This song was one of the biggest hits of the disco era. With a driving, rhythmic beat that will have you longing for those glitzy disco balls and white polyester suits like John Travolta wore in "Saturday Night Fever," it will bring back lots of memories for Baby Boomers!
The aunt of the late singer, Whitney Houston, Thelma Houston is best known for her number one pop classic disco cover of "Don't Leave Me This Way." Originally a hit for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass, the Gamble & Huff/Cary Gilbert song soars through the gospel music-honed vocals of the Leland, Mississippi, native.
The singer came from humble beginnings. Her mother picked cotton to support Houston and her three sisters. During her youth, the family relocated to Long Beach, California. As an adult, Houston graduated from high school, got married, had two children, and was later divorced. She got a job in the healthcare field. Staying active in music, she became a member of the Art Reynolds Singers, singing lead on their popular single cover of "Glory Glory Hallelujah" on Capitol. 5th Dimension manager Marc Gordon was impressed by her vocal skills and helped to get her a recording deal with Dunhill Records. In 1969, renowned songwriter Jimmy Webb produced her debut LP, Sunshower. One single, a cover of Laura Nyro's "Save the Country," charted in early 1970.
Houston released her third album Any Way You Like It in 1976. The first single released was her version of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' 1975 song "Don't Leave Me This Way". In February 1977 the track hit Number 1 in the U.S. on the R&B and Club Play Singles charts, then in April 1977 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Don't Leave Me This Way" won Houston the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the Grammys for 1977. Besides its US success "Don't Leave Me This Way" became a hit in at least twelve countries, including the UK where it reached Number 13.