© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Gloria Gaynor: Disco Queen Goes Gospel

When Gloria Gaynorsays "God has been so good to me," she wants to make something clear.

"People often think that when you say God has been good to you it means that you've had a wonderful, carefree life," she says. "Not so at all. But I say that because he's brought me through so much unscathed."

Gaynor released a gospel album called Testimony, celebrating her faith through original songs and reimagined versions of classics like "Amazing Grace" and "Take My Hand, Precious Lord." Gaynor drops by World Cafe to perform gospel songs and her classic disco hit "I Will Survive." She first recorded the song while recovering from major spinal surgery after an on-stage fall threatened to leave her paralyzed. At the time, Gaynor was struggling with finances and having trouble with her record label. Gaynor handed copies of "I Will Survive", originally a B-side, to the DJ at Studio 54 and describes how her life changed when the song blew up through the club scene in the late 1970s.

Gaynor explains why "I Will Survive" is still her favorite song to perform. She also sings an a capella version of a song she wrote as a kid to keep herself company when her father wasn't around, and talks about her current work as the spokesperson for the Home Sharing Program. Run by the New York Foundation For Senior Citizens, the program matches adults with extra space in their homes with guests who need a place to live, as long as one of the match mates is over 60. Hear it all in the player.

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.
World Cafe senior producer Kimberly Junod has been a part of the World Cafe team since 2001, when she started as the show's first line producer. In 2011 Kimberly launched (and continues to helm) World Cafe's Sense of Place series that includes social media, broadcast and video elements to take listeners across the U.S. and abroad with an intimate look at local music scenes. She was thrilled to be part of the team that received the 2006 ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award for excellence in music programming. In the time she has spent at World Cafe, Kimberly has produced and edited thousands of interviews and recorded several hundred bands for the program, as well as supervised the show's production staff. She has also taught sound to young women (at Girl's Rock Philly) and adults (as an "Ask an Engineer" at WYNC's Werk It! Women's Podcast Festival).
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.