QMH Scripts for both xmas shows...
Script for December 2002:
Go Go Boys - out in the bleak midwinter (2001)
Hi, I'm JD Doyle and welcome to Part 1 of my Queer Christmas Special. That's right, this is only the first part. My show Queer Music Heritage is usually heard only on the 4th Monday of the month, but this year I'm doing two Christmas shows. You see, I collect queer Christmas music all year, and this year I realized that I had so much new and interesting music that I could easily do two shows, and the producers of Queer Voices, Jack, Jone and Glen, generously allowed me this extra hour, so, here goes.
The song that introduced the show was done by a group called the GoGo Boys, and they are kind of a mysterious group. They first surfaced in 1996 with an album called "Gay Apparel X-Mas Songs. According to the liner notes the singing was done by seven different vocalists, who mostly took turns on the different songs. In the album title they spelled Christmas with an X, which may have been because they took Christmas tunes we know and gave them new lyrics, most of which were x-rated. Almost none can be played on the radio. There was no website for the group, no photos of the members on the CD jacket, and generally it seemed like this was one of those one-shot efforts, quickly put together, never to be heard from again. So, last year I was quite surprised when a new album came out, called "The Go Go Boys Go Homo For The Holidays."
This album has only three vocalists, none of whom were on the first release, and the material is much more radio friendly, and in addition to the parodies, it contains several original songs, written and sung by one of the "quote" Go Go Boys, Jim Kozak, who also wrote all the parody lyrics. He sang the opening song, called "Out In The Bleak Midwinter." Here's another original by him, called "A Noel Noel"
Go Go Boys - a noel
Following the Go Go Boys was Kip Addotta, singing "I saw daddy kissing santa claus," from 1986. That was a teaser song, because through most of it, it appeared to be a gay song. But it wasn't, and when I look at the list of gay & lesbian related Christmas songs in my collection, I've realized that there were only a handful of real gay releases prior to the 90s.
One of the exceptions was by a singer from Atlanta, Jan Barlow, who in 1986 released a very rare six-song cassette of Christmas parodies. Here she is singing "dyke the halls" and "jerry falwell's coming to town."
Jan Barlow - dyke
the halls (1986)
Okay, so Jan Barlow wasn't the best singer, but I give her credit for being the first solo artist to attack Christmas music with a gay and lesbian slant. There were a couple of chorus groups that released lyrically gay holiday songs in the early 80s, but Barlow, in 1986, was the earliest solo artist to do so.
This next act was probably the earliest to do gay parodies of classical music, when they released in 1993 an album called "Opera For The Masses." They are Barb Glenn and Susan Nivert and call themselves the Derivative Duo. Their follow-up album, "Mutiny At The Matinee," came out in 1996 and contains a song where they take on the nutcracker suite with one called "Christmas Quandary."
Derivative Duo - christmas
Following the Derivative Duo was a catchy little song from last year by Robert K. Wolf, logically called "Cross Dressing For Christmas." He released that on an album from the website mp3.com, where many new artists these days get their start.
Spotlight on Richard Foltz:
Next up are several songs from one of my favorite Christmas albums. Long time listeners of Queer Music Heritage have heard me talk many times about an organization I belong to called Outmusic. It is comprised of gay & lesbian artists and people supportive of their music. In 1996 a group of these artists in New York City got together and recorded songs for a compilation album, and I can't think of an album that contains as much sheer talent. Before I tell you more, let's hear two tracks from it. The first is by Patrick Arena, and Dan Martin sings the second.
Patrick Arena - christmas
is the time (1996)
That was Patrick Arena singing "Christmas Is The Time" and after him Dan Martin sang "Christmastime." Those are two of the 13 wonderful songs written by Richard Foltz, and accordingly the album is called "Richard Foltz, A Songwriter's Christmas." I am blessed in that my own connections with the organization Outmusic has enabled me to meet and become friends with many of the artists. So I was pleased last spring to meet and interview Richard Foltz, and I got these comments about the making of this album.
