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Chip Deffaa's Gay Love

by Various Artists

Twenty-eight songs of love, loss, and longing, sung by an all-star New York cast, including such Broadway and nightclub pro's as Stephen Bogardus, Santino Fontana, Lee Roy Reams, Kristy Cates, and Seth Sikes, produced by ASCAP Award-winner Chip Deffaa
Genre: Easy Listening: Nostalgia
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Trent Armand Kendall
1:59 $0.99
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2. There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth the Salt of My Tears
Jon Peterson
1:38 $0.99
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3. I Hate You
Seth Sikes & Clark Kinkade
2:49 $0.99
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4. Pretty Baby
Dylan Adams
1:47 $0.99
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5. I Can't Give You Anything but Love
Seth Sikes & Clark Kinkade
4:25 $0.99
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6. Until I Fell in Love with You
Cody Jordan & John Brady
2:33 $0.99
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7. Gay Love
Luka Fric
2:47 $0.99
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8. Kiss Your Sailor Boy Goodbye
Jon Peterson
2:21 $0.99
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9. I'm Crazy for My Baby in a Uniform
Bailey Cummings
2:14 $0.99
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10. You'd Be so Nice to Come Home To
Dave Warren
2:47 $0.99
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11. More Than You Know
Peter Charney
2:42 $0.99
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12. You're so Beautiful
Clark Kinkade & Keith Anderson
2:25 $0.99
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13. Here
Keith Anderson & John Tartaglia
2:40 $0.99
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14. Do It Again
Santino Fontana
1:45 $0.99
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15. The Old Dancer's Blues
Chip Deffaa & Tyler Duboys
4:13 $0.99
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16. He's a Good Man to Have Around
Magnus Tonning Riise & Jon Peterson
2:14 $0.99
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17. We Have Much to Be Thankful For
Clark Kinkade & Austin Owen
2:36 $0.99
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18. He May Be Your Man, But He Comes to See Me Sometimes
Jon Peterson
3:03 $0.99
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19. I Used to Love You but It's All over Now
Alec Deland
3:42 $0.99
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20. I Wonder Where My Lovin' Man Has Gone
Seth Sikes
3:10 $0.99
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21. My Buddy
Ellis Gage
2:17 $0.99
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22. Matelot
Timothy Britten Parker
4:12 $0.99
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23. Something to Live For
Baby Jane Dexter
3:29 $0.99
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24. Maskulinum-Femininum
Kristy Cates
1:52 $0.99
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25. I Loved Him but He Didn't Love Me
Tom Andersen
2:35 $0.99
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26. I'd Rather Be Blue over You
Seth Sikes
2:39 $0.99
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27. Old Friends
Lee Roy Reams
4:09 $0.99
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28. I'll Follow My Secret Heart
Stephen Bogardus
2:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

Chip Deffaa's GAY LOVE
Songs of love, loss, and longing... with an all-star New York cast

A FEW NOTES FROM THE PRODUCER...

Gay love has been around for as long as there have been human beings. The attraction that a guy might feel for a guy–as Alfred Kinsey noted--is part of our basic mammalian heritage. I’m glad we live in a time when such feelings can be expressed with greater openness.

This is an album--with a gay sensibility--of songs of love, and loss, and longing.... Some of the songs in this collection–like, say, “Here” or “I’m Crazy for my Baby in a Uniform,” or “The Old Dancer’s Blues”–were specifically written as songs to be sung by guys who’ve fallen for other guys. Other songs in this collection, by contrast, are simply love songs that work just as well whether sung by a guy who’s crazy about a gal or by a guy who’s crazy about a guy. We may think of some of these numbers as “heterosexual love songs” simply because we’re used to hearing them that way. But love is love; and it’s fun to listen to older songs with fresh ears.

And sometimes songs that listeners have traditionally thought of as “heterosexual” really shouldn’t be pigeonholed that way. For example, Cole Porter’s timeless “You’d be So Nice to Come Home To”–a gorgeous ballad--was first introduced to the public as a conventional heterosexual love song: a male singer expressing his feelings for a gal. But Porter, who was gay, actually wrote the song during the Second World War for a guy he loved, who was then away serving in the armed forces. (And at no time, in this song’s familiar refrain, is the gender of the beloved ever specified; Porter knew exactly what he was doing.)

