The once shocking LP "Love Is A Drag," a 1962 LP of love songs by men for men, bore no vocalist's name for fifty years. The Modern Harmonic reissue solves the mystery of who is behind the music.
JD Doyle, a historian and archivist of LGBT music and history, connected deeply with the record, which took standards like "The Man I Love" and "Mad About That Boy," songs typically addressed from a woman to a man, and changed the delivery to a man from a man. Doyle would play the songs on his radio show, Queer Music Heritage. However, despite knowing the songs were before their time, Doyle was baffled as to why there was no artist or producer credited on the album, but simply a line of subtext: "For Adult Listeners Only, Sultry Stylings By A Most Unusual Vocalist."
Soon Doyle heard from Murray Garrett, a Hollywood photographer through the late 1940s to the 1970s, who photographed such stars as Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. Garrett partnered with Gene Howard, a Big Band singer, and the two worked with Jack Ames, the founder of Edison International Records.
When Ames asked Garrett and Howard for recording ideas for Edison International, Garrett recalled a night in Greenwich Village where he saw a man singing love songs addressed to another man in a serious manner. Howard then agreed to sing on the record with an array of Los Angeles session musicians, and it was recorded under a "fake" label called Lace Records to avoid Edison International gaining a reputation as a "gay record label." The record sold well in Hollywood, and Frank Sinatra, Liberace, and Bob Hope were all fans.
Now with the mystery of the record's origins solved, "Love Is A Drag" will be released on gold vinyl and CD, with original liner notes and new notes by JD Doyle just in time for Record Store Day on November 25.