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Thread started 08/24/15 7:37am

Tontoman22

Donna Summer - the Real trailblazer

Donna Summer was the first black female artist to have her video played in heavy rotation(SWHFTM) on MTV, and the first to have her videos played in consistent heavy rotation on MTV. She was the first female artist to really dominate the pop charts as well. She kick the door down for women to build career's on dance music. But - somehow some of this trailblazing as been attributed to other women like Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston on the web and wiki. WHY ?

[Edited 3/25/17 11:51am]

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Reply #1 posted 08/24/15 8:30am

TheGoldStandar
d

Her "belief system" didn't translate to her core fanbase and the two gradually became more disconnected throughout the 80s and 90s. Sounds familiar.

.

http://www.donna-tribute.com/articles/80/advocate2.htm

.

The Advocate (mid 80s)

Summer and Smoke
by Adam Block

"Donna Summer is not homophobic," a closeted gay executive at her record company insisted recently, sounding terminally exasperated. "She's just a dumb [anatomical expletive deleted]."

Charming, but that wasn't exactly the kind of official response to angry complaints over the lady's public remarks that fervent fans were looking for. They had crowned the pinch-nosed diva the queen of disco back in 1975, when the amyl set owned that music. The lady was gay royalty.

To be fair, Donna Summer never asked to be acclaimed as heroine of the homos, and I don't recall even fanatics looking to her for political leadership or wisdom. Her Moroder/Bellotte hits ("Love To Love You, Baby," "I Feel Love," "Bad Girls" and "Hot Stuff" were divine let's fuck anthems set to relentless disco rhythms. Of course, gay men were pioneers at treating mindless, marathon fucking as a courageous political activity.

In 1980, after five years as a reigning voice of the disco scene, Summer began to take control of her own career. She sued her manager, left her record company, remarried and became a "born-again" Christian. In 1983, touring behind her comeback smash "She Works Hard For The Money," Summer had graduated from the gay discos to suburban arenas. She was also making small talk between numbers. Gay fans followed her to the burbs, and if the shows struck them as careful and gutless, her remarks astonished and enraged many.

There were reports of Summer reminding the crowd, "It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," a line I thought belonged to Anita Bryant. She reportedly told gays in her audience, "I'll pray for you tonight." And when questioned about gay rights, she is reported to have responded, "I've seen the evil homosexuality come out of you people... AIDS is your sin," finally closing, "Now don't get me wrong; God loves you. But not the way you are now."

Some fans were livid. An angry account appeared in the Village Voice. In England, DJ/producer Ian Levine banned her music from Heaven, the popular disco, and called for a total boycott in the British pop press. Summer and her management stonewalled the issue. The aforementioned gay exec proudly claims that he personally "got her to drop that idiotic 'Adam and Steve' crack."

When outspoken gay/socialist trio Bronski Beat covered Summer's "I Feel Love" on their debut LP, the issue resurfaced. My esteemed colleague John Bryant (Male Review) noted once that once Bronski Beat were told of her remarks, they responded in disgust, "Donna Summer is dead," but continued to perform the song. The notion of gay men making the song their own didn't cut much ice with Bryant, who thundered that Summer's royalties from Bronski's version "go to the right-wing Christian Hate Campaign through Summer's donations and promotion." Bryant was appalled to find that DJs ad L.A.'s popular gay discos Probe and Studio One refused to ban her discs. His requests for an interview with Summer went unanswered.

This spring, Lorne Michaels and the other organizers of an AIDS benefit in New York reportedly contacted David Geffen to see if his record company wanted to provide an act for the show. Summer reportedly volunteered but was rejected by organizers because of her by now infamous remarks. That rejection apparently shook Summer from her complacency.

Though Summer declined a request from THE ADVOCATE to be interviewed on the subject, Warner Brothers sent a statement from the singer to both the Village Voice and to our own pop music desk. This was not a retraction, but an apology.

