The Donna Summer Tribute Site

May/June 1999 Article Round-up

Outlook Magazine (June 1, 1999)

Did somebody say “McDonna’s?”
Another Decade Ends, Another Donna Insurgence

In the late 70s, she was the Queen of Disco, in the late 80’s, the ...”Time Was For Real.” As the millenium approaches, did you really expect Donna Summer to let the party happen without her at the forefront? While some will think that she is attempting to ride the coattails of Cher’s recent dance success, Donna has never abandoned her disco roots and she is about to show the world how hard she can work for the money. Currently “on the radio” with a McDonald’s commercial, Donna will soon step front and center with a barrage of quality entertainment for us to enjoy into 2000. While the dance fans in the gay community have been able to hear Donna’s ‘90s dance anthems “Melody of Love” and “Carry On,” those outside the club world may be wondering “Where is she now?” Ironically, the show from VH-1 that has asked that question of many of disco’s biggest stars has also featured Donna herself. And now it will be VH-1 catapulting Donna right back front and center leaving America with the definitive answer: “Oh, THERE she is!” This month Donna is poised to release Live and More Encore, a new album of old and new songs. The “Live” portion of the album was recorded at a concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC in February. VH-1 will air an edited version of the show on June 20th, two days before the release of the album. The “Live” portion essentially consists of Donna’s greatest hits, while the “More” section is as good as or better than “MacArthur Park Suite.” It includes “I Will Go With You,” a cover of Andrea Bocelli’s international hit (currently in rotation on WKTU) and "Love is the Healer." "I Will Go…" was produced by Hex Hector who is best known for his work with Deborah Cox ("Things Just Ain't The Same," Nobody's Supposed to Be Here.") “More” showcases Donna’s vocal prowess while the musical arrangements sweep melodically around her voice in a way not heard since her 70s work. Look for many remixes for "I Will Go," with a bonus track as well. As a result of her impending tour, new record contract with Epic, and national exposure on VH-1, expect a new generation of Summer fans to emerge this year. Perhaps they’ll be partying with Donna at Trump Plaza’s Millenium Party on her 51st birthday, December 31, 1999!

� 1999 Outlook Magazine

 


DMA

HiNRG eurobeat 

by Dean Ferguson

Post-Holiday Crunch:
The holiday season is normally a notoriously slow period for new releases and chart movement, but this winter is a different story. The hits that emerged between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve were among the strongest of the year, with Cher's "Believe" leading the charge. "Believe" took over the top spot here in the U.S. in late November, just as Thanksgiving dinner was being served. By the time our chart year closed out (December 15th), it was the biggest point-total #1 of the decade. Our reporting panel of DJs submits a biweekly Top 20 list, with points given to each title they chart in reverse order (#1 gets 20 points, #2 gets 19, and so on). With roughly forty playlists submitted and tallied each period, the average #1 scores somewhere between 300 and 350 points, but Cher's single finished this last reporting period with a whopping 709. The decade's previous record holder was Nicki French's "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" which at one point had a single week total of 680. To find a comparable HiNRG clubland equivalent, one has to go all the way back to 1989, when Donna Summer's "This Time I Know It's For Real" rang the #1 bell with 722 club play points.

� 1999 DMA

 


Billboard May 29, 1999

DANCE TRAX: 

by Michael Paoletta

SUMMER MADNESS: Speaking of Donna Summer. Epic Records is slowly but surely setting the wheels in motion for the June 22 release of "VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live & More-Encore!" According to the label's senior director of marketing/ A&R. Frank Ceraolo, a limited-edition promotional 12-inch of the album's first single. "I Will Go With You (Con te Partiro) was recently serviced to club DJs. Produced by Hex Hector, and co-produced by Mac Quayle, "I will go with you" -which is Summer's reinterpretation of Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's "time to say Goodbye"- features incredibly fab remixes by Warren Rigg, Welcome Production, Rosabel, Messy Boys, Richie Santana, Trouser Enthusiasts, and club 69. Also included is an extended edit by Hector. Unfortunately, the single, with its dizzying array of restructuring, and bonus track (The Hecto-remixed "Love On And On" originally recorded by the UK's Lorraine Kato) won't be available commercially until July 6." But for those who just can't wait, the album will be in stores two weeks before that notes Ceraolo. Of course, that doesn't help Summer's vociferous fans who want anything relating to the singer sooner rather than later, especially these highly coveted and much-in-demand mixes.

and on page 94 (from an article about VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Rock special).....

