The Donna Summer Tribute Site


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Donna Summer

Last update: February 10,  2019

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



[FEB 10] Happy Sunday all!  Let's start with the musical. You guys in the Hollywood area will be able to see it November 5 to 24 at the Hollywood Pantages. Right now tickets are available to season subscribers - keep checking their website to see when tickets for individual shows become available.  West Palm Beach, FL  - you will get the musical too, but you have to wait until April 28 to May 3, 2020. (Yes, I said 2020.) That will be at the Kravis Center and tickets are not on sale yet. Season ticket renewals don't start until March then they will sell new season tickets before they sell individual shows. (If I was there, I'd get the season subscription - they have a great lineup!)

[FEB 10] Johnnyswim fans - the music video for Bridges is out now!  :-)  It's a really cool video - but I can't describe it in a way that does it justice. Just go watch it! (And that song is going to be a great addition to their live shows!)

[FEB 10] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Since it's Grammy night, let's show some clips of Donna at the Grammys.  First up, the duet medley with Kenny Rogers. Then we have She Works Hard For The Money performed at the Grammys,  and Donna winning the Grammy for Last Dance. Then in honor of Valentine's Day this week, we have Love To Love You on the Midnight Special, the video for Love Is In Control Love Is The Healer live on The View, and a video for To Paris With Love. (That's 4 decades of love if you weren't paying attention.  ;-) )

[FEB 2] Happy Groundhog's Day all! The groundhog here is predicting an early spring. He better be right because I can easily find a recipe for groundhog stew.  LOL It is also a new month, so it's time for the new Summer Fever Pick.  This month it's time to dance to Another Place And Time.

[FEB 2] As you may know, this year marks the 30th anniversary of Another Place In Time. And while we all sit here feeling old about that, a 30th Anniversary boxset has been announced for  a March 29th release. Amazon UK has the CD boxset which is 3 discs. The first is the album itself and the other 2 are packed with various mixes. The website has the full list. Banquet Records is also showing a 2 disk vinyl set also available March 29.

[FEB 2] We have musical news! Miami - you will get to see Summer: The Donna Summer Musical at the Adrienne Arsht Center on the very fitting dates of May 12 to May 17. For more details, check the venue's website.  I'm not sure if that will be the official touring company or if they just licensed the show themselves, but either way it will be a good time. (And if you need some swag to wear to the show, the official musical site is still selling things.  :-) )

[FEB 2] Calling The Netherlands - Carolina Dijkhuizen has just started a Thank God It's Donna tour. For info and dates, check out this site.

[FEB 2] Bruce Sudano fans - catch him Friday March 8 on BBOX Radio from 1 to 2 PM (ET) on the TGIF with Tom & Laura show.  One of the hosts, Tom Ragu is a long time Donna fan and a comedian, so it ought to be a fun show.  :-)  You can tune in at or at And you can connect with the show on Facebook.

[FEB 2] That brings us to YouTube. Let's celebrate our Summer Fever Pick!  First up is the video for This Time I Know It's For Real, and the video for Love's About To Change My Heart. Then we have a short clip of APAT footage that includes some behind the scenes footage of the photo sessions, a playlist for the CD+G decode of the APAT songs,  an Another Place & Time megamix,  the video for When Love Takes Over You, and the video for I Don't Wanna Get Hurt which does NOT include Donna.

[JAN 27] Happy Sunday all! It's a pretty quiet week, but let's start off with Bruce.  He's got a video up on his Facebook page of a recent performance of Bad Girls.

[JAN 27] Johnnyswim fans - their new album Moonlight is due out on April 19. And don't forget that the new tour starts May 3.  Grab your tickets early if you want to go because Johnnyswim tends to sell out FAST! (You have been warned!  LOL)

[JAN 27] And that brings us to YouTube. Let's so some long form profiles on Donna this week. First up is the 2004 Lifetime Intimate Portrait. Then we have the 1995 A&E Biography. And to go with that, we have a live clip of Worth The Wait. And then there is 1999's VH1 Behind The Music. To go with that one we have  Junior's Sound Factory Mix of My Life and a SoundCloud file of No Ordinary Love Song.

