Season 9 kicks off with a worldwide classic! Get your disco boots with the goldfish in 'em and let's get to dancing with the Village People classic, YMCA. In this episode we'll learn the origin of the group, the song, and the dance, and we chat with founding member Felipe Rose, aka "The American Indian Chief."
- A touching song from a fart,
- Are you a lazy emmer?
- Stump the Genius from our guest!
Welcome to Season 9!
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Co-producers: Andrea Konarzewski, Ari Marucci, Brad Callahan, Michael Conley, Peter Mark Campbell, David Steinberg, Randy Hodge, Chaz Bacus, Juan Lopez, Jason Arrowood, Howard Passey, Matt Demec and Kevin Foley
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Turn up the radio and sing along. It's time for another
great song. This is the great song podcast.
Season's greetings and welcome once again to the great song podcast. I'm Rob Alley
I am JP Moser,
and we're here to celebrate the greatest songs in modern music history. We're going to tell you what makes them great, why we think they're awesome and why you should to JP.
How are you doing today, man? I'm doing fantastic. It's our season nine opener. We have missed you guys, Rob and I are both here in our war bonnet and our loincloths. And we're ready to take on this epic jam, the ultimate crowd participation song and the best song ever written about the young men's Christian association.
Rob, tell them what epic jam we are covering today. This
is why YMCA by the village people. There we go.
Bring the horns in, sucka!
the horns when we wanna play.
I was waiting on a single edit
when you saw it on your dope, when you're short on your door, I don't think I've ever noticed that
Oh man. Yes. If you're not jiving, come on, shoulders moving. I
think that was the most I've ever danced while we were listening to it.
We danced from like start to, we
did, I literally almost left my seat. Almost got out of my chair and I was like, no, that's too much. I can't, I can't. That is YMCA by the village people, the opening song of season nine of the great song podcast.
First things first, we got to say, we've been doing this. Four plus years now going on four and a half by the time this comes out. And, I can't believe that you guys have stuck with us through this. I can't believe we've survived. We've okay. We've had everything against us. There's no way we should have lasted this long.
First of all, we're just, second of all, we live three hours apart and we insist on recording in person, which is insane. And then, I mean, in the, in the golden age of online
communication, I had a hundred thousand miles on it when he started it now has 444,000 miles.
We survived a pandemic. You know what I mean?
Like this is insane. There's no way we should be here. So all that decisive essential oil come on, there was a, there was an insurrection for crying out loud. We survived. We survived it all to be here with you today to talk about the village people.
That's right. Oh, I got to stick around to the end one of your favorite guests that you will ever hear us hanging out with.
We saved this for, for an opener because you guys are gonna love Felipe.
Okay. So Felipe Rose the native American from the village. I, I think his, I think it's his interview that pushed us over the edge to go. That's an opener. Right? He is so funny. And just so everything you dream that he could be,
you've seen, you want him to be the guy that we talked to him and
So stick around. We're going to talk to Felipe Rose and talk about his solo music, his time of the village people career, all this he's just, just wait, just wait. Okay. Stick around. But all that to say, thank you guys for listening to, it's been so much fun making this stuff. We, you know, we started for us and then you all, you guys got involved and now it's even more fun because we get to make it for you guys too.
So, alright. Y YMCA by the village, people from the 1978 album cruising that's with, that's not cruising, that's cruising with an apostrophe, no G written by Jacques Morali and village people, singer Victor Willis, and sort of another person we'll get to in a minute. Charts and awards. It went to number two, number two on the billboard hot 100 and us dance clubs, songs, chart, where it got held back from number one by Le freak by chic.
And do you think I'm sexy by rod Stewart? Sometimes you just run into a freight train, you know, I'd be interested to know for the. Dance heads among us for the disco, disco, ologists, you know, among us where now long-term, this song stands with those, right? If you would say, yeah, LA
power, if they rerelease the list, would this one go ahead of them if they released it today?
So I think it, I think it passes them now. I do.
Do you think I'm sexy? I don't know if it passes the freak, just because of the impact of chic. Nile Roger's all that
of seriously the crowd participation. I mean, that's, if you go to a wedding, if you go to a sporting event of those three, which do you think you'll have the most chance to hear and I'm going YMCA
every term, it is so true.
By the way I played, this is totally out of left field, but, I played a wedding a month or two ago with our friend Janson Furrow season. What to hear is co-hosted with us. That's right. And of course we played September at the wedding reception, but my point was, you know, we had dance floor and we're playing like dance music.
We're playing Justin Timberlake and we're playing, you know, just cool we're playing earth, wind and fire. We're playing, you know, just all the fun dance. But what got the people out to the dance floor more than anything was when we played, sorry, not sorry by Demi Lovato, baby. I'm telling you the jilted women lined up in mass to the dance floor.
They could not wait to get out there and, and, and really, you know, I shake it in defiance of the relationships that has ended. It was insane. I could not believe it. I would not have guessed anyway. All right. Back to YMCA number two, hot 100 us dance club. Number three on the U S cash box chart.
Number 32 on the U S hot RNB chart. Number one in the UK, Canada, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, and west Germany. It was the number eight billboard song for all of 1979. Massive massive song. It is number 3 38 on the billboard all times 600.
What does it say play
between number 3 37. Lean back by terror squad. Lean back. Is that okay? I don't know what that is. I'm woefully undereducated on posts like 1998 hip hop and R and B. I just I'm out of it. And number 3 39, this makes me sad with arms wide open by creating
which okay. Which of the village people would mark Tremonti play.
Tremonti I feel like Tremonti would probably be the cop
cop, probably Scott, Scott.
I'm going construction workers.
I think that's the right place. I think
so. Yeah. I think so. I don't know who the drummer bass player would be, but I think the bass player would probably just be himself, military, man.