The general public did not know that the brilliant performer/playwright/songwriter Noel Coward was gay (any more than it knew that Porter was gay). Coward was thought of simply as “sophisticated.” He kept his involvements with men a secret, at a time when such things had to be concealed. Today, we can listen to a superb Noel Coward song like “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart”–a masterpiece, clearly drawn from his own life--with greater understanding.

There are many delights to be found in this collection. My main purpose, in producing an album like this, of course, is simply to provide entertainment. But if a bit of education can be thrown in along the way, I’m all for that, too.

The songs on this album are loosely grouped together. I’ve programmed the album the way I might program a concert. The first songs form a kind of prelude, dealing with the search for love, and with courtship. We move on to songs celebrating the joys of love, the satisfactions of being together.... But then again, relationships don’t always work out. And we have some songs of loss and longing.... And end on a quietly hopeful note.

I’ve gathered a mix of admirable performers, both gay and straight, to put across these songs.
I really love the singers on this album. We’ve got some wonderful artists from the world of Broadway–performers whose work on the stage I’ve long savored--including Stephen Bogardus, Santino Fontana, Lee Roy Reams, John Tartaglia, Jon Peterson, Timothy Britten (“Toby”) Parker, Kristy Cates, Trent Armand Kendall....

Some of the gifted musical-theater performers on this album have worked in shows that I’ve written and directed myself: Keith Andersen, Clark Kinkade, Peter Charney, Tyler DuBoys, Bailey Cummings, Dave Warren, Luka Fric, John Brady, Cody Jordan.

Some of the singers included here are best known for their work in nightclubs and cabarets, rather than theater–they’re tops in that particular field: Seth Sikes, Baby Jane Dexter, Tom Andersen....

Some of the performers on this album have decades of experience. Others may be younger, perhaps just beginning to really make names for themselves, like Alec Deland, Magnus Tonning Riise, Ellis Gage, Austin Owen, Dylan Adams. But, oh! I very much like all of these singers. They perform with warmth and heart and flair. I’m proud to know ‘em.

* * *

THE SINGERS AND THE SONGS...

1. “A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND” (lyrics and music by Eddie Green) is put over here with panache by Trent Armand Kendall. He’s a great favorite of mine–a wonderfully oversized talent--and he sure gets the album off to a rollicking start. He’s helped enrich countless shows--on Broadway (“Into the Woods”), Off-Broadway (“Bat Boy”), on national and international tours (“Smokey Joe’s Café,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Joseph...”), on the West End (“Five Guys Named Moe,” “Hey Mr. Producer!”), and regionally (“Crazy for You”).... “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” I might note, was first sung by female artists (Sophie Tucker, Alberta Hunter, Marion Harris); but old-timers in the gay community told me years ago that gay entertainers were singing it, too, right from the start–not just because it’s such a good song, but because so many guys could relate to the sentiment. And the first few songs on this album echo this song’s theme--that a good man is indeed hard to find. (And you never know who’s going to cheat on you.) But the search goes on....

2. “THERE AIN'T NO SWEET MAN THAT’S WORTH THE SALT OF MY TEARS” (by Fred Fisher) is sung here by the one-and only Jon Peterson. For my money, he’s as fine a song-and-dance man as anyone working in the theater today. Originally from England, he first made his mark on the West End in such musicals as “Cats,” “A Chorus Line,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Sophisticated Ladies.” He starred as the Emcee in two U.S. national tours of “Cabaret,” and has covered that demanding role on Broadway. He’s starred, too, in shows I’ve written expressly for him–“George M. Cohan Tonight!” and “Irving Berlin: In Person.” I love that vibrant voice of his. And he puts across this song’s message with understanding and flair. (My arrangement of this song, incidentally, is based on Paul Whiteman’s infectious original recording with the Rhythm Boys.)