[JAN 20] Happy Sunday all!  I'm going to start with Johnnyswim this week.  Their new album, Moonlight will be released on April 19 at all the usual music vendors. With the album is a new single called Bridges that you can get now - also at all the usual music places.  There are also links on the Johnnyswim website to preorder vinyl, or  bundles including the vinyl, the cd, and other merchandise. But that's not all - there is also a tour! They have dates listed from early May to mid-June so far. And they are working on booking more places. SO if none of the cities listed is close to you, just keep checking back.  Head to for details on all of the above.  And while you are there, sign up for their newsletter if you haven't yet. Doing so will get you access to perks like presale codes for concert tickets.  :-) Also, check out YouTube to hear the new single Bridges.

[JAN 20] Moving on to Donna... let's talk briefly about that REELZ special from last week.  The show was billed as "Donna Summer : Disco Queen". It was actually an episode of their series "Autopsy: The Last Days Of...". They ran a marathon of that series the night they debuted the Donna show and strangely Donna's episode was the only one that didn't make it clear that the show was about the death of a celebrity.  So.... I know there are some of you that still have a heard time dealing with Donna's loss. If I would have known what the show was, I would have given you a heads up so that you would have been prepared. (Hell, I would have liked to have been more prepared myself when I tuned in!) Now if you saw the show and know what it's all about - fell free to skip ahead to the next entry of the update. For those who didn't (or couldn't) see it, let me give you a short recap.

Ok, so first of all you have to know that REELZ is tabloid TV for the most part.  So a show like Autopsy is looking for scandal. Of course, it's a lot harder to make something like lung cancer seem scandalous especially when you compare it to something like drug overdose, homicide, etc. But they get points for trying, I guess.  LOL  So what we have is a forensic pathologist laying out facts and speculations based on available info. Supplementing him was a psychologist, and then some Donna Summer experts - Josiah Howard (author of a Donna biography), Joe "Bean" Esposito (of the Brooklyn Dreams), Robert "Omega Red" Grant (Donna's nephew and the guy behind Donna Summer Day in Boston every year), and Peter Muhldorfer (Donna's ex boyfriend - referred to in her autobiography by a pseudonym.)

Now the set up of the show is that they spend a few minutes in the beginning just giving an overview of Donna's career. (Literally - a few minutes. I think it was 5. )  They combine footage of the pathologist explaining various things (real info about cancer, speculation about Donna's specific situation) with clips from interviews with the Donna experts, and clips of actors re-enacting certain moments in Donna's life - including her deathbed. (Yikes!)  The show is broken into various segments where they discuss some aspect of Donna's life and try to link it to cancer somehow. And then they drop a sort of cliffhanger just before going to commercial. (Literally after a discussion about how Donna was insecure about her appearance as a kid, they ended the segment with the question "Did Donna's quest for success and acceptance lead her on a path to destruction and early death?". Seriously? How can I explain this? The show kind of reminds me of those click bait articles you find on the web. You know the type - "Learn the shocking secret behind blah blah blah"  and when you actually click it, you go through multiple screens to find out that there is nothing particularly shocking.  LOL

Anyway they talk about various things. There is some real info about lung cancer in general - how it spreads, what the usual prognosis is, how cancer patients tend to lose weight, etc. But then they speculate on the specifics regarding Donna.  Was smoking a factor? They note that she was a non smoker most of her life, but also mention that she worked in a lot of smoky clubs back in the days before they banned smoking in public buildings.  They did a lot of talking about Donna's weight and how she gained weight in her later years. But then after doing that, they decide that weight is no factor in lung cancer. (So then why bring it up? Guess they needed to pad the hour.) They talked about Donna's history of depression - not as a contributing factor to the cancer but as a clue as to how Donna might have handled the diagnosis (and as an excuse to reenact the 70s suicide attempt.) They also talk about 9/11 and the possibility that the dust in the air was a contributing factor. (My opinion on that is that it's something you can never definitively prove one way or the other BUT if the discussion ends up shining a light on the cancers that the first responders and recovery workers have experienced and gets them help, then let's keep talking!)