Donna Summer, also on the list, has a longer view. " I think that female artists have been coming into their own since the 1960's", Summer says. "But now, women are making their own statements and taking more control of their careers, and I really respect that." Summer adds, "One of my greatest frustrations was having people telling me what to say in my music. I grew up in the rock 'n' roll era, and I was influenced by Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones to theater to Bonnie Raitt to Joni Mitchell. I have no desire to do music that bores the living crap out of me. Whether or not the audience gets the music is not the issue. I won't make a certain kind of record unless it's what I feel I'm about at the time."

Summer's next album is VH1's Presents DONNA SUMMER - Live & More - Encore!

� 1999 Billboard

 


Cable Guide (June)

SUMMER NIGHTS

DISCO DIVA DONNA SUMMER STRUTS HER HOT STUFF ON TWO SPECIALS

Disco was pronounced dead decades ago, but Donna Summer isn't ready for her last dance. In fact, her dance card is full: She has a new recording contract with Sony/550, a summer tour planned and two VH1 projects this month - a Behind the Music episode and VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live and More Encore. Although she was asked to do the Divas Live '99 concert, "the timing wasn't right for me and then they said they had a market for me by myself," explains Summer by phone from her home in Nashville. So the Disco Queen doesn't need to share the spotlight, but she did consent to share some of her story for Behind The Music. Still, she says the story won't be complete. "As far as I'm concerned, the story won't be told until I tell it." To that end, Summer is putting the finishing touches on an autobiographical musical, tentatively titled Ordinary Girl., because, she says, "I think I'm pretty ordinary, and it just goes to show you ordinary people can do extraordinary things sometimes." Currently she's writing two new songs for an upcoming live record and is stockpiling others for its follow-up, which she plans to try out on audiences. "But there are some songs that will always be in every show, like 'Bad Girls,' 'Hot Stuff,' No More Tears' and 'Last Dance.' I gotta do them or they'd stone me before I left the stage," Summer says, proving that she's still working hard for the money.

 � 1999 Cable Guide

 


CATHY'S SOAPBOX (May 1999)

Well - the thing that has been on my mind the last few days is Sing Me Sleep Mommy. So I am devoting my soapbox to that. And before I share my thoughts, let me share the thoughts of my special guest soapboxer - the one and only Fabulous Albert. So without any further ado, here's the Fab One's report:

SING ME TO SLEEP, MOMMY - has been released! And now available....on Brentwood Kids Records. Written on the back cover of the CD jacket:

"Every mother dreams of creating a special bond of love with her child. Now this timeless collection of soft ballads and beautiful lullabies provides the perfect setting to share God's Love with her children. You and your children will want to experience SING ME TO SLEEP, MOMMY over and over again!"

" MY PRAYER FOR YOU "- written by DONNA SUMMER and Nathan P.DiGesare - Sung by DONNA SUMMER

MY FAB REVIEW :

This ballad is very pretty and soothing to the soul. It is half sung and half spoken. DONNA SUMMER begins the composition softly and crescendos into a more powerful delivery as she dances over a luscious piano arrangement that melts in your ears and then in your heart. The tune styling is very reminiscent of the songs of Summer's CHRISTMAS SPIRIT CD. For those of you who adore CHRISTMAS SPIRIT you will enjoy this CD...for those of you who only prefer the Dance Diva Action..... you will NOT find that here. Trust me, there will be no remixes on this song, it's religious.... However, this perfect collection of lullabies is a gem for all DONNA SUMMER collectors.

