Vaughan Mason, the creator of the roller disco song, “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll,” has died at the age of 69. The song reached number 5 on both the US Billboard Hot Soul Singles and number 38 on its Disco Top 100 charts in 1980. Mason performed the hit track with his group, Vaughan Mason & Crew, as they capitalized on the success of roller disco culture in the United States at the time. The song would go on to be sampled by artists as diverse as De La Soul and Daft Punk.
Mason released his follow-up track in 1981, “Jammin’ Big Guitar.” That song reached number 65 on the Billboard charts.
There are no reports suggesting that Mason passed away due to coronavirus.
Mason’s death was confirmed in a Facebook post from his friend, Sheila Ford. Ford said that Mason passed away on April 2.
Mason Borrowed $7,000 in Order to Fund the Recording of ‘Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll’
Mason told Soul and Funk Music in a 2004 interview that he was working in a record store in New York City in 1978. It was there that Mason began the process of recording his most famous work. Mason borrowed $7,000 from friends and then recorded the song in 10 days. During that interview, Mason said that the success of the song led to him performing with Prince and Rick James.
In March 2015, Electronic Beats ran a feature regarding the birth of “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll.” Mason said that it was a friend of his who had just graduated from the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania who turned him on to the idea of following The Wall Street Journal to follow business trends. This was where Mason got the idea of writing a song that was aimed at the roller disco craze.
Mason said in that interview that the had dropped out of Howard University in 1972 after his father died. Mason then described growing up in a Jewish and Italian neighborhood in Yonkers, New York, as a huge Beatles fan. Mason said, ” I used to stand in front of the mirror and just wish and pray to God, “Why can’t I just have straight hair so I can shake my head and have everyone go ‘Hooo’ like the Beatles?””
Mason Was Still Working in Music Right Up Until His Death
At the time of his death, Mason was still active in producing and recording music. Mason’s final Instagram post showed him working at Dream 1st Studios in Baltimore.
Mason was also manager to Baltimore-based singer Dimitri Reeves. Reeves paid tribute to Mason in an Instagram post writing:
My heart hurts so bad right now, I love you, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU WERE THE BEST MANAGER ANYONE COULD EVER ASK FOR!
You taught me so much you were like a father to me. I miss you already. This was just your temporary home, You belong to the cosmos now fly high I’ll see you again someday. RIP.”