The Donna Summer Tribute Site

 

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Donna Summer

Last update: February 4, 2023

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

 

 


[FEB 4] Greetings all and happy Saturday! I hope my east coast friends are all staying warm! This sudden blast of cold is quite the shocker after being so  unseasonably warm most of January. So first up - it's a new month so that means it's time for a new Summer Fever Pick. This month we are doing A Love Trilogy - not a bad choice for Valentine's Day.  :-)

[FEB 4] Now for the BIG news of the week. Love To Love You  Donna Summer is the name of the bio Brooklyn (and company) has been working on for....? It feels like forever.  LOL It is making its debut at the Berlinale film festival in Berlin this month. (It runs February 16 to 26.) Then it comes to SXSW in Austin next month. (That runs March 10 to March 19.) And then.... look for it to hit HBO and HBOMax in May!  Now I know not everybody has HBO. But the cool thing is that you can usually get a free 7 day trial. HBOMax is also currently one of the channels that is available if you have Amazon Prime.  I also assume that at some point the bio will be available for sale. Tina Turner has a bio on HBO Max a couple of years ago, and I see that available for sale or rent now on Amazon. Looks like we will have a great summer... I mean Summer ;-)  to look forward to!

[FEB 4] Also in documentary news, look at the writeups in Vibe and RollingStone.  May can't come soon enough!

[FEB 4]  In other news, Newsbreak.com has an article about No More Tears (Enough Is Enough).

[FEB 4] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's celebrate the new Summer Fever Pick.  First up, a video for Try Me I Know We Can Make It.  Then we have Wasted  (with lots of bubbles  that just gave me an idea for my own photography  LOL) from a TV appearance, a live performance of Come With Me, and Could It Be Magic from TopPop. And finally Donna & Barry on Could It Be Magic just because I will use any excuse to play this!  LOL

[JAN 29] Happy Sunday all! Let's start off with Stock Aitken and Waterman this week.  They have been the subject f a UK Legends Of Pop documentary. Part one is here and part two is here.  Donna's work with them is covered in part two, but I recommend watching both while you can. There is a good chance they could get region locked or out right removed for copyright. In other SAW content, a viewer poll selected the top SAW tracks - This Time I Know It's For Real took the top spot.  But more importantly when the TV show ran the clip, they included some extras - like extra demo vocals that were not used in the finished track. (You can see the extra vocals in the SAW documentary too.) AND there is a podcast on Spotify talking about This Time I Know It's For Real. So lots of good stuff this week for SAW fans.

[JAN 29] Musical fans - Summer: The Donna Summer Musical is coming to my home theater - The Gateway in Bellport NY. (I have been going there since I was a kid, and I have been a season ticket holder for  I can't even guess how many years now.) Tickets are on sale now for the June 16 to July 16 run.  Casting is something we won't know until much closer to show time. But keep an eye on their Facebook page -  sometimes in the run up to a show they thrown in some behind the scenes video of rehearsal or whatever.  I will say that the Gateway theater is pretty small so there really isn't a terrible seat in the house.  Middle is always better than the sides - but that's true most places.  (I already know I'm there June 17 with my mom, so if you see me feel free to say hi. I might even sneak in some other nights as well. I'm on the verge of early retirement so I might have some extra time on my hands around then.  :-) )

[JAN 29] Bruce Sudano fans - Vents Magazine gave his latest single, Make The works Go Away, a really nice write up.

[JAN 29] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's celebrate Donna's work with SAW this week. First up is This Time I Know Its For Real live on Live & More Encore. Then we have Love's About To Change My Heart from Club MTV,  the video for When Love Takes Over You, I Don't Wanna Get Hurt from TOTP, and Breakaway live in Brazil.

[JAN 22] Greetings al!  The big news this week is Bruce's new single/video.  It's called Make The World Go Away. You can check it out on YouTube and all the usual places. And I highly recommend that you do.  It's got a nice grove to it that just sucks you in. I could definitely see some radio play in this song's future.

