August 2014: The Script
Meg Christian - Ode to a Gym Teacher (1974)
This is JD Doyle and I'm giving that song the honor of starting off this special Queer Music Heritage show. From 1974 and by Meg Christian, "Ode to a Gym Teacher" was one of the very first lesbian anthems. And it was also one of the first songs from the point of view of a young LGBT person, and that's the theme of the show. I'm calling it "Teen View: Music of LGBT Youth." And what I want to do is give voice to our young people, and share how they expressed their struggles, frustrations and longings in song. Now most of these were not written when the artists were actually teens, but they were able to look back and share those feelings. And I hope this sharing connects with my younger listeners, and also those who want to look back.
Kind of carrying on where Meg Christian left off, here's another Women's Music pioneer, Alix Dobkin. From her 1990 album "Yahoo, Australia," Alix will tell us about her "Crushes."
Dobkin - Crushes (1990)
Yes, she joined the softball team, that was the group DykeAppella and "I Was a Teenage Lesbian," from 1998, but while many lesbians may have been happy with softball teams, many young gay guys were not at all comfortable with sports, and I can sure vouch for that. From the 1984 album "I Thought You'd Be Taller" Romanovsky & Phillips tell us about their "Outfield Blues."
& Phillips - Outfield Blues (1984)
I bet you didn't see that one coming. I love that song, it's by Julia Serano and the band Bitesize, from 1999, and is one of the few reflecting the viewpoint of a young transgender person.
In the late 1990s there was a gay & lesbian music organization called the GLAMAs, and they had an Awards event every year. For 1999 Austin singer Meg Hentges, who was formerly a member of the band Two Nice Girls, won the award for Best Song, and I totally agree with that choice. It's a favorite of mine. From the CD "Brompton's Cocktail," is "This Kind of Love."
- This Kind of Love (1999)
"Where Can We Go Tonight" was the problem of any youth, gay or straight, stuck at home with the folks, but the leader of that band was Tom Robinson, two years after the release of his anthem "Glad to Be Gay," so I think it spoke louder to us.
I'm going next to a song that I always think of whenever someone asks me about songs from a teen point of view. It is by Canadian artist David Sereda, from his 1981 album "Chivalry Lives." The song is called "Underage Blues."
Sereda - Underage Blues (1981)
I guess that last track, called "Our World," was more of a statement than a song, but I love it. It's by Diverse Harmony, and based out of Seattle, that group was founded 12 years ago, and bills itself as the nation's first gay-straight alliance youth chorus. The track "Our World" was from 2004.
And this young artist I think shows a lot of promise. His name is Julian Hornik and he's not yet recorded his first album, but the tracks he has recorded have gotten a lot of acclaim, and he's only 18. Remember that Harvey Milk speech where he tells about getting a phone call from a teenager in Altoona, Pennsylvania? Well, that inspired Julian to write this song.
Hornik - Altoona, Pennsylvania (2012)
That one was by Irish singer Ryan Dolan and it has a very poignant video about bullying. And this next song was not officially released, but I wish the singer, Steve Cohen would release it, as it covers an angle I think many can relate to. It's about a young guy knowing he is gay, and wanting to reach out to the only person near him who he knows is also gay, a much older man. But the man is scorned by the neighbors and our singer knows he dare not go near him, for fear of being called gay himself. So he desperately needs to reach out, but cannot. The song is called "Mr. Wilson."
Cohen - Mr. Wilson (1995)
A wonderful song by one of our most talented artists, Jen Foster. From 2005, it was called "The Underdogs." One of my favorite gay musicals is called "Bare," from 2007. "Bare" is a musical that tells the story of a group of seniors, boys and girls, in a Catholic school during their last semester. The central relationship in the story is that of Peter and Jason, who are challenged keeping their love secret under the watchful eyes of their friends, their parents, and God and the Church. My two favorite songs from it are "You & I" and "Best Kept Secret."
