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Donna Summer


Last update: October 26, 2014

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

[OCT 26] Happy almost-Halloween everyone!  How many of you are going to dress up as Donna for the holiday?  LOL

[OCT 26] Calling all fans in Los Angeles (or who will be in Los Angeles on November 1) - the Grammy Museum will be throwing a Donna Summer Nights party on November 1 from 4 to 8 PM.  They will be spinning tunes all night, and will have a cash bar on every floor. Admission is free but you must reserve a space.  Details are on the Grammy Museum website.  (And if you are going to Los Angeles at any time in the relatively near future - make sure you catch their Four Seasons Of Love exhibit. )

[OCT 26] In the land of covers, Kristin Chenoweth has a new album and PBS special coming out called Coming Home. On it she covers Enough Is Enough.  Look for the album on November 17 and the PBS special will start airing on November 28. (As always with PBS specials, you have to check your local listings.) There will also be a DVD release in February. 

[OCT 26] If you aren't already, you should be keeping an eye on the Donna Summer Fan Club site (or check them out on Facebook if that's your thing).  Tom has already run one contest for CD collection samplers, and he's planning another one soon for a tourbook.  For the last contest, all you had to do was correctly answer a trivia contest. (Well, in a manner of speaking that is. Nothing Donna related can truly be considered "trivia".  ;-) )

[OCT 26] I know everyone is eagerly awaiting the Geffen deluxe releases, but some of you may remember that a Casablanca CD set was due to come out in Europe soon.  Well, that release date seems have been pushed back to February, but the interesting thing is that a seller on Amazon UK had a couple of copies available, and people were able to buy them. A poster on the forum had received his shipment notice from Amazon already and he plans to let everyone know when he gets his set.  :-)

[OCT 26] Johnnyswim fans - November 11 is rapidly approaching! And you know what that means - soon we will be able to hear A Johnnyswim Christmas. But while you are waiting for that album, go check them out on tour.  And go out and grab a few more copies of Diamonds. They make great gifts.  :-)  (Oops... I think my family knows what they are all getting now.)

[OCT 26] And I think that brings us to YouTube. Look for She Works Hard For The Money from European TV, a very young Donna singing Black Power, Donna in a promo film for Hair (it takes about 3 minutes before you see her), a clip of Meglio Stasera, and a clip of The Hostage

[OCT 19] Greetings all!  There isn't much going on in Donna-land right now. We're just waiting for those deluxe CDs and vinyls to hit.  (Is it December yet? How about now?  LOL) But while we are waiting, the people over at the TV show Scandal decided that MacArthur Park was the perfect closer to one of the early episodes this season.  I've never seen the show, but I always agree with someone using a Donna song.  ;-) 

[OCT 19] In the Donna is everywhere category, she got a weird little mention in an article about petitioners. In a nutshell, the article is about how annoying it can be to be accosted by petitioners in the street. The article includes these lines:  A fellow journalist told me she was shouted at recently while obviously listening to music: specifically, the music of Donna Summer. When you mess with Donna Summer, you've gone over the line. 

[OCT 19] Johnnyswim fans: the pair have announced a whole bunch of new tour dates in support of their upcoming Christmas EP. Many of those tickets are already on sale, and they are going fast. If you want to catch Johnnyswim at any of their dates, buy your tickets EARLY.

[OCT 19] That brings us to YouTube. This week look for the video for Try Me, Glenn Rivera's Restructured Mix of The Wanderer, A video for Could It Be Magic, Hot Stuff live in Beijing,  a country medley with Eddie Rabbitt,  Heal Them from a telethon, and a live version of Nights In White Satin

[OCT 12] Happy Sunday all - and Happy Thanksgiving Canada! First up - an article in Billboard about new signings, etc mentions that Donna is being distributed by The Orchard. 

[OCT 12] Aretha Franklin's new album, Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics comes out October 21. The track list is already on Amazon, and despite early reports to the contrary, Last Dance is not on the list.  I'm sure those of you ho wanted to hear Aretha's take on the song are disappointed, while those who can't imagine anyone but Donna singing it are relieved.  My question is, did they record the song and then leave it in the vault? Or did they just not bother recording it at all?

