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Billy Tipton

Photos & The Book
Clippings (after death)
Clippings (before death)
Songs About Billy
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Songs About Billy

I have found a handful of songs written about Billy Tipton.
If you know of more, please let me know. Click on the titles to hear them.

Phranc - Tipton ("Positively Phranc," 1991)
Jill Sobule - Billy's Thing (unreleased, 2002)
Video Dead - Legend of Billy Tipton ("Brotherhood of the Dead," 2005)
Steve Schalchlin - Brilliant Masquerade (unreleased, 2007)
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus - Brilliant Masquerade ("Creating Harmony," 2008)
Miami Gay Men's Chorus - Brilliant Masquerade (live at GALA, 2012)
Pasheen - Cross Dress ("The Big Purr," 2011)

The Phranc song file above begins with an introduction by
her to the song, taken from my September 2005 interview.


Jill Sobule's song remains unreleased, but is not difficult to find on the web.
And the heavy metal "Legend of Billy Tipton," by Video Dead, I guess is a tribute;
I often have trouble understanding lyrics in that genre.

Steve Schalchlin wrote "Brilliant Masquerade" about Billy Tipton,
and it's already been recorded by two choruses. He's well known
for the musicals written with his partner Jim Brochu, such as
"The Last Session," and "The Big Voice: God or Merman," and
his solo project "New World Waking."

The most recent song is by a self-proclaimed Diva, known as Pasheen.
It's called "Cross Dress," and is from her 2011 CD "The Big Purr."


Honorable Mention:

"The Slow Drag," was a 1998 musical starring Kim Criswell, and included jazz standards (no songs about Tipton).
It had a plot inspired by Tipton's story with the lead character named Johnny Christmas. Of course just
listening to the CD gives no sense at all of the story you could see during a performance.

The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet
was a Seattle area band taking their name to honor Tipton. Under that name they were active from 1989 through 2002, when the name was changed to Tipton's Sax Quartet. Founding members included Amy Denio, Jessica Lurie, Marjorie de Muynck, and John Otto.

As a side note, at the time of its founding Otto was named Babs Helle and performed with them until 1990. Per Wiki he coined the group's name, and has gone on to become a transgender activist. Pam Barger (earlier of Two Nice Girls) played drums on at least two of their early CDs. In their career under both names they have released ten albums. I have only three in my collection and do not know if any songs on other CDs were actually about Billy Tipton.