Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You (1984)
Welcome to Queer Voices on KPFT and I'm JD Doyle. From time to time on Queer Music Heritage I like to feature songs that don't really fit into any theme, so this is another one of my Songs I've Been Meaning To Play shows. I do this oh, about once a year, and this is the seventh show of that series, and it's another multi-part show. As a collector and programmer I encounter so, so many songs I want to share with you, and I seem to lack the willpower of only producing one hour-long show for radio, when I can do several on the internet version of Queer Music Heritage. So you'll want to check the site for all the parts, which will include some fun interviews, and for also material that, as I often say, is just not ready for radio.
But that opening song was definitely for radio. It was a hit in 1984 by Dan Hartman. Regular listeners know I love the obscure, and love to bring give more exposure to the songs that most people never knew about, as is the case for this next one. Now, there's a Dan Hartman connection, as Dan sang backup on it. The singer is actually very well-known as he was in a very famous group, but this was his first solo recording, back in 1982. Now, if you are listening to this show from my website, you already know who the artist is, but I'll keep my radio listeners guessing until after the song.
Randy Jones - Pretty Woman (1982)
version of "Pretty Woman" was done by Randy Jones, of course
of The Village People. And I bet you never heard his version on the
radio. I'm right away going to one of the oldest songs on the show.
Back in the 60's in England it seemed that most of the major record
producers and managers were gay, from Brian Epstein, to Andrew Oldham,
Joe Meek and Jonathan King. One of this group was Simon Napier-Bell,
and the artists he worked with ranged from Dusty Springfield, the
Yardbirds, Wham, and many others. In 1970 he produced a band called
Fresh, and their album, called "Out of Borstal" was one
of the first to be released on a major label, in this case RCA, to
have songs dealing lyrically with homosexuality. Borstal is the name
the English give to their juvenile prisons, so perhaps that lent itself
to the subject matter. From the album I picked the song "And
the Boys Lazed on the Verandah." Here's the band Fresh.
And here's an artist I just met this year, Amy Meyers, and I quite admire her work. I got her to give me these comments about a song from her 2004 album "Strange & Beautiful." I heard her do this live and knew immediately I wanted to play it on this show. The name of the song is "Girls Like You."
Amy Meyers comments (2008)
"Girls Like You" is a song about a long-distance relationship, that I was in and the girl that I was involved with was in a four-year relationship. I was single, not a good match, but I fell head over heels, got sucked in, and she was never really available, as you can't be available, even if you've fallen out of love with whoever you're with you're not available for this new person. So, we played this song and dance, probably for a year and a half, and when we finally separated and that was it, and I was able to move on, I wrote this song, "Girls Like You." And "Girls Like You" is a venting song, but not a venting song towards the ex-girlfriend, but more it's like, oh, here we go again, everybody has that person that they just get sucked into, at some point in their lives. And this was my venting tirade of a song.
Meyers - Girls Like You (2004)
I followed Amy Meyers with a new artist, Anna Gutmanis, and her very out song "I Am Who I Am."
Up next is another artist who just released her debut album, and while I'm not generally drawn to hip hop, I think she's excellent. Her name is Melange Lavonne. I love her song "Gay Bash" and you'll hear her talk about it after you hear the song.
Lavonne - Gay Bash (2008)
"Gay Bash" is a fictional character about a boy named Kevin, who was murdered for being gay. And when I went to hatecrime.org I had no idea how many people have been murdered for just being themselves. So I thought it was a song that needed to get out there and I needed to do. [Beautiful, you wrote the lyrics, right?] Yeah, I wrote the lyrics. [Did you write the music?] My producer, my cousin his name is Kingbeats, he wrote the music. [That song that runs behind that is so haunting]. Yes, when I hear a song this is how I work. I hear a song. I hear the track, and these emotions come out. And I'm able to write on top of the track, and I feel like these emotions are from people talking through me. God is using me to send out these messages. And when I'm in a studio and I record, these songs that are emotional to me, I cry, I mean it's easy for me to cry when I hear the track and the song and the lyrics on top of the track combined, because it's just so moving to me. And like I said, I think God is using me. And so to hear my lyrics come out the way they do, sometimes it's not a reality for me, it's just like, where's this coming from? It just cant be just coming from me. There's something there's another force out there telling me, okay, this is what you need to talk about.
