[JUL 24] First things first. A lot of the Facebookers out there have already seen this either from my post, Tom Gilliam's post, or the shares of either, but for the rest of you I have a card that was sent to me by the Sudano family. The front (which I am sharing here) is something Donna wrote that the family then had reproduced on the thank you cards they sent out. I am posting it here because I know you want to see it. :-)
For my blind friends, it says (in Donna's handwriting): Go forward and don't look back. Celebrate, live, love, laugh. Love Donna. It probably goes without saying that I have no objections to any of you downloading the image for your personal collections, or to share on your social media pages. I think Donna's message should be shared with anyone who needs to see it. (On a side note - this is a better copy of what I put on Facebook. I edited out the extra stuff - like my desk - that my phone picked up when I photographed it.)
[JUL 24] In frustrating news (well frustrating for me because I missed it) Larry Flick played a new Donna song called Freedom on his Out Q radio program, The Morning Jolt, yesterday. He said he would ONLY play it once and that it couldn't be downloaded. He introduced it as a song recorded by a friend who is no longer with us and possibly said it was one of the last songs she recorded. The one person I know of who heard it describes the song as uptempo but with a country/pop feel to it. He said the song seemed to be the "freedom to be myself." The song used to be listed on the Morning Jolt playlist for the day, but it has since been removed. My guess is that the song is a taste of what it still to come.
[JUL 24] As many of you know, I caught Johnnyswim live a couple times over the past week. (If you can - go see them! You will NOT be sorry! Tour dates are on Johnnyswim.com). I had a chance to chat with Amanda, and I can assure you that the family is doing fine. :-) And (and I know you all knew this already) the stupid Enquirer story about the girls fighting is a work of fiction. (She also hinted that "fun stuff" is coming, so keep the faith guys!)
[JUL 24] And speaking of Johnnyswim, if you want to see what Abner is up to when he isn't making music, check out this Wipeout video.
[JUL 24] And finally (at least for today) we have along-time fan out there named Raul who is currently working on a project to raise funds for a summer camp for LGBT youths. It gets these kids (many of whom are homeless) out of the city for a week of fun and fresh air in Upstate NY. Check it out here.
[JUL 16] Thinking of the Sudano family tonight on what should have been Donna & Bruce's 32nd anniversary.
[JUL 16] In release news, Universal Japan is reissuing a number of Donna's albums in Mini CD format. The really good news is that they should all be remastered and Live & More is supposed to have the MacArthur Park Suite - like the vinyl did. :-) Amazon is listing an August 14 release date, but I should warn you that these CDs are a bit pricey. That's typical for Japanese imports. The forthcoming reissues will be:
Live & More
Once Upon A Time
On The Radio
I Remember Yesterday
Four Seasons Of Love
A Love Trilogy
Love To Love You Baby
[JUL 16] Kristine W has a new album coming out later this year that has been reworked as a tribute to Donna. She will be including a cover of Sometimes Like Butterflies that is being re-imagined as a slow to fast dance song. You can read an interview with Kristine here where she talks about Donna and the tribute.
[JUL 16] There was a disco concert in Coney Island the other night that was billed as a tribute to Donna. Gloria Gaynor rose to the occasion by saying some very nice things about Donna and then performing Last Dance. One of her backing singers did a little MacArthur Park as well. You can see a clip on YouTube.
[JUL 16] MSNBC's Politics Nation (hosted by Al Sharpton) did an obituary on Donna that came out on May 17, but I only saw now. It's here if you want to see it.
[JUL 16] As many of you know, Saturday was Bastille Day in France and naturally there were fireworks. :-) It Paris the 30 minute display was set to a soundtrack of classic disco music that included I Feel Love and Last Dance. You can hear the whole soundtrack here. What I also thought was cool is that they hung what looks like a huge disco ball in the Eiffel Tower. You can see that better in this clip. One note, the volume on the first clip is pretty low compared to the volume on the second clip. I only mention it because I neglected to adjust my volume between clips and ended up scaring the heck out of my cat when he thought the fireworks were going off in my office. LOL
[JUL 7] DonnaSummer.com has been updated with a new message from the family.
[JUL 4] Happy July 4 everyone. I have a correction on the last update's correction. I went out and bought New York Magazine (and discovered they have a couple of different ones out there). The one with Emma Stone on the cover has a crossword puzzle and yes, a whole bunch of the clues are Donna related - granted someone who isn't thinking about Donna might not realized it at first. Most of the clues are along the lines of "Summer hit of 1979" - it's easy to think season instead of diva. :-) There are 10 clues related to Donna - most are song titles, two are not. And for those of you who hate crossword puzzles (like me LOL) it's not a difficult one. For those of you who get your magazines on tablets or eReaders... I believe you can only get the puzzle in the paper edition. Sorry.
[JUL 4] I have updated the Memorial gallery with a couple of things including the Entertainment Weekly article written by Chaka Khan, and a 1979 Hawaiian concert review.
[JUL 4] I haven't seen them yet, but I understand both Ebony and Word magazines have obituaries in the July 2012 editions. And I see the National Enquirer is reporting the same garbage that was on the Wendy Williams show. Too bad I don't buy that paper, the article would be great in my cats' litterbox. Although to give credit where credit is due - the Enquirer actually got everybody's name right.