3. “I HATE YOU.” This wonderful, little-known Irving Berlin song, is interpreted here by two of the best singers in New York--Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade–and it’s always a joy to work with them, separately or together. You can clearly hear that they love working together.... When I discovered this obscure Berlin “trunk song”–which was written for a Broadway show and then cut during tryouts and subsequently forgotten–I knew that someday I wanted to get Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade to record a version of it. (They’re both so busy, it’s hard to find a date that works for both of them, but it’s always worth it.) Seth Sikes is the hottest male singer in the nightclubs these days. His shows at New York’s noted supper club Feinstein’s/54 Below sell out quickly. And he’s won fans in club appearances from Provincetown to London. Besides being a singer, he works as a director, off-Broadway and on Broadway–most recently serving as Associate Director on the new Broadway hit, “The Band’s Visit.” (And he previously was Assistant Director on the Broadway show “The Nance.”) Clark Kinkade is a member of the popular vocal group “RANGE a capella,” which has sung everywhere from Radio City Music Hall to the red carpet of the Emmy Awards. (Their recent video of songs from “Hamilton” has gotten more than five million YouTube hits!) Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade are always great fun. You can hear more samples of their work together on such albums of mine as “Irving Berlin Rediscovered” and “The Chip Deffaa Songbook.”

4. “PRETTY BABY” is sung with characteristic earnestness and tonal purity by Dylan Adams.
An invaluable member of my theatrical family, Adams has been featured previously on such albums as “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” and “Irving Berlin Revisited.” (And this fine singing actor has also recently made his debut as theater producer, with his production in New York of the play “Beautiful Traces.”)

I’d like to give you a bit of background on the song, “Pretty Baby.” (And there’s some interesting gay history here.) In its original form, “Pretty Baby” was the sole creation of Tony Jackson (1882-1921), a remarkable African-American singer/songwriter/pianist, hailed by fellow musicians in his native New Orleans as a giant. Singer/songwriter/pianist Jelly Roll Morton–one of the all-time great jazz artists–admired Tony Jackson tremendously, recalling: "He was the outstanding favorite of New Orleans. Tony was considered among all who knew him the greatest single-handed entertainer in the world.”

Morton also recalled, matter-of-factly, that Jackson was gay: “Tony happened to be one of those gentlemens that a lot of people call them ‘lady’ or ‘sissy.’" While still in New Orleans–Jackson’s base up until 1912–Jackson created, and began performing, “Pretty Baby,” which he wrote in homage to his male lover of the time. In 1912. Jackson moved to Chicago, where he lived for the rest of his life. Morton noted that Jackson settled in Chicago, in part, because it was easier for him to live as a gay man there than in New Orleans–as Morton put it, Jackson “liked his kind of diversion and felt more free in Chicago than in his home town.” Jackson entertained at Chicago cafes. “Pretty Baby” was still in his repertoire. When the song was finally published, in revised form, in 1916, Jackson shared songwriting credits with two white songwriting pro’s, Gus Kahn and Egbert Van Alstyne. The song became a huge hit. The original version has been lost to history. But it’s worth remembering that “Pretty Baby” was inspired by a guy that Tony Jackson fell for.

5. “I CAN’T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE” .... Songwriter Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh got the idea for this number when they overheard a poor couple window-shopping at Tiffany’s in NYC. They rushed home and–within an hour--took the words they’d overheard and turned them into this classic song, which was soon introduced in the Broadway show “Blackbirds of 1928.....” Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade –always great together–created their own vocal arrangement of this number in the studio. Kinkade had just returned from doing a musical on the West Coast, and Sikes was busy associate-directing the musical “The Band’s Visit.” We recorded them, after hours, at BeSharp Studios, and I love the passion they brought to the song.

6. “UNTIL I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU” (lyrics and music by Irving Berlin) .... Cody Jordan and John Brady–who sing this cute number--were stars of my show “Mad About the Boy” at the 13th Street Theater in New York City. They were so much fun, separately and together, I’m always happy to work with them. They may be heard on such albums as the “Mad About the Boy” original cast album; “Irving Berlin Rediscovered”; and “The Chip Deffaa Songbook.” I love the chemistry they have together!

7. “GAY LOVE” (lyrics by Sidney Clare, music by Oscar Levant) is sung with continental savoir-faire by Luka Fric. When this song was written in 1929, the word “gay” did not have the meaning for the average person that it has today. But this vintage number certainly works well as the title song for this album. Originally from Slovenia (and recently profiled in “Cosmopolitan” as a rising artist-to-watch), Fric won audiences when he appeared in my show “Mad About the Boy.” He added life and color, too, to “Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic” at the Liberty Theater. His film credits include: “Trip to the Moon,” “It Gets Better,” and “Svet.” He’s featured prominently on our CD, “Mad About the Boy: The Original Cast Album, The 13th Street Theater Production.” And he recently made the first-ever recording of a rare Irving Berlin ballad, “The New Moon,” on our CD “Irving Berlin Revisited.”

