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Donna Summer


Last update: July 20, 2014

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

[JUL 20] Happy Sunday everyone! Are you Bostonians all rested up from the skate party the other night? For those of us who couldn't be in Boston for the big roller disco party tribute to Donna,  a couple of sites have posted highlights, including The Fab Empire, My Fox Boston, and YouTube. There is even a clip of Donna's nephew Omega Red performing Angel - the song that features Donna's vocals.  If you happen to be on Facebook, check out the Donna Summer groups because people are posting their videos. 

[JUL 20] In the everybody loves Donna category, Gloria Gaynor will be doing a Disco Mania cruise next year and her performance will include a tribute to Donna. 

[JUL 20] Giorgio Moroder fans - check out his interview on the Chicagoist. Donna only gets a very brief mention in this one since they are mainly only talking about his current work.

[JUL 20] Johnnyswim fans, the pair are STILL on tour, and of course that means more promotion.  :-) So check out their Last.fm interview, and their Glide Magazine interview

[JUL 20] That brings us to YouTube. First up is a new tribute by our friend Suecase Hall,  The Queen Is Back from Ottawa Bluesfest, 14 minutes of Donna with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra from 2006She Works Hard For The Money from RAI, and finally a 2009 acoustic cover of Bad Girls from Bruce Sudano.

[JUL 13] Greetings everyone. :-)  Let's start with this little article. For those who don't feel like clicking, apparently the Demon Music Group has acquired the rights to the Geffen and Atlantic albums, and the first one up for re-release (in an expanded format no less!) Is Another Place And Time because supposedly it has the most bonus material. I do know there were a boatload of remixes for those songs and it would be nice to get them all in one collection.  :-)

[JUL 13]  For those of you who like to follow the charts, this blog has compiled Donna's Top 20 hits from 1974 to 1999 im a whole bunch of countries. The information is presented as an image, so those of you out there with visual issues that make you reliant upon screen readers will have to get a little human help.

[JUL 13] Boston- are you up for a party? On Friday July 18 from 6 to 10 PM City Hall Plaza will be transformed into a FREE roller disco party tribute to Donna. They will be playing Donna mixes of course! and there will even be a couple of drag performers modeling some of Donna's looks. If you don't have skates of your own, there will be some there to rent.  It sounds like a lot of fun!

[JUN 13] In the Donna Summer FANS are everywhere category, the Garden Roses website apparently employs a fan who added the "Disco Queen" rose to the catalog in Donna's honor. They are said to be a very bright orange/scarlet color and if the photo is accurate, they really are really eye-catching!

[JUL 13] And in Gloria Gaynor news 9you will see why in a second) - she's got an autobiography out called I Will Survive, and in support of that she has been doing interviews and things. One, in the Examiner, concludes with a nice little memory of Donna. (And now you see why I mentioned it.) 

[JUL 13] I think that brings us to YouTube. First up is an interesting mashup of Donna, Ke$ha, Beyoncé and Madonna called Love To Blow You Baby.  If you are reading this at your job - save that link for home. It's not work-friendly.  Then we have MacArthur Park from the  HBO special,  the JCRZ mix of Driving Down BrazilI Feel Love from the Midnight Special, and the video for Fame (The Game). Oh wait - and one more video that was just uploaded - Stamp Your Feet set to soccer (football)  highlights.  :-)

[JUL 6] I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.  :-)  This week's update starts off with .. what else? The Grammy Museum Exhibit of course.   :-) A few people have already attended and all I can say is thank god the gowns are behind glass because I think some of you would have slobbered all over them by now.  ;-)  Now, the museum doesn't allow photos to be taken of the exhibit - which is pretty normal museum policy. It's just like how no concert venues will allow you to record the shows, and yet YouTube is full of concert videos. So you know where this is going, right? If you are on Facebook, you may have already seen some of the photos that aren't being taken.  (Check out the Donna groups - you will find the fans who aren't taking pictures.  ;-) ) If YouTube is more your style, then there is this video that wasn't shot, and of course I have no photos on my site. (Wait, was that a hyperlink? How did that happen?  ;-) )   Now for those who just want the important highlights, I counted 9 gowns and 2 wigs. There is a bunch of other cool stuff too, but I know there is a certain obsession with clothes and PARTICULARLY wigs on the forum. 

[JUL 6] Let's move on to the land of remixes. Now playing on Soundcloud is the Division 4 Radio Edit of She Works Hard For The Money.  It sounds like they used the vocals from Live & More Encore

[JUL 6] In the land of covers, there is a cover of Hot Stuff that is unlike any version of that song I have ever heard. It is described on YouTube as the Peruvian Folk version of the song. 