And I'll also like to hear about your song "Marry Me"
"Marry Me" basically is for all the couples out there who want to get married. I wrote the song about being in love with someone, and getting on one knee and asking for their hand in marriage. Basically it's a love song, and I want it, I definitely want it to be legal everywhere, and this is the next video we're going to do. [Is it your story?] No, it's not my story. I'm single right now. I definitely would love to meet my soulmate, and when I do I'd like to marry her and have kids, and live the American dream. So when you hear that song, basically it's for the person that I'll meet in the future.
Melange Lavonne - Marry Me (2008)
Melange Lavonne, from her debut album from this year, called "The Movement"
And this is a good time to invite you to check out my website. If you visit it while you're listening you can see the playlist 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. Again, that's at www.queermusicheritage.com, Also, for more very queer programming, please listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper, every Friday night/Saturday morning from 1 to 4 am, on KPFT, it's Queer Radio, with attitude.
And that's probably how most of you remember Sylvester, one of our biggest dance music stars. You heard a quick medley of "Dance Disco Heat," "You Make Me Feel Mighty Real" and, with Patrick Cowley, "Do You Wanna Funk," spanning the years 1978 through 1982. Sylvester died of AIDS in 1988. Some of you many not know that before his first disco hits in the late 70s, he was successful from the early 70s with more r&b and funk oriented music. And that's where this next piece of musical trivia comes in.
In 1973 there was a anti-drug campaign put on an organization around then called NAPRA, the National Association of Progressive Radio Announcers, and they got many of the major stars of the day to do PSA's, public service announcements. They released them on an LP called "Get Off," which was not sold to the public, as it was for use only by stations, so that they could drop in these PSAs by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Ringo Starr, BB King, the Eagles, Jim Croce and on and on, 44 in all. I'm kind of surprised that they considered Sylvester, years before his first hit, prominent enough to contribute, but they did. So here's the rare anti-drug PSA from 1973 by Sylvester & His Hot Band. And it will be followed by a song you may not expect from him.
- NAPRA Anti-Drug PSA (1973)
That was "Cabaret" and it was taken from a concert filmed in a nightclub in 1985, recently released on DVD. Other songs included "Stormy Weather", "Where or When," "Night and Day," and "Lover Man," definitely not his typical musical fare. A side comment, to my dismay Sylvester never recorded anything that I would consider lyrically gay, even though he often performed in full drag, as he did in this concert. He seemed to deliberately avoid that, and as an example, in the song "Lover Man" instead of singing "lover man, oh where can you be," it was just "lover, oh where can you be."
And times change. To make that point clear here's a song by Adam Joseph, called "Faggoty Attention," from 2007. And he's released several mixes of this song. I'm giving you a little of his a cappella version and then the radio one.
Joseph - Faggoty Attention (2007)
I went from "Fagotty Attention" to "Faggotry Personified." That was from "Balance," the 2004 album by Frank Grimaldi, and helping him out was an artist who bills himself, as you heard, as Soce the Elemental Wizard.
I want to slip in a country song, and I really like it. It's by Jimmy Demar, who is working on his full-length album, but until then he has several excellent songs you can hear on his myspace page. The track I picked is "Come Out And Play."
Demar - Come Out And Play (2008)
I think it's a crime that this next act is not more well-known. Rick Burkhardt and Andy Gricevich call themselves the Prince Myshkins, and they do marvelous political satire on a variety of subjects. They've released two albums and from their first, in 2000, is the song "Let Me Into the Military."
The Prince Myshkins - Let Me Into the Military (2000)
Above, the Prince Myshkins are in good company, with Roy Zimmerman and Charlie King.
Again, that was the Prince Myshkins, and you can visit their website to see how they got their name. We only have time for one more song, but remember I have additional parts of this show ready for you to listen or download from my site. And they include interview clips from a number of artists. That's found at www.queermusicheritage.com. And if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write me. This is JD Doyle for Queer Music Heritage.
Now, for the last song. Ian Levine is a gay songwriter and producer from England, well known for his disco hits just to name two, "So Many Men So Little Time" by Miquel Brown and "High Energy" by Evelyn Thomas. He considers one of his latest productions to be the most important gay record of his career. He picked a song created by Charles Azvanour, in 1972, which is from the perspective of a female impersonator and poses to the audience some interesting and challenging questions. It's been also recorded by Marc Almond, among others, and it's a song I quite admire, this time done with a dance beat. And Ian Levine chose an openly gay English singer and actor to do it, named George Daniel Long. The song is "What Makes a Man a Man."
