QMH, March 2009


Welcome to Queer Music Heritage, and this is JD Doyle. I'm heard every month as a part of Queer Voices on KPFT, and the show for this month is a continuation of last month's show, so this one is called "Gay Guys on Cassette,
Part 2." And you'll see right away why this song is called "Miles To Go."

Harry C.S. Wingfield - Miles To Go (1993)

Starting off the show is an artist named Harry C.S. Wingfield. His music only came out on tape, and the song "Miles To Go" came from one called "But I Have Promised To Keep," from around 1993.

As on Part 1 of "Gay Guys on Cassette" last month the two words "cassette tape" are the key words for the show. And the criteria is the same: an artist's recording could only have been released on cassette tape, not on vinyl or CD, or reissued on CD. So this puts us mostly in the 1980s and 90s, with releases exclusively by independent artists. These are the ones who generally sold their tapes at live performances, in coffee houses, or the few gay & lesbian bookstores, because that was really the only means they had of getting their music out there. So, I'm having a lot of fun doing these shows, as it gives me a chance to showcase music you seldom get a chance to hear.

And I have one more song by Harry Wingfield. This one is from his 1992 tape "Songs of Love, Songs of Life" and its sound is sort of a throw back to the early 60s, and it sure would have meant a lot to me if I could have heard songs like this on the radio when I was a kid. The song is called "I Do I Do I Do (the Senior Prom Song)"

Harry C.S. Wingfield - I Do I Do I Do (the Senior Prom Song) (1992)
Worm - Make It Allright (1992)

Also from 1992 you heard Jimmy Worm and his song "Make It Allright." That came from a tape he released that was just called "Worm." He's had two excellent CD releases, one in 1995 called "I Pledge" and in 2006 a release called "Last Chance," both very gay and political.
One of the artists I much respect is Steve Cohen. In fact I did an extensive interview with him for my October show in 2006. I can't resist sharing again two songs of his that he released only on cassette. That was in 1995 and he simply called the recording Tape 1. I really wish Steve would release these on CD, as they have very interesting messages. The first one, "Mr Wilson," deals with the seldom addressed topic of older gay men.

Steve Cohen - Mr. Wilson (1995)
Steve Cohen - Record Land (1995)

Steve Cohen, and "Mr Wilson," followed by "Record Land." Steve's 1997 album, "Silent Too Long," is one that I consider essential for any gay man's music collection. But, if you do a google search for his name, you'll find, well, a number of musical Steve Cohen's, so a couple years ago he changed his stage name to something that is both familiar and unique, Elton Costello.

Will Grega - One Touch From You (early 90s)

And that artist was Will Grega, with a very rare vocal track from him, called "One Touch From You," from a mid-90s demo tape of his. Will is much more known for his series of instrumental jazz/electronica albums, and his CD "Stereotonic" won the Outmusic Award in 2003 for Best Electronica recording. But I'm also a fan of Will's for a different reason. He's a bit of a gay music historian. In 1994 he published a book called "Gay Music Guide," which profiled almost a hundred recordings by gay and lesbian artists, and these were all independent releases, by folks who probably for the first time got any recognition for their work. For this reason I'm dedicating my "Gay Guys on Cassette" shows to Will, for his pioneering book and inspiration.

Will Grega's book is one that taught me a lot, and it even was issued in conjunction with a sampler tape of 24 songs by the artists the book featured. In 1996 Will published an expanded edition of the book, renaming it "Out Sounds: The Gay and Lesbian Music Alternative," and this time it was co-authored by Will's husband, Randy Jones. Many of the recordings covered were cassette-only releases, and I'm including about a dozen of them in these shows.

Like this next recording, and it's unusual one. It's the only gay chorus recording I have on tape that was never released on CD. From 1992, it was the very first album by Chicago's Windy City Gay Chorus. The album is called "Mostly Love," and from it is "What'll I Do," which featured soloist Bill Vollman.

Windy City Gay Chorus - What'll I Do (1992)

The Windy City Gay Chorus has released six CDs since their debut cassette in 1992.

The duo known as Pistol Pete and Popgun Paul released two CDs, in 1998 and 2000, but in 1997 their debut cassette was released, and they called it "Superfag." Here's the title track and a live version of their song "Never Be Straight."

Pistol Pete & Popgun Paul - Superfag (1997)
Pistol Pete & Popgun Paul - Never Be Straight (1997)

Again, that was Pistol Pete & Popgun Paul. And 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. I've always considered our music history as a visual as well as an audio experience. And this is another one of my shows where I had much too much great material for just one hour, so you can find a much longer version of this show on my site. Again, that's at www.queermusicheritage.com, Also, for more very queer programming, please listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper, every Saturday night/Sunday morning from 1 to 4 am, on KPFT, it's Queer Radio, with attitude.

