‘Love To Love You’ Shares the Personal Side of Late Disco Queen Donna Summer
Airing on HBO this Saturday, May 20, Love to Love You, Donna Summer is a deeply personal portrait of the queen of the disco revolution. Providing a rich window into the surprising range of her artistry, from songwriting to painting, while exploring the highs and lows of a life lived on the global stage, the film is codirected by her daughter and features a wealth of photographs and never-before-seen home video footage, often shot by Summer herself.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known to music lovers as Donna Summer, got her start in the ’60s as a stage actress and lead singer of a psychedelic rock band. But it took a 1968 move to Germany for the beautiful Bostonian to find her true musical calling. Landing in Munich to perform in a production of the wildly popular musical Hair, Summer met Italian composer Giorgio Moroder, who was dabbling with synthesizers and early electronic dance music.
Released May 19, 1978, during the height of the disco era, Thank God It's Friday offers a great soundtrack featuring Casablanca Records and Motown artists, led by star Donna Summer, who performs the Oscar-winning 'Last Dance,' and the Commodores, who appear as themselves for a performance of 'Too Hot ta Trot.'
Moroder and his partner Paul Bellotte coproduced two of Summer’s most sensual and iconic hits, “I Feel Love” and “Love to Love You Baby,” which became dance smashes throughout Europe. By the time Summer returned to America, she was a radio star. Irresistible tracks like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls,” “On the Radio” — and even her version of “MacArthur Park,” Jimmy Webb’s pop oddity that likened heartbreak to a cake out in the rain — all cracked the Billboard Top 10 and crowned Summer as the Queen of Disco.
She died in 2012 at the age of 63.
Her Early Life in Pictures
Donna got her start in the 1968 German production of Hair.
While living in Germany she recorded her first single, a cover of “Aquaris” from the Hair Soundtrack.
Performing in 1975.
Donna Summer and Cher during 1978 Disco Convention Banquet at New York Hilton Hotel in New York City.