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QMH Feb & March 2009

Gay Guys on Cassette, Page 8

These shows are dedicated to

 Will Grega

I played a very rare vocal track by Will, from the tape above, but Will is much more known for his series of instrumental jazz/electronica albums, and his CD "Stereotonic" won the Outmusic Award in 2003 for Best Electronica recording. But I'm also a fan of Will's for a different reason. In a way he's a bit of a gay music historian, though he may not have intended that at the time.

In 1994 he published a book called "Gay Music Guide," which profiled almost a hundred recordings by gay and lesbian artists, and these were all independent releases, by folks who probably for the first time got any recognition for their work. While back then he was spotlighting very current music, well, it's turned into history, and I'm so glad he preserved it.

For this reason I'm dedicating my "Gay Guys on Cassette" shows to Will, for his pioneering book and inspiration. Will Grega's book is one that taught me a lot, and it even was issued in conjunction with a sampler tape of 24 songs by the artists the book featured. In 1996 Will published an expanded edition of the book, renaming it "Out Sounds: The Gay and Lesbian Music Alternative," and this time it was co-authored by Will's husband, Randy Jones. Many of the recordings covered were cassette-only releases, and I included about a dozen of them in these shows.

A special condensed version of his first book has been posted to this site:

http://www.qrd.org/qrd/browse/gay.music.guide

And there are still some copies available at Amazon.com

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and yes, Will's married to THAT Randy Jones...