About Billy Tipton
only found a handful of songs written about Billy Tipton.
If you know of more, please let me know. Click on the titles to hear
- Tipton ("Positively
Jill Sobule - Billy's
Thing (unreleased, 2002)
Video Dead - Legend
of Billy Tipton ("Brotherhood of the Dead," 2005)
Steve Schalchlin - Brilliant
Masquerade (unreleased, 2007)
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus - Brilliant
Masquerade ("Creating Harmony," 2008)
Miami Gay Men's Chorus - Brilliant
Masquerade (live at GALA, 2012)
Pasheen - Cross
Dress ("The Big Purr," 2011)
Phranc song file above begins with an introduction by
her to the song, taken from my September 2005
Sobule's song remains unreleased, but is not difficult to find on the
And the heavy metal "Legend of Billy Tipton," by Video Dead,
I guess is a tribute;
I often have trouble understanding lyrics in that genre.
Schalchlin wrote "Brilliant Masquerade" about Billy Tipton,
and it's already been recorded by two choruses. He's well known
for the musicals written with his partner Jim Brochu, such as
"The Last Session," and "The Big Voice: God or Merman,"
his solo project "New World Waking."
most recent song is by a self-proclaimed Diva, known as Pasheen.
called "Cross Dress," and is from her 2011 CD "The Big
"The Slow Drag," was a 1998 musical starring Kim Criswell,
and included jazz standards (no songs about Tipton).
It had a plot inspired by Tipton's story with the lead character named
Johnny Christmas. Of course just
listening to the CD gives no sense at all of the story you could see
during a performance.
The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet was a Seattle area band
taking their name to honor Tipton. Under that name they were active
from 1989 through 2002, when the name was changed to Tipton's Sax Quartet.
Founding members included Amy Denio, Jessica Lurie, Marjorie de Muynck,
and John Otto.
As a side note, at the time of its founding Otto was named Babs Helle
and performed with them until 1990. Per Wiki he coined the group's name,
and has gone on to become a transgender activist. Pam Barger (earlier
of Two Nice Girls) played drums on at least two of their early CDs.
In their career under both names they have released ten albums. I have
only three in my collection and do not know if any songs on other CDs
were actually about Billy Tipton.