George Daniel Long - What Makes a Man a Man (2008)
Welcome to Part 2 of Songs I've Been Meaning to Play, and I'm JD Doyle. On my Queer Music Heritage show for August, all of the artists you'll hear on this part will be from out of the United States. Okay, think drag queens from Italy inspired by the Andrews Sisters, and you'll get Le Sorelle Marinetti. Their debut album, from 2008, is called "Non Ce Ne Importa Niente," which according to their site means "We don't give a damn." Most of the songs are sung in Italian, but here's one in English, sort of an homage to Cher, simply called "Cher Medley."
Sorelle Marinetti - Cher Medley (2008)
From Le Sorelle Marinetti I went to the late 80s English group, The Kitchens of Distinction, with it's openly gay lead singer and writer Patrick Fitzgerald. That band released several excellent albums but never quite caught mainstream attention. The song "4 Men" came from their 1992 album "The Death of Cool."
Okay, so far that's been music from Italy and England. On to the Netherlands and one of their prolific artists, Jan Rot. He had some mainstream releases in that country in the the 80s with very gay lyrics, and I'm going to share with you two of them. First, from 1987, "Sweet Surrender."
Rot - Sweet Surrender (1987)
After "Sweet Surrender" was a cover version of a song made famous by Elvis, the song "Just Tell Him Jim Said Hello," which Jan Rot released in 1984.
Here's another artist from Holland, who now lives in Spain and has maintained sort of a cult status in Europe. His name is Richenel and he first recorded in 1978, with material over the years ranging from jazz to dance. I discovered him on myspace where I heard the song I'm sharing with you. It came from an album called "Aries," from 1989, but there's essentially no chance of tracking that album down. It was only sold at concerts and the artist himself does not have a copy, but he was nice enough to send me an mp3 of the song. It's called "My Lover Sleeps."
Richenel - My Lover Sleeps (1989)
Richenel and "My Lover Sleeps." And he's told me he plans to reissue that song on an album hopefully in the next year. And my next artist lives in Germany, and I also discovered him on myspace. His name is Rainer Sawicki-Terwort, but on his album, called "Patch Work," he just goes by The Geezer. The song I picked is called " When a Man Loves a Man."
The Geezer - When a Man Loves a Man (2008)
And on to Australia for Jacob Diefenbach, a young, and very cute, artist who is probably an acquired taste, with his piano driven, explicit lyrics that explore sometimes dark subjects. His website says this album, "Ripping Stories for Boys," are tales from the other side of pride. How could I resist? Check out his song "Ayran Boy."
Jacob Diefenbach - Ayran Boy (2006)
Jacob Diefenbach and "Ayran Boy," from his 2006 album "Ripping Stories for Boys."
Next is another obscure song, and in this case one not released. I got it from a concert recording video on line by one of my favorite television actors. He's John Barrowman and I've become addicted to his science fiction show on the BBC, "Torchwood." Where, get this, he's a gay actor playing a gay hero. But I first became aware of him in 2004 when he appeared with Kevin Kline in the movie "De-Lovely," playing Cole Porter's male lover. Barrowman was was born in Scotland, but his family moved to the US when he was nine, and he was back in the UK by 1990. He's much more known for his stage the television work, but has recorded several CDs. I couldn't wait to bring you his version, with some pronouns changes, of the song "The Wizard and I," from 'Wicked."
Barrowman - The Wizard and I (2006)
I doubt that last song has ever been played on the radio, as in 1976 songs proclaiming the right to gay love, well, just did not get aired. It was by British artist Alan Duke, and even the record label of that song was blatant. It was on the Gay Duo label.
And this next genre, British Music Hall is probably not everyone's taste in music, but this song has some good history to it. It's by Mark Bunyan, who has been an out gay cabaret artist since 1978, and has also written a number of musicals. In 1982 he participated in a benefit concert to raise money for the Lesbian & Gay Switchboards in London, and it was released on vinyl, featuring Tom Robinson on two songs. The album was called "Coming Out, Ready or Not." But Mark Bunyan's song was one he was well known for, called "Is S/He One?" and he writes the title as "S-slash-H-e" so he can do verses asking either "is she one?' and "is he one?"
Bunyan - Is S/He One? (1982)
Oh, my. Another song not ready for broadcast radio, and that is really from an English sketch comedy TV show called Little Britain, where the character Daffvid, often proclaims he's the only gay in the village. He's played by actor Matt Lucas.
