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Script for April 2005

rainbow cowboy  

History of Gay Country Music, Part 2

Gretchen Phillips - Hello Darlin' (1998)

This is Queer Voices on KPFT and this segment is called Queer Music Heritage. I'm JD Doyle and tonight I'm bringing you the last show in my three-part series on Gay Country Music. I started out a month ago with The History of Gay Country Music, Part 1, and then slipped in an extra show two weeks ago tracing homophobia in country music. You know, those songs by straight artists who just love to make gay people the butt of their very stereotypical jokes. You can hear those two shows at my site, www.queermusicheritage.com, and some folks also like to go to my site while they're listening, so they can follow the playlist and see photos of the artists and recordings as they hear me talk about them.

And what I'm talking about tonight is Part 2 of the History. On this show I'm going to continue where I left off, around the mid 90s, and bring you up to date, trying to share with you as many as I can of the recent country recordings by gay & lesbian artists.

I opened the show with the country classic "Hello, Darlin'," but of course that was not Conway Twitty. This time it was done by Gretchen Phillips and appeared on her 1998 album, "Songs To Save Your Soul."

She's become one of our musical heroes, thanks to her wide influence as member of a number of different bands, like Two Nice Girls, Girls in the Nose, Lord Douglas Phillips, the Gretchen Phillips Experience, and her solo work. While in Two Nice Girls she wrote the marvelous "I Spent My Last $10 on Birth Control and Beer," which you heard on this show last month. The style of her music can certainly vary, but there's always been a healthy sprinkling of country.

I'm going to share with a lot of different artists tonight and this will be mainly from the last 10 to 12 years. To squeeze in as many as possible you'll mostly hear clips of the songs, but I think enough to whet your appetites. And we'll make time for some special interview comments by some of my favorites, like Jeff Miller, Mark Weigle, and a couple others. And, as I said on my first show, country music covers a lot of ground, and I want to be as inclusive as possible, so not everyone is going to sound like Dwight Yoakum or Tammy Wynette.

Next I'm going to pair up two artists not really known for country music, but they sure know how to make good country music when they want. And I know they won't mind being paired up as they are good friends. First is Jamie Anderson with her musical question "Wynona, Why Not." And she'll be followed by Lisa Koch, and "Down at the Timberline."

Jamie Anderson - Wynona, Why Not? (1993)
Lisa Koch - Down at the Timberline (1996)

That was Jamie Anderson with "Wynona, Why Not?" from the 1993 album "Bad Hair Day" and Lisa Koch from her album called, are you ready, "You Make My Pants Pound."

Now that album, from 1996, has several excellent country flavored songs that I really like, and I can't resist sharing one more with you. I asked her about the title track "You Make My Pants Pound"

Lisa Koch comments (2002)

"You Make My Pants Pound," was, gosh, I wrote that because I had an upcoming concert in Seattle, and I wanted a new song, and I just sat down and wrote "Pants Pound" for some odd reason. I don't know what the, you know, what the stimulation was…Oh, I remember, gosh. A friend of mine, a woman that I dated years ago, ah, that was one of her sayings…she'd talk about, somebody would walk by and she'd say, "oo, my pants are pounding," and I remember it always cracked me up and I thought, someday I have to work it into a song.

Lisa Koch - You Make My Pants Pound (1996)

Lisa Koch, and "You Make My Pants Pound."

At the women's festivals in the mid-90s one of the country band crowd-pleasers was a group called Ranch Romance. They released three albums and from their 1993 CD "Flip City" here's a bit of "She Must Be Obeyed."

Ranch Romance - She Must Be Obeyed (1993)

Ranch Romance was founded by Jo Miller, who wrote most of their material. She went on to a solo career and in 1995 got together with Laura Love to record an album called, simply enough, "Jo Miller and Laura Love Sing Bluegrass and Old Time Music." Here's a medley I put together of three songs from that album.

Jo Miller & Laura Love - In My Dear Old Southern Home/Bury Me Beneath the Willow/Golden River (1995)

Anther duo with that old time feeling is made up of Robin Flower and Libby McLaren. Now, I played a song from 1979 by Robin Flower on Part 1 of my history show, and other than Gretchen Phillips, she'll be the only artist to appear on both shows. And that's because, well, she's been making good music for over 25 years. Some of her early material had more of a bluegrass flavor, and some is very pop, but for this show of course I picked one that's very country. From the album "Angel of Change," here's "My Darlin' Doesn't Live Here Anymore."

