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Donna Summer

Last update: October 13, 2019

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

 

 


[OCT 13] Happy Sunday all! Let's start off with the musical this week.  As I write this, Summer: The Musical is playing in Cleveland, OH which you might recognize as also being the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of  Fame.  Put those 2 fact together and you wind up with Donna Summer Day at the Rock Hall where Mimi presented 2 of  Donna's dresses to the museum.  By sheer coincidence, one of those dresses is the one you see on this month's Summer Fever Pick.  :-) They didn't say what the other one was, so if any of you decide to visit the museum, let me know.  :-)

[OCT 13] Also in musical news - there is new merchandise available on the website. They have a Last Dance hoodie, a national tour poster, and a Hot Stuff enamel pin.  And I can't remember - is the metallic Hot Stuff mug new? The ornament is gone - at least for now.

[OCT 13] In the Donna's music is everywhere category - the Netflix show, The Politician, used I feel Love in episode 4. (I have to check that show out - I have heard good things about it.) Also, there is a new Charlie's Angels film coming out and they are using a mix of Bad Girls in the trailer. (It starts about halfway in... and these are not the Angels I remember from the 70s.  LOL)

[OCT 13] And speaking of remixes.... a new one has surfaced for Whenever There Is Love. It's called the Warren Rigg Vocal Mix.

[OCT 13] Moving on to Bruce. Yes, he and his guitar have been hanging out on the couch (and on Facebook) again making videos.  The first is his version of I Cast All My Cares Upon You. The next is a mashup of a new song Bruce is working on and a cover of The Letter. And of course we still have his video With Him out there on YouTube. If you haven't seen that, go check it out. And if you like it, share it! The more views it gets, the easier it is for Bruce to get gigs - which means the easier it is for us to see him live!   :-)

[OCT 13] I think that brings us to YouTube and this week I have something unusual for you.  A very dedicated fan (using the YouTube handle rikymira1)  put together a massive 6 part tribute to Donna that covers her whole career - starting in the 60s and going right up to 2011.  I can't even imagine how long it took to put this all together! So here we go: part 1 (starts with Hair),   part 2 (starts with I Remember Yesterday),  part 3 (starts with Last Dance),  part 4 is missing but it would cover the 80s,  part 5 (starts with When Love Cries), and then there is the final part (starting with The Power Of One). Standing ovation for the effort (and love!) that went into this tribute.  :-)

[OCT 6] Greetings all! It's a new month so it's time for a new Summer Fever Pick.  So this time we ring in Autumn with the  Four Seasons Of Love.

[OCT 6] I guess we can start with the musical. As you know, the Summer: The Musical tour started in Rochester. Broadwayworld.com has a review of the show. And the Akron Beacon Journal has an article about Summer's costume designer.

[OCT 6] Bruce Sudano fans -  catch him live November 3 at the Philadelphia Folksong Society at 7PM. For details and  tickets, check out  Eventbrite.com. In the meantime, you can also check out Bruce's latest Facebook video.... well he didn't call it live from the couch, but it looks like he's on the couch.  LOL It's a song called For The Sake Of Humanity.  (It's a very timely message.)

[OCT 6] Mary Bernard fans - she will be celebrating Donna's birthday again this year with a concert in DelRay Beach FL on December 31 at the Old School Square Pavilion.  For more info and to get tickets, head on over here.  :-)

[OCT 6] Last time I mentioned that Bob Esty had passed away. The Hollywood Reporter has posted his obituary on its website, as has BroadwayWorld.com, and 5Mag.net.

 [OCT 6] In the Donna's music is everywhere category, someone put together a 3 minute song that's a mix of samples from 50 songs from 1979.  It's really clever and really good. I can't even imagine how long it took to get it right.  :-) And yes, of course Donna is in there.  Oh and it's not just audio samples - they actually used clips from all the various videos too.

[OCT 6] That brings us to YouTube. So let's celebrate our new Summer Fever Pick.  First up is a liveandmore video for  Autumn Changes.  Then we have a slideshow set to Summer Fever, Spring Affair on Soul Train,  and Winter Melody from the same Soul Train appearance.  There is also a rare video for Winter Melody, a live clip of Summer Fever, and a performance of Spring Affair from a rather odd looking TV show. (Donna's performance is fine - I'm trying to figure out what the hosts are sitting on and why they have a monkey....)

