[GOSPEL] San Fran-disco: How Patrick Cowley and Sylvester changed dance music forever


Sylvester was San Francisco’s biggest star and Cowley’s muse – a larger-than-life presence around town, dressed to the nines and often carrying multiple shopping bags as he walked down Castro Street. Cowley most famously worked with Sylvester on the ecstatic mega-hit You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) and was a pioneer of the genre known as hi-NRG, a relentlessly uptempo variant of disco that gained serious traction, especially in the UK and Europe.

Mighty real: Sylvester, right, and Patrick Cowley pose for a portrait at the mixing board in a recording studio in circa 1980. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives)

Sylvester, and Patrick Cowley (left) pose for a portrait at the mixing board in a recording studio in circa 1980. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives)

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