[JUL 6] Johnnyswim fans, they've been working with Lincoln cars on their Dream Ride campaign. Check out the video they made with Lincoln here

[JUL 6] I think that brings us to YouTube.  First up, this unreleased gem (which just happens to fit with the July 4 holiday), then there is the Danny Howells  mix of I Feel Love paired with lots of club footage, the 1983 HBO special (taken from VHS), the Patrice Relaxamix of Love To Love You, and She Works Hard For The Money from the Grammys. 

[JUL 1] It's the first of the month so you know the drill. The Summer Fever Pick changes.... this time to Love To Love You Baby.  :-)

[JUN 29] Happy week of celebrations! I know a lot of you were doing Pride celebrations this weekend, We have July 4 here in the US coming up along with Canada Day for our northern neighbors. And of course the most important celebration of them all - the opening of the Donna Summer exhibit at the Grammy Museum on Wednesday!  If you missed that announcement the other day, just scroll down for the press release.   :-)  If you are looking for a tiny little sneak peek, the museum posted this photo on their social media accounts:

[JUN 29] In cover news, I have mentioned previously that Aretha Franklin is working on an album  of covers that will include Last Dance.  She's promising to "give you what you are expecting and what you are not expecting." That is an intriguing promise.  They are hoping for a September release, but that is subject to change since they only recorded about half the songs so far.

[JUN 29] Johnnyswim fans - they are still on tour, and as I keep saying, get your tickets early because they keep selling out.  :-)  The pair did an interview with The Tennessean to promote tonight's show. Check it out - you can find out what it's like to smack David Letterman with a broken guitar string. (Accidentally of course!)   :-)

[JUN 29] I think that brings us to YouTube. First up is Patrice's Non-Stop Hit Mix 2  - over an hour of Donna tunes! Then there is his Ballad Collection (another hour of tunes!) ,  Donna on Oprah,  and Donna on Regis and Kathie Lee (with her dishes  LOL). Then in honor of July 4 we have God Bless America,  and The Star Spangled Banner

[JUN 24] This just in.... On July 2 the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles will unveil a new temporary exhibit called.... (you are gonna love this!) ... Donna Summer: Four Seasons Of Love.  The exhibit will run until Spring 2015 and will include things like gowns, set design sketches by Donna, handwritten lyrics and notes, rare photos, some of Donna's art.  I'm gonna quote the entire press release in a second, but I want to say first that if any of you west coasters are going and would like to share a report - I'll be happy to publish it!  Now let me just stop doing my happy dance long enough to cut  and paste the press release:

The GRAMMY Museum Presents

Donna Summer: Four Seasons of Love


Produced By Brian Edwards & Rick Dohler

on behalf of Bruce Sudano, The Sudano Family and

The Estate Of Donna Summer

LOS ANGELES (June 24, 2014) – On July 2, 2014, The GRAMMY Museum will unveil its latest temporary exhibition Donna Summer: Four Seasons of Love. Located on the Museum’s fourth floor, this unique exhibition will offer visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic career of five-time GRAMMY Award-winner Donna Summer.  This will be the first exhibition highlighting the career of the legendary “Queen of Disco.”

“Donna Summer galvanized a diverse group of music fans and she was able to give credibility to a genre of music that had many skeptics,” said GRAMMY Museum executive director Bob Santelli.  “We are honored to tell her story and help demonstrate why Donna Summer is not only the undisputed ‘Queen of Disco,’” but also one of the most successful female artists of all time.”

On display through Spring 2015, the exhibit, (produced by client relations rep Brian Edwards and Summer’s son-in-law Rick Dohler, on behalf of Bruce Sudano and the Sudano Family) will feature artifacts from The Estate Of Donna Summer including:

-       Gowns and costumes designed by Summer;

-       Set design sketches, also created by Summer;

-       Handwritten lyrics and notes;

-       Never-before-seen photographs spanning Summer’s entire career;

-       Several hand-painted pieces from Summer’s critically acclaimed Summer Fine Arts Collection;

-       And more

Donna Summer rocketed to international superstardom in the mid-1970s when her groundbreaking merger of R&B, soul, pop, funk, rock, disco and avant-garde electronica catapulted underground dance music out of the clubs of Europe to the pinnacles of sales and radio charts around the world. Maintaining an unbroken string of hits throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, most of which she wrote, Summer holds the record for most consecutive double albums to hit #1 on the Billboard charts (3) and first female to have four #1 singles in a 12 month period; three as a solo artist and one as a duo with Barbra Streisand. Donna Summer was the first artist to win the GRAMMY for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female (1979, "Hot Stuff") as well as the first-ever recipient of the GRAMMY for Best Dance Recording (1997, "Carry On").

In 2004, she became one of the first inductees, as both an Artist Inductee and a Record Inductee (for 1977's "I Feel Love") into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City. Summer was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame on April 18, 2013, less than a year after her death on May 17, 2012. 

