Music History

Fascinating Music History: The First-Ever Gay Album

What was the first-ever record directed at a gay audience? We have to go all the way back to 1962 when a label called Lace Records released an album called Love is a Drag, which, as far as anyone knows, was the first album to featuring a man singing love songs about other men. The artwork read “For adult listeners only. Sultry stylings by a most unusual vocalist.”

Titles included “Lover Man,” “He’s Funny That Way,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man.” Here’s a shot of the back cover.

Back then, such expressions of homosexuality were not tolerated or welcomed. In fact, being gay was still a criminal offense in many countries, so issuing this record was a big risk and few stores dared carry it. So who was the singer and who were the musicians? His name was Gene Howard, who, by the

So who was the daring singer and the musicians who appeared on the record? His name was Gene Howard, who, by the way, was a straight married man. The whole project was the work of a group of straight men.

It’s a fascinating story. Collectors Weekly has all the background right here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38523 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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