'Disco Inferno' singer Jimmy Ellis dies in Rock Hill

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Jimmy Ellis, the Trammps lead singer whose 1976 song "Disco Inferno" helped define the disco explosion after appearing in the genre-defining film of the following year, Saturday Night Fever, died Thursday in his hometown of Rock Hill, S.C.

Here's a report from today's Charlotte Observer:


James T. "Jimmy" Ellis - who grew up in a shotgun shack on Pond Street in Rock Hill's Crawford Road neighborhood - died Thursday. He was 74.

But his signature song, "Disco Inferno," will live forever.

"Doesn't matter where you go, who they are," said Johnny Ellis, Jimmy's younger brother. "everybody knows when they hear the words, 'Burn that mother down!' and 'Burn, baby, burn,' that the song is 'Disco Inferno.'

"And the man with that voice who sang that song was Jimmy Ellis."

The song took off after it was featured in the movie "Saturday Night Fever" in 1977, and on the subsequent movie soundtrack that sold 15 million copies as it stayed atop the charts for half a year.

Read the entire story here.

For more, see my tribute to Ellis in today's CLog.


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