He kind of just was like,
he just kind of along own
village. Let's see. It is, he has certified platinum in the U S UK and Canada. It has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, and it is one of fewer than 40 singles to have sold over 10 million physical copies. I mean, there's not 40 songs in the world have done what YMCA has done in terms of physical copy copies.
It was the seventh best-selling single of 1979 in Japan, but not the village people version. That would be the Japanese language version by Hideki sideshow. I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly. Following site Joe's death in 2018, his version shot. To number 15 on the billboard, Japan hot 100 sing along.
you know it. That's right.
He started running the horns a little faster.
faithful cover just in Japanese. Let's get to the chorus.
love it. I love it. I feel like if you heard that in a video game or something, you know, it'd be, it'd be really awesome. Let's see here. Okay. A few listening notes and just random notes first. Let's talk about . Do you have notes on Vanessa
and it's emotional or exclamatory phrase the young man that's right.
Similar to. Oh, joy rapture. I got a brain and the wizard of Oz,
correct? I think, another, let's see, there are a few examples. Edgar Allen Poe, it says used it in the telltale heart. I think another musical example would be happy, happy joy by Ren and Stimpy. Another it's like a repetitive exclamation as X
me I'll remember what Ren and Stimpy is.
That's where I learned it's log.
Yeah, of course. Yes. Ren and Stimpy one of the defining cartoons of, of generation X. I think, you know what I mean? So, and we're in that we're both in that like half generation X slash millennial. We're too old to be millennials to young detectives generation X. So, but definitely a big, I had multiple Ren and Stimpy, CDs, like music CD, regular, you know, Ren and Stimpy CD.
And then they had a Christmas album, in which, Stimpy found his long lost son, who was a fart? So it's touching stuff. There's actually a touching song from the fart to Stimpy. But anyway, happy, happy joy, joy from Ren and Stimpy, would be another X funny SIS that's E C P H O N E S. I S if you're taking notes at home, that would be the young man a little bit about the song.
It was inducted into the 20, 20 Grammy hall of fame. I should say it was inducted into the Grammy hall of fame in 2020. It was selected by the library of Congress for preservation in the national recording registry for being culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. It was described in that, induction as quote, an American phenomenon, which I would totally agree.
It is one of the disco anthems. It is in every conversation about disco that is of any serious. You don't have a disco conversation without lime CA it is number six. On VH1, greatest dance songs of the 20th century. And you know, I had to look, let's wrap that up the list. I've got the top 12 here, right?
I've got the top 12 number 12, get down the night. KC and the sunshine band. These are all bangers now. Number 11, respect my Aretha. Franklin. Do you think of that as a disco? Yeah, I've never, I've never considered it. I just think of it as soul, soul Motown, but I've never. It doesn't. I just don't think of it as it's the right tempo, for sure.
For sure. Let's see. Number 10, staying alive, Bee Gees number
nine. I would have put that one. I would have been one through three staying alive. Yeah, that's the, what's the
dance move and you know what? I just remembered this list is dance, not disco, so. Okay. So yeah, Staying alive. Number 10, number nine, CNC music factory going to make you sweat jumped to the rhythm.
Jumped, jumped to the rhythm, Joe. Let's see. Number eight. Wow. This is, this is shots fired here. Number eight is the twist by chubby checker, which is number one on the billboard. All-time 600, so, wow. Let's see. Village people YMCA, number seven, Donna summer last dance number seven, number, excuse me.
Number six. What are they? If I can get someone's of last dance.
Okay. Okay. Okay. I can get some of the top ones. Okay. All right. I want to answer to somebody in there. No, it is
not 1, 2, 3 of the remaining five are disco. Okay. And two are not there's one. I'm not sure. Quad City DJ's the train. No, no, no. That's a good guess though.
You know what?
Just keep listing them. Okay. All right. Number five is the hustle. The hustle number four is Vogue by Madonna. Okay. Number three, surprising. We are family sister sledge this list. That's what I mean. Super dancing's high. Yeah. Number two. I don't know. Unless maybe, you know it Thelma Houston.
Don't leave me. That would be Whitney's mom. I don't, I don't, I don't think I know it either. Don't leave me this way. We'll have to listen to it. We'll get schooled. Listen, Brad Callahan is kind enough to pick us up when we fall on stuff like this. Sometimes he'll hit us up. One of our, one of our early on great pates, producers.
I'm starting to call them producers. Right? I like that. I think, I think I'm going to stick with that. But anyway, he's kind enough when we're like a little, a little too young to know some of this stuff. He'll go here you go guys. And you'll hit us up. So, let's see. Gloria Gaynor, number one, it's hard to
argue with that one.
Or where are you on that one? Creed.
Oh man, the day, you know, there's an ugly dance remix of like high or,
My own prison. Somebody doing a human video to it, the charge right now.
Oh my gosh. Let's see, are a little more YMCA it was originally credited as also being co-written by executive producer on rebuilt polo. But Victor Willis won a court Cate court case in 2015 in which he pleaded to have below Lowe's name, removed from the writing credits of YMCA and other village people, songs, the defense, the defense defense defense.
I heard it felt like defense is in sports. Defense is everywhere.
That's yeah, that sounds right. That's true. Let's see. Okay. The defense alleged that Biloela had written French lyrics, which Willis then adapted, but that claim was rejected by the court and his name was ordered to be removed. So now the, the writing credit goes solely to Willis and the producer, the story behind the song is pretty simple as it goes, Victor Willis and producers, jock Murali were in the studio and Murali asked Willis, what exactly is the Y YMCA And the conversation sparked the idea to write the song. And the rest is history. He was, you know, he was from France and he had moved here to New York and, and was like, what is. Even though the ones he has an international organization, it's not just,
I've got some YMCA stuff. So let's talk about some YMCA stuff.