"It is very difficult for me to believe this terrible misunderstanding continues. Since the very beginning of my career, I have had tremendous support and friendship from many in the gay community. It is a source of great concern to me that anything I may have said has cast me as homophobic. My medium of expression is music, all I can ask for is understanding as I feel my true feelings have been misrepresented. As a Christian, I have nothing but love for everyone and I recognize it is not my place to judge others. I believe with all my heart and soul that AIDS is a tragedy for all humankind. A cure must be found and all of us have to do whatever we can to help."

Summer isn't ready to celebrate homosexuality or even condone it. The irony is that so many gays, celebrating their sexuality to her performances, assumed that she, too, rejoiced in it. Her music is very much the property of the people who scored their life to it. They own it as profoundly as she does. But the don't own her, not her religion, her politics nor her royalty checks.

When fans identify with music they adore, and with the artists who make it, that doesn't insure that the artist sees herself through their eyes, or – if she does – that she likes the image. Somehow I don't think Donna Summer's dream was ever to be a musical standard bearer for butt-fucking, urban nightclubbers. What hurt gay fans was that she didn't seem to have developed any real compassion for them (at least until this belated statement was issued).

Reborn, Summer seemed to have blithely accepted the Christian bigotry of the Christian right towards gays as gospel. If that made Summer's understanding of gays painfully shallow, it also showed how facile gay fans have been in celebrating glamour and the very idea of stardom. The equation is as simple as pop gets: Summer had a glossy package to sell. We were buying.

So what's love got to do with it? Isn't it a bit much to get all huffy about the contents when you were only shelling out for the package? After all, Summer's still singing about love, and you can still dance to it.

Right, and love does have lots to do with it, because that's where the bitterness erupted: from the breach between the sensual sexuality she once celebrated and the Christian exaltation she has replaced it with. In the worst of worlds, the first devolves to simple greedy lust, the second to righteous bigotry; and though curiously similar, they are inevitably at loggerheads. In the best of worlds, the two aren't at odds; both are illuminated by compassion and gratitude. Donna, and her fans, seem to have lost sight of that.

Summer got caught in the middle of a public dialog between gay lib and the new Christian right, between gay fans expectations of the queen of disco and those of her fellow Christians. And she handled it badly. But Donna Summer is no more a homophobe than many other more tactful artists, and no more of a dumb [anatomical expletive deleted] than many of her gay fans. Those are the unpleasant truths that the glare of the disco-ecstasy Summer swept in on conveniently obscured.

Now isn't it about time she put out an album we could care enough about to consider raising the roof – or boycotting? (sidebar: she never did)

[Edited 8/24/15 8:58am]

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Reply #2 posted 08/24/15 8:56am

Cinny

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I don't think MTV played her hits until "She Works Hard For The Money". Also, there were bigger world acts (ABBA, Boney M) but I think we were looking for American heroes to award.

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Reply #3 posted 08/24/15 9:32am

kitbradley

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This thing about Donna and her anti-gay remarks, I've always heard, "It was reported that she said...". I never saw any interviews, audio or video footage of her making these remarks so I've always questioned their validity. I'm not saying I don't believe it happened. But really the only evidence people have been able to present over the years has been hearsay.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #4 posted 08/24/15 9:58am

TheGoldStandar
d

Is "The Advocate" hearsay? I love her music as much as anyone. She may have lucked out on the lack of technological innovation in regards to hearsay. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments this is a huge "Why" to the original question. "Hard for the Money" was a "comeback" that fizzled shortly after. What other Donna Summer videos were in heavy rotation on MTV?

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Reply #5 posted 08/24/15 10:13am

kitbradley

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TheGoldStandard said:

Is "The Advocate" hearsay? I love her music as much as anyone. She may have lucked out on the lack of technological innovation in regards to hearsay. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments this is a huge "Why" to the original question. "Hard for the Money" was a "comeback" that fizzled shortly after. What other Donna Summer videos were in heavy rotation on MTV?

Did Donna make those statements during an interview with The Advocate? Magazines print hearsay, rumors and speculation all the time. Or did she make the statements during a concert that only a few people reported hearing? I could be wrong but from what I understood, there has always been a lot of confusion surrounding this subject and no one has been able to prove or disprove the statements due to the circumstances under which they were alledgedly made?

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #6 posted 08/24/15 10:17am

Cinny

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TheGoldStandard said:

Is "The Advocate" hearsay?

