QMH Script for March 2004
"Bisexual Songs" Part 2
(from "Friends") - bisexual song (Season 2, Episode 12,
Welcome to Queer Voices on KPFT and this segment is called Queer Music Heritage. I'm JD Doyle and I'm here on the 4th Monday of each month to bring you an hour devoted to our culture's music. If you were listening last month, you'll know that this Part 2 of a two-part look at Bisexual Songs. Now, what I'm talking about is not songs by bisexual artists, but songs where the lyrics deal with bisexuality.
I opened the show just like I did last month, with Phoebe from the TV show "Friends" singing her "Bisexual Song." From there I played another one of those marvelous parodies done by the folks at Bob Rivers Twisted Radio. They took the rumors about The Who's Pete Townshend and came up with their version of "I'm Free," called "I'm Bi." And again I drifted into Herman's Hermits "This Door Swings Both Ways," from 1966. It's said that song has been adopted by many for use in connection with bisexuality. I really wanted to use the song "I've looked at love from both sides now." But it just didn't work as well musically.
For those that missed last month's show, I'll mention again that what this show will not do is go into the issues and myths surrounding bisexuality. That's done very thoroughly on plenty of websites on the net. So if you visit my web page for this show you can do two things. If you have a fast internet connection you can hear Part 1 of this segment and you can also link to a number of sites for information about bisexuality and bi activism.
Like last time, I certainly do not claim to be covering every bi reference in music, but I hope to give a good overview. We ended Part 1 in 1997, and that should tell you something right there. I covered about 70 years of music in the first hour and will do about seven in this one. Obviously this is due to gay and bi issues being much more discussed in society, and also in music.
First up is a song from a gay revue produced in Los Angeles, and its idea was to feature a number of gay-related songs from the 90s, and they called it, duh, "The Gay 90s." There was a six-member cast and one of them, Peggy Hewett, got to sing the song "Bisexual Tango."
Peggy Hewett - bisexual tango (1997)
Also in 1997 a country act, the Bellamy Brothers, released a CD called "Over the Line" and it contained the song with a common theme. This is where there's a so-called straight couple, and one of them leaves for a member of the same sex. But they put a twist on it. The guy's wife deserted him for another woman all right, but the other woman was his girlfriend. So this implies bisexuality for both the women. Here's the Bellamy Brothers with "My Wife Left Me For My Girlfriend".
Bellamy Brothers - my wife left me for my girlfriend (1997)
And up next is another one of those 'I lost my baby to another man' songs. In fact, that's the title of it. It's by the group Saffire. They also call themselves the Uppity Blues Women, and they've been putting out good music for quite a few years. Singing lead on this song is Gaye Adegbalola (Ah-deg-bah-lo-la) who has released an album on her own, and in recent years came out as a lesbian. From the Saffire album "Cleaning House," here's "I Lost My Baby To Another Man"
Saffire - I lost my baby to another man (1997)
Oh, I love that line, "two of a kind beat my straight." That was Saffire with "I Lost My Baby To Another Man."
Paxton is the name of a band, its lead singer and their first album, and the very first track on it entertained the bi subject directly, with "Which Way Do You Go?"
Paxton - which way do you go? (1997)
The choice is there for you, which way do you go? That was by Paxton, from 1997. And now I've got a special interview clip to share with you. It's from singer songwriter Edie Carey, about her song called "The Middle"
Edie Carey - interview clip (2002)
"The Middle" came about six or seven years ago. On the way I was writing my song "Fall or Fly" which took me about two years to write. And I took a couple detours, and one of the detours was this song. It's about a lot of different things, but mostly about being afraid to stand out, in any way, shape or form, you know, as far as being terrible at something or being really good at something, or accepting that you're gay or accepting that you're totally straight. The kind of feeling that you have to be one way or the other, and you know, wanting to just hide so you don't have to make those decisions and in the end the song kind of comes to terms with it's okay to kind of be in the vulnerable middle and sort of be where you are and not feel like you have to pigeon-hole yourself in any way, and it's okay to be in the middle, as long as you take a stand where it's necessary. I think that in a lot of ways was my veiled attempt at coming to terms with my bisexuality. I so wanted an answer, a definitive answer to what I was, and I would have been fine with whatever the outcome was. And ah I think that writing that song sort of helped me accept the ambiguity of who I am and what my sexuality is and what I think a lot of people's sexuality is.
