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Donna Summer

Last update: August 8, 2020

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

 

 


[AUG 8] Happy Saturday all! If you are looking for some music to play while you check out the update,  Try this megamix from De Manger. I was playing it while writing this.  :-)

[AUG 8] Let's start with The Wanderer's 40th anniversary.  :-)  To celebrate, a special anniversary edition of the CD is coming out with extra mixes plus liner notes by Christian John Wikane.  There will be new interviews with Pete Bellotte, Harold Faltermeyer, Bruce, Tom Kelly , Figo Sound and Le Flex. Plus they are throwing in some archived interviews with Carmen Grillo and Donna.  The mixes include 2 Figo Sound mixes of The Wanderer, 2 Figo Sound mixes of Looking Up,  2 Le Flex mixes of Nightlife and the Le Flex Grand Illusion mix we've already heard.  :-)  (All the ones with 2 mixes are  basically an extended version and a radio edit of the mixes.) RetroPop Magazine has an article about the release.  Oh and you vinyl hounds will like this.... the album will also be released in a 2 LP pink and black vinyl set.  (I bet it will be gorgeous!)  :-)  Look for that October 20. Order links are not available yet, but I assume you can get it from all the usual sources.

[AUG 8] SIriusXM's Studio 54 Radio is celebrating it's 9th birthday on August 15.  In honor of the occasion, they will be counting down the listeners' Top 54.  If you want to vote, the list of choices is here.  You can vote ONCE between now and August 12, then tune in at 4PM on August 15 to see how your songs placed.  :-)

[AUG 8] Johnnyswim fans -  first of all, don't forget that they are doing a live concert from their backyard on Instagram and YouTube on Tuesday August 11 to celebrate Amanda's birthday.  There will also be special merchandise available on that day AND if people tune in and buy the shirts, they will keep doing these shows.  One note, if you  have the choice of which service to use for the stream - YouTube is the higher quality one.  And no time has been posted yet, so stay tuned to their Instagram for an announcement on that. I know the last one they did ran a little late for the east coast, so I think they were going to try for an earlier time.  But they also have kids to feed and get to bed, so who knows?

[AUG 8] As you know, Johnnyswim is slated to have a show on the new upcoming Magnolia Network.  (The network was supposed to debut this fall, but it has been pushed back due to the COVID virus situation. So stay tuned for a new date for that.)  Anyway, CountryLiving.com has an article teasing the various shows slated to air on Magnolia and the article features a video from Johnnyswim singing Home inter cut with clips of the Ramirez family at home.

[AUG 8] I think that brings us to YouTube.  I feel like doing some Donna medleys tonight. So first up, her country medley with Eddie Rabbit.  Then we have a gospel medley with Mac Davis, Dolly Parton and Tom Jones,  a Motown medley with the Brooklyn Dreams,  the 1980 Grammy medley with Kenny Rogers, the My Man Medley from her 1980 TV Special, and a short hits medley from 1999.

[AUG 1] Happy Saturday all! Sorry last weekend's update was late. I had some technical difficulties with the upload.  This week let's start with the new Summer Fever Pick which is All Systems Go.  :-)

[AUG 1] Something else new this week is... the Le Flex Poolside mix of Grand Illusion.  This the first of 4 mixes that are being released to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Wanderer.  (Yes we are all old!  LOL)  Now I am going to give you one small tip for when you play this mix.  When I first heard it, I thought it was the weirdest thing ever. And then after about 10 seconds, I realized that I had another open tab in my browser that was playing something else at the same time.  Oops!  LOL (It's not so weird when you play only one thing at a time. )

[AUG 1] In this day and age of everyone wearing face masks, you might want  to make a statement with yours.  If you head to RedBubble.com,  they have a ton of Donna Summer masks. (Like lots of the t-shirts out there now, these are not authorized by the estate.) Now as someone who has had to become a connoisseur  of face masks (I work in a pharmacy), I bought a RedBubble one for a friend and the fabric is comfortable, but there is no metal piece to tighten it over your nose, so it might be prone to slip.  The earloops are not adjustable either, but you can buy the adjuster beads online if that is an issue.  (If you are crafty, you can probably also add some bendable metal for the nose too. And of course as with most face masks these days, you have to be patient with the shipping.  Seriously.... I never thought I'd have to become an expert in face masks.  2020 is weird!

