Script for March 2001, QMH:
- p.c. dyke (1995)
Monica Grant's album was produced by Teresa Chandler, who also sings and I've played her on my show in the past, and together they've recently being doing a musical comedy act.
Since there will be so many obscurities heard on this show, I thought those of you on the internet would like to be able to see photos of the artists and recordings, and view the playlist.
On tonight's show I have three special interviews, I can't quite believe it myself. The first one is with Dennis Hensley. Dennis is kind of a gay renaissance man, seems like he does it all. He wrote a very funny book a couple years ago called "Misadventures in the (213)," which is about life in West Hollywood, 213 is the area code, and he does scads of celebrity interviews. If you read the Advocate, many of the interviews with celebrities are done by Dennis, and they are very good, he has a real breezy style that just makes them fun to read. And if that's not enough, in 1999, he released a CD, and it was good enough for a song from it to be nominated for an award in the Best Country Song category at the GLAMA awards, the Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards. I met him at the event last year, and, you know what, he's even a nice guy. So I recently got him to record for me some comments about his CD. It's called "The Water's Fine" and I asked him how he picked that song for the title.
Well, originally I was going to call it "Afterthoughts" after the last song on the record, and one night I played a bunch of songs for a friend of mine who was interested in hearing them, and at the end of them he said, "you picked the wrong song for the title." And I said, "why" and he goes well the album is much more upbeat and positive and hopeful than the song that you picked to name it, so I think you should call it 'the water's fine" and I thought about it for a while and then I sort of realized that maybe he was right and and so we changed it all kind of at the last minute and shot new pictures, I, you know I mean it was like a all a whole new re-imagining of it but I like the song because it's sort of upbeat and inviting and it's got a nice image to it and there's a lot you can play with so I thought that a the sort of message of it is that you can trust me, things are going to be all right so that was the reason I chose it.
Dennis Hensley - the water's fine (1999)
I also asked Dennis about his song "Against The Grain"
I think it's a song for anyone who feels bad because they're different um and it can apply to being gay or anything actually
Dennis Hensley - against the grain (1999)
you know I've gotten some nice feedback that it's moved people and that it's connected to them and it's weird because when you're working on it you know you listen to it in your car and in the studio, it's all about the technique, oh this could sound better and I'm flat or whatever, but then I remember putting it in the cassette player in my bathroom and listening to it out of context and actually, I heard it in a different way I thought god, that guy's spilling his guts, man, so I guess I was kind of struck by when you're working on it it's all about the process but then you realize wow I kind of you know I opened myself up a little here I hope that it can touch those things in other people
You can find out more about Dennis Hensley
and his CD "The Water's Fine" at his very cool website www.dennishensley.com.
Bruce & Terry - here comes summer (1964)
Now except for the line "in the summertime, there's a boy for every girl" it would have been the perfect queer surf record that I wish I could have heard back then. Well, now there is a genuine queer surf song. It's called "Boys On The Sand" and it's on the debut CD by Clark Carlton called "Saltwater." I've been in contact with Clark and have been able to get some recorded comments about his music. Here's what he said about "Boys On The Sand":
there are this group of guys that I think of as the boys on the sand, um, they all love to party, they are a really fun group um we play volleyball, some of us surf, we swim, I see those guys most every weekend. I love them all. When I went through this big break up welcomed me into their group with their bronzed brawny arms. I just love those guys and I had to write a love song to them.
Clark Carlton - boys on the sand (2001)
I also asked Clark about his song called "Love Song To Whomever"
that song is kind of like a personal ad in a way ah I mean, that's not why I wrote the song you know I still manage to get plenty of dates without having to place personals, so far but um yeah it came out of the desire to want to write a love song to somebody and having no one to write it to, so I wrote it to whomever
Clark Carlton - love song to whomever (2001)
And he gets a little more melancholy in his song "Most Of All"
"Most Of All" is written to my ex um and a it's a about someone you know you can never be with him again, you know you shouldn't be with him again, you know that you shouldn't have been with him in the first place, but if you're honest with yourself he's the one that you really love the most and still love the most after all this time. No one else has really been able to replace him, at least not yet anyway.
