Skip to main content
Love's A Secret Weapon Podcast

Love's A Secret Weapon Podcast

By Donna Loren and Dr Adam Gerace
Donna Loren takes audio book reading to an innovative new level!

In storytelling and autobiography, singer-actress Donna Loren and her collaborator Dr Adam Gerace delve into her life and career at the height of the Swingin' Sixties and what it all means for her today. Let's talk it over!
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo

Breaker

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo

Overcast

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Chapter 14: So, Do the Zonk - Part 2 with very special guest Bobbie Shaw Chance
As we start a new year of the podcast, Donna continues telling her story post her ‘60s career. In this episode, Donna turns to her piano and music to express her emotions, frustrations, and the unknowns in her life during the turbulent 1970s.  And it’s the Beach Party reunion you’ve been waiting for! Bobbie Shaw Chance, legendary acting coach, and Donna’s co-star, joins Donna and Adam on the sand to reminisce about the classic American International Pictures’ Beach Party film series. Bobbie tells all about working with comedy legend Buster Keaton, shares her experiences as a young woman in Hollywood during the ‘60s, and tells us how she went on to become an acting coach working with the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds, something she continues to this day along with her son, Richie Chance (www.richiechance.com). You won’t want to miss Donna and Bobbie’s reunion on the first episode for 2022 of Love’s A Secret Weapon!
01:02:43
January 10, 2022
Merry Christmas Baby with special holiday guest John Hartmann
For the holiday season and end of 2021, Donna shares a special message. Plus, Donna and Dr Adam continue their chat with John Hartmann, Donna’s agent from her time on Shindig. In his legendary career as an agent, manager, promoter, and record executive, John has worked with Sonny & Cher, Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Eagles, Buffalo Springfield, Canned Heat, America, Poco, Crosby, Stills & Nash and many, many others. In a continuation of their chat, John tells Donna and Adam about how a visit to San Francisco gave birth to his L.A. nightclub The Kaleidoscope. He then takes us behind the scenes of the music business and how he set out to broker some of the best deals for his artists, including Poco, America, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, as they set about making classic albums and the soundtracks to our lives.
01:53:37
December 24, 2021
Chapter 14: So, Do the Zonk - Part 1 with special holiday guest John Hartmann
Zonk! Donna continues exploring new healing modalities and faces old fears when she takes up swimming and ballet. And the holidays are here! And, Donna and Dr Adam have your holiday treat. Over the next few episodes, John Hartmann, Donna’s agent from her time on Shindig, will join her and Dr Adam to reminisce about his legendary career as an agent, manager, promoter, and record executive. John has worked with Sonny & Cher, Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Eagles, Buffalo Springfield, Canned Heat, America, Poco, Crosby, Stills and Nash and many, many others. In a continuation of their chat, John takes Donna and Adam on to the set of Shindig with Little Richard and The Rolling Stones, backstage with Chad & Jeremy and Sonny & Cher, and tells of how he turned his attention to a new band named Buffalo Springfield.  
01:26:60
December 19, 2021
Chapter 13: Let's Pretend - Part 3 with special holiday guest John Hartmann
The holidays are here! And, Donna and Dr Adam have your holiday treat. Over the next few episodes, John Hartmann, Donna’s agent from her time on Shindig, will join her and Dr Adam to reminisce about his legendary career as an agent, manager, promoter, and record executive. John has worked with Sonny and Cher, Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Eagles, Buffalo Springfield, Canned Heat, America, Poco, Crosby, Stills and Nash and many, many others. In the first part of their interview, John tells Donna and Dr Adam about how he moved from the William Morris Agency mail room to working with Elvis’ manager, the formidable Colonel Parker.
01:32:08
November 30, 2021
Chapter 13: Let's Pretend - Part 2
Going from the pressure cooker environment of her parents’ house to a new life takes some adjustment. Donna tries to make sense of it all at the dawn of a new decade. There's even a New Year’s Party where Ry Cooder’s musical vibrations literally smash the heirloom glassware!  Donna and Adam break it down, reflecting on dealing with difficult emotions, the importance of perspective, and the gift of having an open and nonjudgmental approach in relationships. Plus, we continue our new segment inviting fans to be on our podcast! Please welcome our next guest, Mike Brown, who asks Donna his burning questions about her experiences of being in the recording studio with the very best musicians.
56:56
November 05, 2021
Chapter 13: Let's Pretend - Part 1