Let's go to the UK for a few minutes. First, the style of playwright and cabaret artist Mark Bunyan might be called music hall, and in 1985 he released a tape called "Landladies Shoes." I chose his song "Is S/He One?" And he writes that "s-slash-he" so that it covers both she and he. You'll understand.

Mark Bunyan - Is S/He One? (1985)

Mark Bunyan, and another version of that song can be heard on a rare vinyl recording called "Coming Out - Ready or Not," recorded live at a benefit concert for the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard in 1982. That concert included Tom Robinson and many others.

I'm moving next to some country music, as done by Jeff Miller. Jeff was one of my special interviews when I did my QMH series on gay country music, in the Spring of 2005. I love his voice, and especially his 1988 tape called "Not Really Strait," where the title was a play on words with the songs of George Strait. Here are Jeff's take on "Baby Blue" and "All My Exes Live In Texas."

Jeff Miller - Baby Blue (1988)
Jeff Miller - All My Exes Live at BeeJays (1988)

Of course Jeff Miller's exes are not in Texas, they're at BeeJay's Bar. And while we're in a country mood here's Mark Islam. His music is not all country but this one sure is. It's from his 1995 tape "The Calloused Heart Collection."

Mark Islam - Don't Want To Talk About It (1995)

"Don't Want To Talk About It" by Mark Islam and I said that came out on his 1995 tape. Well, I also have it on an earlier tape by him, a three-song demo from 1993, and I'm sure I have one of the few copies of that one.

We're running out of time for this show, so I want to thank you all for listening to Part 2 of my visit to a unique slice of our music history, "Gay Guys on Cassette." If you missed Part 1, well, that's easy to fix, as all my shows are archived on my site, at www.queermusicheritage.com. And if you go there you'll find that there's more to the show for this month as well, two more hours of very rare material. And, as always if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write me. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston.

Closing this show will be Dan Martin & Michael Biello. They were the founders of the organization Outmusic and have a created a lot of great music. They both write the songs together, but it's Dan on vocals, and I just love one of their songs taken from their tape called "Human Being," from 1992. It's about the consequences of remaining in the closet. Here's their song "You Do Not Know Me.:

Dan Martin - You Don't Know Me (1992)

Welcome to Queer Music Heritage, and this is JD Doyle. We're starting off Part 2 of my March show, "Gay Guys on Cassette, Part 2" with an artist I also featured last month, Ted Fox. Well, his cassette is terrific and I can't stop with just playing one of his songs. So, from his album "One of Us" here's his song "When We Were Friends"

Ted Fox - When We Were Friends (1992)
Rus McCoy - Happy Birthday Baby Butch (1991)

Following Ted Fox was Rus McCoy, and "Happy Birthday Baby Butch," from his 1991 recording "The Ace Sessions."

Tim Cain is an award winning artist, perhaps most known for his early ground-breaking punk and rock music, in the form of his band Boy's Entrance. I just love the name of that band. I've got a treat for his fans, with a track from what I think was his band's first release, a tape from 1992 just called "Boy's Entrance." Here's the song "Searching For A Thrill."

Boy's Entrance - Searching For A Thrill (1992)

Okay, there is an end to that song. That was Boys' Entrance.

I mentioned on the show for last month that in 1993 Rob Costin released a 6-track tape including songs sung by several of his friends, like Patrick Arena and Grant King. Rob also sang on the tape himself, and here's his song "Kissing With Our Eyes."

Rob Costin - Kissing With Our Eyes (1993)

In recent years Rob Costin has gained quite a bit of acclaim in San Francisco as an artist, for his paintings, prints and mixed media. But he's venturing back into music with a new CD this year, and is going by the name Hadley Rille. Those into astronomy will know where he got that name. Rob Costin also appeared on the releases of other artists, like Grant King and a 1993 tape by Rick Robertson. The tape was called "Six" because it had just six songs and I rather fancy this one, called "For Saturday"

Rick Robertson - For Saturday (1993)

Another rare tape is by Jeffery Kennedy, but the name on his 1997 tape is just Jeffery K. It's a four-song tape and one of the songs is called "Batgirl Epiphany"

Jeffery K - Batgirl Epiphany (1997)
Paul Warren - The Water Is Wide (1993)

Following Jefferey K was a very nice version of the folk standard "The Water is Wide," by Paul Warren. That's from his 1993 tape "Come Sing To Me a Song."