“In 1978, Donna received the GRAMMY Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, her first major industry award,” said her husband Bruce Sudano.  “Donna’s relationship with The Recording Academy was very special to her. On behalf of our daughters Mimi, Brooklyn and Amanda, and the extended family, we are truly honored to have the GRAMMY Museum host this amazing tribute to Donna’s legacy.”


 Museum admission is $12.95 for adults; $11.95 for senior citizens (65+); and $10.95 for students with I.D. (ages 6 – 22) and members of the military. GRAMMY Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free. Located at 800 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite A245, Los Angeles, CA 90015, with an entrance off of Figueroa Street, the Museum resides within the L.A. LIVE campus, at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. For more information, please call 213.765.6800 or visit www.grammymuseum.org. For exclusive content, join the organization's social networks as a Twitter follower at www.twitter.com/thegrammymuseum and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegrammymuseum.

 About The GRAMMY Museum

Paying tribute to music's rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the GRAMMY Award. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests will experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum can deliver.

[JUN 22] Happy Sunday everyone.   :-) Let's start off with one more photo from the mural celebration in Boston last week, courtesy of the Boston Globe.  (It also made their photos of the week page.)

[JUN 22] Remix fans, our very own fanmixer Q has returned with his mix of Our Love

[JUN 22] Johnnyswim fans: there is a nice interview in the Saratogian, and another in the Boston Herald.  And don't forget, the pair are on tour, so check out the list and if they are coming to you - grab your tickets EARLY!   :-)

[JUN 22] Bruce Sudano fans, check out his new song, Alone, on YouTube.  And stay tuned, because later this summer Bruce will be taping something for Voice Of America.  Also check out these new dates (opening for the Zombies):  
8/13 John Burns Park - Massapequa, NY
8/14 Birchmere Music Hall - Alexandria, VA
8/16 Paramount Hudson Valley - Peekskill, NY
8/16 Westhampton Beach PAC - Westhampton Beach, NY

[JUN 22] Vienna Dohler fans - check out her new songs on YouTube, Bruise and You And I.  Both are original songs.  :-)

[JUN 22] That brings us to YouTube. First up is an hour megamix of Donna music by Patrice, an extended mix of Adonai, Donna on Tavis Smiley, and a half hour profile on Donna . 

[JUN 15] Happy Fathers' Day to all the dads out there! 

[JUN 15] First up some sad news. Casey Kasem, the legendary voice behind American Top 40, passed away today.  I have very fond memories of listening to him count down the top hits every week (especially since so many times, Donna was on the countdown.) My condolences to his family, friends and fans, and to quote the man himself - keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

[JUN 15] Moving on to Donna, as you know the Dreambuilders Youth Project completed a mural of Donna at her former high school. This past Friday, they unveiled the mural with a special reception. You can see BNN News' report on the mural on Vimeo,  and you can see a few photos on the Dreambuilders Youth Facebook page.  There was also a performance by Rainere Martin who plays Donna in shows like Legends In Concert. She has posted a number of clips on her YouTube channel

[JUN 15] ARTE in France ran a special on Donna the other night. Some of you may be able to see it online here.  It is a region-restricted video, and I can tell you right now it doesn't work in North America. 

[JUN 15] Cultura.nl has an interview with the person who painted the flames on Donna's Rotterdam costume. It's in Dutch, so if that's not your language, you need to find a cute guy (or girl - whatever floats your boat)  from the Netherlands to translate.  ;-) 

[JUN 15] The Disco Soul Gold blog has an interview with Jeanette Wilson - someone who used to work with Donna as a stylist/personal assistant.

[JUN 15] If you want to hear a cool tribute to Donna, check out  Bad Girl by Kevin Saunderson & Inner City. Note that the title is singular - it is not a cover of Donna's song. This is a new song that pays tribute to Donna.

[JUN 15] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's start with Pete Waterman's tribute to Donna (with  help from his new 16 year old artist, James Graham).  It features Love's About To Change My Heart re-imagined as a ballad. I would have loved to hear Donna try it like that at least once.  Then we have the entire John Walsh Show with Donna, Chaka Khan and Grandmaster Flash. (That was taped over the course of 3 days - watch the audience change for each guest.  LOL) Also check out Donna singing Let It Be,  a rehearsal segment for Divas 2000, and an audio only video for the Rollo & Sister Bliss mix of I Feel Love

[JUN 8]  Greetings all!  :-) Let's start with some timely info.    On June 13, as I'm sure many of you know,  the Jeremiah E Burke High School in Boston is holding an event to celebrate Donna, and to unveil the  mural they made in her honor.  You can read more about the event and see the mural here

[JUN 8] There is a report on Facebook that the Demon Music Group has signed a deal to remaster and reissue the post-Casablanca albums.  Now it's way too early for release dates or even details about the releases, but all I can say is that it will be nice to see the Geffen albums get a little love for a change. (Not to mention Another Place And Time, and Mistaken Identity!)

