And that singer should know, as she has taught belly dancing, and guitar, and oh yeah, she's been writing and recording openly lesbian music since the mid-1980's. She's Jamie Anderson and she's my special guest on Queer Music Heritage this month. I'm JD Doyle and I first interviewed Jamie in 2002. Though I have done several very short interviews over the years, when I featured her CDs on the radio newsmagazine This Way Out, this is the first full interview in that time, so let's get to it.
JD: This is your tenth album, how was preparing for this one different?
Jamie: Well, I know what I'm doing. (laughs)
JD: Oh, you're the one.
Jamie: Yeah, I mean, my very first recording I was just...I was working in the dark and I couldn't find the light switch, so I kind of just learned as I went. Back then I didn't know anybody who'd made an album, so I just made it up. And fortunately I had some musicians working with me and an engineer working with me who could help me, and over the years I learned a little bit more and a little bit more, until finally for this tenth album I used a studio that I'd used a little bit before and I knew that it was going to go well and I used some great musicians that I'd worked with before, and I'm really pleased with it.
JD: So, how has your process evolved, the album process?
Jamie: I don't know. I feel more confident, I'm more prepared. I wish I'd known this much when I first started, although the learning process is fun.
JD: Oh, yeah, I get that, I wish I knew when I started radio what I know now. So this tenth album, I'm thinking that doesn't count "Heart Resort."
Jamie: (laughs) Ah, no, if you count "Heart Resort," which is my very first recording, which was a tape I put out...I don't know, you probably know better, '86, maybe?
Jamie: I really didn't know what I was doing then.
JD: That's the one you've ordered me not to play.
Jamie: (laughs) No, I think I gave you permission to play one or two songs, didn't I?
JD: I've played one, but sparingly.
Jamie: Yeah, that's the thing about being a musician, when you record you do all your learning in public
JD: So this is your first album living in Canada, was that any influence on the album artistically?
Jamie: Well, there is one song about moving to Canada, that does talk about my process, moving up there...it's a funny song called "For Love."
JD: Well, you were just complaining that you couldn't get cheese in a can.
Jamie: (laughs) Yeah, that song is kind of whiney, you know, no cheese in a can, no Little Debbie snack cakes. I mean, what's a woman to do? I think living in Canada hasn't quite influenced me yet. I've only been living there for three years.
JD: Let's talk some more about that song. It's called "For Love."
Jamie: "For Love" is that song that I hope immigration never takes me seriously about, because every time a Canadian says "what are you doing up here?" Because I grew up in Arizona, and I lived in North Carolina, and now I'm in Canada, right? I keep moving North, most people move South. And Canadians look at me and say "what are you doing here?" It's not that they don't love their country, they know about the weather, right? So this song was kind of my answer to, hey, this is why I'm in Canada. The punch line toward the end is I moved to Canada for love, and a health card, so I'm really hoping that immigration knows that that's a joke, because I did move there for love, that part is true, but the health card part, well that's a great benefit. It's certainly not the reason I moved up there.
JD: Have you performed that song in both the U.S. and Canada, and if so, compare the crowd reactions.
Jamie: You know, when I first wrote the song I'd performed it in the States and I got a lot of blank stares, cause the third verse has a lot of Canadian things in it. And so I quit doing it for a little while, but then I realized that a lot of Americans would find some of it funny, and would get some of it. So what I do, when I do it in the States is that I perform the song, and then I do I little speech with a Canadian challenge, and I explain about Timmies, and beaver tails and Boxing Day and why we love the Queen. And it makes for an entertaining show. Now, when I play it in Canada, they totally get it, and they always laugh at all the right places, which is great. And it's funny because Canadian audiences know a lot about America, but the reverse is not true. So, when I sing that song in Canada, and I mention Sarah Palin, when I make the joke at the end about "I can't see Russia from my yard," they totally get it. I don't have to explain anything to them.
JD: Okay, let's here the song, "For Love."
Jamie Anderson - For Love (2013)
JD: What was your first exposure to women's music? (Lesbian Concentrate)
Jamie: It was a Therese Edell concert in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1977. I remember it very clearly because I'd never heard anyone sing about our lives.