[JUL 4] The BET awards was aired the other night and it ran tributes to several of the legends we have lost recently. Their tribute to Donna was Chante Moore singing a short medley of Love To Love You and Bad Girls.
[JUL 4] The Coney Island Summer Concert Series kicks off July 12 with what is being billed as a Tribute To Donna Summer featuring Gloria Gaynor, Village People, The Trammps, and Rose Royce.
[JUL 4] In the world of silly news (and I think we could use some) a man in Scotland was arrested for playing his Donna tunes loudly enough to cause the whole house to vibrate. (Well it was a bit more than that - he got a bit rowdy when the police told him to turn it down because he was disturbing the downstairs tenants.)
[JUL 4] Long Island Johnnyswim fans - they are coming to the Wollfer Vineyard in East Hampton on July 19. I've seen them there before, it's a nice place to enjoy a glass of wine and some good tunes.
[JUN 28] I have a correction to the last update. The NY Magazine crossword is dedicated to the season of summer and not the diva. (That's what happens when you report before you buy. Oh well, I hate crossword puzzles anyway. LOL) Also, when I talked abotu Pages From The Heart Encore - I forgot I have more people than usual here. For those who don't know, you can reach me by email at webmaster @ donna-tribute.com or ordinarydiva @ gmail.com or chawk25619 @ aol.com (Just eliminate the spaces - I'm trying to scare off the spambots. :-) )
[JUN 28] A recent episode of RuPaul's Drag-U was dedicated to Donna. You can watch it online here. You want episode 2: Heroes To Hotties.
[JUN 28] I have a few more things in the links and YouTube sections below.
[JUN 28] I don't think I posted this one before, but there is an interview with Omega Red (Angel) on Radio Live in New Zealand. He talks a lot about Donna.
[JUN 28] For those of you in the San Francisco area, on Thursday July 19, Beatbox is doing a tribute to Donna and Whitney. It's from 7 PM to 2 AM and tickets are $10 and $25. Tickets are available at Ticketfly.com. You can read the PDF here.
[JUN 28] And finally, before you guys start sending me links, I saw the Wendy Williams Show today. For those who missed it, one of the hot topics was some garbage about Donna's family fighting over her estate. I have to tell you there were so many things wrong with that report that it caused me to drop the F-bomb on the forums. (And that's nothing compared to what I was saying at home to my poor confused cats.) From showing a picture of Mimi and saying she is Brooklyn, from saying that there are no recent photos of Mimi online (there are if you search for her under the right name - I tried several variations of Mimi's name and found pictures very easily on Google), from calling Bruce, Mr. SummerS (REALLY?) to slipping and almost calling Donna, Diana.... Ugh. That's 5 minutes of my life I will never get back. I've seen and read many things about Donna over the years all of varying degrees of accuracy, but this report I actually found downright offensive.
[JUN 24] Let's start off with Pages From The Heart Encore. I can see from the forum that some of you are starting to get ready to write about your Donna memories. (And for those of you who aren't, that's totally fine - we all grieve in our own way and all heal at our own rates.) But I thought this would be a good time to remind everyone that I am still serious about putting together a book of memories for the family - something that I hope to be able to send to Bruce around Christmas time. To give you an idea of that the original Pages Of The Heart was like, this is the introduction we put in it:
I think what makes an artist so special is when that artist carries us through the good and bad times. Those are the artists that we tend to embrace and hold on to. And I find that this type of association happens to occur with just one artist. Not to say, we don't adore other artists -- its just we always find that special someone. And once we make that connection, the bond becomes strong and everlasting.
Donna, for us - you are that special artist. You have celebrated the good times with us, consoled us through the bad times, and inspired us with your talent and your positive outlook. Through your music you have become a very special part of all our lives and we are forever in your debt.
And so, in honor of your fiftieth birthday we would like to share our favorite Donna Summer stories with you. Some are happy, some are sad, some are uplifting and some are just silly. But all express our devotion to you.
We dedicate this book to you with all of our love. May God bring to you all the love and joy you have given us through the years.
-Your Friends Unknown
Obviously, I am hoping Pages From The Heart Encore can be just as special. Bruce and the girls shared Donna with us for so long - let's show them how much we appreciate that. :-) The plan is to make it both an online thing and a physical book, but of course if you write something that you don't want me to put online, all you have to do is say so. You can get me at any of the usual addresses, and pictures are fine but I reserve the right to chop them down to a reasonable size. (Just like I do with the the E-greetings. You guys know the drill. :-) )
[JUN 24] Moving on, I have a new Ken's Korner for you. And I do plan to clean up this page one of these days - I realize it's getting completely out of hand. (Don't worry, nothing will be deleted. I'll probably just archive this page and start fresh with the original news page.)
[JUN 24] For those who missed it (or who avoid Facebook like the plague), Bruce posted the following on his page:
A Puddle of Emotion
After oceans of tears
Sitting stagnant and unnoticed
A puddle of emotion appears
You can’t walk around it
Wearing brand new shoes
You step right in it
There’s no other way
[JUN 24] In chart news, Endless Summer hit the French charts with a bullet recently. (Endless Summer seems to be the popular compilation in Europe... among casual fans that is. Here in the US it seems to be a bit more split up.)