Even that article doesn't name the "source" of the gay record company executive. For me, the validity of all the stories added up to confusion about her faith. I can see how that lie could have grown and spread in the Anita Bryant, anti-disco era.

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Reply #7 posted 08/24/15 10:17am

TheGoldStandar
d

The Advocate documented the feedback provided by concert attendees hearing her say she will "pray for them" etc.

.

I totally agree with you regarding circumstances and what not, the truth of the matter is that regardless of what was or was not said - the "rumor" was a huge blow to her (gay, loyal) fanbase and her career never did fully recover.

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Reply #8 posted 08/24/15 10:18am

kitbradley

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Donna was definately a trailblazer for women who were primarily dance music singers. But, I don't think she knocked down any doors for singers like Nippy Houston. Diana Ross was more responsible for opening doors for those types of black female Pop singers.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #9 posted 08/24/15 10:24am

Cinny

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TheGoldStandard said:

a huge blow

huh-huh, huh-huh, huh-huh

heh-heh, heh-heh

[img:$uid]http://www.thewrap.com/sites/default/files/buttheadtext.jpg[/img:$uid]

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Reply #10 posted 08/24/15 10:27am

TheGoldStandar
d

lol y'know, I thought that might happen.

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Reply #11 posted 08/24/15 1:38pm

SoulAlive

If I'm not mistaken,Donna was also the only artist to have three double albums in a row (Live And More (1978),Bad Girls (1979) and On The Radio (1979) ) reach Number One on the charts.

Interestingly,1977's Once Upon A Time was also a double album,but it didn't reach Number One,though.It's amazing how much music she released in such a short period of time.

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Reply #12 posted 08/24/15 1:48pm

SoulAlive

kitbradley said:

TheGoldStandard said:

Is "The Advocate" hearsay? I love her music as much as anyone. She may have lucked out on the lack of technological innovation in regards to hearsay. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments this is a huge "Why" to the original question. "Hard for the Money" was a "comeback" that fizzled shortly after. What other Donna Summer videos were in heavy rotation on MTV?

Did Donna make those statements during an interview with The Advocate? Magazines print hearsay, rumors and speculation all the time. Or did she make the statements during a concert that only a few people reported hearing? I could be wrong but from what I understood, there has always been a lot of confusion surrounding this subject and no one has been able to prove or disprove the statements due to the circumstances under which they were alledgedly made?

During her 1983 concerts,Donna would perform the song "Woman" and start by saying "This is for all the women out there".Some of the gay guys would cheer too,and Donna said "God made Adam and Eve,not Adam and Steve".A gay writer,Jim Feldman,criticized her for this remark in his review of the show.

Any other 'anti-gay' comments atttributed to Donna are just rumors and no one can ever provide a real source.But she did make the Adam and Eve comment.It was tasteless perhaps but not nearly as terrible as the other comments that she has been (falsely) accused of saying.

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Reply #13 posted 08/24/15 1:56pm

SoulAlive

TheGoldStandard said:

Is "The Advocate" hearsay? I love her music as much as anyone. She may have lucked out on the lack of technological innovation in regards to hearsay. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments this is a huge "Why" to the original question. "Hard for the Money" was a "comeback" that fizzled shortly after. What other Donna Summer videos were in heavy rotation on MTV?

"She Works Hard For The Money" and "Unconditional Love" were heavily shown on MTV in 1983.

A year later,"There Goes My Baby" got alot of airtime,too.After that,I rarely saw Donna Summer videos on MTV.

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Reply #14 posted 08/24/15 1:58pm

SoulAlive

I don't know if it was because of any anti-gay comments attributed to Donna,but the Cats Without Claws album was her first flop album.It didn't even reach gold status confused

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Reply #15 posted 08/24/15 2:39pm

SoulAlive

Cinny said:

I don't think MTV played her hits until "She Works Hard For The Money".

1983 was the year when MTV began putting videos by black artists in heavy rotation.As the year began,Prince and Michael Jackson videos began airing...then came videos from Shalamar ("Dead Giveaway"),"Eddy Grant ("Electric Avenue") and others.I wanna say that Donna was the first black woman who had videos on MTV,but I do recall seeing videos from Joan Armatrading before I ever saw "She Works Hard For The Money" on MTV.