[AUG 1] Moving on to Johnnyswim. August 11 is Amanda's birthday so the duo have decided to celebrate with another live streamed concert from their backyard.  :-)  They will stream it on their Instagram and YouTube   accounts and I can tell you from my experience with the last one that Youtube is a much higher quality stream. They haven't picked a time yet, so stay tuned to the Johnnyswim Instagram page for more details as they come.   Abner is already promising surprises. :-)

[AUG 1] And that brings us to YouTube.  This week, let's celebrate the Summer Fever Pick.  First up is the official video for All Systems Go.  Then we have the official video for Dinner With Gershwin,  then an interview done on the set of the original unused video for Dinner With Gershwin,  a 1987 UK interview promoting the album,  All Systems Go live in the UK,  Dinner With Gershwin from a TV appearance,  Jeremy live in Japan,  and Love Shock from a TV appearance.

[JUL 26] Greetings all! I hope your weekend is going well.  :-)  First up this week, the 2017 documentary, Donna Summer: Hot Stuff is now available on Amazon Prime Video here in the US. A bunch of people (including Mary) are interviewed, but I need to warn you that stuff filmed in English will air in English, and stuff filmed in German will air in German.  So if you are like me and are not so good with German, you will want to make sure you turn on the English subtitles.

[JUL 26] Attitude.co.uk has posted a review of the Hot Summer Night CD/DVD. They call it a real gem and give the show a 4 out of 5.  :-) There is another review posted at The Second Disc, and you can also watch an unboxing video here on YouTube.

[JUL 26] Here's an interesting bit of trivia for you.  Do you remember the 1980 movie Fame, with Irene Cara? Well I was watching this show on YouTube called Stars In The House that featured a reunion of some of the key people from that movie.  And they talked about filming a couple of the dance numbers where they actually hadn't written the music yet. So they used other music to stand in for the missing songs.  So the big scene where the cast danced in the street to Fame was actually filmed with the cast dancing to Hot Stuff.  There is another number called Red Light (where the kids are all auditioning) and they used Bad Girls to stand in for that.  :-)

[JUL 26] Bruce Sudano fans -  this week Bruce performed a live set for BandsintownOutskirts. He posted a copy of his setlist on Facebook,  followed by videos for the new song All Hands, and his cover of Tighter And Tighter dedicated to his friend (and former bandmate) Pepe. He also posted a lyric video for  Shelter Island.

[JUL 26] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's look at some more interview type things this week. First up, Donna  talking about songwriting on Platinum Hit. Then a funny late night interview that touches on songwriting, Donna talking about the creation of Love To Love You, and an interview about Disco's deeper meaning from 2010.

[JUL 19] Happy Sunday all! I don't know about where you guys are, but by me it is HOT this weekend. So it's nice to have a little something to keep me busy in the air conditioning. This is where I mention that my Hot Summer Night DVD/CD came the other day.  :-)  I got mine from Amazon UK and yes, it is region free so the DVDs play here in North America too. (And everywhere else as well, for all my friends who live everywhere else.) You can also get the vinyl there. I opted not to because I am trying to minimize the amount of stuff I have as I get older, but I have seen photos and the purple vinyl is GORGEOUS. Now as for the DVD, the sound is good and the picture seems a little improved from what exists on YouTube.  Of course the original source material was analog, so you can only go so far with it.  They kept it in the 4:3 aspect ratio, so expect it to play with black bars on the sides of today's TVs. (Unless you are one of those weirdos who like to stretch the screen so it fits even though it makes all the people look strange.  LOL)  One thing you will notice if you are like me and wore out the original VHS release, there have been a few cuts made. The original running time is about 1:17 and on the DVD package it is listed as about 1:12.  So that's roughly 5 minutes worth of cuts and from what I can tell it's mostly in Donna's dialog/shenanigans.  For instance, if you have seen the show before you will remember hat Donna fiddles with a radio on a dressing table before On The Radio. That's gone in this DVD release.  Before Forgive Me there was some dialog including the bit about "Do stars drink out of silver goblets?" That's gone too.  And the dialog before her hits medley is gone, so goodbye Scarlett O'Hara joke.  (If you are new to this particular concert and have no idea what I am talking about - go check YouTube, the jokes are all still there.) I leave it to all of you to decide for yourselves if the cuts are good, bad or indifferent.