Edie Carey - the middle (1998)
From her 1998 album "Falling From Place" that was Edie Carey. And, once again I'm going to jump from one musical genre to another, and this time back overseas to get it. There's a pop group in Belgium called, appropriately enough, Das Pop, and in 1998 they released a hard to find three song EP called "The Little Boy." From it here's a bit of their song "Bye Bisexual Boy."
Das Pop - bye bisexual boy (1998)
Okay, now what we haven't had yet was a good piano bar song. I can fix that. In 1999 a musical production was staged in L.A. called "Billy Barnes Revued." And Billy Barnes has been a well-established songwriter for revues and television for over 40 years. He's written for "The Carol Burnett Show," "Sonny & Cher," "The Academy Awards," and even "Laugh-In." So this show was a collection of his songs from a number of his musical revues. Originally from the 1980 show "Best Friends" was a song called "Ambivalent," here sung by Paul Ainsley.
Paul Ainsley - ambivalent (1999)
Now if you don't recognize this next voice, well, turn in your gay card.
Cher - strong enough (1999, male version)
Of course that was Cher, and the CD single of her 1999 hit "Strong Enough" contained ten, count 'em, ten remixes of that song, one labeled as "male version." I'm sure you noticed that she said "where did you sleep last night, and was he worth it."
And one of my listeners pointed out that this is not that different from Cher's 1972 hit "The Way of Love," where she sings about "He setting you free"....."but what will you do, when he sets you free, just the way that you, said goodbye to me..."
Time for a little break, and to start that off I've got a comedy clip entitled "bisexual." It's from 1960, by a comedian named Bert Henry. He was known in the 60s for his racy humor, at least by the standards then. You probably won't find it any funnier than I did, but it's the only mention of bisexuality I found from that period. Bert Henry.
Bert Henry - bisexual (1960)
See, I told you it wasn't very funny. And, this is a good time to remind you to be sure to listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper, every Saturday night from midnight to 4 am, on KPFT, it's Queer Radio, with attitude.
In 2000 an obscure artist named Jack Lukeman released an album called "Metropolis Blue" and from it, here is the song "Boys & Girls"
Jack Lukeman - boys & girls (ode to ed wood) (2000)
You may have noticed the line "I like sucking on your pure angora." Well, the subtitle of this song is listed as "Ode to Ed Wood." Ed Wood was a Hollywood director, who in the 50s made a lot of B movies, like "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "Glen or Glenda" and supposedly, he loved to wear angora sweaters. Johnny Depp starred in a movie about him in 1994, just called "Ed Wood."
My next artist has come from being a former stripper and adult film performer to her current status as an established and well-respected blues and jazz entertainer. Her name is Candye Kane, and she's recorded 7 albums since 1994, winning much critical acclaim. She's openly bisexual and when I interviewed her in 2001 I asked about one song in particular, called "Hey, Mister, She Was My Baby Last Night."
Well, actually I wrote "hey mister" um it was it was more pointed towards the swing kids, I was playing a lot of shows for the swing explosion, you know, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Brian Seltzer Orchestra, and we're suddenly getting all kinds of press, you know, Cherry Poppin Daddies bands like that, so there was a big swing explosion and all these kids were coming out to the shows perfectly dressed in their 40s clothes and you know um in their you know vintage cars and they all looked just dressed to the nines and I really love that part of the swing scene but some of them had like a really big attitude particularly some of the guys and um the better dancers had an attitude about their dancing, like they were really great because they could dance so well, and so I wrote the song to poke fun at some of these straight boys cause their girlfriends were really the ones who looked great to me, and so that's why I wrote the song initially, but I think it's a favorite for people, I mean, I am bisexual and I do talk about it openly in my shows and in my music I'm not ashamed of my bisexuality um I think that it's um a myth that bisexuals are just fence sitters waiting to go one way or the other, I think all man kind is basically, and womankind, is basically bisexual and that we just you know have to find the right person to bring out that part of us and, anyway, it's a fun song, and like I always say, you wont find Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or the Brian Seltzer Orchestra doing those bisexual swing songs because they wont admit they're bisexual but me it opens up a wide range of opportunity. (1:26)
Candye Kane - hey, mister, she was my baby last night (2000)
From her album from 2000 called "The Toughest Girl Alive," that was Candye Kane. Going back into a dance mode is a song by an artist simply known as LaRissa
LaRissa - I do both jay and jane (2000)
Again, the artist's name was LaRissa, from the year 2000, and I tried, but couldn't really find out anything more about her or her song "I Do Both Jay and Jane." But apparently Jane gets around, because the next year from Australia came this techno-pop hit, "I Like Dick and Jane."
