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Donna Summer

Last update: April15, 2018

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

 


[APR 15]  Happy Sunday all! Let's start off with a special announcement for tomorrow morning. The cast of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical will be performing on NBC's Today Show twice. The first time will be at  approximately 8:50 AM and the second time will be in the 10 to 11 AM hour. Presumably the clips will show up later on the Today Show website.  While this is going on, cast member Afra Himes (ensemble, understudy for Disco Donna) will  take over @DonnaSummerBway Instagram stories for some behinds the scenes stuff.

[APR 15] As long as we are talking musical - Ariana DeBose (Disco Donna) did a Facebook live session where she answered a few questions. You can watch it here, but a couple of things that came out of her session were that there is definitely a cast album planned (but she doesn't now the exact timeline yet) and that they are still making changes here and there to the show. She doesn't say specifically what has changed - just that the changes that have been made so far are "smart" and they "clarify the story telling". At some point the show will be "frozen" and then no more changes will be made.  Storm Lever (Duckling Donna) did one for Instagram, but I can't find that one archived on the site anywhere, and unfortunately when I watched, my stream was so bad that I missed a lot.

[APR 15] The magazine "Where" (usually found at NYC hotels) is a guide to the stuff going on in New York for visitors looking for things to do. The April edition has Summer: The Musical on the cover.  Now if you don't happen to be hanging around any NYC hotels, you can see the magazine online here  - you can even download it if you want to.

[APR 15] The report for the weekly grosses on Broadway comes out on Mondays.  So last week's numbers won't be out until tomorrow. But the week ending 4/8 the show grossed 893,307 which is higher than it grossed the previous week( 569,993). Now of course, the first week wasn't a full week since the show didn't open until March 28. Tomorrow I will be eager to see a full week compared to another full week.  :-)  Number trackers can keep an eye on this link if you don't want to wait for my update.

[APR 15] BOSTON - guess what? You are having yet another Donna Summer Day.  :-) The 5th annual event is scheduled for June 22 in City Hall Square.  There will be the usual music and roller skating, but details on performances will be announced at a later date.  They always have members of Donna's family on hand for the festivities.  :-)

[APR 15] Disco fans, the BBC website has an article about why Disco should be taken seriously.

[APR 15] Johnnyswim fans - their new song, Ring The Bells is now available for sale at Amazon, iTunes and other music vendors. You can read a review of the song on AtwoodMagazine.com. Their upcoming EP, Goodbye Road with Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors,  is expected out May 4.

[APR 15] Bruce Sudano fans - he's Live On The Couch again with a new song called Anyway. You can see it on Facebook. (Hmmm  - maybe his next album should be "The Couch Sessions"?  LOL)

[APR 15] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Today I feel like going back to 1976.  So the clips we have are  Donna on American Bandstand for the first time (3 parts: Love To Love You, interview, Try Me), Spring Affair on Soul Train,  Could It Be Magic on German TV, and the Winter Melody video.

[APR 8]  Greetings all! Let's start off with Summer: The Donna Summer Musical again.  Ah, but where to start there... OK, first up there is a new (and BIG) ad up for the show on 42nd and Broadway.  Let's call that a prime selfie spot.  :-)  Other promotion is happening too. Playbill has an interview with LaChanze (Diva Donna) and Ariana Debose (Disco Donna) was on PBS's One On One With Steve Abubato the other night. If (like me) you were asleep when it aired, have no fear! It's already on YouTube.  And I am told that the cast of the show will be on NBC's Today Show on April 16.  Usually when a Broadway cast hits the morning shows, it means we get to see a performance. Now this is just a total guess, but I'm thinking they will either do MacArthur Park or Last Dance because all 3 Donnas get to shine together on both of those numbers.

[APR 8] In completely non-professional review news,  my aunt Rose went to the matinee of Summer: The Musical yesterday. She's not a diehard like us, she's just a casual fan. But when she left the theater, she emailed me one word to describe the show - "WHOA!" She enjoyed herself.  :-D  Oh and I saw on Facebook, there has been one update so far - but it's not to the show itself. It's to the drink menu. Now there is one called Hot Stuff.  (Yes, I find the drink menu entertaining.  LOL)

[APR 8] If you haven't been to TheDonnaSummerMusical.com in awhile, go check it out now. They've added tweets, cast bios, video from the press day and the tv ads. And I am sure they will keep adding things as the show gets rolling.  :-) Oh and if you are into tracking  the play's grosses, keep an eye on this link.  As I write this, they only show last week's numbers, but they should be updating again either tomorrow or Tuesday.

