QMH Scripts for December 2005...
QMH, Dec 19th, 2005, Part 1
4 Poofs & a Piano - Christmas Fairies (2005)
And that was a rousing start to Part 1 of my Queer Christmas Special. That's right, this is only the first part, and if you stick around you'll hear Christmas music you won't hear anywhere else. I'm JD Doyle and you're listening to Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston, and 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, and I'll try to bring you gay-related xmas music that is entertaining, and sometimes obscure.
I started the show with a fairly new group from the UK that call themselves 4 Poofs & a Piano, and their song "Christmas Fairies." They are obviously very out, and pack their music with good harmony and quite a bit of camp. As does this next artist. His name is Mark Trevorrow, but he's known all over Australia under the name of the TV character he created named Bob Downe, the Prince of Polyester.
Bob Downe - Here Come the Reindeer (2000)
That was Bob Downe, from Australia.
Above photo is from January
2006 and it of Mark Trevorrow and Tyler Alpern.
DC Anderson is a very prolific artist on the Cabaret scent, as a singer, writer and producer. From his very nice Christmas album from 2001 called "All Is Calm, All Is Bright" here's "Department Stores Mean Christmas."
- Department Stores Mean Christmas (2001)
After DC Anderson we heard "Christmas Alone" by Jeremy Gloff, from his album "Romantico," from 2003.
Up next is a song only for my internet listeners. It's by Candye Kane and Country Dick Montana. It's probably the most heterosexual song I've every played on this show, but I'm allowing it as Candye Kane is a very openly bisexual and proudly includes songs on every album directed to both men and women.
Candye Kane and Country Dick Montana - Let's Put the X Back in Christmas (1992)
"Let's Put the X Back in Christmas" from 1992, by Candye Kane and Country Dick Montana. And here's another internet only oddity. It's a composite of bits by New York City Drag Queen Extraordinaire Hedda Lettuce.
Hedda Lettuce - Christmas 2002
Who else but Hedda Lettuce.
Daniel Cartier Interview
An artist that impresses me a lot is Daniel Cartier, and late last year he released a Christmas album called "Don We Now Out Gay Apparel." And I think it's a wonderful album, so I contacted Daniel for an interview about it.
Daniel, what prompted you to record a Christmas album?
I love Christmas music. Basically I grew up in a house where we were literally one of those weird families that would go carolling and go to everybody's house. You know I'm the youngest of six kids. All the kids would go with my mom and dad, and we would go around the neighborhood and, you know, people would invite us in and give us little Chistmas treats and everything and it was really nice, and it's such a great memory and those songs are just really well-written songs. Even though I'm not religious, at all, you know when I hear a song like "Silent Night" I'm not really thinking about Jesus being born or anything. You know, I'm thinking more just about the associations I have with being a kid and Christmas and all that excitement around it.
I would like to hear about the song "Tomorrow Will Be Christmas"
I decided I wanted to write a bunch of Christmas songs. I had just got my new home studio and it was around Christmas, this was a couple years ago. You know I just got this idea. I was going to sit down and write a couple Christmas songs. I had never written a Christmas song and you know I just sat down and one afternoon I wrote like four Christmas songs. "Tomorrow Will Be Christmas" is actually my favorite one. It's actually a song about Christmas eve. It's specifically about my favorite time of Christmas, which is the night before. That's when the world seems the most Christmasy to me, because there's still all that anticipation and excitement, and the light from the tree, everybody's at home, and they're rushing home with all their packages, and people usually stay up really late. That's my favorite time.
Daniel Cartier - Tomorrow Will Be Christmas (2004)
How about "The Perfect Place for Christmas"
Well, I've spent Christmas in a bunch of different places. I've spent Christmas like in Los Angeles. I've spent it up north. It's kind of about how it's not really where you are that matters. It's who you're with, you know, that's the most important thing. The place I'm talking about isn't like a physical place. It's more like the place you create with the people you love.
Daniel Cartier - Perfect Place for Christmas (2004)
I'd like to hear you write a song about with openly gay lyrics, like maybe like spending Christmas with my man, something that's really a gay song.
Well perhaps that will be on a Christmas album in the future.
There's a challenge for you, for next year.