JD: She was the first women's artist I heard also, in Norfolk, Virginia. Didn't you have a story about "Lesbian Concentrate"?
Jamie: Oh, I thought you were asking about live music. Yeah, it was actually the same year. I can't remember if I found the album before or after that Therese Edell concert, but I am a voracious reader and used to frequent the women's book store there, but I'd always walk right past the rack with the LPs in it, because I thought, well, it's not Carole King, why should I bother, right? I knew nothing about independent musicians. And then one day I saw this album with a picture of an orange juice can on it, and I was intrigued, so I actually went over to the rack, and picked it up and looked at it. And I thought, well, this looks interesting, it looks like it might be funny. I was concerned about Anita Bryant and what she was up to. It was '77 and she was in full force in those days, and I looked at the back and it was a compilation. And I remember thinking, oh, well, you know, it was a whole bunch of different artists so I may not like all of them but maybe I'll like a couple of the artists. And I took it home, and it didn't leave my turntable for weeks. I memorized all the songs. I learned to play some of them. It was amazing, and again, it was like here are women singing about my life, this is amazing.
JD: Well, let's get to your new one. The first track on the CD is the title track, called "Dare," tell me about that song and why you chose to call the album after it?
Jamie: I think the song has some important messages, and I wrote it for me, but I think other people might get something out of it. It was inspired by something I heard a woman in a bar say one time. I didn't know here very well, she bought me a drink, we were having a casual conversation. And she said, "I believe in looking as young as I can afford," and then she went on to tell me about all the plastic surgery. And it was a little uncomfortable, because I am all about having positive body image, that does not include plastic surgery. I chose not to say anything then, cause we were in a bar just having a drink, but it stayed with me. So that line made its way into the first verse. And I thought, well, you know, daring to be yourself sometimes is difficult in our society. We're encouraged to look younger, richer, not to be ourselves, so what that song is, it's about to be ourselves and how strong that can be for us, and for everybody else, too. And so the second verse is about buying love, which many of us try to do, "oh, I don't have a good enough job, she's not going to want me"...well, that's not true, it's all about love. And love is free, and I thought that was a good message. And I also liked the idea I had for an album cover. I thought "Dare"...I could be stepping off the edge of the Grand Canyon, or something, so that's what the cover is.
Jamie Anderson - Dare (2013)
JD: There's a bit of philosophy in "Black and White," what's the reaction been to that song? (Ted Warmbrand)
Jamie: People really like that one. I have a good friend of mine, Ted Warmbrand, who was all his life a folksinger. And he sang about all kinds of issues. If there was a political event, he was there. And he's retired now, and he just spends time with his grandkids and that's something that he said all the time..."the more gray I get the less black and white I see." And I'm finding that true for myself, you know, we're all slowing down a little bit, those of us who have been out there.
JD: It's wisdom, Jamie, wisdom.
Jamie: Yeah, and I finally told Ted after he said it one more time, that either he write the song or I will. And he said "you can," so I wrote it.
Jamie Anderson - Black and White (2013)
JD: I was very pleased to hear the song "Run," which I think is the comedy hit of the CD. What was the inspiration for that song?
Jamie: My Facebook friends helped me write that. See, if you're my Facebook friend, you don't just see pictures of my breakfast, you get to help me write songs. And what I did was, I posted on my Facebook page, when was that moment you knew the relationship was over. And I got...I don't know...60, 70 responses from people, and some of them were pretty incredible. I mean, some of them were the usual, you know, he was cheating on me. But some of them were like...this has to be a song, right? So one is, the woman said, "when I realized those 38 cats were all hers." I thought, 38, that rhymes with a lot. So, I just put...it's a laundry list of all the reasons of why someone might leave someone else. What I was thinking about when I wrote it was all the times that someone in my life starting dating someone new, and I look at them and I think, "oh, man, I don't know if this is such a great idea, and I wanted to tell them to run." So I thought, I'd just put the most outrageous things in a whole list, that way if anyone has someone in their life who is dating someone very wrong for them, and they can just copy that song and send it off to them.
