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June 2014
The Script

Christian Andréason - Damn U (2014, with Kitten Kay Sera)

This is JD Doyle and that's an energetic start to my June Queer Music Heritage show, and it has a special theme, one that I've never done before. It will feature Houston-area artists, and as for me this is local, a number of the folks included have become friends of mine over the years. That is certainly the case for Christian Andréason, and I'm very pleased he is allowing me to premier his latest single, called "Damn U." I've been playing his music for many years and it's always a delight to get to play a new one. This show will continue in July and you'll hear more from Christian then.

I'm going next to another artist who has become a friend, and I've been following her ever since I saw her sing at the Houston Women's Music Festival in 2002. She is Sarah Golden and she keeps getting better and better and here are two songs from last year, "The One I Love" and "Who Gives a Damn."

Sarah Golden - The One I Love / Who Gives a Damn (2013)
Charity Ann - Bite My Tongue (2014)

"I want to love you, lady, all night long." And as I love songs that are lyrically gay, well, in that case, lyrically lesbian, that song caught my attention right away. It's from the CD by Charity Ann called "Time Well Spent" and the song was called "Bite My Tongue."

Time for some country music and here's the latest single by Curtis Braly. It's called "Live Laugh Love."

Curtis Braly - Live Laugh Love (2013)
Mike Ator - Caveman (2010)

That was "Caveman," by my friend Mike Ator. As this show is by design made up of local artists I've had chances to ask many of them about their music, and I was especially pleased to get MIke to tell me about his song "Angel Beside Me."

Mike Ator comments:

Mike: I wanted to write something that, you know, was meaningful and had kind of, I guess a melody and a style that people could relate to. It's about a personal take on the world and maybe spirituality and having made some mistakes in life and at the same time being very lucky and having a lot of good fortune and just finding yourself in the middle of all that, and…so it's equal parts optimistic and pessimistic, if you will.

JD: I know people who have gotten comfort from that song, taking the meaning that someone they loved and lost is…beside them.

Mike: I've actually had several people tell me that and others tell me that it's just a very comforting message or story that's being told, and that's flattering and it's very reassuring. As a songwriter I would hope that a song takes on a life of its own and this is a song that certainly has done that. I've played that in several different venues and situations and for different types of audiences and I've sung that at memorials, I've sung that with the Gay Men's Chorus a number of times, performed it for World AIDS Day, so it's a song that kind of drags me around on its heels and I'm always happy and eager to play it.

Mike Ator and "Angel Beside Me"

Mike Ator - Angel Beside Me (2009)
Castle Cruz - Falling Down (2010)

That was a young artist I've seen perform at a club on Fairview Avenue in Houston, and his name is Castle Cruz. You heard his 2010 track, "Falling Down."

Now, as this is Queer Music Heritage you just know I'm going to bring you some rare recordings and here are a couple I'm delighted to have. John Day was an entertainer in Houston in the early 1980s, performing in many Houston clubs such as EJs, Baja's, Rascals and the Copa, much of the time with his act John Day & Company. Even more special, he recorded two Gay Pride theme songs and I'm bringing you both, with a Pride radio commercial in between them. First up is the one for 1983 named for that year's Pride slogan "Unity and Diversity."

See my Blog on John Day

John Day - Unity and Diversity (1983)
John Day - Unity and More in 1984 (1984)

Sadly John Day died of AIDS in 1986.

Many of you will remember Atwood & Comeaux, a very visible cabaret duo active in the late 80's and 90s. With Jerry Atwood on piano and Rick Comeaux on vocals. They still reunite for charity events in Houston. They released one CD, in 1993, and my favorite track from it is "Old Friend."

Atwood & Comeaux - Old Friend (1993)
Montgomery, Plant & Stritch - We'll Be Together Again (1992)

That trio was quite well known in Houston, Montgomery, Plant & Stritch, made up of Sharon Montgomery, Rebecca Plant and bringing in the gay element, Billy Stritch. Billy's made quite a name for himself in jazz circles, mostly in New York City, recording on his own and with Liza Minnelli and others. The track I played, "We'll Be Together Again" is from a double CD charity album from 1992 that had a who's who of Houston talent. It was called "Voices for Life, A Celebration of Houston Music Benefiting AIDS Charities."

Here's some more history, from 1982 from the Houston Pride Week concert by the Montrose Singers, way before they changed their name to the Gay Men's Chorus of Houston. You'll hear Andy Mills introduce the selection, and I wish we could see the visuals.

Montrose Singers - Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair (1982)

In 1995 there was another benefit CD, this time just for the gay community. The recording tied in with a concert for an event called Spectrum '95. The album, called "Hand in Hand," is now quite hard to find and the track I play most from it is by my long-time friend Nancy Ford. Nancy has been an entertainer for, geez, decades in Houston and still continues with her act "The Dyke Show." In fact I'm using her "Dyke Show" theme as an intro for a song she did on the "Hand in Hand" album, called "I Need a Woman."

