Village People – Wikipedia

American disco group

Village People is an american disco group known for its on-stage costumes and implicative lyrics in their music. The group was primitively formed by french producers Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo and lead singer Victor Willis [ 1 ] following the handout of the debut album Village People, which targeted disco ‘s large cheery audience. The group ‘s name refers to Manhattan ‘s Greenwich Village, with its reputation as a gay neighborhood. [ 2 ] The characters were a symbolic group of American masculinity [ 3 ] and butch gay-fantasy persona. [ 4 ] As of 2020, Victor Willis is the only original member of the group. [ 5 ] The group quickly became popular and moved into the mainstream, scoring several disco and dance hits internationally, including the hit singles “ Macho Man “, “ In the Navy “, “ Go West “ and their biggest hit, “ Y.M.C.A. “. In March 2020, the US Library of Congress described the last as “ an american phenomenon ” [ 6 ] and added the song to the National Recording Registry, which preserves audio recordings considered to be “ culturally, historically or aesthetically significant ”. [ 7 ]

history [edit ]

Jacques Morali, a french musical composer and producer, and his business partner Henri Belolo, known jointly as Ca n’t Stop Productions, were enjoying a successful string of hits in France and Europe. In 1977, they moved to New York City to get into the american commercialize. Morali had written a few dance tunes when he was given a show tape recorded by singer/actor Victor Willis. After hiring Willis to sing background vocals on the four tracks, Morali approached him and said, “ I had a ambition that you sang head on my album and it went very, very bad ”. Willis agreed to sing on the eponymous introduction album Village People. [ 8 ] Songwriters Phil Hurtt and Peter Whitehead wrote the lyrics for the first album ( Willis would subsequently take over writing duties in 1978 for the group ‘s biggest hits ). The greenwich village People studio band was called Gypsy Lane, conducted by Horace Ott, who besides provided much of the musical arrangements for Morali, who did not play any instruments. [ 9 ] The album became an international hit, and demand for live appearances soon followed. Morali hurriedly built a group of dancers around Willis to perform in clubs and videos. Morali met the beginning recruit, Felipe Rose ( who claims autochthonal american lineage and dressed as a native American ), in a New York gay prevention called the Anvil. Willis hand-pick Alex Briley ( who initially appeared in characterless costumes before switching to G.I. uniforms ). The others were Mark Mussler ( construction worker ), Dave Forrest ( cowboy ), Lee Mouton ( leatherman/biker ), and Peter Whitehead ( one of the group ‘s early songwriters ), who appeared on American Bandstand and in the television for the group ‘s first base shoot, “ San Francisco ( You Got Me ) ”. With read sales soaring, Morali and Willis saw the need to create a permanent wave group. [ 10 ] They took out an ad in a field trade wallpaper which read : Macho Types Wanted : Must Dance And Have A Moustache. [ 8 ] Glenn Hughes ( leatherman ), David Hodo ( structure worker ) and Randy Jones ( cowboy ) were among the hundreds who answered the ad. [ 8 ] With the “ official ” lineup in space, the group did a hasty photo-shoot for the screen of the already-recorded Macho Man album. The 1978 hit one “ Macho Man “ catapulted the group into the mainstream, and their follow-up single “ Y.M.C.A. “ became one of the most popular hits of the 1970s. In 1979, the United States Navy considered using their single “ In the Navy ” in a television receiver and radio receiver recruit campaign. Belolo offered them license if the Navy would help film a music video recording for it. The Navy provided them entree to the San Diego Navy base, where the USS Reasoner ( FF-1063 ), respective aircraft, and the gang of the ship would be used. [ 11 ] This song was besides performed on the television series ‘ The Love Boat and Married… with Children, and in the 1995 Navy drollery film Down Periscope. The group ‘s fame peaked in 1979 with a three-month north american tour, several appearances on The Merv Griffin Show and American Bandstand, and performing with Bob Hope to entertain U.S. troops. They were besides featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, Vol. 289, April 19, 1979. Willis left the group in August 1979, during production of the approaching musical movie tentatively titled Discoland: Where the Music Never Ends. He was replaced by Ray Simpson, the brother of Valerie Simpson ( of Ashford & Simpson ) who had previously sung background vocals with the group on their 1979 tour. The end of 1979 saw the dismissal of Live and Sleazy, a double album featuring Victor Willis on lead vocals on the “ Live ” magnetic disk and Simpson ‘s introduction with the group on the “ Sleazy ” magnetic disk .