[SEP 29] Happy Sunday all! This week we start off with sad news.  A couple of weeks ago I posted a GoFundMe for  producer/arranger/songwriter Bob Esty to cover his hospice expenses. Well, unfortunately Bob has succumbed to his illness.  My deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans.  Bruce posted a nice tribute to Bob Esty on his Facebook page.

[SEP 29] Moving on to Donna. You guys will like this.  :-) Groovefunkel has posted a new mix of Last Dance.  It's called the Groovefunkel Alternate Vocal Remix.  (Yes you read that right - ALTERNATE vocal!)  You can listen to it on YouTube, or you can download it on the Groovefunkel website.

[SEP 29] In the Donna's music is everywhere category, the TV show Dancing With The Stars Premiered a couple of weeks ago and one of the contestants did the cha cha to She Works Hard For The Money. (I linked you to the part of the video where she starts her performance.  But they have some rehearsal footage as well if you want to see it.)

[SEP 29] Mary Gaines Bernard fans - I don't know how I missed posting this before but,  Mary has posted a video with highlights of her  show, "once Upon A Time: A Donna Summer Celebration".

[SEP 29] In musical news, I heard from a fan that Summer: The Musical is coming to Toronto March 10 - 22, 2020 at the Princess Of Wales Theater. Now, it's not on the theater website yet, but it's not uncommon for subscribers to get info in the mail before it hits the web for the general public.

[SEP 29] Disco fans: our buddies Andrea and Giovanni have published a book about Disco called "La Storia della Disco Music." (Yes, that's in Italian.  :-) ) You can expect lots of Donna in the book and if you are a Facebook person, you can check out their page to keep up with all the news about the book.

[SEP 29] I think that brings us to YouTube. In honor of the late Bob Esty, let's look at some vintage Once Upon A Time clips.  First up, the title track.  Then we have a fan video for Faster & Faster,  a fan video for Rumour Has It, an extended version of I Love You, a fan video for Queen For A Day,  and even though it's not from Once Upon A Time, I have to include the video for Last Dance. Rest in Peace Bob Esty. (And say hi do Donna for us.)

[SEP 22] Greetings all! Can you believe it? Summer is already over and autumn is here.  Ok, let's start off with Bruce this week. He's got a new EP, Stories Of Our Lives Vol 1, coming out next spring, but lucky for us he released a track from it already. The song is called With Him, and it comes with a very powerful video.  The song is about a bad breakup told from the point of view of the person scorned. Read more about it and check out the video here.

[SEP 22] In the Bruce's music is everywhere category... you might remember a song called Hollywood Knights that Bruce recorded with the rest of the Brooklyn Dreams.  (It's on YouTube if you need to refresh your memory.) Well, it's been sampled in a song called Good Day that has been used in a McDonald's McCafe commercial.

[SEP 22] Johnnyswim fans - guess what, there are new tour dates! Starting February 20 they are hitting the road with Lauren Daigle for a tour that will go until July 18. Tickets are already on pre-sale, but if you sign up for Johnnyswim's email list you can get advance notification of ticket on sale dates and you might even be able to score some VIP meet and greet passes.  :-)

[SEP 22] Moving on to Summer: The Donna Summer Musical... as you know, the touring production is gearing up for their first performances in Rochester, NY starting September 29.  So of course there is going to be some promotion in the media. Playbill.com has a video of various members of the company talking about Donna's music, the show, etc.  They also have a video of "Disco Donna" Alex Hairston performing Hot Stuff and talking about her role. (Please note, she is not in costume for this performance.)

[SEP 22] The Lifetime Channel has  a morning show called The Balancing Act. They have a segment called Broadway Balances America that will launch September 30 and will go behind the scenes of 4 Broadway touring companies.  They will feature Summer on December 10 and 31 (how appropriate!) at 7:30 AM.  If you want an idea of what Broadway Balances America is like, they have a play list of past year's episodes on YouTube.