[APR 8] If you are in NY and are looking for discounted tickets to Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,  good news - they have announced their rush ticket policy. They will have $40 tickets available at the box office (as soon as it opens) for that day's performance. Patrons are limited to 2 tickets only. They are non-transferable, subject to availability, and they may only be partial-view seats.  So if you find yourself with a free evening sometime and want to take a chance - head over to the box office.

[APR 8] Moving on to the new compilation, Summer: The Original Hits. As I started  in a previous update - the extra mixes (and the song White Boys from Haare) are available on the deluxe digital release, and not on the CD.... UNLESS.... you go to Target. Yes, Target will have a special edition of the CD that includes the same tracks as the deluxe digital release.  So if you are a CD person, head to Target.

[APR 8] Moving on to Johnnyswim news. The duo has a new song coming out April 6 called Ring The Bells.  If you have Spotify you can presave the song now and hear it in its entirety.  If you don't do Spotify, you can hear a clip on Facebook.  You can even see the lyrics on Instagram.

[APR 8] Bruce Sudano fans, check out video of him at City Winery from March 14.  He sings It Ain't Cool, Analyzing  Stars, and With Angels On A Carousel.

[APR 8] I think that brings us to YouTube.  In honor of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, let's start with the New Radio Millennium Mix of State Of Independence.  (It's the one that includes part of the I Have  A Dream speech.)  Then let's keep going with some classic mixes. We have I Feel Love (MAW 86th St. mix),  Last Dance (MAW short version), the Jr. Vasquez long DMC mix if Melody Of Love Love Is The Healer (Thunder dub),  and the studio 54 mix of Love On And On.

[APR 3]  Happy Tuesday all!  Let's call this the weekly update.  LOL  And II am going to start off with some stuff about Summer: The Donna Summer Musical again.  The first week's grosses are available and  the musical took in $568,993.  Both Playbill.com and BroadwayWorld.com track the numbers for anyone who wants to watch those. I'm no expert in Broadway sales figures, but I would love to be able to compare Summer's preview numbers with some other preview show numbers from past shows.  Then I could get a better idea of how much of a good start we are off to. Now both of those sites have comparisons with other currently running shows, and when you look at numbers to compare you have to remember that not all theaters are the same size so potential earnings are not the same. And the shows listed vary from limited engagement productions, to long running hits, to shows that may be on their way out. So if you scroll down the list of grosses on Playbill, you will find that it's not a level playing field.

[APR 3] We have a whole bunch of articles about Summer: The Musical's Broadway debut.  There is one from Broadway Direct, the Broadway Buzz on Broadway.com, a feature on the cast at Broadway World,  a Broadway Direct feature on the 3 Donnas, and an Out interview with Ariana DeBose (Disco Donna).

[APR 3] Speaking of Ariana DeBose, she tweeted that she will be on  One On One with Steve Adubato on PBS (NY channel 13) at 12:30 AM tonight.  She's also posted a video on Twitter of her getting ready to take the stage in Summer: The Musical.  (HEY! I just had a random thought.  All these years we diehard fans have groaned when  people have written "Donna SummerS" instead of "Donna Summer".  But now that we have the musical and there are 3 people playing the role, maybe "Donna SummerS" is correct? Or should it be "DonnaS Summer"?  LOL)

[APR 3] Moving on to the new hits collection, Summer: The Original Hits, 947wls.com has an article about the compilation and PR Newswire has the press release. Here's the interesting thing from the press release - the 2 remixes at the end of the album are exclusive to the DIGITAL deluxe edition.  So if you order the CD you won't get them.

[APR 3] I guess I can move on to Johnnyswim now. They will be touring with Needtobreathe this Summer/Fall.  Dates and ticket info are posted on Needtobreathe.com.

