The Donna Summer Tribute Site

 

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Donna Summer

Last update: June 23  2019

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

 

 


[JUN 23] Happy Sunday all! Boston - did you have fun the other night?  :-) The annual Donna Summer Roller Disco Party happened on Friday and fortunately the rain let up so the party could actually go on without anybody drowning.  :-)  If you have Facebook, you can read some of the posts here. I imagine in a couple of days we'll see some more photos and things from the event.  Now if you want to see something from before the event - check out this interview with Robert "Omega Red" Grant - the guy behind the party.  :-) (On a side note - he filmed all the prep for the interview as well as the interview itself. So if you are interested in the behind the scenes of radio interviews - check it out.)

[JUN 23] OK - who remembers a project called Spinning Gold? It was to be a movie about Neil Bogart and Casablanca starring Justin Timberlake (among others.)  Well, it's been so long since we've heard anything about it that I was fairly sure that it was shelved.  Well, the project is NOT shelved - in fact they start production in July.  Justin Timberlake isn't in it anymore, but they have Broadway actor Jeremy Jordan playing Neil. You can check out most of the rest of the cast here, but I'll warn you now all they say about Donna is that a "top young singer" will be cast in the role.

[JUN 23] Bruce Sudano fans - check out his full length interview for the ArtistFirst Radio Network. And then if you want to hear some music check out Bruce live on the couch: It Took A Long Time To Get Here.

[JUN 23] Johnnyswim fans - they have added Live On The Green in Nashville to their list of dates. The event runs from August 29 to September 1. Check out the event website for the full lineup, schedule and ticket info.

[JUN 23] That brings us to YouTube.  First up is a rare clip of Donna singing Last Dance on Dick Clark's Live Wednesday 1978. If I recall, that episode was actually pre-empted by the World Series baseball game. (Or something like that.  I remember being excited that Donna was going to be on Prime time TV and then it didn't air - at least not by me.  (Remember kids, that was back in the olden days when we couldn't get OnDemand streaming and none of our dinosaurs had wifi.  LOL) Speaking of Dick Clark and 1978, here's the edited version of Donna hosting American Bandstand. (Wouldn't it be cool if the whole version of that show came out one day?) Then we have Donna's 1978 interview with Rona Barrett, A Man Like You like on the Midnight Special (1978), Last Dance (and Donna talking about TGIF) from the Midnight Special, and I Feel Love from that same show.

[JUN 16] Happy Sunday all and happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!  Let's start with the musical today. Summer: The Musical has added Durham, NC (February 25 to March 1, 2020 at the Durham Performing Arts Center) and Washington DC (July 22 to August 2, 2020 at the National Theatre) to the national tour.  For tickets to those (or any other stop on the tour) head to the musical's website.

[JUN 16] In the Donna is everywhere category... there is a museum in the Netherlands called the Philips Museum.  It's dedicated to the history of the Philips company from it's early days in the late 19th century making lightbulbs, through it's growth into a major company that makes a heck of a lot more things - including Philips Records.  In one display, they show off a record player and to round out the display, they have a couple of record albums displayed with it. One of those albums is Bad Girls.  :-)

[JUN 16] Bruce Sudano fans - he just posted a new lyric video on Facebook for his song Your World Now (from 21st Century World).

[JUN 16] Johnnyswim fans - the duo are still out there on the road working their butts off.  Check here for dates and check out their Instagram for pics from the tour. Also,  on their Touring Toddler YouTube channel, they have added a couple more videos of Joaquin and friends exploring a couple of cities on the tour.

[JUN 16] That brings us to YouTube. It's Father's Day so let's go with that theme tonight. First up, Donna singing Papa Can You Hear Me.  Then we have an interview with Donna and her parents. Then we have a couple of clips of Donna with Bruce (the father of her kids)... On The Radio (unplugged) and  Worth The Wait (live).

[JUN 9] Greetings all! First things first - if you donated to my MS Walk this year, you can expect a little package from me in the near future - maybe as soon as tomorrow depending on how far away from you you live.

[JUN 9] First up - NME has posted their list of the 20 Best Disco Songs of all time. It's a rather unusual list - they  don't automatically throw in Gloria Gaynor or the Bee Gees.  They actually take a deeper look into the genre.  And the list starts with - you guessed it - I Feel Love.  :-)

[JUN 9] Stereogum has just a list of  8 Memorable Covers of The Queen Of Disco, Donna Summer.  Some of them may be ones you are already familiar with like Blondie's version of I Feel Love,  or Dusty Springfield's Sometimes Live Butterflies.  But here's one I never expected - Shooter Jennings cover of Born To Die. I have to wonder how a country boy found such a deep early Donna cut?   :-) You can read more about the project here.  Or you can read the movie treatment here (in PDF format.)

[JUN 9] Now here is something a little..... um... different. Apparently back in 1979 Casablanca and Marvel thought about collaborating on a film project (that ultimately never happened.)  The plan was to simultaneously release a film, album and comic all based on a character called The Dazzler. Among other interesting casting choices (Bo Derek, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, KISS and  Village People), the film would have has Cher (as the Witch Queen) facing off against Donna (the Queen Of Fire).

[JUN 9] On to something more serious for all you Bruce Sudano fans.  Bruce is live on his couch again - this time with a work in progress called See You When I Get There.  I think it's a song we can all certainly relate to, about missing those we have lost.

[JUN 9] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Since tonight is Tony night, let's look back at Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  So here is the cast performing at last year's awards. And here they are performing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Then we have some rehearsal clips some show clips, a clip of LaChanze singing Friends Unknown, and a short clip of Last Dance.

[JUN 2] Happy Sunday all - and Happy Pride Month! It's a new month so it's time for a new Summer Fever Pick. This month we look at Donna's musicals. And if you have seen that page before, go see it again because there have been a few updates since the last time it was posted.

[JUN 2] So there is no Donna news at all..... nope none at all.... UNLESS - you could could a track escaping from the vault!   :-D  Cast your mind back to 2008 when we were all eagerly awaiting the release of Crayons. The original track list included a song called Run With It.  By the time the album actually came out, that song had been replaced with Fame (The Game). Well, this week somehow Run With It sneaked out of the vault and now we can all hear it.

[JUN 2] Boston - don't forget you have the 6th annual Donna Summer Roller Disco Party coming up on the 21st. They always have tons of great music and lots of fun for the whole family, so if you will be in the Boston area that day, check it out.

[JUN 2] In the Donna is everywhere category - well, in name at least - designer Fabrizio Viti is now designing handbags.  His first one is called the Donna bag, after our Donna.  :-)

[JUN 2] In the I wish Donna was still here category,  A YouTuber named Steve posted a video mini-tour of the Harpeth Hills Cemetery in Tennessee.  The majority of the video is focusedon the Sudano plots.  If that is something you'd like to see, it's here. Of course if you are not into seeing the grave, then move on to the next item for something more fun.  :-)

[JUN 2] Once upon a time, some crazy webmaster (well she wasn't a webmaster then the web wasn't invented yet!  LOL) - well, she used to record interviews and things off the TV since vcrs weren't a thing yet either. (Yes, I am OLD!  lol) As it so happens, this webmaster found one of those tapes and by some miracle it actually still plays! She digitized it this week and you can hear the result on SoundCloud. (If that link doesn't work for you, try this one to my Google drive. I think there might be a region problem with Soundcloud.) There are a few interview clips in that file including the rebroadcast of the first time I ever saw Donna on the Tonight Show.  Also includes are  clips from The History Of Rock & Roll, most of the interview with Tom Snyder (the show where the videos of Cold Love & The Wanderer came from), WNBC's Saturday Night Special, and another Tonight Show.  All were recorded in 1981, but the Tonight Shows were originally broadcast before that.

[JUN 2] And I think that brings us to YouTube.  In honor of the Summer Fever Pick - let's do some Donna songs from musicals.  First up, Someone To Watch Over Me  (from Crazy For You), If There Is Music There (from the unreleased  Ordinary Girl), and My Life (also from Ordinary Girl.) Then we have Don't Rain On My Parade (from Funny Girl),  der Wasserman (from Haare),  and I Will Live For Love  (from the unreleased Dreamway Express).

[MAY 26]  Happy Sunday all!  It's Memorial Day weekend here in the US which is the official start of our summer (or do I mean Summer?  ;-) ) season here. It is also a time to remember all the military personnel  who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. To the families of the lost - I say thank you, and you will not be forgotten.

[MAY 26] On to the news. In the Donna's music is everywhere, TV host James Cordon did one of his carpool karaoke segments recently - this time with Celine Dion.  At about the 2:15 mark Celine spontaneously  bursts out with a couple of bars of On The Radio.  Some of you may remember that James Cordon also did a segment with Barbra Streisand a while ago where they did a little Enough Is Enough.

[MAY 26] Bruce Sudano fans - he's feeling better and celebrating that with a new edition of Live On The Couch. It's a new song called For The Sake Of Humanity and you can see it on Facebook.

[MAY 26] Moving on to Johnnyswim - they performed on The Today Show the other day and you can watch it online. The song they did was Bridges from the new album Moonlight. And don't forget, the duo is still on tour so make sure you catch them while you can!

[MAY 26] Also in Johnnyswim tour news - as you know they set up a new Instagram and blog called The Touring Toddler to share their experiences  touring with the kids. Well, they just added a YouTube channel too featuring Joaquin and Friends in their adventures in the various cities on the tour.

[MAY 26] That brings us to YouTube. Let's do some interviews for a change.  First up, Donna and Dick Clark on Good Morning America 1986. Then we have Donna's interview with Alan Thicke,  clips from Donna's 1979 appearance on 20/20,  a late 80s interview with Jacob Dahlin,  Donna's 1989 interview with Arsenio Hall,  a 1978 interview with Johnny Carson, and a 2008 interview for On Time TV.

[MAY 19] Happy Sunday all! Can you believe it's been 7 years since we lost Donna? 7 years! Where does the time go?  I posted this on Facebook on May 17 and I'll post it here for you now. It's my favorite clip of Donna. She's live with Barry Manilow singing Could It Be Magic and it looks like they are having so much fun! I can't watch it without smiling! I have tried to keep it my policy to remember Donna with smiles instead of tears. I think that's better for me personally, and I think Donna would definitely approve.   :-)

[MAY 19] Speaking of May 17.... David Foster recently did a Facebook Live where he was asked about Donna.  You can watch it here (skip to about the 28 minute mark if you only want to hear the Donna part). For those who can't see it, basically he says she was a great friend of his for 32 years and that he believes was the only non-family member to speak at her funeral. But even he hadn't been told about her illness because she kept it to just immediate family. He said she went out on her own terms and that he still thinks about her all the time.

[MAY 19] On YouTube, The Honest Vocal Coach takes a look at Donna's live version of Last Dance - one of Donna's final performances.  Her impression summed up in one line: "Absolutely awesome - that is how you do it!"

[MAY 19] In the Donna is everywhere category, the LA Times did a profile on photographer Bruce Talamon last December. In it, he mentions that a session he did with Donna in 1977 became one of the most important ones of his career. (They also show a photo from the session.)

[MAY 19] Moving on to the musical, Summer picked up 10 NAACP Theater Award nominations. ( I believe the NAACP Theater Awards have a different eligibility timeframe than other awards such as the Tonys.  That's why these nominations came now instead of last year.) The awards the show is up for are: Best Choreography, Best Costumes, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Music Director, Best Playwright, Best Director of a Musical, Best Producer, Best Lighting, Best Set Design and Best Sound.)  Congrats to the company of Summer and good luck!

[MAY 19] That will bring us to YouTube.  This week I am going to take a trip down memory lane.  Let's start with Mimi's Song from The Tonight Show - the performance that started it all for me. Then we have the 1980 special - the first time I saw Donna in anything other than a guest shot on a talk show. Next is Cold Love and The Wanderer from Tom Snyder's show - the only time I ever saw Wanderer songs performed live back when the album came out. Next is the 1983 A Hot Summer Night With Donna - the only full concert I ever got to see until the mid 90s. (That VHS got a lot of play for many years!  LOL) Then we have the 1995 A&E Biography - the first long form TV profile I saw, and then we jump ahead to 1999's Live & More Encore. Her performance of MacArthur Park still makes me grin like a fool.  :-) We follow that with Love Is The Healer from Divas 2000 where Donna stole the show!  And finally, I did my MS Walk this week at Jones Beach. And every time I go there I can't help but remember all the times I saw Donna perform at the amphitheater. So this last video is Donna's 2008 Jones Beach show from the Crayons tour. (You know, I haven't seen a show there since... they haven't had anyone I particularly wanted to see...  :-(  )

[MAY 19] Finally, as I mentioned above - my MS Walk was yesterday and you guys ROCK!  You contributed over $1000 to fight MS, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have a few little trinkets to send out as thank yous, and I will get to that soon.  :-)

[MAY 12]  Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! He's a fun fact for you - Donna Summer is the mother of 13. No that's not a typo.  But I'm also cheating.  The mother of 13 is a horse named Donna Summer who has given birth to 13 racehorses over her breeding career. (Rumor has it - she can't sing a note...   lol)

[MAY 12] If you want some tunes to keep you company while you check out this update, head over to Mixcloud where DJ Tom Ragu has put together a 104 minute mix of all Donna Summer (the diva, not the racehorse. ;-) )

[MAY 12]  Calling Boston - the annual Donna Summer Roller Disco Party will be held on June 21 in City Hall Plaza. (Can you believe it's the 6th annual one? ) They have DJ Vince 1 scheduled to play all your favorite Donna and disco tunes. O'Mega Red (the host of the event) will be performing in tribute to Donna, and of course you never know which members of Donna's family you might run in to.  It's always a big fun street party! If you have Facebook, you can follow the event here.

[MAY 12] Bruce Sudano fans - well, Bruce has planned to  be at Fridays Creek Winery yesterday.  But, unfortunately he caught whatever respiratory thing is going around, so the show had to be postponed.  (Instead of A Glass Of Red and the Sunset, maybe it's a glass of Nyquil and the sunset? LOL )The new date has yet to be announced - in the meantime, feel better Bruce!

[MAY 12] Johnnyswim fans - they are STILL touring! And if you want to see something really fun (and different), check out their new TheTouringToddler instagram page. Among other things, they currently have a video of Joaquin giving a backstage tour of the Ryman Auditorium. (Look closely - Johnnyswim has inherited one of Donna's old touring cases!) The tour is an "instagram story" so it won't stay up long.

[MAY 12] My annual Walk MS event is next weekend and thanks to your generosity I will be wearing my new Donna shirt! If you still want to donate, my link is here.  I am also asking that everybody pray to whatever God/gods/spirits/imaginary creatures/whatever you believe in that we have nice weather on Saturday.  My team is CVan and CVan herself if coming up for the walk. She did it last year and it poured rain on us! This year we are hoping to stay dry!  LOL (And while you are at it - put a hex on my employer who is making my partner in crime work that day! She usually walks with me so we can harass people with our cameras together!)

[MAY 12] On to Youtube! What so we want to watch this week? Oh let's go back to 1979.  So will start with a concert in Japan. Then we have the 1980 TV Special (it was filmed in 1979 so it counts.  LOL)  Moving on there is Donna's 1979 performance of Bad Girls on Johnny Carson,  a 1979 performance of Last Dance Mimi's Song from the 1979 Music For Unicef concert, and a fan video for Journey To The Centre Of Your Heart.

[MAY 5] Greetings all! It's a new month so it's time for a new Summer Fever Pick (a couple of days late...)  This month we celebrate all the colors of Crayons! Oh and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

[MAY 5] Bruce Sudano fans, don't forget that you can catch him live at Fridays Creek Winery this Saturday May 11 in Owings, MD.  Doors open at 5PM and  who knows? If you ask nicely, he might share A Glass Of Red and The Sunset with you.  ;-)  Tickets are available here.

[MAY 5] Johnnyswim fans - yes the pair on on their annual tour and yes, you better get your tickets before they sell out! But they have something new going on too. There is a new blog and Instagram page called TheTouringToddler where Amanda shares her tips on touring with the kids (and where you can see more cute pictures of Joaquin and Luna). So if you are a parent looking for tips on how to travel with your little ones without going insane - check it out.

[MAY 5] And speaking of Johnnyswim - last week's New Music Monday clip was Say What You Will - live from the garage of course.  :-)

[MAY 5] That brings us to YouTube and this week I am going to do something a little different. This week I am featuring unusual covers of Donna's music. First up, a choral cover of MacArthur Park by the Boston Gay Men's Chorus. (As an added nice touch - they have a woman there signing the song as well.) Then we have an actual ASL cover of Last Dance from Long Beach Pride 2012. Moving on to a different style, we have a classical instrumental cover of I Feel Love by Cherry Mint Koala, we have a salsa version of  On The Radio by Lucy Grau,  we have a jazzy cover of Hot Stuff by Judith Owen, we have a (mostly) orchestral cover of Hot Stuff by the Beogradska Filharmonija, we have a "techno acoustic" I Feel Love cover by violinist Vanessa Mae,  and finally an electronic cover of Love To Love You by Ry Jays. I don't expect you guys to fall in love with all (or even any) of these covers, but I just find in fun to occasionally explore other people's takes on Donna's songs.

[MAY 5] Finally - my MS Walk is rapidly approaching!  If you would like to donate, there is still time! My link is here. Thanks to all who have already supported me, and to those who have always supported me over the years!

 

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[JUN 23]

On returning to the US after living in Germany:

"[It was] frightening, to say the least. Even going home to Boston was a shock. People couldn't understand me, a black, speaking German. I really didn't get used to it until last spring when I broke up with my German boyfriend." And on living in California: "California will probably never seem like home to me. Sometimes I get bored riding down the beautiful streets of LA. I know it sounds crazy, but I just want to go to New York and see people... suffer. I know that there's another kind of world that I don't get to see, that I'm protected from, but I'm aware of it because I grew up there. Sometimes this is like being displaced from the real world."

- Donna Summer, Rolling Stone, March 23, 1978

Summer Fever Pick
June 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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