DJ Polished Solid takes time out this week to remember the voice and music of the legendary LaDonna Adrian Gaines (1948-2012). To say that Donna Summer was the voice of decade would definitely be an understatement. Her sound was one of beauty, technique and passion. She will be sorely missed. Many thanks to DJ Polished Solid for putting this wonderful tribute together. Make sure to checkout DJ Polished each and every Sunday from 2pm to 4pm on her show No Turn Unstoned right here.
We all need it. Especially when music is involved. Music is a science of listening and reproducing, sometimes taking symbols off a page or just reproducing what you hear in your head. The only way to become adept is you have to be quiet from time to time to truly hear what’s going on. I’ve been quiet on the writing side and on the opinion side for a few weeks because I really needed some focus like we see in the above clip. For me it was/is a realization that there are far too many out here on this musical road (both the creators of the music and the critics) who have not been quiet enough or humble enough to sit underneath a master teacher to acquire the skill and spirit to take the pebble which begins the musical journey.
Lots of master musicians passing away and if you look closely at all of their lives, they all had their “quiet time” where they worked day in and day out to gain the confidence and courage to reach for that elusive pebble. I salute them and anyone else who arrived on the road in this manner. The rest of you who are still talking loud and not saying anything… please be quiet and take a seat.
The passing of Ms. LaDonna Adrian Gaines better known as the “Queen of Disco”, Donna Summer has been a great loss to many. Among those in mourning for their friend are Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin. Here’s what they had to say regarding the recent news:
I will miss her very much. My love goes out to her family. I’m here for them. Donna and I had a friendship for over 30 years. She is one of the few black women I could speak German with and she is one of the few friends I had in this business.
So shocking to hear about the passing of Donna Summer. In the 70s, she reigned over the disco era and kept the disco jumping. Who will forget “Last Dance.” A fine performer and a very nice person. She was a delight to the industry. She and Giorgio Moroder made sales and musical history in the 70s.
According to TMZ, it has been reported that Summer was battling lung cancer. Several sources believe she contracted it by inhaling toxic particles after the 9/11 attack in New York City. While reports have not been completely confirmed of how or when the singer contracted cancer, we know she will be dearly missed. A staple of the 70′s and 80′s dance scene, Summers was best known for hits like “She Works Hard for the Money”, “Bad Girls” and “Last Dance”. Her achievements include three Multi-Platinum albums, six American Music Awards, 5 Grammy Awards and named the first female African American to receive an MTV Video Music Awards nomination. In later years, Summer continued to rock the top ten hits on Billboard’s Dance Chart with hits like “I’m a Fire“, “Stamp Your Feet”, and “Fame (The Game)”. In addition, Summer also performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, in honor of United States President Barack Obama in 2009. Though the Queen may be silenced in voice, her influence will continue to speak through the pulsing genre of dance and pop she proudly built.
We’re going way back on this one…I mean way back, all the way to 1839. Yes the inspiration for this hit recording for both Barry Manilow and Donna Summer comes from Frédéric Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28 specifically No. 20 in C minor. So just to set the record straight Hip-Hop producers are not the only ones who “sample”, quite to the contrary there is a very long history of re-interpolation of Classical and other forms of music. We wear our influences on our sleeves and Barry Manilow being a classically trained pianist well… sometimes the standard repertoire just happens to sneak into pop music.