- most of all (2001)
I tell what I love is that my CD has been selling through word-of-mouth. It's like I sent out a bunch of free copies out to friends of mine on various internet discussion lists and other people have been buying it because they heard it at somebody else's house someone else told them that it was good, and the one thing that I hear over and over again is that people like the music, it attracts them right away and then they discover that these are songs that have meanings that continue to unfold, and you know that's how I wrote them, I mean, they're not easy songs I mean they're not, they're more reflective. Some of them are brooding, some of them are happy but all of them are real thoughtful and every single one of them came right from my heart / and I wanted to write about the gay experience without being political, without saying, hey, I'm a gay artist, I wanted to do it in sort of a natural way, in the way that just occurs to me. It would be..I, I probably would have been a singer-songwriter years and years ago, I would have to stuff myself in the closet, write my songs to somebody you know named Suzanne or something like, it's just not a possibility, I couldn't have done it.
You can hear some more of his music at the Cdbaby website, and be sure to check out the clip of the song he did as a tribute to Matthew Shepard.
QMH promo by Dennis & Clark
Also, be sure to listen to KPFT every Saturday night at midnight for After Hours with Jimmy Carper. It's Queer Radio With Attitude
Feature: Frances Faye
- Frances And Her Friends
On record, Frances Faye covered a wide range of musical territory that included swing songs, mellow ballads, novelties, rock and roll, folk songs, and a highly acclaimed 3-LP jazz recording of "Porgy & Bess" with Mel Torme. She retired in 1981 and died in 1991 at age 79, survived by her female longtime companion. There's a book by James T. Sears called "Lonely Hunters" which is about lesbian and gay life in the south from 1948 through 1968. One of the men interviewed reminisced about the club scene then and about Frances Faye's "Caught In The Act" album he said, "That was a very popular album among us. It was a big deal that she was so blatant, so publicly open. We had so little. This was so precious."
You can see photos of Frances Faye and find links to many of the websites of the artists on tonight's show on my website. Once again, it's at www.queermusicheritage.com
Well, that little promo leads right into the last part of the show. I was in New York City last spring and at one of the small clubs saw a gay musical called "Bed Boys & Beyond." And you heard that right, I said "Bed Boys & Beyond" and not Bed Bath & Beyond. I loved the show. I thought the music was excellent and lyrically it touched on so many parts of our culture. I made contact with the show's writers and immediately asked when a CD would be released. Well, it finally made it last month, and lives up to everything I saw on stage. The writers, Jeff Dobbins and Alfredo Alvarez, were nice enough to record some comments on the show for me. Here's Jeff describing the show.
well it's the original cast recording of a musical revue that is about gay men struggling with the contemporary challenges of modern gay life, you know, a gay community that's changing so fast and so rapidly that it's hard to find your footing sometimes / the CD is made up of the score of the show, which is 19 songs and the show actually features monologues and spoken word pieces / although we really tried to take a good look at um the gay situation and some of the darker and harder aspects of it, primarily the show is humorous.
I cant resist playing the title song, and got Jeff and Alfredo to comment on it as well.
the title of the show BBB is actually the title of a song in the show. It's about a guy who goes shopping for a husband at bed boys and beyond. And you know we were actually a little nervous about the reception we'd get from bed bath and beyond with our title. And of course one night a group of employees from bbb come, and watch the show. Well, long story short, they at the end of the performance they ran up on stage they had their cameras they took pictures of the cast they raved to us how much they loved it and I think they even put some of the pictures in their company newsletter.
BBB - bed boys & beyond
as for the future of the show it's our hope that this recording will bring the show to a much wider audience than could ever have fit into the theatre we were playing at new york and that the show will get a chance to be seen also in other parts of the country and maybe other parts of the world. We've had some requests so keep your fingers crossed that BBB will be in a theatre near you.
Well, Houston audiences won't have to wait long. Joe Watts of Theatre New West is following up his successful production of "Dirty Little Showtunes" with the first production outside of New York of "Bed Boys & Beyond," starting in April.
I want to thank you all for tuning in to the show, and I especially want to thank Dennis Hensley, Clark Carlton, Jeff Dobbins and Alfredo Alvarez for the interviews. If you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, including maybe where to track them down, I'd be glad to help, so please email me. This is JD Doyle for Lesbian & Gay Voices on KPFT in Houston, and I'll be back on the 4th Monday of next month with another installment of Queer Music Heritage. I'm closing with one of my favorite tracks from "Bed Boys & Beyond", here is "gay today."
BBB - gay today