December 2012 Script
Freddy Freeman - Beary Merry Christmas (2012)
Happy Holidays from me! I'm JD Doyle and on Queer Music Heritage this is one of my favorite shows of the year. I gather xmas-related music all year long to bring you a whole bunch of songs by GLBT artists that you likely have not heard before. And that's certainly the case for that opening song, as it's a world premiere. Last Spring I challenged an artist friend of mine, Freddy Freeman, to write a bear-related xmas song, and I'm delighted with the result, called "Beary Merry Christmas," with beary of course spelled b-e-a-r-y.
And another artist also has a brand new bear-themed holiday song. It's by Candy Samples and her song is "A Beary Candy Christmas."
Samples - A Beary Candy Christmas (2012)
Those two songs were by a Detroit band called The Fundamentalists, and I'm pleased they sent me their rendition of "Jingle Bells," along with an original, "Another Happy Christmas," from 2011. In that set after Candy Samples I played what I think is a very nice version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You," and it was done by Chris Salvatore. And after him was the group that won last year's competition on the TV show "Sing-Off," the Pentatonix, and they fit in the show as they have two openly gay members. They did a great job on "This Christmas."
There's a new holiday movie this year. It's an update of "The Christmas Carol" but done with a gay twist, and called "Scrooge & Marley." I've not had an opportunity to see it yet, but I've got the soundtrack, and I could not help but play this next song from it. It's by a group called The Joans, and they are all about Joan Crawford in their shows. The song is "A Very Crawford Christmas."
Joans - A Very Crawford Christmas (2012)
After The Joans was something brand new. For many years there's been a series of AIDS charity CDs called "Carols for the Cure," featuring Broadway folks. As our most famous gossip blogger Perez Hilton was a guest performer in the show "Newsical," he got to add to the mix "A Perez Hilton Christmas."
And at the end of that set, yes you heard it correctly, that was Tegan & Sara faithfully updating "The Chipmunk Song."
I love this next song by Sonia. Now, I've played it before, as it was released on a very hard to find cassette tape in 1988, but I'm very pleased she's re-recorded it, so here's the updated version. It's called "Christmas Makes Me Realize."
- Christmas Makes Me Realize (2012)
In the middle was Houston singer Harriet Reynolds, and her song "Another Silent Night," and then from the new holiday CD by Catie Curtis came "Christmas Baby Please Come Home," and I'm thrilled for her that she's been invited back to perform at the White House this year.
Now, if you've listened to Queer Music Heritage at all, you know I love finding obscure records, and I've got one next. In the mid-80s in Los Angeles there was a duo named Bachelors Anonymous who I think did not at all get the exposure they deserved. The two songs you'll hear are quite political, which is not surprising to me as one of the members, David Hughes, spent the early 80's in the sort of gay hip hop group Age of Consent. As Bachelors Anonymous he and Robert Berg released one cassette in 1985, and in 1987, a Christmas 45. I've been communicating with them for about the last year, urging them to resurrect their material, and they offered, hey, would you like the 45? Indeed I would. Note the political commentary they infused into the songs "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" and "Mr Wencelas." They told me they weren't sure the songs were ever played on the radio, so this may be an exclusive.
Bachelor Anonymous - God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen / Mr Wencelas (1987)
Again, that was the duo Bachelors Anonymous. This has been a good year for Matt Zarley, as his music has won or been nominated for a number of awards. So I'm glad he found time to come up with a new holiday song. It's called "One More Christmas With You."
Matt Zarley - One More Christmas With You (2012)
I'm slipping one more short song into the mix, and I just got it in time for the show. It's by New York City entertainer and radio host Tym Moss, wishing you a "Happy Happy Holiday."
Moss - Happy Happy Holiday (2012)
This is JD Doyle bringing to a close Part 1 of my holiday music show, but there are three more hours to be heard on my website, including something I've never done before. I gathered together a whole segment of Hanukkah songs by GLBT artists. But ending this hour is an artist who just came out last summer, but she's been in the public eye since she appeared on American Idol in 2002, and more recently on The Voice, with lots of Broadway and touring company roles in between. She's Frenchie Davis, and I would not have thought I would end this segment with, pardon the expression, such a common Christmas song; I generally try to avoid those. But when I heard Frenchie's version, well, it was a logical choice. Here's "Silent Night."
