Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Jackie Shane

I don't want to turn this into some kind of LGBT website, but this guy is inspirational... and legendary in the true sense of the word. In as much as it is hard to sort out the fact from the rumour.

The TV has been plugging a documentary all week about drag acts, and to my shame, Jackie Shane came to mind, which is unfair because he's not a drag act, he is a damn fine R&B/Soul singer who just happened to cross-dress and be openly gay.

"Because the mean things people say about you baby, Can’t make you sad, cause Jackie’s never lost a friend that I’ve never had."

It's not often an ad-lib makes me want to applaud, but... if people find it tough now, how much worse would have been in the early 1960s?

[EDIT] For the record, Any Other Way is a cover version, and the lyrics, "Tell her that I'm Happy, tell her that I'm gay, tell her I wouldn't have it any other way" are in the original William Bells song on Stax. Jackie manages to put new meaning in these lyrics, I can see why he chose the song.

[Further Edit] I find Jackie Shane fascinating, probably because I love a good mystery. There is very little information around about him, the most up to date seems to be on Queer Music Heritage which says he is still alive, despite the rumours about his murder. Just one thing puzzles me, the album Jackie Shane Live at the Sapphire Tavern 1963 appears to contain cover versions of songs which were not recorded by the original artists until well after 1963. For example Eddie Floyd didn't release Knock on Wood until 1967. Not trying to be a smart arse, just saying Saul.