I was out to lunch with friends today in a restaurant that got no reception but one of my friends got a text saying Donna Summer was dead. Since I didn’t see it for myself or couldn’t confirm it myself I continued having lunch and enjoying a break from what I do every day. Lunch was really a nice time, maybe of the people there were people I used to work with, some are still at the same company, some are unemployed and some have moved on to different jobs. The people who are at my old company are as miserable as the day I left. I don’t know whats better, being in a miserable situation thats extremely stress filled and depressing or being unemployed. You don’t get a paycheck when you are unemployed, but you also don’t have to compromise your dignity agreeing with stupid ideas or be at the mercy of not bright people and their not good ideas. Lunch was fun, it was great to see everyone.
On the subway home I started to think of Donna Summer. Michael Jackson’s death was somewhat of a surprise; Whitney Houston’s was just a matter of time, but Donna Summer was in a category of her own. She predates Madonna, Blondie and all of the successful female stars that followed. She wasn’t the first, before her there was Diana Ross, The Supremes, and others. But Donna Summer was the sound track of the 1970s, the disco era. She had so many songs it was crazy. She had duets with Barbara Streisand, movie sound tracks, and hit after hit after hit. Now, of course, I was a lot younger then so I could feel differently if she was around today releasing these songs. But, back then everything she released was like magic, all of her songs were danceable, fun. When I was in 8th grade every school dance ended with ‘Last Dance.’ She even went into the 80s with good songs which was extremely rare for ‘disco’ acts. Unlike acts today Donna did not have a persona, her personality wasn’t the point. The music, the enjoyment was the point. It was always fun, and still is, hearing one of her songs.
I think Donna paved the way for a female act like Blondie to emerge and be successful, since we were already familiar with female acts. This in turn lead to the Go-Go’s being able to top the charts and have songs that everyone wanted to listen to. And all of this lead up to Madonna, being the fun superstar we all loved watching and listening to. Donna, you will be missed, your songs will live on for eternity and it truly saddens me to know you aren’t around anymore; but you did more to entertain a generation than just about anyone.