Frenchie Davis - Silent Night (2010)
Okay, so it's going to be that kind of show. Well, only part of the way. This is JD Doyle and Part 2 of my Xmas Music Special, and it started off with one I couldn't resist bringing back from last year, especially since the artist wrote it just for my show. That was Matt Ryanz and "My Only Wish." And then, well, Ernie Lijoi's song was titled "Poor Santa" and it went downhill from there. So I figured after that one would be a good time to play the song "Fuck Me for Christmas." That one is from a 2007 musical called "Fitz & Walloughs Get It in the End."
While we're still in sort of a vein of songs that can't be played on broadcast radio, here's composer and cabaret artist Hector Coris and the Rick Crom song "What I Don't Want for Christmas."
Coris - What I Don't Want for Christmas (2004)
That was an artist from Oakland, California, going by the name of R00k, and he spells that r-00-k, and that was his song "Hey Santa Claus." And before that track was Erin McKeown and "Santa Is an Asshole," from a pretty amazing CD she released last year called "Fuck That! Erin McKeown's Anti-Holiday Album."
And I've got one more song with language that just won't work on broadcast radio. And I tell you about that distinction because the first hour of every QMH show airs locally on KPFT, in Houston, as part of the show Queer Voices. Last August I interviewed Fred Barton for a show I did on music inspired by the movie "The Wizard of Oz," and I asked him about another song from his catalogue called "Santa Won't Sell."
Barton comments (2012)
That turned into a long set. After Fred Barton we heard Eugene Ebner, who this year released a new version and video of the classic "Let It Snow." Then, another classic, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," done very nicely by Mister Chase and Chris Salvatore, and you heard Chris on Part 1 of the show. And finally that was Broadway singer and composer AnnMarie Milazzo, singing "Christmas Eve."
I was kind of impressed that this next artist thought to cover this song, as it's from the 1964 TV movie "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but it has a resonance with GLBT folks even today. I thank Mac Valentine for rushing the finishing touches on this recording to make the deadline for this show. Here's "We're a Couple of Misfits."
Mac Valentine - We're a Couple of Misfits (2012)
Beaudette - Merry Christmas To Me (2012)
Ernie Lijoi, who you heard near the start of this segment, also wrote and sang that one, called "This Year Went By So Fast," and I love the way he tells such a full story with only giving a few details of the character's life.
much impressed with this next song, by Australian artist Brett Every.
He let me premiere a demo of the song two years ago, and now has a new
studio recording of it, so I wanted to share it in its official form.
It's got a theme I'm sure I've never heard before, about a six-year
old boy sort of complaining about not getting what he wants for Christmas,
every year, even though he's been very good. Now, it's not mentioned
what he did want, but what he did not want included boxing gloves, toy
trucks and guns, and balls and bats.
Jaila Simms - Christmas Blues Bah Humbug (2011)
- Carol of the Bells (2009)
"Let It Snow" on that very traditional opening set. You may not have recognized that artist as UK pop diva Mika, as that was a way stripped down arrangement for him. And starting off Part 3 was Haberdashery and "Carol of the Bells." In the middle was David Brown with his rendition of "Rudolph." This is JD Doyle and this segment will be difficult for me, because I've got way more songs I want to squeeze into it than will fit. So let's get to it.
You may know David Sedaris is one of our most successful authors and humorists, with his books selling millions, many done as audio books, such as "The SantaLand Diaries." So it may be a bit of a surprise that he does a pretty awesome Billie Holiday impression.
Sedaris - Away in a Manger / Silent Night / Oscar (2009, 2011)
And following David Sedaris was the only straight artist on the show this year. They are allowed if the song is lyrically gay, so Bill Whyte's "It's Okay to Be Gay (Cause It's Christmas)" fit right in. Next is a country artist who really can sing, and quite well. He's Canadian Drake Jensen and has a Christmas CD out this year. From it are the songs "Christmas at Home" and "Home Again."