Bare - You & I / Best Kept Secret (2007)
The characters Jason & Peter were sung by James Snyder and Matt Doyle. For a more humorous song, I go back to 1992 and Harry Wingfield, and his track echoes back to the 1950s. It's called "I Do, I Do, I Do."
Harry Wingfield - I Do, I Do, I Do (1992)
This is JD Doyle and thank you for listening to my look at songs from the point of view of LGBT youth. I've been saving a special one to close this first hour. It's by Canadian singer Micah Barnes, but on his 1998 CD "Loud Boy Radio," he just went by Barnes. Here's "Boy With a Secret."
Barnes - Boy With a Secret (1998)
that artist. He's from London and is named Matt Fishel. Last year
he released a stellar CD called "Not Thinking Straight,"
and from it is the track "Football Song." I'm JD Doyle and
welcome back to my show, and this is Part 2 of
I want to get next to two tracks by Chris Riffle. He has several very good CDs but I'm partial to his first one called "The Sun Is Up," from 2003. He wrote these when he was about 20 as he looked back at his much younger years. I picked the songs "5th Grade" and "Wonderboy."
Riffle - 5th Grade / Wonderboy (2003)
Perhaps a bit too clever, after Chris Riffle's "Wonderboy" I played "Boy Wonder," by the band Cellar Door, and also another track by them, "New Boy." The songs are from the 2004 CD "L'Esprit de L'escalier." That's a French expression I love, translated literally as "spirit of the staircase," but it means thinking of the right comeback too late, like after you have already left the room and are down the stairs. We've all done that. That band is out of Chicago and so is this next artist, Scott Free, who I much respect. His music says a lot of things that just need said, and you'll see what I mean when you hear "Like a Girl," from his 2008 CD "The Pink Album," and perhaps harder to listen to, the brutally honest "Another Day of Cruelty." That's from his 2004 release "They Call Me Mr. Free."
Free - Like a Girl (2008)
Yes, pretty heavy. "Concealed Sorrow" by the rappers Theory Hazit & Toni Shift, from 2011. Here's another Canadian artist, Anna Gutmanis. From her 2012 CD "Glimmer in the Dark" is "Another Way Out."
Gutmanis - Another Way Out (2012)
How many songs have you heard about gay Boy Scouts, I bet not many and I hope we don't need any more. That one, called "Scout's Honor" is from 2000 and is by a Seattle artist just going by Peto.
I think you'll be able to pick out the common thread of these next three songs. I'm starting the set off with another by Romanovsky & Phillips. From 1988 is "My Mother's Clothes."
& Phillips - My Mother's Clothes (1988)
In the middle was Kate Reid, singing from the perspective of a young boy she knew, with the song "Boys Who Wear Dresses." And then came Namoli Brennet and the title track from her 2002 CD "Boy in a Dress."
Matthew Cloran released only one album, in 2000, named "Finally Free." It contained the poignant story called "The Prince." And after that you'll hear Coleman Lindberg tell about a young boy with a crush on his friend, in a song called "4 Inches Away."
Cloran - The Prince (2000)
both Radford Bishop and Coleman Lindberg have recorded versions of
Dreams of Hope is an LGBT youth performance company from Pittsburgh. They do some music but mostly spoken word pieces, and I'm sharing with you one of those. This was from a 2008 performance and is called "Gender Identity."
Dreams of Hope - Gender Identity (2008)
Perhaps I'm reading too much into this next song. It's about a quite young boy who, in my opinion from the lyrics, has a crush on an adult, though he's too young to really understand that. The writer and singer are both gay, Rob Costin and Grant King, and it had very limited released on a cassette tape in 1993. Here's Grant King singing "James and Me."
Grant King - James and Me (1993)
This is JD Doyle and I'm closing this show with songs from two musicals. From the 2008 show "A Perfectly Normal Boy" is "Just a Little Kid Who Likes Showtunes." And then I'll play one from a way-off Broadway show that is kind of a fairy tale horror story, though you can't really tell that from the title track, "Teenage Homo."
Normal Boy - Just a Little Kid Who Likes Showtunes (2008)
"Teenage Homo" writers