In August of 1979 the band Chic had their second #1 pop and r&b hit with “Good Times.” Later that year they played at New York’s Bonds nightclub on a bill with The Clash and Blondie. When they launched into “Good Times,” a handful of audience members jumped on stage and started freestyling rhymes over the song’s instrumental break.
Later that year those audience members, under the name The Sugarhill Gang, released “Rapper’s Delight.” Built around the bass line from “Good Times,” “Rapper’s Delight” became the first rap record to make the pop top 40. The rules around “sampling” had not yet been established, so Chic threatened legal action over the rap trio’s use of the bass line, created by Chic’s bassist, Bernard Edwards. The Sugarhill Gang’s record label settled with Chic, and Edwards and his bandmate Nile Rodgers received a writing credit on “Rapper’s Delight.”
Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour, and today’s dance playlist kicks off with Chic’s “Good Times,” in memory of Bernard Edwards, who died on April 18, 1996.