Song of the Day: The Ritchie Family, “The Best Disco in Town” (1976)

The Ritchie Family was a Philadelphia-vocal group that came to prominence in the midst of the disco era. It featured Gwen Oliver and Cassandra Wooten, formerly of Honey and the Bees, plus Cheryl Mason Jacks. It was also a creation of Jacques Morali, who formed The Village People, and took its name from record producer Richie Rome.

“The Best Disco in Town” was the group’s first smash hit single; essentially, it is an infectious, fast-paced medley of some of the early hits of disco music, including references to such songs as “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “Love to Love You, Baby” and “Lady Marmelade” mixed with their own song “Romantic Love” from their then-forthcoming LP Arabian Nights.

The single became an international success and after hearing it, the group knew they had struck gold. Oliver recalled: “As much as we enjoyed all the little things that had come before, this was finally the moment where we had felt like we’d hit the jackpot and done something that had universal appeal.”

“If you make a request the DJ will do his best /To lay down your favorite song so you or baby hold on the past.”

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