[JAN 22] Also in Bruce news,  he will be performing on the  On The Blue Reunion Cruise (sailing out of Miami) this coming Saturday January 28.

[JAN 22] In other news, Collider.com listed  7 musical movies debuting this year.  They included Spinning Gold even though that's not technically a musical. But it should include a bunch of music from the various artists on the Casablanca roster.

[JAN 22] In Brooklyn Sudano news... sort of... finally info about season 2 of Cruel Summer is available.  As you know Brooklyn was  in the original 2021 season, and although it was decided almost immediately that there would be another season, no actual details have surfaced until now. Unfortunately, they have decided that the series will be an anthology so that means new cast, new location and new plot for season 2.

[JAN 22] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's do some interviews for a change.  First up  - a 20 minute segment from 1987 courtesy of the UK's Sky TV.  Then we have the 1978 interview with Rona Barrett, a Signed Media interview from Donna's later years, Part 1 of a 1994 VH1 interview followed by Part 2, a 2008 interview for On Time TV, and finally a 2003 unedited interview with ET.

[JAN 15] Happy Sunday all! Let's start off with an announcement from Bruce.  He has a new single/video coming out Friday January 20 called Make The World Go Away.  (It will be available at all the usual places.)  If you are on Facebook, you can see the single's cover art on Bruce's page.  Go look at it because the cover art all by itself is powerful. Can't wait to hear the song!

[JAN 15] In the everyone loves Donna category, Barry Manilow had been touring and one fan who caught the show in Fort Lauderdale reported that Barry paid tribute to Donna during the show.  He started playing Could It Be Magic and then noted that Donna covered it as a dance song.  (For those who don't know, Barry's original version if a ballad.)  Barry joked that when he first heard Donna's version he wasn't sure he liked it.  But then it went to number 1 and he loved it.  LOL  He followed that with his own dance version of Could It Be Magic.  I imagine it sounded like this - only without a duet partner.  (I could play that clip forever!  I'm not even exaggerating. LOL)

[JAN 15] Speaking of people who love Donna - Lisa Marie Presley was a big fan. She unfortunately passed away this week and I would like to extend my condolences to her family, friends and fans.  Another one lost too soon.  Stampyourfeet put together a video tribute to Lisa Marie that starts with her comments about Donna.

[JAN 15] I think that brings us to  YouTube.  First up, a  roughly 30 minute piece called The Untold History of Disco.  Yes, it has Donna in it - how could it now?  LOL But more interestingly, it traces the rise and fall of the genre and the legacy it left behind.  Then we have Donna's live version of Could It Be Magic from 1994.  After that is Donna's complete 2005  performance at Night of The Proms in Belgium and clips from Donna performing with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, (Gotta love donna with an orchestra!) And then just for fun, we have the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra taking a stab at Hot Stuff. (The conductor seems to be having a blast!)

[JAN 08] Greetings all and happy Sunday.  SO the beginning of the year means it's time for websites to start ranking ... well just about everything.  LOL  Let's start off with Rolling Stones' highest rated disco albums of all time.  They put Bad Girls at #3.  Let the debating begin.  LOL

[JAN 08]  Then Smooth Radio ranked the top 30 female singers of all time ranked in order of pure vocal ability. (So they say.... get ready for the debate.  LOL)  They put Donna at #21  - right between Diana Ross (#22) and Stevie Nicks (#20). While I disagree (in some cases pretty strongly LOL) with the order they places these artists, I do have to  give Smooth Radio credit for covering a pretty decent range of time with artists like Billie Holiday on one end and  Beyoncé  on the other end.