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Reply #16 posted 08/25/15 7:31am

Tontoman22

SoulAlive said:

TheGoldStandard said:

Is "The Advocate" hearsay? I love her music as much as anyone. She may have lucked out on the lack of technological innovation in regards to hearsay. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments this is a huge "Why" to the original question. "Hard for the Money" was a "comeback" that fizzled shortly after. What other Donna Summer videos were in heavy rotation on MTV?

"She Works Hard For The Money" and "Unconditional Love" were heavily shown on MTV in 1983.

A year later,"There Goes My Baby" got alot of airtime,too.After that,I rarely saw Donna Summer videos on MTV.

Donna didn't put out an album after "Cats" in 1984 until 1987. All 4 of her videos Including She Works Hard for the Money were played in heavy rotation. There were only 2 made per each of those albums. By 1985 MTV had change it's playlist and medium and heavy rotation were designated for the artist who had hits on the charts.

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Reply #17 posted 08/25/15 7:44am

Tontoman22

SoulAlive said:

If I'm not mistaken,Donna was also the only artist to have three double albums in a row (Live And More (1978),Bad Girls (1979) and On The Radio (1979) ) reach Number One on the charts.

Interestingly,1977's Once Upon A Time was also a double album,but it didn't reach Number One,though.It's amazing how much music she released in such a short period of time.

Donna was Billboards' top music artist/act from 1976-1982 (pre-MTV era), with 12 top 10 singles. She was the first female to really dominate the pop charts. From August 1978 to November 1980 she scored 9 consecutive top 5 singles. (Madonna broke that record in 1985) From November 25,1978 to Novermber 24 1979 she had 6 top 4 singles, 4 of them went #1, and one went #2. She was the first female to have 2 songs in the top 3, at the same time. The first of the modern rock era to have the number one single and album simultaneoulsy on the pop charts (she did that 3 times in an 8 month period). She took 3 double ablums to the top of charts in a 14 month period. She was the first to have 3 number one singles in a calander year. Bad Girls went triple platinum in the US (which was the best selling album by a black female - later surpassed by Tina Turner's Private Dancer in 1985) and yes she put out an album about every 6 months while at Casablanca.

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Reply #18 posted 08/25/15 7:50am

Tontoman22

TheGoldStandard said:

Is "The Advocate" hearsay? I love her music as much as anyone. She may have lucked out on the lack of technological innovation in regards to hearsay. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments this is a huge "Why" to the original question. "Hard for the Money" was a "comeback" that fizzled shortly after. What other Donna Summer videos were in heavy rotation on MTV?

I actually meant the "why", for why do Janet and Whitney get credited for the trailblazing, when they were even close to being the first to do anythig ? Donna was the first played in heavy rotation and the first to get consistent heavy rotation - followed by the Pointer Sister and Tina Turner. But somehow it's WH or JJ that get the credit. By the time WH debut the station had changed it's polocies and playlists so artist that had hits would get the proper airplay (like a radio station), there was no guess work left up to the v-jays.

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Reply #19 posted 08/25/15 7:54am

kitbradley

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SoulAlive said:I don't know if it was because of any anti-gay comments attributed to Donna,but the Cats Without Claws album was her first flop album.It didn't even reach gold status confused


It was not one of her better albums. Other than "Supernatural Love" (which I think is one of her best vocal performances), the rest of the album was just kind of blah. And I think the label was probably ready to move on to concentrate on younger artists so they didn't do everything they could have to push the album. She did manage a couple of music videos out of it but the label only half-heartedly supported the album. Same thing was happening with Diana Ross over at RCA around that same period of time. She came off of a big album in 1984 and then RCA decided they were pretty much done with her.

[Edited 8/25/15 7:56am]

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #20 posted 08/25/15 8:00am

Cinny

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Tontoman22 said:

TheGoldStandard said:

Is "The Advocate" hearsay? I love her music as much as anyone. She may have lucked out on the lack of technological innovation in regards to hearsay. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments this is a huge "Why" to the original question. "Hard for the Money" was a "comeback" that fizzled shortly after. What other Donna Summer videos were in heavy rotation on MTV?

