September 2006
Stream Part 1's better with headphonesDownload Part's better with headphones
Stream Part 2's better with headphonesDownload Part 2's better with headphones

My September show features a wonderful interview with Nedra Johnson. But first I visit some prime, and sometimes obscure, women's music of our history.

Robin Flower & Libby McLaren

Robin Flower's music is definitely not an obscure part of our music culture. She's been contributing for over 35 years, starting with singing backups on Maxine Feldman's history first openly lesbian 45, in 1971. Robin's still making great music, lately with her partner Libby McLaren.

Robin Flower's 1979 album, "More Than Friends"

Playlist      (airdate September 25, 2006) 
Part 1
Nedra Johnson - So Good So Far (2005)
Robin Flower & Libby McLaren - 30 second kiss (2000)
Venus Envy - Beaver Cleaver Fever (1990)
Labrys - Sisterlove (1987)
Carol Steinel - Dying For Love (1991)
Carol Steinel - Dangerous / God Is Love / Leviticus (1991)
Ivy Bottini - Lesbians / The WLM (1976)
Penny Lang - It's Not Easy (2006)
Rosy's Bar & Grill - Hello Stranger / Ain't I a Woman (1979)
Michelle Brody - Old Woman (1980)
Baba Yaga - Old Woman (1978)
Part 2
Nedra Johnson Interview (2006)
Nedra Johnson - Michfest Blues (2005)
Nedra Johnson - Ahha, It's a Good Thing (2005)
Nedra Johnson - Amazon (2005)
Nedra Johnson - Forever With Me (2005)
Nedra Johnson - New Boy Blues (2005)
Nedra Johnson - Testify (1997)
Nedra Johnson - Hail Mary (1997)
Nedra Johnson - Are You Getting Angry Yet? (1997)
Nedra Johnson - Any Way You Need Her (2005)

(note: many images have images "behind" them)

Read the script for the show...

Artist Links
Ivy Bottini
Robin Flower & Libby McLaren
Nedra Johnson
Penny Lang
Carol Steinel
Venus Envy (Lisa Koch)

Venus Envy

The 1990 cassette above gave us a hint of the parody fun in store for us when Venus Envy
would release their very classic and very queer xmas CD, "I'll Be a Homo for Christmas."
They are Linda Schierman, Lisa Koch, Laura Love, Linda Severt (clockwise from top)

Venus Envy

Labrys - Turn Around, 1985  Labrys - Sisterlove, 1987

In the late 80s there was a duo called Labrys. I'm sure they got their name because the labrys is a
lesbian symbol. Visually it's a double headed axe and was used to denote strength and self-sufficiency.
The duo Labrys was Elena Jordan and Patricia Lyons and they released two albums, in 1985 and 1987.

Click Here for larger images of the albums and liner notes

Carol Steinel - I'm Dangerous

Carol Steinel's totally out of print but very funny 1991 cassette was called "I'm Dangerous."
Her second recording, "Live At The House of Yang," followed in 2002. She still has a website
where you can check out her goings-on. And you can Click Here for a closer look at her lyrics.

Carole Steinel     Carol Steinel - Live at the House of Yang

Ivy Bottini - Women's Lip   current photo of Ivy Bottini, in her studio, photo by Ryan Gierach

In addition to doing comedy, Ivy Bottini is long time activist, with work spanning five decades. I encourage you to do an internet search on this amazing woman, but for just a sampling, in 1966 she founded the first chapter of the National Organization of Woman and in 1969 she designed their logo. She founded the first AIDS organization in Los Angeles and has been active in many other community services. There's a theatre in L.A. named after her and last month they had a celebration commerating both the 86th anniversary of Women's Right to Vote and Ivy's 80th birthday. Click Here for large scans of her EP from 1976.

Penny Lang - Stone + Sand + Sea + Sky     Penny Lang

Another artist who has been at it for decades is Penny Lang. She's considered a Canadian folk legend
and first started singing folk music in the 60s. At age 63 she's just released her eighth album, called
"Stone Sand Sea & Sky," and I was very taken with her voice and the calming effect this album has.

   Rosy's Bar & Grill      Checkered Past

Next up is a trio called Rosy's Bar & Grill. They were a Kansas City area group and my Audiofile co-producer, Chris Wilson, tells me that she remembers seeing them at an early West Coast Music Festival, and just loved them. The trio was comprised of Martha Haehl, Carol Smith and Joyce Constant, and while researching this show I googled their names and located Martha, and emailed her. I got a very nice reply that while she left the group in 1980, the other two are still performing under the name Rosy's. She says the band was one-third lesbian and other two were straight but definitely not narrow. Martha has been in several bands since and currently plays in one called Checkered Past. The original group Rosy's Bar & Grill had one release, in 1979. Martha Haehl is shown abobe, holding the fiddle, with her current group Checkered Past. Please Click Here for larger scans of their album.

Gay & Straight Together      High Risk

I'm featuring two versions of the song "Old Woman." The first is by its writer, Michelle Brody, and unfortunately I have no photos of her to share (if you do, please let me know). My original source for the song is the wonderful various artists release from 1980, "Gay and Straight Together." That was produced by Ginni Clemmens and the same year the album was reissued on the mainstream label Folkways. Pass your cursor over the album to see the other release. In 1999 the song was resurrected for another excellent various artists CD. It was a benefit for the Lesbian Community Cancer Project, and featured Chicago-area women on two discs: a more historic disc 1, including Ginni Clemmens, Paula Walowitz, Linda Shear and many others. The "new" disc included Patricia Barber, Ripley Caine, Kimi Hayes, Ellen Rosner, Stewed Tomatoes, Three Dollar Bill, Evil Beaver and many others, reflecting a much more varied sampling of women's music today. Oh, by the time of the "High Risk" CD, the spelling of Brody's first name had changed to Michal.

Baba Yaga - On the Edge    Baba Yaga

My other version of "Old Woman" is from 1978 and comes from a very expensive album. I say that because every time I run into it on eBay it goes for big bucks, and I understand the reason is that this is a jazz funk album and music producers like to take samples from the album for their recordings. I'm surprised it's not been put out on CD. The name of the six-member band is Baba Yaga and their album is called "On the Edge." In the photo above the members of Baba Yaga are, left to right, Patti Vincent, Jan Cornall, Kiera O'Hara, Bonnie Kovaleff, Susan Colson and Barbara J. Galloway. My copy of the album came from a radio station, and as an unexpected bonus, included with it were a couple of press kit items from the group, circa 1977. You can see those, the extensive liner and insert notes and a larger scan of the cover if you Click Here.


Nedra Johnson

Now to my very special interview with Nedra Johnson. Nedra's a first rate singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. Her debut album from 1997, "Testify," was nominated for two GLAMA awards, and this past June her followup, just called "Nedra," received the Outmusic Award for Outstanding New Recording Female.

Big Mouth Girl

Nedra Johnson - Testify, 1997    Nedra Johnson, 2005

Nedra at an Outmusic Awards show   Nedra with JD & Alix Dobkin

Above, two double-shots of Nedra (pass your cursor over them to see). On the left is her performing at
the 2006 Outmusic Awards Show at Crash Mansion, and on the left is her with myself, and Alix Dobkin.
Below, a candid shot I took of her in April of 1999, (with artist Sue De Nym) at a GLAMA awards
signing party. Below right is a candid shot from her site. Below those are the lyrics for the "Testify" CD.

Nedra & Sue de Nym, obviously not her real name   Nedra

Testify lyrics


Music by many of the artists heard on QMH can be found at
Goldenrod Music. Please click on the photo to visit their site.