[JAN 08] Back to Rolling Stone - they have ranked the 200 greatest singers of all time (male and female).  And here's an interesting point the article makes - they are ranking singers and not voices.  So it's less about the voice the artist has/had and more about what they do/did with it.  That would explain (sort of) how Axl Rose could rank higher than Barbra Streisand. LOL  Donna came in at #122. You notice I keep joking about people debating these lists, in the case of this article, the debate went further than the comments section and social media.  My local paper posted an article about reactions to the Rolling Stone article.  Mostly it is complaints about artists who were omitted from the list - with a very Long Island perspective. (Hey, they left Billy Joel off the list. Billy Joel is to Long Island is what Springsteen is to New Jersey. LOL) The article is here, but it is behind a pay wall. I have to admit that I have a hard time taking most of these lists seriously - so much is subjective especially when you are trying to compare acts from multiple eras and from multiple genres.  I mean, how can you really compare Axl Rose to Barbra? Or Loretta Lynn to Ozzie Osbourne? They are SO different that comparison is pretty much meaningless.  But the debates can be fun.

[JAN 08] I think that brings us to YouTube.  In honor of the Summer Fever  Pick, let's take a look at the Love To Love You album.  First up, Donna talking about Love To Love You.  Then we have a performance of the title track from The Midnight Special, a Suecase Hall video for Whispering Waves, a lyric video for Pandora's Box, and a lyric video for Virgin Mary (which was included on some European versions of the album.) Finally, here's a bonus version of Pandora's Box from Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (sung by Storm "Duckling Donna" Lever).

[JAN 01] Happy New Year all! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. There is really nothing going on this week except for an article posted on Yahoo looking at Donna's best songs - with the emphasis on her disco classics.

[JAN 01] Moving on to YouTube, we have  a sort of random selection this week.  First up is a video look at Donna's Billboard Top 200 Albums chart history.  Each album is presented as a graph and it's pretty cool to see  "the Bad Girls era" when Live & More was still on the top 200, Bad Girls joined it, and then On The Radio joined both - so we had 3 albums going at once.  :-) It was also pretty cool to see a bunch of albums pop back up on the chart in 2012 - a couple of weeks after Donna went home.  Also on YouTube is the latest from Q - it's the final offering of his Other Side Of The Rainbow project and it's his Forever Donna mix of I Need Time.  We also have a 1978 appearance on the Merv Griffin Show promoting Once Upon A Time.  And finally we have a clip I don't remember from Top Of The Pops with Donna performing State Of Independence.

[JAN 01] Oh, I almost forgot - the new Summer Fever Pick is up. This month we celebrate Love To Love You.

[DEC 22]  Greetings all, and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. First up this week is an article about how I Feel Love changed music.  It's not a long article, but it is interesting.

[DEC 22] In remix news, check out the extended MHP West End 12" mix of Melody Of Love. Listen carefully - you might spot some extra adlibs

[DEC 22]  There's really nothing else going on at the moment because everybody getting ready for the holidays.  So let's share some holiday stuff.  First we have Johnnyswim's Christmas Live From The Backyard from a couple of years ago.  That was a special show - definitely worth revisiting. And then last year they did Christmas In Park City. And then of course, I have my Donna (and friends) Christmas playlist that I also shared last weekend. (I added a couple of clips to the end this week.) I will see you guys sometime before Donna's birthday - we'll see how the week plays out.  :-)  Whichever holidays you are celebrating this week - be safe, be happy, and don't take for granted the people you love.  As I was reminded this year, tomorrow is promised to no one and you never know which Christmas will be the last. 

[DEC 18] Greetings all, and Happy Hanukkah! Let's start off with movies.  As you may recall, the seemingly  endless project, Spinning Gold, finally hits theaters on March 31. The official trailer is out now on YouTube for those who want to check that out.

