Gloria Gaynor - Soul Survivor

Friday 1st December 1995
Gloria Gaynor - Soul Survivor
Gloria Gaynor - Soul Survivor

STYLE: Music Related
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
FORMAT: Book General book

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Indirectly I get a mention in this book. Gloria writes about recording her first, seriously obscure record for Josida Records, "She'll Be Sorry" then comments, "In Britain there is always someone who knows about this part of my life. A journalist always comes up to me and says, 'I have that record "She'll Be Sorry".'" I was that first vinyl-nut journalist, and I remember Gloria's sheer astonishment that anyone should know or care about a flop R&B single. (In her autobiography "She'll Be Sorry" becomes "a minor rhythm and blues chart hit" but it was never that.) When I interviewed Gloria in 1973 she was storming the pop charts with her disco anthem "Never Can Say Goodbye" and well on the way to becoming THE Disco Diva. Neither of us were Christians. A decade later I met her again when she was presenting the Gospel Train series for the Beeb. She shared some of her Christian testimony, which here is graphically and movingly described under the chapter heading 'Saved!'. Gloria's story is a fascinating one. She was one of seven children, her father a vaudeville entertainer. After a period of dues paying on the chittlin circuit she was signed to Columbia Records and the hits began. After her dramatic conversion she details her attempts to break into the gospel music world including her disastrous dealings with the notorious Kevin Hoy of Ears And Eyes Records. The book ends with her candidly admitting to being "in the wilderness". "In order to grow spiritually I needed to spend some time away from my professional career." Whether Gloria will ever return to recording (it's a tragedy that her only gospel recording was released only in Italy) this book will be a fascinating read for both disco nostalgists still fondly remembering "I Will Survive" and the legion of fans she made during those years presenting The Gospel Train. I hope it sells

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