Lewis Furey is a curiosity. Born in Montreal he's developed a career in which he's a celebrated singer, writer, composer, producer and actor. His early albums had touches of gay content, but I really don't think he is, or was, gay, just artistic. Still I thought you'd like to hear his most gay song, "Hustler's Tango," from his 1974 album, which was just called "Lewis Furey."
Lewis Furey - Hustler's Tango (1974)
When I was a teenager one of the artists I liked was Gene Pitney, and no, he wasn't gay, but a song of his from 1967 resurfaced in 1989 in a way that definitely qualifies for this show. British artist Marc Almond recorded the song on his album "The Stars We Are" in 1988, and that prompted a duet with the two artists, for the song "Something's Gotten a Hold of My Heart." It reached number one in England, for four weeks, and as the story goes, Gene Pitney's US record company declined to issue the record in America on the grounds that buyers would mistake it for a vocal duet by two gay men. Well, here it is anyway, Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, with "Something's Gotten a Hold of My Heart."
Almond & Gene Pitney - Something's Gotten a Hold of My Heart (1989)
And that was Marc Almond from his latest album, "Stardom Road," doing another Gene Pitney song, "Backstage." And, okay, I almost never play hit songs, but as I'm in a Marc Almond mood, here's his song that was a huge hit in 1981 all over the world, from when he and David Ball were the duo Soft Cell, doing their song "Tainted Love."
Soft Cell - Tainted Love (1981)
Jeremy Gloff - Beautiful Boy (2008)
This is JD Doyle, and I started off Part 3 of Songs I've Been Meaning To Play, with Jeremy Gloff, and the song "Beautiful Boy," from his new album called "1987."
This year I got acquainted with an artist from Hawaii named Clay Callaway. His debut album contains quite a variety of material, from pop to cabaret to country. I asked him about the title track "Darn It, Baby, That's Love"
Clay Callaway comments (2008)
You know, as I get older with my partner certainly we can relate to a lot of the lyrics, as any long-term companion can, whether you're straight or gay, and initially we had considered doing it, you know, just me, myself and I, and it just seemed a little to narcissistic. My producer and dear friend, Andy Belling, suggested that my partner Ty sing the duet with me. And he sings quite well in his own right, his whole family sings. And it just seemed to fall right into place, and the great thing was when we did actually get to do the recording Andy had set up the microphones so that we were able to see each other while we were singing it. So we actually got to play off of each other, not just vocally but visually as well, and I'm really happy with the results.
Callaway - Darn It, Baby, That's Love (2007)
Yes, that was the same artist, Clay Callaway. Well, I did tell you his CD contained quite a variety. And as long as I'm doing country, here's a Chicago band called Devin & the Straights, and a song you may have trouble finding. It's from a demo CD I persuaded Devin to send me. The song is "Boys Behind Me." And, get your mind out of the gutter, it's not about that.
& the Straights - Boys Behind Me (2007)
[Tell me about
the name of your band.] Well, the name of the
band is Devin & the Straights, I had a little show and then eventually
I met these boys that decided that they wanted to play with me, in
a show so I had them come play, and so we got off stage, and like
everybody loves it, and people who were at the show. And I was like,
how funny if I called you The Straights, we could be Devin & The
Straights. And then a few months later we actually formed the band
and that's where the name came from, cause they're all straight.
[How's that name gone over?] You know, very well, some people
instantly get that, you know, they're probably straight and I'm probably
gay. It's interesting when some people hear it, to have their reaction,
cause some people find it instantly funny. Some people never even
get the idea, until they see the show, and then most people think
it's kind of a catchy name.
"Cowboy Night" from the self-titled debut album "Devin & the Straights." And next is a country song, done more rock style. It's Dolly Parton's song "Jolene," but you've never heard it like this. I have been a fan of Eric Himan's music for many years and want to thank him for sending me this unreleased track.
Eric Himan - Jolene (2007)
"Jolene" by Eric Himan. His latest album is called "Resonate," and I asked him to tell me about the song "Little Boy Blue."
Eric Himan Comments (2008)
Boy Blue" was written for a 14-year old transgender boy that
I met when I was doing a tour of LGBT youth centers, at homes where
kids were getting kicked out of their houses, and these amazing people
set out a place for them to live and to be, and a safe place for that.
So he was one of those kids and
it's just amazing to me somebody
at that age, that young, who knew himself so well. And then I wonder,
you know, cause especially with so many LGBT homeless youths, like,
I just wondered where he went, and what happened to him, so I wrote
that song for him.