[DEC 18] And in other movie news, the Donna bio that Brooklyn is working on, is still in the works.  I think the last we heard was this from last year, BUT Brooklyn did post an Instagram story recently that said "Working hard for my mommy" and it looked like she was in a room where editing was happening. So even though it's all quiet on the news front, things are still happening behind the scenes. I know some people out there were getting discouraged - but come on guys. We are Donna Summer fans - we should be used to having patience!  LOL

[DEC 18] Johnnyswim fans - check out their recent Back Porch Sessions for Garden & Gun Magazine.  In it they sing Bullet, Ring The Bells,  Don't Make Me Wait, and Pass Me A Pint.

[DEC 18] I think that brings us to YouTube.  I'm going to share my Christmas playlist this week. Next weekend is Christmas Eve and Christmas so I haven't decided what I'm doing about the update. It might be early, it might be late, it just depends on what's going on. I'm going to aim for Friday, but we'll see. :-)

[DEC 11] Greetings all! Let's jump right into the news.  First up, Pop Matters posted an "advent calendar" article featuring Christmas Divas.  The list is 25 Christmas albums by female artists in a wide variety of styles. (Everything from Lena Horne to Cyndi Lauper and more!)  Day 11 features Christmas Spirit! Then, the website Something Else posted an article looking at their top 20 versions of Lush Life. (Who knew there were so many versions of Lush Life out there?) Donna comes in at #3 and most of the versions they discuss have YouTube links so you can actually hear what they are talking about.  Oh and finally BuzzFeed has a quiz asking you to identify various music icons.  They give you a photo and 4 choices. Donna is in there and the other choices under her picture are Gloria Gaynor (of course!  LOL), Teena Marie , and Thelma Jackson.

[DEC 11] Bruce Sudano fans - Bruce is hitting the road again.  January 28 he is doing the On The Blue Reunion Cruise out of Miami. Then, you guy sin the UK get your chance to see Bruce as he hits your shores on April 18 through May 6 in support of The Zombies. (They always have a good time touring together.) For dates and venues, check out Bruce's website.

[DEC 11] And finally for Johnnyswim fane - our favorite duo still has a couple more dates left on their Christmas tour before they wrap up on December 18 in San Francisco.

[DEC 11] I think that brings us to YouTube.  First up, I mentioned last week that the movie Fame filmed their street dance scene to Hot Stuff, as the song Fame had not yet been written. I actually ran into a documentary that talks about that (among other things about the movie. You can catch it here with the street dance scene starting at about 26:54. (Or you can rewind to the beginning - there is lots of interesting stuff for people who are fans of the film.) Then I found something I haven't seen in awhile - it's a clip about Donna's cover of Mr. Rogers' song Are You Brave.  (And here is the song itself.) Also in the land of tributes, here is Donna's cover of The Power Of Love (by Luther Vandross). Other rare ones out there are Dreamcatcher, My Prayer For You, and Donna's original recording of La Vie En Rose.  (For comparison, here is the live version she did in Paris about 15 years later.)

[DEC 2] Happy Friday everyone.  Sorry I missed last weekend, but my mom ended up in the hospital unexpectedly. She's home and on the mend now, so things can (hopefully) get back to normal.  Yesterday started a new month and since it is December, you already know what I changed the Summer Fever Pick to.  LOL

[DEC 2] Let's get the sad stuff out of the way first.  As you have probably read, we lost Irene Cara the other day.  You may be wondering what the Donna connection is - well, other than she was one of the artists who was sometimes mistaken for Donna. Well,  if you have ever seen the movie Fame, you will remember they had a big street dance scene set to the title track. The thing is, when they filmed it, the song hadn't been written yet. So all those dancers were actually partying to Hot Stuff.  Rest in peace Irene.

[DEC 2] We also just lost Christine McVie too. (May she rest in peace as well.) Bruce posted a short video tribute of him singing the Fleetwood Mac classic, Don't Stop.

[DEC 2]  In happier news, there are a couple of interesting covers out there.  First is a cover of I Feel Love by Clara Luciani.  It's pretty faithful to the original, although she does sing some of it in French. And then there is the London After Midnight cover of Hot Stuff. That one is a bit.... different.

