Monday, March 12, 2012
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Donna Summer
Song:She Works Hard For The Money
Album:The Journey: The Very Best Of Donna Summer
The thing that distinguishes Donna Summer from other disco singers of the late 70s is her songwriting ability. The 1983 hit She Works Hard For The Money returned her to the top of the charts when her career seemed to be fading. I think it's one of her best songs. She was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines Dec. 31, 1948 in Boston and grew up singing in church. In 1968, she moved to New York as the lead singer of the psychedelic rock group The Crow. She also auditioned for the Broadway production of Hair but lost the role of Sheila to Melba Moore. Donna was offered the same role for the European production and she moved to Germany. She also appeared in Godspell. In 1971, she released a single as Donna Gaines that went nowhere and she also performed with the group FamilyTree. She married actor Helmuth Sommer in 1972. They had a daughter but the marriage didn't last. She changed her professional name to Donna Summer. While recording backup vocals for Three Dog Night in 1974, she met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte and signed with their label Groovy Records. Her first album was released only in Europe. So most folks first heard Donna Summer when she moaned on the hit Love To Love You Baby. The song was her idea but Moroder told her to sing like Marilyn Monroe. Moroder's obvious influence was Jane Birkin's Je T'aime. They sent the song to Casablanca Records looking for a US record deal. Label owner Neil Bogart got a big response when he played it at a party. The only thing is he wanted a long version. Moroder's revised version clocked in at 17 minutes. Donna had several hits after this. But by 1980, she was fading and left Casablanca for Geffen Records. Her first album for Geffen The Wanderer was more of a rock album and didn't do all that well. And after her second album was shelved, she left Moroder for Quincy Jones and had a top ten hit in 1982 with Love Is In Control. At the time, she had married Bruce Sudano and had two more children. Things weren't going well at Geffen. Then Casablanca owner PolyGram told Geffen Donna owed them one more album to fulfill her contract. That album That was rejected by Geffen was She Works Hard For The Money. The single reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Donna wrote the song with producer Michael Omartian after an encounter with a female bathroom worker. Seawind leader Jerry Hey arranged the horns and Gary Herbig played the sax solo. Legendary session musician Jay Graydon played the guitar solo. But she was still having trouble with Geffen. She was also quoted with anti-gay comments that she denied making. Geffen put her together with British producers Stock Aitken Waterman who had been successful with Rick Astley among others. Geffen didn't like the album but it was released in Europe. And the success got her a contract with Atlantic Records after she left Geffen. This Time I Know It's For Real was her final top ten hit in 1989. This budget comp has all her hits. She hasn't recorded much in recent years. Her last new recording was in 2008. Her performance in the David Foster PBS special of To Paris With Love topped the dance charts in 2010. Donna Summer currently lives in Nashville with her husband and she is a grandmother of four. Hard to believe, huh. Here's the video for She Works Hard For The Money by Donna Summer.