And that song has a very neat video, which you can see online. Tell me about "Protest Song."
"Protest Song" is a song that I wrote after playing a lot of Prides and seeing all these protesters and wondering what they were even doing there, and where all their aggression, in such a happy, I don't know, safe environment, where it all kind of comes from. And how if I have to deal with being gay, then they have to deal with it, cause it's not easy.
Eric Himan - Protest Song (2008)
Eric Himan's most openly gay song to date, "Protest Song," from his CD "Resonate."
And here's another song I can't play on regular radio, by an artist very popular on the Bear Music circuit. In fact almost nothing on his album can be played on broadcast radio, due to those pesky FCC folks. He's Don Harvey and his debut album is called "Good Clean Fun." And it is. He's going to tell you about "Jake."
Don Harvey - Jake (2008)
In 1979 Canadian artist Bill Amesbury had a hit in Canada that crossed the border to make it to number 59 on the Billboard charts. I'll tell you why this artist is interesting after you hear his song "Virginia (Touch Me Like You Do)"
Bill Amesbury - Virginia (Touch Me Like You Do) (1979)
Bill Amesbury, and I recently interviewed Canadian artist James Collins, who recorded a song about Amesbury, called "Do You Mind If We Talk About Bill?" I'll let him tell you about the song.
James Collins comments (2008)
"Do You Mind If We Talk About Bill?" was actually kind of an interesting story song. It's based on the true story of a Canadian pop singer I admired when I was growing up, and the pop singer had actually undergone a sex change. When I got involved in music I was actually asking questions about this particular singer, and it was actually at that point when a group of musicians told me, "James, he's now a woman." It is actually about a Canadian pop singer, Bill Amesbury, who is now known as Barbra. So I just thought the whole story, the idea of a pop singer having a sex change, I found it fascinating. So, I thought if I found it fascinating, there's a few other people out there who might find it fascinating as well.
What's the reaction been to that song?
Well, in Canada it was a Top 40 hit up here, nationally on pop radio. Since then I've posted the video we did get a video grant up here, and we did post the video on youtube. And it's interesting the comments from the people underneath the video. People are pretty fascinated by the song and love that fact that we've taken something that may be considered taboo in some circles, and made it mainstream.
Well, in the video you meet Barbra, but I don't guess you've had any contact with the real one.
Ah, no, no. I did hear from some mutual friends in the industry that she was intrigued but mortified by the whole song. I did get a really nice call from her old producer, who said that he really liked the song, and knew that it was more of a tribute to Barbra/Bill than anything else.
James Collins - Do You Mind If We Talk About Bill? (2006)
One of Bill Amesbury's best known songs, which has been covered by Long John Baldry, Mitch Ryder, Marianne Faithfull and John Cougar, is "A Thrill's a Thrill," which James Collins remembered very well.
James Collins comments (2008)
Well it's kind
of telling, considering the fact that that song was written in 1975.
It's kind of telling that he does have a phrase that says something
I think the lyric is "leather whips, finger tips, I
know a boy who's growing tits." Sounds like it's sort of semi-autobiographical
at that point.
Bill Amesbury, who is now Barbra. And let's get to some more about James Collins. His latest album is called "The Messenger" and it's excellent. I asked him to tell me a little about his other successes in Canada.
James Collins comments (2008)
Mostly as a writer. I've mostly had success as a writer in Canada. And I think I just to the point where I was laying down some demos for a couple of singers I've been working with. And some songs suit my voice, and some songs don't, and on a few occasions a couple singers said "why aren't you singing these, you sound good on this." I think it all started with me doing a Christmas song a few years ago. I decided to release a Christmas song to radio, and it actually went Top 30 across the country. And the very first week it came out in December, it was like the most added song across the country. So that sort of fueled an energy or a spark to make me want to do an album, and carry on with that, and hopefully to continue on receiving airplay, and so from this one little Christmas song I decided to record a full-length album. And we actually included on the revised version of this album "Do You Mind If We Talk About Bill?" and "I Want To Write a Song for Celine Dion, as a bonus track.
Okay, now that you've mentioned the tune "I Want To Write a Song for Celine Dion," you've got to tell me about it.
That's just a little novelty tune I did, you know, when I'd written the song I remember walking through a department store, you know, just pondering, and at this point I'd had a couple of top 40 hits in Canada as a writer, and I was thinking "what would the next step be?" And I think Celine Dion was playing, and that's where the thought I want to write a song for Celine Dion, I thought, well, why not relay that in song form and have fun with it. Again, it was done as more of a novelty even Dr Demento featured that on his show.
