Donna Summer and Mary Shelly in Quito, April 2015
Donna Summer and Mary Shelly in Quito, April 2015

Donna Summer in Quito, and The Age of Aquarius

There in spirit at least, and heard in this little book shop/record store on Calle Oriente about a month ago. “Love to Love You Baby“, the original. It fit nicely, the chorus pleasantly echoing through a rare quiet moment on the block. When I passed by, I tried to imagine what she would sound like sitting in with Julio Jaramillo, a singer I’d never heard of but whose LPs looked oh so late 60s.

When she passed away three years ago today, Summers was widely remembered as the undisputed Queen of 1970s disco. But her big break? That came with her role as Sheila in my favorite musical, “Hair”, a gig that sent her to Germany to join the show’s Munich production. She eventually became fluent in German —she spent some time working with theater companies in Vienna as well— a language in which she recorded her first single, as Donna Gaines: the anthemic “Aquarius” from “Hair”, or in this case, “Haare”.

It sounds remarkably fresh, as if the dawning of the age was just around the corner. Enjoy!

ISO 400

And for the record, today’s Pic du Jour, the blog’s 489th straight, was snapped in Quito, Ecuador, on 15 April 2015.


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