The goal of the YMCAs is, was to put Christian principles into practice by developing healthy mind, body and spirit. Right. That was their goal. So the YMCA was founded by, I get to use this word, philanthropists, philanthropists, George Williams. Who's the great, great grandfather of British prime minister, Boris Johnson.
Really? He was knighted by queen Victoria in 1890. That guy started the YMCA. Wow. George Williams, a little bit, you know what? Let's play the jingle of stump, the genius. And I've done some why YMCA trivia we're having at your early stuff. The genius, here we go. Genius. The genius, genius, genius. This is going to be easy aversion because I mean, who really knows all that much about the YMCA
to me, you know, I'm very about fitness.
I'm all the
time at the Y true or false. So you'll have a 50, 50% chance. Here we go. Stop the genius YMCA edition. All right. Okay. Basketball was invented by a YMCA employee, true or false.
What's what's his name? Spalding was his name? James Naismith. Oh, James Naismith. That's right. Falling is a basketball though.
That's true. Yes. I was thought. Okay. Nevermind. Let's see. I'll say true, true.
bell. Hang on. No ring. My ring mother. I feel
like Rob's gonna get a lot of these. So I went and got the bail it's open or we got to break out the bail one for one. Okay. Volleyball was invented by a Y YMCA employee.
I'll say false. That is also true. Why? MCA teacher? William G. Morgan invented volleyball four years after basketball. Wow. The Y YMCA started father's day. True or
false. It seems like something that would have been done in response to like, oh, well there's a mother's day. And there, and YMCAs is trying to be like, well, if we're going to push these principles, then yes, I'm going to say it's true.
True Sonora. Luis smart Dodd pitched the idea on June 19th, 1910. And they started father's day. So why YMCA is credited with the starting of father's day? I had this as four, but I'm gonna save it for five. I'm going jump. Racquetball was invented by a
YMCA. It sounds like a definite yes,
Joseph Sobek invented it at the Y YMCA originally called pedal rackets.
That'll to ride very British sounding
name. All right, here we go. Last one, number five. Oh, JP won first place in his fifth grade. Why YMCA basketball
league? I a hundred percent. Yes, that is fall.
Well, I finished fifth out of six teams. We were terrible. We were awful, but we did beat the spurs in the last game of the battle of the basement.
We finished fifth of six. Wow. So there we go. So 3, 4, 5 men on
YMCAs trivia. I've been to a YMCA. Okay. First I went to a YMCA like day camp in summer, before sixth grade in Nashville. And, it was all. My, one of my teachers was an extra in earnest, scared, stupid. I'm an honest thought. That was cool. Made some good friends, had a good, had a good summer killed at baseball.
Like that was when I was at my peak baseball wise. And, and we would play like wiffle ball on the back. And I just murdered just murdered these little
children. It was awesome that played all the sports at the YMCA. I grew up, I did basketball base. It was T-ball. Then it went to coaches pitch and all that.
I did a lot of stuff at the Y YMCA there in Athens, you can walk in and you can just smell the chlorine as soon as you walk in, whether you're in the pool area or not, the whole place just smells of chlorine. I also had a great baseball year, my fifth to sixth grade year, because that was the year. Transitionally.
You could either go play little league, which is where they, or you could stay in coach pitch. Oh. So all my friends went up. To little league, but I was at the age where I could pick and I'm like, I'm going to stick around you just dominated. I cry. I hit my only home run I've ever hit. And, yeah, I was, I was good that year too, but it's just cause I had about a year's gap of on, so it was like third floor.
It was like fourth, fifth and sixth. And I was the only sixth dude. Sounds like you fricking,
I'm a foot tall. All good. And I've never
been bigger than anyway. So that was nice. It was nice to be on that side of the spectrum or of greatness.
Anyway, my other, my other only other time, I think I've set foot in a YMCA was in, I would've had to have been, I think in eighth grade, possibly a freshman in high school when, the, our youth pastor said, okay, we're going to have a lock-in and all our overnight.
And he brought in what became one of my all-time favorite bands. Disciple disciple. And it was their first show outside of the Maryville, Tennessee area where they were from. They knew my youth pastor was this in Hebrew. He was in Chattanooga. Yeah. Dade.
And I'm getting like how. Dude, I've seen disciple at a lock-in really our youth group would go and we watched a Batman.
Oh my gosh, this is weird. We might've been at the same freaking log.
Yeah, it's possible. I have no idea. And, and they, the band in true rock and roll fashion, knocked over the lifeguard stand and knocked a lifeguard in the pool and got kicked out of the pool area. And they were like, these kids are going to be like, dude, Christian suck.
Anyway. All right, Kevin, a little more, yeah, a little more on the Y YMCA. Just because of this phrase, I found you got most of it that I had also, that it was founded. It's actually a Swiss organization that was founded by an Englishman. But it's actually, it's headquartered in, Switzerland and it was founded on the principles of this is the phrase I found, quote, muscular Christianity.
Okay. Phrase. Described by Wikipedia as a philosophical movement that originated in England in the mid 19th century characterized by a belief in patriotic duty, discipline self. I said duty, patriotic duty, disciplined self-sacrifice masculinity and the moral and physical beauty of athleticism. Just like Jesus taught us, get ripped and salute your country labs based on a quick overview of the topic, I could be wrong here, but it just kind of feels like a way to control young boys.
Teddy Roosevelt was a big, muscular Christianity guy as our, I would guess a number of popular bro pastors of the
modern day. It was baked to the disciples and be like, don't give me 20 Peter.
I'll see you over there. You want to straighten up that salute son Judas. You're running laps.