Till next time The Very Fabulous Albert

-----

And now for my comments:

OK - I got the Sing Me Sleep Mommy cd and I have fallen absolutely and totally in love with the song My Prayer For You. The more I play it, the more I love it. I have NOT stopped playing it since it fell into my hands the other day. You know - I've followed Donna's career for the past 20 years. I have hung on every note she has ever sung, and by now I should know how truly talented she is. And yet I was STILL surprised and overwhelmed when I played My Prayer For You. That's the amazing thing - that after all these years Donna can still have that effect on me. And so here I am, in my own forum, wanting to say so much.......... but finding out that words fail me. This song touches me in a way that is beyond words. So I guess all I can really say is: Thank you Donna. Thank you for sharing this song with us. Thank you for touching my soul.

"To God who organized the sky, and still finds time for you and I ..... This I promise will forever be true ........ my prayer will be for you."

� 1999 Fabulous Productions and The Donna Summer Tribute Site

 


Epic, VH1 Making it Summer's Summer (Billboard June 12, 1999)

By MICHAEL PAOLETTA.

NEW YORK--Summer officially begins June 21. On the evening before, music cable network VH1 will premiere "VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live & More--Encore!." a concert taped Feb. 4 in New York (Dance Trax, Billboard, Feb. 20) as well as a "Behind The Music" episode spotlighting the artist. Two days later, on June 22, Epic Records will issue the concert's accompanying album, "VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live & More--Encore!." While Epic Music Video will release the video version of the concert, which includes four additional songs. The album will be available in a variety of formats: single CD, limited-edition double-vinyl, and a limited-edition CD/VHS box. "It's really looking like it's going to be Summer's summer." says Frank Ceraolo, senior director of marketing/A*R at Epic. "To say that we're excited about this project would be an understatement. It's a dream come true." Lee Chesnut, VP of A&R at the label, concurs. "To work with her is to realize what a professional she is." she says. "This is only the beginning for Donna at the label. We are truly committed to her." Epic signed the multimillion-selling, five-time-Grammy-winning Summer to a multi-album deal earlier this year (Dance Trax, Billboard, Feb. 13). According to the singer, it's been a long time coming. "It feels good to have a label to call home." says Summer, who has recorded for Oasis, Casablanca, Geffen, Atlantic, and Mercury. "More importantly, it feels like the label I should've had all along." "VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live & More--Encore!," features live performances of classic Summer recordings, including "MacArthur Park," "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls," and "No More tears (Enough Is Enough)," all of which reached No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100. The live portion of "Encore!" also includes "My Life" a new song Summer wrote with Pete Waterman, Paul Berry, and Gary Miller. The track is taken from the singer's forthcoming Broadway musical, "Ordinary Girl" Additionally, the album spotlights two new studio tracks" "Love Is The Healer," penned by the singer and Nathan DiGesare and produced by DiGesare, with additional production by the team of Chris Cox and Barry Harris (aka the remix outfit Thunderpuss 2000)' and the set's first single, "I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro)." For "I Will Go With You," which was produced By Hex Hector and Mac Quayle, Summer reinterpreted "Time To Say Goodbye," an operatic ballad originally recorded in Italian by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman and included on Bocelli's "Romanza" album. "I told Bruce (Sudano, Summer's husband) that I wanted to do the consummate dance recording of the century." explains the singer, who is an ardent Bocelli fan, and whose songs are published by Sweet Summer Night Music (ASCAP). "While we were talking, Andrea's version of the song was playing in the background. All of a sudden, Bruce said, Turn it off--that's the song'. So, since no official English lyrics exist, I decided to reinterpret it." According to Chesnut and Ceraolo, Epic will be working hand in hand with VH1 on this project. "The network is giving us a lot of promotional time, as well as multiple airings of the concert and 'Behind the Music" episode," Ceraolo says. VH1 VP of music talent Bruce Gillmer confirms this, adding, : By the week of June 7, we'll have a significant promo campaign going. In addition to spots promoting the two premieres, we'll offer direct sales of both the CD and home video. "We'll also pull a performance from the concert to run as a video clip. Of course, we'll be playing the video for 'I will Go With You,' too". On June 24 and July 2, she will appearing "The Rosie O'Donnel Show" and "Today', respectively. In addition to Summer's TV exposure, Ceraolo says, clubs will play a major role in the setup and execution of the project. DJs were serviced with a promotional 12-inch of the remixes of "I Will Go With You" on May 21. Scheduled for commercial release July 7, "I will Go With You" went to radio June 1, according to Ceraolo, who envisions the single making inroads initially at dance-leaning rhythm-crossover and AC stations, and then spreading to mainstream top 50.pop formats. Rhythmic to 40 WKTU New York began playing the buoyant track May 13. "We've been getting great phone response," says Frankie Blue, the station's PD. "Donna's been a core artist for the station since day one, so people are really excited to hear something fresh and new from her." Retailers agree. "Donna always does great for us," says Tim Devin, GM of Tower Records' Lincoln Square location in New York. "I'm looking forward to this album. I see it immediately popping into the store's top 25." Adding to the project's visibility will be the inclusion of "MacArthur Park" on "Pride 2K,' a label CD sampler to be given away at gay-pride events nationwide in June. And on June 18, Summer--who is managed by Stan Moress of Nashville-based Moress-Nanas Entertainment and booked by Rob Heller of the Los Angeles-based "William Morris Agency-embarks on a five month tour.