[JUN 24] The June edition of the French magazine Le Monde Mensuel has an article about Donna and 4 pages of photos. Donna gets a brief mention in the June issue of Daeida on page 2. The issue is about Martha Wash and obviously it was in production before Donna passed. The July issue is being worked on now, I'll let you know when it's up. You can read the whole issue online for free. (Click the top corner of any page to expand into full screen view.) Rolling Stone has compiled a list of the 50 greatest albums by Women Who Rock. Donna comes in at #23. And the June 25 issue of New York Magazine has a crossword puzzle dedicated to Donna. :-)
[JUN 24] There is another Tumblr account dedicated to Donna pictures. There is quite a collection of photos and fan art there.
[JUN 24] I think that's it for tonight - I have a few more pictures to add to the memorial page, and I'll try to get to that soon. :-)
[JUN 17] Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. :-)
[JUN 17] Well, it's been a month, and it's still not a bad dream. I hope everybody is starting to find at least a little bit of peace. For today's update, I have added a few new photos to the Memorial page. Some of those are creations by Reese who also has a blog (can you call it a blog is it's only images?) on Tumblr dedicated to his favorite Goddesses. On it he has some rare photos of Donna, along with some of his creations - and photos of other divas too.
[JUN 17] I have a fan out there who has found himself in the unenviable position of having to sell off some of his collection. His name is Raul and you can see his auctions here. He's got a couple of Madonna items too - I know a few of you are her fans too. (Sorry Ken! ;-) )
[JUN 17] I have added stuff to the links, memorials and YouTube sections below. I also found another message from Donna in my archives that I missed when I posted the list previously. This one was from 2004 shortly after Donna's dad passed away. I think it's a more interesting read now. And I can't help but think that this year Donna is spending the day with her dad once again. That's a nice image that makes me smile.
[JUN 17] I have more Donna news to add another time, but I want to leave you for now with a Johnnyswim item. They will be playing a few dates in July - Jacksonville, FL, New York City and Los Angeles. You can find the details on their website. (And with that, I guess this page is starting to get back to something resembling normal.)
[JUN 12] Today I've added stuff to the YouTube section, the links and the quotes section.
[JUN 12] There is a Greatest Songs quiz made by Alan from the Aussie radio station JOY. (He's the one who did the Crayons preview in 2008 and who recently did a tribute to mark Donna's passing.) It's fun if you have time to play with it. Just a hint - spelling counts, not all songs are hits, and albums appear multiple times on the list so when you type in an answer it may appear in a different place that you might have been expecting it.
[JUN 12] A couple of you have sent me links to Donna's gravesite. And while I do appreciate it, I don't feel that's something I can share on the site at this time. That's partly because I strongly feel that it should be the family's decision on whether or not to share photos of the site, and partly because I just find it very upsetting to look at the photos. Having said that though, for those who can't resist, Google is your friend.
[JUN 12] Anastacia has posted a tribute to Donna, Whitney, Robin Gibb and Amy Winehouse on her blog.
[JUN 12] Melissa Etheridge performed a couple of Donna songs at Pittsburgh's Pride concert the other night.
[JUN 8] OK, first things first. The following pages have been updated:
The Memorial Gallery (with the Rolling Stone PDFs finally, more pics from San Francisco, a photo tribute from Ruud and a powerpoint tribute from Mario..)
The fan report page from Gay Days 2007 because Kelly kindly send me new photos from that event
The YouTube section of this page.
The Links section of this page.
[JUN 8] There is going to be a Disco Ball at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on June 23. It was originally set up to commemorate the anniversary of Saturday Night Fever, but they plan to feature a tribute to Donna as well. (And of course Robin Gibb.)
[JUN 8] Musical fans, the German cast albums of Haare and Godspell (featuring Donna of course) are available in the Amazon UK MP3 store. Just a note, on Godspell, Donna is correctly credited for Oh Segne Gott Mein Seel, but they failed to credit her for Du Bist Das Licht Der Welt. Now in Haare, they don't tell you anything, so here's the list of Donna songs: Wasserman, White Boys, Schweben Im Raum, and you can hear her to some extent in the Finale. Godspell is also available in the US store, but unfortunately not Haare.
[JUN 8] In chart news, The Journey has recharted at #88 on Billboard's Top 200 albums. It's also the greatest gainer on the catalog album chart going from #49 to #6.
[JUN 8] A couple of you have emailed me with rumors of a completed album awaiting release. For the record, Nathan Digesare has said as much in an interview and even went so far as to say that we could see it before the end of the year. HOWEVER, I choose to keep my outlook a bit more cautious for a couple of reasons. #1 I have no idea how long it will take to settle the estate. I don't care how much anyone plans for their death, somehow, some way you just know government bureaucracy will get in the way. (Isn't that why all governments exist - to drive us nuts? ;-) ) And #2 - there is no way to know when the family is going to be up to making decisions. I recommend patience - hey we waited 17 years for Crayons, didn't we? :-)
[JUN 4] Someone expressed an interest in seeing the original news page again. I have it tucked away here. You will even see the update that I never got to post because the site crashed. Eventually I will go back to the old news page and archive this one - but I don't see that happening for awhile yet.
