Walter Gibbons

Walter Gibbons, David Mancuso and Arthur Russell--these are the three innovators from the downtown dance scene of the 1970s that I've been drawn to repeatedly while researching the culture. All were shy, Walter perhaps most of all, yet were also remarkably articulate when they communicated through music. I started to dig deep into Walter's contribution during research for Love Saves the Day and ended up positioning him as one of the key figures in the book thanks to his groundbreaking DJing style (which saw him innovative the technique of mixing between the breaks) and remixes (he edited the first commercial 12" single, "Ten Percent", and was the first DJ to manipulate the multitrack tapes on his mix of "Hit and Run"). Walter's increasingly strident religious convictions led him to marginalise himself from the dance scene towards the end of the 1970s but that didn't stop him from releasing one of the most innovative mixes of the 1980s--Strafe's "Set It Off". I've written quite extensively about Walter--see the articles listed below--and plan to write more in the future when I've had the chance to complete further interviews.


Walter Gibbons, Galaxy 21, 2 August 1975, Record Worldhere.

Walter Gibbons, Outside Inn, 13 September 1975, Record World. here.

Walter Gibbons, Galaxy 21, 22 November 1975, Record World. here.

Walter Gibbons, Galaxy 21, 27 December 1975. Record World. here.

Walter Gibbons, Galaxy 21, 28 February 1976. Record World. here.

Walter Gibbons, Galaxy 21, 10 April 1976. Record World.  here.

Walter Gibbons, Galaxy 21, 15 May 1976. Record World. here

Walter Gibbons, Galaxy 21, 12 June 1976. Record World. here.

Walter Gibbons, Better Days, 9 October 1976. Record World. here.

Walter Gibbons, Second Storey, 25 December 1976. Record World. here.


Brewster, Bill. "Walter Gibbons". Record Collector, 2005.

Harvey, Steven. "Behind the Groove". Collusion. September 1983.

Kent, Al, Lee, Dave. "Walter Gibbons", Keep On, Vol. 4.

Lawrence, Tim. “Disco Madness: Walter Gibbons and the Legacy of Turntablism and Remixology”, Journal of Popular Music Studies, 2008.

Lawrence, Tim. Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-79. Index references: Walter Gibbons and John "Jellybean Benitez, 217; Better Days, 217; Better Days, 261; and Kenny Carpenter, 214, 215, 399; Disco Boggie, 265; Disco Madness, 384-85; DJing style, 215, 216, 217, 218, 383, 410; Double Exposure, 213-14, 218, 410; Galaxy 21, 214, 261; and François Kevorkian, 216, 217, 411; Loleatta Holloway, 261, 263-64; Bettye LaVette, 325; and Larry Levan, 411; Love Committee, 324-25, and Tom Moulton, 212, 268, 325; music, 215 (discography: Outside Inn 1975), 218; and the New York Record Pool, 158; Outside Inn, 214, 215; remixing style, 218, 263-64, 268-69, 411; Salsoul, 213-14; Salsoul Orchestra 224-25, 325; Sanctuary (Seattle), 324; and Nicky Siano, 246; Strafe, 392; and David Todd, 214.

Lawrence, Tim. “Mixed with Love: The Walter Gibbons Salsoul Anthology”, Suss’d Records 2004.

Lawrence, Tim. “Walter Gibbons: Jungle Music”, Strut, 2010. 

McMillan, Neil. "Cut Up or Shut Up: An Edited History of Cut 'n' Paste".


Walter Gibbons memorial service


Discogs: Walter Gibbons. Walter Gibbons.

Million Dollar Disco: Walter Gibbons.

Arthur Russell

I first heard about Arthur Russell in 1997, just after I started to research Love Saves the Day. I was interviewing Steve D'Acquisto at the time and Steve started to rave about Arthur, Arthur, Arthur and even suggested that I should write a biography about him. That's what I started to do right after Love Saves the Day went into production during 2003. I loved Arthur's mutant dance tracks yet ended up being just as beguiled by other recordings, from the shimmering voice-cello sound of World of Echo to the electronic-funk-pop posthumously released by Audika on Calling Out of Context in 2004. Steve Knutson, head of Audika, and Tom Lee, Arthur's surviving partner, made Arthur's archives available to me during my research and became hugely important facilitators; I remain indebted. Arthur's spirit lives on through his music, released and re-eleased by Audika, Soul Jazz and other labels, through Matt Wolf's lovely documentary film Wild Combination and, I sometimes like to think, through the publication of Hold On to Your Dreams. I have a significant amount of material I would like to upload to this page. It will take a while...


I never got to interview Arthur, who passed away in 1992, 12 years before I started to research and write Hold On to Your Dreams. What a regret. I will post the small number of interviews conducted with Arthur in Articles, below, at some point in the future.


Full discography from Hold On to Your Dreams. here.


Bishop, Stacey. "Arthur Russell: Tower of Meaning"Sound Choice. February 1985

Fricke, David. "On the Edge"Rolling Stone, 1994.

Lawrence, Tim. “Icons: Arthur Russell”. Attitude, October 2009.

Lawrence, Tim. “Review: Wild Combination”. Journal of the Society of American Music, 2010.

Lawrence, Tim. "24 --> 24 Music". Sleeping Bag Records/Traffic Entertainment Group, 2011.

Lucas, Gary. "An Appreciation"Alternative Press, November 1994.

Sandow, Gregory. "Music for a Rainy Day". Village Voice.


Byrne, Glass, Ginsberg on Arthur Russell, Recorded in 1994.

Frere-Jones, Sasha. "Let's Go Swimming: Arthur Russell's Gentle Revolutions"New Yorker. 8 March 2004.

Ratlif, Ben. "The Many Faces, and Grooves, of Arthur Russell"New York Times, 29 February 2004.