Daddy’s Canon

Daddy’s has been closed for a few years now. I couldn’t even say when it was, but I was deep in new fatherhood when they shuttered, so I never got to say my farewells or get the chance to spin one last set there. But I DJ’d there every month for a few years and a few patrons used to tell me I was the first person to ever go in there and play disco music, a decided break from being in there on a Saturday night and having bearded dudes playing great downers like Skip Spence and Fred Neil. Last time I was in the bar, someone dropped Toto’s “Africa” to complete rapture. Perhaps me playing Toto’s “Georgy Porgy” there led to such a sad state of affairs?

As a member of a certain generation, you are taught that liking music means liking “the canon.” Which means full-length albums from bands, 95% of the time white bands, and fully vetted by critics for decades. I’m pretty sure patronizing Daddy’s ruined songs like Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man” and Television’s “Marquee Moon,” which I heard ad nauseam there.


After a few years in NY though, I became aware of another musical history, one rooted in the once-disgraced form of “disco.” I got plenty of opportunities to explore this world, writing about the days of the Paradise Garage, attending the Loft in the East Village, digging into the singles cut by the likes of Arthur Russell. I became a fan of the massive playlists documenting what David Mancuso and Larry Levan would play. As a child of the ’80s, I was fascinated to find a through line between what I heard on the radio in the subrubs of Texas and Arizona and how it had first sprouted up at the Garage. (“I Can’t Wait,” “Break My Stride,” “Never Gonna Give You Up” immediately spring to mind.)

I became –and still am– obsessed by what constitutes this canon, how it isn’t comprised of albums but rather indelible fragments, these single songs that got woven into the tapestry of a transformative night. Whole sides of albums weren’t part of it, just these tiles of mosaic, so to speak, lending to a much bigger picture. Even in a tiny hipster bar in Williamsburg, I got to take part in my own canon, which is naturally only of importance to me and some of my DJ pals (shout out to Gerald from Other Music, Dave Tompkins, Rob Hatch). Depending on the season or mood, I’d usually start with something to evoke my Texas roots, lots of Willie and Doug Sahm. Or in the summertime, more reggae, dub, Afro jams. All of it would drift into more disco/ dance stuff by the drunken/ stoned part of the night.

Just as a memory test (in part because I sold off lots of these 12″s by now, the rest now packed in boxes), as I tried to construct what wound up in this canon, the songs I gravitated towards on those drunken, Margaveza-sodden nights at Daddy’s:

Jessi Colter – New Wine
Sir Douglas Quintet – Texas Me
Little Feat – Easy to Slip
Hank Thompson – A Six Pack To Go
Billy Charne – Fresno Rodeo
Paul Siebel ‎– Jack-Knife Gypsy
Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson – I Can Get Off On You
Fleetwood Mac – Hypnotized
Delaney & Bonnie – Well, Well
Babe Ruth – The Mexican
Little Carlos – Shake Your Body Down b/w Jackson Jones – Put Your Pants On
Lee Perry – City Too Hot (at 33rpm)
Lee Perry – Disco Devil
Keith Hudson – Blouse And Skirt
Impact All Stars – Java
Ranking Dread – Bom Dub
Jackie Mittoo – Ayatollah
Shina Williams & His African Percussionists ‎– Agb’oju L’Ogun
Tami Terrell – All I Do
Africano ‎– Satisfactorize Your Mind
Ace Spectrum – Don’t Send Nobody Else
Al Green – Georgia Boy
Bohannon – Take The Country To New York City
Dobie Gray ‎– Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em And Forget ‘Em
Travis Wammack – A Lover’s Question
James Gang – Ashes The Rain And I
Peter Visti – Jolene
Loverde – Eyeko Syko (Horse Meat Disco edit)
Meanderthals ‎– Andromeda
Mendes & Alçada ‎– Coaster
The Orb – We’re Pastie To Be Grill You
Tom Tom Club – Spooks
Toto – Georgy Porgy
Impi – Impi
GANG ‎– KKK.
Pointer Sisters – Automatic
Heatwave ‎– Eyeballin’
Stone – Girl I Like The Way That You Move (Dub Mix)
Carol Williams – Can’t Get Away (From Your Love) (Special Club “Dub” Mix)
Chemise – She Can’t Love You
Abel – I Gotta Woman
Norman Giscombe, Jr. ‎– Get Up & Dance
Con Funk Shun ‎– Miss Got The Body
Busta Jones – Keep On Making Me Hot
Herbie Hancock – Honey in the Jar
Studio – Life’s A Beach! (Todd Terje Beach House Mix) (at 33 rpm)
Welcome Stranger – Smoke Machine
Cyndi Lauper – She Bop
Olivia Newton John – Magic
Walter Jones – I’ll Keep On Loving You
The Laughing Light of Plenty – The Rose
Lee Douglas – Fuego (edit)
The Two Tons – I Depend On You
Spirit – Potatoland Theme (Baldelli edit)
Only Fools And Horses ‎– Spectacle Wins (Holy Ghost! remix)
Wuf Ticket – The Key (dub)
Justin V – Sheebooyah
Staples Singers – Slippery People (this song really pissed off Vince Martin one night)
Claire – High on Love (incidentally, François K’s first disco mix)
West Phillips – I’m Just a Sucker for a Pretty Face
Try to Find Me – Get To My Baby (TBD Extension)

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