QMH Scripts for December 24th, 2007...2 Shows!
Stand Still - I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus (2003)
Ah, yes, what's more queer than "I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus"? And that was a rousing start to my Queer Xmas Special. If you stick around you'll hear Xmas music you won't hear anywhere else. I'm JD Doyle and you're listening to Queer Music Heritage. That's found on Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston. On this show I'll try to bring you gay-related xmas music that is entertaining, and sometimes obscure. And that opening track is one of the obscure songs. I know nothing about the act that did it, except that they called themselves Stand Still, and the song came from a various artists punk compilation from 2003 called "A Santa Cause It's a Punk Rock Christmas." I think they used 'cause' instead of 'Claus" because a portion of the proceeds were dedicated to a pediatric AIDS charity.
I'm going to follow up the act Stand Still with another obscure song, although the artist is certainly not obscure. Over the years Elton John has recorded several Christmas songs and the rareist one was from 1973 and was only found on the flip side of his 45 rpm record "Step Into Christmas." I cut about a minute out of the chorus but I don't think you'll complain. Here's Elton John and "Ho Ho Ho, Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas."
Elton John - Ho Ho Ho, Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas (1973)
Again, that was Elton John, and up next is a new and very gay act from the Netherlands. They are four bear men, that's b-e-a-r, who call themselves Bearforce1. In this medley called "Christmas Is Here" they'll wish you a very hairy Christmas.
Bearforce1 - Christmas Is Here (2007)
Okay, now to really do the act Bearforce1 justice, you've just got to go to youtube and see the video for this song. It's been viewed a few hundred thousand times, and I can see why, they're campy and hot and who doesn't like red long johns?
Now, for a more serious song, and it's by Melissa Etheridge. It was previously unreleased until it showed up on her Greatest Hits album in 2005. It's called "Christmas in America."
Melissa Etheridge - Christmas in America (2005)
And from "Christmas in America" we narrow it down a bit to "Christmas in L.A." That's the new holiday song by Jay Spears.
Spears - Christmas in L.A. (2005)
Following Jay Spears was an artist I met in New York City a couple years ago, and I think he's very talented. He's Morry Campbell and he's working on his debut album, but took time to release a holiday song. It is called "Frightful Christmas."
About a year ago I interviewed Tret Fure, and I always ask artists about their Christmas songs and save the quotes for my December show. She and Cris Williamson produced Cris's album "Snow Angel" in 1985 and I asked Tret to tell me about the song she wrote for it.
Fure comments (2006)
"Peace on Earth" by Cris Williamson.
Ready for some Christmas name-that-tune? It shouldn't be that hard, this was a huge hit. The voices you'll hear first are Boy George, followed by George Michael, but what's the song?
Other artists take over at this point, but while you're thinking about it, 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, because our music history is a visual as well as an audial 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, here comes the title of the song:
Of course, that was "Do They Know It's Christmas" and was recorded in 1984 by Band-Aid, an all-star group of British artists, including Sting, Bono and Simon LeBon, in an effort to raise money to feed the poor in Africa.
Well, you heard a bit of Boy George in that last piece, and I've got a Christmas song by him. It's a duet with Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, and is a cover of the John Lennon song "Happy Xmas (War Is Over).
Boy George & Antony Hegarty - Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (2005)
Ah, very nice, Boy George and Antony Hegarty, and that track comes from a various artists benefit CD out of the UK called "Help, A Day in the Life," from 2005.
And of course for a gay Christmas music show, well, I've got to have a gay chorus, and this song comes a long way. It's by the London Gay Men's Chorus, and they are "Coming Out at Christmas."
London Gay Men's Chorus - Coming Out at Christmas (2006)
Now, you may have heard this next song on my show last year, but that was before I got a chance to interview the artist, and of course I asked him about his holiday song and saved the answer for now. He's Joshua Klipp and I asked him about the song "December Snow."
Klipp comments (2007)
Time for a spiritual song, and one with a message. It's by Carolyn Marshall and Pat Grant and comes from their latest album "What Christmas Really Is." It's called "Family Christmas."
Carolyn Marshall & Pat Grant - Family Christmas (2006)
Okay, now you all know by now that my queer xmas shows are designed for music by GLBT artists, but I think you'll let me get by with this one. It's by the troop at Bob Rivers Twisted Radio. You know, the folks that gave America this song:
Bob Rivers Twisted Radio - Walkin' Round in Women's Underwear (1993)
That was from the 1993 album "I Am Santa Claus," and so is this next track. Of course I have no idea if any of the talent on this track are gay, but well, the premis should sound very familiar. Here's "The Magical Kingdom of Claus."
Bob Rivers Twisted Radio - The Magical Kingdom of Claus (1993)
Wasn't that special, and very well done. And as we're in the mood now for Judy Garland, take a listen to this one.
Jimmy James - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (2002)
No, that wasn't Judy Garland, but it was sure an excellent impression. It was done by one of our culture's most talented drag artists, Jimmy James. Her 2002 album "Have Yourself a Jimmy James Merry Christmas" was packed full of excellent impressions, including ones of Patsy Cline, Eartha Kitt, Barbra Streisand, Cher and Mae West, all done to a tee.
And she also did one other special one, but before I get to it, I want to thank you all for tuning in. You can see photos of all the artists and recordings on tonight's show and view the playlist at my website, at www.queermusicheritage.com. And you'll find there Part 2 of this year's show, including some holiday goodies that are not quite ready for radio. And if you still haven't heard enough xmas music, well, I did two shows this year, and one can only be found on my site. And you can also hear all my past Xmas shows there as well. That adds up to over 17 hours of very queer Xmas music. Gee, you could download those to your iPod, and walk around town, well, very gay. If you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, you can write to me, and I'd love to hear from you. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston. And come back next month for my eighth anniversary show.
Okay, the closing song, and I've made it a QMH tradition. On my December shows I've played it more than any other song. From that same Jimmy James album, you won't forget her version of "Feliz Navidad."
James - Feliz Navidad (2002)
Welcome to Part 2 of the Queer Music Heritage Xmas Special. Starting off this segment, from 1973, is Sir Elton John and "Step Into Christmas"
Elton John - Step Into Christmas (1973)
From 1973 that Elton John song made it to #24 on the music charts. Well, in England it did. And that's probably the most mainstream song your going to hear on this show. And I'm going from Elton to an artist who calls himself Voltaire. Now he is hard to describe. One phrase from his website says he's a renaissance man with a gypsy pirate band. Throw in heaps of wit, sarcasm and irreverance for everything and you're coming close. I found this song on his "Voltaire Live" album, from 2006, and while he's based out of New York City, this album was recorded live in Austin. I kind of doubt he's gay, but that didn't stop him from singing "Coming Out for Christmas"
Voltaire - Coming Out for Christmas (2006)
Okay, it's going to be that kind of show. Well, at least on the internet I don't have to worry about the language problems associated with some songs. From Voltaire we go back to the UK, and a long established comedy duo, known as Kit and the Widow. From their album "Les Enfants du Parody" is "Jesus, What a Way to Spend Your Birthday."
Kit and the Widow - Jesus, What a Way to Spend Your Birthday (2001)
And as long as we're keeping things irreverant, I've got a song by Alexandra Billings. I interviewed her last June and she gave me just a delightful interview. From it I saved for now my asking her to tell me about the song "My Simple Christmas Wish"
Alexandra Billings from her album "Being Alive," from 2000. Okay, next is a song I found on youtube.com and it's by a group of friends, who did a Christmas video sketch. It's about 17 minutes long and is very charming. I encourage you to check it out. From the sketch I grabbed their main song, a totally original and very gay one. Now, you'll know right away that these guys are not professional singers, but they are having so much fun you will, too. Here's Ted, Larry, Mandel and the Blix Boys, singing "Keep Christmas Gay & Bright"
Ted, Larry, Mandel and the Blix Boys - Keep Christmas Gay & Bright (2006)
Again, on youtube you'll want to search for Ted, Larry, Mandel and the Blix Boys, for their 2006 video. And another song I grabbed from youtube is by Broadway singer/actor Marty Thomas. He's been in the cast of "Wicked" and has done many cabaret and club performances. On youtube you can see a dynamite version of the classic song "I Was Born This Way," which I wish he would record in the studio. That also goes for this song. It's a live performance of one of my favorites, "All I Want for Christmas Is You."
Marty Thomas - All I Want for Christmas Is You (2005)
Marty Thomas, and that was recorded at a Toys for Tots Benefit in 2005.
Up next are a couple of jazzy holiday songs, starting off with "Merry Christmas Baby," by Melissa Sigler. It comes from her 1999 album "Easy Way Out."
Melissa Sigler - Merry
Christmas Baby (1999)
After Melissa Sigler was Sam Harris and "Santa's Blues." That's from 2000 and his CD "On This Night."
In this country we have "American Idol" and the counterpart in the UK is called "Pop Idol." The first winner on that show, in 2002, was Will Young, and he's become very successful over there, though he hasn't yet cracked the American market. I don't know why, he's sure sexy and talented, and oh yeah, openly gay. From the "Pop Idol" Christmas special he sang just a bit of "Winter Wonderland."
