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     Meco (29th November 1939-Present)

    He is a musician and record producer born Domenico Monardo in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania.  His father was a trombonist and encouraged his learning to read music and taught him how to play the trombone.  He would perform that instrument in his high school band and would win a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music in New York in 1957.  He became friends with Chuck Mangione and Ron Carter and they would all performed in the school's jazz band.  In the early 1960s he enlisted in the US Army and became a member of the West Point Army Band and after leaving service he moved back to New York and became a session trombonist where he would work with such notables Tommy James and Diana Ross.  He was the only known jazz trombone soloist that would appear on a pop record since the 1920s or '30s.  In 1973 he set up the production company called the Disco Corporation of America (DCA) with two associates, Harold Wheeler and Tony Bongiovi. After producing Don Downing's "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights" as their premiere release, he discovered the artist Gloria Gaynor, for whom he would produce her first three albums including Never Can Say Goodbye, which was a disco groundbreaker in that one side of the record was completely segued without a single break between tracks and had originally been the idea of Tom Moulton, or "the father of the disco mix".  He became internationally known when he began releasing disco versions of well-known film music.  His first major success under his own name came in 1977 when he made the charts at No. 1 in the US and No. 7 in the UK with the Star Wars Theme, which would outsell the original theme by John Williams.  This would be his only chart hit in the UK, but in the US he would reach Top 40 status with the releases "Theme from Close Encounters". "Themes from Wizard of Oz", "Empire Strikes Back" and "Pop Goes the Movies (Part 1)."  His album Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk reached platinum status in 1977.  Carrying on as a producer into the 1980s he would work with Trini Lopez, Kenny G, Samanthan Sang, Marlena Shaw and many more, but after becoming disillusioned he retired to Florida in 1985 and took up a job as a commodity broker.  Having crept back into the business in 1997 to assist his friend Yamira on her new album, the new Star Wars movies began to appear in 1999 and Sony's president contacted him about doing a new dance mix.  He began work in earnest but as the composer, John Williams, had put on a clause that no-one could record any interpretation of the music on the same label as him, it could not be released.  Not to be outdone he released music from all of the Star Wars movies onto the CD Dance Your Asteroids Off to the Complete Star Wars Collection in 2000.  At the beginning of 2007 he worked on a single release of "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

     

    Meco recordings

    Theme From Close Encounters (John Williams)

    Roman Nights (Harold Wheeler)

     

    Diana Ross recordings

    Give Up (Bernard Edwards/Nile Rodgers)

    I'm Coming Out (Bernard Edwards/Nile Rodgers)

     

    Sources:

    1. British & American Hit Singles 1946-1997 by Chris Davies (published by Batsford)
    2. http://www.discomusic.com/people-more/39_0_11_0_C/
    3. http://www.echostation.com/interview/meco.htm
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meco
    5. http://www.geocities.com/mecofan/?200718

     

     

     

     



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