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Full Version: The "Wrong Gender" or "Gay Lyrics"!!
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gregoryagogo
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
Vladimir Berkov
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.
Fredrik
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
Fredrik
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
Fredrik
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
rocky
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
MJJ
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

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

=========
"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
Murfunit
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.
rocky
How about the Brox Sisters singing "Red Hot Mama"? (Victor 19510)


(Available at www.jazz-on-line.com)
Jarred
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.
rocky
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.)
mikeng
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.
gregoryagogo
Thanks for all your replys... I'm hoping in the future you will cut and paste the shortcuts to your examples from jazz etc... and place them in your reply. I cant access the jazz site from the library for some reason and it would allow me to listen to your examples instantly when I first read them!!

Thanks!!

I really apprecieate it!

Gregory
gregoryagogo
Sometimes, even if the Male vocal seems to have the correct lyrics (singing to a female), I find that a majority of those male vocals sound "sissy-like"!

Gregory
gregoryagogo
Ooooooooooo! Here's another!

Bing Crosby with the Rhythm Boys sings "There's no Sweet Man Worth the Salt of My Tears" along with Paul Whiteman's Orch.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ohmy.gif
nicko999
Don Redman with his Orchestra, singing "No One Loves Me Like That Dallas Man" sounds pretty odd, while Sam Browne, with Jack Hylton's Orch, declaiming "I Must Have That Man" is plain embarrassing!

I have only ever heard Noel Coward's "Mad About The Boy" sung by women, but seeing who the composer was I suspect that secretly that actually was a man's song.
Fredrik
And Coward recorded the tune himself. It wasn't issued at the time, but it has been released on CD recently by Naxos Nostalgia.

Fredrik
gregoryagogo
Oh my gawd, this week's selection, "Lonesome And Sorry" by Jean Goldkette And His Orchestra, is two men pouring their hearts out to eachother! A duet by two men! Hmmmmmmmmmmm!

http://dismuke.net/musicfiles/howmusic/lon...omeandsorry.ram

Gregory ohmy.gif
ross
Oh! if only Edgar Hoover were around to challenge Jean Goldkette. And with that first name, probably all his music is suspect.
gregoryagogo
OH! Here's a "War Husband" morning for the man of his in the War who "Wears a Pair of Silver Wings" (By Kay Kyser)!

http://www.jazz-on-line.com/ram/COLCO32825-2.ram

This version changes his words from "I" to "She"... I distinctly remember the version I had was a man singing about a man...

This is the very first one I remember from when I was a kid... It stood out from a box set of songs of the 1930's and 1940's I that someone gave me... I thought it was odd that this man was pining for his man at War!



Gregory huh.gif
Jeff Stallard
This isn't just a jazz thing. You also hear it a lot in Irish folk music, and consequently American folk music. I highly doubt that there's some social statement being made. It's just people singing songs.
gregoryagogo
In film and TV, Censors edit out any real gay characters. If ther were there, they were effeminate silly things, or flat out killed or made a victim... Until the last 10 or so years. I guess I just get a kick out of the possibility of a sincere ballad about two guys. I know the likelihood that they were actually singing about a homosexual situation is pretty slim. I still think it's a fun fantasy for me!

With each example we shared here, no one really knows for sure the exact reason they had a male vocalist singing "female" lyrics. All of our perspectives are valid.

Love,
Gregory blink.gif
gregoryagogo
Here's yet another one!

MOANIN' LOW, 1929, LEO REISMAN & HIS ORCH.

http://www.jazz-on-line.com/ram/VIC22047-A.ram

Gregory ohmy.gif
gregoryagogo
I found another one!!!

"I Ain't That Kind of Baby" by The Midnight Merrymakers (Harry Bidgood's Broadcasters) (Vocal: Bobby Sanders)

This one conjours up a ugly man in really bad drag with a bobb ed hair cut... laugh.gif

Love,
Gregory
rompnstompn
There's a rendition of "I Wonder What's Become of Joe" (great tune !) by the Seven Little Polar Bears ( a Reser combo, I believe), where drummer Tom Stacks turns Joe into a female "Jo", but still wonders if she wonders if he's 'gay' ... not sure the word carried the same connotation as today. On the version of this tune done by Joe Candullo's group, however, the leader sings the straight stock lyrics as though he's a girl singer. I don't think this was thought of as being as outrageous as we might make it out to be today, for some reason (some sort of period naivete, perhaps ?). There's another great version of the tune done by Ernie Golden And His Orchestra, but I can't presently remember if it has a vocal or not.
Jarred
The Ernie Golden version is actually on the Dismuke 1920s and 1930s recordings page in Volume III. It does have a vocal and the man is singing about a girl Jo.
Fredrik
QUOTE
On the version of this tune done by Joe Candullo's group, however, the leader sings the straight stock lyrics as though he's a girl singer. I don't think this was thought of as being as outrageous as we might make it out to be today, for some reason (some sort of period naivete, perhaps ?).