Richard Foltz interview
How did you pick the producers and
songs for the album?
He mentioned one of the producers named Dan. That was Dan Martin, who we heard earlier. Grant King is another of the artists who graced the album. I played Grant's song on my first Christmas special in 2000. And I got his comments also.
Grant King comments
Dan Martin comments
So let's close this special feature on the music of Richard Foltz with two more songs from his album "A Songwriter's Christmas." Here are Steve Cohen and David Clement.
Steve Cohen - heart
of the holiday (1996)
You just heard Steve Cohen singing "Heart of the Holiday" and David Clement singing "Christmas 1978." All of the artists on the Richard Foltz Christmas album have recorded excellent albums on their own, so you might want to check them out by following links from my site.
And now, as they used to say on Monty Python, here's something completely different.
Weather Girls intro
Cherry Poppin' Daddies - butch the gay santa claus (1998)
And that little ditty was by the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and is called "Butch the Gay Santa Claus," and is available only on a compilation album put out by Los Angeles DJs Kevin & Bean, called "Santa's Swingin' Sack."
In the last few weeks I've gotten to know a group called the Therapy Sisters. They are from Austin and are a lot of fun. They do sort of folk political satire, and they've released four albums and one is a holiday album called "Codependent Christmas." The Therapy Sisters are Maurine Mclean and Lisa Rogers, and I interviewed them last month. Here's Maurine talking about the song "Codependent Christmas"
Therapy Sisters comments
Therapy Sisters - codependent christmas (1998)
Tell us about "happy whatever you're having"
Therapy Sisters comments
Therapy Sisters - happy whatever you're having (1998)
Before we get to the last song, I want to thank you all for tuning in to the show, and I especially want to thank the artists who provided interview comments that really help with the appreciation of their songs. They were Richard Foltz, Grant King, Dan Martin and the Therapy Sisters. You can see photos of all the artists and recordings on tonight's show and view the playlist at my website, at www.queermusicheritage.com. And you can also hear the show and all my past shows there as well. And if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write to me. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston, and I'll be back next Monday, December 23rd, with Part 2 of my Queer Music Heritage Christmas Special.
Liberace - t'was the night before christmas
Okay, those of you over a certain age may have recognized that as the voice of Liberace, doing part of "T'was the Night Before Christmas" .well, you're not going to hear that song on this show, but it's a good intro to a very different version of "t'was the night before christmas." It's a brand new queer christmas song, and I've got a little background behind it. Last year I was pleased to get a CD called "A Christmas Dream" from an artist who calls himself Happy Charles. I remember going to his website last year and, in addition to viewing the lyrics to the songs from that album, there was a poem he wrote, a take off of "T'was the night before christmas," that I really liked. I wrote him back then that he really should put that poem to music, and he replied that he had considered it and my encouragement was helping him to decide to do it. Well, he did, and I got one of the first copies. So when I was writing the script for this show I contacted him and asked him to tell us about the record.
Happy Charles interview
So, closing the show here is Happy Charles with his new christmas song, "Sittin' On Santa's Lap."
Happy Charles - sittin' on santa's lap (2002)
Script for December 23, 2002:
Gay Liberation Quire - hark the herald fairies shout (1983)
Welcome to Queer Music Heritage. I'm JD Doyle and I'm here on Queer Voices on the 4th Monday of every month to bring you an hour devoted to our culture's music. This is my special Christmas show, featuring the music you won't be sick of by now. This is actually Part 2 of my Queer Christmas Special, as last week I also brought you an hour of very gay music. If you have a high speed internet connection, you can still hear it, and all of my past shows, at www.queermusicheritage.com.
