LaDonna Gaines was born in Boston, MA. on December 31st, 1948. She showed an early interest in music and started singing in her church choir at the age of eight years old. Influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, Summer became the lead singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow. Since forming in 1966, the Crow had become a local sensation through its performances at the Psychedelic Supermarket, a venue where bands like Cream, the Grateful Dead, and Big Brother and the Holding Company made Boston tour stops. It was there that Janis Joplin made an indelible impression on the Crow’s lead singer, Donna Gaines. The Crow was singled out for its musical versatility, especially the ease by which the band’s frontwoman moved from one genre to the next. Donna Gaines later became known to the world as Donna Summer, The Queen of Disco, but her time in the Crow helped set a precedent in rock music. With a black female singer leading an interracial rock band, the Crow was a trailblazing forerunner.