8. “KISS YOUR SAILOR BOY GOODBYE” gets an insouciant performance from Jon Peterson, who understands well the music-hall tradition. His good cheer is irresistible! We can easily imagine him as the sailor bidding adieu to a guy he likes. And the association of sea-faring men with same-sex attraction goes way back. The famous quip attributed to Winston Churchill that British Naval traditions consisted of “rum, sodomy, and the lash,” was merely an updated version of a line from the 1800's that British sailors’ interests on ship consisted of “rum, bum, and ‘bacca” (“bum” was British slang for a man’s bottom, and “‘bacca” was short for tobacco).

9. “I'M CRAZY FOR MY BABY IN A UNIFORM” (lyrics and music by Chip Deffaa) .... Bailey Cummings has been an invaluable asset in various projects of mine in recent years. You can hear him on my “Seven Little Foys” cast album. He did the first reading of my musical play “Irving Berlin’s America.” On my album “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” he made the first recording in history of a charming “lost” Berlin song called “Furnishing a Home for Two.” On the “Chip Deffaa Songbook” album, he made the premiere recordings of my songs “Magnetic Waterbury” and “An Ode to Popularity.” And I’m delighted with his bright, true, rendition here of my song “I’m Crazy for My Baby in a Uniform” (from my musical comedy “Theater Boys”). A member of Actors Equity today, Bailey Cummings has impressed me since I first saw him, as a teen, in shows at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School, Darren Farrington’s New Britain Youth Theater, and at the Thomaston Opera House. (He was brilliant, starring in ‘Into the Woods’ with musical-director Marianna Vagnini-Dadamo.) He’s currently studying–and starring in shows like “Steel Pier”–at the University of Utah.

10. “YOU'D BE SO NICE TO COME HOME TO” .... Dave Warren, who sings Cole Porter’s “You’d be So Nice to Come Home To,” has a gorgeous voice. He co-starred in the first production of my musical play “George M.Cohan and Co.” He was also in my original “George M. Cohan Revue” (and may be heard on the cast album). And he’s a standout on the album “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast,” singing Anthony Rapp’s “Just Some Guy.” He’s accompanied on this first-rate performance by Sterling Price McKinney, who’s music-directed several shows for me.

11. “MORE THAN YOU KNOW” (lyrics by Edward Eliscu and Billy Rose, music by Vincent Youmans) gets a heartfelt reading from Peter Charney, who’s been an invaluable member of my theatrical family for a decade or more. Charney originated the role of “Eddie Foy Jr.” in my musical comedy “The Seven Little Foys.” He may be heard on the cast album of that show, as well as on such albums as “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Irving Berlin & Co.,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” and “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities.” He’s also served as Assistant Director on such shows of mine as “Theater Boys” and “Irving Berlin’s America.” I’ve enjoyed seeing him, as an actor, in productions of musicals ranging from “Oliver” to “Fiddler on the Roof.” Charney is currently collaborating with Jack Saleeby (who’s also often worked with me) on a new musical, “Bright and Brave,” which recently had its first staged reading at Dixon Place in NYC.... I’ve long loved “More Than You Know”--one of the all-time great torch songs. And it meant a lot to me that when I won my ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award, it was none other than Edward Eliscu--who co-wrote this enduring song with Vincent Youmans and Billy Rose way back in 1929--who presented the award to me!

12. “YOU'RE SO BEAUTIFUL” is rendered with utter believability by two singers I always love working with--Keith Anderson and Clark Kinkade. Anderson has graced such shows of mine as “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree” and “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue.” Kinkade, who worked alongside Anderson (and Seth Sikes) in the development process of “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree,” also originated the role of Bryan Foy (which I wrote for him) in “The Seven Little Foys,” among other credits. And in this song they capture that sense that many of us have experienced, of feeling very lucky that we’ve found that perfect certain someone--and maybe also feeling that we’re not quite worthy.

