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Paying Tribute to Paul Parker, Disco Divo




Two gay men with the last name of Parker made their mark in two areas of entertainment in the 1980s - Al Parker, a gay porn icon, and Paul Parker, sexy singer of high-NRG dance tracks that resonated with gay disco bunnies (me included).  Both were born in 1952.  Sadly, Al died young in 1992 (age 40), a casualty of AIDS.  Paul, happily, is still with us and at the age of 64 he's still ruggedly handsome.  Best known for his collaborations with openly gay producer Patrick Cowley (an even earlier casualty of AIDS than Al Parker, passing away in 1982), Parker's voice lended swagger to Cowley's futuristic techno sound. 




What I liked about Parker's and Cowley's music was that it was written and produced for a gay audience, played largely at gay clubs and never entered the mainstream.  And since so many dance classics were sung by women it was refreshing to have the image of the hot, masculine Parker in our minds/fantasies as we danced to his music.  His big hit, Right on Target, went to the top of the Billboard Dance Chart in July 1982 (vying with Laura Branigan's Gloria and Sylvester's Do You Wanna Funk? as the song of the summer). 


He also provided the vocals for Cowley's Technological World and Lift Off, had another solo hit, Desire, in 1984 and in 1986 he and Pamala Stanley (two weeks older than Parker) had a popular duet, Stranger in a Strange Land.






Since his heyday Parker has continued to sing professionally, with occasional under-the-radar solo albums and back-up vocals.  However, it doesn't appear that his performing/recording have been that extensive to keep him busy for the past 20 years, but his biographical material doesn't shed any light on other endeavors.  (I could easily picture the San Francisco native running a bed and breakfast in northern California's Russian River area).  In fact, until I began researching this post (in 2016) it had been years since I last heard anything about him, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was still alive - and had maintained his good looks as a sexy "silver daddy".






I didn't know he is gay. He sure gave off that leather daddy vibe in the 80s. And he's still looking fine as a silver daddy. From what I previously read there was no mention of it even in Wikipedia. But it makes sense because he worked with Patrick Cowley and their music mainly catered to "the gays." I was looking up artists as I was listening to an Apple Music Disco playlist. Thanks for your post.

Braulio Romero

OMG i dunno how old this post is but I see from that comment
anyways he's going to be in the Netherland's performing!


Thanx for the post. Wondering what happened with him. I'm not gay but I love Paul, and of course Patrick Cowley, the pioneer and "daddy" of synthetic .... I'm glad he is still with us. Cowley was a great loss :(


Thank you for posting about Paul Parker!
He still has "it"!
No other gay male dance artist has come close to his body of work(which is unfortunate)

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