JD: Does humor go better with a waltz beat?
Jamie: Yes, it does.
JD: Okay, folks, pay attention to the lyrics of the song "Run"
Jamie Anderson - Run (2013)
JD: For this next song I need to talk about the way I like to listen to new CDs. I play them in the car and I purposely do not look at the liner notes, lyrics, or anything, I want to be surprised by what I hear. I want it to kind of roll over me. So you can imagine what I might have been thinking was going on before you sang the line "My yoga teacher hates me."
Jamie: That's what we call in the comedy world a really long set up. It's just a goofy little song. I really do practice yoga and I had a teacher at one time a few years ago that was so judgmental and I thought I'd write an evil little song about her. It turned into something else.
JD: Again, the name of the song is "Yoga Teacher."
Jamie Anderson - Yoga Teacher (2013)
JD: The song "The Dream" was different, in that you didn't write the lyrics, talk about that one.
Jamie: When I was a teenager, I fell in love with an older woman. I was 15 and she was 17. She drove a restored Model A, she never wore shoes, and she wrote poetry. How could I not fall in love, right? And I wrote my very first songs with her. She wrote the lyrics and I wrote the music. But we were just kids, they were just little beginner songs and we broke up not long after I got out of high school. We stayed in touch for a while and then I lost track of her. And I tried to find her over the years and was unsuccessful until about four years ago I got this somewhat cryptic email. And I thought, that sounds like Lois, that can't be her. I tell you, I get...I do get mail occasionally from weirdos, cause I have such a big presence on the net, and I've been touring for so long and all that. And I thought, you know, this will be another one of those weirdos. So I wrote back a question for her that only Lois would know. And she wrote back and she answered it, and she thought that was hysterical, that I would question it. And it was her, I'd found her, after not seeing her for twenty years.
And we were able to meet in person not long after that and I asked her if she was still writing poetry. She said no. And then shortly after that I got a poem from her in the mail, and I thought, this needs music. I put music to it. And then she came to the National Women's Music Festival last year, and I told that story, and she was sitting in the front row. And she was beaming from ear to ear, I mean, it was so exciting to have her right there, and to also record the song, because, you know, writing with someone really opens up some different things, because, when you write the lyrics and the music you tend to go to the same themes and kind of presentation. This one forced me a little out of my comfort zone, cause it's a song that talks a little bit about the sixth sense, and knowing something but not knowing something, about the mystery of dreams. Those are not topics that I would normally explore, so it was really nice to be able to write that song with her. And then earlier this year she was able to come to another one of my shows and I told the story and as soon as I said, "and she's right there in the front row," the entire audience leapt to their feet, and wild applause, and then after I was done with the song they did it again. And Lois stood up, and again, just beaming. And you have to know that this is a woman who works the swing shift at Walmart in Reno, Nevada, who just has a few close friends, and this is such a thrill for her. And I had to take her aside, I had to say, "you know, it's not always like this, Lois."
JD: And the song is called "The Dream"
Jamie Anderson - The Dream (2013)
JD: Is this your most personal album yet?
Jamie: I always put a lot of personal stuff on my albums, although my listeners are going to have to guess which stories are true for me and which ones aren't.
JD: I thought of that question when I heard the song "The Boy Who Wanted to Fly."
Jamie: I do have two songs about my family on this album. That is unusual, you're right about that. I lost my dad last year, in October of 2012, and when I was going through his possessions I found this crayon drawing of a fighter jet flying over a farm. And on the back it said "Gary Anderson, age 9," so it was a picture that my dad had drawn when he was a kid and he'd kept it all these years. So the song came out of that. I played it on his ukulele, which is in terrible shape, full of cracks and you can hardly tune it, but it felt really good to be playing his ukulele on that song.
JD: I think it's very cool that you take the listener on that journey with you. Let's enjoy Jamie's tribute to her dad, "The Boy Who Wanted to Fly."