[OCT 12] Johnnyswim fans, while they are currently on tour until November in support of Diamonds, on Tuesday they will announce dates for a Christmas tour. A couple of cities they plan to hit are Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Nashville. The Nashville tickets are already on sale. And I know I sound like a broken record, but you need to get your tickets EARLY! Johnnyswim tends to sell out everywhere they go.  :-)

[OCT 12] If you are looking for handmade jewelry, don't forget Mimi is making and selling stuff on Etsy. (Some pretty nice stuff too!)

[OCT 12] That brings us to YouTube. Look for  a Japanese concert in support of All Systems Go (it's the one that includes Donna's awesome cover of Celebrate Me Home),  then there is Hot Stuff/ Bad Girls from the Nobel Peace Prize concert, I Will Go With You from a TV appearance, and I Love You from The Tonight Show

[OCT 5] Greetings all! It's a new month so you know what that means. It's time for the new Summer Fever Pick. This month, we look at I Remember Yesterday.

[OCT 5] California - if you missed the slasher parody, I Totally Know What You Did Last Donna Summer, then you can catch it at the Cavern Club Theater for a limited engagement from October 10 to 25. 

[OCT 5] If you missed it in 2012, Jellybean Benitez had some nice things to say to CNN about Donna. 

[OCT 5] Bruce fans - don't miss him at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles on October 10.

[OCT 5] Johnnyswim fans - mark your calendars. November 11 s the release date for their upcoming Christmas EP. It's called A Johnnyswim Christmas and the tracks will be: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, O Come All Ye Faithful, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Christmas Waltz, and a live version of What Are You Doing New Year's Eve.  Check out the cover art on Instagram. And don't forget, the duo is currently (perpetually!) on tour, so try to catch them when they get to a place near you.

[OCT 5]  That brings us to YouTube.  This week look for the Live & More Encore concert, the 1980 TV Special, Donna with Barry Manilow on Could It Be Magic (one of my favorite clips), Clips from Divas 2000, and an audio clip of Walk Hand In Hand

[SEP 28] Happy Sunday everyone!  First up tonight, the US Amazon store has listings now for the CD boxset, the vinyl boxset, and the individual deluxe CDs.  Now keep in mind that these are being made available as imports which means the price is on the high side, and we won't get them here until December 9.  But this is another option for those of us in North America who want some Deluxe Donna goodness.  :-)

[SEP 28] In the Donna is everywhere category, she made Huffington Post's  Iconic Oscar Dresses You've Probably Forgotten.  The photo you are looking for is #4.

[SEP 28] You all remember the upcoming movie, Spinning Gold, about Neil Bogart, right? Well, it looks like Kelly Rowland is interested in playing Donna in that film. See what you think. (Scroll down to the bottom photo.)

[SEP 28] You may remember awhile back I mentioned that there is a blog that's all about chart positions? Well it's been improved and you can check out the Donna page here.  Most of the text  is in French, so if that's not your language you will have to use something like Google (or a hot French guy if you prefer) to translate for you.  :-)

[SEP 28] Bruce Sudano fans - catch him live in LA at Genghis Cohen on October 10 at 8 PM. If you have never seen Bruce live, then you need to go. An0d if you have seen him live, then you already know that you need to go see him again.  :-)

[SEP 28] For those of you wondering what Mimi is up to these days (besides being a mom that is), well she's making jewelry and selling it on Etsy.  She's got some nice stuff, so go take a look. 

[SEP 28] That brings us to YouTube.  First up is Breakaway live in Brazil, Mimi's Song from the Tonight Show, Vh1's Behind The Music, Donna on Oprah, and the long version of Walk Away (slideshow set to audio).

[SEP 21] Happy Sunday everyone. Let's start off with this nice little article about the Top 40 Pop Artists of all time. It's an opinion piece about the most essential artists to get to know. The list is based on commercial success and the timelessness of the artist's music. See if you spot a familiar name in the #2 spot.  ;-) 

[SEP 21] Music distributor, The Orchard, has announced that they are now working with Driven By The Music - which is of course is Donna's estate. 

[SEP 21] Ebony posted a list of 25 style icons. They call Donna "the glamour girl."

[SEP 21] Here's a bit of trivia or you. Donna holds the record for the longest note held by a woman in a hit single. (I don't need to tell you that the song is Dim All The Lights, do I?)