It's our third season! Newly retired from her professional career, Donna begins to explore her identity as a wife and mother, and what it means to be a woman of the 1970s. As she forges a new path, her home and life is filled with creativity via producer husband Lenny Waronker's artists, such as Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks, and Ry Cooder. Plus we introduce our new segment inviting fans to be on our podcast! Please welcome our first guest, Professor Howard DeWitt, esteemed rock 'n' roll scholar and academic.
01:18:51
October 14, 2021
Chapter 12: New Love - Part 2
A death, a new life, and a change in direction. Donna rushes home from a Dr Pepper event after getting word that a family member is gravely ill. Continuing to feel pulled between her new life with husband Lenny and her parent's close control of her career, Donna calls the CEO of Dr Pepper and makes a liberating decision. As one chapter in her life closes, she welcomes her first son, Joey.
58:10
August 27, 2021
Chapter 12: New Love - Part 1
Somebody's getting married! Donna and Lenny walk down the aisle in front of family, friends, an impatient father-in-law...and 40 additional guests. The bride doesn't even get to taste the cake! Plus Donna and Dr Adam answer listener questions.
01:01:10
August 05, 2021
Chapter 11: Blowing Out the Candles - Part 5
Producers Danny Thomas and Aaron Spelling cast Donna in a pilot for her own series, Two for Penny. Donna takes you behind the scenes and tells all about the on-set mishap with co-star Michael Constantine (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), romantic overtures from Bill Bixby, and why to this day she still thinks of director Paul Bogart whenever she brushes her teeth! And will wedding bells soon be ringing for Donna and Lenny?
01:03:46
July 23, 2021
Chapter 11: Blowing Out the Candles - Part 4
Pack your suitcases! Donna guest stars on The Dating Game and the prize is a trip to Paris! But she has just enough time to linger in the City of Lights before jetting off to Rome for a screentest to play the daughter of an Italian movie legend. Come with Donna and Adam on this unforgettable European adventure!
01:06:33
July 02, 2021
Chapter 11: Blowing Out the Candles - Part 3
Donna joins Reprise Records, Warner Bros.' innovative rock 'n' roll label. And could there be romance on the horizon with an up-and-coming music producer?
56:10
June 18, 2021
Chapter 11: Blowing Out the Candles - Part 2 with special guest Bobby Rydell
Donna is joined by Bobby Rydell ("Wild One," "Volare," and Bye Bye Birdie) to reminisce about their co-starring roles on 1966's The Milton Berle Show.
01:02:48
June 03, 2021
Chapter 11: Blowing Out the Candles - Part 1
Donna's moving out of home and into the arms of a new beau. But her bliss is short lived when she must undergo emergency surgery.  There's little time to recuperate as Donna begins work on The Milton Berle Show and then lands a prime gig and trip to Washington, D. C. to perform in the Blue Room at the historic Shoreham Hotel.
01:08:55
May 20, 2021
Chapter 10: Ten Good Reasons - Part 2
Donna continues to build her acting resume when she is cast as Princess Colette, Davy Jones' love interest on The Monkees. And then, "G-o-l-l-y!", Donna snags a role on Gomer Pyle. Plus, Donna and Adam answer listener questions!
48:49
April 19, 2021
Chapter 10: Ten Good Reasons - Part 1
"Good gravy!" After taping on location in Hawaii, Donna exits Shindig. But The Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder come to the rescue when she wins the part of Susie the Cheerleader, as the sidekick of The Joker (Cesar Romero) on TV's Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward.
01:00:56
April 02, 2021
Chapter 9: Just A Little Girl
Donna's in the Capitol Records Tower to record with the likes of Jack Nitzsche, Steve Douglas, David Axelrod, H. B. Barnum, and the legends of the Wrecking Crew. Plus we answer listener questions!
01:05:59
March 18, 2021
*Special Episode* Her Name is Love - Donna Loren in conversation with very special guest Darlene Love
Donna and very special guest, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Darlene Love reminisce about their places in rock 'n' roll history as cast members of TV's Shindig, Darlene's iconic song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", and what Donna and Darlene sees as the true meaning of that holiday. Plus a remembrance of their mutual friend, The Supremes' Mary Wilson.
50:53
March 05, 2021
Chapter 8: Shakin' All Over - Part 4
Donna wins a plum seven-part guest role on hit show Dr. Kildare starring Richard Chamberlain. But her first dramatic TV turn is overshadowed by a real life-or-death medical emergency on set, and tension hit boiling point in Southern L.A. leading to the Watts Riots.
50:42
February 12, 2021
Chapter 8: Shakin' All Over - Part 3
Unchaperoned at the Oscars, Grammys, and Deb Star Ball? Where's Donna's father now? And Bingo! Donna appearance in Beach Blanket Bingo gives her a signature song, "It Only Hurts When I Cry", and she is chosen to record the one-and-only soundtrack for the film - her '60s vinyl LP collectable classic, Beach Blanket Bingo. Recorded at Capitol Records...in 14 hours!