In June 1980, the feature film now retitled Can’t Stop the Music was released. The film was directed by Nancy Walker, written by Allan Carr and Bronte Woodard, music and lyrics by Jacques Morali ( except Willis who penned the lyrics to “ Milkshake ” and “ Magic Night ” ) and starring Steve Guttenberg, Valerie Perrine, Jean-Claude Billmaer, and Bruce Jenner. By the time it was released disco ‘s popularity had waned. At the March 1981 Golden Raspberry Awards, the movie was named Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay, and was nominated in about all the other categories. Although the championship birdcall became a golf club play chart achiever and chasten radio hit, it was nominated for Worst Original Song “ Razzie ” and did not live up to sales expectations, never obtaining gold condition as a single or album. [ 12 ] The soundtrack besides featured the talents of David London, who under his real name Dennis “ Fergie ” Frederiksen became the future lead singer of Toto and one of the chief contributors to Village People ‘s next album. The group embarked on a tour in forwarding of the film in Australia and Japan. The japanese appearance was filmed at Budokan and released on DVD as Village People Live In Japan. The group appeared in the November 22, 1980, episode of Love Boat ( season four, episode seven ). At the end of 1980, Jeff Olson joined the group as the cowboy. In 1981, with new curl music becoming more popular than disco, Morali and Belolo ditched the familiar characters and re-branded Village People with a new attend inspired by the New Romantic movement, and released the album Renaissance. It lone attracted minor, by and large negative attention, but it did produce the group ‘s first base hit single in Italy with “ 5 O’clock in the Morning. ” Willis rejoined the group concisely in late 1981 for the write and recording the album Fox on the Box, which was released in 1982 in Europe and Japan, and in 1983 in the United States under the title In the Street. David Hodo and Ray Simpson both left the group in 1982 with Mark Lee and Miles Jaye replacing them respectively. Jaye contributed lead vocals to a single in 1983 called “ America ”, which would be added as extra track to the 1999 remaster of In the Street. In 1984, the group sang backdrop vocals on a disco version of “ Where The Boys Are “ by Lorna Luft. [ 13 ] Their next album, the 1985 dance/ Hi-NRG passing Sex Over the Phone, was not a huge commercial success, but it fared better in sales and cabaret play than Renaissance. [ citation needed ] The title racetrack, when released as a single, was banned by the BBC because of its subject matter : credit-card call sex. [ 14 ] Though banned, it did peak at 59 on the UK singles chart. The album featured yet another newly lead singer, Ray Stephens ( of The Great Space Coaster fame ). It was the group ‘s last album of newly material until A Village People Christmas in 2018. Py Douglas came in to sub for Stephens for some of the group ‘s live appearances in 1985 and can be seen in both promotional videos made for the group. In 1985 the group took a hiatus, but returned in 1987 with the lineup of Randy Jones, David Hodo, Felipe Rose, Glenn Hughes, Alex Briley, and Ray Simpson and formed Sixuvus Ltd a group that managed the affairs of the group and had the license to use the name Village People and its characters in use until 2017. [ 15 ]
village People receive their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008. Left to right – battlefront row : David Hodo, Felipe Rose, Jeff Olson / second course : Ray Simpson, Alex Briley, Eric Anzalone The 1990s brought a revival for the Village People. On September 22, 1991 they performed in front of 41,815 in Sydney, Australia, as part of the pre-game entertainment for the New South Wales Rugby League Grand Final held at the Sydney Football Stadium. They besides performed a medley of self-parody songs at the MTV Movie Awards – “ In the Movies ” ( “ In the Navy ” ), “ Psycho Bitch ” ( “ Macho Man ” ), and “ My MTV ” ( “ Y.M.C.A. ” ). The group besides made a node appearance on the strike display Married… with Children in the episode “ Take My Wife, Please “.