[SEP 21] Ok everyone - sing along: I'm dreaming of a Donna Christmas....   ;-) In case you haven't heard enough about the upcoming CD and vinyl deluxe versions of the 80s albums, well here's another article about them.  Excuse me while I go glare at my calendar and wonder why December 1 seems so far away.

[SEP 21] Here's something unusual. Someone has created a poster with Billboard's Hot 100 of all time represented as diagrams and charts. (Yes you read that right.)  Most of the poster is rendered too small to read on the website, but they show a sample area of it that includes the entry for Hot Stuff

[SEP 21] Bruce Sudano fans - he did a show called Border Crossings on VOA radio. It was a nice long interview complete with 3 live performances - one of which was a never before heard song called What The Future Holds. Now, don't be disappointed if you missed it.  You can catch it on the Border Crossings website.  You want the September 17 episode, and you have the option of playing it in your web browser, or downloading it to put on a portable device.  Check it out if you can. It was a really good interview that touched on all different points in Bruce's career, and he even opened up about Donna a bit.  And besides that - the new song is worth tuning in for.   :-)  On a side note - Bruce's birthday is Friday, so if you are on Facebook head over to his page and wish him a happy one.  

[SEP 21] Johnnyswim fans - stay tuned because the pair have been recording a video for Diamonds in Las Vegas. They are also currently working on their Christmas EP. 

[SEP 21] I think that brings us to YouTube.  This week we have Glenn Rivera's video mix of Fairy Tale High,  a clip of Lady Of The Night, a clip of On The Radio, a clip of Amazing Grace, a clip of Starting Over Again (a song mentioned by Bruce in the interview he did for VOA),  and  finally an audio only clip of Happy Birthday.

[SEP 14] Greetings all. The answer to the question a lot of you have been asking is, "yes". Oh wait, I guess I should give you the question too.  ;-)  The question is, "does the CD box set contain the DELUXE versions of the albums?" and that answer yes it does!  So that means you don't have to buy all the individual releases just to get all the bonuses - although if you have the cash, feel free to.  ;-) 

[SEP 14] In other news, as the deluxe albums are being worked on, they have found some stuff they didn't know they had.  And as a result, the tracklist for a couple of albums have had some adjustments made.  Cats Without Claws will now include the 7" Jellybean remix edit of Eyes.  And Another Place And Time adds I Don't Wanna Get Hurt (Original Pete Hammond 12" mix), When Love Takes Over You (Original Pete Hammond 12" mix), Love's About To Change My Heart dub (not to be confused with the Love Dub and it will replace the PWL 12" mix),  and Breakaway Instrumental Remix Edit (which replaces the album instrumental.) What's happening is that as they remaster the tracks, they are discovering things that are mislabeled or whatever and fortunately they are at a stage where they can still make changes as different things are found.  Probably the track lists we have now are the final ones, but who knows? With a couple months left, we may get lucky and some rare mix will turn up in somebody's laundry room or something. 

[SEP 14] I'd say people are getting pretty excited about the deluxe releases. Tae a look at Amazon UK's list of disco best sellers. As of this writing, I see APAT, the CD set, ASG and the self-titled album all in the top 20.  The others all fall somewhere in the 21 to 40 slots, Endless Summer  popped up at #43, and on the 81 to 100 page, you find The Journey and Four Seasons Of Love.  We should just rename it the Donna Summer Chart.  ;-)

[SEP 14] Cats Without Claws lovers - did you realize the album is 30 years old?  (Can you believe it? ) Anyway, in honor of 3 decades of Cats Without Claws, The QH Blend blog has posted a very nice retrospective on the alum.

[SEP 14] In the land of covers, Beck is the latest to add I Feel Love to his set. You can hear it here. (Jump to about 2:45 for I Feel Love.)

[SEP 14] I think that brings us to YouTube.  First up is I'm A Fire live in Paris, then we have Science Of Love and Last Dance from XM Radio's Artist Confidential, An audio only clip of the Enough Is Enough recording sessions (jump to 16:40ish for the famous "beat him up with a stick" outtake), Donna with Dick Clark on Good Morning America, and Donna on Jools Holland. 

