Friday, May 25, 2012

Last Dance

I don't go for the worship of celebrities. Although sometimes I do appreciate certain contributions they've made.

With Donna Summers' passing last week, it made me think of all those childhood summers when my Mom would drive us to the lake for a swim. It was the 1970's, so there were no CD players, you were lucky to have an 8 track or cassette player. We didn't, not until the late seventies, and it was an 8 track. So more often than not, it was the radio - and whatever was playing. No fast forward, no skipping to the next song. It exposed us to all types of music, good and bad.

And yes, disco was a big part of popular music then. Not all of it was actually bad, probably just repetitive and weird. Although most music these days is repetitive and weird. Rap and hip-hop anyone?

No, I'm speaking of songs like Donna Summers' On The Radio, Last Dance, MacArthur Park and Heaven Knows. The best part, really, was her voice. She was beautiful, and had this incredibly strong singing voice.

And you're probably thinking, “Geez, you never said anything when Whitney Houston died. What's up with that?”. Well, yeah she had amazing range and a lot of good songs, but I was already an adult when she became popular.

Along with other types of music, Donna Summer had a bigger impact because it was from my childhood, and that music seems to evoke strong memories. Maybe it's just me, but when I hear these songs, I can usually get a feel for where I was when I heard them. Like hanging out with friends, listening in my room, or riding in the car.

So anyway, when I heard she passed away last week (and 63 is way too young), I found myself revisiting, and enjoying, those songs. And feeling my age again, because it's a piece of my childhood, and a reminder that we're not here forever. The recordings might be, but we won't.

I found this clip of Last Dance on YouTube. It's not great quality, but it's supposedly live - and demonstrates her amazing voice.


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