Disco Diva Donna Summer Dies [Video]
Devasted. Several of us here at WBKR are just devastated. News has surfaced that disco legend Donna Summer passed away this morning at the age of 63. I grew up in the 1970’s . . . during Summer’s heyday . . . and her music was most definitely part of the fabric of our young lives.
Donna Summer was the “Queen of Disco” and disco RULED the popular airwaves. Each year, during Thruston School’s Fall Festival, Mr. Melhiser’s music room was turned into a big discoteque and we all truly thought we were “Hot Stuff!” I will never forget taking my friend Arlene by the hand, standing with her under the disco ball, and spinning at the speed of light to “MacArthur Park.”
I also remember, vivdly, going to Kuester’s Department Store on Carter Road and buying a Donna Summer 45. She was on the Casablanca label and all their records looked the same. I accidentally picked up and paid for a KISS record thinking it was Donna Summer. I liked KISS too . . . but, come on! I was there to get my Summer fix.
And, now . . . my Summer fix is gone. She has danced the proverbial “The Last Dance.” I now regret, more than ever, the fact that I never had the chance to see the Queen of Disco in concert. I had one opportunity. In fact, I had 5th row seats to see her at Freedom Hall during the Kentucky State Fair. But she canceled that concert due to a lack of ticket sales.
How ironic is that? Interest in Donna Summer had long faded by the mid 90’s. But, those of us who grew up listening to Donna “On The Radio” NEVER lost interest and never stopped being loyal fans. The problem was . . . there just weren’t enough of us die-hards left. And here we are again with the sad irony that faces most entertainers. Fame and fortune are relatively fleeting. The Queen of Disco one day . . . will be the gal who can’t sell enough tickets to warrant a show the next. And, typically, it’s only in death such entertainers achieve their “icon” status.
Donna Summer was . . . is . . . an icon. Pardon the pun, but she worked hard for the money. In an interview once, Donna said she always wanted to be a singer. That was her childhood dream. But Donna says she could never really sing. She claims that one day . . . she stood in her bedroom . . . and literally begged God to give her a singing voice. She claims she prayed and prayed and prayed for it. And, after her prayer, she opened her mouth and started to sing. And that big, rich booming voice started to bellow out. Those of us who had the privilege of hearing it, singing along with it, and dancing to it at the Thruston Elementary Fall Festival are so grateful her prayers were answered. Her voice helped define a generation, snagged her five Grammy Awards, and made her a 2012 nominee for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Sadly, today, we “Dim All The Lights” on the life of another music legend. I am reminded of the lyrics to “MacArthur Park” (which, honestly, is a song I never really understood). Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don’t think that I can take it. Cause it took so long to bake it. And I’ll never have that recipe again. Oh no!
“Oh no” is right. Like I said before, we’re devastated.