As far as I've understood things the record companies generally were afraid of changing the lyrics for copyright reasons, and since 99% of all the studio vocalists were men they simply had to sing these lyrics as they were printed.

Considering how common this was, I don't think the record buyers thought very much about it.

Fredrik

PS I'd love to hear the Candullo version - he had a great band!
gregoryagogo
QUOTE(Fredrik @ Jul 27 2005, 06:04 AM)
"As far as I've understood things the record companies generally were afraid of changing the lyrics for copyright reasons, and since 99% of all the studio vocalists were men they simply had to sing these lyrics as they were printed.

Considering how common this was, I don't think the record buyers thought very much about it."

Logically, this is the senerio that makes most sense to me... But I still like my "Gay Lyrics"!!!

Love,
Gregory biggrin.gif
gregoryagogo
Here's yet another one! It's by The Travelers which is a pseudonym for the Dorsey Brothers orchestra.

It's "Am I Blue"... the link is at the following website that doesn't allow me to type it's name on this site.

Redhotjazz.com

http://65.45.103.7/Songs/dorseybros/amiblue.ram

Gregory ph34r.gif
hhp1928
Just heard a pretty glaring example of this... it's "Ten Cents A Dance" by Jack Hylton, with vocals by Sam Browne. It can be found at:

http://www.jackhylton.co.uk under "Download Music."

They kept the original lyrics, written for a woman vocalist, which include "ten cents a dance, pansies and tough guys, rough guys who tear my gown." As you can imagine, this sounds very strange when sung by a man...
gregoryagogo
QUOTE(hhp1928 @ Aug 11 2005, 04:45 PM)
"ten cents a dance, pansies and tough guys, rough guys who tear my gown."

I love it, love it, love it!!!!!!!!! wink.gif

Love,
Gregory blink.gif
gregoryagogo
...And the latest gay love song is by Bud Freeman and His Orchestra!

Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man by Bud Freeman and his Orch
(from "Show Boat")
(Jerome Kern / Roger Hammerstein) 12-3-1928 Chicago, Illinois Okeh, 41168 http://redhotjazz.com/songs/freeman/datman.ram

Love,
Gregory wink.gif
gregoryagogo
Can't Help Lovin' Dis Week's Selection!

Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
Royal Music Makers
Artie Dunn, vocal 1927
(Okeh 40985 mx 81959 )

http://dismuke.net/musicfiles/howmusic/can...datmanroyal.ram

Quite Beautiful!



Love,
Gregory
smushybird
Hi, Gregory,

The Billy Murray number, "He's a Good Man to Have Around", is one, with great lyrics,

"he's not exactly my idea of
the perfect lover from heaven above--
but what's the difference, the man you love
is a good man to have around."

And I think there are other Billy Murray songs that fit what you're searching for. I downloaded them (legally) from thedownloadplace.com. You can get a membership from them that doesn't require you to pay per song and they do have a fairly good selection of oldies. I've downloaded a number of Murray songs, as well as Annette Hanshaw, Ruth Etting, and so on (usually on the weekends, the selection is best).

Some other things you may be interested in (that you may already know about, but I thought I'd mention them just in case)...

An excellent non-fiction book called "Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World" covers the years from 1890 to 1940, with lots of interesting information on cabarets, night clubs, speakeasies and entertainers in that era who were either gay or were welcoming to gay men and women in New York City. I had a used copy of the book which I bought from Amazon and later donated to the library and I think Amazon still has copies but I don't know for sure. A really interesting and eye-opening book.

The photograph you posted reminded me of the other thing I wanted to mention. If you're interested in the clothing, hair styles, life in general from the early twentieth century, one fun resource is to browse the old photographs on Ebay. Click on Collectibles, photographs, and you can do an even narrower search because a good number of photos are labeled "gay interest". And while most of the photos under that search are pretty innocent photos of guy friends or probably brothers in affectionate poses, there is occasionally a photo of two brave souls recording their relationship for posterity with a more intimate hug or cuddle. They're really sweet photos and as interesting as can be for a reference for clothing, hair, and furniture styles of the '10's and '20's and so on. I go there because I don't really find good resources online with much *detail* on clothing etc for those time periods.