01:10:46
January 29, 2021
Chapter 8: Shakin' All Over - Part 2
Donna travels coast to coast getting a bird's-eye view of America, while she causes sales to rise for Dr Pepper. Poverty in the Deep South to rural Native American land, this young teenager's personal appearances in all parts of the country give her an education in empathy and connection. Even if a well-known celebrity shows little empathy for the Dr Pepper Girl.
51:16
January 21, 2021
Season Finale: Merry Christmas Baby!
We Think It's Almost Christmas Time! In our Season 1 finale, Donna shares a childhood Christmas memory and her wishes for the New Year. With special guests Joan and Gary Gand, concert sound pioneers and founders of Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond.
54:46
December 24, 2020
Chapter 8: Shakin' All Over - Part 1
The sexual revolution; the Vietnam War; the changing of the guard. Donna pays a price for exerting her power, and then is given a window into the brutality of war while visiting a ward for returned servicemen.  Plus, we remember the visionary singer-songwriter P.F. Sloan ("Eve of Destruction"), with special guest Stephen E. Feinberg.
01:20:39
December 10, 2020
Chapter 7: Wishin' and Hopin' - Part 4 with special guest David Mallet
Revolution is in the air at Shindig. And a birthday wish for Donna from Elvis. With special guest David Mallet, Shindig assistant producer and now Grammy-winning concert film/music video director.
18:43
December 03, 2020
Chapter 7: Wishin' and Hopin' - Part 3
Onstage and backstage, Donna relishes her role on Shindig being surrounded by the likes of The Righteous Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Glen Campbell, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, and Bobby Sherman.
01:12:37
December 03, 2020
Chapter 7: Wishin' and Hopin' - Part 2
Music music music! Donna debuts on a little rock 'n' roll TV show called Shindig!
27:37
November 26, 2020
Chapter 7: Wishin' and Hopin' - Part 1 with special guest Brian Hyland
All aboard the Caravan! Donna joins Dick Clark's 1964 Caravan of Stars Tour for 21 days. With special guest Brian Hyland (#1 "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini", "Sealed with a Kiss").
01:12:00
November 13, 2020
Chapter 6: Muscle Bustle - Part 2
Dr Pepper and Beach Party Movie magic!
01:16:06
November 05, 2020
Chapter 6: Muscle Bustle - Part 1
The mastermind of an ad campaign had something up his sleeve! With special guest Lana Dale, wife of King of the Surf Guitar, Dick Dale ("Muscle Beach Party").
01:12:37
November 05, 2020
*Bonus episode* Chapter 5: These Are the Good Times - Part 4 - JFK Assassination
22 November, 1963. Donna is in Dallas preparing to be introduced as the Dr Pepper Girl. Down the road, President Kennedy's motorcade rides through Dealey Plaza.
01:01:07
October 22, 2020
Chapter 5: These Are the Good Times - Part 3
Donna and Adam break it down! How much Dr Pepper does it take to film a 1-minute TV spot? What’s it like to co-host a national TV special with Dick Clark? And what went down when Donna was on the bill with Marvin Gaye and The Beach Boys at the Cow Palace?
53:41
October 15, 2020
Chapter 5: These Are the Good Times - Part 2 with special guest Alison Martino
Donna chats with Alison Martino, founder of Vintage Los Angeles and daughter of Donna's Capitol Records stablemate Al Martino, all things mid-century.
46:12
October 15, 2020
Chapter 5: These Are the Good Times - Part 1
Summer, 1963 - Say Goodbye to school, Donna, and hello to Dr Pepper, Dick Clark, Marvin Gaye, and a star-studded Celebrity Party with Frankie and Annette. Includes a preview of Donna's interview with Alison Martino of Vintage Los Angeles.
39:54
October 15, 2020
Chapter 4: Good Times Begin with Dr Pepper
Living the American Dream! Donna is chosen as the Dr Pepper Girl.
58:27
October 01, 2020
Chapter 3: Hands Off - Part 3
A bone of contention? As momentum was building with Donna's career, her body was changing and so was her nose. Obligatory cosmetic surgery fixed that!
41:34
September 17, 2020
Chapter 3: Hands Off - Part 2
Down the rabbit hole! Donna takes a trip to magical San Francisco and has a date with a teen idol. With special guest Carl Scott.
45:32
September 17, 2020
Chapter 3: Hands Off - Part 1
Too old for toys, too young for boys. It's awkward being a preteen when the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Plus Glen Campbell, James Burton, and Jerry Naylor - and Donna gets the curtain closed on her mid-performance! 
01:00:24
September 17, 2020
Chapter 2: Here's Your Ears - Part 2
On "The Mickey Mouse Club", Donna celebrates her 10th birthday.
43:44
September 03, 2020
Chapter 2: I Didn't Know the Gun Was Loaded - Part 1
Swinging on a star? Or would you rather be loved by your mom?
44:14
September 03, 2020
Chapter 1: It Only Hurts When I Cry
Lies, abandonment, rejection; Donna's spirit rises above.
47:22
August 21, 2020
Beginnings: Batman and Beyond
Holy moly Batman! In this first episode, Donna and Dr Adam talk about Donna's role as Susie the Cheerleader on Batman.
34:04
August 14, 2020