In the end after a lot of drama that really goes nowhere (because really, lung cancer isn't scandalous!) they decide that probably the main factors in Donna's cancer were smoky clubs and genetics, and that she spent the end of her life privately with her family - EXACTLY THE WAY SHE WANTED TO. 

I did not record the show.  It aired twice (so far) and because of the time it came on, I missed the first half of the first airing and I was so mad at the tabloid aspect of the show that I spent the second half yelling at the TV. (My mother actually tuned in to see what I was yelling about!  LOL)  When I watched the second airing, I was taking notes so that kept me more focused. (So I was able to listen instead of yell!  LOL) Honestly - Donna deserves WAY better.  And I find it interesting that REELZ was reportedly deleting negative comments about the show from their Facebook page. (Apparently a number of fans were upset that the REELZ website wasn't upfront about the fact that it was an episode of Autopsy, and posted words to that effect.)

[JAN 20] So let's put REELZ and Donna's final days out of our heads and look at a real profile of or favorite Diva.  About a year ago Slate's Hit Parade podcast did an episode about Donna.  That one is a true overview of Donna's career. It's over an hour long, but it's worth a listen. We also have an article from Pop Dose from 2006, but it's an interesting look at  the Wanderer singles.

[JAN 13] Greetings all! Don't forget that tomorrow we have the REELZ special at 9pm (ET). You can check the REELZ website or your local listings to find out where to find REELZ in your area. (I found that for me, the REELZ site gave the wrong channel number and I was better off just checking with my cable company's website.)

[JAN 13] And that brings us to YouTube.  Since the temperature around here is about to drop like a rock, I think we should counter that with some Hot Stuff - from a UK TV appearance (and yes, it goes into Bad Girls  lol). Then we have the Spring Affair/Summer Fever medley live from Brazil. (As a bonus the clip also has Heaven Knows and Melody Of Love.) And we have Sand On My Feet live in New Hampshire (featuring the sunset from Donna's balcony),  and the full concert from Jones Beach in 2008 (a venue that always brings happy memories of music on the beach on a warm summer (or Summer) night.  :-)  )

[JAN 13] Florida - don't forget that Mary Gaines Bernard is performing her tribute to her big sister at the Duncan Theater in Late Worth, FL on January 16. Be there!  :-)

[JAN 13] Johnnyswim fans - our favorite duo has a new album coming out soon. They have been teasing it on social media all week. Check their instagram feed for the video tease and make sure you click each of the pics to see the song titles. Or you can watch the video on their website and then sign up for their newsletter (if you haven't already.)  And I believe we will see the teasing stop tomorrow in favor of an official announcement.  :-)

[JAN 13] Bruce Sudano fans - catch him next weekend at the 30A Songwriter's Festival in South Walton, Fl.  And check out his new video on Facebook for Common Sense.  When you watch it, pay very close attention to the lyrics. They become more relevant  every single day.

[JAN 13] And I think that brings us to YouTube. First up a full length concert from Brazil 1995.  (You will love how much fun she has in some places in the show!  :-) ) Then we have the video for Fame, and my favorite clip - Donna with Barry Manilow on Could It Be Magic.  ANd for fun, here is Mary featuring Andrew Christian on Heaven Knows from her recent show in Aventura, FL.

[JAN 6] Happy Sunday all!  And happy belated birthday to Brooklyn Sudano! Reminder - we have the REELZ special on Donna coming up on January 14. (So nice to have something to look forward to on TV again.  :-) )

[JAN  6] Let me wrap up the musical coverage (at least until the tour starts or the West End production starts.) Grosses for the final performance week (December 30) were $1,094,723 so it ended with a bang.  :-)  You can see the cast's final bows on Facebook. And if it's still there, check out Storm Lever's takeover of the Broadway World Instagram feed.  (Just look for her name in the stories bar. It was there as I typed this, but Instagram stories do tend to disappear after awhile.)