I actually meant the "why", for why do Janet and Whitney get credited for the trailblazing, when they were even close to being the first to do anythig ? Donna was the first played in heavy rotation and the first to get consistent heavy rotation - followed by the Pointer Sister and Tina Turner. But somehow it's WH or JJ that get the credit. By the time WH debut the station had changed it's polocies and playlists so artist that had hits would get the proper airplay (like a radio station), there was no guess work left up to the v-jays.

I don't think they are credited with many "firsts" but simply acknowledged for their impact in the medium of video. Rick James was very vocal about MTV not playing his shit, and record companies said they would pull all of their videos if MTV did not add black artists such as Michael Jackson. I don't think the record companies of Donna Summer or Diana Ross broke down those doors.

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Reply #21 posted 08/25/15 8:03am

SoulAlive

kitbradley said:


It was not one of her better albums. Other than "Supernatural Love" (which I think is one of her best vocal performances), the rest of the album was just kind of blah. And I think the label was probably ready to move on to concentrate on younger artists so they didn't do everything they could have to push the album. She did manage a couple of music videos out of it but the label only half-heartedly supported the album.

I agree,Cats Without Claws isn't one of Donna's better albums.It's very ambitious,but it lacks truly great songs.I really like "I'm Free" but several of the other songs fall flat and the album is not really cohesive.I also think it was a mistake to release a midtempo remake,"There Goes My Baby",as the first single.

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Reply #22 posted 08/25/15 8:04am

Tontoman22

kitbradley said:

This thing about Donna and her anti-gay remarks, I've always heard, "It was reported that she said...". I never saw any interviews, audio or video footage of her making these remarks so I've always questioned their validity. I'm not saying I don't believe it happened. But really the only evidence people have been able to present over the years has been hearsay.

It was more of a gay thing to begin with. When she first heard of it, back in 1984 she did apologize if anything she had said would have cast her as homophobic (I read it in Xtra), But they have always said she didn't apologize or deny until years later. This was not true, she was on Entertainment Tonight in 1987 with Nancy Odelle and denined every making the statments. She also took out an ad in the Gay New York rag to reach out to the community. The rumour grew to her saying "Aids was God's devine punshiment on gays", and went mainstream because of Act Up. Act Up formed in March 1987 and took direct aim at her; asking radio station not to play her, picketing her concerts, basically telling gay clubs not to play her or the gay community not buy her records. She was black balled from mainstream pop radio in mid 80's through early 90's no question. The only reason TTIKIFR got played was because it was a top 3 hit all over Europe and made radio playlists in the US; they had to play it. The follow up single went no where. It was sort of sad because she was not Anita Bryant campagning against gay people. But Act Up thought this was so important to go after her, like HIV and AIDS shouldn't have been the main concern !

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Reply #23 posted 08/25/15 8:08am

kitbradley

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Tontoman22 said:

TheGoldStandard said:

Is "The Advocate" hearsay? I love her music as much as anyone. She may have lucked out on the lack of technological innovation in regards to hearsay. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments this is a huge "Why" to the original question. "Hard for the Money" was a "comeback" that fizzled shortly after. What other Donna Summer videos were in heavy rotation on MTV?

I actually meant the "why", for why do Janet and Whitney get credited for the trailblazing, when they were even close to being the first to do anythig ? Donna was the first played in heavy rotation and the first to get consistent heavy rotation - followed by the Pointer Sister and Tina Turner. But somehow it's WH or JJ that get the credit. By the time WH debut the station had changed it's polocies and playlists so artist that had hits would get the proper airplay (like a radio station), there was no guess work left up to the v-jays.

Janet and Nippy were not trailblazers on MTV. Tina, Donna, Chaka, the Pointers...they were all in heavy rotation on MTV before Janet and Nippy.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #24 posted 08/25/15 8:08am

SoulAlive

Tontoman22 said:

SoulAlive said:

If I'm not mistaken,Donna was also the only artist to have three double albums in a row (Live And More (1978),Bad Girls (1979) and On The Radio (1979) ) reach Number One on the charts.