[JUN 4] I have added a few new article scans to the Memorial Gallery page. I have some stuff from Italy, I have the Rolling Stone article, and a Time milestones column. I also threw in links for PDFs of a People magazine column, an article from India and the Rolling Stone article again. Thanks to all who keep sending stuff in. It may take awhile, but eventually I do get to add it in. :-)
[JUN 3] The UK show TOTP2 ran a special tribute to Donna this evening. UK fans can watch it on the BBC iPlayer. (Everybody else - sorry, unless you are good with sneaky proxy tricks.) That was followed by a repeat of When Disco Ruled The World, also available on iPlayer.
[JUN 3] With everything else going on, I forgot it's Pride Month, so happy Pride Month guys! :-) Boston had it's Gay Pride parade and they opened the festivities with Stamp Your Feet. :-)
[JUN 3] Here are the latest chart figures from Billboard:
Top 200 Albums: #73 On The Radio, #90 Endless Summer, #95 The Journey, #194 Greatest Hits
Hot 100 Recurrents: #17 Last Dance
Hot Digital Songs: #45 Last Dance
R&B/ Hip Hop Digital Songs: #9 Last Dance, #25 On The Radio, #32 Hot Stuff, #34 She Works Hard For The Money, #39 Bad Girls, #45 Love To Love You Baby, #47 MacArthur Park, #48 Dim All The Lights
Additionally, Endless Summer and The Journey are charting in several countries, and Last Dance and I Feel Love are charting in a few countries. (Thanks Marcelo)
[JUN 3] It's strange to have a Donna is everywhere item right now, but I do have one that caught me by surprise. In honor of the Diamond Jubilee festivities in the UK, BBC America was running a show about Queen Elizabeth and I tuned in. During the commercials they were plugging another show that has a blog associated with it. And in the commercial they showed a screen shot of the blog. Well, the screenshot was obviously taken May 17 or shortly after that because this was one of the top stories showing.
[JUN 3] I'm just going to throw in a bunch more links in the sections below, and then hopefully tomorrow or the next day I can add some more magazine scans I got. :-) (That will include the really nice article in Rolling Stone)
[MAY 31] I have more articles and things to post (and more emails to answer) but for right now I just want to post one quick thing. Bruce has finally posted a statement on Facebook and I thought I'd share it here for those who don't do Facebook.
The girls and I wish to thank all of you who sent prayers and love our way through this difficult time.
We are uplifted and feel as if we're being held in a "bubble of grace". Of course we are deeply affected and missing "my heart", their mother, but we are not without hope. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we go forward, knowing that as a family, we are purposed to live out our lives with the faith, joy, integrity, sense of purpose and love for people that Donna continually exemplified. We will honor her legacy, we will reflect her light. For generations to come we will carry the torch, it will not dim, but I believe, continue to burn ever brighter.
With great appreciation,
[MAY 28] Some people have asked me about purchasing Donna's art. Jack Gallery in Las Vegas has lithos, but TMZ reports that the price has suddenly increased. (No surprise there.)
[MAY 28] I added a whole bunch of links below, plus Jonathan's account of the funeral. I have also added a bunch of stuff to the memorial gallery.
[MAY 28] Someone on the forum expressed an interest in reading all the old messages from Donna. I had a bunch of them archived on the site already, and I went back and found some of the ones from her site and added them to my archive. All of them can be found in the article archives, but your your convenience I'll give you the links here:
Donna's Holiday Greeting To The Fans December 1999
Donna's Holiday Letter to the fans December 2001
Donna's Message To The Fans July 26, 2002
Donna's Holiday Message to the fans December 23, 2002
Message 1 from Donna 2006 (or possibly late 2005)
Message 2 from Donna 2006
Message from Donna 2007
Message 1 from Donna 2010
Message 2 from Donna 2010
[MAY 26] Today's update is primarily to finally bring you some images. I have photos of some newspapers and magazines, and photos of Donna's star on the Walk Of Fame. Those are all on a separate memorial page. As some of you may have noticed, I also updated the splash page of the site. I would like to thank Ruud for that wonderful photo he took a couple of years ago. I also added a few links to the sections below. My next mission is to hopefully catch up on email tomorrow.
[MAY 25 again] Before I go to bed I have one more quick update. DonnaSummer.com has been updated with a brief but heartfelt message from the family.
[MAY 25] Ok, so it's time for more links! But first, for those who missed yesterday's Insider report on Donna's funeral - well, they have the whole show posted here. Donna is at about the five minute mark and look sharply because if you blink, you will miss it. I'm not sure if the clip is region restricted or not, so I am crossing my fingers it works for anyone who wants to see it.
[MAY 25] American fans, don't forget that Entertainment Tonight has an hour long weekend edition on Saturday that recaps the events of the week.
[MAY 25] Circus Disco in Santa Monica is having one Last Dance with the Queen on June 9. Local fans who are ready to dance again (and you KNOW Donna wants us to dance again! :-) ) can check it out here.