Oh, gosh. Oh, that's hilarious. Okay. So anyway, in the 1880s, the YMCA in the U S started offering single room low-income housing for people from outlying areas who were moving to bigger cities to find work by the 1970s, the YMCA rooms were more likely to be filled by either people who didn't have homes to stay in or young people, dealing with life issues.
And that is the scenario that then this song is kind of, you know, born out of. It's like, it's a place to stay when you're, when you're, what, what did he say when you're, when you're down on your dough? Yeah. Yeah, it became just a place to hang out. And the kind of depends on who you ask the rumor, is that okay, so obviously, it's, you know, well-known that the village people sort of leaned into, disco's success with gay audiences, right?
And so, it depends on who you ask. Victor Willis says this song is, is what it sounds like on its face and that there was no double entendre, but most people. Of course, we're not talking about basketball. You know what I mean? It's like, you know, certain, especially certain areas why YMCA had a reputation for being sort of a Haven for gay activity and whatever, but it I've seen several like opposing arguments, both ways that like, no, that's actually not true.
Or of course that's true. You know what I mean? It's kind of both of those things. So this song either has kind of a wink and a nod to some other activities that the YMCA that may have gone on. Or it doesn't, I'm not, it depends on literally
depends on whether it does or it doesn't. Yeah. And we've, we've talked about Victor a little bit.
Let's meet the band. Okay. Let's meet all these guys and then we'll come back and touch on a little thing here in a minute. Perfect.
We're going to meet the band, of the village people on this track. There's a lot of members, so I'm just gonna kinda go through them pretty quick. And then I'll talk about who played, what character, if you will, towards the end. So we've got Victor Willis on lead vocals, and he does some of the background vocals as well.
Russell Dabney on drums, Alfonzo Kerry on bass, who we mentioned the killer bass part, Jimmy Lee murdering
that bass, Jimmy,
Jimmy Lee on guitar. Roger Lee also on guitar and Nathaniel Wilkie on fender Rhodes, Richard Triffin on synth Peter Whitehead on percussion, bittersweet on handclaps and Felipe Rose on percussion, who you guys are gonna love.
And we've talked about, he's going to be great. You're gonna highly enjoy this. Okay. So original members, in terms of characters, if you will personas persona, policemen, Victor. American Indian chief is how he's categorized Felipe, Rose cowboy, Randy Jones, construction worker, David Hodo, leather man Glenn Hughes and military man Alex Brighton.
That's right into my research by the way, for, for Glenn Hughes, I saw him also called the leather daddy. Oh, he'll be
forever. You're going to turn it up a notch there. So that's the band. That's your crew? So rock on from
there. Okay. So, a little, few, few notes from me on the village people, formed by Jacques and Henri.
Belolo I assume it's Henri, not Henry, cause they were both friends. So only, only I can't really do it. Right.
No matter how we do it, we still have some Southern annex.
Yeah. It's on Ray on Ray Belolo there it is. They were, they were a duo known together as can't stop productions. So they in, in France, and then Victor, Victor Willis was the, was the third, you know, part of the formation Murali.
And Belolo had had a string of hits together in France and they moved to New York city in 1977 to tap into the U S market Murali got a, a, a demo tape from Willis and he hired him to sing a few songs. And then apparently he had a dream that, Willis sang lead on Moralez album and it blew up. So he calls him the next day.
I had this dream that you're supposed to be the lead singer on my project. And so that's how the village people was born. And of course it D obviously it did, it blew up. So, the album in fact, did blow up and Miralee recruited the other members of what became the iconic lineup to support, Willis at live shows.
That was kind of the original idea was that they were a, a supporting cast. And that's where Felipe comes in. He was the second founding member of the village people. The group was named after New York city's Greenwich village, which in the seventies had a large gay population and a reputation as a thriving Haven for gay culture.
And as Y, as I said, our earlier disco also had a substantial gay listenership. So the concept and the music really sort of married. And, a common misconception is that all the members of the group were gay, but a random side fact, you're going to love this or random side fact is that lead singer.
Victor Willis was married to Felicia Rashad. Oh no. From 1978 to 1982. Okay. Felicia Ayers, I guess at the time for Felicia Ayers Allen. Right. And then, later, married, obviously Ahmad. That's awesome. Yeah. So, Felicia Rashad, if you don't know, if you don't know by the name, if you're in our generation, you know, cause she has the mom on the Cosby show.
Absolutely. No Felicia Rashad. And then she was also in the creed movies. She plays creeds, mama birth mom, not in the original Rocky movies, but in the creed movie she plays, Creed's birth mom or creeds birth mom
or step-mom I have a beat birth mom. I would think I've not seen the creed movies. I've seen all the runs you haven't seen.
I haven't because I don't, I haven't, I know the biggest Rocky fan in the world hasn't seen creed one or. Now, right. I know two's got like Drago in it. Right. I
mean, my gosh, man, sacrilege. Wow. We've got to fix that immediately.
Immediately. Y'all will know Ahmad Rashad as a football player for the Vikings.
Yeah. Y'all will know. Funny.
I know I'm the exact NBA. What is the inside edition NBA jam in? There you go. NBA inside stuff. Yeah. So Felicia Ayers Alan Willis, Rashad, I guess. I don't know if that's the right order or not, but it, did you know that, that Ahmad Rashad, proposed to Felicia on air through Bob Costas?
No. So I literally saw this on like Tik TOK or something like two weeks ago. Okay. So this random. They were doing, he was, he was like a sideline reporter for an NFL game at the time. And Bob Costas and I forgive me, I can't remember who the other co-host was or in the studio. And this is like 1980.
Well, it must've been shortly after this. If they were married till till 92 to Victor Willis, it must have been shortly thereafter. But, that would have been early nineties. It would have been, no, it wasn't CA have been nineties judging by the TV series till 82, 78 to 82 to 82. So it must've been shortly thereafter, judging by the, the set, but anyway, so Bob Costas is talking to a mod on the field and it was.
