Script for May 28, 2001, QMH:
well first of all it's a pleasure chatting with you today, and thank you for asking me. My cd, "every facet of my heart," is heart music, basically. They're all my little babies that I've written and sang in my shows over the years and I sing with my piano, live, and often times with a backup band, but it's really cabaret music from the heart.
As he said, his CD is called "Every Facet of My Heart," and it begins with a wonderful medley, it's just delightful it starts off with the Mama Cass song "make your own kind of music," and you might be surprised where it goes from there.
Matt Yee - make your own kind of music/mary tyler moore medley (1999)
One question I often ask artists is if it's important for them to be out?"
yeah, I think it is, especially as an artist, it's important mainly because for so long many of us gay people have been closeted, have been, and especially I've been closeted for many many years, so we know what it's like not to be out, that breath of fresh air. Last year when I toured and did my gay pride festival circuit, I started with the march on washington, going to pride fest american, l.a., long beach, san francisco prides and a whole bunch of places in between..you sort of breathe this incredible air of freedom, and of creative freedom, and being with people who are kind of just like you, all these artists back stage you get to meet during these festivals, and it's a wonderful time, it's very invigorating as an artist to be out and that's where a lot of what I think our best material comes from, is seeing other people being free, expressing it, and then enlightening our lives by their art and what we create
Matt writes a lot of his own material, and one of my favorite songs by him is called "I'll Reinvent Myself" which I think is relevant to a lot of us. I asked him to tell us about it.
well, "I'll reinvent myself," the way I write songs is I'm walking along on the street or something and a voice will pop into my head and this time it was "I'll reinvent myself in " and once you start with that, the song kind of wrote itself, fairly quickly because then I just started putting in all the places that I and we as gay people reinvent ourselves, and of course the last being honolulu, where I reinvent myself as me
Matt Yee - i'll reinvent myself (1999)
The CD is called "Every Facet of My Heart" and you can find out where to get it at www.mattyee.com, that's m-a-t-t-y-e-e-dot-com. If you're going to be traveling this summer, check out his tour schedule. He'll be at many Pride events in cities like Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and San Francisco, among others.
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. So I've set up a special web page just for this show. And now I have a new web address that much easier to remember, It's at www.queermusicheritage.com
Next up tonight is a very talented lesbian singer named Lisa Koch. Lisa was one of the members of the group Venus Envy, that recorded that wonderful queer christmas album, "I'll Be A Homo For Christmas," in 1995. And she was part of a duet, with Peggy Platt, named Dos Fallopia, that recorded in 1992 a very funny album called "My Breasts Are Out Of Control." But she also has two very good releases on her own, that contain a variety of musical styles. You're going to hear the title track from her 1995 CD, "You Make My Pants Pound," and a song from her 1991 album "Colorblind Blues." From the second one you'll hear one simply called "Hickey."
Lisa Koch -
you make my pants pound (1995)
Again, that was Lisa Koch, and her last name is spelled K-O-C-H
Spotlight Artist: Charles Pierce
My spotlight artist tonight is Charles Pierce. Pierce was one of the most famous of the drag performers of our culture. In his act he gave gleefully nasty impersonations of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Tallulah Bankhead, Mae West, Carol Channing, Katherine Hepburn, Gloria Swanson, Barbara Stanwick, and many others. His mimicry was expert and he coupled it with gaudy costumes and outrageous humor in a career that spanned four decades and included frequent television and movie appearances. He recorded two comedy albums in the 70s and in 1983 his "Legendary Ladies of the Silver Screen" show was captured on video. You'll hear next a few minutes from that show, centering around Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
Charles Pierce clip (1993)
Charles Pierce died in June of 1999 of cancer, at age 72, leaving a legacy of great impersonations, my favorite being his wonderful Bette Davis in "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane." I want to play a special tribute to that movie. It may not be as queer as what I normally play on this show, but it certainly is camp enough to make the cut. It's a very rare recording from 1963 by an obscure singer named Debbie Burton. The song is called "whatever happened to baby jane" and you'll want to pay close attention to the second half of the song.
Debbie Burton - whatever happened to baby jane (1963)
Yes, that was the real Bette Davis singing on that record. Now, a little more about Charles Pierce.
There's a terrific website devoted to him, but it's got a rather complicated web address, so I've added a link to it from my own website. At my site you can see photos of Charles Pierce and the other artists on tonight's show. Once again, that's at www.queermusicheritage.com
Mark Weigle promo
Time now for a change of pace. I'll like to introduce you to a new artist from Boston. His name is Skott Freedman and his music reminds me of a young Billy Joel, only a lot more complicated. I asked him to tell us about his music.