[SEP 22] I think that brings us to YouTube. In honor of the changing seasons, let's start with Autumn Changes.  Then we'll do some long form TV stuff in honor of it being Emmy night as well. So first up for that is the 1980 TV Special, then we have the Hot Summer Night Special for HBO,  live in Lloret de Mar Spain,  and finally a live concert from Japan.

[SEP 15] Happy Sunday all! Let's start off with Summer: The Musical. As you know the company is getting ready to hit the road. They recently gave a preview rehearsal performance for the media and of course al the usual places covered it.  Broadwayworld.com has photos, Playbill has some photos,  and Broadway.com has some video on their YouTube channel.  Please note - as they are in the rehearsal space, they are not using the set or the full costumes/wigs.

[SEP 15] Johnnyswim fans - they will be performing at Silobration October 18 to 19 in Waco, TX.  They also have a few more upcoming dates in October in Georgia and South Carolina.

[SEP 15] Earlier this year, The Guardian posted Giorgio Moroder's top 20 songs.  Of course Donna is on that list - and if you didn't guess that I Feel Love would be on the top of that list, well then I guess you are new here.  LOL

[SEP 15] I'm sure most of you guys know who Bob Esty is. He's an arranger, producer and songwriter who worked with a whole bunch of people - including Donna of course. (And if you want to know more about him, read his interview with Sebastiano on DonnaSummer.it.) Anyway, this summer he was diagnosed with metastatic gastro-intestinal cancer and now he's been admitted to hospice care.   :-(  One of his friends has set up a GoFundMe to raise money for Bob's care.  If you would like to contribute, here is the link.

[SEP 15] I'm sure a lot of you also know who John Billings is too - at least if you ever saw Donna perform live in the later part of her career. He's the blonde bass player who used to have really long hair.  (Donna dances with him during Randy's lead guitar solo in Hot Stuff  - go watch Live & More Encore and you'll see.)  Anyway, if you are going to be in Nashville September 17, you can catch John at Wine Down Nashville talking about his life in music with Donna and others he has worked with over the years.  And if you go - make sure you say hi to John. He's a really nice guy.

[SEP 15] I think that brings us to YouTube. Let's start with an interview with John Billings where he talks about being in Donna's band, and a clip of Hot Stuff from Live & More Encore. Then we have Bob Esty talking about working with Donna.  Moving on,  we have an interesting slow mix of The Woman In Me - the Ivan Sash slowdance edit and one for Sentimental - the DJ Jay C Special Tough Extended Mix). And finally, On The Radio from Live & More Encore. I post this because a photo from that concert recently turned up on Facebook and people were having fun spotting themselves in the audience. And I remember when this clip came out ahead of the TV special, people were having fun spotting themselves in this too.  So if you were there that night - see if you can see yourself.  :-)

[SEP 8] Greetings all!  Let's start off with Johnnyswim.  You may remember that they had a Live From The Garage video for Say What You Will. Well, now that recording is available for sale (or stream at all your favorite music services. (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc)

[SEP 8] As you know, Johnnyswim was slated to play in Charleston on September 3. Because of the hurricane, that show was rescheduled to October 24, but you can still read the promo printed by CharlestonCityPaper.com.

[SEP 8] And if you are following Johnnyswim's Touring Toddler sites, Joaquin and friends have a new recipe up for Fruit Galette. (You think he'd come over and cook for me?  LOL)

[SEP 8] Moving on to Donna. In the land of remixes, we have one on YouTube for I Will Go With You labeled "Exec Ears Only."  If you listen to it, you will find that the vocals are a bit different in places than what we are used to.  :-)

[SEP 8] That brings us to YouTube. First up, I clip I'd half forgotten about featuring the making of the video for State Of Independence.  Just note that the interview that goes with it is in German. Then we have Donna in the studio working on Last Dance, and Donna in the studio working on Summer Fever. That interview is also in German, but then dubbed over in French. Then we  have the all-star choir from State Of Independence in the studio and a rehearsal of Enough Is Enough and I Don't Wanna Work That Hard from Live & More Encore.