Good luck in finding more music!
gregoryagogo
Thanks for all your wonderful information! I will investigate your leads!

Even in these "gay" images from back then, have an innocent quality. I think love is beautiful no matter who is in it!

Love,
Gregory
gregoryagogo
Homocord?!!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Gregory laugh.gif biggrin.gif blink.gif biggrin.gif laugh.gif unsure.gif laugh.gif biggrin.gif
matto
Interesting........ Actually, Homocord was a very popular label in Germany and England in the 1920's. It's a nice name for a label, meaning something like "Same-sound combination".
Fredrik
And one of the finest of the German dance bands of the 1920s, "Fred Bird Rhythmicans" recorded for Homocord. Look ut for their stuff!

Fredrik
MissOriole
Hey, Gregory!

Are you familiar with a tune titled "Masculine Women and Feminine Men"? It was pretty popular in the 1920s!
gregoryagogo
Yes! Funny you mention it. I only first heard of it like, 2 weeks ago! I think it's a great little tune! Isn't it funny that even bsck then, people were complaining about not being able to tell the sexes apart. I though that was only something that happened in the 1960's and beyond! This is another song that gives me a piece of evidence that in some ways things never really change!

Masculine Women by the Six Jumping Jacks: http://www.jazz-on-line.com/ram/BRUE17975.ram


Love,
Gregory wink.gif
MissOriole
Hey, Gregory, I was just looking at your website, and I love the recording of "I Can't Believe" playing in the background! Which dance band made the recording, and do you know the recording date?
It perfectly matches your little animated icon of the record playing on the gramaphone turntable!

Did you get your sample riff of "Horses" from the Living Era CD "George Olsen and His Music: Beyond the Blue Horizon"? I have that same CD; a great sampling of some of the best and most popular 20's nmusic on disc!
kay-em-cee
If you ever read the entire lyrics to "Mad About the Boy" you'll see that each stanza (?) is written from a different perspective, that of a young shopgirl, an older married lady, and a gay man. On another topic, an interesting book for vintage photos of gay couples is "Affectionate Men" by Russell Bush. The photos are remarkable in their variety, and the time period they cover (1870s - 1940s). Also a great resource to see the clothing styles of the era.
gregoryagogo
QUOTE(MissOriole @ Jan 21 2006, 06:49 PM)
Hey, Gregory, I was just looking at your website, and I love the recording of "I Can't Believe" playing in the background! Which dance band made the recording, and do you know the recording date?
It perfectly matches your little animated icon of the record playing on the gramaphone turntable!

Did you get your sample riff of "Horses" from the Living Era CD "George Olsen and His Music: Beyond the Blue Horizon"? I have that same CD; a great sampling of some of the best and most popular 20's nmusic on disc!

I got the song from Dismuke's "Hit of the Week". That is an abv. title. The whole title escapes me right now... "I can't believe that you're in love with me"?...

g
gregoryagogo
Maybe another reason for is this is if there were women in the orchestra, a girl could get pregnant while recording--being so close toghether and all!




Gregory laugh.gif
80rpm
Greetings all,
All these postings about gay sounding songs and nothing about lesbians. Can that be because mostly guys collect 78s? I am aware of at least one blatantly lesbian sing, Ma Rainey singing "Prove It To Me Blues". She sings about wearing men's clothes and only liking women. Check it out at http://redhotjazz.com/Songs/Rainey/proveit...itonmeblues.ram
victrolajazz
QUOTE(80rpm @ Jun 2 2006, 04:25 PM)
She sings about wearing men's clothes and only liking women.  Check it out at     http://redhotjazz.com/Songs/Rainey/proveit...itonmeblues.ram

There are similar sentiments expressed in the following song by Bessie Smith There'll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonite. On the seconds counter it runs from 2:02 to 2:40. Here's a companion article about Ma Rainey and The Prove it on Me Blues, too, Ma Rainey.

Eddie the Collector
honeybadger
How about Sophie Tucker singing "Feathering a Nest"? Lee Morse singing "Don't Even Change a Picture on the Wall" certainly has that feel to it, heh.

Did anyone mention "Help! The Girls Are After Me" By Earl Gresh yet? ("Oscar...was a young cake-eater. No one was neater, or could be sweeter"...) LOL!
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