Founder Jacques Morali died of complications related to AIDS in Paris on November 15, 1991. Three years belated, the Village People recorded with the german national football team on its official World Cup ’94 sung Far Away in America. In 1995, Eric Anzalone replaced Glenn Hughes as the Leatherman/Biker, and made his music video debut with Kelsey Grammer, Rob Schneider, and early cast members during the end-credits of the film Down Periscope, performing “ In The Navy ” with Ray Simpson on lead vocals. At the begin of the twenty-first hundred Village People released two singles, “ Gunbalanya ” ( 2000 ) and “ Loveship 2001 ” ( 2001 ) under the mention “ amazing Veepers ”. It was reported in 2001 that ‘Gunbalanya ‘, which was recorded with autochthonal australian people, took its deed from a news mean “ in the tribe ” though it is in fact the name of an Aboriginal settlement. Leatherman/Biker Glenn Hughes died of lung cancer in New York City on March 4, 2001. [ 16 ] Village People performed as the open act for Cher on her Farewell Tour until it ended in April 2005. Former cowboy Randy Jones married Will Grega, his boyfriend of 20 years. [ 17 ] late in the 2000s greenwich village People continued to make appearances worldwide. The original spark advance singer and “ hook ”, Victor Willis, was arrested over drug and weapon related charges. [ 18 ] On September 12, 2008, Village People received a asterisk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Willis was not in attendance at the ceremony. Willis gave his beginning live concert in 28 years in Las Vegas on August 3, 2007, and married Karen, a lawyer and administrator, late that year. In May 2012 Willis won a landmark rule in the beginning case hear regarding the Copyright Act of 1976, which allows recording artists and writers to reclaim their master recordings and publishing rights initially granted to record companies and publishers after 35 years. He recaptured copyrights including “ Y.M.C.A. “, “ Go West ”, “ magic Night ”, “ Milkshake ”, and “ In the Navy ”. [ 19 ] Willis besides began to recapture his 33 % share of songs he co-wrote. [ 20 ] In August 2013, Village People released a new song “ Let ‘s Go back to the Dance Floor ”, written by Harry W. Casey of K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Jim Newman joined the group as the Cowboy, [ 21 ] and in October 2013 Bill Whitefield joined as the Construction Worker, a function he had filled in for the group over the years for David Hodo who retired. [ 22 ] Continuing his legal quest, Willis reclaimed possession of “ Y.M.C.A. ” and early songs written with Jacques Morali, with the removal of Henri Belolo, previously credited as a third gear writer. [ 23 ] Victor Willis released Solo Man, an album he recorded in 1979 featuring the village People dance band. Willis appeared as himself on the bet on indicate “ To Tell The truth ” and performed “ Y.M.C.A. ” the take after year. greenwich village People continued to make television appearances, such as performing “ Y.M.C.A. ” during halftime of the Chicago Bulls game as part of ’70s Night. They besides made respective commercials including LetGo commercial debuts during the Rio Olympics, [ 24 ] and a series of commercials in the UK for YOPA on-line estate of the realm agents. [ 25 ] In 2017, after years of legal battles over royalties and songwriting credits, Willis and Ca n’t Stop Productions settled their differences resulting in Willis obtaining the license to use the appoint and characters of Village People and returning as the original star singer ( with a new group of background singers ). Ca n’t Stop besides terminated the license of Sixuvus ( the group which had been performing as Village People for numerous years with respective members ). [ 26 ] [ 27 ] The trademark “ Village People ” then became the submit of litigation. [ 28 ] [ 29 ] In 2018, the U.S. District Court denied Sixuvus ‘ preliminary injunction and ruled that alone one group was entitled to use the village People brand, the group featuring original lead singer Victor Willis. [ 30 ] [ 31 ] Felipe Rose ( original Native American ) launched his solo career and released the single “ Going bet on To My Roots “ ( a cover of the 1977 Odyssey dance hit ) which received Best Dance Record Award at the 2018 native american Music Awards. Changes to the new Village People lineup took invest when Leatherman Josh Cartier was replaced by J.J. Lippold before the rebranded group ‘s foremost appearance at the Streamys Awards. G.I./Sailor Sonny Earl was replaced by Atlanta native James Lee who filled in for him on more shows than he performed. In November 2018. greenwich village People release their first studio apartment album in 33 years, A Village People Christmas. [ 32 ] On August 3, 2019, Village People co-creator Henri Belolo died aged 82. [ 33 ] On November 4, 2019 the group ‘s Christmas album was re-released as Magical Christmas and included two extra tracks. On December 21, 2019 the group released its first Christmas individual, “ Happiest meter of the year. ” On December 31 the greenwich village People performed live in Times Square on Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey and broke a populace record for attendees doing the Y.M.C.A. dance ( a record once held by the former touring group ). On April 21, 2020 the village People released a newly single, “ If You Believe, ” which hit # 25 on Billboard ‘s Adult Contemporary chart. This was the first Top 20 murder for the group in 40 years. On June 9, Victor Willis demanded that President Donald Trump not use village People music at his rallies in especial “ Macho world ” and “ Y.M.C.A. ” [ 34 ] while on September 11 Willis was okay with him using “ Y.M.C.A ” at his political campaign rallies. [ 35 ] On September 22 the village People were confirmed to be featured in the song “ My Agenda ” from the dorian Electra album My Agenda ( 2020 ). [ 36 ] On October 24 Saturday Night Live performed a spoof of the group ‘s reaction to Donald Trump ‘s habit of their music at his rallies. [ 37 ] On October 30, Willis clarified his and the group ‘s position against Trump ‘s practice of his music at his rallies. [ 38 ] On November 7, supporters of President-elect Joe Biden celebrated his victory by dancing in the streets and singing “ Y.M.C.A. ” across the United States. [ 39 ]