Interestingly,1977's Once Upon A Time was also a double album,but it didn't reach Number One,though.It's amazing how much music she released in such a short period of time.

Donna was Billboards' top music artist/act from 1976-1982 (pre-MTV era), with 12 top 10 singles. She was the first female to really dominate the pop charts. From August 1978 to November 1980 she scored 9 consecutive top 5 singles. (Madonna broke that record in 1985) From November 25,1978 to Novermber 24 1979 she had 6 top 4 singles, 4 of them went #1, and one went #2. She was the first female to have 2 songs in the top 3, at the same time. The first of the modern rock era to have the number one single and album simultaneoulsy on the pop charts (she did that 3 times in an 8 month period). She took 3 double ablums to the top of charts in a 14 month period. She was the first to have 3 number one singles in a calander year. Bad Girls went triple platinum in the US (which was the best selling album by a black female - later surpassed by Tina Turner's Private Dancer in 1985) and yes she put out an album about every 6 months while at Casablanca.

Yeah,Donna was on a roll back then! When I think about her amazing success back then,I sometimes wonder if she made the right decision when she left Casablanca.It seems like they really understood Donna and her music.They knew how to properly promote and market her.I don't think she ever had that type of support at Geffen Records.Casablanca had no problems with her releasing double albums,but when she submitted the 2-LP I'm A Rainbow album to Geffen,they promptly rejected it.

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Reply #25 posted 08/25/15 8:16am

Tontoman22

Cinny said:

Tontoman22 said:

I actually meant the "why", for why do Janet and Whitney get credited for the trailblazing, when they were even close to being the first to do anythig ? Donna was the first played in heavy rotation and the first to get consistent heavy rotation - followed by the Pointer Sister and Tina Turner. But somehow it's WH or JJ that get the credit. By the time WH debut the station had changed it's polocies and playlists so artist that had hits would get the proper airplay (like a radio station), there was no guess work left up to the v-jays.

I don't think they are credited with many "firsts" but simply acknowledged for their impact in the medium of video. Rick James was very vocal about MTV not playing his shit, and record companies said they would pull all of their videos if MTV did not add black artists such as Michael Jackson. I don't think the record companies of Donna Summer or Diana Ross broke down those doors.

Rick James video was not played because the station programmer who was a Afro-American female didn't like the video (too sleazy for the times) and she didn't want black people respresented that way - that was back in 1981/82. MTV was not really racist (they were a rock based station) as there were not alot of record companies making videos for there artist, at that time especially black artist. Donna was played in heavy rotation, she was the black female superstar at the time. The playlist appeared in billboard back in the day. Like I said Houston was even close to being the first. Do you know how many black artist got played in heavy rotation before her ? Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie, Rockwell, Eddy Grant, Diana Ross, Sade, Deniece Williams, Shannon, The Pointer Sisters, Tina Turner, Kool and the Gang, Ray Parker Jr, Chaka Khan, Billy Ocean - along with Prince, MJ & DS. I don't know where you get that BS about pulling all there vidoes' either.

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Reply #26 posted 08/25/15 8:27am

Tontoman22

SoulAlive said:

Tontoman22 said:

Donna was Billboards' top music artist/act from 1976-1982 (pre-MTV era), with 12 top 10 singles. She was the first female to really dominate the pop charts. From August 1978 to November 1980 she scored 9 consecutive top 5 singles. (Madonna broke that record in 1985) From November 25,1978 to Novermber 24 1979 she had 6 top 4 singles, 4 of them went #1, and one went #2. She was the first female to have 2 songs in the top 3, at the same time. The first of the modern rock era to have the number one single and album simultaneoulsy on the pop charts (she did that 3 times in an 8 month period). She took 3 double ablums to the top of charts in a 14 month period. She was the first to have 3 number one singles in a calander year. Bad Girls went triple platinum in the US (which was the best selling album by a black female - later surpassed by Tina Turner's Private Dancer in 1985) and yes she put out an album about every 6 months while at Casablanca.