And, while it's nice to play songs back to back, no other one on my playlist will go with this one. It's by Kamchick, The Singing Cowboy. Well, at least that's the name of his four-song cassette from 1995. In an interview from that time he described his music this way: "I sing about my hero who peddles roast beef sandwiches on TV, my love toward my horse, my horny feminine side. Everything that past singing cowboys would have sung had they lived in New York in the 90s and were in better touch with their libido." Okay, are you ready for one called "It's Not the Hat (That Makes You a Cowboy)"?

Kamchick - It's Not the Hat (That Makes You a Cowboy) (1995)

Again, that was Kamchick, the Singing Cowboy.

In 1998 David Kroblen was runner-up in the Virginia Mr Drummer contest, held at a bar called The Garage, in Norfolk, Virginia. That's an example of some of the trivia you find when you do google research on an obscure cassette tape. The tape itself I bought in a gay bookstore in Norfolk and in it I find that David Kroblen and John Stanley were the duo calling themselves I.S.O, which I presume stood for "in search of," a term common in ads in the personals. Their tape, from 1993, was called "Heart on a String" and shows them on the cover looking very gay clonish. Anyway, I picked two of their songs, and we'll start with using gay slang in the title, called "Girlfriend."

I.S.O. - Girlfriend (1993)
I.S.O. - I'm Gay (That's OK) (1993)

They're gay, and that's okay, the duo called I.S.O.

Next is a rare two-track tape from 1997 by a duo called Woof. They are Scott Hamblen and Paul Golio, and their song was called "Just A Bear." This must have been one of the earliest songs saluting the bear culture.
Woof - Just a Bear (1997)

Andy Quan was born in Vancouver, Canada. He's lived in Toronto, Brussels and London and currently works as the international policy officer for the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations in Sydney, Australia. He's served as coordinator of the International Lesbian and Gay Association; that was in Brussels, and he's been on the board of the Sydney Lesbian & Gay Mardi Gras. I don't know how he's found the time, but he's also released a number of music tapes and CDs and has written several books, and publishes a gay newspaper. From his 1999 cassette tape "Take-Off & Landings" is the song "I'd Still Have You Back."

Andy Quan - I'd Still Have You Back (1999)
Gustavo Motta & Jason Bauer - You'll Miss Tomorrow (1993)

That song was called "You'll Miss Tomorrow" and I don't know if the singer, Jason Bauer, is gay or straight, but it's really the song's composer who was the focus of a project from 1993 called "Gustavo Motta, Songs 1963-1993." Gustavo Motta died in 1993, and a four-tape cassette series was produced by his friends in order to pay tribute to and preserve music from his 30 years of composing. Motta's piano tracks were used and three different vocalists interpreted 65 of his songs.

Another artist I like a lot is Peter Donnelly. He's released three fine albums in the last ten years, plus one as part of the trio called Comfortable Shoes. But years before his first CD he released a cassette tape called "Here Tomorrow Gone Today." That was in 1992 and as it's very rare I begged him to send me a copy. He did, but in turn made me promise that it was for my ears only. Well, it's too good for that, so I got his permission to share this one from it. Peter Donnelly and "My Gal Sam"

Peter Donnelly - My Gal Sam (1992)

Time to close down Part 2 of my March show, but if you still haven't had enough, well, there's always Part 3, with some more obscure goodies. This is JD Doyle and thank you again for listening to Queer Music Heritage. I'm closing with two songs back-to-back, and I hope you're ready for some dance music. And, if you're fans of the act Sister Friction, then this is a treat. Sister Friction is a project of Minneapolis artist Robert Hedin, and his debut CD in 1998 was called "Glamour…My Ass!" Well, years before Sister Friction Robert was recording under the name Racket Club, and that act's first release was a five-song tape in 1993 called "DISCOrd," only on the label the first five letters was in all caps so the word "disco" stood out. Anyway, from that tape are the songs "Maleman" and "One World."

Racket Club - Maleman / One World (1993)

Christian Left - Cousin Harry Was a Fairy (1994)

Welcome to Part 3, the last part, of Gay Guys on Cassette, on Queer Music Heritage, and this is my March show. That song was obviously called "Cousin Harry Was a Fairy," and if you tuned in last month you also heard that artist there. He went by the name Christian Left and his 1994 tape was called "Left at the Light."