Live concert [edit ]

The incarnation of the group now touring has been performing the keep up songs ( sometimes shorter versions depending on the distance of the show ). Depending upon the read, some songs are not performed. [ 40 ]

  • Fire Island
  • All Night Thing (Invisible Man’s Band cover)
  • Macho Man
  • Key West
  • San Francisco
  • In Hollywood
  • Go West
  • Sexy Man (A Ritchie Family cover, written by Victor Willis and performed by leatherman J.J. Lippold)
  • Can’t Stop The Music (with Chad Freeman and Angel Morales singing lead vocals)
  • In The Navy
  • I Am What I Am
  • Y.M.C.A.

In popular culture [edit ]

due to their easily recognizable characters, the group have frequently been imitated or parodied in movies, television series, television games and music. numerous covers and homages of their songs have been recorded. Examples of homages and spoof include an episode of the 1990s CGI appearance ReBoot, a scenery in the 1993 movie Wayne’s World 2, a note in the 1991 drollery City Slickers, a 1993 episode of Married… with Children, the 1997 video for U2 ‘s single “ Discotheque ”, [ 41 ] a 2000 episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun, and the 2013 animated film Despicable Me 2. The leather-clad biker character with a horseshoe mustache has besides become a widespread pop culture icon associated with gay culture, and “ Y.M.C.A. ” has become something of an anthem of the LGBT community. According to Jack Fritscher, Jacques Morali drew his inhalation for the character from the dress code of the brave BDSM leather bar and sex club The Mineshaft. [ 42 ] Leather man Hughes frequented the club. [ 43 ] In AllMusic ‘s submission on the group, Ron Wynn summarized them as “ part cagey concept, part exaggerated camp act ” who were “ cosmopolitan sensations during disco ‘s flower and keep revive like the phoenix. ” [ 44 ] Village Voice critic Robert Christgau originally found the group to be a humorous irritation, [ 45 ] but warmed to their music after listening to the 1978 album Cruisin’ ; he wrote in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies ( 1981 ) : “ I give up—I ‘ve never been capable of resisting music this silly. At least this prison term they ‘re not singing the praises of ‘ butch, ‘ a term whose backlash revival is no laughing matter, and the cheery stereotyping —right polish to ‘The Women, ‘ every one a camp heroine of screen or disk —is so cartoonish that I ca n’t imagine anyone taking it badly. As for all the straights who think ‘Y.M.C.A. ‘ is about playing basketball, well, that ‘s pretty amusing besides. ” [ 46 ]

