sing their well-known ’70s dance hits in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Theatre at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple on Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m.

Tickets, which are $25.50-$45.50, plus fees, are on sale now and can be purchased at the Fidelity Bank Box Office at the SCC (420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton), by calling 570-344-1111, or via all Ticketmaster outlets. For additional information and a full schedule of events, visit sccmt.org.

An exclusive post-show meet and greet, limited to 100 tickets, can be added for $25 more.

With hits songs like “Y.M.C.A.,” “In the Navy,” “Macho Man,” “San Francisco,” and “Go West” in late 1970s, the Village People became the most successful disco band of all time.

When the two French producers, Jaques Morali and Henri Belolo, took a stroll through Greenwich Village in 1977, Felipe Rose suddenly danced past them wearing traditional Native American clothing. This was the moment the idea to found a band that embodied the typical American macho was born. Alex Briley, the group’s only G.I./soldier, was part of the band from day one. With “Can’t Stop the Music,” the semi-biographic film adaptation of the band’s history, Ray Simpson joined the band in 1979. He took over the part as lead singer/policeman when the band co-starred next to film stars like Steve Guttenberg, Valerie Perrine, and Bruce Jenner.

It was not long before their international breakthrough, and the Village People set entirely new nightlife standards. Not only did their catchy tunes take audiences by storm, but their stage performances with stunning choreography and dazzling costumes have attained cult status today. With more than 65 million albums sold by the 1980s, fans still listen to the Village People today, and their worldwide reputation was carved in stone on the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in 2008.

After the death of the biker Glenn Hughes (1995), Eric Anzalone took over his part. In 2013, Bill Whitefield assumed the role of David Hodo as construction worker, while Jim Newman has been the cowboy ever since.

Many fans love the Village People for their importance as a revolutionary act. With loud colors, ingenious songs, and barnstorming shows, they fought for sexual liberation, individuality, tolerance, and personal rights. Singing and dancing with frenetic masculine power, the Native American, soldier, policeman, biker, construction worker, and cowboy have been winning the hearts of all those who love to party without care and those who like crossing boundaries.

In 2017, the group now known as the Kings of Disco relinquished the name “Village People” to the original lead singer from 1977-1979, Victor Willis, who subsequently toured with a new group of background singers. Proudly wearing the crown as disco royalty, the current lineup of the Kings of Disco (a moniker taken from a description in Rolling Stone magazine) consists of Alex Briley as the soldier (original), Ray Simpson as the cop (joined 1979), Eric Anzalone as the biker (joined 1995), Jim Newman as the cowboy (joined 2013), Bill Whitefield as the construction worker (joined 2013), and Raymond Rodriguez as the Native American (joined in 2008).

No matter what they’re called, fans can still dance and sing along to classic hits of the ’70s and ’80s with guys who have toured the world for over 35 years performing as the Village People.

  • Billy Hess

    No Randy Jones what’s up with that