Collins - I Wanna Write a Song for Celine Dion (2001)
Well, I didn't think it quite fair to play the novelty song by James Collins without letting you hear one more track more typical of his album, so I picked the song "Good Enough (To Love). That song was recorded also by another Canadian act, The Nylons, and it appeared on their 2002 album "Play On." That group's been around for about 25 years, and of course there have been personnel changes, but it seems it's always included a gay member or two. Such was the case for their 1984 album, "Seamless," with member Mark Connors being openly gay. Sadly, he died of AIDS in 1991. From the "Seamless" album is their beautiful version of The Beatles song "This Boy."
The Nylons - This Boy (1984)
Another artist who was a member of The Nylons is Micah Barnes, and I'm a big fan of his music. I thought his latest album, just called "Micah Barnes," was one of the best of last year. I want to thank him for permission for airing a demo from his next album. You'll know the song, the classic "Up On The Roof."
Micah Barnes - Up on the Roof (2008)
I've been wanting to feature this next song for quite some time, as it's such a beautiful, poignant song. It's called "Yard Sale." Now, I have played the song before, on my November 2007 show, Songs About AIDS, but I wanted to really pay tribute to the song, to share the song with you, as done by the actual writer, and to get his comments. The writer is Tom Andersen and here is him talking about "Yard Sale," both its inspiration and how the song really got out there.
Tom Andersen comments (2008)
Oh, gosh, it's basically based on a true story. I was actually going to the store on a weekend and next door to me this fellow, this young fellow, was having a sale, a little yard sale a big yard sale, and I thought, God, such incredible things he was selling. It looked like his whole life, and what I found out later, when he got sick well, when he passed away, was that he basically was selling off his whole life, there and then. So it really just struck me that this casual walking-by moment was just something I just needed to express, because I thought it was such an astounding story, in such a subtle, subtle way, that I'm sure that happened so many, many times. I was living in San Francisco that's right, this was in San Francisco, and I moved there in '79, and I was there until '91, so I had just seen just lots and lots of loss, lost a lot of friends. And you know, you kind of feel, you feel helpless basically. And so something I did kind of know what to do was sing and write, and I just put pen to paper, and just came up with that song, mostly for me, just to kind of express something.
Then it became part of my repertoire, and I was singing it here and there, kind of becoming known for it here, in New York. And then David Campbell, he came to town, from Australia, and I had sung it at The Algonquin, in the Oak Room, at the Algonquin Hotel here, and he was there with his management, and they asked me about it, and next thing I know I got a phone call from his record company David wants to record it, is that okay? I hadn't come out with my recording yet. And I said, sure, why not? You know. Anyway, he had recorded it and he started singing it in concert and David, he was a whirlwind, and he was just kind of all over the place. He was, you know, a real go-getter, and he got that song out everywhere, for me. He was basically responsible for that, because he was the one who got it out there.
Tom Andersen - Yard Sale (1998)
For the last song for this segment, I am in no way doing it justice, as you REALLY need to see the video on youtube to get the total effect. Remember in some of those 1940's musicals, the cast would suddenly break out into a musical dance number. It didn't make sense, but it was fun. Well, imagine two gay guys in a leather bar breaking out into song and dance, with the other bar patrons joining in, singing about other diversions. The video, from 1998, was called "Boot Camp" and you'll hear on vocals John Cantwell and Matthew Solari, singing "Not While We're Dancing, Dear."
John Cantwell & Matthew Solari - Not While We're Dancing Dear (1998)
Reid - Starving Artist (2006)
Two very out songs by women, from over 20 years apart. I'm JD Doyle and opening the last segment of Songs I've been Meaning To Play was Canadian artist Kate Reid and her song "Starving Artist" from her 2006 album "Comin' Alive." And I followed her with Catherine D'Amato and "I Love a Woman," from the album "First Loves," from 1985. And here's more woman love, with Jean Gauthier and her song "Sweet Lovin' Woman," from her 2008 CD "Feels Like Home."
Gauthier - Sweet Lovin' Woman (2008)
Now, long time listeners have heard that song before on QMH, as I've played it by its writer Eric Schwartz, but I know he was pleased for Holly Near to record it. You can find it on her 2006 CD "Show Up." A sad note coming up, as we've lost two of our artists to cancer in the last few weeks. First Janell Rock. I remember meeting her in 2004, when she was nominated for an OUTmusic award for her album "Quiet Thrill." The song she sang at the awards event was "Gertrude & Steins."