[SEP 1] Happy Labor Day weekend to my American friends and Happy Sunday to all! Consider this your respite from all the terrible news this weekend - mass shooting in Texas (can this crap STOP already? Congress - DO something! Thoughts and prayers are not working!)  And then of course we have a major hurricane currently demolishing the Bahamas before it heads to Florida? Georgia? The Carolinas?  Please stay safe everyone! (On and when I said "demolishing" - that wasn't an exaggeration. The pictures I've seen are heartbreaking."

[SEP 1] So moving on to fun stuff.. it's a new month so we need a new Summer Fever Pick. And this time it's A Love Trilogy. (I think we can all use a little love these days, right?  :-) )

[SEP 1] Let's start with Johnnyswim (who are STILL on tour until at least October 5.) They have a show scheduled for Tuesday September 3 in Charleston, SC.  Well, they HAD a show scheduled for that date. Because of the hurricane (and the mandatory evacuation that goes with it), the show is being rescheduled to Thursday October 24. All tickets previously purchased for September 3 WILL BE HONORED for October 24. If there are any questions at all, please contact the box office.  In the meantime - stay safe!

[SEP 1] Bruce Sudano fans - catch him and Larry Mitchell Saturday September 7 at Friday's Creek Winery in Owings, MD from 6:30 to 9:30. (Somebody should buy him a glass of red at sunset.  ;-) )

[SEP 1] Moving on to Donna, last week I had some YouTube clips of rare Donna songs, one of which was The Planet Is Alive.  That was recorded for a special about the Pope in 1987. Well YouTube's Suecase Hall got inspired to update the video to fit with today's situation - in particular the fires in the Amazon rainforest.  He did a beautiful job - see it here.  Of course that got more people interested in the song, so here is what I have learned. It was originally recorded in 1985 by Sarah Vaughan under the title Let It Live for an album called The Planet Is Alive... Let It Live! Writing credits for the song are listed as Music by Lalo Schifrin and lyrics by Gene Lees.  If you want to here her version, YouTube has it.

[SEP 1] In the land of remixes, we have a mix of I Will Go With You that's listed as an Exec-Ears-Only demo.  Listen to the vocals carefully - there are some differences! Then we have a mix called Come On Baby which samples a little of If It Hurts Just A Little.

[SEP 1] I think that brings us to YouTube. This first one is a special request - although I did cheat a little.  He requested the song, but I picked the video of the song - this one is a fan video of Let There Be Peace and I would like to dedicate it to ALL who need to hear it. And let's take that as sort of a theme and continue with Riding Through The Storm from Live & More Encore, then we have another Suecase Hall video. This one puts The Way We Were with Take Heart. Moving on we have Smile live and  Amazing Grace live (Donna's standby for just about anytime she wanted to recognize a tragic event in concert. I remember seeing her in concert in Boston the day they had the bombings in the London Underground. She sang Amazing Grace for the people of London.) And let's throw in Love Is The Healer just because I think love really can be the healer. (Plus you probably need to dance after those other tracks.  LOL)

 

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Quote Of The Week:

[OCT 13]

"I want to break new ground. I don't want to be the same, stay the same forever, obviously. It's a really big challenge to go beyond where you've been and to forge new footsteps into a new horizon. And that sounds a bit cliche, but it's the truth. And I think that for me it's about getting to the next cutting edge and writing it.”

-- Donna Summer, BBC2 Radio, June 29, 2004

 

Summer Fever Pick
October 2019:

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
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)
3/24 to 29/2020 Schenectady, NY
3/31 to 4/5/2020 Dayton, OH
4/7 to 12/2020 Pittsburgh, PA
4/19 to 19/2020 Baltimore, MD
4/28 to 5/3/2020 West Palm Beach, FL
5/5 to 10/2020 Tampa, FL
5/12 to 17/2020 Miami, FL
5/19 to 24/2020 Greenville, SC
5/26 to 31, 2020 Nashville, TN
6/2 to 7/2020 Philadelphia, PA
6/9 to 21/2020 Detroit, MI
6/23 to 28/2020 Atlanta, GA
7/14 to 19/2020 Minneapolis, MN
7/22 to 8/2/2020 Washington DC
8/4- to 16/2020 Boston, MA

 

   
   
 
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