“Last Dance”

Donna Summer, “The Queen of Disco,” died at the age of 63 this past Thursday. Here is her obituary in The New York Times.

In a career that spanned decades, she had 14 Top Ten Singles, three double albums in a row that sold more than a million copies each, and won 4 Grammys (for R & B, rock, gospel, and dance music).

Donna Summer sometimes collaborated with Paul Jabara (1948-1992), who was born and grew up in Brooklyn and is interred at Green-Wood. Jabara wrote “Last Dance,” which became a huge hit for her.

The soundtrack album for the movie "Thank God It's Friday" contained "Last Dance."

Jabara also won a Grammy for Best R & B Song and an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Last Dance.”

Donna Summer, holding her Grammy for "Last Dance," shares the moment with Paul Jabara.

Here’s a video of Donna Summer’s award-winning “Last Dance.”

Jabara also wrote “Enough is Enough,” a hit duet for Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand. He also sang three duets with Summer: “Shut Out” (1977), “Something’s Missing” (1978), and “Never Lose Your Sense of Humor” (1979).

“Last Dance” also appeared on Jabara’s album, “Paul Jabara & Friends” (1983). That album included guest vocals by a 20-year-old by the name of Whitney Houston.

The cover to the album "Paul Jabara And Friends." It featured the late Whitney Houston as well as "The Weather Girls."

For many years, when I have led my late October walking tours of Green-Wood, I have played Donna Summer’s recording of “Last Dance” at Paul Jabara’s grave as a tribute to him. This year, I will play it as a tribute to both Jabara and Summer.

Now all three–Paul Jabara, Whitney Houston, and Donna Summer–are gone. But their great music lives on.

UPDATE: I am informed by Green-Wood’s vice president for operations, Ken Taylor, that Donna Summer attended Paul Jabara’s funeral and visited his grave at least once thereafter.



Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.