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Pop Idols and the Disco Scene: Newsprint Time Capsules From 1979

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POP IDOLS AND THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday May 27 1979

May 27, 1979

You simply can’t find a better time capsule for the disco age than Pop Idols and the Disco Scene which ran from 1976 to 1970 in Sunday newspapers.  Each week, Stan Drake and Brendan Boyd brought you everything from disco steps to pop star biographies right next to your Doonesbury and Wizard of Id.   Here is a sampling from the grand old year of 1979.  Enjoy.


POP IDOLS AND THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday June 3 1979

June 3, 1979

Historic events are catalogued in this Sunday’s edition: Cheryl Lynn is discovered on The Gong Show and “Dance Fever” is about to premier.  I don’t know about you, but Deney Terrio’s show was a must-watch in the Yeoman Lowbrow household.


POP IDOLS AND THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday June 17 1979

June 17, 1979

I’d say Sylvester’s characterization as the “sassiest” male vocalist is pretty apt.  However, I’m more interested in those battery powered disco shoes – sure to make you the center of attention at your local discotheque.


POP IDOLS & THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday July 15 1979

July 15, 1979

A bit odd to see something so disco-centric focus on the Allman Brothers.  The 1970s were nothing if not eclectic – it wouldn’t be strange at all to catch a Sabbath concert one week and KC & the Sunshine Band the next.   Your average 8-track collection could contain both The Allman Brothers and the Commodores , and there was nothing wrong with that.


POP IDOLS AND THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday July 29 1979

July 29, 1979

It just seems impossibly bizarre that The Roaches are featured in the Sunday funny pages.  Suffice it to say, it was an interesting time.


POP IDOLS AND THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday August 5 1979

August 5, 1979

I love how they’re called “Dave Roth” and “Edward Van Halen”, and  I never knew Van Halen owed their start to Gene Simmons’ good will.  This comic is pure gold.


POP IDOLS AND THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday Sept 2 1979

Sept 2, 1979

Interesting how Michael and Jermaine are basically put on equal footing as the two breakout solo artists of the group.  I’m unfamiliar with the Jackson’s summer replacement series for adults – anyone remember this?


POP IDOLS AND THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday  September 16 1979

September 16, 1979

Teddy Pendergrass bought Mike Douglas’ house?  File this under “unimportant yet oddly fascinating news”.


Newspaper Strip Sunday Nov 25 1979

November 25, 1979

In which we learn that rising star, Tim Curry, is forgoing his acting career in favor of being a rock star.


POP IDOLS AND THE DISCO SCENE Newspaper Strip Sunday December 2 1979

December 2, 1979

Before we go, a word about Stan Drake, the illustrator for these comics (I have no clue about Brendan Boyd, the writer).  Stan Drake’s work was everywhere in the 1950s-70s- appearing in adverts, pulp magazines and even comic books (ex. She-Hulk) before landing the gig of illustrating the Blondie comics in 1984.  He is the man behind the strip The Heart of Juliet Jones (a romantic serial strip you probably have never heard of, but was fairly popular in the 1950s).  He did a lot of golfing illustrations for books and magazines (ex. Golf Digest) and was an avid golfer himself.  It seems a bit odd that this guy would be providing illustrations of Foreigner and Kansas, but I’d say he did an admirable job.  Stan Drake RIP 1997.


  • timdub70

    I do remember the old Jacksons TV show-it was on from June 1976-March 1977 on CBS and we watched it all the time. It featured most of the Jackson children except for Jermaine. The three Jackson girls, Rebbie, LaToya, and Janet were also on. Janet came from that show to join in the last seasons of Good Times. As for this comic series, I never got to see it because the Omaha Sunday World-Herald did not run them in the Sunday funnies.

  • sampoerna quatrain

    I learned two things I didn’t know! Michael Landon was in Dire Straits, and Father Guido Sarducci was in The Allman Brothers!!

  • Álvaro Martín Gómez Acevedo

    This comic strip was also published in my country and, as a young rock and pop music fan, I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for the memories! Do you have, by any chance, a sample of the strip dedicated to Kiss? I was a Kiss freak back then and I devoured that particular strip. It was the responsible of me desperately wishing to own the “Double Platinum” album, since it was marked as “preferred by Pop Idols” (it was translated to Spanish that way. Maybe “Pop Idols favorite” originally?). Thank you one more time.