Flower & McLaren - My Darlin' Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1994)

Flower & McLaren from 1994.

Okay, so far I've been neglecting the male artists. Can't have that, so let's go to one of my favorites, Mark Islam. He released his third album in 2001, called "The Fine Print" and from it is "That Restless Feeling."

Mark Islam - That Restless Feeling (2001)

One of the perks of producing a show like this is that you become friends with many of the artists, and I'm pleased to include Mark Islam among them, and also the talented artist with whom he wrote that song, Marcus Hutcheson, who also sings backup on it.

One of the more obscure openly gay country recordings was by an Arizona artist named Steve Lynn. He had only one release, and it was really more of a maxi-single, with just four tracks. But he was right on point lyrically, and he blatantly called his album "Steve Lynn Sings Gay Country." From it, here's one called "Don't Be So Quick To Judge Me."

Steve Lynn - Don't Be So Quick To Judge Me (1994)

Steve Lynn's song was from 1994.

Dale - Cowboy In Drag (2002)

And that was a bit of a song called "Cowboy In Drag" by an artist just identified on the CD as Dale. Now, I know nothing about him, except that in 2002 he sent me his CD containing two tracks. As my internet searches didn't find a mention of him, I guess he and his cowboy in drag rode off into the sunset.

Next up is another message song, this time from Steven Gellman. It's from his album from 2000 called "Return to Summer Lake," and the song is called "Just Like You."

Steven Gellman - Just Like You (2000)

Return to Summer Lake, 2000Love Loss Longing, 2003Photobook, 1997Time To Open My Heart, 1995Believe, 1999 (CD single +3)

The material by New England artist Lynn Deeves is generally more folk-oriented, but from her 1998 album "Soul Food," I just love this very country "Some of My Best Friends."

Lynn Deeves - Some of My Best Friends (1998)

This next song always makes me smile, because frankly, it's one of my favorite openly gay country songs, but at the same time it always makes me sad, for a very different reason. The artist is David Alan Mors, and I'm sad because here's an example of a very promising career that didn't get off the ground. In 1999 Mors recorded what I consider a wonderful CD called "Where I'm Free," and copies were sent out mainly to radio people. It got some very favorable response, but then he just didn't release the album. You couldn't buy it, even on the internet, it just disappeared. I was in touch with him by email for about the next two years, and it boiled down to money. It takes a lot of it to produce and then market an album, and the project just sort of died on the vine. So sad, I sure hope he resurfaces in the future to pick up his singing career, but until then I'm glad I have his album, "Where I'm Free," and especially his song "Someone To Kiss."

David Alan Mors - Someone To Kiss (1999)
David Alan Mors - comment on "Keep your Bluejeans On"

Funny thing about "Keep Your Bluejeans On" is I had the song all put together as far as lyrics and vocal melody, but I wasn't quite sure what style I wanted to do it in. So I went out to Nashville, still not sure, and I took it to those guys, and I was really pleased because they all came together and came up with an idea right on the spot and I was so thrilled with how it came out, and I loved it.

David Alan Mors - Keep your Bluejeans On (1999)

David Alan Mors and "Someone To Kiss" and "Keep Your Bluejeans On." And that very rare quote from him came from when he visited Jimmy Carper on his show After Hours in June of 2000.

You can listen to After Hours on KPFT every Saturday night from midnight to 4am, and as Jimmy likes to say, it's Queer Radio..with Attitude. And this is a good time to invite you to check out my website, at www.queermusicheritage.com. If you visit it while you're listening you can see the play list and follow along, while looking at photos of the artists and recordings. I've always considered our music history as a visual as well as an audio experience.

Jeff Miller, 1994 pic

I'm going to devote the next part of the show to covering three artists who are not known for their gay country recordings, but worked their craft in a different way. They were on the so-called gay country circuit, traveling the US and Canada performing in clubs and rodeos. And one of the best known is Jeff Miller. He's also affectionately known as the John Deere Diva. I think he has a terrific voice, and one of his specialties is parodies of country songs. But before we get any further along, I want you to hear a little of his version of a George Strait song. You'll know it immediately. It's from a cassette tape he released in 1988 called "Not Really Strait"

Jeff Miller - Baby Blue (1988)

Jeff has lived in Nashville for a number of years and is one of the few openly gay country singers there, and that's not always an easy thing to be.

