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Donna Summer

Last update: April 19, 2015

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News:

Donna Summer: She could sing anything, anywhere, with anyone, at any time.


[APR 19] Greetings all! Happy day after Record Store Day. I know some of you were able to grab that cool vinyl APAT 12" set.  From what I gather, people were finding that stores only had a copy or 2 in stock which makes me wonder if the rest of the 1000 copies that were pressed will turn up elsewhere down the line.

[APR 19] In classic news, we have a 2013 article with 5 Things You Didn't Know about Hot Stuff. (Well, they call the article that, but I'd say if you hang out here, then you probably know at least 4 of the 5.  LOL) Also, there is a 1980 interview with Jeff "Skunk" Baxter. His Hot Stuff guitar solo gets a mention.

[APR 19] In new article news, the Telegraph came up with the 20 Best Summer Songs. (And in this case they are talking about the season and not the diva.  LOL) Donna   does come in at #4 with... yes you guessed it, Hot Stuff. (This seems to be the theme tonight!)

[APR 19] In Bruce Sudano news, he's put out another new demo on YouTube, and no, it's not Hot Stuff. ;-)  This is called Santa Margarita In The Clouds. It was inspired by a photo he took (that Facebookers can see here) and also by his mother who passed away 3 years ago.  The lyrics are also posted on YouTube. Now having said that, I can see that the video has had 77 views, and I see a couple of positive comments, but I have not been able to get YouTube to play it for me as of yet - and I have tried multiple devices and browsers.  I just keep getting that YouTube "try again later" error. And it's just that video I'm having trouble with - other stuff plays just fine.  So hopefully the link will work for you. If not, just keep trying at different times.

[APR 19] In Johnnyswim news, they are also not singing Hot Stuff  :-) but they are expanding their tour. (And that should be no surprise to anyone. I think Amanda and Abner just live on the road!)  Look for upcoming shows in LA, San Diego and San Francisco - dates to be announced soon.

[APR 19] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Oh what the heck, let's just run with Hot Stuff.  We have the 1979 Dinah Shore performance, the Nobel Peace Prize concert performance, a 1994 Festival de Vina performance (get ready to skip the ad at the beginning), the 2008 Today Show Concert performance, a 2009 performance from Coney Island, and then just for fun the Hot Stuff clip from The Full Monty, and the male cast of Boy Meets World dancing to the song. (And of course some of the clips I listed also include Bad Girls.)

[APR 19] And finally, my MS walk is coming up next month. If you want to contribute, here's the link.  And I still have a bunch of wristbands I'll be sending out as thank yous.   :-)

[APR 12]  Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you are all well.  First up - Boston area fans - save the date! June 19 will be the second annual Donna Summer Roller Disco  at City Hall Plaza. The place will be turned into a roller disco with lots of tunes, skates to rent (or just bring your own), food trucks, and anything else they decide to throw in there. The event is free, so if you are in that area (or will be) go check it out. From all reports, last year's event was lots of fun!

[APR 12] Calling Canadian fans - specifically those in the Vancouver area.  There will be a show called Reinvention Of Disco at the Edgewater Casino on April 26. It is a song and dance benefit show for St. Paul's Hospital and it features Donna's music sung by Frenchie Davis in a 70s era story that's very loosely based on Donna's career.  It's playing for one night only, so if you are in the area at that time be sure to check it out.

[APR 12] In the Donna is everywhere category...  no that's not right. The category was Disco Shoes, the show was Jeopardy, and Donna was the question to the answer "To everything there is a season: The first top 40 hit for this 'Queen of Disco' was Love To Love You Baby."  That was Friday night, and while I don't usually watch the show, I heard my mom in the next room give the right answer. (Yes, I have taught her a few things over the years.  LOL)

[APR 12] Johnnyswim fans - Amanda and Abner are back to work again. (As if a little thing like being new parents would slow them down!  ;-) ) They did the Live With Kelly & Michael Show the other morning and if you missed it (like I did - 9 AM is NOT a good TV time for me  LOL), you can catch their performance online right here. (You might have to scroll down a little depending on when you are reading this. The page you land on has all the recent musical performances with the most recent guest being on the top of the list.)

[APR 12] If you want to read a little more about how the new little Johnnyswim roadie joined the team (his name is Joaquin, by the way), you can read this short article about the happy day.

[APR 12] Bruce Sudano fans - he has written a new song (well okay he's probably written a bunch of new songs LOL but this is one he just shared.) It's called Cleanse My Soul, and he's posted a demo on YouTube along with the lyrics.