� 1999 Billboard

 


Liz Smith's column (June 7, 1999)

Donna Summer is coming to VH1. The one-time disco superstar, still in amazing voice, appears in her first-ever televised concert, "Donna Summer: Live and More" on June 20. Summer's hits--: "Last Dance," "Bad Girls," "On the Radio," "She Works Hard for the Money," etc.-became virtual anthems for an era of careless, dance-till-you-drop good times....

� 1999 Liz Smith

 


Next Magazine (June 4, 1999)

"Club Control" Heartbeat News 

by Louis Morhaim (Excerpts)

Summer is just about here, everybody! Of course you know the season is just around the corner--but I'm talking about the first and last queen of disco and beyond. Donna Summer, baby. There is so much buzz, anticipation and confusion going around about what will probably be the biggest set of releases this summer. I will do my best here to sort it all out and report about it to you as clearly as possible. As I've written many times before, things tend to change quite a bit in this business--but the following seems to be etched in stone... On June 20th and 22nd VH-1 will air the pre-recorded "Live and More...Encore" (at 10 PM and midnight) preceded by "Behind the Music--Donna Summer" (at 9 PM and 11 PM)...<snip>... July 6th is the street date for the single "I Will Go With You" PART ONE AND July 20th for PART TWO. These will be available on CD maxi (two parts) and 12" vinyl (two parts) containing remixes by Warren Ricc, Welcome, Hex Hector, Club 69, Rosabel, Messy Boys, Richie Santana and Trouser Enthusiasts, not to mention a bonus track, (you guessed it) the much-in-demand and inordinately controversial "Love On and On!" If all that is not enough, Summer will be appearing throughout June and July on Rosie, The View, The Today Show and a special feature in the July/August issue of Mixer Magazine. Whoa daddy--a queen's dream come true!!

� 1999 Next Magazine

 


The Advocate

"Its Donna's summer--and ABBA's adolescence"

The original queen of gay disco, Donna Summer, is staging a comeback attempt with full support from cable channel VH1 and EPIC records. On June 20, VH1 will broadcast "Donna Summer: Live & More," a concert taped February 4 in New York, followed by a new "Behind The Music" installment about the singer. Two days later the album version of the show will be released by EPIC. And in honor of times gone by, the album--which includes versions of Summer classics such as "MacArthur Park," "Hot Stuff," and "Bad Girls"--will be available on vinyl (that's those big black platters of music, for those of you who don't remember) as well as CD....The story then goes onto ABBA teens. (a group of teens who have remade "Mamma Mia" into "Take Me To Your Heaven."

� 1999 The Advocate

 

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