Jeff, what's it like being an openly gay artist in Nashville?

Ah, kind of tough, just simply from the fact that even though some label people will take you seriously, they just realize that there's a glass ceiling, you know, that you're not going to rise above, so they're kind of wary about putting any kind of money into you. But it's a cool place to live, I mean, it's the center of the music universe, whether you're gay or straight, it's a great place to network and connect with other people. It's just amazing the number of gay musicians I've met here, famous or otherwise.

Where'd you get the name John Deere Diva?

That's from RSVP Cruises, because for anyone that's ever appeared on a cruise ship, they are absolutely…well, the older ones, which is what we were on, are just a nightmare to try to do a sound check on, because with all the medal everything is just bouncing all over the place. And I've always been pretty picky about my sound. Actually, Ann Hampton Calloway was the one who nicknamed me that.

How would you describe one of your shows?

One of my shows? Um, don't bring your…don't bring mom and dad, cause you never know what's going to come out of my mouth, ah, both from a standpoint of what I say in-between songs and the songs themselves. I've got a background in improvisational comedy and stuff like that, so I can be kind of wicked sometimes, which is why I get so many hosting jobs, doing stuff like IML (International Mr. Leather) and the leather stuff and it helps me with my writing too, because, if you've heard my parodies, they're kind of witty and edgy. I'm always wary about when I get booked for something like a Pride Festival, and there's going to be kids and dogs and PC lesbians around…do they know what my music is like? Cause sometimes I just have to hold back cause it's a little crude for some audiences, but in a club situation or whatever it's just the ticket

One of Jeff's edgier parodies is called "A Little On the Leather Side"

"A Little on the Leather Side"…that song is just a riot to do at leather events. I'm not a leather person, but in the gay community I've always thought that the cowboys and the leather crowd were a real close family tree. I have a great time doing that song. You know it reminds me a little of my family experience, too, you know what I'm talking about, my mom walks in and, son, there's queen in your king size bed…that's kind of true.

Jeff Miller - A Little On The Leather Side (2000)

Well, you can't buy that recording, at least not yet. It's only available on a demo CD Jeff put together in 2000.

And another song I especially liked from that disc was "Half A Man."

"Half A Man" is kind of cool, in that one of the major studios here in Nashville, or major labels, Arista, actually had me under kind of like an artist development thing. They were actually giving me tour support and lots of other support on a corporate level. And they had cut that song on a brand new artist named Shannon Brown, and one of the gay heads at the label thought that would really be fun sung by a guy too, you know, "Let's have Jeff do it" and I did and it's kind of fun hearing that done by a guy

Jeff Miller - Half A Man (2000)

I'm going to pause and say that sometimes when I produce these shows I do two versions of them. One for airing on Queer Voices on KPFT, and the other for uploading to my website. While it's a bit more work, I do the second version because sometimes there's a song or two I had to cut for time reasons, that I just thought people would want to hear as part of whatever feature I was doing. And the other reason is if a song would not be in compliance with FCC guidelines. This is one of those times, and Jeff Miller has a number of very interesting, and very fun songs I want to share with you, but only on the internet version, you'll have to listen from my site, at www.queermusicheritage.com.

And since you are listening from the internet, let's get to those songs.

Of what song that you've written are you the most proud?

Ah, "No Lube" is I think one of the better written songs that I've done just because it's so cohesive and it just…most of my songs I strive for little snippets of gay life. They are just little experiences that we go through, and that particular one…you know, it's about coming home with a really hot guy and having no lube around the house and trying to substitute all these household products with disastrous results. I think most gay guys have been there, and actually a lot of straight guys. And it never fails to get just a great reaction any time I sing it

Jeff Miller - No Lube (2000)

But that's kind of my style, I try to write little snippets of gay life and some of them are based on personal experience, like the rewrite I did of Garth Brooks' "Ain't Going Down Til the Sun Comes Up" which is called "Always Goin' Down When Things Come Up." It's about picking up truckers at rest stops and that's based on all the first hand recollections of one of my best friends, who specialized in doing that. The song is hilarious, but it's all true.