I think it was Thanksgiving or it was, it was a holiday. Was your Thanksgiving, Christmas or new year's. And Ahmad says, Bob, if you can do one of the thing for me, I know, you know, Alicia EHRs Allen, who is on the, you know, on the Cosby show, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you could do me the favor of asking her when you see her, if she would marry me and that's how the proposal went apparently.
And so they, and then they're talking about it after the, you know, after the thing. So he proposed to her through a third party on live television. That's really interesting. Okay. Couple listening notes that I didn't get to earlier, let's talk about the, The most rent, the most random thing about this song is the hits, before the chorus.
Okay. But I'll tell you why they're a thing of necessity. BA BA BA BA. Yes. It's the most random thing. Okay. But in it, and it breaks up the, you know, it's got this killer boom and, you know, everything is set and everything is like even numbers of beat, bars and that kind of thing. And then all of a sudden you've got these five steps, pap, bam, bam, bam.
But it had to happen because otherwise the lines of lyrics would have run over each other. Right. So let's listen to the duh, duh, duh. Right. There's no, you have to put those or you can't get the, it's fun to stay in the gap, then it's fun to stay
at the end. You can't finish either finish the other line or start the other, right.
going to have to get interrupted if those, if those hits aren't there. The other thing is, the chord structure is obviously a very simple, but it's well, there's one core difference on the verse and the chorus. So on the chorus, you've got young man on the one sent six young man. No, no, no, no, no, no.
I said four young man. and then it's all unison stabs, just walking down the, walking down the scale from the seven to the 2 7 6 5 4, 3, 2. And then the bass goes back to the one young man. Right? Okay. Then on the chorus. It goes to a two minor instead of the four. So it's w we've talked about this before, but it's a parallel, major, minor.
So if we're in the key, I don't know what key this is in to you. I'm going to say something like, like an E flat E
Okay. So let's, I feel like I'm going to let's find out, figure it out. Oh, excuse me. That's a G flat. Okay. Now we're in G flat. So 7, 6, 5, 3. On the five that here we go on the course, we got one G flat, then E-flat minor the six and here we're going to go to a, to a flat minor,
and you get that great horn line two, five. So it's an alternate. It's a parallel, minor. So in the F in the verse, then that would be, if we're in G flat, that'd be a, or a B major chord or a C flat chord, if you want to be super technical. But, but yeah, it would be a, B a B court. But a flat minor is the relative minor.
It's essentially the same chord just with a different bass note, but it gives it a little different feel and gives it a, gives it an element that the. That the verse doesn't have. And it also leads way to that awesome horn line. But that little chromatic thing that just sits so well over that cord, it's just, just beautiful call.
Oh, let's see. Some random notes. YMCA was used as the wake up call on day 11 of the space shuttle, Atlantis mission to the international space station in 2000. If you imagine, depending on which version, if you get the single version, it starts with a horn line, right. Or you get the original that we have here, just the hits bar with the, you know, whatever.
That's a, quite a way to wake up in space. I wonder if bringing up is. In space, you know, or if it just feels like the same way you wake up here or if the,
did they hit it and turn on all the lights in the, oh, I hate camp disco lights. Oh man. At camp. When you get woke up in the morning, do you ever have, oh
man, I never went to camp cause I don't like hanging out with people.
That's the, one of the worst is like it's cold. You're already bundled up and then they turn on the lights and stuff. The counselors start singing some annoying
song. Like yes. Now I played, when I was, when I was with a band, we played at some camps, you know, and stuff like that. And I remember there was one where we like slept in the dorms with, you know, where the students were.
And somebody came through with like a, a trumpet or a tuba or something. And they were just, oh, it was so obnoxious. I was like, this is why I don't go to kind of my
buddy's dad. Kevin's saying. And it's time I get up. It's time to get up. It's time to get up in the morning.
No, thank you. Yeah. Okay. More than 44,000 people dance to the village, people's live performance at the 2008 sun bowl, making it an official Guinness world record for largest Y YMCA dance.
Oh, there we go. 44,000 people. It's not, it's not the record for largest dance, but it's just, they started keeping records of the largest Y YMCA dance gathering. So that's the largest, of that type. And I believe we talked with, with Felipe about sort of the origin of the dance itself. So we'll let him tell that story, but the band didn't come up with it.
Wasn't the band's idea. So blamed it. Do you have something on the dance? Well, I
was going to talk about what the actual motions are. Okay. So the why is arm stretched? Arms stretched out and ways raised upwards in the shape of a watch straight up outward and outward. The M is made by bending the elbows from the Y pose.
So the fingertips. In the front of it says the front of the chest here. No, that's incorrect. I would think that would
be, maybe it is
to the chest, but the head. Yeah. But because it's shorter and less movement, but technically it's supposed to go to the chest. It
makes a sharp.
So you lazy.
I just realized that about myself.
Dang. I did see that some people had a tendency to, they would go on the shoulders, like a, what is that like a, is that a field? Is that a, what does that in football, right? Yeah. That's or a penalty. Maybe it's a timeout. Yeah, maybe it's talking about anyway, but yes. Oh my gosh. Em, to the chest,
not McDonald's M got a sharp M sharp.
Oh, that's where word I was thinking of. McDowell's coming to America, C arms extended to the left.
So that the viewer sees a C that's not, you're not, you're not making
yourself. That's the seed for others. That's correct. And the, a hands together above head in your traditional a position. There you go.