[JAN 6] I wanted to take this opportunity to put Summer's run into some sort of context. Because it opened so late in it's season, I'm going to look at both the 2017-18 season and the 2018-19 season - and of course, just the musicals.  Over those 2 seasons we have had 17 musicals open so far (by my count.)  Only 8 of those are still open and some of those are VERY recent like Kong Kong,  Cher, and The Prom. Looking at the ones that closed, Summer had a pretty good run with 289 regular performances.  Going from the lowest to highest number of performances we have  both Getting The Band Back Together and Rocktopia with 40 performances each.  Then we have Escape To Margaritaville with 124,  the revival of Carousel with 181, Head Over Heels with 188 (that one just closed today),  Springsteen On Broadway with 229, then Summer with 289,  Spongebob Squarepants with 327, and  Once On This Island (also closing today) with 458.  That leaves the following shows still open: The Band's Visit which opened November 9, 2017, Frozen  which opened  March 22, 2018 (that's Disney's hot property so it may run forever  lol) , Mean Girls which opened April 8, 2018, the revival of My Fair Lady which opened April 14, 2018,  Pretty Woman which opened August 16, 2018, King Kong which opened November 8, 2018, The Prom which opened  November 15, 2018 and Cher which opened December 3, 2018.  And of course there is still plenty of time for more to open for the 2018-19 season. So in a nutshell, I'm pretty happy with Summer's run - especially since they are taking it on the road.  Yeah, I would have preferred it to run forever  lol but I think this was a pretty decent run.  :-)

[JAN 6] Moving on to the Diva herself.  :-)  As you know Donna's birthday was the 31st and that means fans were celebrating - i ncluding those who work in the media.  :-)  So the Daily Beast posted a really nice tribute, Albumism reposted their profile of Donna,  BBC Radio 2's Sounds Of The 80s played a Donna Summer Mastermix, and a journalist named Luis Lapuente came out with a book called Historia De La Música Disco which of course mentions Donna.  There is an article about the book here, but be advised that it is in Spanish.

[JAN 6] Bruce Sudano fans - check out his rendition of Things Are Changing from his Threefer Madness show at City Vineyard.

[JAN 6] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's watch some New Year's Eve clips . We have You're So Beautiful from Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve 2004,  Could It Be Magic  and Try Me from the 1977 New Year's Rockin' Eve, Donna on Merv Griffin's 1993 New Year's Eve special,  and Donna and company singing Auld Lang Syne at midnight on the 1976-77 New Year's Rockin' Eve.

[JAN 1]  Happy 2019 all! It's a new month so it's time for the new Summer Fever Pick.  This month we look at All Systems Go.  :-)

[DEC 29]  Happy (almost) New Year all! and happy (almost) birthday to Donna who would be celebrating the big 70 this year.  (Wasn't it only yesterday she was celebrating the big 50 with white roses at the Live & More Encore taping?) Let's start off with some Donna news. The REELZ channel is celebrating the disco era this January with a special about Donna on January 14 at 9PM ET and a special about Saturday Night Fever on January 19 at 9PM ET. To find out how to see REELZ in your area, you can try their website. However, I can tell you that it messed up the channel number for my cable provider,  so you might want to check with your TV provider instead.

[DEC 29]  In other time sensitive news, Mary Gaines Bernard will once again be singing her sister's songs in concert!  And this time she has a few dates planned. January 5 she will be in Aventura, FL at the Aventura Cultural Arts Center, January 16 she will be at the Duncan Theater in Lake Worth, FL, and March 8 she will be at the Lyric Theater in Stuart, FL.  YAY!!! Start planning your Florida trips now!