[MAY 25] The first official posthumous Shout It Out collection has turned up. The dubious honor goes to Spotify with the collection called In Memory of Donna Summer 1948-2012. For the new people who may be reading this, the Shout It Out collection is a bunch of tracks Donna recorded before she was famous. Here's the catch though - in many cases she was not meant to be the lead vocals. But some opportunist figured out how to tinker with the tracks to both bring Donna's voice out and update the sound a bit. So while the tracks were originally OK (dated for sure, but still with a certain charm) in the collection, they have been ruined and all in the name of making a few bucks off Donna's name. This collection turns up periodically under various titles and with all different covers. I think someone once collected images for something like 40 different releases and that was quite a few years ago. I shudder to think how many versions there are now. If you are new to collecting and you see one of these CDs - run for your life! Ok, so that may be a bit extreme. But understand that you are not finding some rare treasure and that it in no way represents Donna's best work... or even her mediocre work.... Now for my regulars who may remember that I have a strange affection for the release that had the really weird eyeball cover, well let me just say that I am disappointed. This new collection completely lacks that sort of bizarre imagination.
[MAY 25] In REAL release news, Lady Of The Night has resurfaced - this time as a remastered album on iTunes and Amazon. New collectors - this album is legit. It's the one Donna made before Love To Love You Baby. Here are the buy links: iTunes, Amazon US, Amazon UK. Please note until the hoopla from Donna's death dies down, I will be donating any commission I make from sales of her music to charity in her honor. On a side note, when I searched Amazon UK to get the link I saw that they listed the CD version as Lady Of The Night (AKA The Hos). Obviously that was never the title. There is a link on the bottom of the product page to offer a correction. I did that. If any of you are so inclined, you can do the same. You just need an account at Amazon.
[MAY 25] UK fans, BBC2 is doing a Top Of The Pops tribute to Donna on June 3 at 22:00.
[MAY 24] OK, let's go right to print media. People Magazine has 3 pages on Donna in the June 4 issue. As for the cover, well her name is in a little red circle with Robin Gibb's. As I have said on the forums and/or Facebook - no scandal means no cover. (Scandal sells.) The National Enquirer has a teaser on the cover about Donna's "TRAGIC SECRET" which is revealed inside to be cancer. Tragic yes, but hardly a secret now. The Globe (that would be the national tabloid, not to be confused with any number of local newspapers) has nothing on the cover. But there is an article on the inside that is really more about 9/11 dust than Donna. (It actually makes me smile that the tabloids can't find anything the least bit compromising to say.) I am also told that Entertainment Weekly ( the one with the Spiderman cover) has a couple of pages inside, but I haven't seen that one yet. We still have the monthly magazines yet to some so we'll see what happens.
[MAY 24] Moving on to American Idol - there was a planned tribute to Donna for the finale, but it was dropped due to time constraints. I totally understand. Because of my time constraints, I never watch AI.... except of course for the times Donna was on. Oh well. (Ooo, am I sounding too bitter tonight? LOL)
[MAY 24] Insider was slated to have a segment on Donna's funeral. I didn't see it because it was pre-empted in the New York area by a news conference. (Amazingly the NYPD may have solved a famous 1979 missing child case.) The segment may turn up online at some point.
[MAY 24] Look for some chart action this week. The PulseMusic boards report:
Nine Donna Summer songs enter Hot Digital Songs in the wake of her death last week. The Oscar-winning "Last Dance" leads the way (38K). Here are the others: "On The Radio" (19K), "Hot Stuff" (16K), "She Works Hard For The Money" (16K), "Bad Girls" (13K), "Love To Love You Baby" (12K), "MacArthur Park" (11K), "Dim All The Lights" (11K) and "Heaven Knows" (10K). There are some killer records in there.
Four Summer compilations re-enter The Billboard 200, topped by On The Radio—Greatest Hits—Volumes I & II at #74. R.I.P, Donna.
If Donna Summer fans had all settled on one compilation rather than dividing their sales among the four that re-enter this week's chart, it would have sold 18K copies this week and would have placed right around #18 on the chart, which would have made it the week's #1 catalog album.
[MAY 24] I added a few new links to the sections below. I'm hoping this weekend I can get caught up and maybe start adding a photo gallery with the flowers at the Walk Of Fame and things like that.
[MAY 23] Sorry I'm getting backlogged with all the Donna coverage - taking yesterday off to recover from whatever I had really messed me up. I should be able to catch up on the weekend. Ok, so let's start with something good. I think we could all use that. Billboard reports that Donna's album sales have increased by 3277% (not a typo!) since she died. The cut off date was May 20, so that doesn't even account for today's shopping frenzy. Also I Feel Love has been inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library Of Congress as a sound of cultural significance.
[MAY 23] ET had planned to cover Donna's funeral today - I didn't watch my recording yet, but I understand that didn't happen. I suspect a timing issue - the funeral was late afternoon and they may have missed the deadline. We'll see what happens tomorrow. But just so you know - the press was kept well away, so all the cameras could get was people lining up to go in. A local Tennessee station had live coverage, you can see it here. (Like I said - cameras were kept well away, so there's not much to see thank god.)
