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WTR Artists

I've put together sort of a "where are they now" section
for the WTR artists. In some cases I know quite a bit, and
unfortunately in others almost nothing. If you can fill in
some blank areas I would much appreciate it. And, remember
short bios (circa 1978) for each artist, and others who participated,
can be seen in the album booklet. It is interesting that of the
artists brought together for WTR, as far as I can determine,
only Jeff Langley and Charlie King had released prior recordings.

Tom Aalfs

http://www.sunnysiderecords.com/artist.php?id=2

In his WTR booklet bio Tom Aalfs wrote that he was just starting to play the violin. Obviously that's come along just fine, as he's been backup artist on several jazz CDs, including three by Etta Jones, and releasing his own.

Kenny Arkin

Sadly, Kenny Arkin died of AIDS on September 29, 1990. He was a
nurse anesthesiologist and was living in Seattle, with a partner, working
and singing in several choruses, including the Seattle Men's Chorus, prior to his
death. I know of no other recordings on which he appears.

Blackberri

  

http://www.myspace.com/blackberri_original

I consider Blackberri one of our folk music pioneers, and was very
pleased to interview him (which you can hear on my QMH show for
November 2001). Blackberri's music was used in the 1989 movie
"Looking For Langston," about the Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston
Hughes. He was also featured in the movie "Tongues Untied," in 1991.
Below, 2003 shot of Blackberri with Larry-Bob, a San Francisco writer,
activist, singer, and owner of a wonderful queer site, Holy Tit-Clamps.

Click Here for my Nov 2001 Interview

2003

George Fulginiti-Shakar

George Fulginiti-Shakar is a music director, pianist, and vocal coach for major theatrical and cabaret performances in the Washington, DC area. He was awarded the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for Music Direction of Arena Stage’s acclaimed production of “Cabaret”, and has an additional 7 nominations for other productions. His credits include the Shakespeare Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, Studio Theatre, The Public Theatre (NYC), The Ohio Theatre (NYC ), Perseverance Theatre (Juneau, AK), and the Athens Theatre Festival (Greece). George was also a guest Music Director at the Eugene O'Neill Music Theatre Conference as well as Choral Master for the last six international Army Soldier Show tours. He teaches on the faculties of the Studio Acting Conservatory and the Theatre Lab, and is President of the Board of Washington's Cabaret Network.


Okay, I found that bio on this site, but I'd like to add that he was a member of the band Bright Morning Star for a number of years, and you can see pics of them on the Charlie King photo page; and he and Elliot Pilshaw contributed a duet to the "Feeding the Flame" CD, 1990. You can find a number of videos on YouTube, with George backing up several artists.

Jonny Golden

Sorry, no information available.

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon wrote me that he considered himself among the less musically accomplished of the WTR artists, but since he was a radio producer he contributed more in that he took the role of recording conversations and discussions that weekend that became the important documentary he produced. He also wrote the album liner notes that themselves give an understanding of the groups goals and how that evolved. He provided me with the following (edited) bio.

Eric A. Gordon has served as Director of the Arbeter Ring (Workmen’s Circle) Southern California District since November 1995. Arbeter Ring is a more than 100-year-old Jewish organization for social action and Jewish culture. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990 after 11 years in New York, where he was an activist with the Peoples' Voice Cafe, an alternative volunteer performance space that is still going (about 30 years now).

A scholar and writer, Eric has an undergraduate degree from Yale University. He earned his doctorate in history from Tulane University the same summer as we recorded "Walls to Roses," August 1978. He is the author of Mark the Music: The Life and Work of Marc Blitzstein, a prominent 20th-century American composer, and Ballad of an American: The Autobiography of Earl Robinson, on which he collaborated. In addition, he has written hundreds of shorter articles, reviews, and editorials. His principal contribution to the "Walls to Roses" project was the creation of an hour-long radio documentary on the making of the album. It aired on a number of public and community radio stations.

As a solo performer and concert organizer, apart from the music of Marc Blitzstein and Earl Robinson, Eric specializes in Yiddish songs. In 2006 Eric participated in the creation of a four-man play called "Wagging Tales: Stories from the Stonewall Generation," recapitulating moments from our own lives.

Christopher Hershey

Christopher Hershey was a singer and performance artist in a Seattle collective,
Family Circus Theater. While he was part of the communication stage of the project,
none of his songs were selected, and he was unable to attend the actual gathering.
As far as I know he has released no recordings of his music.

Michael Hussin

Sorry, no information available.

Charlie King

At the time of the WTR gathering, Charlie King had already recorded one album ("Old Dreams and New Nightmares," 1976) and he's had a prolific career ever since. I love how his songs reach out for social justice, and for a straight artist, has an amazing number of songs dealing with gay issues.

Bio from his site: Charlie King has been at the heart of American folk music for over 40 years. His songs have been recorded and sung by other performers such as Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, John McCutcheon, Arlo Guthrie, Peggy Seeger, Chad Mitchell and Judy Small. Honors include an “Indie” award for one of the top three American folk recordings of 1984. In May of 1998 the War Resisters League gave their Peacemaker Award to Charlie and to Odetta. Pete Seeger nominated Charlie for the Sacco-Vanzetti Social Justice Award, which he received in November 1999. Charlie has released a dozen solo albums since 1976. He has also released three albums with the touring ensemble Bright Morning Star, and numerous compilation albums with other artists. Visit his website: http://www.charlieking.org.

