Jacques Morali

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Jacques Morali (4 July 1947 – 15 November 1991[1]) was a French music author and creator of disco music and novelty acts like Village People.

He began in music at the end of the 1960s by writing music in Paris for orchestra, for the Crazy Horse, for himself (he played in 1967 "Elle aime, elle n'aime pas") but also for performers like Peter Fersen. Viva Zapata (Venus VS-71451), one of his first French productions, was sung by "Clint Farwood" - a pseudonym for a member of King Harvest (Dancing in the Moonlight). In the early 1970s, he met Henri Belolo. But he thought that his success in France was not as high as expected. Through meeting José Eber, Elizabeth Taylor and Cher's hairdresser,[2] he became familiar with Philadelphia International Records. Morali proposed several projects to Henri Belolo without convincing him. One day he proposed to adapt the Brazilian song "Brazil" from a musical starring Carmen Miranda. The idea was to make a record for the clubs. Seduced by the idea, Belolo and Morali went to the "Sigma Sound" Studio in Philadelphia. They found three girls (Cheryl Jacks, Cassandra Wooten and Gwendolyn Oliver) and named the band The Ritchie Family. "Brazil" was a success, the first of many that made them forever partners, one as a creator and author, and the other one as a writer and editor (Black Scorpio).

They started to visit a lot of nightclubs, to find trends and ideas. Morali liked the clubs of Greenwich Village where he found all the stereotypes of the US man. One day Morali attended a costume ball at "Les Mouches," a gay disco in Greenwich Village. As he gazed around the room, he was impressed by all the macho male stereotypes portrayed by the party guests. He had the idea to put together a group of singers and dancers, each of them playing a different gay fantasy figure. Within this framework, they choose an "Indian", a cowboy ...five men at the end that would represent the ongoing 1970s' sexual and gay freedom with disco music.[citation needed]

They released "The Wiz". This was an underground hit with 100,000 singles sold. They composed and wrote songs inspired by mythical places like Hollywood. Village People had a number of hits including "San Francisco" (1977), "Macho Man" (1978), "In the Navy" (1979), and "Go West" (1979). In 1980, Morali co-produced, with Belolo and Allan Carr, the Village People film, Can't Stop the Music. The film, a fictionalized account of the Village People's origin (in which Morali was represented by Steve Guttenberg as "Jack Morell"), was a critical and commercial failure.[citation needed]

In 1978, Morali discovered a particular place, the "YMCA", The Young Men's Christian Association, and he started to sing "Young Man ....."," Young Man ..... . ". The song, "YMCA" (1978), 6000000 of 33 rpm albums sold worldwide. This is the major world single for Morali and Belolo.[citation needed]

Later he co-wrote (along with Village People original lead singer, Victor Willis) for Patrick Juvet singles like "I love America", "Viva California" and "Gay Paris", for Régine, Dalida, Eric Russell, Eartha Kitt, Patricia Norton, Julius Brown, Starlight, Diva, Dennis Parker "Like an Eagle" that was also a major success, David London, Break Machine, Wayne Scott for the movie Rambo, Pia Zadora ..... It was also in the early 1980s that he composed jingles for the European radio station NRJ.[citation needed]

In 20 years, Morali wrote 362 songs and 65 albums.[citation needed]

Morali was infected by HIV in the mid-1980s and sadly died of AIDS in 1991. He was buried in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (France).[1]


  1. ^ a b "The Estate Project". Artistswithaids.org. 1991-11-15. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  2. ^ "José Eber interview for "Unscripted"". Retrieved September 23, 2009.