[MAY 23] TMZ had a photo of Donna's hearse (you have no idea how hard it is to type those words together), it's here but again there is nothing really to see (thank god!) it's just a car... But it's here for those who feel they need to see it. TMZ also has a PDF of the funeral program. I looked at it and promptly burst into tears, so again it's here for those who feel they need to see it, but it's cool if you don't want to look. Thankfully there are NO photos of the casket which I have heard was covered in white roses. (Really, I don't think I could even look at a picture of a casket even if it was nailed shut and covered with so much stuff that you couldn't even tell it was a casket.) I have to give the Sudano family full credit for being able to keep it so private and sending Donna out in the way she would have liked. There is a ton more stuff I could post... but that will have to wait til tomorrow.
[MAY 23] A quick update before I go back to bed... Entertainment Tonight will be covering Donna's funeral tonight - hopefully from a respectful distance. Check their site for the time/channel in your area.
[MAY 23] Android has a Donna Summer ringtone app. Read about it here. On a side note, Google's homepage is a tribute to the Moog machine. Maybe the musically inclined can get it to play I Feel Love?
[MAY 23] Finally all those tweeting about today are encouraged to use the hashtags #DonnaSummer and #LastDanceWednesday. The idea is that we can make her a trending topic. :-)
[MAY 22] Someone very kindly made a press release for Last Dance Wednesday. If you haven't seen it yet, please click the link to bring the press release up higher on the list of the day's news. :-) I'm also adding a few links to the articles section. Please forgive me if I'm a bit quiet today - I'm both scheduled to work and sick as a dog.
[MAY 21] After 3 days off, I went back to work today. So due to a lack of time, I'll just do a quick update with a few new links. And I have a heartfelt Ken's Korner. And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE support Last Dance Wednesday for Donna! Let's make so much noise that all the angels will be dancing in heaven! Oh and for those of you who missed the Billboard Music Award tribute to Donna - you really didn't miss anything. My grandmother could have done a better tribute and she could never even remember Donna's name!
[MAY 20] Ok - the decision has been made. Wednesday May 23 will be Last Dance Wednesday. For all these years Donna has sent us home to Last Dance, and now it is our turn to do the same for her. This is what we are going to do, on Wednesday (the day of Donna's funeral) everyone should go to iTunes, Amazon, Napster, Rhapsody or whatever other MP3 retailer you like and buy at least one copy of Last Dance. Get your family to do it, your friends, your enemies - even your pets if they can work a keyboard! After you do that - call your local radio station and ask them to play Last Dance as a dedication to the lady herself. We as Donna Summer fans have a reputation for being noisy and enthusiastic. Let's show the world how noisy and enthusiastic we really can be! The goal is to get the song to chart as high as possible on Billboard for that week. Now I have some links for you to use - I do get a commission on the Amazon links if you decide to use them, but anything I earn will be donated to charity in Donna's name. I also have a graphic you can use. My thoughts behind this are a royal purple ribbon to represent our Queen and a heart to represent our love. Please post this info to your twitter feeds, facebook walls, myspace blogs, tumblr, youtube or any other social media you use. If you participate in music forums, please try to get those people involved too. (Just don't get yourself in trouble for spamming - know where the line is and don't cross it.) I am going to email Universal tomorrow to tell them to watch the sales Wednesday. And we'll see who else I can email. If anyone else has any contacts that can be of any help - drop them a line too. Let's not just make this big - let's make it HUGE. And let's make it worldwide. And let's show those Billboard Awards people how a tribute SHOULD be done. :-)
[MAY 20] Time for more links and things. We have new interviews out there from Nathan Digesare (and I would like to punch the interviewer who tried to get him to reveal the location of the funeral - NOT COOL) and another with Giorgio Moroder (in German). They both say the funeral will be Wednesday, so instead of showing solidarity by buying Last Dance tomorrow - we'll wait until Wednesday, and after a little discussion on the forum, we may be tweaking the idea a little bit.
[MAY 20] Having mentioned the funeral, I want to reiterate that it is PRIVATE and I implore everyone to respect the privacy of the family at this time.
[MAY 20] Tonight (Sunday) at 9PM Eastern SIriusXM's Studio 54 Radio will be doing a tribute to Donna. It's channel 15 - you can sign up for a free online trial if you are not normally a subscriber. And Don't forget the Billboard Music Awards will be doing a tribute. That's 8 PM Eastern on ABC TV.
[MAY 20] I keep seeing on the board and on Facebook questions about what will happen to this site. I'm not going anywhere! I've said it before (maybe even here on the site - I don't remember and I can't bring myself to read anything I've written so far. I figure in a year I'll look back and wonder who wrote all this stuff! LOL) As far as I'm concerned all the archival stuff has to remain as a tribute to our Diva, and as far as news goes - well, you all have seem me pull something out of nothing before. LOL And I do still plan to promote the other Sudano and Gaines family members. They are all talented and they all deserve some promotion. I might end up adjusting the update schedule, but that's all. As for the forum - we've been friends (known and unknown) for all these years. Why on earth would we want to lose that?