Will Young - Winter Wonderland (2002)
RuPaul QMH Xmas ID
I've been meaning to play this next song on my December shows for years. It's by Rick Berlin, a rather enigmatic artist who's been making music for over 25 years. My favorite album of his is from 1997, called "Live @ Jacques," which is a drag bar in Boston, where he performed for years. His style is a dark kind of cabaret, full of images and stories, like this one, called "Xmas Eve."
Rick Berlin - Xmas Eve (1997)
During the early 90s a band called The Judybats got a lot of radio attention, releasing several albums on the Sire label. The founder of that band, Jeff Heiskell, now has a new band, just called Heiskell, and I recently interviewed him about their new CD "Soundtrack for an Aneurism," an album I much admire. I couldn't resist asking about a rare Christmas song by them, found only on a 3-song CD EP they released in 1990. It and the song was called "When Southern Bells Ring."
Jeff Heiskell comments
Following The Judybats was Roger Kuhn. Roger has an interesting background. He's of Indian heritage, the kind found in North Dakota and a few years ago he moved to New York City to pursue his dream for a music career. He released his first CD last year, called "Proof," and at the end of the year released a special 2-song EP called "Every Year Around Xmas Time." I played both of those songs last year on this show. He's added to that EP for this year, so I was pleased to share with you the song "Xmas Joys."
Regular QMH listeners have heard this next artist before, for example on my October show about early blues music.
Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon - Christ Was Born on Christmas Morn (1929)
Okay, who was that, well, from 1929 that was Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon, and here's another obscurity. Remember the British TV show that aired here for many years on PBS, called "Are You Being Served?" If you do you'll certainly know this voice.
John Inman - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1976)
That was John Inman, who for several decades was a British institution, and in addition to his appearance on many television shows, released three albums. His version of "Rudolph" was released as a 45 in 1976. In 2005 he entered into a civil partnership with his partner of 35 years, Ron Lynch, and sadly this last March he died, at age 71.
You know, I search all over for xmas songs by queer artists to bring you, and found this one in the animated movie from 1999 called "Olive, the Other Reindeer." It's called "We're Not So Bad."
Michael Stipe - We're
Not So Bad (1999)
You heard Michael Stipe, of REM, singing "We're Not So Bad" followed by the whole band REM, and a fan club only release called "Christmas Griping," from 1991.
Here's a new artist with a brand new song. He just wrote it last month. He goes by JR and has a page on myspace. When I posted a bulletin there a few weeks asking for Christmas songs he wrote me that, hey, he could write one. Here's JR and "All I Want."
JR - All I Want (2007)
Following JR was David Lasley, and you may not know it but you've heard his voice hundreds of times, as a very in-demand session singer doing backups for James Taylor, Luther VanDross, Bonnie Raitt, and on and on. He sent me two unreleased tracks last year, I played one then and saved for this time one called "I Found Love Just in Time for Christmas."
It's a shame this next artist is not more known. He's James Collins and has had quite a bit of success in his native Canada, singing and writing hits for years. He kind of amazingly had a hit song there with "Do You Mind If We Talk About Bill?" the story of a Male To Female transition based on the life of Canadian pop star Bill Amesbury. Anyway, on his new album, "The Messenger," I found the very nice song "Missing You at Christmas (That's All)."
James Collins - Missing
You at Christmas (That's All) (2006)
Following James Collins was an artist just going by the name Adrianne, with the song "December," from her 2004 album "10,000 Stories."
Well, earlier you heard Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon singing "Christ Was Born on Christmas Morn," from 1929. This next song is the only modern version of a religious song on my shows this year, and it's brand new. By the title it's not a song I would have thought I'd pick, but I just love this artist's arrangement and singing on it. From Houston, here's Alan Lett and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."
Alan Lett - Hark the Herald Angels Sing (2007)
I've just got enough time to squeeze in a new xmas song before the closing one, and I just got it in time. One of my favorite bands, the Bootlickers recorded a xmas EP and are making it available for free to their fans. That's from their site thebootlickers.com. From it I chose the song "Boxing Day."
The Bootlickers -
Boxing Day (2007)
Okay, time to close down Part 2 of my Queer Xmas Special. Back in 1998 Rufus Wainwright did a GAP commercial and sang about 30 seconds of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," and I've played that several times over the years. In 2005 a full version of that song finally showed up on a CD called "The McCarrigle Christmas Hour," which featured his whole family. This is JD Doyle for Queer Music Heritage wishing you and yours all the best for the holidays. Here's Rufus Wainwright.
Rufus Wainwright - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve (2005)