(sings) I want .let's see, ah, I just want a big strong Christmas lover (laughs)
Hmm, massage that a little. Which of the standards did you enjoy the most, the Christmas standards?
Oh, "Jingle Bells." That one was my favorite one to do. I had so much fun recording that, and I like it cause it's not religious. You know, I kind of became this character, like some crazy guy, and then doing all the background vocals.
Daniel Cartier - Jingle Bells (2004)
Cartier QMH ID
In 1976 Chastity Bono was 7 years old and years from being outed by Star Magazine as a lesbian in 1990, but she was a veteran when it came to appearing on her parent's TV shows. On the Sonny & Cher Christmas Special from 1976 she even got to sing a few seconds on her own.
Chastity Bono - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (1976)
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 audial experience. And you know, there were a couple songs on tonight's show that just aren't ready for radio. So you can hear them on a longer version of the show at my website. Again, that's at www.queermusicheritage.com. Also, for more very queer programming, please listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper, every Friday night/Saturday morning from 1 to 4 am, on KPFT, it's Queer Radio, with attitude.
Up next is one of the obscure songs I like to bring you on Queer Music Heritage. It's from 1995 and the artist goes by the name Christian Left. It was a cassette release called "Left at the Light," and it doesn't identify the singer, but he thanks the Lavender Road Metropolitan Community Church, which is in Santa Cruz, California. Here's Christian Left and "Queer Christmas Wishes."
Christian Left - Queer Christmas Wishes (1995)
We could use more Christian Left.
I got a CD in the mail from the group Sisterfunk, sending me their Christmas song, and knowing their music a little, I was expecting, well, a funky song, but their song "This Is What He Said" is very nice indeed.
Sisterfunk - This is What He Said (2003)
"This Is What He Said" by Sisterfunk.
Mary Gauthier Interview Excerpt
Last May I was delighted to share with you an interview with Mary Gauthier. Of course I asked her about the song "Christmas in Paradise," from her 2002 album "Filth & Fire," and saved those comments for this show.
Please tell me about "Christmas In Paradise"
"Christmas in Paradise" is a true story. I took poetic license with it but there is a community of homeless people that live under the bridge in Key West, Florida, under the Cowkee Bridge. And that's a story of them being under the bridge on Christmas day, and what their Christmas looked like. There really was a Christmas tree tied to the bridge rail, and I was down there writing for over the holidays, and I stumbled across them, and I wrote their story, really.
I love that song.
Thank you, I do too, I do too.
Do you sing it mostly at Christmas?
No, I sing it all the time. I don't see it as a Christmas song. I see it more as a song of how, like I was saying earlier
Kind of hope among the loneliness?
Yeah, you know being gay doesn't make me different than anybody else. I think them being homeless any different than anybody else. They're put together the same way. They're still celebrating Christmas in their own way. They're not removed they're not society may dehumanize them and treat them as objects but they're not objects. They're human beings under a bridge with a little Christmas tree, and they're going to have their Christmas dinner at the church, and they're passing the bottle around, and they're making the best out of each other being there. It's their family. And you know, they're just like us. They just don't have a home. And that's what I was trying to do and that's why I love that song, because I think I did do that.
Yes, you did.
Mary Gauthier - Christmas In Paradise (2002)
"Christmas In Paradise" by Mary Gauthier.
Jay Spears Comments
A couple weeks ago I wrote to one of my artist friends, Jay Spears, and suggested that the world really needed a gay Christmas song, done with his own brand of humor and charm. Well, I was thinking of one for next year, and didn't know that he had already been working on a song. A few days later he emailed this song to me, called "Jay's Christmas Song." I quite like it so called him up to ask him about it. Jay, tell me about your Christmas song.
Well, I had been working on a Christmas song for many months but it kind of wasn't working, wasn't coming together, and then, what do you know? I just had this muse moment only about two or three weeks ago. And a lot of people were saying, "It's too late now, it's too late now." Hey, you got to just let it comes when it comes, and so the whole thing sort of came out of me in a couple of days and I was able to get it recorded
What inspired you?
I don't know, I think maybe the awful glut of crass commercialism around, maybe inspired the chorus part of it. But I think the real meat of the song is in the bridge, where there you are with all these real issues and real actual life that you have to deal with all the time. It doesn't matter what Santa says about them.
