JD Doyle, a Houston based musical archivist and DJ , has the most comprehensive collection of gay and queer music on the internet. Every one who is interested in gay musical history (and I’m not just talking about old Judy Garland/Phyllis Hyman albums) should take a dainty stroll through his website.
One of his most interesting blog entries is about Camp Records, a mysterious pre-stonewall 1960′s record label that released a series of gay related musical/comedic 45′s. Titles included “I’d Rather Fight Then Swish,” “The Weekend of the Hairdresser,” and, my personal favorite, “Leather Jacket Lovers.”
Almost nothing is known about the mysterious 60′s record label Camp Records. They released an album and 10 45 rpm records of gay parody songs, most done with effeminate voices. I believe they were issued in the early 60′s, as they all appeared in an ad in the gay magazine Vagabond, dated 1965. The address on the album record jacket was PO Box 3213, Hollywood, California, and it credited all selections to “Different Music Co, Hollywood.
The artists singing most of the songs were uncredited, or with names obviously made up, like Byrd E. Bath and B. Bubba, but one name stands out, Rodney Dangerfield. That name credited on one of the songs, and possibly another. This would have been very early in Dangerfield’s career, as his website bio says he decided to devote his career to comedy at age 40, which would have been in 1961. But I don’t think it was the comedian we know; just a prop name used for the release. Dangerfield disclaims any knowledge of it…”
The song “Rough Trade” by The Boy & The Gentle-Men.
Hey Gays! This song predates Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” by at least some 45 years!
Check out Doyle’s website here
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