'Watch' The Godfather Of Disco / Mel Cheren

words courtesy of Payback Industries / Gene Graham
The Godfather of Disco is a feature-length documentary based on Mel Cheren’s powerful autobiography, My Life and the Paradise Garage: Keep On Dancin’.

Through a series of interviews with a who’s who of the dance music community, The Godfather of Disco follows the arc of Mel’s life to examine the early 70s musical and cultural currents that gave birth to disco; West End Records’ contribution to that scene; and the rise of Paradise Garage.

Gene Graham, Basil Tsiokos, Mel Cheren

From that cultural heyday, the film then charts the onslaught of HIV/Aids, its impact on New York City, and Mel’s heroic efforts in the face of an epidemic through his work for Gay Men’s Health Crisis and 24hrs for Life/LIFEbeat.

Mel has been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale. And, rest assured, he still does it all today. The Godfather of Disco makes a compelling case for how one’s man’s musical vision and AIDS activism helped push gay sensibilities into the greater culture—and how our world is better for it.

Danny Krivit, Gene Graham, Mel Cheren + Friend

Pioneer. Activist. Survivor. Mel Cheren is The Godfather of Disco.


Director: Gene Graham
Producers: Gene Graham, Francis Legge
Executive Producer: Mel Cheren
Associate Producer: Adam Cruz
Director of Photography: Francis Legge
Editor: Gene Graham
Sound: Francis Legge
Writer: Story adaptation by Gene Graham based on the autobiography, “Keep On Dancin’ / My Life and the Paradise Garage” by Mel Cheren as told to Gabriel Rotello, with assistance from Brent Nicholson Earle.

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