New Freedom

Here are two articles about the New Freedom 45. On the left is from
Milwaukee's GPU News, and on the right, from The Barb, from Atlanta.

GPU News, Aug 1976  The Barb, Sept 1976

"Come Out, Come Out" - The True Back Story, by Nick Curto

The back story of just how the groundbreaking song, "Come Out, Come Out" came to be is an interesting one indeed. The song was, and is, a celebration of the coming out and coming together of the LGBT community to help each other and to help create more understanding for the general public. The song is exciting, passionate and memorable, and a loving anthem of the LGBT community. Interesting to note that "Come Out, Come Out" was the "We Are the World" concept fifteen years before that wonderful song was produced. The spirit of togetherness and harmony amongst the artists involved in both songs still make the experience of listening to each one well worth while, every single time.

The Gay Active Alliance (GAA) Founders and Veterans, in association with the National Gay Task Force, convinced the New York City PBS outlet WNET to air live the first local PBS program devoted to the lesbian and gay communities. The LGBT community was to produce a special television program focusing on LGBT organizations and services available for individuals in the New York Tri-State area. It would be the first program of its kind, and would be both an interview as well as a "call in" show where people could call the television studio for more information. It would be totally created and produced by the LGBT community. The show would become history making.

Nick Curto, graphic designer, creative artist, song writer, and gay activist, got a phone call from a gay activist friend one day in 1974 telling him quite excitedly about the plans for the show. Nick was asked if he would create a graphic logo symbol representing the show. Nick accepted the challenge, and went to his drafting table to come up with an appropriate graphic, and produced a dynamic symbol that was immediately adapted for the future broadcast.

After the logo was completed and accepted, Nick suggested at a meeting with the producers the idea of a 60 second film spot that would portray real people who were "Out", and would show the diversity of the individuals that make up the LGBT community including woman and men of different colors, ages and types having fun, holding hands, holding their partner in loving embrace, and proudly waving to the camera. The idea was enthusiast received, and Nick soon started to make the film in the Super-8 format calling on friends, and friends of friends, to be in it. A depiction of the LGBT community of this type was groundbreaking in 1974 to say the least. Some individuals thought that it might be too much for the general television audience to handle. Producing the film turned out to be great fun for the people who worked on it, and after the editing process was finished everyone felt that the final product contained a strong message of people taking pride in who and what they are.

Looking for a music track that would be right for the film was much more difficult than anyone had first realized after many hours of trying without success. Nick finally decided that since an appropriate music track could not be found with what was currently available, that he would write and produce a new song for the film. Time was now ticking before the air date of the live show, and Nick called on his long time friend Bob Gaston, who was a singer/song writer, to co-write a song for the film. Together Nick and Bob created "Come Out, Come Out", and started looking for talented people from the LGBT community to sing the song in a small recording studio. Talent and diversity would be the key to representing the visuals of the film in music form, and small ads were placed in local newspapers and bulletin boards looking for volunteer talent. Talented LGBT singers were found, and so was a small recording studio. The recording session was then scheduled and went very well, thanks to the wonderfully gifted singers working together to perform the track.

The big day finally came, and the special television program aired. People were excited, nervous, and proud all at the same time. The show was very well produced, and ran smoothly. The Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) participated with over 100 NYC area groups in the program. During the show both the logo of the show was shown many times as well as the 60 second film spot along with the new song as the films sound track. The phones were ringing, and some people were asking where they could get a copy of the great new song, "Come Out, Come Out". The producers ran over to Nick during the show and asked him what to tell the people who were asking where to get a copy, and what to say "on air"? Nick was happily surprised of the great response, and in the rush to produce the film and song did not think of that fact that some people watching the show might want to have a copy of their own. The song, as well as the film spot, strongly connected with the viewers. He told the producers that he would have an answer for them shortly. Nick then quickly called his good friend Craig Rodwell who was the manager of a LGBT book store, and Craig agreed to carry the record. Nick then went back to the producers and told them to please tell the callers as well as the television audience that the song would soon be available at The Oscar Wilde Memorial Book Store on Christopher Street in New York City.

The next day after recovering from the excitement of the show the day before, Nick started looking for a company to quickly press the records, and found one in Philadelphia. Nick was now suddenly in the record business, and started a new record company, New Freedom Records, and arranged to have the song pressed in the 45 record format which was popular at the time.

The Oscar Wilde Memorial Book Store was soon selling "Come Out, Come Out". The sales covered the recording studio as well as the record pressing costs. "Come Out, Come Out" still stands as a loving anthem of the LGBT community. This one-time OUTREACH program was, at the time that it aired, the highest-rated program in the station's history. It was not only a happy ending, but also a happy beginning of what was to come.

Nick Curto is currently developing 4 properties:

"THE WOMAN THEY LOVE TO HATE" - One Hell of a Musical

"STONEWALL…In Our Own Words." - The Musical

"THE 5th REVELATION…A True Story." - A Film

"RAINBOW...A Special Place." - The Musical