Above, Charlie and his music and life partner, Karen Brandow

I've got a lot more to share on Charlie and set up an additional photo page.

Jeff Langley

Jeff Langley is of special interest to me, for his work with Holly Near on several of her early albums and on tour. While his schedule did not allow him to attend the gathering his song became the title track and he contributed to the mixing of several songs later.

From his website bio: Jeff Langley serves as Artistic Director of the Departments of Performing Arts and Academic Director of the Green Music Center. He is a composer, pianist and arts administrator with a broad experience that spans an unusually wide musical and theatrical spectrum.  He has had a varied history as collaborator/pianist with singer/activist Holly Near, a member of the Juilliard faculty, New York opera and music theatre composer, and Director of Entertainment for Knott's Berry Farm. Read more at his site:  http://www.sonoma.edu/performingarts/school/dir_langleyj.shtml

Jeff Langley & Holly Near

1976 songbook

Ray Makeever

Ray Makeever, a graduate of Luther Seminary, left the pastoral ministry to take up folk singing in his mid-thirties. After a few years away from the institutional church, he returned to the fold and began writing biblically-based songs and liturgical music for worship and congregational life. He self-published three books of songs before Augsburg Fortress released Dancing at the Harvest, a book and CD collection of his work, in 1997. As a singer, guitarist, flautist, and song-and-worship leader, Ray travels to congregations and conferences to teach and lead the songs he has written. Currently employed as a lay Associate for Music and Worship with Augsburg College campus ministry and at as musician at Westwood Lutheran Church, Ray is a member of the Community of St. Martin, a certified massage therapist, and a joyful juggler. His life at present revolves around his lovely daughter, Sophia Ray, born January 17, l997, and who he is raising with his wife, Linda Breitag. He is also the proud father of 29-year old, Anya Jane.

http://www.bfjmusic.com/bios.html

Geof Morgan

Geof Morgan is a Washington State singer/songwriter who is known for his sensitive songs dealing
with birth, AIDS, and the male-female relationship. His songs are intelligent and well crafted.
~ Chip Renner, All Music Guide.
He's one of the wonderful straight artists on WTR. His music can easily be found on Amazon.com.

There is no active site for Geof, but his brother set up this one:

http://geofmorgan.com/

  

  

It Comes With the Plumbing (1980)
Finally Letting Go (1981)
At the Edge (1984)
Talk It Over (1987)
Feeding the Flame (1990) (the song "What Part of No")

 

and see the excellent article Geof wrote on "Men's Music" on this page  

Robbie Rosenberg

Robbie Rosenberg’s work has focused on such topics as gender and sexuality, AIDS, the workplace, and Latino/a issues. His "Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community" received an Emmy Award for Best Historical program in 1986. This critically acclaimed feature film has played theatrically in the United States and Europe, has been screened as part of numerous international and domestic film festivals and has been broadcast in the U.S. over PBS and in many other countries. Robert Rosenberg’s other works include Women of Hope: Latinas Abriendo Camino; Facing AIDS; and Crossing Borders, a half-hour documentary about Central America.

Mr. Rosenberg has also worked as a curator and programmer for a number of film festivals and museums. In 1999 he was the Founding Director of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Most recently he has served as the Program Director for Disover Miami, a multicultural, multi-site music and arts event, and the Associate Director of Tigertail Productions, one of Miami’s most important contemporary performing arts presenters.

Fred Small

The political insight and human compassion that inspired Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Fred Small
to seek a law degree continues to be expressed in his folk-rooted songs. Over the past two decades,
Small has musically addressed everything from homosexuality in the military and the unnecessary
difficulties of the disabled to radioactive frogs and a moose's infatuation with a cow. Small's tune,
"Everything Possible" was used for the finale of the AIDS benefit musical, Heart Strings,
in 1992.
~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide

     

Fred does not have a music site, but these two are of interest, and his music can be found on Amazon.com

http://www.jg.org/folk/artists/fredsmall/fred_small.html

http://www.clgs.org/marriage/sermon_small.html

Fred Small has just moved to Cambridge (September 2008) to serve as senior minister at
First Church in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist
after having served a church in Littleton,
MA for the past several years. Another of our straight artists writing great songs for GLBT people.
If he's only known for one song, the classic anthem "Everything Possible" would be enough.

I've got a lot more to share on Fred and set up an additional photo page.

Marcia Taylor

  

Besides playing guitar and singing backups on the WTR album, she was a member of Bright Morning Star
(see Charlie King section) and makes her own music...her 1984 and 1987 recordings are above.

Marcia Deihl

Marcia Deihl also contributed to the WTR music, and was part of the New Harmony Sisterhood Band,
for their 1977 album, "...And Ain't I A Woman." And she's played on the albums of many other artists.
Below, a cool pic I found online of her. She's become a bisexual activist and appeared in the film below.

http://www.robynochs.com/writing/interviews/Bi_Politics_2002_film_transcript.html

http://marciadeihl.com/index.htm

Karen Kane

http://www.mixmama.com/

As Karen engineered the WTR album, and So many albums I love, just had to include her.

If you are interested in others who performed
"Men's Music," check out these great straight artists:

Peter Alsop, and Si Kahn