Jeff Miller - Always Goin' Down When Things Come Up

And I should mention that that song and the next three are demos so aren't going to sound like studio recordings.

Jeff, what song is your biggest crowd-pleaser?

Ah, that's a tough one. It's got to be between "No Lube" and "Something In Black," just because they are so raucous. I mean, you can hear a pin drop when I do those songs cause people are listening to every single word I do. I have so many fun songs, but those are definitely the two most popular

And wait till you hear "Something In Black." You'll recognize it as a cover of the Lorrie Morgan song "Something In Red," but with a huge difference.

Jeff Miller - Something In Black

Ah, I'm so pleased to have been able to share that one, as it's one of his most requested live songs. Before I let you hear Jeff's answer to my next question, I want to give some background about the person involved. In early 1995 country singer Ty Herndon had a number one country hit with his song "What Mattered Most." Here's just a bit of that song.

Ty Herndon - What Mattered Most (1995)

Okay, now it's June of 1995, and Herndon pulls what you might call a George Michael. He was arrested in a Fort Worth park for allegedly exposing himself to an undercover policeman. Of course that story was ripe for a song parody.

Which song's gotten you into the most trouble?

The most trouble…oh, Lord…oh, that's actually an easy one. God, what did I call it? Oh yes, it's called "What Mattered More," is what I called it, and it's a parody of Ty Herndon's "What Mattered Most." And I rewrote it as a parody about what happened to him in that park in Texas that day. [Oh, I love it, I want to hear that] It's an absolute screamer, it's really funny and it's the absolute truth of what happened, you know, not the glossed over version. And I wrote that, and then performed it in a club in Nashville, where there were a lot of music industry people there. This was like two days after I wrote it; I wrote it kind of with that in mind. And they were coming up to me afterwards and going, "you know that is so hilarious, we have to have the lyrics to that." And I gave a couple of them the lyrics, and that was the hot topic on the fax machines on Music Row the next day. It was just hilarious. I mean, nothing really bad happened. It's just that a lot of people who didn't know who I was knew who I was after that. [Did you hear from him?] I know Ty, in fact his nickname for me is Big Trouble. Ah, if he knows about the song, he has never said anything to me about it, so that's a good thing. I never told him I did it, and I kind of want to leave it that way. [I would imagine he's heard] It wouldn't surprise me. I've been performing that one for a while. And that's always kind of fun, for people who are in the know in the music business about what's going on behind the scenes.

Jeff Miller - What Mattered Most (1996)

Okay, let's get back to the main interview.

When I was talking to Jeff I realized that this was a unique opportunity to ask about some of the other acts on the gay country circuit, because their history has not really been captured. And one of the ones I can remember seeing was Dena Kaye, and I'll let Jeff tell us who she is.

Dena was one of the first national acts on the gay country music scene, as a woman artist. Actually she is the only national touring act we've had who was a female. She's just a little bundle of dynamite and a marketing bonanza. She sold so much stuff after her shows

Well, I'm glad you can tell us about her, because I really wanted her to be part of this story.

She should be. You know, some of the stories I've seen on gay country history have not included her, and she was one of the biggest trailblazers, and definitely one of the most successful artists that we ever had. It was a riot when we'd play double bills, because we often would sing duets together. And Dena if you've ever met her is about 5'1" if even that, and I'm 6'6" so the two of us on stage together were quite a sight. But we sounded really good together, and I just loved singing with her

Her recordings are very rare, and I didn't own any, so I was pleased Jeff was able to loan me one of her cassettes. It's called "He's Fine" and was from around 1991. Cover versions were very popular on the country circuit so here's quick medley of four from that release.

Dena Kaye - I Don't Want To Mention Any Names / There Goes My Heart Again /
Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That / Oklahoma Swing (1991)

You mentioned that you and Dena Kaye were some of the earlier people touring, who else was on the gay country circuit?

