Sunday, May 20, 2012

Donna Summer 1948 - 2012


This has been the hardest and most devastating loss I've experienced from any performer who has left us so far.  I'm not sure if is the shock of her untimely death at only 63 or just simply realizing how much this legendary icon has been such an influence in my life.  I have been going around in circles deciding what to write and can't even find the words to express the love I have for Donna Summer.  I remember hearing for the first time the historical and radical "Love To Love You Baby" coming from my mother's record player as I giggled silly at her orgasmic moans and strange sounding tempo.  It was not until the age of fourteen in 1981 when I fully became enchanted by her magic. During that time she already held the indisputable title of Queen of Disco and was already transforming her music and crossing over into a more pop, rock, experimental, R&B, electro funk and new wave sound.  I was in the middle of nowhere outside Managua, Nicaragua teaching the "campesinos" how to read during the early years of the Sandinista government when a fellow "brigadista" had the cassette version of On The Radio: Greatest Hits Volume I & II.  We would listen to the record over and over and act out every epic song in it for months in my humble room and I knew then my life would never be the same again.  I had no clue what she was saying on those songs and worse yet, Disco was officially and stupidly declared over by mass culture by then and went underground again.  Nevertheless, I was entranced by what came out of that cassette player and was mesmerized like everyone else by the warmth, purity, love, sensuality, soul, magic, edginess and clarity of that mezzo soprano voice.  Jellybean Benitez put it perfectly on CNN recently when he said "how she was always accepting of club culture and her songs were about love, falling in love, being in love, enjoying life... since disco before her, was all about 'get up get down let's boogie, let's dance'...she brought something different and unique...and that's why her songs are still played today and still putting smiles to people on the dance floors".   Also, I have to say it  has been extremely difficult to choose which songs to include here that could do justice from her extensive list of brilliant songs and mixes that surpassed and defied any genre.   Her incredible talent, amazing live performances, the soulful beauty and clarity of her voice that actually became even more powerful as she aged always remain true.  I could probably devote a whole blog of her music alone.  In this case, I rather let the music speak for itself. She had an amazing life and a legacy that will continue to inspire generations to come.  My heart goes out to her husband Bruce Sudano, their daughters Brooklyn and Amanda as well as daughter from a previous marriage, Mimi.  I love to love you Donna Summer!

The beginning....


Donna Summer 1948 - 2012

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1 comment:

  1. Am with you brother. Her legacy will last forever. The choir upstairs has just had a very special voice return. x