Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank You Donna Summer...

Okay, you will please bear with me as I post an unusual post for me.  Usually I post pictures of vintage finds either at our Antique Mall, a show that we did or inspiration from other dealers.  But today I am taking poetic license and ramble a bit about Donna Summer.  Weird I know!

I was shocked to hear that Donna Summer has passed away from cancer.  I had not even heard that she was sick.  Apparently it was a very well kept secret as most in the industry did not know.  After the initial shock wore off, I was surprised to feel a bit down the rest of the day.  I am not a celebrity worshipper.  I certainly have singers and actors that I enjoy and am a fan of their work....but I would never approach a star for an autograph or even make an attempt to get close.  I have never written a fan letter and don't follow any of them on Twitter.  So I was puzzled why Donna Summer's death had left me feeling so sad.

As her death seemed to weigh heavy on my mind,  I pulled up videos of her on YouTube last night and watched her perform some of my favorite songs.  As I was glued to my computer and kept clicking on the next song, I found tears rolling from my eyes.  REALLY!  After several videos, it finally struck me that I was not necessarily mourning the death of a celebrity, I was in some weird way mourning the  loss of my childhood. 

Every song brought back a flood of memories.  Donna Summer's music was a staple of my high school years.  A time where I had no mortgage payment, was not worried about a 401K and did not have to grocery was just always in the pantry!  As I listened to Hot Stuff and Bad Girls, my mind raced with memories of my Grand Prix full of friends on a Saturday night, with the windows open and us cruising the roads between the Sonic and Gibson's Parking lot.  These songs blaring on the radio and us dancing and singing to the top of our lungs as we drove.  No worries except scraping together a few bucks for gas.

Last Dance closed out every high school dance!  You were sweating in your polyester clothes and tired from the night of socializing, gossiping and dancing....but you knew this song symbolized the end of the evening.  You quickly grabbed your date, wrapped your hands around their waste and danced slow for just a minute....then Donna would hit her note and the drum would start to pound.  You let go of your date and danced with all you had to that disco beat for the last dance of the evening.

I never really understood the connection that my parents and their generation had with Elvis.  People touring his home, traveling for miles to pay homage on the anniversary of his death....and the passion they held for this man.  I think now I get it.  Elvis represents something for them.  Something innocent, yet daring.  A simpler time, but a rebellion from their parent's values...a coming of age.  His music was new and had a beat that had not been heard before....Elvis' hips and sexual appeal was so daring for his time and the youth flocked to it as a symbol of their independence.  I think this is what Donna Summer was for us.  Her disco beat was new and came at a time when my generation was getting ready to come into adulthood.  We danced to the sounds of her moaning out Love to Love You Baby with reckless I am sure our parents were shaking their heads.
I know I have rambled on and on and I am sure to some it seems trite....but I have come to realize that every time I hear a Donna Summer song (until I am 100 years old), my feet will tap, my body will sway and my mind will go back to a carefree and wonderful time in my life.  I will forever be grateful to Donna Summer for giving me this and she will never die as long as her music is played and a generation of polyester wearing, platform shoe dancing adults smile and remember!   Thank you Donna...RIP.


  1. Absolutely beautiful and touching post my friend, I agree with every single word and was touched in much the same ways as you have shared. Both by her in my teens and by the news of her death now. I loved Donna then and always loved seeing her in interviews later in life. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute to her memory.


  2. I know exactly what you mean Denis. I had a similar reaction a couple of months ago when Davy Jones passed away. Sometimes when I'm down, I listen to music that was popular during my childhood and it perks me up. It's a comfort feeling in a way. I wonder how many times my 67 mustang passed your grand prix cruising between Gibson's and Sonic. We like to make an occasional detour and go behind the library or down Cripple Creek street. A cherry vanilla lime sprite sounds really good about now while listening to K-LUV radio station.

  3. Denis, no apologies, we know exactly what you are talking about. My brother called me with the news and we were both shock, you will think we knew her, in a way we kind of did. They used to teased me about my wild hair in middle school with the "you got Donna Summer hair" which was meant as a tease not a compliment. I always thought of it as pretty. Then her music, we danced to it for a decade. Every disco party, every pub, those were great memories. Her music made us happy. She got layers too, an amazing christian woman and an acomplished artist. Very sad, I hope she is singing in Heaven, she certainly got the pipes.