Janell Rock - Gertrude & Steins (2004)
And also a victim to cancer was Katie Reider. I met her at the Houston Women's Music Festival in 2004. I've got three of her four albums and they are all so excellent it was tough to pick a song, but I chose "I Will Love You," from her last album "Simplicity."
Katie Reider - I Will Love You (2004)
What a sad loss of Janell and Katie.
And here's a song that I think is kind of fun, and I've been wanting to slip into a show, and it's got some good history to it, going back to 1976. The act was called The New Miss Alice Stone Ladies Society Orchestra, and that year they released an EP okay, better stop, how many know what an EP is? Raise your hands. That was a 7" inch 45 rpm vinyl record with two songs on each side. Anyway, the group had several lesbian members and was co-founded by Miriam Cutler, who wrote the song I'm going to play, and sings lead. Miriam, by the way is these days a noted Los Angeles film composer. And if you visit youtube, you can find a video she uploaded of the band, doing a live version of this song, called "White Girls Can't Sing the Blues"
The New Miss Alice Stone Ladies Society Orchestra - White Girls (1976)
Well, did they prove that "White Girls Can't Sing the Blues"? From 1976, named after a famous suffragist, The New Miss Alice Stone Ladies Society Orchestra.
Up next are a couple of cabaret/pop artists with new CDs. I'm starting with Dwayne Britton and his self-titled debut CD is on Lee Lessack's label LML Music. That label has quite an impressive catalogue. You'll know the song I picked by Dwayne, "Rainbow Connection"
- Rainbow Connection (2008)
Following Dwayne Britton was Jeffrey Wilgus, and "I Don't Get What I Give," from the album "Signature." And another new album I quite like is by Barry Goold. Before his song "Walking And Running," you'll hear him talk about the album.
Barry Goold comments (2008)
It's a collection of songs that reflect who I am, in all aspects of my life the fact that I'm gay, the fact that I have dogs, the fact that I'm a juvenile diabetic. It's all there, there's a little bit of everything. I've been writing songs for a lot of different people over the years, and when you do that you have to sort of lose yourself, and try to put yourself in the place of somebody else. With this CD I didn't want to do that.
Barry Goold - Walking and Running (2008)
Opening to "Leaping Lesbians"
And now this segment will experience a distinct change in tone. You were warned.
Okay, what happens when you just get tired of hearing the expression that something or someone is "so gay" well, if you're the duo of Chris and Michael VonTanner, you write a song about it.
Chris Von Tanner comment (2008)
I wrote it because
first of all there's this saying that the kids say, you know, the
youth in this country, "oh, that's so gay," And then whever
I go, excuse me, and they go "oh, I don't mean it that way."
Well, how do you mean it then? And they don't know, cause of course
that is how they mean it. And Michael's mother just screamed at Michael
one day, "why do you guys have to be so gay!" And he said,
"because we are, mom," and we just got in our car and went
home. But that's where that song comes from.
- So Gay (2007)
Vontanner is the duo of Chris and Michael VonTanner, and the first two tracks were from their 2007 album "So Gay." I want to thank Chris for providing me with the unreleased track "It's My Party." He knows I just love queer versions of girl group songs of the 60s. In fact in October of 2005 on QMH I did a three-hour special on them. So I'm taking this opportunity to play the songs that fit this classification that I've discovered since then. And the artist does not have to be gay, they just need to sing gay. So, I'm starting with I presume a straight artist, David Roter, and a novelty 45 he released in 1979 called not "He's a Rebel," but "He's a Rabbi."
Roter - He's a Rabbi (1979)
And in 2007 the band Grizzly Bear recorded the Carole King & Gerry Goffin song, first done by the Crystals in 1962, that to no one's surprise, was not a hit for them. What were they thinking, 1962 and a song called "He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss). Grizzly Bear includes openly gay lead singer Ed Droste, and the song came from their EP "Friend."
In 1982 Los Angeles punk group Red Wedding was building a local following. From that year are them doing "Chapel of Love" and "All Dressed Up."
Red Wedding - Chapel of Love / All Dressed Up (1982)
And there's a movie making the GLBT film festival circuit, about my favorite punk band. It's called "Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band." Here is the trailer for the film and an outtake, called "Twinkie Twinkie Little Star."
