FOF #2227 – More Than Just a Gigolo
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Today we salute all the hard working men and women of the world’s oldest profession, by taking a look at the song “Just a Gigolo” as it evolved through the past nine decades.
Listen as we take you on a musical journey as we look at how a good song from 1928 got transformed time and time again through the decades.
What a great, well researched podcast guys! It’s interesting to hear the story of this song and a little cultural history behind the phenomenon of the gigolo. I particularly enjoyed Bessie Smith’s emotive performance from 1925 though I think the recording available probably doesn’t do her vocal performance justice. Would be a good, cathartic song to see performed live by a pained Diva…or drag queen.
I enjoyed this podcast a great deal. Thank you Marc and Fausto!
I’m really glad you guys enjoyed the show, I was worried it would be too “esoteric” (only clicking with a small group of people)
I was thinking of doing another one on the Amazing Technicolor Life of George Washington Carver (the peanut scientist who was born into slavery, gay, adopted by a druid mom, talked to flowers his whole life, gave peanut oil massages to young men in college and for the last 20 years of his life lived with a young lover who inherited all his possessions upon his death.)
Thanks to George Washinton Carver’s pioneering work in biochemistry, we have access to cheap, colorful plant based dyes. Yes folks, a gay man made it possible for rainbows to be everywhere in the world today.
But now 72 years after his death, his sexuality is a hotly debated topic, with many people saying he was castrated as a young man by his white adopted family (who were more slave owners than parents) — and many churches trying to erase stories of him giving hot peanut oil massages to young men, or living with a young white man, Austin Curtis Jr. for 20 years until his death. (They shared one bed in a one bedroom apartment.)
That’s quite a story Fausto. I look forward to the podcast dramatisation of Carver’s story brought to life by you and Marc 🙂
Here’s another idea for a future podcast, perhaps when you get George Takei or Brian Sweeney back on the show: Talk about the queer representation (or lack thereof) in the Star Trek universe. There is an excellent youtube essay about this on the channel Trekspertise. I think you guys might enjoy it.
It always irked me how gay characters were hardly ever represented on the show and when they were it was usually a temporary fake lesbian scenario cooked up to boost ratings. And even then these characters were not normally lesbians, they were either possessed or in a bizzaro world scenario. This was usually done to emphasise debauchery and questionable morality. And they wouldn’t dream of featuring genuine male gay characters. I think the time is right for a gay character to enter the scene in the next movie or series, if they ever do another one.
This was an interesting concept for a podcast. In light of the recent resurgence of drag in popular culture (Rupaul’s Drag Race, Dragcon, Austin International Drag Festival, Bushwig etc.) Would you consider doing something like this highlighting the careers of Sylvester and Divine?
I’d just like to point out that at one point in the podcast you referenced a “tango” version, after which you hummed the tune to Ravel’s Bolero.
A bolero is a latin-style dance in 3/4 time (triple meter), while a tango is in duple meter (4/4).
Apart from that “Fausto-faux-pas”, it was fun to hear the numerous styles in which the piece had been recorded.
I didn’t think anyone would pick up on me humming a few notes of Ravel’s Bolero!
Both Ravel’s Bolero and tangos have their gay connections.
In Tim Miller’s iconic one man show “My Queer Body” he ends it with talking about Ravel’s gay sensibility and how Bolero was seen as the sound of two men having sex turned into music.
Ravel was gay: http://gayinfluence.blogspot.com/2011/12/maurice-ravel.html
And according to many history writers, the tango originated in Argentina as a dance between two men: http://alvinrangel.net/Tango_Vesre/Queering_Tangos_History.html
I’m a musician; I heard it. 🙂
I really enjoyed this episode! It’s great when you occasionally present these “documentary” episodes as i like to think of them as. Now if I can just get that damn song out of my head! LOL!
The erotic historian in me loved this episode more than I can say. This is one of my favorite things that I’ve enjoyed in a long while. Thanks so much for doing such a great job with this. xoxo
Really loved this episode. One of my favorites!