[MAY 20] I was thinking yesterday about what we can be expecting in the coming weeks. First of all, we are not done with the print media by a long shot. The tabloids are sure to have something this week (and hopefully they won't throw in too much ... how can I say it nicely? I can't - the word that fits is bullshit.) The glossy weeklies may have something this week or next week - it depends on when they went to press. The same with monthly magazines - it could be next month or the month after depending on when those are put to bed. Expect any album still owned by a label to make a reappearance, and expect new Shout It Outs under new and creative titles. Expect YouTube to explode with clips - some of which may vanish quickly due to copyright issues. What not to expect - the appearance of anything that is owned exclusively by the estate for some time (That would include vaulted material and a lot of the out of print stuff. Donna was smart enough to hang on to the rights for that stuff! :-) ). My assumption is that Bruce will be the go to guy for all decisions regarding Donna's estate and I don't see him being in a position to deal with that for awhile.
[MAY 20] I was thinking about Donna's legacy this morning. We're going to be hearing a lot about that from the media. Of course they will all be talking about music and awards and charts. But that is only a small part of Donna's legacy - and not even the most important part. Her true legacy is love. Love for her family, love for her friends, love for the fans, love for humanity in general. She's never had a bad word to say about anybody. She has taken our love for her and radiated it back to us in such a way that it just magnifies itself exponentially. Words are not doing justice to what I mean to day - it's so hard to find the right ones. And now that she's gone, the love still remains. You only have to look at the forums to see it. Obviously there are people there expressing their love for Donna, but what I find even more uplifting is that we are showing our love for each other as well. Here we are, a bunch of people who would never have met if it wasn't for Donna and when one posts that they are so depressed that they can't figure out how to go on - someone else is right there to say, "It's OK. I'm here for you. We'll get through it together." A long time ago Donna was given the title of First Lady Of Love. Back then it was meant salaciously of course - a means to publicize records like Love To Love You. But I think I like the title better now because Donna really was the First Lady of Love - a pure love that is about caring for your fellow humans. IAnd thus ends another long ramble that I will not be able to bring myself to read..... :-) I will go back to mindless link sharing now.
[MAY 19 yet again] Someone on the forum suggested that since Donna's funeral is Monday (and I want to stress that is it a PRIVATE affair) that maybe we should all show our solidarity by buying one Donna song on iTunes or wherever that day. One of his suggestions is Last Dance and I think that's a great idea. Last Dance is mainstream enough that casual fans will be buying it anyway. I think if we all do that, we might have a shot at owning the charts - at least for a day. :-) Here are the buy links:
In the interest of full disclosure, I do get a commission of sales made through Amazon. However, in this case when they pay me I will donate my commission to charity in Donna's name. It's only right.
[MAY 19] I forgot to post earlier that Arte TV will be running Donna Summer Queen Of Pop tomorrow (Sunday) at 4:20 CET.
[MAY 19] And the internet station Gay Radio UK is playing all Donna these days. They play some really cool stuff too - the DJ is one of us. :-)
[MAY 19 again] Looks like the rare videos are popping up on YouTube. So now I'll just add a section for those links. And boy are some of them shockers! :-) I also posted a ton of new links and some more quotes.
[MAY 19] OK it's a new day. I got some sleep and that makes all the difference. :-) I have about 5 million new links to share with you, so I will probably just end up uploading then in smaller batches as the day progresses. I do have some real news for you though. The Billboard Music Awards will air on ABC tomorrow (May 20) at 8 PM. They had always planned to have a tribute to Whitney Houston, I have learned that they plan to also have a tribute to Donna.
[MAY 19] Donna's official site has been updated finally with the announcement of her passing.
[MAY 19] I have received Susan Munao's official personal statement about Donna's death. As many of you remember, she was Donna's manager from 78 to 86, and has been seen at her side at other more recent events.
This is not farewell because hope still remains through ‘our faith’. You see Donna was not only a client and a friend…she was my sister. She was the one who God used to bring me into relationship with Him and I am forever grateful that we both believe in eternal life and that through Jesus we will see each other again.
It was evident to anyone who knew her that she loved unconditionally. Donna Summer fulfilled her dream to be a singer, a wife and a mother and shared her amazing talent with all of us, through her voice and music and the songs she wrote which clearly stood the test of time. She impacted us all and although she is credited for being the Queen of Disco, she was so much more than that! Donna was a woman of faith, integrity and valor, yet humble of heart. She had an undying love and devotion to the Lord, her husband, children, grandchildren, family, friends and loyal fans.
For me, I will be forever blessed by my friendship with Donna, our working relationship and sisterhood. This is a great loss we all share, yet in the midst of it I want to be sure we celebrate her and her journey. She was more than she called herself, more than an “Ordinary Girl”! - Susan Munao
[MAY 19] A lost interview from 1978 has turned up on YouTube. It's here for those of you who are up to watching it.
[MAY 19] SiriusXM has posted a couple of videos from their 2008 Artist Confidential on their YouTube channel. Catch Science Of Love and Last Dance. I remember that taping - it was a small intimate environment and it was the first time I got to hear some of the Crayons tracks live. I stopped to watch as I posted this and I have to say that I am smiling now. Genuinely smiling with no tears. :-)
[MAY 19] The Perry Twins have made a tribute mix to Donna. You can hear it here - once again, once you are ready.