Pansy Division - Twinkie Twinkie Little Star (2008)
Kinsey Sicks (Irwin Keller) comments (2008)
So much of it is really over the top. I mean, usually a Kinsey Sicks has some redeeming value but this one has none, I think.
And that was Irwin Keller who is the character Winnie in the Kinsey Sicks describing their latest album. The album was released on July 22nd and it's named "Sicks Sicks Sicks," and I've therefore already described it as three times the pop perversity. To me Kinsey Sicks albums and their shows are events, but at times you need a bit of bravery when trying to interview them. I started, I thought, fairly safely, by asking about the song "Send In the Clones."
Kinsey Sicks comments (2008)
"Send In The Clones," okay, "Send In The Clones" you know the title of course was obviously a parody of "Send In The Clowns" waiting to happen the lyrics that Ben (Schatz) wrote were stinging critiques of the gay community, as sort of a circuit party side of the gay community. That said, then it was up to Chris Chris (Dilley) did the arranging on that one, and the thing about "Send In The Clowns," I mean, for all of the brilliant stuff that Sondheim has written, for this song to be his most popularly known, I think it's kind of deadly it's just a slow waltz, and you just can't wait for it to be over, musically. And Chris just had the idea, if it's going to critique sort of the circuit, let's do it like a sort of circuit party dance song. And so that was his idea to sort of soup it up, and I think it's maybe my favorite arrangement on the CD. I think it's so exciting to listen to. It's really upbeat, and it really sounds like a dance number. That's one that I can listen to over and over.
Kinsey Sicks - Send In the Clones (2008)
Like Track 14, oh, you didn't!
What was Track 14? ["Sheepfucking Guy"] Now, listeners who know the original will have immediately figured out what song that parodies. [Well, of course, I knew it before I heard it] You know that song actually has a special place in my heart, because in the very first the very first time The Kinsey Sicks had a theatrical run, in 1995, our pre-show music was all 1960's Girl Group music, and "Sweet Talkin' Guy" was always the song we were hidden in this at Josie's Cabaret, in San Francisco, in what they called the dressing room, but it was just a bathroom, with a toilet. And we were closed in, for the whole time the audience was coming in, and the way we knew that we were about to be introduced was that "Sweet Talkin' Guy" was the last song, so I would always get all these butterflies during the song, because I knew we were about to go out on stage and we were so new at it.
And so that
song has always had this special place in my heart, and then when
Ben one day, of our group, showed up and said "oh, we should
do it as 'Sheep Fuckin' Guy' I both had some difficulty getting over
the fact that for me it was a little bit sacred, that song. But also
I was delighted because I've always wanted
I've always wanted
to sing that song, and yeah, that's got to be one of my favorites
on the CD. You know, every serious performer needs to have a certain
number of bestiality related songs, and we Kinseys are not only no
exception, but we try to go that extra mile and have that, which we
have had, and in fact it's not even our first song that we've recorded
about sheep, as Kinsey Sicks fans could tell you. But I think it's
our most rollicking. I think it's our catchiest, and people have been
complaining to me, a lot, about not being able to get that particular
song out of their heads, and they're a little bit angry about it.
I'll probably look back at this some day and say to myself, oh you didn't just play that.
But until that day, this is JD Doyle and I'm finally to the end of my Songs I've Been Meaning to Play special, and I especially thank those who suffered through all over four hours of it. You've obviously been listening to the Internet version, found at www.QueerMusicHeritage.com. I want to thank all the artists who gave me interview comments that helps make cataloging this history so much more interesting. So thank you Amy Meyers, Melange Lavonne, Clay Callaway, Devin of Devin & the Straights, Eric Himan, Tom Andersen, James Collins, Tom Andersen, Barry Goold, Chris VonTanner, and Irwin Keller of the Kinsey Sicks.
Back to Irwin, or Winnie, I asked him which song from the new album has become the biggest crowd pleaser.
Kinsey Sicks comments (2008)
"We Arm The World" ."We Arm the World," I think right now you know, every performer has a song that audiences require. "We Arm the World" has kind of become our signature number. It's gotten you know, we have a video of it on youtube, and I think it's gotten 30,000 hits or something, crazy for us. But it's a parody of "We Are The World," and we perform it with that same level of sanctimoniousness. But also, like the original, it's a comment on what is the proper role of our country in this world. But is says something of course, as you can tell by the title, very different than the original.
Kinsey Sicks - We Arm the World (2008)
I also have an interview with The Kinsey Sicks on my QMH Show for April 2003