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> The "Wrong Gender" or "Gay Lyrics"!!, Gender Reversal in Lyrics
gregoryagogo
post Oct 13 2004, 10:30 PM
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Being Gay, I just love to find those lyrics sung by a man about a man.

Either,
(1) the band was too cheep to hire a female vocalist,
(2) not that clever and swich the gender around to fit the of the vocalist,
(3) the copyrights of the song permitted the song to be sung as written,
(4) maybe song was sung that way on purpose to cover the gay audence!!!

I just heard the song "Evening Star" by the Dorsy Brothers Orch. The male vocalist is wishing on a star for "My Man"!! I know of about 10 or so songs like this. I thout this phenominon was a one or two time fluke. But evidently this was more common than I originally thought!

I would love if you would share of songs you know of that have a man singing about a man or a woman singing the male vocal.


Love,
Gregory


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Vladimir Berkov
post Oct 14 2004, 05:55 AM
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I can't remember the exact recordings, but it seems that "Dancing with Tears in my Eyes" seems to have this commonly happen to it.
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Fredrik
post Oct 14 2004, 01:35 PM
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Columbia released an entire CD devoted to this phenomenon in their "Art Deco" series some years ago. I think it was entitled "Can't Help Loving That Man".

The main explanation I have read is that:
a) the record comapnies generally employed only male studio vocalists
cool.gif one did not dare mess with the original lyrics

There are however exceptions. For example I seem to remember that Sam Browne adjusted the lyrics of "Am I Blue" to a male perspective in one recording.

There are of course also recordings where men make female impersonations just for the fun of it. Fats Waller for example plays the "woman" to Jack Teagarden's man in the latter's recording of "That's What I Like About You".

Fredrik
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Fredrik
post Oct 14 2004, 04:35 PM
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The catalogue number of the CD mentioned above is Columbia/Legacy CK 52855. Columbia today, of course, is a part of Sony.

The smiley above, by the way, was unintentional. It just came from writing the letter b followd by a ).

Fredrik
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Fredrik
post Oct 14 2004, 04:38 PM
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I just realized that I was a bit confused when I wrote my first post. The vocalist I thought about was actually Smith Ballew, not the British singer Sam Browne though they share the same initials (and are just as good artistically).

Fredrik
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rocky
post Oct 15 2004, 02:26 AM
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Greg,

I've come to the conclusion that recording studios in the old days indifferently assigned men to sing women's songs and women to sing men's songs. I've become used to it, and really only notice it when it's outrageous, and I suspect the listening public of the time didn't give it any thought either. The phenomenon was exceedingly common in the pre-1910 period. We have Billy Murray singing "Waltz me around again, Willie"** in 1906; and "Honey Boy" in 1907** He recorded "Alexander" in 1904, which is available on the Billy Murray CD released by Archeophone Records; Bob Roberts** also recorded the song. One of the funniest is the American Quartet singing "Honey Man" in 1912. One of the most notable examples of a man signing a woman's song is the Harmony record from the late 20's of "I want to be bad"; I'm not sure who recorded it, but it was probably Irving Kaufman.



**(songs available in MP3 format on www.archive.org
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MJJ
post Oct 15 2004, 09:32 PM
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Speaking of Billy Murray -- how about this 1914 recording he made with Will Oakland, who had one of the highest pitched Male singing voices recorded which is referred to as a 'Countertenor' (think I've seen it referred to as "Contratenor', also -- which is basically the same thing)? In this tune, Oakland is reaching toward the highest pitch he could as counterpoint to Murray.

Oakland has opening line, then Murray joins in. Tune's sung in the style of a Male - female duet.


"Just For To-night" (July 6, 1914)
Victor Talking Machine Company

Billy Murray - Tenor; Will Oakland -- Countertenor.

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/obj/m2/f3/12105.ram

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Source: "The Virtual Gramophone" Canadian Historical Recordings site: http://www2.collectionscanada.ca/plsql/gra...udiomain?lang=e


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gregoryagogo
post Oct 16 2004, 07:23 PM
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Thanks for all the responses! I think this topic is toooooooooo funny! My heart pitter patters a little bit knowing that possibly by some small (10%) chance that that male vocalist might be gay singing to his lover.... I can imagine that he's singing to me!

Gregory


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rocky
post Oct 21 2004, 12:52 AM
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Here's a prominent example of a man singing a woman's song. I was playing some 78's on the turntable earlier, and happened to pull out a copy of Jean Goldkette's 1926 song, "I'd rather be the girl in your arms than the girl in your dreams" (Victor 20273), with vocal refrain by Frank Bessinger. The song is available at the redhotjazz site.
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MJJ
post Oct 21 2004, 08:41 AM
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Another one I just thought of is "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind" featuring Louis Armstrong - Cornet; Sidney Bechet - Soprano Saxophone AND, Sarrusophone.

Vocalist Eva Taylor sings it as a man would about the girl he wants to Marry.

As to the "Sarrusophone" it has a tone similar to a Bass or baritone Saxophone, Bechet plays long solo after the vocal.

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"Mandy, Make Up Your Mind"
"Clarence Williams' Blue Five" (VOCAL: Eva Taylor)
December 17, 1924
Released on OKeh 40260

http://www.redhotjazz.com/songs/williams/mandy.ram


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Murfunit
post Oct 21 2004, 04:05 PM
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Greg, the most notable song I can think in this genre is the Crosby recording of "Gay Love" which is a play on words for today's times. Never the less it is a very fine recording. Check out the Dorsey Brothers Orch CD Vol 3 by Jazz Oracle, wherein there is "I can make anything but I can't make a man" sung by Wes Vaughan as well as "Ooh! That Kiss" and "(You Knew You'd Hurt Somebody) Why did it have to be me?" sung by Tony Sacco. Leo Reisman made a recording of "Moanin' Low" featuring a male vocalist.
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rocky
post Oct 21 2004, 11:54 PM
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How about the Brox Sisters singing "Red Hot Mama"? (Victor 19510)


(Available at www.jazz-on-line.com)
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Jarred
post Oct 24 2004, 07:55 PM
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Frankie Trumbauer did a recording with Smith Ballew singing from 1929 called "What Wouldn't I Do For That Man?" This has seemed like the most outrageous one iIve ever heard.
Also, on the opposite side, I know Martha Tilton sang two songs with Benny Goodman in 1938, called "You're Lovely, Madame" and "I Must See Annie Tonight". This was probably just because Benny didn't have a male singer at the time.


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rocky
post Oct 26 2004, 02:15 AM
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Can you take one more example of a man singing a woman's song?-- The Georgians recording of "I've got a cross-eyed papa." This is rather comical. (The song is available at the redhotjazz site.)
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mikeng
post Nov 18 2004, 03:53 AM
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Also from the ragtime era, Arthur Collins recorded some such. Three that come to mind are "What You Goin' to Do when the Rent Comes 'Round," "Abraham Jefferson Washington Lee" and "Abraham," all c. 1904-1907. All three were written by Harry von Tilzer. As rocky noted, this was common practice during the pre-WWI years.
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