[APR 3] On to Youtube.  Let's start off with a song I have been returning many times since I saw the musical, and that's Be Myself Again.  Then we have My Life (which was listed in La Jolla's information on the musical, but which is also not currently in the show.) Then let's move to some rehearsal clips from Summer: The Musical. We have one video from Theatermania, one from Broadway.com, one from The Donna Summer Musical, and one from Tamsen Fadal TV.

[APR 3] And finally.... some of you saw this on Facebook already, but I am officially announcing my annual MS Walk!  (I have a couple of donations already - THANK YOU!)  As you know, I like to have out some little tokens of my appreciation to those who donate.  This year, I had some opens made up to commemorate the musical. AND when I was at the show the other night, I grabbed a few extra goodies to share with my top donors. The top 3 will get an official Summer: The Musical keyring, and the top 5 will get a copy of Playbill. If you donate multiple times before the walk (May 19), I will add up the total of your contributions to figure out your standing.  In the event of a tie, I will go by the date the donations were made and take the first high donors. Here's what the pens and keyrings look like:

 

pen

keyring

As always, donations made before this official posting are STILL eligible for goodies.  :-)  And as always, if I hit my goal of $517, I will walk in my Donna gear. (If I don't hit that goal, I am screwed because I don't know where my team shirt is!  LOL)

[APR 2] Pictures have been added to  the first part of my musical report.

[APR 2] The new Summer Fever Pick is up! This month it is Once Upon A Time.  (I'm getting there with the updates - slowly but surely, one piece at a time.  :-) )

[APR 1 no wait  APR 2 it's after midnight here] Part 2 of my show report is up now. It's the spoiler version so reader beware! I'm off to bed now!

[APR 1] This week's updates will be a bit weird - and not because it's April 1!  LOL  I saw the musical Friday and I am trying to work on my show report. (I wanted to do this yesterday but my boss made me work!  UGH!)  So, my report will be in 2 parts and I will have some images to add as well.  This is going to delay both the regular update and the changing of the Summer Fever Pick.  I will squeeze all of these in as I can.  Part 1 of my show report is now up.  Please excuse the typos, I consider that page a work in progress still. (In fact you will see a couple of place holders for pics and links there.)  I'm about to work on part 2 of my report. It's getting late but I'm hoping to have it tonight (fingers crossed!) It's sort of handwritten at the moment - I just have to decipher my own writing and type it up.

[MAR 24] Happy Saturday all!  This week we are starting off with a new compilation called Summer: The Original Hits due out April 20.  Now BEFORE you start yelling about yet another compilation - this one is a little different. It is specifically geared toward people (casual fans) who will see the musical but who may not be as fully  familiar with the original songs as we are. As such, the album is coming out just 3 days before the official opening date of April 23, and the tracks are all ones used in the musical. Let me give you the track list:  I Feel Love, Love To Love You, I Remember Yesterday, On My Honor, Faster And Faster, MacArthur Park, Heaven Knows, Enough Is Enough, Pandora's Box, On The Radio, I Love You, Bad Girls, She Works Hard For The Money, Unconditional Love, Hot Stuff Last Dance, and as a bonus on iTunes (probably for us diehards - and probably at Amazon if you look at the MP3 listing) they added the Rosabel Radio mix of MacArthur Park and the Ralph Rosario Eric Ibiza 2018 mix of Hot Stuff. That Hot Stuff mix is actually available to purchase now. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the MP3 version of the collection also includes White Boys from the German soundtrack to Haare. Now, EVERY one of those songs was used in the musical when it played La Jolla. There are a couple of other songs that were also used that UMG would have had to pay to include: Stamp Your Feet, The Queen Is Back, To Turn The Stone, Friends Unknown and My Life.  So this album should tide at least the casual fans over until a cast album is recorded.  :-) On a side note - I have tickets for the Friday performance this coming week, so I will have first hand reports to make on the next update.  :-)

[MAR 24] Speaking of the musical - I have finally seen the TV commercials on the air. A couple of nights this week I was watching The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and the ad ran shortly before midnight.  :-)  It was very exciting!  Also, I find myself being followed all over the internet by ads for Summer: The Musical which on the one hand tells me that I really should clear my cookies and history more often. But on the other hand, I do get a kick out of seeing those ads.  LOL

[MAR 24] There is a new non-profit organization called The Songstress Hall Of Fame. They took to Twitter to announce the following inductees:  Adele, Cher, Aretha, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Katy Perry, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross, Barbra, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick and of course DONNA SUMMER.  :-)

[MAR 24] Fan club fans - Tom Gilliam is looking for some help. He's been funding the Fan Club out of his own pocket since 1986. It's been getting more expensive as time has gone by so now Tom has a GoFundMe to help raise money to pay for upgrades and updates to the fan club site software, etc. If you would like to contribute, the link is right here.

