VA [Gene Howard]- Love Is A Drag: For Adult Listeners Only

VA [Gene Howard]- Love Is A Drag: For Adult Listeners Only

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Label: Modern Harmonic

Released 11/25/16

Record Store Day Black Friday Exclusive!

First ever reissue of an iconic 1962 record of love songs by men, for men; pressed on gold vinyl.

The long lost treasure featuring the cool & sophisticated vocals of Gene Howard and a cast of prime studio jazz musicians, performing a set of standards sung to a male suitor. Ahead of its time in every way. Reissued for the first time ever for Record Store Day’s Black Friday!

A fantastic, once-shocking album finally sees reissue - and brings with it the answer to a half-century mystery!

Decades ago, JD Doyle, renowned LGBT music historian and archivist, happened upon a copy of Love Is A Drag. Doyle would often play cuts from it on his radio show, Queer Music Heritage. He remained intrigued by the lack of either artist or producer credited on the album. A vague line of jacket text ambiguously announced, “For Adult Listeners Only - Sultry Stylings by a Most Unusual Vocalist.”

Out of the blue, Murray Garrett (Hollywood star-photographer through the late 1940s to the 1970s) contacted JD Doyle and wanted to talk about the album. According to Garrett, through his photography career, he had forged a friendship and partnership with prolific big band vocalist, Gene Howard. The two worked together on projects, eventually teaming with Jack Ames, founder of Edison International Records. When queried for ideas for a potential Edison International release, Garrett recalled a performance he had once seen in Greenwich Village - a performance of a man singing love songs to another man, in serious fashion, i.e., not at all campy or overly-dramatic.

Gene Howard (straight and happily married!) agreed to sing on the record, accompanied by a who’s-who of Los Angeles A-list session men. Completed, the record was issued on a “surrogate” label named Lace Records - an imprint hastily-created in order to avoid any misinterpretation of the Edison International focus. Upon release, the record sold well in Hollywood, with Frank Sinatra, Liberace, and Bob Hope among its biggest advocates.

With the masters proudly owned by Sundazed, Love Is A Drag is now set to make its long-overdue reappearance. Presented on our new Modern Harmonic imprint - we give you both a pristine gold vinyl RTI pressing and a handsome CD edition, including original artwork and notes, and insightful new liners from LGBT historian, JD Doyle!

Track Listing:

  1. Lover Man
  2. He’s Funny That Way
  3. My Man
  4. Bewitched
  5. Bill
  6. The Boy Next Door
  7. The Man I Love
  8. Mad About The Boy
  9. He’s My Guy
  10. Jim
  11. Stranger In Paradise
  12. Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man