Jay Spears - Jay's Christmas Song (2005)
Jay Spears and "Jay's Christmas Song." And be sure to check out his wonderful album called "Boy Howdy."
A British comedian I'm quite fond of is Julian Clary. He's fairly unknown over here, but that's our loss. He had a very camp TV game show for several years in the UK, called "Sticky Moments," and from his 1993 Christmas editon you'll recognize this song.
Clary - Walking In a Winter Wonderland (1993)
That rather different holiday song was by a singer/comedian named Fiely Matias, from his 1999 album "Asian Sings the Blues." And I'm not quite sure what to follow that up with, perhaps Dame Edna and her 1988 ditty "Spooky Christmas"
Dame Edna - Spooky Christmas (1988)
And I haven't forgotten that perhaps the most anticipated queer xmas album of the year was by our dragappella darlings, the Kinsey Sicks. From their new CD "Oy Vey in a Manger" here are "God Bless Ye Femmy Lesbians" and "Jingle Bells, Don't Ask Don't Tell."
Sicks - God Bless Ye Femmy Lesbians (2005)
And, my internet listeners also got to hear the Kinsey Sicks sing "Harried Little Christmas" and "Christmas Medley"
I've got one more song in the show, but before I get to it, I want to thank you all for tuning in, and I especially want to thank Daniel Cartier and Mary Gauthier 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 Xmas shows there as well. And if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, you can write to me and I'd love to hear from you. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston, and I'll be back next Monday, December 26th, with Part 2 of my Queer Music Heritage Christmas Special.
I'm ending the show with another song from Daniel Cartier's album, "Don We Now Our Gay Apparal," and I'll let him introduce it.
Daniel, when you were recording all those old songs, did any of the songs surprise you. I mean, did they come out differently than you expected?
Yes, "Auld Lang Syne" came out very different. I started crying when I sang it. I realized, wow, this is really an emotional song, and I actually started crying when I was singing it.
Daniel Cartier - Auld Lang Syne (2004)
QMH, Dec 26th, 2005, Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of the Queer Music Heritage Queer Xmas Special (with bells underneath)
Kinsey Sicks - Til the Season to Drink Stoli (2005)
This is JD Doyle and thanks for joining me here on Queer Voices for the second part of my Queer Music Xmas Special. Every year I love putting together these shows that are packed full of the Christmas music you won't be sick of by now. I gather this music all year and have very seldom repeated any songs over the years. And that song was brand new, and very queer indeed, done by an act I've followed for quite a while, the Kinsey Sicks. Their new album is called "Oy Vey In a Manger," and here's another track from it, which also shows their comedy talents.
Kinsey Sicks - I Had
a Little Facial (2005)
After the Kinsey Sicks wacky version of "The Dreydel Song" you heard another unusual, but very good version by El Vez, from his 2002 CD "Sno-Way Jose." I just love the sound effects of the dreydel.
And also from that album was "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday." I think he's the only gay artist I know of who's released two Christmas albums. In addition to "Sno-Way Jose" in 2002, in 1994 he also released "Merry Mex-Mas."
One of my artist friends who's been away from the scene for way too long is Dave Hall. I am very pleased to know that he's making music again. He sent me two songs from his new Christmas album.
Dave Hall - Santa
Claus Blues (2005)
Dave Hall with "Santa Claus Blues" and "Christmas in Vermont."
Another artist whose voice I just love is Cam Clarke. He released what I consider a remarkable album in 1998 called "Inside Out," and he finally has a new release, and it's a Christmas album. It's called "Homeward."
Cam Clarke - If These
From "Homeward" by Cam Clarke, that was "If These Walls" and "Tennessee Christmas".
There's a charity organization called Broadway Cares - Equity Fights AIDS that among a lot of other good work, issues a CD every year featuring mostly Broadway singers and actors. I think my favorite of their annual albums is one from 1993 called "Cabaret Noel." I've featured songs from it before and this time I'm playing the group Betty. I'm using their medley "Jingle Bells," but as you'll see it covers a lot of ground in a minute and a half.
