This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1200 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing - especially in the year-end summaries (see links in right sidebar.)

There is a detailed Index arranged by vocation, doctor, activist group etc.

In addition to this most articles have one or more labels at the bottom. Click one to go to similar persons. There is a full list of labels at the bottom of the page. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

25 February 2008

The Queer Encyclopedia of Music, Dance and Musical Theater - a review

This is a fun book, associated with the glbtq encyclopedia site, and I spent many hours looking up favourite musicians. You can tell that it is a US book from some of the entry names: John, Sir Elton; Tippett, Sir Michael; Ashton, Sir Frederick; etc. Although it doesn't bother with French or German honours. Most entries have a bibliography attached, although it is always a bibliography and never a mediography, that is only printed sources are listed, never documentary films, and only rarely online resources. There are no discographies as such, but an artist's major works are mentioned in the text.

This is a glbtq project, so we expect t=transy musicians. And indeed there are some. Frederick Ashton, ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Gladys Bentley, Ray Bourbon, Boy George, Divine, Annie Hindle, Christine Jorgensen, Lindsay Kemp, Charles Pierce, RuPaul, Craig Russell, Ethyl Smith, Sylvester plus general articles on Drag shows, Male Impersonators and Female Impersonators, Kabuki and Takarazuka. Jayne County doesn't get an entry of her own, but is mentioned in the survey of Rock Music. Likewise Billy Tipton is in the survey on Jazz. This is fine as far as it goes, but ...

I quickly came up with a list of over 50 musicians, singers and dancers not in the Encyclopedia. Here are 15 of them:

Willmer Broadnax (gospel singer);
Angela Morley (saxophonist, conductor and composer, did the music for 29 movies and television shows, including the Goon Show, Scott Walker's early albums, two Eurovision Song Contests entries, earned two academy awards, etc etc.);
Amanda Lear (not just a disco singer);
Guilda (French singer-dancer who settled in Montreal);
Dee Palmer (Royal Horseguards, Jethro Tull, orchestral arrangements of rock classics);
Wendy Carlos (Switched-On Bach, electronic composer, several soundtracks);
Canary Conn (singles in 1960s);
Bridgett Martel (Quebec chanteuse);
Bülent Ersoy (Turkish singer in classical and Arabesk styles);
Genesis P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, over 200 records);
Angela Douglas (guitarist with Arthur Lee and Love, Euphoria, Warren Zevon, Jimi Hendrix)
Sharon Cohen (Israeli winner of 1998 Eurovision Song Contest, stage name: Dana International);
Keith Moon (drummer with The Who);
Romy Haag (Dutch singer, actor, club owner);
Logan Carter (singer and model).

Yes. It is easy to review almost any encyclopedia by finding entries that are missing. My turn will come when my own encyclopedia is published.

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