Now on to the packaging - the CD/DVD set come inside a nice little hard covered booklet. The first page inside is a sleeve that holds the CD and the last page inside is a sleeve for the DVD.  The pages inside include the track list, credits, lots of stills from the concert and the rest is another wonderful article by Christian John Wikane that includes comments from director Brian Grant and choreographer Arlene Phillips.  The article covers both the concert (and talks about each song individually as well as about the show as a whole), and it also talks about the music video for She Works Hard For The Money. There is a lot of interesting stuff in there.  :-)  And of course, for me, this set is like revisiting a dear old friend.  The VHS copy was how I first saw a full Donna Summer concert, and I played it to death.  :-) 

[JULY 19] Ok, moving on.... Johnnyswim fans - their new EP, Songs With Strangers, is out NOW at Amazon and all the other usual places.  :-) To celebrate the release, the pair held a YouTube/IG live concert in their backyard. (Wouldn't you have LOVED to be one of their neighbors?  :-) ) You can catch it on Youtube. It's in 2 parts because of technical difficulties . Part 1 is here and ends rather abruptly. (People watching it live saw the YouTube stream freeze.  Instagram continued and people watching there got to hear them decide to take an intermission to reboot everything. ) And then part 2 is here and includes a little bit of the after party.  It's possible they may decide to do something like this again.  :-) Oh and as long as we're talking Songs With Strangers, Vacancy-Mag.com has posted a review. And if you head over to Johnnyswim.com you can pre-order the vinyl album or grab some Johnnyswim merchandise.

[JULY 19] Bruce Sudano fans -  check out this new interview with him on PennyBlackMusic.co.uk. It's a pretty extensive interview and ends with the great news that the first video and single from Spirals vol 2 will be out in late August. :-)

 [JULY 19] And that brings us to YouTube.  Let's do some interviews this week. First up a UK interview from  the 80s that has the video for I Don't Wanna Get Hurt tacked on.  Then there is a 1987 UK TV AM interview  (and here is the clip with the mic issue they mentioned. BTW - that's how a pro handles a problem.  :-) ) Moving on we have TV AM from 1991UK This Morning from 1999,  a BBC interview from 2004,  and  finally a fun one from Chicago, 2008 that I don't remember seeing before.

[JUL 12] Greetings all!  If you ordered the new release of A Hot Summer Night, then your copy should be on the way if you don't have it yet.  Mine is still in transit, but I've heard that the notes are interesting, the packaging is good and if you get the DVD, the video format is still the old school 4:3. I'm really looking forward to the DVD - it will be like revisiting an old friend.  :-) By the way, if you use Spotify, you can find the audio for A Hot Summer Night here.

[JUL 12] Remix fans... here's an odd thing for you. Someone mashed Bad Girls with a song by Danzig called Mother. The song Mother is a really hard rock song, but the remix works surprisingly well. is it something I would add to my music collection? Probably not, but it's worth listening too once or twice.  And I have to give full credit to the remixer for coming up with such an interesting idea.

[JUL 12] Bruce Sudano fans - Bruce is live on his Facebook couch again.  This is a new song he's working on called Ugly Truth And Pretty Lies.

[JUL 12] Ok Facebookers - I told you awhile ago that Mary Bernard had something up her sleeve. Well, she's put together a private group on Facebook just for the fans... I mean Donna family.   :-)  Here's her video on Facebook making the announcement.  And if you join the group, there is another video  where Mary explains how she ended up in LA with Donna all those years ago.

[JUL 12] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's start off with the Hot Summer Night concert so we have something to compare the new release to.  :-) Then we have Hard For The Money on Musikladen - note the familiar dress :-)  and Romeo from another TV show. Then for something COMPLETELY different, there are a couple of clips from an old German TV show called Hits A Go Go.  Back in 1974 Donna would sometimes perform with a group called The Family Tree and this group sometimes did backing work on Hits A Go Go.  There are 2 clips that I have seen so far where you can spot Donna. First is this one featuring Lucio Battista.  At about 3:15 you can see Donna (on the right)  and other members of Family Tree take the stage. Then there is a clip with Dobie Gray where members of Family Tree are scattered around the set and you can spot Donna at about 1:30. There may be more clips out there, but  "Family Tree" is a tough search term to work with.  lol

[JUL 5] Happy Sunday all! I hope all my American friends had a nice holiday weekend.  And I hope my non-American friends had a nice regular weekend too. :-)

[JUL 5] Bruce Sudano fans - he's got a new video out for Back In The Neighborhood. You can watch it, and read an article about Spirals Vol 1 on BigTakeOver.com. You can also read an article promoting the video on Menafn.com.