Laya Fisher - I like dick and jane (2001)
That was "I Like Dick and Jane," and the artist was Laya Fisher, an American now living in Australia. That song came out on an EP in 2001, but I think a better place to find it is on the various artists compilation called "Bi The People." And BI is spelled b-i. That was produced last year by a favorite artist of mine, Skott Freedman. He not only releases great CDs on his own, but travels the country giving talks to colleges about biphobia. You can find out more about him on my webpage for this show, and even hear a radio interview he did on the subject.
Also on the "Bi The People" compilation is a new song by Tom Robinson, that can't be found anywhere else. It's called "Boygirl"
Tom Robinson - boygirl (2003)
Tom Robinson's "Boygirl." Now I won't make you guess who this next artist is, but here's a hint. For a while he was engaged to Lisa Marie Presley. That should narrow things down a little. And I'll probably mispronounce his name, as I've never heard it said. He's John Oszajca, (OH-ZSA-KUH) and his 2001 album was called "From There to Here." On it he gave us the song "Bisexual Chick."
John Oszajca - bisexual chick (2001)
Again that was John Oszajca, spelled o-s-z-a-j-c-a. Easier to pronounce but perhaps harder to take is this next artist. She goes by the name Peaches, and she is one scary woman. On the cover of her latest album she looks very menacing, maybe it's the beard. I'd sure want her on my side in a bar fight. Most of her lyrics are very graphic and for the song I'm going to play, it would be an FCC violation to even tell you the title of the album. But the song itself is fine. I was in a record store in L.A. last summer and they were playing it. I already knew I wanted to produce this show on bi music, so I had to have it. Here's Peaches with "I U She"
Peaches - I u she (2003)
I got two new CDs in the last couple months that I'm very pleased with, and they both happen to have songs with a bisexual twist. The first is by an acoustic folk duo from Maine, Randy Browning and Brett Kinney. They call themselves the Late Bloomers, and here's a bit of the title track "Sneakin' In The Back Door."
Late Bloomers - sneakin' in the back door (2003)
That was the Late Bloomers. Also brand new is a CD by Leah Zicari. I've been playing Leah's music for a long time. Her 1990 song "Glory Glory" is kind of a gay and lesbian anthem. So I was a little surprised to hear her, as a very out lesbian, sing the lyrics of this song.
Leah Zicari - kiss that boy (2003)
"I Want to Kiss That Boy" from the new album "Pretty On Thursday" by Leah Zicari. Have you noticed that as we traveled through the 90s and up to the new releases, that they are more out front, with more first-person lyrics. Like "I Do Both Jay and Jane," "I Like Dick and Jane," "I U She" and "I Want To Kiss That Boy." I think that's progress. Well, we're getting down to the end of the show, and I always try to end with something from the cream of the crop. So I held back a couple songs, and they both happen to be from the late 90s.
But before get to them, I want to thank you all for listening, and I want to thank Edie Carey and Candye Kane for their interview comments. If you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write me. And again, on my website, you can find photos of the artists and recordings, and lyrics to as many of the songs as I could find, and also links to many websites for more information about bisexuality. That's at www.queermusicheritage.com. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston, and I'll be back on the fourth Monday of next month with the next installment of Queer Music Heritage.
Ani Difranco is an indy artist, and I don't think any major label could contain her. She's fiercely independent and very prolific, putting out more than 21 albums of her own since 1990, and also producing a number of albums by several other artists on her own label, Righteous Babe Records. She started out as a lesbian icon and then caused quite a stir when she married a man in 1998. From her album "Living In Clip," here's "In and Out."
Ani Difranco - in and out (1997)
That was Ani Difranco from her 1997 album, "Living In Clip." I'm returning to Tom Robinson for the last song, and it is very short, only 38 seconds. It's a bonus track from his 1997 album "Having It Both Ways." And alert listeners will recognize the tune as being taken from his anthem "Glad To Be Gay." He calls this one "The Last Word." And it seems only appropriate for my two-part special on bisexual songs, that he should have the last word. Here's Tom Robinson.
Tom Robinson - the last word (1997)
Total Time: 58:39