[DEC 29] in musical news, the grosses for the week of December 23 were down a bit to $493,604. As you know, the last Broadway performance of Summer will take place tomorrow and then we will have to wait patiently (or impatiently - we fans are really good at that!  LOL) for news of the touring production and the West End production.  :-)  I only got to see the show twice (I was going to sneak into NYC to catch it again this weekend but circumstances conspired against me) and both  times I was moved to tears. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire company of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical for all their talent, hard work and dedication.  You have helped to keep Donna's legacy alive and for that I will be forever grateful. And, yes, I am going to list all the names here because they all deserve to be listed.  A big round of applause for the cast: LaChanze, Ariana DeBose, Storm Lever, Aaron Krohn, Ken Robinson, Jared Zirilli, Angelica Beliard, Mackenzie Bell, Kaleigh Cronin. Kimberly Dodson, Anissa Felix, Drew Wildman Foster, Judith Franklin, Afra Hines,  Jenny Laroche,  Aurelia Michael, Wonu Ogunfowora, Jody Reynard, Rebecca Riker, Christina Acosta Robinson, Jessica Rush, Kaye Tuckerman, Harris M Turner,  and Kristin Yancy. I hope we see at least some of you again in the touring company or in the West End company, but if not - best of luck to you all in your next projects!

And another round of applause for the creative team (music, choreography, costumes, etc): Colman Domingo - book, Robert Cary - book, Des Mcanuff - director, book, Sergio Trujillo - choreographer, Ron Melrose - music supervisor and arranger, Robert Brill - scenic desigh, Paul Tazewell - costume design, Howell Binkley - Lighting design, Gareth Owen - sound designer, Sean Nieuwenhuis - projection design, Charles G. Lapointe - wig design, Steve Rankin - fight director, Bill Brendell - orchestrations, John Miller - music coordinator, Victoria Theodore - music director, Randy Cohen - synthesizer programmer, Hudson Theatrical Associates - technical supervisor, Richard Hester - Production Supervisor, Beverly Jenkins - production stage manager, Lucy Kennedy - stage manager, Samantha Preiss - Asst stage manager, Tara Rubin Casting - casting, Tommy Mottola - producer, The Dodgers - producer, Lauren Mitchell - creative producer, La Jolla Playhouse - original producer.

Thank you to the Lunt Fontanne Theater for being a home to Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, thank you to Bond 45 for the after parties every night, and thank you to all the people whose names never make the Playbill - the box  office staff, security team, cleaning crew, bartenders, merchandise sales people, ushers - basically all the people who keep the theater running.

And finally, thanks to everybody who saw the show and ended up dancing in their seats.  We can talk about  Billboard charts, gold records, influences on other artists, etc all day long - but the main thing is that Donna's music was meant to be a good time. She always said, "Sing if you want to sing, dance if you want to dance." She wanted her audiences to have a good time! And if you were at the musical singing and dancing - then you truly were celebrating Donna's legacy whether you knew it at the time or not.  :-)

Cast of Summer

[DEC 29] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's send off the musical with a look back at some of the clips we have.  First up is the cast freezing their collective butts off at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Then we have their Tony Award performance assorted clips from, a short clip of MacArthur Park from,  a few seconds of the finale, a clip of Friends Unknown,  and a Suecase Hall video celebrating the musical (including the clip of Donna's daughters at the Tonys). Take a bow for a job well done ladies (and gentlemen)!

Merry Christmas

[DEC 21] Happy Friday and Season Greetings to all! Don't forget, if you want to see Summer: The Donna Summer Musical on Broadway, this is your last week! The show closes on December 30 and then we won't be able to see it again until it hits the West End in London and  goes on tour here in the US in 2019.

[DEC 21] Speaking of the musical, for the week of December 16, grosses were down a bit to $548,217. And  The Broadway League has short videos under the hashtag #MyBroadwayStory featuring Ariana DeBose and LaChanze.  (The links are to Facebook videos, but you can also find them on Twitter.  You just might have to scroll down through their feed a bit to find them.)

[DEC 21] Johnnyswim fans - our favorite duo will be performing in Santa Barbara  at the Granada Theater January 12 for the  Kids Helping Kids Benefit Concert.  And depending on when you are reading this,  there are still a few tickets left for tomorrow's Christmas concert in Los Angeles.

[DEC 21] That brings us to YouTube. Instead of sharing clips with you, this week I am sharing a playlist of holiday tunes from Donna, Johnnyswim and Mary Gaines Bernard. So enjoy!