I guess the best way to describe my music would be to say it's acoustic alternative. It's a whole bunch of influences in there, like rock, jazz, alternative, pop..you could say it's Michael Feinstein on a sugar high, almost, if that helps.
His new album is called "Anything Worth Mentioning" and from it here is the song "Out In Waves"
Skott Freedman - out in waves (2001)
Earlier in the show I mentioned that I often ask artists if it's important for them to be out. I also asked Skott this question.
yeah, I mean it's important to me to be out. I should say it's more important for me not to be in, meaning you know I'm not jumping around on the radio saying I'm queer I'm here get used to it, but if it ever comes up in an interview, and it does sometimes, I'm certainly out with it, you know I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of, but when I'm getting reviewed and the reviewer's saying, "his bisexuality is too overshadowing in his music," I'll kind of turn it back to them and I say, "what if I change this pronoun from he to she, would we even be having this conversation.
Skott's only 21 and he's already released his second album. I also like his first CD, from 1999, called "Swimming After Dark." Here's Skott describing the song from it called "hole in his soul"
"hole in his soul" is actually the first track from my first CD "swimming after dark" and I wrote it about a man I met when I first came out. I expected when I came out to have all these wonderful relationships that suddenly opened up and that was really not the case at all. Every guy I met just seemed to have a lot of issues about insecurity and trust, and I really wrote the song about a man unable to let himself be loved, there was kind of that void in that person and he wouldn't even begin to open up but there was this, you know he was so hungry for some kind of affection, it was just so sad to me, so that's where "hole in his soul" came from
Skott Freedman - hole in his soul (1999)
That was Skott Freedman from the album "Swimming After Dark." And before that I played a track from his new release "Anything Worth Mentioning." Skott gave me a copy of each of these CDs to give away to my listeners. Now, this may be a kind of interesting, as this show is prerecorded you can't call the station to win .I'm not there. So, the first person to send me an email will get their choice of the two albums, and the second person will get the other. If you miss out on the freebees you can still find out more about Skott at www.skottfreedman.com, and skott's spelled with a k and freedman is f-r-e-e-d-m-a-n.
We're going to go back in time a little to hear a couple of queer songs from England. The first is the song "lavender cowboy." Now, this is an old folk song that's been recorded many times. The most well-known version is probably by Burl Ives, but his version wasn't lyrically gay, as is the one I'm playing by an English saloon singer named Paddy Roberts. It's from 1959 and was on his album called "Strictly For Grown-Ups". I'm following it with a much more progressive song by Steve Elgin. In fact I think it was amazingly progressive for the year it was released, in 1974. It's called "don't leave your lover lying around (dear)"
- lavender cowboy (1959)
That was Paddy Roberts and Steve Elgin with a little English queer history.
Now, I've got another new CD to share with you. It's by Leah Zicari and is called "Hard Road." Leah recorded her first album in 1990, and it included one of our anthems. It was called "glory glory" and you'll hear it on my gay pride show next month. I asked Leah to tell us about her music.
People ask me to describe my music and I usually tell them it's chick rock, but basically what that means is that it's, you know, a girl with a guitar, an acoustic guitar, and it's just acoustic based rock music, um, I take general diversions occasionally into other styles, blues, country, etc
And Leah also got a crack at the question, is it important for you to be out
yes it's very important for me to be out. Being a lesbian is a large part of my identity, certainly not the only part. But I just, I've always believed that we need to make ourselves known, we need to be verbal, we don't need to be obnoxious, but sometimes obnoxious is good. But it is important, because this is how we're going to advance in the world
From her new album "Hard Road" here is Leah Zicari.
Leah Zicari - this is gonna hurt me/why do you care (2001)
You just heard the songs "this is gonna hurt me" and "why do you care" from Leah Zicari's new CD called "Hard Road," and Zicari is spelled z-i-c-a-r-i, you can find out more at www.leahzicari.com.
I want to thank you all for tuning in to the show, and I especially want to thank Matt Yee, Skott Freedman and Leah Zicari for the interviews. If you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, that's where you can contact 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 my special gay pride edition of Queer Music Heritage.
To close the show the song I've chosen is by Meg Hentges. She was a member of the group Two Nice Girls in the early 90s, but she's been out on her own for several years now. In 1999 she released a CD called "Brompton's Cocktail" and it includes a song that went on to win the Song of the Year award at the GLAMAs for that year. And I love this song, it's got great lyrics and the music just grabs you. Here is Meg Hentges ending the show with "This Kind Of Love"
Meg Hentges - this kind of love (1999)