The earliest ones were Rod Henry, who was a Texas guy, who was touring around the same time that Dena first got started, and actually I think that he had a lot to do with her getting started. And it was always hilarious because every time I would see him play he had like this 10 x 20 foot Texas flag that was the backdrop to his show, and was as skinny as a little rail, but he put on a good show. And then Dena of course inspired me and got me out there on the road, and then a couple guys by the names of Sid Spencer and Freddy Burch were also doing quite a bit. I mean, all of us worked the US but we were also touring Canada pretty regularly.

What do you think is your contribution to our music history?

Just being out there and having a good time at what I did. I think I wrote some good music and people always had a great time at my shows, and I think that's my job, is to entertain people and to leave them smiling, and leave them laughing, and wanting me to come back. I mean, I can't tell you the number of people who have come up to me after a show and said, "I had no idea this kind of music was even out there and that there were even people like you doing what you are doing" and "thank you for coming to our city." Some of the places that I played were just tiny little clubs, like in Butte, Montana. I mean, tiny little clubs, you know, in a very redneck town, and I got a great response. I mean, people were driving in from 60 miles to see the show. And that just blows me away when I hear comments like that. You know, I'll pour my heart out on stage, well, I do anyhow, but I do more so in situations like that when I know how difficult it is to be gay in places, especially like that

Before we leave Jeff Miller I want to share with you one more of his songs. He does a very fun version of "I Want To Be A Cowboy Sweetheart."

"I Want To Be A Cowboy Sweetheart" That is the song that I would really love to do if I ever get a chance to sing on the Opry. I've actually appeared on the Grand Ole Opry as a dancer, but not as a singer, and it's always been my great dream to do "I Want To Be A Cowboy Sweetheart" on the Grand Ole Opry. It's just such a jumpy, peppy song. It's was Patsy Montana's first hit and the first million selling hit for a female artist, and it's just so fun to hear a guy do that, especially with the yodeling, which I just love to do

Jeff Miller - I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart (2000)

You've been listening to the internet version of the show, which is split into two sound files. Please continue listening by clicking on the second file.

Internet Version, Part 2

You heard Jeff Miller mention Sid Spencer as one of the artists on the gay country circuit. Well, Spencer is one of my favorites. It's tragic that he passed away from AIDS in 1996, because I think he was one of the best, with one of the best voices. His career was much too short but in the mid-90s he released three albums in about three years, and his family released sort of a greatest hits album after his death. His first album was called "Lovin' Strangers" and then came a Christmas album, "Family Ties." 1995 brought I think his best one, "Out-N-About Again." On that album he started singing songs that were lyrically gay, and what a treat it was to hear a voice like that singing to a man. I have often wondered what he would have gone on to create.

By some stroke of luck I got to see him perform once, and it was a fluke. I was at the local country dance bar in Houston, the Brazos River Bottom, and it must have been a week night, as the place was almost empty. They announced a surprise guest and Sid Spencer came out and sang a few songs. I'm guessing that he was passing through and just stopped by and asked if he could sing. He came across as charming as he was talented. I'll never forget it.

I'm pleased to share two songs with you from his "Out-N-About Again" album. First is a cover version of a Tim Mensy song called "You Gotta Swim." Sid changed the pronouns a little on that one. And I'm following it with my personal favorite, one he wrote called "All I Can Handle."

Sid Spencer - You Gotta Swim (1995)
Sid Spencer - All I Can Handle (1995)

 

The late great Sid Spencer. As I said, he died of AIDS in 1996, at age 28. The next year his family released a retrospective album called "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow." His albums are a little hard to find but I recommend any of them.

For the next two country songs I'm going out of the country, to New Zealand and Canada. The Topp Twins have been a national institution in New Zealand for many years, even having their own television show, and they make good music, like this one from their 2001 album "Grass Highway."

Topp Twins - Big Ole Moon (2001)
Jane Waynes - Women's Prison (2004)

     

That was "Big Ole Moon" by the Topp Twins and after that was a group I just discovered, from Canada, the Jane Waynes. They've now split up and their only album came out just last year. From "Cowboy Songs" you heard a bit of "Women's Prison."

And here's another foreign country act, this time from England. And this act's lyrics can get explicit, so only my internet listeners are hearing these next two songs. The group was called The Well-Oiled Sisters, and they can get down and get dirty.