Wow. I learned, are you
I was a lazy Emer. Alright. I have one last note. We never talk politics. We don't talk politics on this show, but this is too good to pass up. Okay. Do you remember the. During the 2020 presidential election, where then president Trump started playing YMCAs and macho man at his rallies by the
village where it is the dance to
Right. And I don't care what you think about. I don't care whether you're pro-Trump anti-Trump don't care. That was funny. That was funny. The combination of president Trump's usage and a Saturday night live parody that they did after that called cease and desist. After Victor Willis pulled his support for the song.
There were some incidents revolving, like black lives matter protests and they, and so initially Victor Willis had been fine with it. And then he was like, no, nevermind. I'm not fine with it. The combination of those things led to the song, jumping back into the top 20 on iTunes and back up to number two on the billboard digital dance songs, sales chart.
Then when president Biden won the election, the song became a sarcastic like Nan and a booboo from the Biden camp following the election. And then finally, president Trump became the first sitting president to skip the inauguration of his successor. Since Andrew Johnson skipped Ulysses S grants and figuration.
And as he left Andrews air force base to head to Florida on an inauguration day, they blasted Y YMCA over the loudspeakers as he boarded air force one, that was the last, the, the last refrain of the Trump administration is YMCA against the wishes of the village people. There you go. That's our, that's our loan note on politics.
Yes. Nine seasons, but welcome God's hope. And you guys are gonna love the interview with Felipe. So stick around and we'll, we'll say bye at the end, but we have kick-started season nine and dude, we have a, we've got a doozy of a season in store. Tons of good, good interviews. Tons of fun games. So stick around, let's do this
like doozy with many O's there's many owes in that dooz
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donation. That's right. We do our best to try and make you feel appreciated. So, thanks so much to the Patreon producers out there. And, yeah, we're going to talk to Felipe Rose and we'll catch you on the. This is
the great song podcast. Before we begin on this like great interview with you guys.
I I've received like a, quite a number of requests for various parts podcast shows, but for me, you know, I want to navigate the waters of podcasts with entertainment, you know, not political stuff. We did enough of that last year, you know, music and because I have a new single out. So, you know, when I was looking at the list of like, okay, I read, I want to do that show, but then you guys contacted me, right?
we did. Yeah.
We reached out and that's weird because I, I like, like three weeks ago, I said, you know, I wanted to do that show. I wanna, I wanna, I like the great song podcasts because these guys do their homework. So, yeah. So, so I have a bit of trivia for Rob. You were talking about, you were talking about, the Madonna's like producers and one of the producers rent, czar.
Okay. I know Fred Zarr, he was working a lot with Debbie Gibson connection between like Madonna and Fred Zarr and Debbie Gibson is like, like 1%. Wow. That's pretty crazy. And she was like, wasn't wasn't wasn't Debbie Gibson, like the Taylor swift of our time back then.
I've never heard that fully. That's perfect.
I mean, not, not that, not that AJPS like Debbie Gibson or I'm just saying that you heard her a lot on the radio. She, she wrote some great songs.
In lots of malls in like everywhere too. Like you're writing restaurants all over the place.
Yeah. That's, that's a great point. Wow. How about Felipe coming in?
Hot from the Madonna
coming out, the gates also, man, it gets to,
oh, we're so pleased to talk to you today. Thanks so much for joining us. And we love it. You just did one of our favorite things, which is when we become aware that an artist that we wanted to talk to was aware of the show before we contacted them.
That's one of our favorite things in the whole world. So that's right. We're
set for the rest of the day. No matter how this goes, you made our day. We're happy.
Yeah. Okay. So, why don't we start here? I just kind of want to know everything about the village people. I want to know. I want to know how it got started.
If I, if I know if I've done my research correctly, you are the first recruit for the village people.
That does that. Yeah, that is correct. And, and, you know, the thing is that the story changes when one person tells it and then he tells it to the next person. And by the time it goes around the room and by the time he goes around the world, four decades later, it's blue as literally something that I never heard before.
So to just keep it simple, I was at the right place at the right time, dancing in clubs in New York city, singing, dancing, and being, you know, I tapped into my biracial roots and I figured, okay, well, you know, there there's too many dancers in New York, too many performers I need to, did I say in show business, you have to have a gimme.
Like tapping into, you know, my father's heritage and I started dressing up and all of my native splendor, but I wore less clothing back then today I'm a bit more covered up. I was, you know, you have to imagine that in the disco era, being in the clubs and, and performing with neon moccasins with, five pounds of Slade bells, winning warrior in the anchor and the.
And then a lawyer caught on, we just a g-string on necklace and a headdress with a worker. That was crazy. That was really brazen. I really had a lot of balls, but as I was young and I was hungry as an artist and I wanted, you know, I was set out to like Madonna had her dream. And every year every artist has his dream.
I, I grew up with show business show biz mom. So there was always music when I was growing up when I was a kid, except that her music was more of like the big band, era, Broadway, Mambo, Mambo music, salsa music, and all that. She's the Spanish one in the family, Puerto Rican. And so with that dream that I had, I wanted, I knew I was going to become famous.
It wasn't until. X, this X producer, this producer approached me in a club and said that he wanted to do something with me and it's French asset. And I looked at him and said, doesn't everybody
with you? I think what he meant was he meant, I asked like the DJ Richard Weaver, the late Richard were what's he talking about? He's saying he wants to record with you. Like, how did, how did the DJ catch that? What I did here? You know what? I have a tendency of too many people ask sometimes like, you might think that they're just.
It's too much for me. And he said, no, I want to, I want to work on a musical project with me, with you. And then when he introduced me and I went to the recording studio and I heard the music, it was basically saying on this, I was already recorded a lot of the music with the first lead singer who was only a backup singer, the song, and the album was written by a few people along with Victor Willis, but there was no intention of Victor Willis becoming the lead singer.
The producer wanted filled her. The Lord said, I don't want to be elite singer to this band. So basically when they, when we recorded everything and he told me what the concept was going to be, they showed me after the music was recorded. And I, and I looked at the drawings and I was drawn in with a cowboy, a construction worker.