I opened the show, as I have my Christmas show for the last two years, with a very rare song by the Gay Liberation Quire of Sydney, Australia. And they spelled Quire, q-u-i-r-e. That group was formed in 1981 and in the early 80s they became quite well known in Australia for their concerts and activism. They used the lyrics of their songs to make social commentary on the fight for gay rights and a host of other progressive causes. In 1983 they released an EP single called "The Gay Liberation Quire Goes Down On Vinyl." It contained one other Christmas song, which they called "god help you merry dykes and poofs" but instead of playing for you that recording, I'm playing instead a live version of it, recorded in 1982. Last year I was able to track down one of the original members, and he sent me a tape of one of their concerts. It was not released commercially so this is likely the first time the live version of the song, complete with their intro, is being aired anywhere. Here's "god help you merry dykes and poofs," by the Gay Liberation Quire.
Gay Liberation Quire
- god help you merry dykes and poofs (1982)
Following the Gay Liberation Quire was Cliff Townsend with his version of Barbra Streisand's version of "Jingle Bells." It's from his 1994 album called "Out Here On My Own," and that title is perhaps significant because he was more known as a member of the Flirtations, and this was his only solo release. I at first assumed that it was the rest of the Flirtations backing him up on this song, but no, it's him, doing all the voices. Good job.
Next up is a song I always play on my christmas show. It's a queer christmas standard, by Bob Rivers and Twisted Radio, from his 1993 album "I Am Santa Claus." It's called "Walkin' round in women's underwear." And I'm following it with a brand new gay christmas song by a straight country artist.
Bob Rivers & Twisted
Radio - walkin' round in women's underwear (1993)
That was Cledus T. Judd singing one called "Stephon the Alternative Lifestyle Reindeer," from his new album "Cledus Navidad." He mostly records humorous songs and a couple years ago he had another gay-themed one called "My Cellmate Thinks I'm Sexy." You can imagine what that one is like.
Now for a Christmas song that is just plain nice. It's by one of my artist friends who is also one of my writer friends. He's the multitalented Dennis Hensley, and in October when he came through Houston on a book tour I got a chance to interview him. He was on a cross country tour promoting his new book, "Screening Party," a very funny book about the movies, the premise being a group of friends, mostly gay, get together in his living room and watch movies and then trash them. The comments are laugh-out-loud-funny and the book also has a very feel good story to it. But anyway, I got to know him when he released his CD, in 1999, and I loved it. It's called "The Water's Fine" and contains some wonderful singing and writing. It has one Christmas song on it, called "Doesn't Seem Like Christmas," and I got Dennis to talk about it.
Dennis Hensley comments
Dennis Hensley - doesn't
seem like Christmas (1999)
I followed Dennis Hensley with Andy Monroe, singing "Christmas Memory." That's from the album put together by Richard Foltz called "A Songwriter's Christmas." I featured that album on Part 1 of my Christmas Special last week, but wanted to play just one more song from it.
What I'm going to play next isn't really noteworthy for its music, but for who it is. Billy Tipton was a jazz musician who achieved only modest regional success in the 40s and 50s. His career included live radio shows with Big Bands and evolved into jazz quartets and trios playing in night clubs. In his 74 years, in addition to being a band leader and a booking agent, he was a husband 5 times and adopted 3 children. After he died in 1989 in Spokane, a coroner revealed that he was much more. Billy Tipton was a woman, and a very talented one who was able to fool the world for more than 50 years. In his act with the Big Bands he often did novelty falsetto songs, and one is included at the end of this rare recording of a Christmas greeting he made for his grandmother, in 1974. Here's Billy Tipton.
Billy Tipton recording (1974)
Next up are two christmas songs by drag queens. The first is from 1999 and is called "Santa Claus." It's by Dina Martina. She's from Seattle and her annual Christmas shows there have become a hot ticket in recent years. And I'm following her with an artist who died of a heroin overdose in 1985.
Dina Martina - santa
Well, I'm sure you didn't figure out who the second artist was. She was Jackie Curtis, and her real name was John Holder. She was kind of an underground star of the 60s and 70s. She was a playwright, a poet, and an actress who did most of her roles as a woman. She got her fame from being in several of Andy Warhol's movies. And, as I mentioned, she died of a heroin overdose, at age 38. That song was from a compilation album from 1978 called "Big Ego." It contained spoken word and music pieces by such varied artists as Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson and William S. Burroughs.
