From: (Umar Khan)
Subject: Gay Country Music Singer - Sid Spencer
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 1995 17:37:25 GMT

I first read about the openly gay C&W singer, Sid Spencer, in the
BML.  I bought what was then his one and only CD.  Not only is the
man an extremely handsome, bearded man (probably better character-
ized as an "otter" than as a "bear" - but who cares), but he has
a vocal range which is impressive (from high Baritone to mid/high
Tenor) and a singing style which is very appealing.  Many of his
songs are "gender correct" or "gender corrected" and appear to be
predominantly original lyrics and composition.  My favorite is
his song "Falling in Love."  It's a balad about a man from Oklahoma
who falls in love with a brown-eyed man from L.A. after a rodeo.

Needless to say, Sid Spencer makes a good part of his career by
following the gay rodeo circuit.  He was just here in the D.C.
area for the Mid-Atlantic Stampede '95, sponsored by the IGRA
and ASGRA.  That's where my lover, David, and I met him.

He opened the rodeo by singing a song from the film "8 Seconds"
(I think that's the right number in the name) about a rodeo performer
who dies in the ring.  The song was part of the "Riderless Horse"
ceremony honoring fallen rodeo people.  There was hardly a dry eye in 
the stadium when this ceremony was completed.

Sid Spencer also sang at the rodeo in the dance tent.  No lip
sync either!  This was live music.

He was promoting two new CD's: one with Christmas music and the
other with non-seasonal fare.  David and I spent considerable time
chatting with him, getting all our CD's autographed, and taking pictures
of and with him.  He overheard me talking to another friend who
was interested in buying one of the CDs and was asking my opinion
as to which one to buy.  I recommended Sid Spencer's first CD since
it contained my favorite song of his.  Obvious Sid Spencer overheard
this, because he sang that song later and dedicated it to me.

When Sid Spencer performs, he's a master at working the crowd.  Not
only does he make lots of eye contact with audience members, but he
makes deep eye contact, making you feel for that fleeting moment
that he is singing to you personally - then he moves on to the
next guy.  He wanders through the crowd and prefers to sing on and
to a packed dance floor.  As he works the crowd, he also hugs and
pats (on the shoulder) various people in the audience, making the
experience even more personal and charming.  I noticed a couple
guys who were particularly pleased with his attentioons - acting like
the Beatles fans I remember from my younger days.

Periodically, he signs the lyrics as he sings them (when he's not
constrained by a microphone).  He's quite fluent in ASL.

Sid Spencer also sang two nights at the local gay C&W bar on Capitol
Hill, Remmington's.  This was a more intimate crowd than the rodeo
and most of the songs he sang were popular C&W hits from other stars
of the mainstream Nashville crowd.  Of course, he changed the gender
in many of these songs, thus appealing to his gay audience.

David and I gained his approval to establish a web page on the net
to promote his music by including information about his tours,
lyrics to his original songs, information about his recordings
and how to get them, interviews, background, etc.  So, we're
hoping to have the initial page available by 1 November if possible.
It will link to other web pages for ordering, etc.

I hope this will be a model for more gay performers, authors,
etc. to follow in their exploitation of the new possibilities offered
by the information superhighway.  There was a web page for
Romanovsky and Phillips, which has since vanished, but I've seen nothing
else to promote gay folks (other than a few artists, painters, and
photographers) on the web.

At any rate, if any of you folks out there have any influence over
selection of performers for Gay Pride events or other gay events
where musical entertainment is important, I really encourage you
to think about Sid Spencer.  It's really nice to have "one of our
kind" on stage once in a while. Let's keep it up!

:) Umar
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