[DEC 21] And finally the message in the above graphic came from one of the old fan club news letters. I thought you guys might get a kick out of a message in Donna's own handwriting. I'll be back next weekend.  :-)

[DEC 15] Greetings all! Can you believe it's only 10 days until Christmas? I'll have a little special graphic for you on next weekend's update to mark the holiday.  :-)

[DEC 15] I guess we can start with the musical again. (And don't forget you only have about 2 weeks left to catch it on Broadway!) So, for the week of December 9, grosses were up to $609,963.

[DEC 15] If you are still in the market for memorabilia from Summer: The Musical,  the official Broadway site still has stuff for sale and it looks like the prices on at least some items have gone down.  So grab some deals while you can.  :-)

[DEC 15] Bruce Sudano fans - check out his performance of The Garden Of November from his Threefer Madness show in Rockville, MD.

[DEC 15] That brings us to YouTube. This week thanks to some uploads by DonnaSummerVEVO we are going to celebrate Live & More Encore. So let's start with a clip that always takes me right back to that moment in the theater - MacArthur Park. Then we have Dim All The Lights (the first look any of us got of the actual VH1 special), Someone To Watch Over Me, I Don't Wanna Work That Hard, Nobody, and the Ordinary Girl song, If There Is Music There.

[DEC 8] Happy Saturday all! I guess we can start with the musical again.  For the week of  December 2 grosses were up a bit to $511,550.   :-) And has 7 questions with Aaron Krohn (Neil Bogart/Gunther) about the show (and other things.)

[DEC 8} London - keep an eye on the West End. Summer: The Donna Summer Musical is reportedly heading that way in 2019 according to No specific date or venue has been announced yet, but you can sign up for email updates.

[DEC 8] As you know the 2018 Carols For A Cure album is out now and it includes one track from the cast of Summer. reviewed the album and you can read that review right here.

[DEC 8] Johnnyswim fans - the pair have completed their new album (release to be announced.)  As you know, they are performing in LA on December 22 and you just might get to hear one of the new sons at that show.   :-) They are also performing January 12 in Santa Barbara.

[DEC 8] Bruce Sudano fans - if you are in NY check out his Threefer Madness show at City Vineyard. You can also read an article about Threefer Madnesss at

[DEC 8] I think that brings us to YouTube. Let's do some live stuff this week. First up is audio of Donna's cover of Natural Woman. Then we have an audio of Donna covering Georgia On My Mind,  video of Nights In White Satin, video of Pearls, and video of Donna's cover of Nature Boy.

[DEC 1] Greetings all. Today is World AIDs Day so let's take a moment to remember those who were taken from us too soon.

[DEC 1] Ok now for the bad news. If you haven't heard already, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical will close on December 30, 2018. So that gives you just about a month to catch it on Broadway.  Now a touring production has been announced, but that  won't start until September.  When it closes, it will have played 289 regular performances plus 27 previews.

[DEC 1] So I guess I should move on to the grosses. For the week of November 25 sales were down to $462,727. I wonder if the announced closing will bump up sales?

[DEC 1] In the Donna's music is everywhere category, the UK food delivery service Just Eat is using Hot Stuff in their latest ad campaign.

[DEC 1] Bruce Sudano fans - catch Bruce Live From The Couch on Facebook with a new song called In The Garden Of November.  And as you know, Bruce is on tour with his Threefer Madness partners Dan Navarro and Chas Sanford.  Last night he was at Live at Drews with Dan Navarro and they put it on Facebook live. So if you have Facebook, you can watch the show here.

[DEC 1]  That brings us to YouTube.  Let's take a look at clips exploring Donna's painting.  First up is a news clip on one of Donna's 1990 gallery showings. Then we have Donna showing some of her work to Regis & KathieLee,  Donna on Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous, and Donna on MTV's Week In Rock.






Quote Of The Week:

[FEB 10]

"My immediate reaction to [Bruce] was immediate and visceral, and somehow I knew he felt the same way about me. It was as if I could hear his innermost thoughts out loud! I had never felt like that with any other man. I knew instantly in my heart that I was going to marry this man one day."

- Donna Summer, Ordinary Girl: The Journey by Donna Summer & Marc Eliot, page 151(Villard, 2003)

Summer Fever Pick
February  2019:

Summer Fever Pick

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