Betty - Jingle Bells (1993)
I find it amazing, and for her fans, unfortunate that Dusty Springfield with the countless albums she recorded never did a Christmas album. She had one benefit 45 with a song called "Oh Holy Child" and with her first group, the Springfields, an EP of which I think this song is the best.
Springfields - We Wish You a Merry Christmas (1961)
From 1962 the Springfields and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
Now for a little change of pace, from last year here's a gay duo going by the name VonTanner doing "Santa Claus You're Fat."
VonTanner - Santa
Claus You're Fat (2004)
Following VonTanner was Mike Rickard and "Home from the Holidays" from his album from last year "Stirred Not Shaken.'
Dora Bryan - If I Were A Fairy (1963)
Okay, that gay fairy was Dora Bryan, a singer from England who released that song in 1963. And you've already heard the most interesting part of the song. So 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 audial experience. And my regular listeners know that I'm very prone to have longer versions of my show at my site, and that happened again for this show, as there were several songs that I just could not squeeze into an hour show, but still wanted you to hear. Again, that's at www.queermusicheritage.com. Also, for more very queer programming, please listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper, every Friday night/Saturday morning from 1 to 4 am, on KPFT, it's Queer Radio, with attitude.
Paul Lynde - as Santa Claus
Oh how I wish Paul Lynde would have released a Christmas album, or for that matter, any musical album.
I want to thank an artist named Dave Montana for sending me this song. He now has his own album out, called "Such Things as Love and Pain," but in 1988 he was drummer for a technopop band called No You Turn. On their album "Puppet's Frustration" was a track called "A Christmas Song," with gay lead singer George Andujar.
No You Turn - A Christmas
And that song was called "Lonely This Christmas." That's from 1997 from a very out of the closet Dutch singer named Gerard Joling. You should hear him sing "Where the Boys Are."
And now from the 1995 live album "1200 Curfews" here's the Indigo Girls doing Joni Mitchell's song "The River."
Indigo Girls - The
Also from 1995 was Lisa Koch, with "You'll Never Melt My Heart." That's from her wonderful album called "You Make My Pants Pound."
Shawn Thomas Comments
An artist I was pleased to meet this year was Shawn Thomas, and I asked him about one of the songs from his album called "Born." Please tell me about the song "They Danced."
Oh, I love that song! I like to think about, different times of the year, if you're in Easter, if you're in Christmas, I try to keep in mind the whole church calendar I guess is the way to think about it. If you're at Easter to think about where we've come from from the birth of the Christ. And if you're at Christmas to think about where this is going to and where this is going to lead to the crucifixion and the resurrection. And so what I like about that song is that it starts out really talking about the birth of the Christ and the celebration that had to be going on up in Heaven with the angels dancing and celebrating the birth of the Christ. And then the song ends by talking about the resurrection and shows that's it's the same celebration that must have been going on when they danced in heaven.
Shawn Thomas - They
That set started with Shawn Thomas and "They Danced." And from the album "Pretty on Thursday" came the song "Thursday in December." That was Leah Zicari's third album, from 2003, and I recommend them all. And finishing off that set was Ann Reed and I really like that track. It's called "Christmas Songs" and is from her 2001 album named "Not Your Average Holiday CD." Indeed.
And, now here's a very pretty version of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," by Tom Grounds.
Tom Grounds - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve (2005)
Okay, coming up to the last two songs of the show, but before I get to them, I want to thank you all for tuning in, and I especially want to thank Shawn Thomas for his 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 this show and all my past Xmas shows there as well. And 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, and I'll be back with a new edition of Queer Music Heritage on the 4th Monday of next month. That will be my 6th anniversary show.
I'm ending this show with two selections that are very campy, each in their own way. The first is not a Christmas song but I think you'll forgive me by the time you get to the second song. From 1997 there was a musical called "Freeway Dreams," written by gay songwriter and playwright Wayne Moore, and at least some of the case members were gay. The song I picked is called "The Bette Davis Chorus." It's the perfect intro for a song that's become a tradition for my Xmas shows. It's by Jimmy James, from her 2002 album, "Have Yourself a Merry Jimmy James Christmas." You won't forget her version of "Feliz Navidad."
Cast of "Freeway
Dreams" - Bette Davis Chorus (1997)