Jensen - Christmas at Home / Home Again (2012)
Both of those last artists live in Austin. When I put the call out for new music for my show this year, Toshio Mana sent me that very nice middle track, called "Cold." And then the last one, "Midnight Mass," comes from an album that quite impressed me, by artist Andy Units, called "Night Light."
I'm going to slip in a very short track from 1986 by Hüsker Dü. That was a very influential alt punk band that included Bob Mould. The last label they were on before they split up in 1987 was Warner Brothers, which is likely why there was money to release a promo-only cassette single of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
Hüsker Dü - We Wish You a Merry Christmas (1986)
In many of the British Commonwealth countries the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day, and I've got a song by that name. It's from a new album by a duo going by Lonely & the Moose, but I know they are really Liz Clark and Tessa Perry, both successful solo artists and also partners, one from the U.S. and one from Ireland.
& the Moose - Boxing Day (2012)
In the middle was Kat Devlin who was joined on that track by a duo called The Lovebirds, singing "Be Home Soon." And then you heard a lyrically gay song. I mean she mentioned gay people and they weren't decking the halls. "Yuletide Carol," was done by UK artist Krystle Warren, from her 2009 CD "Circles."
I want to thank Tom McCormack for this next one. It's really a demo he recorded a number of years ago, and I knew about it and pestered him to send it in time for this show, making it probably a world radio premier. The name of it is "It's Snowing in Chicago."
Tom McCormack - It's Snowing in Chicago (2001)
Up next is Dane Vannatter and a song from last year called "I Don't Believe in Christmas."
Vannatter - I Don't Believe in Christmas (2011)
Second in that set was Michael McAssey, singing about "All Those Christmas Cliches." And then from the UK that was Joe McElderry, who won that country's version of X-Factor in 2009. I followed that show on YouTube and was rooting for him, and my gaydar was correct, because within six months after winning the show he came out of the closet. He released a holiday album, "Classic Christmas" in 2011 and from it I took his cover of "I Believe in Father Christmas." And last, from the wonderful album from 2010 by the Indigo Girls, "Holly Happy Days," I played "Your Holiday Song."
This is JD Doyle and thank you so much for sticking with me through this four hour show, made up almost entirely of songs I've never played before, and I love being able to do that. Before I started writing the script I already knew I would close it all with Melissa Ferrick, and a song from an album I named as one of the best of 2011, called "Still Right Here." I'm glad to bring you Melissa Ferrick and "This Time of Year."
Melissa Ferrick - This Time of Year (2011)
Hanakkah Music by GLBT Artists
Indigo Girls - Happy Joyous Hanukkah (2010)
That was the Indigo Girls from their wonderful 2010 CD "Holly Happy Days." And this is JD Doyle with a special segment of my yearly December holiday shows. While over the years I've included a number of Hanukkah songs within my shows, I've decided it's time I've devoted an entire segment to that. So this will be Hanukkah-related songs, all by GLBT artists. As you might guess, several of the songs involve dreidels, like this one by El Vez. It's from his 2002 CD "Sno-Way Jose."
Vez - The Dreydel Song (2002)
Well, that group started with a dreidle song but then went off-track, so they named it "Dreidle Jingle Fiasco." That was by the trio called Betty, from their album "Snowbiz," from 2004. In the middle of that set was one I have liked for a long time, "Jesus Was a Dreidel Spinner." Jill Sobule included it on her CD from 2000 named "It's the Thought That Counts."
This next dreidel song is from 2007, though I just found it, and it's from a YouTube video which is worth checking out. Watching it helps you understand that it's kind of a cowboy version of the song. On stage during the instrumental part try to picture those kosher cowboys line-dancing. It's by probably my favorite chorus subgroup. They are part of the Seattle Men's Chorus and delightfully call themselves Captain Smartypants.
