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Donna Summer


Last update: November 23, 2014

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

[NOV 23] Greetings all - and (early) Happy Thanksgving to my American friends.  (And if my international friends would like to join in the holiday celebration Thursday - just tell your employers that I said it is okay to take the day off.  ;-) )

[NOV 23]  There's not a whole lot going on this week. We have the CD and vinyl box sets (and of course the individual albums) coming out next week, so if you haven't ordered yet, now is a great time.  (Available at Amazon UK on December 1 and through Amazon US on December 9.) Get a box set for everyone on your holiday list!  And then we can dance December away.  :-)  I'm sad to report that I haven't run into Christmas Spirit at the local Targets or Walmarts, yet so thank god for online shopping.

[NOV 23] Giorgio Moroder fans: he will be releasing his first solo album for something like 30 years sometime next spring. It should be fun!

[NOV 23] Johnnyswim fans - make sure you catch them on their Christmas tour.  And if you can't make the tour, at least grab a copy Diamonds or A Johnnyswim Christmas (or BOTH!) The albums make great gifts you know.  ;-)

[NOV 23] That brings us to YouTube. Check out the video montage for Who Do You Think You're Foolin' by out friend Suecase Hall, Glenn Rivera's Queen For A Day video mix, the Could It Be Magic promo video, a fan video for Christmas Is Here,  Donna on the Queen Latifah Show,  and a bonus of Mary Gaines Bernard singing Make December Stay.

[NOV 16] Greetings all! Just a reminder - the 80s CDs (and vinyls) are due out via Amazon UK on December 1 and through Amazon US as imports on December 9.  Personally, I found it more cost effective to order through Amazon UK, but your mileage may vary. 

[NOV 16] Also, for those of you who have to endure Christmas music not of your own choosing (I'm looking at YOU retail workers!), Amazon has Christmas Spirit available. It's great for scrubbing your brain of the other junk we get subjected to. 

[NOV 16] In the Donna is everywhere category, the folks at the TV show Scandal are doing it again. They sneaked a Donna song into the last episode - Bad Girls. There has to be a fan or two working there.  :-)

[NOV 16] That brings us to Johnnyswim, who as you know, released their Christmas EP this week.  Read more about the EP here, here, and  here.

[NOV 16] And speaking of Johnnyswim, did you know they have a web store now? Right now it's just t-shirts (although every fan needs some JS swag  :-) ) but eventually they will add CDs and vinyl. 

[NOV 16] That brings us to YouTube. First up is Donna promoting All Systems Go on Jay Leno (the clip has 2 songs, the interview and enough tulle to swallow Donna in her chair  LOL), Stor Dubine's video for Does He Love YouRomeo from RAI TV,  Work That Magic (with male dancers voguing behind her), and the video for When Love Takes Over You.

[NOV 10] Happy Monday all! Sorry the update is late, but I was busy all weekend. (Holy cow I got off the couch for a change!  LOL) First up, remember how I have been saying that A Johnnyswim Christmas was coming out on November 11? Well, at iTunes it is already November 11 apparently. Go grab your copy now! And while it is downloading, check out this article with behind the scenes pics of the duo and a stream of their original song, Christmas Day.

[NOV 10] And while we are on the topic of Johnnyswim, Amanda has recorded the vocals for a cover for You Belong To Me with the Doobie Brothers (and Vince Gill on guitar.) You can hear it on YouTube.  Or better yet, it's on the album Southbound by the Doobies. You can buy the whole album or just the one track.

[NOV 10]  Moving on to the diva herself, Donna, first up is the remastered 80s albums/boxsets coming out next month.  As some of you are probably aware, the Fan Club had a contest in which a couple of people won samplers for the box set. The winners have received their prizes and are happy to report that the remastering was very well done.  To quote one: "Donna's voice is so clear and you can hear sounds never heard before." So if you haven't pre-ordered any of the albums or box sets yet, now is the time! And if you have ordered already, now is the time to start saying, "Is it here yet? How about now? What about now?" as you pace back and forth to the mailbox.  ;-)

