The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Stagebill March 1998

Carnegie Hall
Meet The Artists

Donna Summer has garnered 14 top ten hits, four No. 1 singles, and album sales in the tens of millions worldwide during her 20 years in the music business. In addition to touring the world and recording for film and television, she won her fifth Grammy Award this year for her remix with Giorgio Moroder of her song "Carry On." Known as the "Queen of Disco," she has survived the infamous "decline of disco" in 1979 and gone on to become a lasting presence in the international music scene.

Born in Boston on New year's Eve, the young Donna listened to the style of Mahalia Jackson and first tested her voice at the age of eight, performing with church choirs. At the age of 19, Ms. Summer mover to New York and was cast in the road company of the musical Hair, performing in both Germany and Austria. In Vienna, she appeared in productions of Showboat and Porgy and Bess at the Vienna Volksoper. returning to Germany, she was seen in productions of Godspell and The Me Nobody Knows and began doing studio work, singing backup vocals and cutting demos. During a demo session for the Three Dog Night, Dona met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete bellotte. In 1975, the three of them created the song "Love To Love You Baby," which attracted much attention in clubs in france, as well as that of American Neil Bogart, who signed it to his fledgling label, Casablance records. As a seven-inch single, the song rose to No. 2 on Billboard's Hot 100.

The success of "Love To Love You Baby" led to a catalog of albums that blended the primal urgency of disco and funk with symphonic strings and soaring vocals. Songs like "Spring Affair," "Try Me (I Know We can Make It)," and "Could It Be Magic" were expansive epics that delighted club DJs while shorter works like "I Love You," "MacArthur Park," and "Hot Stuff" were played by pop radio stations everywhere.

Ms. Summer's own favorite from this period-"Last Dance"-was the Oscar winning theme to the film, Thank God It's Friday. "Of all the songs from those days, I probably still feel most connected to 'Last Dance,'" Ms. Summer says. "Sing it and it brings tears to my eyes. For me it's become a poignant song. There were a lot of people in my life who are not with us anymore. It's like I'm singing to the memory of people who are special to me."

Her string of No. 1 singles and albums with casablanca rounded out with On The Radio, and she became the first artist signed to David geffen's new record company. This new phase of her career commenced with the albums The Wanderer (1980) and I'm A rainbow. Her final collaboration with Moroder and Bellotte, I'm A Rainbow, originally scheduled for release in 1981, was issued by Polygram in 1996.

Since 1980, Ms. Summer has collaborated with an illustrious line-up of writer and producers that has included Quincy jones, Michael Omartian, and Stig Edgren. the stream of hits has included "State Of Independence," "She Works Hard For The Money," and "This Time I Know It's For Real." Her greatest hits retrospective, Endless Summer, was released in 1994, and later that year she released Christmas Spirit, an album of Christmas standards and original songs recorded with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Summer returned to the road in 1995 with successful tours of Brazil and the United States, including sold out shows at the Universal Ampitheater in Los Angeles and Radio City Music Hall in New York City. In 1996, she headlined in a cross-country summer tour that brought her to such stops as New York's Jones Beach, Detroit's Pine Knob, and Atlanta's Chastain Park.

That year also saw her celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Disneyworld in an ABC-TV special, and recording the song "Someday" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Disney's Mousehouse album. She also recorded a duet with Bruce Roberts of the title song from the movie Daylight. Her 1977 pop hit "I Feel Love," remixed by Rollo and Sister Bliss with new vocals from Ms. Summer, recently re-entered the charts as a Top 10 hit on Billboard's "Hot Dance Chart."

After 20 years as a singer.songwriter, Ms. Summer remains an inspiration and influence. She is currently working on a musical called Ordinary Girl, which she, along with Michael Omartian, Bruce Sudano, and Al Kasha, is hoping to have up and running soon in it's first incarnation. Called a "conthearto," it is part musical, part new music composition, and part concert music. Having helped to define the 1970s musical generation, Ms. Summer continues to boldly carve out a niche among the world's leading song stylists.

 

GMHC EVENT PRODUCTION
For An Evening With Donna Summer

Steve Asher, Concert Producer
Sharon Epstein, Event Producer
Vincent J. Carbone, Associate Concert Producer
Gloria Johnson, Associate Event Producer
Cory Lippiello, Event Assistant

Elizabeth Eynon, Assistant Director, Communications, Marketing, And Media Campaigns
Noel Alicea, Media Coordinator

"NOW"

John Billings, Bass
Randy Mitchell, Guitar
George Perilli, Drums
Harry Sharpe, Keyboards
Daryl Tibbs, Percussion
Ross Walters, Keyboards
Mary Ellen Bernard, Background Vocals
Yvonne Hodges, Background Vocals
Mike Mellett, Background Vocals
Bruce Sudano, Background Vocals

PRODUCTION STAFF

Denise Eppolito, Wardrobe
Paul Fergusen, Band Technician
Barry Foy, Monitor Engineer
Roy F. Henley, Carpenter
Rod Henry, Moving Lights
Rob Hillard, Production Assistant
Pat Naderhoff, Wardrobe Manager
Tom Scull, Video
Bobby Stewart, Security Director

 

SPONSORS FOR AN EVENING WITH DONNA SUMMER

As of March 4, 1998

GRAND SPONSORS

Paul G. De Vido
Alice and Stanley Harris
103.5 KTU
HX Magazine and HX For Her
Andrew Reyes
Joan and Bob Tisch
Robert M. Wallach and the Robert Plan Corporation

MAJOR SPONSORS

Advanced Travel Management
Peter M. Benassi/Media resources International
Joey Gardner/Tommy Boy Records

CONTRIBUTING SPONSORS

Le Bar Bat
Alexandra and Steven Cohen
Roberta and Arnold Greenberg
Denise Rich
Michael Schiralli

ASSOCIATE SPONSORS

Atlantic Business Products
The Widow Holtquist

PATRONS

Calvin Klein Cosmetics
Jonathan Canno and Jay Dagenhart
William Diamond and Anthony Baratta
Cre8one
Leon Constantiner
Stephen Joseph DiGiosa
Dr. John Fair/Minister Asset Management, LTD
Fischer Travel Enterprises
Jack Gordon
Julio Hubert, M.D.
Steve and Marion Leber
Michael J. Martin
Jane McEnvoy Patrycki
Christopher M. Padilla
Angela S. Rich
Marie and David Ritter
Gary Shapiro/In memory of Randy "Buddy" Shapiro
Veronica and John Scaglione
Milton E. Stanson
WABC-TV
William Morris Agency, Inc.

� 1998 Stagebill

 

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