Sister Sledge – He’s The Greatest Dancer

9th May 2023 · 1970s, 1979, Disco, Music

I can’t pretend I was listening to disco music in 1979: I was parading around in a leather jacket festooned with badges proclaiming punk bands and anti-social slogans.

But it was disco’s peak year and songs like this were blaring out of every transistor radio. And if I’d been a bit more open-minded I’d have allowed myself to enjoy them.

Sister Sledge had formed eight years earlier in Philly and were indeed sisters – Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge – releasing their debut single in 1971.

They were going nowhere, not particularly fast, when Atlantic Records hooked them up with Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic, producing their breakthrough album We Are Family and its trio of hit singles – He’s The Greatest Dancer, We Are Family and Lost In Music.

They kept going even after Debbie went on maternity leave, replacing her with eldest sister Carol, and their success continued – but more modestly – into the 1980s when they worked with Narada Michael Walden on ther album All American Girls.

I’ve just discovered that they made a reggae mix of one single, He’s Just A Runaway, as a tribute to Bob Marley after his death.

One of the four original sisters, Joni, died in 2017 but Debbie and Kim are still touring under the Sister Sledge name, joined onstage variously by Carol and several of the sisters’ children – Julie, Camille, Thaddeus and David.