Well-Oiled Sisters - It Ain't Hard Being Easy (1994)
Well-Oiled Sisters - Dirty Cowgirls (1994)

Again, that was the Well-Oiled Sisters, with "It Ain't Hard Being Easy" and "Dirty Cowgirls." Those two songs came from their 1994 album "Alcohol & Tears."

Another western act I like is led by J. Byrd Hosch. From her album from last year called "The Family Album" is "A Cowgirl's Love Song."

J. Byrd Hosch Trio - A Cowgirl's Love Song (2004)

And I'm going right from J. Byrd Hosch to a comedy duo known as Chandler & Ripley. Their 1994 release, "I Survived a Femme" offered a spelling lesson (talk over song intro, running these 2 together)

Chandler & Ripley - D-Y-K-E (1994)

And they spelled out the title of the song, "D-Y-K-E"

Another fairly new artist is Matthew Heath-Fitzgerald, out of Oklahoma. He's released three albums already, in just the last three years. From his live album is the song "Pour Me"

Matthew Heath-Fitzgerald - Pour Me (2003)

From the CD "Matthew Heath-Fitzgerald Live!"

For the last year or so I've been reading about efforts to get on television a show called "American Pride." It's to be sort of an "American Idol" type show, with the goal being to find the best gay male country singer. They've even got a website, AmericanPrideTV.com. Two of those slated to be contestants are Matt Alber and Brian Glenn, and if their talent is any indication, I can't wait for the show. Here's Matt singing a little of "What Took You So Long."

Matt Alber - What Took You So Long (2005)
Brian Glenn - My Whole World Is Falling In Love (2005)

And after Matt Alber you heard Brian Glenn with "My Whole World Is Falling In Love." Both artists plan on releasing their first albums this year.

Another new country artist on the scene is Kitty Rose, who calls her style classic country. You'll soon see why…

Kitty Rose - Travelin' (2004)

That was Kitty Rose from her debut album that she called, with tongue in cheek, "Greatest Hits."

Back when the website MP3.com was a haven for independent artists, I happened onto the music of Lynzi Wildheart and the Amazon Range Riders. With a name like that how could they miss, and I thought they were excellent. At that time artists on the MP3.com site could release albums, and the site would press them up. Lynzi Wildheart and the band had two of these, containing only 3 or 4 songs each, and I was able to download four more songs from their page. So in pieces I think I have all eleven songs that they recorded. Here's a bit of two I especially like "Amazon Range Riders" and "Tell Me Not To Go."

Lynzi Wildheart & the Amazon Range Riders - Amazon Range Riders (1996)
Lynzi Wildheart & the Amazon Range Riders - Tell Me Not To Go (1996)

I just love that last one especially. Lynzi Wildheart & the Amazon Range Riders, from around 1996.

Now, you know I couldn't do a country show without Mark Weigle. I've been a fan of his since his first album in 1998, and while not really a country artist there have been a number of classic country songs spread out over his five albums. His first album "The Truth Is" gave us two of what I consider essential songs, "Two Cowboy Waltz" and "One Less Dancer."

Mark on "Two Cowboy Waltz":
Well, "Two Cowboy Waltz" is about the first time I went into a gay country bar and saw guys dancing together arm-in-arm. I had grown up listening to a lot of country music. My older brothers were into the Outlaws, Waylon, Merle, my parents listened to Ray Price, Eddy Arnold, those guys. So then when I grew up and came out all I heard in the gay community was dance music, which never really moved me, so again, the first night I walked in and saw those guys dancing together arm-in-arm to "Rose Colored Glasses" and those great old songs, it was quite a moment for me, and I went home that night dreaming about cowboys and "The Two Cowboy Waltz" came out of that.

Mark Weigle - Two Cowboy Waltz (1998)

Mark Weigle on "One Less Dancer":
"One Less Dancer" is sort of the continuation of the "Two Cowboy Waltz" story in that after that first fateful night at the Rawhide II, I spent a lot of time there, learned to dance, and actually wound up deejaying for a while, made a lot of friends. And this was in the early 90's in San Francisco among gay men, so I also lost a lot of friends, and "One Less Dancer" was written a couple years after "The Two Cowboy Waltz" about the Rawhide II.

Mark Weigle - One Less Dancer (1998)

When Mark released "Out Of The Loop," his covers CD in 2002, one song he picked was "What I Like About You."

