The Donna Summer Tribute Site

 

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Donna Summer

Last update: September 15, 2019

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

 

 


[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)

[AUG 25] Happy Sunday all! Big news today - the cast for the touring production of Summer: The Musical has finally been announced. Broadwayworld.com has the cast list here, Playbill.com has it too, and Broadway.com has  a closer look at our 3 new Donnas: Dan'yelle Williamson as Diva Donna,  Alex Hairston as Disco Donna, and Olivia Elease Hardy as Duckling Donna - including a video introduction to our new Donnas. You can also head to the musical's website to see headshots and info about all of the cast. Welcome to the family everyone!

[AUG 25] Johnnyswim fans - as you know they played Live On The Green the other night in Nashville, and Luminationnetwork.com has photos from the event.

[AUG 25] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Since we now have the touring cast for SUmmer, let's take a look back at the Broadway cast.  First up - the cast performing at the Tony Awards. This first clip is unusual because it is filmed from the audience and is not exactly the way we saw it on TV at home. (Watch the cameramen moving around the actors to get the shots we saw.) For comparison, here is the TV clip of that same performance. Then we have some random promotional show clips, LaChanze singing Friends Unknown, the cast at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (it was crazy cold out that day and they still killed it!), and finally some rehearsal footage. (Unfortunately clips from The Tonight Show and the Today Show are no longer currently online or I'd link those too. ) Just for fun, here's the real Donna singing I Got Your Love with animation by Stor Dubine.

[AUG 19] Happy Monday all! I'm gradually getting back on track with the updates.  :-) Let's start off with the musical. The tour of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical kicks off in Rochester in just a little more than a month. Tickets for those shows are on sale NOW via Ticketmaster and the box office.  For ticket info for that and the other stops on the tour, check out the musical's website.

[AUG 19] Since nothing much is happening this week, let's go back to 2015 where we get to hear Pete Bellotte (among others) talk about I Feel Love.

[AUG 19] That brings us to YouTube.  Let's do a deep dive into Donna's back catalog with some rare tracks. (Note, most of these will be audio only.) Let's start with Dreamcatcher from the Naturally Native album, The Planet Is Alive (from a 1987 video about Pope John Paul II),  Tearing Down The Walls (the flip side to Dinner With Gershwin),  Ordinary Miracle from the soundtrack to Let It Be Me, Sometimes Like Butterflies (flip side to Love Is In Control),  My Prayer Is For You from the album Sing Me To Sleep Mommy, and A Whole New World from the Dave Koz album At The Movies.

[AUG 14] Happy Wednesday all! I'm back from vacation, and yes I did take a little Summer with me.  :-) Let's start off in the land of covers - well sort of.  (Does it count as a cover if one of the original duet partners is the same one from the original recording?) Anyway,  Barbra Streisand performed Enough Is Enough in Chicago recently and she got Ariana Grande to sing the Donna part with her. You can see clips here. Fair warning - it's a little annoying to watch because it's 2 and a half minutes of clips strung together which makes it kind of choppy. This Facebook video is  from further away and is a little shaky, but it's the full song.  :-)

[AUG 14] You guys remember that Spinning Gold movie about Neil Bogart/Casablanca that's been a work in progress for ages?  Well they have announced more casting for the film, including Sebastian Maniscalco as Giorgio Moroder.

[AUG 14]  Bruce Sudano fans: Don't forget that you can see him live this Saturday (August 17) at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

[AUG 14] Johnnyswim fans: Catch the duo on tour until October 5 in various places on the East coast.  (Although that could change at any time - they do like to sneak in new dates when they can.  :-) ) And then go check out their Touring Toddler YouTube channel where they have a couple of new videos featuring the itty bitty Swims (and friends).  :-)

[AUG 14] And that brings us to YouTube.  Let's do some full shows this week.  First up, Donna live on Long Island in 2008. Then we have her live in Brazil in 1995, live in Chile 1994, live in Spain in 1990,  live in Costa Mesa (A Hot Summer Night) in 1983,  live in Japan 1979, and live in Italy in 1977.

[JUL 28] Happy Sunday all! Let me start with an announcement about the site. There will be no update next weekend because I am going away on vacation with friends.  And I'm not sure if the one scheduled for August 11 will be on time or a little late. What I do know for sure is that  it's a road trip so at some point if you see crazy women in a car blasting Donna tunes - that's probably us.  :-)

[JUL 28] So since I won't be here next weekend, let's update the Summer Fever Pick tonight. For August we are celebrating Donna's first US release - Love To Love You Baby.

[JUL 28]  Let's start with Bruce. He's live on his couch again (in funky colors this time  lol)  with a new song he's working on called Can't Hit A Moving Target.

[JUL 28]  Johnnyswim fans - last week you got to hear them on part 1 of the Typology podcast.  Well, part 2 is out now and Johnnyswim is joined by their manager Jay King.  Also, the littlest Swims are featured on The Touring Toddler Blog where Johnnyswim and company talk about handling airports with young kids.

