Great Lives
Great Lives
BBC Radio 4
Jessie Ware on Donna Summer
27 minutes Posted Aug 25, 2020 at 9:15 am.
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Show notes
Jessie Ware is a singer, songwriter and podcaster. Her latest, critically acclaimed, album, What's Your Pleasure?, draws inspiration from soul, funk, boogie, and disco - and, notably, the work of the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer.
Jessie joins Matthew Parris and Pete Bellotte, co-producer and co-writer of many of Donna Summer's biggest hits - I Feel Love, Love to Love You Baby, and Hot Stuff, among others - to explore the life and work of her musical heroine.
Jessie, Pete and Matthew discuss Donna's Protean vocal abilities, her eventful childhood and how post-war Munich provided the perfect environment to create some of disco's most momentous hits. Pete reveals how a three-minute demo of Love to Love You Baby became a seventeen-minute breakout hit and together they explore why disco has endured despite an early backlash. Jessie ponders whether life has changed for a woman in the music industry and reflects on Donna's personal legacy.
With additional contributions from Danyel Smith, author of Shine Bright: A Personal History of Black Women in Pop (published Spring 2021).
Produced in Bristol by Camellia Sinclair