[MAY 19] There is an interview with Jay Landers of Universal where he talks briefly about 2 albums Donna had planned to work on. Read that here.
[MAY 19] And I found out why my site was down part of Thursday. It crashed under the volume of traffic. I looked at the stats at my webhost. Volume on Thursday was over 150 times the normal traffic I get - and that only counts people who were able to connect. Apparently for awhile some of you couldn't even do that. That blows my mind. I will be back with links later - my friend just announced she's coming to take me out into the sunshine for a while. :-)
[MAY 18] This is too late for the East Coast, but the other US time zones may be able to catch it still. The show Extra lead with Donna. It aired at 7 PM here - check your local listings. If you catch the teaser for the show, don't get sucked in by the over the top promise to reveal the "secret Donna took to her grave." The secret was that she had cancer. Access Hollywood will also have Donna. Here it follows Extra so you the east Coast still has time to see it.
[MAY 18] JOY (the wonderful Australian radio station that brought us the first previews of Crayons) will be running an hour long tribute (with clips from her Crayons interview) Sunday ay about 4 PM AEST. (That's in Melbourne so use this site to convert to your local time if you plan to tune in.)
[MAY 18 part 2] I'm going to keep the various links and quotes at the bottom for convenience sake. Those will be things that you want to view at your leisure when you are in the right frame of mind. Actual news I will bring back up to the top so you can see it quickly. I added navigation links above so you can jump around the page a bit.
[MAY 18] We have an official statement on the cause of Donna's death. (God I hate typing that.) This should hopefully put an end to any wild rumors that might crop up. (You know how the web is - in a week's time some site will say that she's not dead, merely abducted by aliens dressed as Elvis impersonators or something.) This is the statement:
"On behalf of the Sudano Family, various reports currently surfacing about the cause of Ms. Summer's death are not accurate. Although she lost her battle to lung cancer at the age of 63, it was not related to smoking. Ms. Summer was a non-smoker. Obviously, numerous factors can be attributed to the cause of cancer in general, but any details regarding the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of Ms. Summer's case remain between her family and team of doctors."
Anything else you may hear - throw it out the window.
[MAY 18] Now about the funeral - it will be PRIVATE! Do not hop a plane to Nashville. If you are in Nashville, don't go out looking for the funeral. This is a time for the family to mourn the loss of their beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, etc. A big mob of gate crashing fans will just cause havoc and the family deserves better than that right now. I don't mean to sound mean and bossy, I'm just trying to protect the family from any unfortunate situations and protect you guys from the frustration of showing up and not getting in. So please stay home and memorialize Donna another way. Someone on the forum suggested that everyone play a song at a certain time of day and try to get your local radio stations to participate. Maybe wear your favorite Donna t-shirt or something that day (if you can get away with that at your job.) I think as far as a time goes - would noon be good? (I am open to suggestions.) And I mean noon in each of our individual time zones - it would be insane to try to coordinate it for the same moment around the world. And as far as songs go - if we are trying to get radio involved, then it has to be a hit they would already have. Last Dance seems appropriate. Of course if someone has other suggestions, I'm all ears. I'd like to do this right, and so far the only idea I'm married to is Pages From The Heart Encore.
[MAY 18] Speaking of the family, which I was before I got off on a tangent about fan memorials... I know many of you are posting on the Bruce's Facebook, and Johnnyswim's Facebook, etc. First of all, I know with absolute certainty that all your condolences, thoughts, prayers, light and such are truly appreciated by the family. But please understand that it may take a long time for some of them to acknowledge the posts. They all have a lot on their plate right now - especially Bruce who also recently lost his mother. So keep all the good wishes coming, but please be understanding if you don't hear anything back for a long time.
[MAY 18] Going back to memorials (yes I'm all over the place today) - I was thinking that for those who are so inclined it might be appropriate to make a donation to charity in Donna's name. My thoughts were that since Donna did that amazing benefits at Carnegie hall back in 1998 for Gay Men's Health Crisis, it would be a great legacy if we could send them donations in her name. I was lucky enough to be at that show and it was one of the best Donna summer concerts I ever saw. The atmosphere was electric and you could just feel the love flowing back and forth in that room. My personal feeling is that I want to thank GMHC in some small way for making that show possible.
Of course some of you may prefer to donate to The American Cancer Society since it was cancer that took our diva. And that's cool too. I've known several people who have battled cancer - some successfully and some not, and believe me that's a disease that needs to go away!
[MAY 18] And finally (for now) - I am very serious about wanting to do Pages From The Heart Encore. I've been giving it more thought and I would like to make it both an online thing and a physical book. And I'm thinking I'd like to send it to the Sudano family for the Christmas/New Year's holidays - for what should be obvious reasons. That will give us all plenty of time to get to that place where we can write down our memories. I know some of you can't even think about writing yet, and that's perfectly understandable. When you are ready, you can email submissions to any of my email addresses. Just put Pages From The Heart in the subject line if you can AND if there is some reason why you wouldn't want your submission to be on the web site just tell me in the email that it's for the physical book only. Take your time - only you will know when the time is right for you to break out the word processor and start typing.