May 17, 2012


R.I.P - Donna Summer

Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco has passed away. She was only 63 years old.

I must say I am shocked. I have always been a big fan but, I didn’t know she had been battling cancer. Apparently, it was public knowledge to some degree, but not being a Top 40 star and on the nitely entertainment shows like she once was, it was relatively unknown by many, me included. Which got me thinking.

In this hyper-connected world where news hits the farthest reaches of the globe as soon as it’s made and a piece of news is a blip on the wall of your social network of choice, people can easily miss important news, but worse still become desensitized to the deeper meaning of things, fail to realize their impact it goes by so quickly.

I won’t wax poetic about how that needs to change, it won’t, or that you need to do something about it, it never applies to you but, I will say one thing to those who are too young to have experienced Donna Summer firsthand and to the newcomers in the scene in an attempt to put things into some sort of perspective.

If this here dance music world we love so much is indeed a family like so many of us are fond of saying to each other in the clubs and sing about in our songs, then realize one thing, Donna Summer would be the equivalent of House music’s favorite, most beautiful Aunt.

Why not mother? I’m not sure myself, or maybe it’s because I feel Africa itself gets that title, but for me, and I don’t mean to belittle her in anyway, I mean, she IS the Queen of Disco, Aunt fits perfectly. You know that stylish, beautiful, creative, mysterious Aunt some of us have been fortunate to have. Perhaps the one our parent’s didn’t want us chilling with alone for fear she’d warp our minds with some inappropriate music or something. I mean, this is the woman who once had the idea -and the audacity- to want to be recorded moaning, as if reaching orgasm, as part of the song. Giorgio Moroder, one of the best Disco producers ever, agreed. They turned off the lights, got comfy and began recording. Donna allowed the music to overtake her and they recorded her having 22 “simulated” orgasms! The song was “Love To Love You Baby,” now a Disco classic.

Donna Summer didn’t do this cuz she was a sex symbol by the way, it was her dedication to her art, she literally gave herself to the music.

Not to sound like some sort of prude, but Donna Summers is family and if you are serious about dance music you need to learn about her, you need to respect your elders.

Donna Summer’s music is firmly established in the soundtrack of my life, and many of my contemporaries, her timeless beauty ingrained in our minds, her voice still echoing in our hearts. She was an amazing artist and by all accounts an even better person and she will be deeply missed.






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