#MusicMonday – September 7, 2020

On Music Monday (and everyday), she works hard for the money. So hard for it, honey…

Treat her right, or else….she’ll do this.

She’ll ditch her duties and dance in a choreographed fashion on an empty city street.

That’s what she’ll do. Hopefully it doesn’t interfere with working hard for the money.

It’s Labor Day, and as I have the last few Labor Days, I’m bringing out the song about the working life. We’ve covered coal miners and 9-to-5ers, and today, we’re looking at the working woman!

“She Works Hard For the Money” is a 1983 single performed by Donna Summer, from the album of the same name. Co-written by Summer and Michael Omartian, the song is about the struggles of a hard working blue-collar woman, as inspired by Summer’s encounter with restroom attendant Onetta Johnson, who worked at Chasen’s in Los Angeles. Johnson is mentioned in the song and featured on the back cover of the album.

Image: Pinterest

The music video, featuring the plight of an exhausted working woman, who deals with the pressures of her job balanced with the care of two bratty children, all while knowing her dream of dancing is long gone, was the first video by an African American female singer to be placed in heavy rotation on MTV. Summer observes the woman’s life, assists her when she falls, and later leads a troupe of uniformed women to “dance it off” in the streets to celebrate their hard work.

Among those women?

Our harried protagonist, who is finally receiving the recognition she deserves via Flash Mob.

“She Works Hard for the Money” topped the Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles (at the time Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart), the first Summer single to do so since 1979, and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 (#15 for the year ending 1983 chart) and Hot Dance Club Play charts. The single became the Donna Summer’s signature song, and one of the biggest hits of her career. The album of the same name was her most successful of the decade. Summer would end the decade with 1989’s “This Time I Know It’s For Real,” her final Top 10 hit.

Donna Summer passed away in May 2012, but during a career that included acting roles, hit singles, two very important signature songs, and the distinction of being “The Queen of Disco,” Summer definitely “worked hard for the money” over the course of her incredible career.

So you better treat her right.

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

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