Inquiring Minds

Gloria Gaynor, Disco's Ultimate Survivor, Discusses That Song

You know "I Will Survive." Everybody knows "I Will Survive." Aliens know "I Will Survive." Dogs know "I Will Survive." Dogs who are aliens know "I Will Survive."

Gloria Gaynor's 1979 disco anthem, written by the same producers who wrote "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel" and "Reunited," has long since taken on a life of its own. VH1 named it the No. 1 Dance Song of All Time; the late George Carlin pegged it at No. 9 on his "Most Embarrassing Songs of All Time" in his 2001 book Napalm and Silly Putty. He didn't say why, but it might have something to do with its ubiquity at karaoke bars across the globe. It has also, as Gaynor told Rocks Off Wednesday, literally saved at least one person's life.

The Newark native had actually notched several club hits by the time "I Will Survive" conquered the globe, including the Top 10 "Never Can Say Goodbye," "Casanova Brown" and "Let's Make a Deal." Today, she's the national spokeswoman for the W.A.K.E. Up & Flexx campaign, a pharmaceutical-sponsored initiative to raise awareness of knee osteoarthritis, and will sing her most famous hit at tonight's opening ceremonies of the 2011 Summer National Senior Games at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray