Friday, May 25, 2012

Exclusive Donna Summer Weekend “On the Radio”


By Joett (Published in Business Times 25 May 2012) -- We lost the Queen Of Disco Donna Summer to lung cancer on Thursday the 17th of May 2012. I for one grew up listening to Donna Summer in the 70s, she made disco hip and cool back in the day and we all danced like crazy to her music. Her death—to a lot of us who grew up listening to her music through the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s—has robbed us of someone we held dear to our hearts. However, through us, her legacy shall live on. I was fortunate to have seen her live on stage in London. What an amazing entertainer she was. All the wonderful memories are flooding back to me now. Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on December 31, 1948, she was aged 63 at the time of her death. She was given a private burial in Nashville, USA on Wednesday the 23rd of May.

Paradoxically, a week before she died, I’d placed an order for the Donna Summer Gold compilation album from the UK with intention to special-feature it on my radio show Boogie on Times 100.5 FM, a show that airs 6pm Sundays. And so last weekend, as a prelude to a full Donna Summer weekend to follow, I opened the show with a couple of Donna Summer tracks (I Feel Love and Last Dance), and promised to dedicate the next show on Sunday 27th May as a full two-hour tribute to Donna Summer; and to invite listeners to request their favorite Donna Summer classics and ALSO to make dedications to friends, family and loved ones.

Unlike many stars of disco who faded as trends turned the word "disco" into a pejorative, Summer grew beyond the genre on albums like 1980's "The Wanderer," whose rock-dance sound would influence on Michael Jackson's "Thriller" two years later. She had one of her biggest hits, and a memorable video, with "She Works Hard for the Money" in 1983, a tune that became an anthem for equality.

‘She Works Hard for the Money’

In an interview Summer gave several years ago, she explains the song was about a woman who worked as a bathroom attendant handing out mints, mouthwash and towels to women who had dashed into a bathroom somewhere ritzy to freshen up. The woman was so tired, but still working. Of course, until you heard that interview, you thought the lyrics were about street walkers. But Summer had explained:

“I was at a Grammys party ... and I went to the ladies room and on my way in I saw this little old lady sitting at the end of the bar. And she was asleep,” Summer said in an interview with “Nightline.” “She was the bathroom attendant. And at that same moment, a group of ladies walked into the room and started spraying their hair and doing all these things. And my first thought was ‘God, she works hard for her money, that lady.’ And then I thought, ‘Man, that’s a song. So I went and grabbed my manager and we went back into the bathroom and started writing the song on a piece of toilet paper.”

One of that era's most amusing stories centers on a duet Summer sang with Barbra Streisand in 1979, "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)." Streisand was reluctant to sing the disco hit but her son Jason, then 13, insisted that his mother sing it with his favorite artist. While singing in facing stools in a California studio, Summer didn't breathe correctly and, while trying to hold a note to match Streisand's, she momentarily blacked out and hit the floor. Streisand, the consummate perfectionist, kept singing the note straight through to completion.

Summer had recently been in meetings at her Los Angeles home with producer Jay Landers. They had planned to work on an album of duets with contemporary dance acts she had influenced and, with Barry Manilow, an album of songs devoted to the Detroit music scene.

"She had the regal quality of a singer who transcends the genre they are best known for - a fancy way of saying she could really sing the phone book," said Landers, a senior vice president at Universal. "We planned to invite some of the leading dance contemporary artists like Lady Gaga, Pink, Katy Perry, Madonna and others who Donna had cut a path for. I was totally floored when I read the news because she looked great and was in great spirits."

Though Summer came to prominence just as disco was emerging from New York nightclubs in the mid-1970s, and came to define the glittery era with a string of No. 1 hits including "MacArthur Park," "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls," she was first inspired by Janis Joplin. Her debut album in 1974, "Lady of the Night," revealed her rock roots. Though released only in Europe, the album paired her with Giorgio Moroder, a producer and songwriter with whom she would make musical history.

She is gone too soon, but her songs, the sound track of our lives keeps playing, stuck in the groove of life. Coming up on retro radio show Boogie on Times 100.5 FM this Sunday 27th May from 6pm till 8pm East Africa Time, is a magnificent tapestry of Donna Summer hits spanning four decades—the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s.
Boogie Playlist on Times 100.5 FM from 6pm 27th May 2012

Boogie is a two hour radio show. On this particular day, I’ve got over two and a half hours worth of Donna Summer songs to play: 16 tracks from Disc One and 18 tracks from Disc Two. This means, the only way I’m going to crack this is to have you—the listener, help me select the playlist for the show. And based on your selections and SMS votes, I’d love to be able to announce the TOP FIVE most requested Donna Summer songs at the end of the program. On Boogie You Select this weekend, I put the listener completely in charge. Be sure to tune in to Times 100.5 FM from 6pm Sunday East Africa Time, Or Listen live on stream at timesfm.co.tz For International listeners, view World Time Zone Map for current time in your area.

Boogie Playlist on Times 100.5 FM from 6pm 27th May 2012

Boogie is a two hour radio show. On this particular day, I’ve got over two and a half hours worth of Donna Summer songs to play: 16 tracks from Disc One and 18 tracks from Disc Two. This means, the only way I’m going to crack this is to have you—the listener, help me select the playlist for the show. And based on your selections and SMS votes, I’d love to be able to announce the TOP FIVE most requested Donna Summer songs at the end of the program. On Boogie You Select this weekend, I put the listener completely in charge. Be sure to tune in to Times 100.5 FM from 6pm Sunday, or listen live on stream at www.timesfm.co.tz

The following is a list of songs you’re welcome to select in advance via SMS to 0715 364 045. Donna Summer Gold Compilation Album Disc One: Love To Love You Baby [Single Version] 1975, Could It Be Magic [Single Version] 1976, Try Me, I Know We Can Make It [Single Version] 1976, Spring Affair [Single Version] 1976, Love's Unkind 1977, I Feel Love 1977, I Love You 1978, Last Dance 1978, MacArthur Park [Promotional Single Version] 1978, Heaven Knows [Single Version] 1978, Hot Stuff [12'' Single Version] 1979, Bad Girls 1979, Dim All The Lights 1979, Sunset People 1979, No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)-Feat. Barbra Streisand 1979, On The Radio 1979.

Disc Two: The Wanderer 1980, Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger) 1982, State Of Independence 1982, She Works Hard For The Money 1983, Unconditional Love 1983, There Goes My Baby 1984, Supernatural Love 1984, Dinner With Gershwin 1987, All Systems Go 1987, This Time I Know It's for Real 1989, I Don't Wanna Get Hurt 1989, Love's About To Change My Heart [7'' Mix] 1989,  When Love Cries [7'' Mix] 1991, Carry On 1992, Melody Of Love (Wanna Be Loved) 1994, I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro) 1999, Dream-A-Lot's Theme (I Will Live for Love) 2003, You're So Beautiful [Tony Moran Edit] 2003.

Thanks for visiting my blog, catch up with you on the show!

JOETT
Radio Presenter, Recording Artist & Vocal Coach

Download Joett tracks from iTunes, Amazon MP3, TuneCore.
Buy Joett CDs from A Novel Idea Bookstores Dar, Zanzibar, Arusha.
Nationwide CD distribution via Business Times, Majira and SPOTIstarehe.
Follow me on Twitter
Become a fan on Facebook 
Follow Joett On Facebook
Follow Boogie TZ On Facebook

1 comment: