Tag Archives: k.d. lang

Not Your Typical LGBTQ+ Pride Playlist

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Tune du Jour celebrates with this playlist consisting of two hundred songs by and/or about Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts and Qs. Happy Pride!

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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 85: LGBTQ Music From 1990 To 1991

This playlist consists of twenty songs, most performed by artists who fall somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella. There are queer artists covering songs written by a gay man in decade before the rock and roll era, straight singers with queer guest artists and one woman who took an underground dance from gay balls and made it into a worldwide phenomenon. Artists include George Michael, k.d. lang, The B-52’s, plus all the ones you’d expect.


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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 83: LGBTQ Music From 1988 To 1989

This playlist consists of twenty songs, most performed by artists who fall somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella, a couple with queer lyrical content. Artists include R.E.M., k.d. lang and George Michael.


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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 77: LGBTQ Music From 1984 (continued)

Nineteen eighty-four was a very queer year in music, so much so that the minty music of that year is spread out over three playlists. Was there something in the water in England that year? I think a better explanation is the activism that rose from the early year of the AIDS epidemic, a time when governments weren’t doing nearly enough to help those afflicted. Gay men and their allies took to the streets to demand attention. This increased visibility carried into the arts. Also, there was something in the water in England.

This playlist consists of twenty songs, some performed by artists who fall somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella, others with queer lyrical content. Artists include Husker Du, k.d. lang and Dead or Alive.


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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 5: Broadway

On this installment of A Hint Of Mint we get ready for next week’s Tony Awards with minty show tunes and minty covers of show tunes from classic Broadway musicals. Artists include Erasure, k.d. lang and Magnetic Fields, plus original Broadway cast recordings from Hedwig & the Angry Inch, The Book of Mormon, La Cage Aux Folles, Avenue Q, and Spamalot.


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It’s Lesley Gore’s Birthday And I’ll Party If I Want To

Ten facts about Lesley Gore:
1. Today is her birthday. Like me, she was born in Brooklyn, New York. Back then she was Lesley Sue Goldstein. Like me, she was raised in Bergen County, New Jersey – she in Tenafly, me in Englewood Cliffs. Like me, she went to high school in Englewood, New Jersey – she at the Dwight School for Girls, me at Dwight Morrow High, which was not a school for girls.
2. Quincy Jones produced all of Gore’s charted singles between 1963 and 1965, including the top ten hits “It’s My Party,” “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” “She’s a Fool” and “You Don’t Own Me.”
3. Jones recorded Gore performing a song written by his dentist’s nephew. The song is “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows;” the nephew is Marvin Hamlisch. The record reached #13 on the pop charts, becoming the first hit for songwriter Hamlisch, who also composed Gore’s “California Nights,” a top twenty single in 1967.
4. “California Nights” is one of the songs Gore performed in 1967 on the television series Batman, on which she portrayed Pussycat, one of Catwoman’s minions.
5. She was given first dibs at recording “A Groovy Kind of Love,” but an executive at her record company turned it down, as he didn’t want Gore to sing the word “groovy.” The song became a #2 smash for The Mindbenders in 1966 and a #1 for Phil Collins in 1988.
6. While having hit records, Lesley stayed in school. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in American Literature from Sarah Lawrence College.
7. In a conversation with k.d. lang published in Ms. magazine, Gore said she never received a gold record for “You Don’t Own Me,” though the song’s two male writers, John Madara and Dave White, did. That shit ain’t right.
8. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for “Out Here on My Own,” which she wrote with her brother Michael. She considered the song a sequel to “You Don’t Own Me.” “Out Here on My Own” was written for the movie Fame, whose theme song won the Oscar. “Fame” was written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford.
9. Lesley co-wrote a song for the 1996 film Grace of My Heart. In the movie, the song, “My Secret Love,” is performed a closeted young lesbian singer character with a flip, portrayed by Bridget Fonda. Gore was not invited to the film’s premiere. That shit ain’t right.
10. Gore came out as a lesbian in 2005, the year she released Ever Since, her first album in thirty years and her final album release. She was with her partner, Lois Sasson, from 1982 until Gore’s death in February of this year.

Here are Lesley Gore’s nineteen charted singles, plus her rendition of her Oscar-nominated tune.


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Loretta Lynn And Me: Like Identical Twins

In one of her best-known songs, Loretta Lynn sings of being a coal miner’s daughter, growing up poor in a cabin in rural Kentucky with her dad, her mom whose fingers were bloody from doing the laundry, and her seven siblings. For Christmas the kids got a new pair of shoes with money made from selling a hog.

The song hits home for me, as it is pretty much the story of my life, with a few minor differences. I’m not a coal miner’s daughter; I’m the son of a garment manufacturer. I didn’t grow up poor in rural Kentucky; I was born in Brooklyn and grew up in middle-class suburbs of New York City. My mom’s fingers never bled from doing laundry, as best as I recall, and I have one brother and one sister. We celebrated Hanukkah, when I got gifts such as Diana Ross’ Greatest Hits and Aretha Franklin’s Ten Years of Gold with money my dad made from selling shmatas. Other than that, the similarities between my life and that of Loretta Lynn are uncanny.

Today Loretta Lynn turns 83 years old, just like me (except for the part about today being my birthday and me being 83). Here are twenty gems from her catalog.

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Make The Yuletide Gay

Today is December 24. It’s the date when people around the world celebrate Ricky Martin’s birthday. What’s the first thing you think of when someone says Ricky Martin? Gay? I thought so. Hold that thought.

Christmas Eve is tonight. Many people around the world celebrate that as well, possibly almost as many people as the number that celebrate Ricky Martin’s birthday. He’s turning 43, by the way.

Anyhoosle, I decided to combine the two celebrations. Tunes du Jour hereby presents the gayest Christmas playlist ever. Fifty songs that will bring you cheer and fabulousity and get you arrested if you listen to them in Russia.

Have a festive day!

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Garfunkel, lang, Frey And Diddy

One day in the late 1990s, while in my office at Sony Music, I received a call from the security desk in the lobby. “Art Garfunkel is here to see you.”

I wasn’t expecting Art Garfunkel. I’d never met Art Garfunkel, though we spoke on the phone a few times. I worked in the International Licensing department and received a fair number of requests to have Simon & Garfunkel and Art Garfunkel solo tracks included on compilations. “Send him up, please.”

A few minutes later, Art Garfunkel walked into my office. We shook hands and then both sat down and chatted. I don’t recall our entire conversation, though I do remember him telling me that he is particular about the artists with whom he is to be coupled on compilations, saying he wouldn’t want a track of his to be next to one performed by Iggy Pop. It wasn’t meant as a slight to Iggy; he meant the transition from one of his ballads to a heavy rocker would be jarring to the listener. He said he and Paul Simon used to argue about the running order of the tracks on their albums.

He hung out in my office for around fifteen minutes, during which time I got him to laugh more than once (about what I have no recollection). When he got up to leave he shook my hand again and told me “You are my favorite person at Sony Music.”

A decade later I met k.d. lang at a small party meant to celebrate her latest release. I’ve seen many concerts over the years; only twice has a singer so thrilled me that the hair on my arms stood up. The first time was when I attended the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls and Jennifer Holliday sang “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” The other time was when I saw k.d. lang at Radio City Music Hall and she covered Roy Orbison’s “Crying.” Spectacular!

My interaction with k.d. at this party was very brief. A hello and a handshake. My only memory of this encounter is that she had the firmest handshake of anybody with whom I’ve ever shaken hands, including my step-uncle Steve. Damn, girl!

In 2012 I attended Warner Music Group’s pre-Grammy bash. Sean Combs a/k/a Puff Daddy a/k/a Puffy a/k/a P. Diddy a/k/a Diddy…now I forgot what I was going to write. Oh, yeah – he was at that party. I didn’t chat with him or shake his hand.

I’ve never chatted with Glenn Frey of Eagles nor have we both attended the same party, though I occasionally licensed his music while working at Warner.

k.d. lang’s birthday was this past Sunday, Diddy/Puffy/whatever’s birthday is today, Art Garfunkel’s is tomorrow and Glenn Frey’s is Thursday. Unlike Garfunkel I like compilations with jarring transitions. As such Tunes du Jour celebrates the birthdays of these four folks in today’s playlist.

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Tonys! Tonys! Tonys!

The Tony Awards, celebrating excellence on the Broadway stages, are being presented this evening. The Tony Awards are like the gay version of the Tony Awards. That’s how gay they are.

Last year I took second place in a speech contest where I spoke about the effect Broadway had on my life. Here is that speech, followed by a playlist consisting of cover versions of Broadway classics.

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