discography [edit ]

studio apartment albums [edit ]

Charting compilations [edit ]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
AUS
[48][65]
Non Stop
  • Released: November 1981
  • Label: RCA (SP 238)
42
Greatest Hits Volume One and Two
  • Released: 1983
  • Label: J&B (JB 137)
15
The Greatest Hits of Boney M and The Village People
(with Boney M)
  • Released: October 1990
  • Label: Concept (CC 0147)
68
The Best of Village People
  • Released: March 22, 1994
  • Label: Arista
31

Singles [edit ]

batting order [edit ]

master seven members [edit ]

  • Victor Willis (Cop/Admiral/Athlete/Gigolo/nondescript)
  • Felipe Rose (Native American)
  • Alex Briley (GI/nondescript)
  • Lee Mouton (Biker)
  • Mark Mussler (Construction worker)
  • David Forrest (Cowboy)
  • Peter Whitehead (nondescript)

1977 to 1979 [edit ]

1979 to 1980

[edit ]

1981 to 1982 [edit ]

1982 to 1984 [edit ]

1984 to 1985 [edit ]

1987 to 1990 [edit ]

1990 to 1995 [edit ]

1995 to 2013 [edit ]

2013 to 2017 [edit ]

2017 to 2018 [edit ]

  • Victor Willis (Cop/Admiral)
  • Angel Morales (Native American)
  • Sonny Earl (GI)
  • J.J. Lippold (Leather man)
  • James Kwong (Construction worker)
  • Chad Freeman (Cowboy)

2018 to 2020 [edit ]

  • Victor Willis (Cop/Admiral)
  • Angel Morales (Native American)
  • James Lee (GI)
  • J.J. Lippold (Leather man)
  • James Kwong (Construction worker)
  • Chad Freeman (Cowboy)

2021 to present [edit ]

  • Victor Willis (Cop/Admiral)
  • James Lee (GI)
  • J.J. Lippold (Leather man)
  • James Kwong (Construction worker)
  • Nicholas Manelick (Cowboy)

impermanent members [edit ]

  • Py Douglas briefly replaced Ray Stephens in some television appearances during the group’s 1985 European tour and appears in the promotional videos for “Sex Over The Phone” and “New York City.”
  • Alec Timerman stood in for Alex Briley on occasion between 2001 and 2003.
  • Richard Montoya also replaced David Hodo on some 2008 dates.
  • Angel Morales filled in for Felipe Rose in 2008–2010, later replacing Felipe Rose.
  • Ray Rodriguez stand-in for Felipe Rose in 2011–2013.
  • Stephen Hewitt stood in for Felipe Rose for 12 dates of the North American leg of the 2013 tour.
  • A. J. Perrelli stood in for Jeff Olson in 2013. Perrelli died on October 16, 2013 from a head injury.[76]
  • Pacho Andrews, stand-in for Felipe Rose in 2013.
  • James Lee, stand-in for Sonny Earl in 2017–2018, eventually replacing Sonny Earl.

timeline [edit ]

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]

Media related to Village People at Wikimedia Commons

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