And you know me, I have no willpower when it comes to covering queer music, and there is just too much of it you'll never hear anywhere else. Like this next act, and I just love the name they used. They called themselves Adult Children of Heterosexuals, and their tape was a project of a group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that still exists, called Theatre Offensive. Abe Rybeck was and still is the Artistic Director, and their four-song tape came out in 1992. It's very avant-garde stuff, as you'll see with their song "I'm So Hard So I'm So Easy."

Adult Children of Heterosexuals - I'm So Hard So I'm So Easy (1992, edited version)

For a definite change of pace is music that its creator called "psychedelic progressive gothic rock." These two songs come from a demo tape called "The Sun Machine," from 1992. It was very early release of TV director and composer Phideaux Xavier. This was about ten years before he started releasing his music CDs, like ones called "Fiendish" and "Ghost Story." So this is rare material. Here are "Lady Saviour" and "Love the Reptiles."

The Sun Machine (Phideaux Xavier) - Lady Savior (1992)
The Sun Machine (Phideaux Xavier) - Love the Reptiles (1992)

From Phideaux Xavier and The Sun Machine, we go to Michael Bonti, and a haunting song from 1993 about the Names Quilt.

Michael Bonti - Quilted City (1993)

That was called "Quilted City," from the self-titled tape by Michael Bonti.
Chris Cochrane is a well-respected avant-garde musician. He was in a New York City improv band in the 1980s called No Safety. And in the mid-1990s he released a couple CDs on his own called "3 Heads" and "Bath." He's guested on the releases of many others, like Dave Clement, Dudley Saunders and Dennis Cooper. I somehow happened onto what I'm sure is a very rare tape by Cochrane called "What Stops Us." It's from 1989 and looks to be a handmade tape. The tape liner is just a typed piece of paper listing the songs and musicians, several of whom were his No Safety bandmates, including Zeena Parkins, Ann Rupel and Tom Cora. From this tape I've chosen the Prince song "Forever In My Life," and "While You Were Out."

Chris Cochrane - Forever In My Life (1989)
Chris Cochrane - While You Were Out (1989)

Again, that was two rare tracks by Chris Cochrane.

On last month's show I played you a couple tracks by the later Joe Bracco, from his 1992 tape "True to Myself." It's a wonderful tape and as you'll hear this music no where else, I want to share three more by him. I'll start off with "Cruiser's Blues" and then go to "Golden Boy."

Joe Bracco - Cruiser's Blues (1992)
Joe Bracco - Golden Boy (1992)
Joe Bracco - With Our Voices (1992)

And that was a Joe Bracco triple-play, ending with the song "With Our Voices."

Andy Monroe is a very talented artist from New York City, who I first got to know when he and Patrick Arena released what I considered an amazing album in 1998 called "Night Cap." Judges at the GLAMA Awards agreed, and gave it the honor of Best Debut Album. Andy's released several albums on his own but has given me permission to play tracks from a demo tape of his, with material from around 1996. I'll start with the very sexy "Boy In The Pool."

Andy Monroe - Boy In The Pool (1996)
Andy Monroe - I Only Think of You (1996)

Following "Boy In The Pool" was "I Only Think of You," and here's one more that Andy will probably roll his eyes when he hears I'm playing it. But it is SO catchy, with the sweet title of "I Love You So Much."

Andy Monroe - I Love You So Much (1996)

"I Love You So Much," by Andy Monroe, and yes, it's such a shame. I told you that song was catchy.
Jim Laev is a New York City composer, conductor and arranger, and he's worked on such productions as "The Boy From Oz" and a couple of the "Broadway Cares" compilations. And while he's never released any of his own work, I do have a demo tape he sent me from around 1997. This stuff is very out of the closet. And in this first song he rattles off the names of gay bars, and I could swear several of them were in Houston.

Jim Laev - Smells Like a Gay Bar (1997)
Jim Laev - Sunday Times (1997)
Jim Laev - Queer as the Night Is Long (1997)

Jim Laev, with "Smells Like a Gay Bar," "Sunday Times," and "Queer as the Night Is Long."

Again, this is JD Doyle, and if you've listened this far I much congratulate you for your patience, and devotion to rare music of our history. You've listened to about five hours of Gay Guys on Cassette. The last artist on my show "Gay Guys on Cassette" will be the one I started with last month, Martin Swinger. From his 1994 tape "Singin' OUT!" are two more by him. Here are a beautiful ballad called "Something Like Goodbye" followed by one a bit more outspoken, called "Man Who Likes Men."

Martin Swinger - Something Like Goodbye (1994)
Martin Swinger - Man Who Likes Men (1994)