DiscoverPop PantheonDONNA SUMMER (with Black Girl Songbook's Danyel Smith)
DONNA SUMMER (with Black Girl Songbook's Danyel Smith)

DONNA SUMMER (with Black Girl Songbook's Danyel Smith)

Update: 2022-09-15
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Author of Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop and host of The Ringer podcast Black Girl Songbook, Danyel Smith, joins DJ Louie to explore the work, impact and legacy of the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer. Louie and Danyel begin with Donna’s early life as the eccentric Black girl in her Boston community during the 1950s and ‘60s, her move to Germany in 1968 to star in the musical Hair which eventually led to a star-crossed meeting with producers Giorgio Morodor and Pete Bellotte who would go on to be her primary collaborators, and their breakthrough with the radically orgasmic disco anthem “Love to Love You Baby” in 1975. Louie and Danyel then cover Donna, Giorgio and Pete’s ambitious run of concept albums through the mid ‘70s, their seismic innovations on 1977’s “I Feel Love”, considered the first electronic dance song, Donna’s status as the poster child for both the music and aesthetics of the disco movement thanks in part to her role in the film Thank God It’s Friday and its luscious Oscar-winning smash “Last Dance”, her magnum opus, 1979’s Bad Girls which set the template for the modern pop event album, and how she managed to outrun the sudden decline of disco thanks to 1983’s economical new-wave anthem “She Works Hard for the Money”. They conclude with Donna’s commercial decline in the latter 1980s, her Born-Again Christianity and controversial statements about the AIDS Epidemic and the gay community, her absolutely massive impact on the sound and look of pop stardom and how her legacy- and that of the movement she defined- has evolved over time. Finally, Louie and Danyel rank Donna Summer in the official Pop Pantheon. 


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DONNA SUMMER (with Black Girl Songbook's Danyel Smith)

DONNA SUMMER (with Black Girl Songbook's Danyel Smith)

DJ Louie XIV