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In the late 1920's and early 1930's in the nightclubs in the country's major cities, openly gay performers experienced a surge in popularity, so much so that the phenomenon became known as The Pansy Craze. This show will not only give an overview of the forces of history that enabled, and later, destroyed The Pansy Craze, but also I'll share with you the rare music of the performers involved. Part 1 will cover the history and the major artists, and Part 2 will provide more by the main players and also music related to that time in our culture.

Part 1 - 59:43
Cole Porter - Anything Goes (1935)
Savoy & Brennan - You Must Come Over (1923)
Savoy & Brennan - You Don't Know the Half of It (1923)
Douglas Byng - The Sunday School Has Done a Lot For Me (1928)
Douglas Byng & Lance Lister - Cabaret Boys (1928)
Bailey's Lucky Seven, with Cliff Edwards - Nobody Lied (1922)
Cliff Edwards - Come Up and See Me Sometime (1933)
Jean Malin - I'd Rather Be Spanish Than Mannish (1931)
Jean Malin - That's What's The Matter With Me (1931)
Jean Malin - Frankie & Johnny (1933)
"Call Her Savage" clip - Working As Chambermaids (1932)
Ray Bourbon - My First Piece (1936)
Ray Bourbon - Gigolo (1936)
Dwight Fiske - Mrs Pettibone (1933)
Cole Porter - The Physician (1935)
Bruz Fletcher - My Doctor (1935)
Bruz Fletcher - She's My Most Intimate Friend (1937)
Bruz Fletcher - Drunk With Love (1937)

Ray or Rae BourbonDwight FiskeBruz Fletcher

Part 2 - 60:01
Fred Rich & His Orchestra - He's So Unusual (1929)
Ray Bourbon - Chiropractor's Wife (1936)
Ray Bourbon - First Swimming Lesson (1936)
Dwight Fiske - Mrs Trapp (1946)
Dwight Fiske - Salome (1955)
Noel Coward - Mad About the Boy (1932)
Noel Coward - Green Carnation (1933)
Edward Earle & the Satisfactions - Green Carnation (1967)
Beatrice Lillie - There Are Fairies At The Bottom Of My Garden (1934)
Durium Dance Band - Let's All Be Fairies (1933)
Tessie O'Shea - No One Loves a Fairy When She's Forty (1935)
Douglas Byng - And Modern American Ways (1933)
Bruz Fletcher - The Prairie (1937)
Bruz Fletcher - Oh for a Week in the Country (1937)
Nan Blakstone - The Elevator Song (1946)
Nan Blakstone - Little Richard's Getting Bigger (1944)
Spivy - I Brought Culture to Buffalo in the 90's (1939)
Ray Bourbon - Bourbon to the Cleaners (1945)
Ray Bourbon - Strong, Solid and Sensational (1945)
Ray Bourbon - Take a Lei (1941)

Bert Savoy & Jay BrennanDouglas ByngJean Malin

Top to Bottom:
Savoy & Brennan
Douglas Byng
Jean Malin
Upper Left, L to R:
Ray Bourbon
Dwight Fiske
Bruz Fletcher

Read the Script

Pansy Club, 12/19/30, ad from "Gay New York"

Above from NYC newspaper, 12/19/30

The club only lasted a month....

 

yes, this is a real 78 label, though I redid the title

Galleries

Nan Blakstone
Ray Bourbon
Douglas Byng
Dwight Fiske
Bruz Fletcher
Jean Malin
Karyl Norman
Savoy & Brennan
Madame Spivy
Others on This Show

"Gay New York"

Birth & Death Data
Nan Blakstone: 1906 - Sep 25, 1951
Ray Bourbon: Aug, 1892 -- Jul 20, 1971
Jay Brannan: Dec 5, 1882 - Jan 14, 1961
Douglas Byng: Mar 17, 1893 - Aug 24, 1987
Noel Coward: Dec 16, 1899 - Mar 26, 1973
Dwight Fiske: 1892 - Nov 25, 1959
Bruz Fletcher: Mar 12, 1906 -- Feb 11, 1941
Beatrice Lillie: May 29, 1894 - Jan 20, 1989
Jean Malin: Jun 30, 1908 -- Aug 10, 1933
Karyl Norman: Jun 13, 1897 -- Jul 23, 1947
Cole Porter: Jun 9, 1891 -- Oct 15, 1964
Bert Savoy: 1888 - June 26, 1923
Madame Spivy: Sep 30, 1906 -- Jan 7, 1971

If you enjoyed this show, then you'd probably also
like my June 2004 show, "Queer Music Before
Stonewall," which included several 1930's songs,
but covered the 20's through the early 60's.
Click on the "record" to the left.

Much of my information and understanding of the forces surrounding The Pansy
Craze are from the excellent 1994 book "Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture,
And The Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940,"
by George Chauncey.

Researchers: Click to see a partial listing of resources I used in preparing this show,
including sites where you can download for free mp3s by some of these artists.

And also, Click to read an excellent article from the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review
about the gay nightclub scene in Hollywood in the 30s…most of the "stars" of this
show are mentioned, along with many others, an excellent article.

We Like A Gay Song'I'm Gonna Go Gay," 1930 UK musical

I've got a whole section on Sheet Music, Click Here