[JUN 8] Here's one to make you laugh. Imagine Donna Summer showing up on the same list of musical artists as AC/DC, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, etc? Well she did. But it was a list of artists banned in the former Soviet Union in the 80s.  You can see the whole list here.  (Hmmm, my top 2 divas are both on the list. IS that a good thing or a bad thing?  LOL)

[JUN 8] Ok Johnnyswim fans, I'm going to say it again - if you plan to catch one of their shows, get those tickets early! They are still selling out everywhere they go.  If you need a fix now though, check out these recent articles from TheUnion.com, the SFExaminer, and LAist.com

[JUN 8] I think that brings us to YouTube. First up is Philippe's video remix for How I Feel.  (That was a song from the musical The Me Nobody Knows, for those of you who can't place it.)  Then we have Supernatural Love (plus interview) from Soul Train, some live footage from Rotterdam, 2001, She Works Hard For The Money live from the Tonight Show, and finally a clip of Dinner With Gershwin

[JUN 1] Happy Sunday everybody. It's June 1 so that means 2 things. First of all, it's time for the new Summer Fever Pick. This month it is Lady Of the Night.  Of course June 1 is also the start of LGBT Pride month, so I expect that there will be lots of Donna playing at events everywhere.  :-)

[JUN 1]  There's nothing really going on at the moment, as far as Donna is concerned anyway.  But I do want to pass along some info from the Fan Club. Apparently there was a glitch with a few of the recent merchandise orders. The issue has been fixed and the missing orders are going out this week. Also - and this affects EVERYBODY (in a good way!) - the fan club merchandise will be redesigned some time this summer.  So if you want the original designs, you better order soon because once the new designs are out, the old ones will be retired. 

[JUN 1] So let's move on to Johnnyswim.  :-)  They have a new video for Home. It very nicely captures the spirit and energy of the song. You can see it on the YouTube link I posted, but if you watch VH1 or CMT, keep your eyes open for it there too.  :-)

[JUN 1] The Seattle Times has a short but good interview with Johnnyswim to promote last night's concert.

[JUN 1] And don't forget that Johnnyswim is currently on tour. I keep saying this (but only because it's true) if they are coming to your area, grab your tickets as soon as you can because the duo are selling out everywhere and you do not want to miss the chance to see them live.  And if you haven't grabbed your copy of Diamonds over at Amazon or iTunes, well then I just don't know what to do with you.  ;-)

[JUN 1] That brings us to YouTube. First up is some rehearsal stuff from the Enough Is Enough sessions,  a video for I Remember Yesterday,  a Stampyurfeet video for the dance version of La Vie En Rose, rehearsal footage of I Don't Wanna Work That Hard,  and the video for Fame (The Game).






Quote Of The Week:

[JUL 20]

"I never dreamed I'd be this successful this long, but I always thought that I'd be in the business. I'd be getting my teeth replaced and I'd still be singing. I'll probably be like Lena Horne or somebody who's always there year after year. It'll be hard gettin' me out of here."

- Donna Summer DMA January 1995

Summer Fever Pick
July 2014:

Click image




Ken's Korner

[JAN 12]

Reflections on Remixes…………..

First and foremost I trust that everyone had a Happy Holiday Season, and I wish everyone the best for 2014. I know that some of our own have been going through health issues, and as someone who is dealing with a number of on going health issues I know 
all too well the meaning of that saying, when you have your health, you have everything.

The Love, to Love, You, Donna Remix album has been making news, and is doing very well. The remix of MacArthur Park has topped the dance charts, and the album as a whole is turning a whole new generation of fans onto Donna’s body of work. The recent impact of Daft Punk has also benefited Donna as their work has the genius of Niles Rogers and Giorgio Moroder behind it.

That said, I have mixed feelings about the remixes (pun intended), and as you all know I am not shy about letting these opinions be known. I guess my love for Donna’s original body of work does cloud my judgment of any and all remixes, and in fact when I think of my favorite 12 inch singles I most enjoyed the ones that extended these great songs without altering them all that much. 

For me, I can’t wait until Verve releases some of Donna last recordings, and possibly some gems from the vault (after all Donna co-wrote Silver Girl *with David Foster).
As for Donna’s vast released body of work, for me, there is nothing like the originals.

*One last note for this Ken’s Korner, I have a whole bunch of Facebook friends with a Donna connection, one of them being the comedienne Louise DuArt. If you don’t know the story of the song Silver Girl, ask Louise. Cathy and I, along with others also know the story, but we’ll charge you for the information, major credit cards accepted ! 


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