Nancy Ford - The Dyke Show (2012)
Nancy Ford - I Need a Woman (1995)

This is JD Doyle, and that's just Part 1 of my QMH show this month, showcasing artists from Houston. It's a two-hour show this month and then next month I'm bringing you more, as I just could not do Houston justice in one month. I'm closing with the theme song from the "Hand in Hand" CD, and it sort of has a "We Are the World" arrangement, going from artist to artist from the album. Naturally, it's called "Hand in Hand."

Hand in Hand company - Hand in Hand (1995)

Josh Duffy Comments
Josh Duffy (feat Jason & deMarco) - What If Life (2007)

And that was Josh Duffy talking about and then singing the song "What If Life," from his 2007 CD "Artificial." This is JD Doyle and welcome to Part 2 of Queer Music Heritage, and the focus this month, and next, is on Houston artists. Now, Josh is a Louisiana boy but he lived here from 2004 through 2007, which is when I got to know him and his partner Joseph. I interviewed them live on Queer Voices then and am able to pull a couple of quotes for this show. In the second one I ask about the album's title track.

Josh Duffy Comments
Josh Duffy - Artificial (2007)

"Artificial," by Josh Duffy, and on that first track you no doubt noticed other voices joining in. They were Jason & deMarco and are an amazingly talented duo. They lived in Houston for a number of years and a little over a year ago relocated to Nashville, where they are raising two adorable twin boys. I think I have every CD they have released, and that's quite a few, and accordingly I have quite a few favorite songs. I picked one from their 2006 CD "Till the End of Time," called "Stormy Weather."

Jason & deMarco - Stormy Weather (2006)
Jason & deMarco - Trying to Get to You (2006)

Also from the "Til the End of Time" album by Jason & deMarco was "Trying to Get to You." That album, and several others by them and Josh Duffy's CD were all produced by the artist I'm playing next. He's Alan Lett and I've got two songs I want to play by him, from two different albums. From his 2004 CD "The Noise Next Door" will be one called "From Now On (Second Chance)," and I had a chance to ask him about the song.

Alan Lett Comments
Alan Lett feat. Ben Schallenberger - From Now On (Second Chance) (2004)

Alan seems to go back and forth between albums of Christian material and ones that are more poppy, like his 2007 CD "A Moment Away."

Alan Lett Comments
Alan Lett - The Same Song (2007)

These next two tracks were produced by Damien Dane with the first one being his cover of a KT Tunstall song "Yellow Flower."

Damien Dane - Yellow Flower (2014)
Nikki Araguz Loyd - Let Love Be Free (2014)
Jonathan Luke - Secrets (2012)

In the middle of that set was a Damien Dane production, sung by Houston singer and activist Nikki Araguz Loyd. It was called "Let Love Be Free." Then we heard Jonathan Luke and his 2012 track "Secrets."

I just met this next artist a few months ago, and when you've seen her perform it's definitely memorable. She's Morena Roas and I've got two by her and am starting with a slow one, called "Hope I Can Survive," and then I'll go to the crowd pleaser, and it's called "Molly Where You At."

Morena Roas - Hope I Can Survive / Molly Where You At (2013)
Victoria Love - Yours for the Taking (2013)

That was "Yours for the Taking" by Victoria Love, and I urge you to check out the video for that track, as it's so, so sexy.

I'm going to take the beat down a bit, for a haunting and poignant song by Denice Franke. It's the title track from her 1997 CD "You Don't Know Me."

Denice Franke - You Don't Know Me (1997)

Below, from OutSmart Magazine, a September 2001 interview

I played the Montrose Singers on Part 1; they changed their name in the Fall of 1992 to the Gay Mens Chorus of Houston, and from their very first CD, in 1995, here's a GLBT chorus standard, "Everything Possible."

Gay Men's Chorus of Houston - Everything Possible (1995)

And I decided this would be an extra-long segment, there's just too much I want to feature, like one of the city's jazz stars. Dave Catney was really coming into his own when AIDS took him down in 1994 at age 33. He had recorded several CDs and one reviewer at the time called him the cornerstone of the Houston jazz community. From 1991, here's the title track from his first CD, called "First Flight."

Dave Catney - First Flight (1990)

And this is JD Doyle, thanking you for listening to Part 2 of my QMH show on Houston artists. I hope you liked it, as I'm doing it again next month, because one month was just not enough to do things justice. And, I don't usually do this but I'm closing the show with two ballads, both by a very popular Houston performer named Tye Blue. Sadly for us he moved to Los Angeles a year or so ago and a whole lot of people miss him. Not only is his singing excellent but he was superb at hosting shows and also being in musicals. Seems like he could do it all, so he decided to try his career in L.A. Back in 2012 he was a guest on Queer Voices and we got to talk about a 3-song demo EP he had released, of which I'm very pleased to have a copy. And after his segment that night I got to give him a treat, I played one of the tracks on the air, which was the very first time he got to hear himself on the radio. He had run out to his car, just so he could hear it in that setting. Glad I could do that for him. So, here's Tye Blue, singing "Over the Rainbow" and "A Song From Heaven Down to Earth."

Tye Blue - Somewhere Over the Rainbow (2012)
Tye Blue - A Song From Heaven Down to Earth (2012)