And I don't know what the other images were. They weren't really a well-defined biker. And I thought this is a really stupid idea. So there was that, that, that really dry sense of humor that I had about myself and also not believing in taking seriously what people were saying, but because he was a real producer and he had the, his, previous release, like think like a year or two before was with the Ritchie family with the best Sysco in town.
So along with auditions, we embarked on filling in the types, the male stereotypes, and then they audition and then they that's how they were chosen.
At what point did you guys go? You know, okay. Songs start coming out. You get a little success first, I think overseas. And then here, some of the, I think macho man starts to hit over here.
At what point do you guys go? Okay, this is more than like, kind of a gag. This is like, we have a real career here. We got to, you know, we got to treat this like a, like, this is going to stick around for awhile. What point did you guys do?
What would it not? It wasn't, it wasn't after the first album, which was, only the, the album with models on it.
And I was on the cover of the black and white album, San Francisco, Hollywood. And it was basically of the village people, the saw all about the village, San Francisco, Hollywood and fire island. So those are locations and it was a studio album, but it stayed on the dance trust for well over 57 weeks then when we had the auditions and that album was released right during the, the uprising of, the, the outlaw, the gay lifestyle, everyone came out of the closet during the Anita Bryant, save the children campaign, which backfire and everyone just across the country came out of the closet and me included.
And that album was the backdrop to that summer. And then when we did the second album, macho man, Because we didn't really have a show. We didn't have a lot of material. Everything else was filler in until the second album that dropped was macho, man, key west. I am what I am Sodom and Gomorrah. Come on, Rob.
So he's the genius one over there. So it was basically when we got back from the, from Europe that we heard. The macho man on am, radio
And that was why then we realized, oh my God, I think we're famous.
I think he had a, I think the thing that sets you over the top is your strong ability to point at the camera.
You are the best camera pointer ever when it kicks to the gray. Yeah. That's it. You you're doing the, I mean, coming out the, out the gates,
even in the, I've done enough zoom, I've done enough zoom to the 2020. And until now to kind of know, you know where to look and where not to pick your nose or stand up and walk away and underwear on.
think people are
watching, you're only wearing a shirt,
right? In your music videos and all the music videos. You're the one that's pointing on the, on the choruses you point right at the camera. Yeah.
Were you watching videos of me,
some of the music that was recorded and, and B I was not in that process of the writing and, and, and the music situation and all that. But the, a lot of the music that has the group progressed and it became a cross over into mainstream media and pop culture. A lot of the music choices that ended up on a lot of the albums.
Like you just could not explain, like, what is it, why is it there?
It just landed
it just land it. Yeah. Yeah.
Sorry, go ahead.
Well, like for instance, the cruising album, the third album is when we had, where we had. Y MCA, but that wasn't, that, that wasn't the symbol though. The single was supposed to be, I'm a cruiser.
I love the women again. That was something that was in shock Marley's head. And YMCA was a filler song. They needed one more song, finished the album and the story as the story goes, and truth that when we were working on the album after lunch, the producer Jack Murali returned and asked us in France, Cascais say E M C EMC, Allegan, AJS, like laugh.
And we kind of looked at him like, cause I was, I didn't know what he was talking about. Somebody, someone was saying, it means young man. Christian association. And it was like that, like, he was a genius. Like if that light went on and he just turned around and he said, okay, bomb bomb, big bone means good.
We're going to write a new song. And I. You know, some crap. And then it was like, he started humming right away. And he saying a young man, young man and said, okay. And they wrote the song in 20 minutes and it was leaking. It was Neil Bogart in the president of Casa Blanca, Casa Blanca records was like Motown was in the fifties.
It caused a lack of records, was huge in the late seventies and early eighties, around that time of 76, 75 to like the mid eighties. And you had kids you had done on a summer, those people was a big, big label. He leads up the late Neil Beauvoir. He made the choice to lift and put wipes, make it the, the release song that really sick.
you, it was like, it was a, just a great afterthought that he, that he just said, no, no, no, this is the single. And I remember when we were in south America, we were told that why I'm saying was just releasing. It was like hit the radio stations and people lost their minds. So you better hurry up and pull a routine together because you're going to fly to LA to do Dick Clark lie.
when we got to Dick Clark live. He had a habit of sitting in the band, stand with the kids, the dancers. And he said, I want to show you guys something, this is during the rehearsal. And then they play the chorus and the kids jumped up and they did the arm thing. That's
all we had. So thank you for clarifying
So of course, when the TV show is over, you know, we, we simply have to lift it
and apply it to the song, but it's only at the very end of the choreography that we do the wave CA but through the. It's the audience that
does it, without that audience involvement in the interaction, you probably don't have those gold records on the back.
That's constitutes a lot of hard work at the time.
I can recall what a, what a, what a schedule was at, during the day you travel, you did radio. You did a radio station, then you either went to T peaches, peaches or tower records. Then you had soundcheck, you ate dinner and then you got ready for the show. So our days are really long. And then we traveled by bus again, the next day, 24 years old, you could sleep.
You have, you can sleep later in life. That was a lot of work. It's a lot of work, but you know, it's the fans that are the ones that know, they both have a record and the record constant charts, and then it constitutes as gold or platinum. And what have
you so, well then we'll circle back to your newest single, which is awesome, which I actually heard before you sent it to us.
Cause I was like, Rob, we're going to have to talk, move with me, groove with me when I've talked about it. So tell us a little bit about the recording of dance again and kind of what, where you are with that.
Well, the, the, of course, no one was dancing in 20 20th, such great music came out and I just finished the ultimate disco cruise in February of 2020.
