Song: “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer
Reached #1: July 14, 1979 (her third, 5 weeks)
When Donna Summer wrote “Bad Girls”, the president of her record label (Casablanca’s Neil Bogart) wanted her to give it to Cher. Summer refused – it’s generally a songwriter’s right to decide who gets the first shot at a song, and she wanted this one for herself.
Of course, it was the right decision, as it became one of the songs that made her the Queen of Disco, long after disco was a disreputable fad.
While she started in the late ‘60s as a singer, she was an actress in the touring company of Hair when she started writing music. She didn’t plan to sing her songs at first – but Georgio Moroder talked her into doing “Love To Love You Baby”. She quickly racked up the series of disco hits that became her trademark.
After disco sunk, she segued easily into more traditional R&B, and continued to produce mainstream hits into the early ‘90s before moving into acting. She released a dance album in 2008, and was working on a standards album in 2011.
Summer was in New York on September 11, 2001 – and believed to her dying day in May 2012 that she inhaled something that day that caused the lung cancer which killed her.
Tomorrow, a band that got its name by mistake – and kept it for 25 years.
Other songs that reached #1 on July 14:
1962 – “Roses Are Red (My Love)” by Bobby Vinton (his first, 4 weeks)