[APR 12] I think that brings us to YouTube. And since next weekend is the Rock Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, I thought it would be fun to look at a previous induction ceremony. So we have Kelly Rowland's speech inducting Donna into the RHOF, Jennifer Hudson's performance of Last Dance at the ceremony, the video montage they showed, and of course Bruce's wonderful acceptance speech.  And then we have  Sue Casehall's great video montage that puts together bits of all of the above plus more into a fitting tribute to Donna.  And let's end with something from the Diva herself, Fame (The Game).

[APR 12] And on a side note, I am changing internet providers on Friday. So if anyone has a Verizon email address for me - that is no longer valid. I'm assuming that the transition will go smoothly and the site update will happen on schedule. (And if I assumed wrong, watch for my ranting on Facebook.  LOL)

[APR 5] Greetings everyone! I hope you are having a Happy Easter, a Happy Passover, or just a happy weekend.  :-) As you can see (hopefully) I have brought a touch of spring to the site for now. I have also posted the new Summer Fever Pick, I'm A Rainbow.

[APR 5]  In the land of polls, we have two. First is the one at TheRealDivas.com where Donna came in at #1.  And then over at TheQueenOfMusic.com, Donna is at #5 (right now) but you can still submit your votes.

 [APR 5] Pitchfork.com has an article called "When Divas Talk Back" which is about divas celebrating their gay fans in song. They include a discussion of The Queen Is Back at the end of the article.

[APR 5] I think that brings us to YouTube. Look for Dinner With Gershwin on Jay Leno (with lots of tulle  LOL), a very early clip of Donna singing Black Power on a German TV show,  a short interview clip about Power Of One, a fan video for Someday, Donna asking Heart and Wynonna Judd about being a woman in rock music, Spring Affair from Soul Train, and Amazing Grace live in Nashville.

[MAR 29] Happy Sunday all!  Let's start off with one for our friends in Los Angeles.  There is a place called the Skirball Cultural Center, and from now until April 21 they are having an exhibit called Rock & Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip. The exhibit includes more than 20 photos of famous  billboards, and Donna's famous Live & More billboard will be part of the show.  (A photo of the billboard, that is. ) For more info, check out their website.

[MAR 29] In the Donna is everywhere category,  she gets a nice mention in an interview with Jimmy Somerville.

[MAR 29] Moving on to YouTube, look for  27 minutes of Donna from the 2005 Night Of The Proms in Belgium,  then there are 10 minutes of clips from a 2009 live show in Paris,  a clip of Donna and Giorgio performing Carry On, a clip of Donna covering Superstar at the Hollywood Bowl, and her cover of Natural Woman live.

[MAR 29] And finally, don't forget that I am walking to stamp out MS again this year. If you would like to contribute, the link is right here.  I have cool little wristbands for my first 50 donors - some of which I have already mailed out.  :-)  So if you happen to have a couple of bucks you aren't doing anything with, keep my MS walk in mind. Thanks to your generosity, I have already raised over $1000 which means my team captain lets me wear my Donna gear instead of the team  t-shirt.  :-) (It also makes her say that Donna Summer fans are very cool every time she talks to me.  ;-)  )

[MAR 22] Greetings all! Happy Spring! First up tonight - is Night Of Proms on PBS television. One reader caught a preview for the performers being aired next week, and they showed Donna singing MacArthur Park.  Now I'm not sure which PBS station it was, but a search of my local (NY) ones doesn't have any listing for Night Of Proms. But it wouldn't hurt for those of you in other areas to check out your local listings.  I know some programs only get shown in certain markets, so some of you might get lucky.  :-)

[MAR 22]  In the land of covers, Kylie Minogue has teamed up with Giorgio Moroder on a cover of I Feel Love.  You can check it out here. It's very faithful to the original for the most part.

[MAR 22] Johnnyswim fans - if you are planning to go to the May 1 show in Tennessee, those tickets are on sale now.  Grab 'em before they are gone! And if you are not in the Nashville area, you have your choise of the following dates: April 17 in Austin, TX, April 25 in Wilkesboro, NC, May 2 in West Palm Beach, FL, May 17 in Annapolis, MD, May 19 in Alexandria, VA, May 20 in New York City, and June 19 in Telluride, CO.

[MAY 22] I think that brings us to YouTube. First up is a live clip of Donna singing Don't Rain On My Parade, I Don't Wanna Get Hurt from Top Of The Pops, Donna's second appearance on The View in 1999,  a live clip of Amazing GraceHot Stuff from the Sharon Osbourne Show (with a special appearance by Brooklyn Sudano!), a live clip of Pearls, and finally a live clip of A Song For You.