[DEC 2] In Johnnyswim news, they are on their Christmas tour now.  They have special VIP packages available for the various dates, and they are doing something really fun this time out. They have a portion of the show where they play some videos from their childhood Christmases, and they have invited fans (who are attending the shows) to email them videos of their own childhood celebrations and they will show those as well.  Keep an eye on their Instagram stories. Abner usually posts instructions about where to email your videos.

[DEC 2] Also in Johnnyswim news, they have a new Christmas single out now called Don't Make Me Wait.  ANd if you are looking for swag, they have a couple of deals on their website right now.

[DEC 2] I think that brings us to YouTube.   Let's do some mixes this week. First up - the New Wave XTension of Romeo. Then we have Olivia Newton-John vs Donna in Please Don't Keep Me Waiting For A Last Dance, the MHP extended mix of The Woman In Me,  Jandry's C'mon Darlin' Mix 2022 of (If It) Hurts Just A Little,  and the Millennium Mix of State Of Independence which features clips from Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech.

[NOV 20]  Greetings all! And Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! Can you believe Thanksgiving is this Thursday? I have no idea where this year has gone.)

[NOV 20] First up for vinyl fans -  MusicOnVinyl.com has posted that we can look forward to a pink vinyl edition of Crayons on January 13. There are no extra tracks (Not even It's Only Love) but there will be a 4 page booklet. And, this is the first time Crayons has been released on vinyl. (Weird, huh? Even Live & More Encore had a vinyl edition when it came out. I used to refer to that as the large print version for us older fans.  LOL)

[NOV 20] There is a movie coming out in February called Magic Mike's Last Dance.  Can you guess what song features prominently in the trailer?  LOL

[NOV 20] In the everybody is a fan category, check out the album art for the RuPaul Mixtape Vol II.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems to remind me of something....   ;-)

[NOV 20] Johnnyswim fans - the new episode of their cooking show on Magnolia is out. This time they are making tacos (with homemade tortillas) and a watermelon refresher that looks like it would be amazing on a hop summer day.  Look for a guest appearance by Abner's 4 year old sous chef.  :-)

[NOV 20] I'm exhausted tonight, so I'm just going to go straight to the YouTube list. Since Thanksgiving is traditionally the start of the Christmas season here, let me leave you with my Christmas YouTube playlist.

[NOV 13]  Greetings all!  Let's jump right into the news. First up, Vulture.com has ranked all 240 Rock & Roll Hall of Famers from best to worst. Now I should say, their basis for best and worst is the appropriateness of the artist's inclusion in the Hall Of Fame - were they influential to other artists, were they great at what they did, were they the first to do whatever...  That should eliminate a little of the inherent bias in lists like this, where artists get ranked higher or lower just because the author like a particular style of music over another. (But there will still be debates - just watch and see!  LOL) The cool thing is that each artist has a paragraph or so explaining something about the artist or about the way the Hall of Fame operates.  Donna comes in at #72 and her part of the list has a fairly long section about how the Hall of Fame treats women in general.  The whole article is an interesting read, so try not to skip over the artists you have no interest in...

[NOV 13] In other article news,  there is an op-ed piece out there in the Daily Northwestern about the lasting impact of Donna Summer.  The article was inspired by Beyoncé's  Summer Renaissance.