[NOV 10] And if you need something to fill in the time as you are pacing  back and forth to your mailbox looking for the upcoming cds, why not check out the Fan Club website. You never know when Tom will sneak in a new contest, plus there are some cool t-shirts and things to buy. (The holidays are coming...  you must know someone who would like a little Donna under their tree.  Or even better - 8 days of Donna!  ;-) )

[NOV 10] That brings us to YouTube. First up, a medley of Grammy nominated songs from Donna and Kenny Rogers that includes a little Doobie Brothers near the end. Next up is the Ralph Rosario mix of I Feel Love,  a radio edit of You 're So Beautiful, MacArthur Park from Night Of The Proms, From A Distance with Better Midler and Raul Malo, Let It Be from UK television, and Donna on Oprah

[NOV 10] And finally, here in the US is it Veteran's Day. So thank you to all the Veterans out there, and their families for your sacrifices over the years.

[NOV 2] Greetings all, I can't believe it's November already! That means it's time for the new Summer Fever Pick. This month we go on a Fairytale High with Once Upon A Time.   :-)

[NOV 2]  We're gonna change things up a bit and start off with some Johnnyswim news.  They have 2 upcoming releases due soon. The first is is their Christmas EP due on November 11.  The second is... a baby boy due in February.  :-) Congrats Amanda and Abner!  No word yet if the baby will immediately join the band, or if they will wait until he can walk and talk first.  ;-)

[NOV 2] In Donna news, as you know we are expecting a whole bunch of remastered CDs on December 1.  Amazon UK has sound clips from the remastered albums in their digital music store. Just click this link and scroll down for the remastered albums. (Make sure the album you pick says it's the remastered version - Amazon still has the old versions available for sale too.)

[NOV 2] I found a couple of articles that mentioned Donna - some more recent than others.  First is a nod to Stamp Your Feet in an article about songs that should have hit the top 10.  Then there is the 2012 list of holiday songs you may never have heard.  (Obviously in this case "you" refers to someone who isn't a diehard Donna fan.  LOL)  And Cracked has an article about people who "secretly made all your favorite music."  Giorgio Moroder made that list and of course any time someone talks about Giorgio, Donna gets mentioned somewhere.  :-)

[NOV 2] In the Donna is everywhere category, She Works Hard For The Money was played throughout a recent episode of Rachel Ray in which Rachel was handing out cash to people in the food industry who have done amazing charity work. 

[NOV 2] Bruce Sudano fans - I know most of you probably checked out his appearance on VOA's Border Crossings.  Well, now VOA has released a video copy of that appearance.  It was a really good interview, so be sure to check it out again - or if you missed it on the radio, catch it now. (And stick with it to the really cool new song at the very end.) By the way, if you think you recognize the other guitar player... well, you probably do. He's Randy Mitchell and he was with Donna's band for years.

[NOV 2] I think that brings us to YouTube. First up is a video presentation of the Grammy Museum exhibit for those of us who can't get to LA to see it in person. (Thanks Ray!)  Then we have a mix of Running For Cover, a clip of Winter MelodySupernatural Love from Soul Train, an audio clip of Someday (Gypsy Classic Radio Mix), the video for The Woman In Me, and the Pound Foolish episode of Family Matters

[NOV 2]  That's it for this week. Next weekend, the update will either happen on Friday (if I can get  time that day) or it will be delayed until Monday. I have an unusually packed weekend planned, so most of my Donna time will be spent in the car instead of on the computer. (And there is nothing like driving with Donna tuned cranked up at full volume - if you live within a 100 mile radius of me, you may even hear me.  LOL)

[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





Quote Of The Week:

[NOV 23]

"The richest environments I have ever been in have been the most culturally diverse. My own cultural influences are vast. I have been around the world and have seen a multitude of ethnic fusions. One of the many great things about America is that every day we have incredible opportunities to learn and to grow. For example, every time we go out to eat, we have choices - Indian curry, Chinese, sushi, lox and bagels, rice and beans, spaghetti, bratwurst, and thankfully, fried chicken. If only we could sample and taste things beyond our scope, surely we would find new and exciting possibilities to explore and appreciate."

- Donna Summer Ebony September, 2008

Summer Fever Pick
November 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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