Songs I've Been Meaning to Play, #12
Teddy Boys - He Only Goes Out With Boy (1980)
According to the band the Teddy Boys, "He Only Goes Out With Boys," and their 1980 LP, called "On Air," supposedly was taken from a hit stage production in their native Canada. And that's about all I know about them. This is JD Doyle and on this edition of Queer Music Heritage I'll be bringing you lots of obscurities. This is one of my Songs I've Been Meaning to Play shows, where I share some of the treasures that I've collected that just did not fit on other shows. If you've been counting, over the years I've done many shows in this series, and this is #12, though it's the first I've done since July of 2011, so I'm overdue getting back to it.
And coming up next is a type of recording I love. It's when songwriters record demos of songs in hopes of getting a singer or label interested in recording it, so the gender on them did not really matter, they were just trying to sell the song. But some of these do see the light of day, like this one. The songwriting team of Pete Anders and Vinnie Poncia had some productive years in the 1970s, selling some songs to producers Doc Pomus and Phil Spector, and also being in their own group, the Tradewinds. Okay, that's plenty of trivia; one of the demos they wrote was called "She's the Girl Who Stole My Baby."
& Vinnie - She's the Girl Who Stole My Baby (1963)
In the middle was not a demo but a song done in tribute to the UK early 60s producer Joe Meek, and the song "My Johnny Doesn't Come Around" was originally done by a couple girl groups at that time. But this time, in 2001, it was done by a Spanish male group, La Prohibida, and appeared on a compilation CD. Finally, yes, that was Neil Sedaka. In addition to having an excellent singing career he also was a prolific songwriter, and would often record his own demos. "Where the Boys Are," of course was originally a hit by Connie Francis, in 1960. But this demo was later, probably late 1970s, in a rev-ed up version, perhaps intended for the disco era.
I think this next song is pretty cool. And, it's by a straight act, The Three Flames, led by Tiger Haynes, who is also known for playing the Tin Man in the Broadway version of The Wiz. Anyway this song appears on their 1957 album "At the Bon Soir," and the Bon Soir was a small club in New York City where Barbra Streisand first performed. The song has a surprise ending so keep listening; it's only a minute 36 seconds long. It's called "I'm In Love With You."
Flames - I'm In Love With You (1957)
I have played a lot by Alix Dobkin over the years, even interviewed her, on my May 2002 show, but somehow I never played that song. "Big Girls" is from her 1986 album "These Women Never Been Better"
Up next is some very rare queer folk music, but I want to make a side comment first. On my June 2010 QMH show I did a tribute to songs inspired by Harvey Milk, and I did a pretty exhaustive search to play all I could find, ending with a two-hour show. This next song pre-dates them all, and I think it is the earliest song mentioning Harvey Milk. It's from June of 1979, just seven months after Milk's death. It's from a cassette tape of a concert done by Charlie Murphy and Chris Tanner called "Faggot Brothers of the Moon." It's hard to get more queer than that. The tape was released by a very small San Francisco label and is impossibly rare, so much so that I've decided to let you hear that entire tape on Part 2 of this show. But I wanted to extract from it for this segment the song I am talking about, called "When the Freedom Comes."
Murphy & Chris Tanner - When the Freedom Comes (1979)
Yes, that song is kind of a downer, but it chronicles some of the aspects of AIDS. John Savage was an actor on TV soap operas and he turned activist and musician and under the name the John Outlaw Project wrote songs about AIDS. The video for that one, "At the Drugstore," from 1990, got some airplay on MTV, at a time when any education on the crisis was much needed.
You've figured out by now that when I do my "Songs I've Been Meaning to Play" shows that I do more talking, and I assure you, a lot more research, because I'm documenting our music history.
And here's some history I only recently learned, of the transgender kind. It may remind you of the story of Billy Tipton, a jazz musician who only at his death it was found that he was a woman, passing as a man for decades. The same secret truth existed for Willmer Broadnax, known as Little Axe. Born and raised in Houston, he started his career young. During the 1940s and 50s he sang with some of the finest groups in gospel music, including the Golden Echoes, the Fairfield Four and the Blind Boys of Mississippi. By the 1960s the popularity of the gospel quartets was fading and he retired to Philadelphia, though he did perform once in a while during the 70s and 80s. He met a violent death at age 75 in 1992 when he was stabbed by his girlfriend. It was only then discovered that he was a transman. From 1964, singing with the Gospel Echoes, here's "So Soon," by Willmer Broadnax.
Axe & the Golden Echoes - So Soon (1964)
From one form of gospel to sort of another. That comedy sketch, called "Gospel," was by Gayco, a group out of Chicago who's been doing their funny gay magic for 18 years now. I grabbed that one from their website, gayco.com, around 2005.
And here's a special interview with Lily Tomlin, using her persona of Ernestine, talking about the release of her 1972 LP "This Is A Recording."
Lily Tomlin - Interview (1972)
Welcome to Houston,
I didn't fool you at all, did I? In the early 70s some record labels, including that one, Polydor, released on 45 rpm records to radio stations only, Tomlin's half of an interview, and the DJ could fill in his or her own voice. They called them "open-end interviews," and I was pleased to find that one.
This is JD Doyle for QMH and I have one more song to close out Part 1 of the show, but remember there's another hour to be found at my site, queermusicheritage.com. Lea Delaria will take us out, with "Hot Patootie," of course from the "Rocky Horror Show," from a Broadway cast version from 2000.
Lea DeLaria - Hot Patootie (2000)
This is JD Doyle bringing you in Part 2 a very special, and very, very rare concert recording. It was recorded in June of 1979 by folk musicians Charlie Murphy and Chris Tanner. They had met the previous year while participating in the historic album "Walls to Roses." I did an in-depth show about that in September 2008, packed full of interviews and information. The cassette tape was released by a small San Francisco label called Raven's Head in a series they called "Gay Voices on Tape," and it's interesting that at the beginning of the tape, before the concert starts, is a 12-minute interview with the two artists, so to me this is quite special, capturing instant history. In the concert there are ten songs, some by Charlie Murphy, some by Chris Tanner, and some by both, and six of them were never released in any form anywhere else. To me it's a queer music collector's dream. Here's Steve O'Neill interviewing Chris and Charlie.
Tanner & Charlie Murphy Interview & Concert, 6/15/79
Stand Up (Chris)
* = from "Walls
to Roses," 1979
Note: the song "When the Freedom Comes," as it mentions Harvey Milk, makes it one of the earliest, if not The earliest, songs I know of to do so. I researched this area thoroughly for my June 2010 show on music Milk inspired. While there were several songs recorded in 1979 about Dan White, this one was more general.