[NOV 13] And speaking of Summer Renaissance, the NY Times has a podcast talking abut that song and also about Donna, I Feel Love, and the Donna Summer album. Warning - there is a link on the page to get a transcript of the podcast.  Don't bother clicking it. When I tried it, I got the transcript for a completely different episode.  LOL

[NOV 13] If you are looking for something silly, There is a video on YouTube that compares the heights of  100 classic female singers. They have decided that  Donna (when played by Kelly Rowland dressed up in Donna drag) is 5 feet 7 inches tall.  But of course all long time fans know that Donna is actually over twice the height of a skyscraper... for proof, look at the  inside gatefold of Once Upon A Time.  ;-)

[NOV 13] In Johnnyswim news, the latest episode of In The Kitchen Abner & Amanda is available to stream on Discovery+/Magnolia.  This week they made Ropa Vieja and Frijoles - Abner's favorite meal.  It features a special appearance from Abner's mom, Marisol. And I know I say this every week - but do not watch the show when you are hungry. (Or when you are eating junk because you worked late. McDonalds, Burger King, etc will NOT compare favorably with one of their home cooked meals! LOL )

[NOV 13] I think that brings us to YouTube.  And while I was searching for something good to start us off, I ran into this re-upload  of Donna and Barry's Could It Be Magic. This one is the unedited version, some of the other uploads out there are missing a little.  I just LOVE that clip, so I couldn't resist sharing it (again). So now I am going to abandon what I was originally searching for and I'm going to have a little fun. So here is a rare one - The Wanderer live.  Then we have Unconditional Love at Disney with Donna singing to and with a bunch of kids. (Sharp eyes just might spot Mimi in there.  :-) ) And then we have Reflections from Divas 2000 and Love Is The Healer from the same show.  (And yes I cheated - those last 2 are on Vimeo.) And finally, since it was Veteran's Day here the other day, Donna performing There Goes My Baby  surrounded by a bunch of sailors.   To all the veterans out there - thank you for your service.

[NOV 6]  Happy  Sunday all! Tuesday is Election Day here in the USA, so to all my friends out there who are eligible to vote and haven't already -  make sure you get out there and make your voice heard!  (If you don't, then you don't get to complain about the results! And let's face it, we are Americans, we will complain no matter who wins.  LOL)  And don't forget, Bruce is performing on the iVoted Festival webcast Tuesday.  Check out the festival website for details.

[NOV 6]  In Donna news, the 40th Anniversary of  the self-titled Donna Summer album is out now. [Paid Amazon US  link] It is also available to stream at all the usual places.  And of course you can still see the official lyric video for the LeFlex mix of Mystery Of Love on YouTube.

[NOV 6] In honor of the release of Donna Summer, RetroPop posted a short article on their website featuring comments from Bruce.  They have said there is also a longer feature in the actual magazine itself.

[NOV 6] In other Donna news, the movie Spinning Gold (about the rise and fall of Casablanca Records) FINALLY has a release date.  (It's about time. I think they have been working on it for like 150 years now.  LOL) Look for it to hit theaters on March 31, 2023.

[NOV 6] Johnnyswim fans - they will be performing at the Tokens Show (now called No Small Endeavor) at the Ryman in Nashville on November 20.  And don't forget that their Christmas tour starts November 30 in Chicago.  Abner has said it will be more of an intimate experience with just Abner and Amanda accompanied by their friend and collaborator, Jonathan Berlin.

[NOV 6] And of course the latest episode of of In The Kitchen With Abner and Amanda is now streaming on Magnolia. This week they are making dinner with Osso Buco over Polenta. The standard warning applies - don't watch when you are hungry!  LOL

[NOV 6] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's do something a little different. Let's look at the 5 songs that had the lowest peak position on the Billboard Hot 100.  (And they are still darn good songs!)  So peaking at #85 in  1989 is Love's About To Change My Heart. Then Try Me I Know We Can Make It peaked at #80 in 1976,  I Will Go With You peaked at #79 in 1999, When Love Cries peaked at #77 in 1991 and finally, Supernatural Love peaked at #75 in 1984.

 

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"Not to get overly philosophical, but I grew up as an ugly little black girl with no hope for the future, no hope for college, no chance of being exceptional except that I was given a gift by God that became a focal point. There was nothing different about me, except that I had a gift. And we all have a gift inside of us, so I don't see myself as different. I'm an ordinary girl."

--  Donna Summer, V Spring 2006

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