Yeah,Donna was on a roll back then! When I think about her amazing success back then,I sometimes wonder if she made the right decision when she left Casablanca.It seems like they really understood Donna and her music.They knew how to properly promote and market her.I don't think she ever had that type of support at Geffen Records.Casablanca had no problems with her releasing double albums,but when she submitted the 2-LP I'm A Rainbow album to Geffen,they promptly rejected it.

She took a friend advise to go to Geffen, and Geffen himself made alot of promises - like movies and othe things. His personal attention went to Cher; and unfortunately his executives were not great music people - after she left Geffen the president said "it was never our intention to focus on established superstars". They effectively ended her working relationship with Moroder/Belotte/Faltermeyer. And they were not great a picking singles. Donna wanted "Oh Billy Please" to be the first single from Cats. TGMB was a horrible choice - especially for that time.

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Reply #27 posted 08/25/15 8:37am

SoulAlive

Tontoman22 said:

SoulAlive said:

Yeah,Donna was on a roll back then! When I think about her amazing success back then,I sometimes wonder if she made the right decision when she left Casablanca.It seems like they really understood Donna and her music.They knew how to properly promote and market her.I don't think she ever had that type of support at Geffen Records.Casablanca had no problems with her releasing double albums,but when she submitted the 2-LP I'm A Rainbow album to Geffen,they promptly rejected it.

She took a friend's advice to go to Geffen, and Geffen himself made alot of promises - like movies and other things. His personal attention went to Cher; and unfortunately his executives were not great music people - after she left Geffen the president said "it was never our intention to focus on established superstars". They effectively ended her working relationship with Moroder/Belotte/Faltermeyer. And they were not great at picking singles. Donna wanted "Oh Billy Please" to be the first single from Cats. TGMB was a horrible choice - especially for that time.

I agree,Geffen Records didn't know how to choose the right singles.Excellent songs like "(If It) Hurts Just A Little","Fascination","I'm Free" and "Breakdown" are better choices than some of the songs that actually became singles.In 1980,Geffen was a brand new,unproven label.Donna took a huge risk by signing with them.

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Reply #28 posted 08/25/15 8:37am

Tontoman22

SoulAlive said:

kitbradley said:

Did Donna make those statements during an interview with The Advocate? Magazines print hearsay, rumors and speculation all the time. Or did she make the statements during a concert that only a few people reported hearing? I could be wrong but from what I understood, there has always been a lot of confusion surrounding this subject and no one has been able to prove or disprove the statements due to the circumstances under which they were alledgedly made?

During her 1983 concerts,Donna would perform the song "Woman" and start by saying "This is for all the women out there".Some of the gay guys would cheer too,and Donna said "God made Adam and Eve,not Adam and Steve".A gay writer,Jim Feldman,criticized her for this remark in his review of the show.

Any other 'anti-gay' comments atttributed to Donna are just rumors and no one can ever provide a real source.But she did make the Adam and Eve comment.It was tasteless perhaps but not nearly as terrible as the other comments that she has been (falsely) accused of saying.

I read an article about people that were in the audience at that concert in Atlantic City, and they said the crowd laughed - it was meant as a joke - and was taken as a joke. But the Feldman had an agenda - there had been a story about her getting into it in Florida in November 1983. This is were everthing had started. She tell people she was coming back - if anyone was interesting in hearing about how God had changed her life - to stick around she would be back in 5. She got into a heated argument with some gay fans that called her a hypocrite for praying with a fan who was sick with AIDS. They were the one's who first reported the story of her homophobia. Again had they stuck around they would have seen her hugging and praying with this guy (most people wouldn't have went near him in those days), they left angry. They even burnt her records in San Francisco's gay villiage (ala Dixie Chicks) in 1984.

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Reply #29 posted 08/25/15 8:41am

SoulAlive

I always thought that this was a really lame excuse.There were many 'rock videos' in the 80s where the women were scantily dressed and used as sex objects.Those videos got heavy rotation.

Tontoman22 said:

Rick James' "SuperFreak" video was not played because the station programmer who was a Afro-American female didn't like the video (too sleazy for the times) and she didn't want black people respresented that way - that was back in 1981/82.

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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > Donna Summer - the Real trailblazer