[MAR 24] Let's move on to Johnnyswim. Guess what? They are hitting the road again! (Which is absolutely NO surprise to anyone who follows Johnnyswim.  They do love the road!  LOL)  Let me give you the link to the Facebook video where they teased the announcement of the dates. (You want watch that because Joaquin  makes a guest appearance in that.  LOL) Then the following day they listed cities and dates in another video. They've got shows almost every day from August 10 to October 7 all over the USA. If they are coming to your city, grab some tickets when they become available. Johnnyswim puts on a GREAT show!

[MAR 24] In Bruce Sudano news, TasteOfCountry.com listed their "10 Disco-Country Songs We Can't Stop Dancing To." They included Starting Over Again which as you all know was written by Bruce and Donna. (And it's always fun to hear Bruce talk about how Donna contributed to that song.  LOL)

[MAR 24] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's start with Donna doing Starting over Again on the Tonight Show.  Then we have a stampyourfeet video for A Song For You/How Great Thou Art, another stampyourfeet video for Let It Be, Worth The Wait live,  Any Way At All on The Tonight Show, and Heaven's Just A Whisper Away live at the Apollo.

[MAR 17] Happy St. Patrick's Day all!  So you know we have to start with the musical again. (Can you believe it's opening in just a couple of weeks?) First up is an article in Broadway News explaining why the cast is predominantly female - including some women who play male roles. (Short answer - to create more roles for women on Broadway and to honor Donna's "central mission" of female empowerment. )

[MAR 17] We also have 2 new TV commercials for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  Now I haven't seen them on TV yet - but that may be because I'm not watching the right channels lately.  Neither ad says much about the show - but that's in line with other musical ads I have seen lately.  Here is the first ad, and here is the second.

[MAR 17] CaribbeanLifeNews.com was at the March 8 preview of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  There is an article, but it talks more about Donna than about the musical. It even explains what happened with that sitcom Donna was talking about making  around 1989 or so. (I think she mentioned it in her interview with Arsenio Hall if I recall.)

[MAR 17] Moving on to the land of remixes - our own Summer2k (who now uses the name DJ Moch) got his hands on the original stems for Bad Girls and has used them to build his Epic 12" Disco Remix.  This is not your typical fan mix where the mixer has to work with or around what was already there. He got all the separate pieces so he could do anything he wanted to with them - like the pros get to.  It's amazing - go check it out! :-)  I also want to mention that DJ Moch has said that he did this mix as "a tribute to Donna and her amazing musical legacy." He also revisited his old One Of A Kind mix and incorporated some of the new vocals that turned up in the new John Morales mix.

[MAR 17] The Guardian recently posted an article called, "Readers recommend playlist: Songs with sudden changes."  In the Dance section of the playlist you will spot a familiar diva with On The Radio.

[MAR 17]  In the land of auctions, one of Donna's old Casablanca contracts was up for auction late last year.  It didn't sell (probably because none of US knew about it then) but you can still see the listing with a couple of pages.

[MAR 17] Bruce Sudano fans - he's posted another video from his recent concert. This one is the end of Ball Of Confusion where Bruce is joined by Pepe Cardona (froma Alive N Kickin'), Eddie Hokenson (from the Brooklyn Dreams) and of course Randy Mitchell from The Candyman Band and from Donna's band.) At the moment, Bruce is hanging around Brooklyn while he records some new tracks.  :-)