[MAR 15] Happy Sunday all! So who is ready for another beautiful box set?  Well, if you are in the UK, one is coming.  Let me start at the beginning. In the UK they are having an event called Record Store Day on April 18. It's a day set aside to promote all the local record stores.  Part of this event involves the sale  of exclusive merchandise, and this year they will have  a vinyl box set of the Another Place And Time UK 12" Singles.  The release is limited to 1000 copies, and you have to go to a participating record store to get it. The box set is by Crimson Records/Driven  By The Music - which probably sounds very familiar if you  got the 80s albums CD and/or Vinyl box sets.  :-)  The track list is as follows: Record 1: This Time I Know It's For Real Extended Verion (7:21),  Whatever Your Heart Desires (3:50), This Time I Know It's For Real  Instrumental (3:39). Record 2: I Don't Wanna Get Hurt Extended Version (6:58) I Don't Wanna Get Hurt Instrumental (4:45), Dinner With Gershwin Album Version (4:37). Record 3: Love's About To Change My Heart Extended Version (6:19), Love's About To Change My Heart Instrumental (5:13), Jeremy Album Version (4:36). Record 4: When Love Takes Over You David Ford - Extended Version (6:13), When Love Takes Over You David Ford - Instrumental (3:37), Bad Reputation Album Version (4:08). Record 5: Breakaway Remix Full Version (6:45), Breakaway Remix Edit (3:37), Love Is In Control Album Version (4:19). (Actually looking at the track list, maybe they should call is Another Place and Time And More.  ;-) ) These will all be pressed on white vinyl in  LP sleeves housed in a rigid outer box. And it looks GORGEOUS! But don't take my word for it - here is the photo.   :-)

APAT 12" Set

I probably should have posted a smaller version of that picture, but it is so beautiful, I couldn't bring myself to shrink it down. Now if you want to know more about Record Store Day - and more specifically, what retailers are participating, well just head on over to the Record Store Day website.

[MAR 15] Fans of the US TV show, Scandal, (or people who just happen to see the commercials currently running for next week's episode) may have heard a familiar voice in the ads.  They are using Bad Girls to promote the show. I can only imagine that someone on that show is being a very Bad Girl.  ;-) Toot Toot!

[MAR 15] In the Donna is the best category, the website FDRMX has posted its top 10 greatest disco artists of all time.  They count them down from #10 to #1, but they spoil the winner of the number one spot by posting  Donna's picture right at the top of the page.  (As if anyone else could  have taken the top spot anyway.  LOL)

[MAR 15] Moving on to Johnnyswim, they have a new video out for Diamonds.  You can catch it on EW,com and then take note of the tour dates listed after the video. If they are coming to your area, you will want to get your tickets as early as possible - Johnnyswim does tend to sell out quickly!

[MAR 15] I think that brings us to YouTube.  First up is Fairytale High from  a 1979 Japanese concert,  a video of behind the scenes footage from the APAT photo sessions set to Breakaway, Donna and Paul Jabara on the Merv Griffin Show, Donna on Jools Holland, and my favorite Could It Be Magic performance with Barry Manilow. (Yeah, I know I post it a lot, but it always makes me smile.)

[MAR 8] Happy Sunday all! Spring is almost here.  (You can tell by the foot of snow still on the ground here!  LOL) Let's start off with an interesting find on eBay.  Apparently Universal Japan has remastered some of Donna's back catalog and reissued it. The link I gave you goes to She Works Hard For The Money, but I also saw Bad Girls, On The Radio and The Dance Collection.

[MAR 8] In the Donna is everywhere category, she made the Oscar fashion coverage of the March 8 issue of Entertainment Weekly.  A piece on Rosamund Pike's red dress was accompanied by photos of past red Oscar dresses - including the one Donna wore in 1979.

[MAR 8]The Boston Globe ran a nice piece about the Grammy Museum exhibit.  Also, if you haven't been to the exhibit yet, and want to go - keep in mind that it is scheduled to close April 20. So time is running out!

[MAR 8] Johnnyswim fans - the pair made a brief appearance on the HGTV  show Fixer Uppers.  It's season 2 episode 11, and you can probably still catch it on HGTV because they repeat these things many times. I was also able to catch it on my cable provider's  On Demand list. The song, Home, seems to be the theme for the show this season.  :-)

[MAR 8] In other Johnnyswim news, they will be hitting the road again soon.  (That should be no surprise  - they practically live on the road!  LOL)  Upcoming cities include: Austin, Ft. Worth, Wilkesboro, Nashville, West Palm Beach, New York, Alexandria and Annapolis.  Specific dates have not been listed for any of them yet except Alexandria which is  May 19. You can buy those tickets now at Ticketmaster.  (No word yet on whether the new little baby will actually be singing yet.  LOL  Although having said that, he has been in the studio already!)

