Happy Good Friday folks! How are you planning on spending your day? If you are around this evening at 9pm, be sure to tune into BBC Four to watch a profile of music producer extraordinaire Nile Rodgers. I assumed every music lover was familiar with Mr Rodgers, but apparently not. Nile is the founding member of the disco group Chic, who reinvented himself as a pop producer after Disco died a sudden death in the late ’70s/early ’80s. Whether you know his name or not, you are bound to know at least several of his hits. From Madonna’s Like A Virgin, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, Sister Sledge’s We Are Family and Diana Ross’ Upside Down and I’m Coming Out – Rodgers was one of the most prolific pop/soul hit makers of his generation and the predecessor of the ‘star producer(s)’ who would later follow like Jam and Lewis and LA & Babyface.
I read his autobiography Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco & Destiny at the start of the year and couldn’t put it down. Born to beatnik, heroin addicted parents, Nile went on to discover his talent for playing the guitar and became a session musician before creating his world-famous disco ensemble in the seventies. Like many artists around during the hedonistic Studio 54 days, he dabbled in drugs before a hardcore addiction developed which nearly cost him his life.
Nile was one of the first ‘celebs’ I followed on Twitter and it’s been interesting observing his journey over the last few years in which he revealed to his followers that he developed an aggressive form of prostate cancer, which he has now thankfully been cleared of. With Nile’s open and candid demeanour, we will no doubt gain backstage access to one of the most fascinating periods of music. Once again, well done BBC Four.
See a preview here.