Smartypants - Dreidel (2007)
After Captain Smartypants was the full Seattle Men's Chorus. From their 1997 CD "Captured Live" I took a recitation called "My Grandfather" and followed it with the track "Music of Hanukkah."
Sadly, this next performer died in January of 2011. Debbie Friedman was one of the most respected songwriters of Jewish religious material, and she was openly lesbian. Many of her songs are in Hebrew, but here are two of a lighter nature, singing about dreidels and latkes.
Friedman - The Dreidel Song / The Latke Song (2003)
After Debbie Friedman was Judith Kate Friedman, and the song "Chanukah Tonight" is from a compilation from 2002 called "Island on a Hill." Maybe it's just me, but when I read the title "Chanukah Tonight" I immediately think of the song from the musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and in my head that song changes, something like this.
Never mind, and yes, I am easily amused. And speaking of that, here are three songs that fit right in. First is a band that bills themselves as 100% TransJews. Now, I don't know any Yiddish, but Google tells me that one of the meanings of their name, Schmekel, is a very small penis. So, from their CD "Queers on Rye" from last year, is "I'll Be Your Maccabee."
- I'll Be Your Maccabee (2011)
It's kind of hard to follow Schmekel, but I did so with our favorite, as she calls herself, "All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger." And that would be Phranc. The song "Hanukkah Snowman" is from a compilation on the Kill Rock Stars label from 2006 called "Winter Holiday." And, fresh from YouTube was the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles doing the song "Chanukkah in Santa Monica."
For those of you who only think of Sandra Bernhard as an actress and comedian, well, she can also sing. Here's a song from a 2006 compilation called "Breaking for the Holidays." It's called "Miracle of Lights."
Bernhard - Miracle of Lights (2006)
In the middle of that set was the Women's Chorus of Dallas, singing "Hanukkah Shalom" from their 2003 release "Season of Dreams," and also from 2003 was the North Coast Men's Chorus. They are out of Cleveland and they performed a set called "Three Hanukkah Songs" on their CD named "Behold."
And what would this segment be without some Klezmer music and there are two excellent groups that have gay & lesbian members. First we'll hear a track called "Honeyky Hanuka" by the Klezmatics. It's from their album "Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hanukkah," from 2006.
Klezmatics - Honeyky Hanuka (2006)
And that band was Metropolitan Klezmer. The song "Travelling Dreydls" is from their CD "Traveling Show."
I have in this next set two more songs by gay choruses. By now have you wondered why there are so many? Well, GLBT choruses, when they are able to record CDs, seem to be more likely to make them holiday ones, and being queer they aim for diversity, hence a large number of Jewish songs to pick from. So, here are two up-tempo ones, starting with the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. In 2001 their "Cool Yule" CD included "Hot Hanukkah."
Gay Men's Chorus - Hot Hanukkah (2001)
And according to my records, "Boogie Woogie Hanukkah" has been recorded by at least seven gay choruses. That one was the Heartland Men's Chorus, from Kansas City, and they are one of my favorites. The song came from their 2003 album "Let Heaven and Nature Swing."
I'm getting near the end of this segment, and here's a group that puts out quite humorous recordings. They are the Therapy Sisters, and in 1998 they released a holiday one called "Codependent Christmas." From it is "Abraham's Lament."
Therapy Sisters - Abraham's Lament (1998)
This is JD Doyle and for the last song I saved one I admire quite a bit. It was written by Fred Small, who gave us the anthem "Everything Possible," sung by many, many GLBT choruses. That one has been recorded over 30 times. About a half a dozen gay choruses have recorded this other song by him, and it's based on a true story, about a hate crime. It's easy to google the back story, just look up Billings, Montana, and the word menorah. The first time I heard it I have to admit it brought tears to my eyes, so that's the version I'm sharing with you. It's by the Gay Men's Chorus of Houston, and Steven Coats is the soloist. It appears on the 2006 album "A New Season - Live," and is called "Not in Our Town."
Gay Men's Chorus of Houston - Not in Our Town (2006)