[SEP 7] Happy Sunday everyone! In case you haven't been on the social media scene this week, let me announce that the 80s albums (the Geffen and Atlantic ones only) will be released as deluxe editions on December 1 and there will be gorgeous box sets of vinyl and CDs.  Now as of right now, these are only available to Europe and Australasia via Donna's official store, or you can order through Amazon UK, and they will ship to North America. (It just costs a little more.)  You can see photos of the box sets here.  Now the only thing we are not sure of right now is if the box sets are just the remastered albums, or if they include the bonus tracks from the deluxe releases. What the box sets do have are postcards in the CD set and a gorgeous booklet in the vinyl set.

[SEP 7] Now as I said, the albums are coming out individually as deluxe editions too. They will have all the original liner notes, art and lyrics, plus some extensive new liner notes to go with them.  Since I am sure you are all well acquainted with the original tracks for all the albums (and if you are not - feel free to check out the discography section), let me run down the bonus tracks. 

The Wanderer: Who Do You Think You Are Fooling (3:55 edit), Cold Love ( 3:11 edit)

Donna Summer: Sometimes Like Butterflies, Love Is In Control (7" Version), Love Is In Control (Dance Remix), Love Is In Control (Instrumental feat. Ernie Watts On saxophone solo), State Of Independence (7" Version), State Of Independence (NRG Mix), State Of Independence (New Radio Millennium Mix)

Cats Without Claws: Face The Music, Supernatural Love (Extended Dance Remix), Eyes (Extended Mix), I'm Free (Extended Mix)

All Systems Go: Tearin' Down The Walls, All Systems Go (edit), All Systems Go (Extended Remix), Dinner With Gershwin (Edit), Dinner With Gershwin (Extended Version), Dinner With Gershwin (Instrumental), Only The Fool Survives (Edit)

Another Place And Time: This is 3 CDS so make yourself comfortable! Breakaway (Power Radio Mix), Breakaway (Extended Power Mix), Breakaway (Harding Curnow Extended Reix), Breakaway (Remix Edit). Breakaway (Album Instrumental), I Don't Wanna Get Hurt (12" version), I Don't Wanna Get Hurt (Instrumental), I Don't Wanna Get Hurt (Remix), If It Makes You Feel Good (Pete Hammond Remix Instrumental), Sentimental (Instrumental), The Only One (Instrumental), This Time I Know It's For Real (Extended Remix), This Time I Know It's For Real (Instrumental),  Whatever Your Heart Desires (Instrumental), When Love Takes Over You (Dave Ford 7"), When Love Takes Over You (Dave Ford Extended Remix), When Love Takes Over You (Dave Ford Instrumental), Love's About To Change My Heart (Clivilles & Cole 12" Mix), Love's About To Change My Heart (Clivilles & Cole 7" Mix), Love's About To Change My Heart (Extended Mix), Love's About To Change My Heart (Instrumental), Love's About To Change My Heart (Love Dub), Love's About To Change My Heart (Loveland's Full On 7" Radio Edit), Love's About To Change My Heart (PWL 12" Mix), Love's About To Change My Heart (PWL 7" Mix)

Mistaken Identity: When Love Cries (Single version), When Love Cries (Vocal Club Dub aka Summertime Remix), Work That Magic (ISA Extended mix)

I'm A Rainbow: No actual bonus tracks have been listed, but it's touted as being sequenced as originally intended.

[SEP 7] These upcoming releases have already started to chart on Amazon' UK's New Music chart just based on preorders. :-) (You will have to click through the pages because chart positions change rapidly.)

[SEP 7] I think that brings us to YouTube.  First up is 14 minutes of clips from a performance with the Nashville Symphony. (It ends with that wonderful version of I Will Live For Love.) Then there is a 2008 performance of Last Dance from Oakland, Glenn Rivera's video mix of Once Upon A Time, a 1990 megamix, and Donna's duet with Seal from David Foster & Friends.





Quote Of The Week:

[OCT 26]

"In the beginning it was like being a commodity. The image and the person got characterized as one and the same, and I was saying, 'No wait. There's more to me than meets the eye - maybe twenty pounds more.' By the time of Spring Affair [1976], it was enough. I couldn't go on singing those soft songs. I've sung gospel and Broadway musicals all my life and you have to have a belting voice for that. And because my skin is black they categorize me as a black act, which is not the truth. I'm not even a soul singer. I'm more a pop singer."

- Donna Summer Rolling Stone, March 23, 1978

Summer Fever Pick
October 2014:

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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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