Jamie Anderson - The Boy Who Wanted to Fly (2013)
JD: Of course doing the kind of radio show I do, I love the song "Carla Williams Kissed Me." How much of that song is your story?
Jamie: Well, it started out as an exercise from a songwriting circle, and I can't even remember what the assignment was, they might have given me the first line or something. Some of it is true. For me I just kind of use my own experiences and wrote them into a few other details that weren't quite mine.
JD: You've kissed a thousand girls?
Jamie: You know, it might be more like 565, I have kissed a lot of girls. I've been out since the '70's and I had a real good time in my twenties, so I've probably kissed a lot of girls. But her name wasn't Carla Williams. I have to tell you where I got that name. Her name actually was Lila Jaquith, but that doesn't sing very well. And I would love to find Lila again, by the way, but we haven't seen each other since we were seven or eight, so...anyway...
JD: She probably married someone with the last name Williams.
Jamie: (laughs) Yes, all the Carla Williams of the world will probably hunt me down and half of them will be mad at me and half of them will like the song, so. I have a good friend of mine named Jamie, and he's also a singer/songwriter. He's kind of a dorky guy, very sweet, very loving, but. So, in either middle school or high school, he was asked by the most popular girl in school, whose name was Carla Williams, if he would help her with her math homework. And he was very excited, right, because getting dates was big for him. He rushes over to her house, to help her with her "math homework," and as it turns out, that's all she wanted, she just wanted help with her math homework, and I thought, well, I'm putting her in the song, so maybe she'll surface and I can tell her what a great guy she missed out on.
JD: So, let's hear the song "Carla Williams Kissed Me."
Jamie Anderson - Carla Williams Kissed Me (2013)
JD: I've picked five or six songs from your other albums that I want to talk about. Of course I want to talk about "No Closet," and that's probably the song I've played the most over the years, cause it's kind of an anthem, and it fits on a lot of shows. It's the one I played on my very first radio show, and that show was only 30 minutes, I only played five songs and that was one of them.
Jamie: Wow, thanks, I'm honored.
JD: I've never had the chance to get you to talk about "No Closet."
Jamie: I wrote that before a gig I had in upstate New York, and I felt like I needed an anthem about gay folks and about being strong and about who we were. And I thought it should be a sing-along, and anthems are hard to write, at least they're hard for me to write, because it's really easy to slip into schlocky clichés and I didn't want to do that. So I wrote that song and I wasn't sure about it, it was brand new, but I got up on stage, and I think it was Syracuse, and played the song and they loved it, the sang along, and I thought, okay, maybe I've got something here and I did it in my shows for years, and then I also have a choral arrangement and so choruses have done it too. It's a strengthening song.
JD: From the 1992 album "Center of Balance," here's "No Closet."
Jamie Anderson - No Closet (1992)
And here's something Jamie probably has not heard. As I have access to the radio archives of the KPFT show Queer Voices, from when it was called Lesbian & Gay Voices, I found her song "No Closet" being used under a PSA. Though the sound quality from the old tape is not perfect it's only a minute long, and was read by my friend Deborah Bell, regarding the upcoming 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi equal rights.
Deborah Bell, Lesbian & Gay Voices, KPFT radio PSA (1993)
JD: Talk about "When Cats Take Over the World."
Jamie: (laughs) I am probably best known for that song. It's been used as the soundtrack for, I don't know, how many Youtube videos. I hear from all kinds of people about that song. Where it came from...there's a song by Emily Kaitz, she's a singer/songwriter from Texas. She has a song about bass players taking over the world, ("The Day Bass Players Took Over the World") cause she's a bass player, and everyone ignores the bass players. It's a funny song, and I was listening to it and I thought, well, bass players aren't taking over my world, but cats sure are, so I thought, what would a cat-centered world look like, so I wrote that song. And people still request it, and I wrote that song back in the '90's sometime. I used to end all my shows with it.
Jamie Anderson - When Cats Take Over the World (1995)
"When Cats Take Over the World" was from Jamie's 1999 CD "Never Assume."
This is JD Doyle for Queer Music Heritage and I thank Jamie Anderson for the interview. It was a treat for me to do. There's a bit more on Part 2 of this show and a lot more of Jamie at JamieAnderson.com
JD: Let's get back to the CD, the new CD. The logical song to close with is the last track on the new CD, which I suspect is why you put it there. Tell us about "Menopause Mambo."
Jamie: Well, I have a song I wrote several years ago called "Menstrual Tango," and I'm middle-aged now, so it's not true for me and I joke that after extensive personal research I wrote the sequel, and I thought it should be a mambo. Nice alliteration, right. And actually that song almost didn't make it on the album. The album's got fourteen songs, which is a lot of songs, and I wasn't sure if I would have enough money and if I would have enough time to record fourteen songs. So I started to record "Menopause Mambo," thinking that if we finish it, great, if we don't okay, we'll it won't go on the album. And the bass player (Eliot Wadopian) came in to do his part. The bass player is this very well-known guy who played with the Paul Winter Consort, with Judy Collins, all kinds of people, so he's really good, very, very nice, and I'm pretty sure he's straight. And he played through the song, and he looked at me, and he just couldn't stop laughing, and afterwards I said, you know, Eliot, I'm not sure that song's going to make it on there. It's depends on how much time we have and how much money it's all going to cost. And he looked at me and goes, "don't pay me for that song, I want you to put it on the album.
JD: How do the guys in your audiences react to that song?
Jamie: Some of them really like it, and some of them just look embarrassed, and then occasionally I see one of them lean over to ask his wife or his girlfriend what the hell I'm singing about.
JD: That would be me. So, would you introduce the song, and I'll play it.
Jamie: This song goes out to all the middle-aged women and the men and women who have to suffer with them.
Jamie Anderson - Menopause Mambo (2013)
Jamie Anderson - At Karen's House (1993)
This is JD Doyle and welcome to Part 2 of my special feature on Jamie Anderson. In Part 1 you heard me tell Jamie that I played her anthem "No Closet" on my very first radio show, in January 2000. Well, I opened this segment with the second song of hers I played, a poignant song of self-recognition, called "At Karen's House." That can only be found on a 1993 compilation CD that Jamie co-produced, which was named "A Family of Friends," and it included some women's music all stars, and a title track we'll hear about a bit later.
This segment will be fun for me, because I get to include more of my interview with her...I knew it wouldn't all fit in one hour...and also I'm going to share my personal picks of what other songs by her I think you should know about, and these were strung out over ten albums and one very early cassette tape.
That tape, called "Heart Resort," was done in 1986 and preceded what she considers her first real album by three years. It was definitely a learning experience and I am probably one of the few who she would let play any of the tracks. So, despite any misgivings about audio recording quality, I want to give you this piece of history. Here's Jamie singing "Lezzie Boogie."
Jamie Anderson - Lezzie Boogie (1986)
Jamie's second release, and first album, and it really was released on a vinyl LP, was "Closer to Home." From 1989 that one never did see a CD release, but fortunately several of the songs were given second homes on her next two CDs, "Center of Balance" in 1992 and "Bad Hair Day," in 1993. And one of those songs was "Wedding Song."
Jamie Anderson - Wedding Song (1989)
Another of Jamie's very early songs turned out to be an evergreen for her, as it was on the 1989 LP and redone for releases in 1999 and 2007, and justifiably so. It was one of the ones I asked her about.
JD: One of your food songs, or is it, is "Dark Chocolate."
Jamie: Oh, yeah, that's the other song I'm probably best known for. I was just thinking of that old saying, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and I thought, that's not exactly true. So I wrote that song, and it was quite a radical thing to sing in the '80's, in fact, I had a few audience members get up and leave during that song, at a few gigs I did, never the lesbians, but sometimes the straight folks get a little twitchy when I sing it.
JD: Too sensual for them.
Jamie: Yeah, I think it's because I mention body parts they think I'm going to keep going further and get really intimate and I don't, I don't do that kind of show...maybe that's where they thought I was going, I don't know, or they're just uncomfortable with lesbians, who knows. That hasn't happened in a while, that was just the early years.
Jamie Anderson - Dark Chocolate (1999)
JD: Another song I like...it's a little biting, called "Her Problem Now."
Jamie: I have so many break up songs, I could do an album of just break up songs, that's what that one is. You don't want to break up with me, pretty much. That one was written a few years after a break up, mostly I wrote it because I'd spent some time watching a Bonnie Raitt DVD. I love Bonnie Raitt. And Bonnie does all blues tunes, and I was like, I should write a blues song, so I started fooling around with these blues progressions. And it just became natural to write about a break up using a blues progression, so that's the punch line, you're her problem now.
Jamie Anderson - Her Problem Now (2001)
JD: Another one I like is broadcast radio challenged, but I still like it.
Jamie: (laughs) Yeah, you have to ride the fader on that one. That one, speaking of break up songs is one that I wrote pretty soon after a really terrible break up, I mean, aren't most of them, but this one was rather sudden, and I'm still not sure what happened. And the thing that I was most taken with is that the night that she told me everything that had been going on, that she was breaking up with me, she said, "but I still want to be friends." I thought, right, so that's where that song came from. You're not going to play that one, are you?
JD: Ah, I have options.
Jamie: Okay, for those of you who are wondering, I do say the f-word in it a couple of times. And I tried singing it "screw you" and it just didn't have the same impact, so I use the f-word and usually that line gets a laugh, when I sing it for a crowd. And almost everybody knows where I'm coming from. A lot of people have been in that same angry place, right? In fact, I've had some audiences sing along with me.
JD: Well, songs like that I play on internet versions of my show.
Jamie: Oh, right.
JD: Because like if I do a three-hour show, the first hour would be aired on KPFT locally, but the second hour and third hour aren't.
Jamie: We can say whatever we want in the third hour.
Jamie Anderson - Too Busy Being Blue (2007)
A side comment, Jamie doesn't have an official greatest hits collection, but in 2007 she released something close, the CD "Three Bridges." It included some new material and a whole lot of favorites from the past, and that includes a song from 1999.
JD: I gotta ask about "I Wanna Be a Straight Guy."
Jamie: That one, I don't know where I first got the idea for it form, but I thought it would be one of those list songs. I'll make a list of all those stereotypical funny things about straight men. And after I wrote the list I thought, oh, this song is kind of about male privilege, right? I mean, some of it's goofy, like standing up to go to the bathroom, I don't really care about that, but it would be nice...at the time that I wrote it...it would be nice to legally marry, to make more money, and a few of those things that straight guys get. So I wrote that song, and then realized that it was an answer to Loudon Wainwright III's song "I Wish I Was a Lesbian."
JD: I was wondering about that.
Jamie: Yeah, so it all kind of came at the same time. I was kind of worried about that song actually when I first wrote it, cause I thought, well, I don't like to include a lot of stereotypes in my songs, because I know a lot of really wonderful straight guys. And so I played it for my friend Ted, who I mentioned earlier in the interview. And he just looked at me and started laughing. He goes, it's a great song. Okay, I've got Ted's stamp of approval, I guess it's okay to do. And I tried to get the song to Loudon Wainwright, cause I thought he should know about the answer to his song "I Wish I Was a Lesbian," but I was never able to reach him.
Jamie Anderson - I Wanna Be a Straight Guy (1999)
The closing song in Part 1 was "Menopause Mambo," and when talking about it she of course mentioned her earlier song, "Menstrual Tango." That one was from her 1995 release "Never Assume." I want to play a rare live version of that, from 1998, which she sang in concert with Sapphonia, a small ensemble of the Indianapolis Women's Chorus.
Jamie Anderson & Sapphonia, ensemble of the Indianapolis Women's Chorus - Menstrual Tango (1998)
And here's another rare track, a demo not released but you can hear it on Jamie's website. It's called "Six Flags Over Jesus."
Jamie Anderson - Six Flags (demo, 2004)
And here's a recording I'm not sure Jamie knows about, but then it wasn't a commercial one. Every four years the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses, or GALA, has a huge choral festival, attracting thousands from all over the world, and many of the performances are captured, like this one, from 2000, held in San Jose. It's by the Corvallis Women's Chorus, that's in Oregon, and they sing a song from Jamie's "Never Assume" album, called "WhenThey Know Who We Are."
Corvallis Women's Chorus - When They Know Who We Are (2000)
JD: Excluding songs from the new album, of what song on your other releases are you the most proud?
Jamie: There's a couple, one is called "Beautiful." I put that on two albums. It's on my "Three Bridges" album and also it's on "A Promise of Light," and it was inspired by a friend of mine who had gastric bypass surgery. And in it I put a lot of my feelings about body image, about that surgery, and in some ways it's a personal story but it's not exactly her story. I included things that I'd heard from other people, too. I've probably gotten more reaction to that song than anything else I'd ever written. That's something that people feel really strongly about. I've heard everything from my cousin died from stomach bypass surgery to it saved my life.
Jamie Anderson - Beautiful (2007)
Jamie: And I think that the other song that I'm most proud of is "My Dad Loves to Sing," which is also about my dad. And I wrote that a few years ago, and he loved that song, he played it over and over again. I've heard from lots of people who had parents who sang. It kind of reflects on how important music is in a home, and about my tie to him, and other people have told me the same thing, their tie to their dad or their mom, sister, whoever in their family sang.
Jamie Anderson - My Dad Loves to Sing (2007)
Both "Beautiful" and "My Dad Loves to Sing" can be found on the 2007 CD "Three Bridges."
JD: I interviewed you...well, I've interviewed you several times and most of those were like quickie interviews cause I needed a quote for the show Audiofile. The last full interview I did with you was in 2002, and I asked you that same question, of what song are you the most proud, and you said "Family of Friends."
Jamie: Yeah, that one's definitely in the top ten also. That's a song that I wrote with Sue Fink, and it's about how we can always be families for each other. And that song has been sung by a lot of choruses. I've sung it with choruses. When I sing it in concert I have the audience join me. I've sung it a few times to sort of bolster my courage. I had a terrible gig in Virginia one time and it was a folk coffeehouse that did not take kindly to a lesbian on stage, and they wanted me to leave the stage. And instead of leaving the stage I sang that song and I invited everyone to sing it with me. And it really helped me, and I think that the gay people that were in the audience really enjoyed it and felt stronger afterwards too. It's easy to go through this world thinking that everything is good, and everybody loves me and everybody loves my gay friends, and you come upon something like this and it kind of just slaps you, really hit me hard. So that song helps me a lot.
JD: Have any choruses recorded the song?
Jamie: No, I would love that though. I did have a chorus record one of my other songs, "No Closet," but so far no one's recorded "Family of Friends." That would be wonderful. I've recorded it twice. It appears first on the compilation "A Family of Friends, and we recorded that with a whole bunch of women in Women's Music. And then I recorded it on my "Listen" album, and that was recorded with a smaller arrangement, with a lot of my friends, five or six of my friends.
Actually, and I found this out after our interview, there has been a chorus who has recorded "Family of Friends." That was the New Mexico Women's Chorus, on a CD from 2000 called "To Life! But I want to give you Jamie's solo version, from the 2001 CD "Listen."
Jamie Anderson - Family of Friends (2001)
This is JD Doyle, getting ready to close down my special show honoring the music of Jamie Anderson, and again I thank her for the, I think, wonderful interview. Picking the older songs to include was quite difficult for me, as I love so many others that time just does not allow. I could have very easily picked a half dozen more I was considering. But I'm ending the show, perhaps surprisingly, with a song not sung by her.
Jamie mentioned that there was a chorus that recorded "No Closet," I'm glad I can also share that recording. In 1995 the Syracuse Gay & Lesbian Chorus included it on their CD "Finding Our Voice." Again, it's one of our anthems, "No Closet."
Syracuse Gay & Lesbian Chorus - No Closet (1995, "Finding Our Voice")
Jamie in 1996...she never ages