[MAR 8] That brings us to YouTube.  First up is part 2 of Her Words Her Story.  Then there is the 1990 Spain concert, the video for State Of Independence,  the video for Fame (The Game),  and finally Enough Is Enough with Westlife.  I would like to dedicate that last one to Mother Nature, just in case she is thinking about MORE snow!   ;-)

[MAR 8] And don't forget that I am walking to stamp out MS again this year. If you would like to contribute, the link is right here.  My first 50 donors get these cool wristbands that say "Donna Summer Celebrate, Live, Love, Laugh" and if you flip them inside out, they are rainbow colored so you can wear them for Pride events (or just because you like rainbow colors. Hmmmm... I still have 50 misprinted ones as well. Maybe I'll flip those inside out and then do something with them that way.)

Wristbands

MEMORIAL NEWS PAGE

OLD NEWS ARCHIVES

OTHER NEWS:

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Quote Of The Week:

[APR 19]

"When you are writing songs, it's all about connecting to your mental imagery and projecting that into a song and onto a musical palette."

- Donna Summer Bravo's Platinum Hit, June 2011

Summer Fever Pick
April 2015:

Summer Fever Pick

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Editorials

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Ken's Korner

[AUG 10]

On The Boardwalk in Atlantic City, with Donna (part 1).

As many of you are aware the casino industry in Atlantic City has been hit hard by competition from nearby states that have allowed casinos to open, and an over saturation of casino gaming in general.  There are other factors involved with Atlantic City as well, BUT for many of us die-hard Donna fans we will always have a soft spot for Atlantic City. 

The Resorts International Years:

From the fist year that casino gaming started in Atlantic City (1978), Donna was a featured headliner, and there were not many years when Donna did not appear for at least one engagement.  From 1978 to 1986 the Superstar Theater at Resorts International was Donna’s home in AC.   Before the newer casinos built larger showrooms the “Superstar” was the biggest showroom in AC, and in particular for music fans it had a reserved table policy. If you snagged tickets for Donna at Reports early enough you could score a seat at table A-6 (remember that Quay!).  Back then many of Donna’s gigs ran for a full week at a time, including a 10 day marathon run during June of 1983.  Donna’s tenure at Resorts included her crazed years of 1978 and 1979, but her engagements in 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986 remained wildly popular.

During this time span I lived in Brick, N.J., about 75 minutes north of Atlantic City, and I attended as many of Donna’s shows at Resorts as I could.  There are many precious memories from these shows, some of which include;

June of 1986, Donna’s final gig at Resorts (with Louise DuArt opening the show), these shows featured incredible versions of America The Beautiful, and the original song, Silver Girl. 

October of 1985, these shows featured the debut of the “overture” that we came to know and love.  During a performance that I attended we gave Donna a standing ovation after she sang her hits medley, and she was so moved by the gesture that she stopped the show to thank everyone several times. 

September of 1984, fans were treated to rare live versions of I’m A Rainbow, Romeo, Love Has a Mind of It’s Own, There Goes My Baby, and an extended hits medley. This medley would continue to be used during the 1985 and 1986 “mini” tours.    

June 1983, this was the marathon 10 day gig I always talk about. I saw (3) shows during this engagement, and the closing night show, 11:30 p.m. on a Sunday night was priceless. Donna had many of her family and friends in attendance, and many jokes were peppered throughout the show. During Last Dance, Mimi came out wearing one of her Mom’s gowns , and Donna nearly cracked up with laughter during the bridge of the song.    

The encore of State of Independence complete with her entourage joining her on stage remains a favorite to this day.

August 1981, this was my first time seeing Donna at Resorts and the shows sold out quickly, as most of her 1980 tour was cancelled.  I saw 2 of these shows, and got to see her perform (3) songs from The Wanderer, Cold Love, The Wanderer, and I Believe in Jesus.  These shows also featured Love To Love You Baby (the last until 2004, not counting it’s brief inclusion during the “99 tour), and Sunset People. This tour was her last with the Summer Night’s Band. 

After June of 1986 Donna’s relationship with Atlantic City continued, and for that matter it continued right up to her final tour in 2010.   More on that in the next Ken’s Korner.

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