[JUL 5]  Ever wonder what TV shows or movies have used Donna's music?  Check out WhatSong.com. The list starts back in 1981 with Highway Runner, and ends just about a week or so ago with Bad Girls on Doom Patrol.

[JUL 5] If you are into reaction videos, there is one on YouTube with a guy reacting to I Feel Love.  The guy is completely blown away!  :-)

[JUL 5] That brings us to YouTube. First up a new "mix" of Lush Life, where basically most of the music has been removed so for the majority of the song all you hear are Donna's vocals.  Then in honor of July 4th we have Livin' In America live,  God Bless Anerica live,  and The Star Spangled Banner live.  And then, one more that I posted recently, but I want to post it again anyway - Suecase Hall's video for Let There Be Peace/Enough Is Enough inspired by the global protests.

[JUL 2] The new Summer Fever Pick is up! This month we are celebrating Cats Without Claws.  :-)

 

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Quote Of The Week:

[AUG 8]

"When anyone comes to Nashville, people assume you come down to make country music and jump on the bandwagon, but that's not exactly why I came down here. I came down here to work on my writing.... We have been writing a lot of country songs. When I say country songs, a great song is a great song. I don't think it has a gender or a denomination, so to speak. That's the place we're I'm trying to get to. To the place where I write songs that work across the board. I find that a great many country songs are songs that anyone can sing, like Whitney Houston or All-4-One or Ray Charles. In Nashville, they just care about the songs and they have a lot of respect for songwriters.”

-- Donna Summer, Billboard September 3, 1994

 

Summer Fever Pick
August 2020:

Summer Fever Pick

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Summer: The Donna Summer Musical performance dates

2019
10/1 to 6/2019 Rochester, NY
10/8 to 27/2019 Cleveland OH
11/5 to 24/2019 Hollywood, CA
12/3 to 29/2019 San Francisco, CA
12/31 to 1/5/2020 Seattle, WA

2020

Note: Due to the COVID19 outbreak, as of May 2020 the tour has closed for the season.  The official website says no more shows through September 2020, and as of now I'm not sure the status of 2021. I believe if those shows happen, they will recast with a new company. Please check with your venue for more info.


1/7 to 12/2020 Tempe, AZ
1/15 to 26/2020 St. Louis, MO
1/28 to 2/9/2020 Denver, CO
2/12 to 23/2020 Chicago, IL
2/25 to 3/1/2020 Durham, NC
3/10 to 22/2020 Toronto, ON (Canada) - suspended
3/24 to 29/2020 Schenectady, NY - suspended
3/31 to 4/5/2020 Dayton, OH - suspended
4/7 to 12/2020 Pittsburgh, PA - suspended
4/19 to 19/2020 Baltimore, MD - CHANGED to August 18 to 23, 2020
4/28 to 5/3/2020 West Palm Beach, FL - suspended
5/5 to 10/2020 Tampa, FL - CHANGED to July 13 to 18, 2021
5/12 to 17/2020 Miami, FL - cancelled
5/19 to 24/2020 Greenville, SC - cancelled

5/26 to 31, 2020 Nashville, TN - CHANGED to July 6 to 11, 2021?
6/2 to 7/2020 Philadelphia, PA - cancelled
6/9 to 21/2020 Detroit, MI - cancelled
6/23 to 28/2020 Atlanta, GA - cancelled
7/7 to 12, 2020 Kansas City, MO - cancelled
7/14 to 19/2020 Minneapolis, MN - cancelled
7/22 to 8/2/2020 Washington DC - cancelled
8/4- to 16/2020 Boston, MA - cancelled
8/18 to 23, 2020 Baltimore, MD (rescheduled from  April 2020 and now cancelled)
9/8 to 13. 2020 Austin, TX - cancelled
9/15 to 20, 2020 Dallas, TX - cancelled

2021 - I'm not sure at this point if these dates will happen. It's very likely they won't.
7/6 to 11, 2021 Nashville, TN (rescheduled from May 2020)
7/13 to 18, 2021 Tampa, FL (rescheduled from May 2020)

 

   
   
 
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