And now for a song that starts out mellow, but then rocks hard.
Best Revenge - cockring for christmas (2000)
Above, Best Revenge
You probably haven't heard that song before either. I know, you would have remembered that. It's obviously called "Cockring for Christmas." The group's name is Best Revenge. They are a queercore band from Los Angeles, and they took their name from the title of a song by the queer punk group Pansy Division. They've only recorded a handful of songs, most appearing on compilations.
Paul Lynde (1976)
Queer Duck - santa claus is gay
Those of you with Showtime cable service may recognize that as the very queer cartoon Queer Duck. I'm so glad they did a Christmas episode.
Okay, there's another song I play on every Christmas show. It's by the group Venus Envy. They recorded a classic album in 1995 called "I'll Be A Homo For Christmas." But before I play the title track I want to play another fun cut from it, "Rhonda the Lesbo Reindeer." And I'll let Tiny Tim introduce it.
Tiny Tim intro
To help honor this album, I've got a very special interview with a member of Venus Envy, Lisa Koch. I interviewed Lisa regarding her latest CD called "Both of Me." That is Lisa's third solo music album and she also does comedy. She's very funny and talented. Of course I asked her about the Christmas album.
Lisa Koch interview:
Lisa, please tell us about Venus Envy.
How do you feel about the album "I'll
Be a Homo for Christmas" becoming one of our gay Christmas classics?
Please tell us about the title song,
and what has the reaction to it been? And, has this changed over the
Venus Envy -
I'll be a homo for christmas (1995)
Now, let's go from being a homo for Christmas to being Elvis for Christmas. My next artist has made quite a name for himself over the last few years. He's evolved from being a shy, gay art curator from Los Angeles to traveling the world with his hispanic Elvis impersonator act. His name is Robert Lopez but he goes by El Vez, that's e-l v-e-z. One review I found seems to sum him up pretty well. It said, "Undeniably suave, a cross between a sweet-faced pompadoured crooner and a trashy pickup artist, El Vez, entertains with a contagious blend of Elvis camp, grassroots politics and pop culture." He's got a new Christmas album called "Sno-Way Jose" and I had trouble picking which song to play, as they all reflected different aspects of his talent. But I settled with one called "En El Barrio at Christmas Time," which you'll recognize as a reworking of "In The Ghetto." Here is El Vez.
El Vez - en el barrio at christmas time (2002)
This next song is a delight. It's by drag artist Jimmy James and she's just come out with a new album called "Have Yourself a Jimmy James Merry Christmas." On it she does Christmas standards using many of the diva voices she's become famous for, like Judy Garland, Eartha Kitt, Barbra Streisand, Mae West, and Cher. And my favorite is this version of "Feliz Navidad."
Jimmy James - feliz navidad
Isn't that just beyond words?
Well, before we get to the last song, I want to thank you all for tuning in to the show, and I especially want to thank Lisa Koch of Venus Envy and Dennis Hensley for their interview comments. You can see photos of all the artists and recordings on tonight's show and view the playlist at my website, at www.queermusicheritage.com. And you can also hear the show and all my past shows there as well. And if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write to me. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston, and I'll be back on the 4th Monday of next month with my third anniversary show.
I'm closing tonight's show the same way I have closed my christmas special every year, with a song from one of the best gay Christmas CDs of the last few years. It's from 1997 and the CD is called "Ho, Ho, Ho," and who else but RuPaul could sing "rupaul the red-nosed drag queen."
RuPaul - rupaul the red-nosed drag queen (1997)
Total time: 58:57
Big dykes with
small dogs and butches with kittens;
Men who can
cook and make great apple strudels;
Men in tight
dresses with gold lame sashes;
nurses and students and teachers;
Nieces and uncles
and sisters and brothers;
with courage and vision;
No, I don't have anyone's recording of the above, wish I did, just wanted to share it...:)