[JUL 28] I think that brings us to YouTube. Let's start with a clip that was recently brought to my attention - a really clean 1977 video of Donna performing Come With Me, Could It Be Magic and the My Man Medley. Then in honor of the Love To Love You album, we have  the title track live on the Midnight Special,  and we have audio of Donna's version of Pandora's Box and the version from the musical (as performed by Storm Lever). And for fun, here's a really short clip of Donna rapping Love To Love You in 1999 - the first time she had performed any part of that song in many years! Ok, so I will see you all after vacation!  :-)

[JUL 21] Happy Sunday all! Let's start with Bruce. If  you are in/near Owings, MD (or can get there), catch Bruce September 7 at Friday's Creek Winery at 6:30 PM. (Maybe you can share a Glass Of Red & The Sunset?  ;-) )

[JUL 21] Moving on to Johnnyswim. Our favorite duo has done a podcast called Typology with Enneagram guru Ian Morgan Cron. The first part is out now for your listening pleasure. Part 2 should be out this week. Now for those of you asking , "what the heck is  Enneagram?"  - well, in a nutshell it's an analysis of personality types. I think there are 9 different types and the people who follow this are usually looking to promote self awareness and development.  If you are interested in learning more, Google is your friend.

[JUL 21] In Donna land, there's not much going on (other than that Mother Nature seems to have really taken a liking to Hot Stuff here this weekend  lol), but a classic article turned up talking about how Enough Is Enough came about.  It was one of many such articles that came out when Donna passed that some of us may have overlooked at the time in our shock and grief.

[JUL 21]  I think that brings us to YouTube. And since it's been so freaking hot here this weekend, I'm going to look at some cooler songs starting with Cold Love. Up next are Winter Melody and Autumn Changes. And let's throw in a couple of Christmas songs for good measure... White Christmas and The Christmas Song.

[JUL 14] Greetings all!  I guess we should start with Johnnyswim. The duo have announced 3 new acoustic dates -  August 29 in Jacksonville, FL, September 3 in Charleston, SC and September 13 in Amagansett, NY (just a short drive from their beloved Georgica Pond!) For more info, check out Johnnyswim.com.

[JUL 14] Speaking of our favorite touring couple, their album Heart Beats made Leo Weekly's list of the 8 albums you needed to listen to before the Forecastle Music Festival.

[JUL 14] In the Bruce's music is everywhere category, Hollis Brown talked to Glide Magazine about their latest album Ozone Park. One of the songs, Forever In Me, was written by Bruce for the band.

[JUL 14] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Oh let's do some rare tracks this week. First up - the unreleased Valley Of The Moon. (Obviously it's a mix because you can definitely hear some I Feel Love in there.  :-) ) Then we have  the studio version of My Life,  the unreleased Adonai, the very hard to find Ordinary Miracle, the not as hard to find Dreamcatcher, the demo for Begin Again, an acoustic performance for BBC Radio of So This Is Lonely, a clip of  Donna singing La Dolce Vita on an airplane, and the live Worth The Wait.

[JUL 7] Happy Sunday all! California - you need to stop partying so hard! You are literally making the ground shake!  ;-)  No, but seriously I hope everyone is OK and that Mother Nature stops the shaking.

[JUL 7] Let's start with a new show called A Year In Music available on AXS TV. The show starts tonight actually with Downtown Julie Brown  hosting an episode dedicated to 1977. (Hmmm... they don't mention I Feel Love in the trailer, but seriously that was the best thing to come out of that year. Not that I am biased or anything....   lol) For more info and to see where AXS TV is available in your area, check out their website.

[JUL 7] In the everyone loves Donna category, Dionne Warwick did a Facebook live thing with SiriusXM in which she talks a little about Donna. (However she is not a huge fan of the song Enough Is Enough - or at least she's not a fan of Barbra singing it.)

[JUL 7] That brings us to YouTube. Let's start with the correct link to that bonus cover of Lucky by Paul Ybarra I posted last week. (Yeah, I messed that up. Some of you did a little more research anyway and found out that he has a few more Donna covers too. But Lucky is my favorite.) Moving on to Donna, well since we just celebrated July 4 let's  start with God Bless America The Star Spangled Banner, and Livin' In America. And then we have some clips of Donna from the TV Show Family Matters -  "Aunt Oona" singing Last Dance, "Aunt Oona" in the shrinking chamber, "Aunt Oona" and the regulars dancing to Hard For The Money, and the only clip I could find of "Aunt Oona" singing Rejoice. (I just signed up for Hulu and discovered they have that show. So of course the first things I watched were Donna!  lol)

 

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[SEP 15]

Thanks to her songwriting skills and her commercial clout, though, Summer says, “No one’s ever forced a song on me,” with perhaps one exception: One of her hits, which she won’t identify, “was a little too immature for me, and they said, ‘Just put your voice on it.’ And afterwards, I regretted it, because it started to do well, and I thought, ‘Oh no! I do not want to have to sing this song!’ … That was the only time, because that was the lesson.”

-- Donna Summer, Providence Journal, August 27, 2009

Summer Fever Pick
September 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
3/24 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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