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Richie Kaczor (9 December 1952 – April 1993) was among the earliest DJs during Disco's infancy in the 1970s.
Starting his DJ career in New Jersey, Richie played at clubs in New York and surrounding states before being asked by nightclub owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager to start as a resident at the famous Studio 54, which was just about open. Kaczor, along with another DJ Nicky Siano were the two original DJs to play there with Richie playing on the weekends and Nicky during the weeknights.
Perhaps Richie's most noticeable legacy to Disco while DJing at Studio 54 was his championing of Gloria Gaynor's track 'I Will Survive', a song which hit the charts and is widely accepted as a Disco anthem. Nicky Siano asserts that it was Richie who first noticed the track and turned it into a success, originally a B-side to 'Substitute'. In fact it became so well associated with Studio 54 that fellow DJs from Richie's time were amazed when the song was not included in the sound track to '54', a movie based on Studio 54. Tom Moulton, DJ and remixer associated with the development of the 12" dance single recalled: "Well, it can't be about Studio 54 then, because Richie played that record. It became his biggest record."
Kaczor died at the relatively young age of 40 in 1993 due to unknown circumstances. Although he is not as well remembered as his other contemporaries from the Disco era, the success he achieved with 'I Will Survive' can very much be seen as a tribute to his skills and craftmanship as a DJ.
- Richie Kaczor @ Disco-Disco.com
- Brewster, B, Broughton, F, 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life', Grove Press, 2000