[MAR 17] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's start off with another DJ Moch mix. This one is Netherlands - Donna vs. Dan Fogelberg. Then we have Donna's interview on The Arsenio Hall Show. (Yes, I remembered correctly - this is the interview where she talks about the sitcom.) Now let's just go into YouTube freefall and see what comesup. We have a 2004 UK interview plugging The Journey,  Nathan's 2008 tour video,  and his clip of Donna singing La Dolce Vita on a plane in 2009., a fan video for Adonai, and another one for Valley Of The Moon.  And then just for fun, let's bring back the clip of Donna with Barry Manilow fooling around with Could It Be Magic.  :-)

[MAR 11] Greetings all! Well, you know we have to start with Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  As you probably know, the show is currently in rehearsal and the press was in to do a little filming recently.  So you will want to check out this short clip on YouTube with a bit of the music.  Then there is a video at BroadwayWorld.com with interviews with various people associated with the production - even Bruce. (If you use an ad blocker, you may have to turn it off to get the video to play.) Playbill.com has photos from the rehearsal,  and Theatermania.com has video of MacArthur Park.

[MAR 11] in remix news, John Morales has reworked the MacArthur Park Suite.  You can hear it as part of the John Morales M&M mix starting at about 27:30.  (Sorry - there are some vocal watermarks over the track here and there that are pretty distracting.) Oh, and I left out the best part - EXTRA vocals in One Of A Kind!  :-) Crack open that vault!  LOL

[MAR 11] Moving on you Bruce - as you know he has a couple of recent performances including a headlining event where he sneaked in a couple of surprises.  Some of those  have made it to his Facebook page.  :-)  He's got the new song Forbidden Fruit with Dina Regine, the new song Walking Down The Road with Mike Montali, and the not quite so new song Bad Girls with Eddie Hokenson.  :-)

[MAR 11] I think that brings us to YouTube.  And since MacArthur Park has popped up a couple of times in the news this week, let's start with that.  This version is live at the Today Show in 1999. Then we have She Works Hard For The Money live in 2008,  and Friends Unknown from some TV appearance.  Then let's do a couple of deep cuts - Freedom, a clip of the unreleased song Addiction,  a clip of another unreleased song, Half The Battle, and the unreleased Ordinary Girl song, Begin Again.

[MAR 4] Happy Oscar Sunday all! It's a new month so it's time for the new Summer Fever Pick. This month, I Remember Yesterday.

[MAR 4] Since it's Oscar night, let's start with some movie news. Thank God It's Friday is coming out on Blu-Ray as a special 40th anniversary edition on May 1.  You can pre-order now at places like Amazon. It looks like it's just the film with no extras. The disc is being put out by Mill Creek Entertainment, and you can see full details on the release there.

[MAR 4] Moving on to the musical - the box office for the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is now open! So if you are in NYC and still need tickets, you can just stop off at the theater and get tickets while admiring Donna on the marquee!  And if you head to Instagram, you can see a couple of pics from rehearsals.

[MAR 4] Moving on to Quincy Jones. No he hasn't said anything new about Donna, Michael Jackson, or anyone else he talked about in recent interviews.  What he has done is apologize for his recent "wordvomit" after an intervention from his family. Apparently his daughters took him aside and told him to cool it, and he's taken that to heart.

[MAR 4] Bruce fans - don't forget he's playing City Vineyard in NYC on Tuesday. If you are in the area, stop in and enjoy the show!

[MAR 4] I think that brings us to YouTube. Since it's Oscar night - let's do some movie music.  Let's start with Donna's 2 appearances on the Oscar telecast singing Papa Can You Hear Me (originally sung by Barbra Streisand in the movie Yentl) and Last Dance (from Thank God It's Friday).  And, of course, Paul Jabara picked up the Oscar for writing Last Dance.  Then we have Down Deep Inside (Theme From The Deep), The Power Of One (from Pokemon 2000),  Whenever There Is Love (from Daylight),  Romeo (from Flashdance),  Highway Runner from Fast Times At Ridgemont High), On The Radio (from Little Foxes), and Hot Stuff (from The Full Monty).

 

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[APR 15]

On the longevity of her songs:

“I think melodically they're strong. "Hard for the Money," "On the Radio," "Last Dance" — they're kind of stories. People can relate to that. It's not just me singing a love song — not that people don't always relate to love songs — but it's a storyline that gives you something to hang your brain on. Maybe that's part of the reason. Also by the grace of God!"

- Donna Summer, Ithica Journal August 26, 2010

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