And upon returning, I was going to be heading to Brooklyn, to the studio 54 exhibit, and then never made it because it was canceled because the city closed down in March and it was right. Then during that moment, when everyone's would literally, we were all home not going anywhere that disco music made a huge return in like the likes of Dua Lipa with levitation.
the Korean boy group with dynamite. And then all of this like new fusion disco started to, to re-emerge and then all of the remixes of Donna summer. And that disco just exploded around the world. And just sitting along, realizing this, I started making notes and jotting and what have you. Okay. You know, I, I think it's time to get into the recording studio.
And so I did write and finished the song coming out of PTSD because of the loss of so many friends and the next producer and all that in 2020. And on my birthday, January, January 12th, I went into the studio with Tala. Safford is 24 years old. That'll go with a young producers. If you want to grow as an older artist as myself, I want to, I want to go to a younger artists, not go to a guy, my age, he's going to give me guitar lessons from the seventies.
He's going to give me that drum roll drum pads, right, Rob, and then you'll be listening. God. Okay. So Felipe. The new music, but it sounds like all this go music, whereas this doesn't, he actually gave me, he gave me a nice edge to the song. So it sort of new disco. And, and so he said, what do you want to sound like?
You know, you're, you're finding your voice. And I, and I, I hear different things. And I said, I want to sound like post Malone because that's my hero. Cause they asked, they ask. So why is it a, you sound so good and he said his color too.
And so the thing is that we set off to write the song and five hours later, it was really about what we didn't do in 2020. No one was dancing, all this great music was coming up and great music from so many of the artists country. You know, you name the genre and the music was coming up, but nobody we were all locked down.
So the song is about that this period that we're in now that we're coming up. We're going to dance again. We're going to celebrate life and enjoy ourselves because now we know what to expect. That's why, that's why we have to live hard live like it's the last day, because nothing, we should now not take anything for granted.
Well, it is positive. And I think we need a little bit more of that in the world right now. So thank you so much.
So what is, this is a random question. This is off the, off the wall, but I'm thinking about why I'm CA I just wanted to know what is the weirdest use of Y YMCA or, or another or another, you know, another village people song. What's the weirdest use of one of your songs that you've ever. I know it's been here.
I know it has. Do you really want
to know, is in the living room, my social media director laughing right now at your question, it has to be the head-scratcher of Trump with YMCAs,
and now the party itself, they are now they've taken the song, adapted it and changed it to
lyrics. I don't even know that she can you do that?
I would think so. I mean, I don't want to go,
I guess the actually single must be tired of cease and desist because Saturday night fever lie. They did all during that time when Trump was. Was, it was in the campaigns. Saturday night live, did a parody. And the song was called. You've got to see this and this. And so I'm in my living room, actually getting ready to the, a parody video.
I'm going to send it to you guys where I'm sitting, watching on my laptop, the news and the news anchor says, and now we're going to go on the campaign trail trail to see what Donald Trump is up to. Rumor has it that he's dancing like Elaine, what's her name from Seinfeld. And then there he is. And then there's a cut of her and they're like dancing.
Then all of a sudden, the camera points to me. And then I, and I just looked at the camera and then look as a laptop. Oh no, he didn't. I tried to just smoke it. I go into the laptop. I appear on the stage and I knock him down. Oh
He was a spook. And right at the same time I sat in, I live did that the night before we were ready, we were ready to shoot that.
I'm going to send it to you guys. That video, that video, I was looking at my, my, the guy, Todd Warren, the top Warren, that was you, that wrote the script. And we looked at each other like, like the timing of it was just incredible. It was so ironic.
The whole thing, weird experience to have you turn on the news.
And the president of the United States is acting a fool to one of your socks. Like how many people can say that, you know, that's.
And, you know, what's so funny. What's so funny is that I laugh and I have to laugh because I have lots of gays writing to me, gay men saying, I hate that song. And I'm like, I'm sorry.
I had nothing to do, why he's using it.
So something that they embrace someone else to get over it now their lives
over. So you have a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Am I correct?
do get, I do. That was in 2007. That was a lot of fun. We at Charo entertain the people out there. I know we have to leave. Okay. Listen, you know, I have most of the disco, the crowd, this go Chronicle, Todd cat.
We'll publish promote it. When we released
the damn one. Last piece of another piece of fun now is that I just did a smoking like two years ago. Version of dance for me, Peter Brown's desk. Oh, I guess I'm going to have to send that to you.
We'll take whatever you sent to us. We did have one question. Give me the last question.
We'll be quick, super quick. You're on tour. You go into a gas station. What is your gas station? Snack. Food of choice. We ask everybody that I get a three Musketeers bar. It's the most ounces. They're all the same money. What is your guest station? Snack. Food of choice. The
gas station snack is something chocolate like light, like a Reese's peanut butter cups or something.
And then Cheetos
also, cause I want to collaborate with bad bunny. So I've got to see if I can eat Cheetos.
I hope you're listening.
bunny post Malone and Felipe Rose tri-fold.
That would be my dream collaboration with those two guys.
Great. Thank you for your time. We'll be in touch for sure.
you for the, the rivalry of episode 7 98. When my everything about Madonna, Rob, you were amazing, but, but, JP had to love the, the movie, from, with
Sean Penn at close range.
I agree. I agree that that song is, is still, is still brilliant.
Good stuff. Thank you so much.
All the best, all the best. This is the great song. And that was fully pay roll. And that was fun. Founding member of the village people, wrapping up our coverage of YMCA to kickoff season nine of the great song podcast.
You got anything else you want to add? That's good, man. I need to, I'm going to go practice my YMCAs dance moves in front of the mirror and make sure it's gotta be sharp and crisp it's to be crisp. So, all right, we'll see you next week as season nine, continues on the great song podcast with another great song until then I'm JP go listen to some music.