Mark Weigle on "What I Like About You":
"What I Like About You" of course was a big hit for Trisha Yearwood. It's a great two-step, when I did my cover CD, "Different And The Same" a couple years back I just always loved that song. It's rare to find an upbeat, especially a love sort of relationship song that's sort of real, about love and relationships, and this one is just so gutsy.

Mark Weigle - What I Like About You (2002)

And, bringing us up to date, Mark's just released a brand new double CD called "Soulsex" that's basically split up into songs you can play on the radio, and songs you just can't. From the first CD, called "Wrestling the Angel" is the beautiful song "And I Love Horses"

Mark Weigle - And I Love Horses (2005)

And the second CD, called "Versatile," is full of the edgier material, addressing many areas of gay sexuality that most people don't want to openly talk about, much less, sing about. I give Mark a lot of credit for braving to go there, and for doing it so well. A couple of country flavored songs are included like this gem, called "These Lips of Mine (Made for Suckin' You)"

Mark Weigle on "These Lips of Mine":
Well, "These Lips of Mine" actually was the first song that I wrote in about 20 minutes, driving up highway 101 here, ah, the first of the sexual tunes. It actually kind of covers a lot of ground. I mean, it's a, it's sort of tongue in cheek point out the hypocrisy of the religious zealot, kind of fundamentalist bible thumper, whose, you know, got a big hot thing for bondage and being tied up and servicing

Mark Weigle - These Lips of Mine (2005)

Okay, of course it's only my internet listeners that got to hear that one.

Again, that was Mark Weigle from his new CD "Soulsex."

I can't leave out Mary Gauthier, although her music walks a fine line between folk and country. She's had four albums and just gets better and better. Her second album was good enough to win a GLAMA award for best country recording in 2000, so I'm going to share just a little the title track, "Drag Queens In Limousines."

Mary Gauthier - Drag Queens In Limousines (1999)

Mary Gauthier and "Drag Queens In Limousines." Her new album is called "Mercy Now," and I think it's terrific. I had the chance to interview her recently and the way she talks about her songwriting is just fascinating. But you'll have to wait for next month's Queer Music Heritage to hear about it.

Les Femmes D'Enfers - Chere Ici, Chere La Bas (2003)

While I talk us to the last act on tonight's show I'm going to feature in the background a little cajun music, as that form of country music is also ably represented in our community, by the group Les Femmes D'Enfers, and this one's from their album from 2003 called "Femmes." Their two albums contain several songs with female to female pronouns, or, I should say, femme to femme pronouns, since they're sung in French.

Okay, for this show, The History of Gay Country Music, Part 2, we've just run plumb out of time. Before we get to the last two artists, I want to thank you all for listening, and to thank Jeff Miller and Mark Weigle for their interview comments. Jeff was especially helpful in getting me the music of Deana Kaye and Brian Glenn to add to this show and I appreciate him sharing with me all those unreleased demos of his own material. And, as always if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write me, and I wish you would.

I mentioned earlier that my internet version of this show is longer than the radio version, because I just could not squeeze into one hour all the great music I wanted you to know about. Okay, I got a little carried away, the internet show is over a half hour longer. Sometimes it's just too, too hard to cut those artists and songs when you're trying to show the best of queer country music. It's nice I have the luxury of a big website as an alternate outlet. And that, of course is at www.queermusicheritage.com.

I'm closing the show with a truly unique act, and I've seen them many times. You can hear an in-depth interview with them on my August of 2001 show. Their names are James Dean Jay Bird and Steven Cheslek Demeyer, better known as the duo Y'All. Between 1993 and 2002 they released seven recordings that are a very humorous cross between folk and country. And their live act is a riot. Sadly they stopped performing a couple of years ago, but the good news is that a musical documentary's been made of their travels touring in their little camper, and the film is called "Life In A Box." A soundtrack, that will be sort of a career retrospective will be released soon.

So, from Y'All, two of my favorite of their songs, "My Man, Our Horses and Me" and "You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man." Gee, I started the show with a Conway Twitty song and I'm ending it with a Loretta Lynn song. You can't get much more country than that. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston.

Y'All - My Man, Our Horses and Me (2001)
Y'All - You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man (1995)

 

pulp friction

wonder if he sings?

ridersriders