13. “HERE”–with lyrics by Jeff Dobbins, music by Alfredo Alvarez (from their musical “Bed, Boys, and Beyond”)– is performed by Keith Anderson and John Tartaglia. And I’m so happy they were available to record this terrific contemporary musical-theater song. Singer/actor Keith Anderson–who’s got about as fine a tenor voice as anyone on the current scene--has done everything from plays, to musicals, to international tours, to the Kennedy Center.
He’s sung “The Star Spangled Banner” for the Cubs, narrated “Billy Idol” for TV’s Biography Channel, and has toured with Perry Como. He may be heard on such albums as “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,” “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Irving Berlin & Co.,” “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast....,” “Fairy Tales,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Theater Boys,” and “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree.”

John Tartaglia–with personality aplenty--is a wonderful performer, whose Broadway credits include “Shrek,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and–most memorably–“Avenue Q.” (Tartaglia was the original star of “Avenue Q.” I first heard him sing Bobby Lopez and Jeff Marx’s songs for that show in BMI Workshop presentations while the show was still being written; I was so impressed with both the singer and the songs, I offered to present the show on a shoestring budget in my theater festival, if the creative team could not find commercial producers; they soon found terrific producers and the rest is history.) The multi-talented Tartaglia has also been an important part of television’s “Sesame Street”; he created the Off-Broadway show “ImaginOcean”; he’s co-starred in the Off-Broadway show “Newsical”; he’s hosted his own radio program (on Sirius XM); and he created and starred in his own TV series (for Disney), “Johnny and the Sprites.”

14. “DO IT AGAIN” (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva, music by George Gershwin) ... Santino Fontana.... These days, every producer seems to want Santino Fontana. I love seeing good, talented people--like Fontana--getting work everywhere. He was the best star of the long-running musical "The Fantasticks" I ever saw. He’s won the Drama Desk Award, the Obie Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award for his work in shows. You can hear him on the soundtrack of “Frozen” (as “Prince Hans”). And, as I write these notes, he’s currently appearing on Broadway in “Hello, Dolly!” In addition, he's just been cast to star in the Broadway-bound musical adaptation of the classic film comedy "Tootsie." He's also been cast as the star of the workshop production of "To Wong Foo..." (based on Douglas Beane's cult-hit film of the same name, which Beane hopes to convert into a Broadway musical). He's just starred in a concert presentation of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" at Symphony Space, produced by David Staller. He’s also just finished making a movie, "Off the Menu." He not only stars in that movie--he and his wife, Jessica Fontana, wrote and performed the opening number. He and his wife, incidentally, co-starred in the Broadway revival of "Cinderella.” And many TV viewers, of course, know him from his work on "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Shades of Blue.” (Busy lad!) I'm delighted to see all of these good things happening for Santino Fontana.

He's always had it! And he works with joy. Even when I first met him--when he was just 17, a smart, well-grounded high-school senior--he just projected something that made me feel: he's going to go far. And I told colleagues then that he had it. I’m very grateful that he’s recorded for me. ( He may also be heard on my albums “The Chip Deffaa Songbook” and “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast, Plus Special Guest Stars.”) I’ve always loved the song “Do it Again.” In my musical comedy “Theater Boys,” I had one character sing this vintage number after his first sexual experience (with a guy he’d been crushing on); the scene always went over very well. I’m delighted that Santino Fontana has recorded this number. I think he’s got the loveliest voice of any of the Broadway leading men his age. I hope he’ll make albums of his own. I’ll buy the first copies!

15. “THE OLD DANCER'S BLUES” ... (lyrics and music by Chip Deffaa) .... This is the first recording of a new song I’ve written for a show in development, and I’m so happy I get to perform it with singer/dancer Tyler DuBoys. None better! Tyler DuBoys, who’s sung and/or danced on such albums of mine as “The Seven Little Foys,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Irving Berlin’s America,” and “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” has worked with me not just as a singer and dancer, he’s also choreographed shows for me. I think the world of this NYU-trained artist. And he’s always fun to work with. While my first love is writing–shows, songs, books–I’ve also always enjoyed performing. I was lucky enough to share stages in my youth with such fine actors as David Hartman, M. Emmett Walsh, and William Devane, and learn vaudeville numbers from a wonderful ex-vaudevillian, Todd Fisher. It’s all good!

16. “HE'S A GOOD MAN TO HAVE AROUND” is the first recording by Magnus Tonning Riise and Jon Peterson. But it won’t be the last; they sound nice together. Peterson is, of course, an established star. Riise, a recent transplant from Norway, has an appealing sound and style of his own. He’s winning fans via appearances in such clubs as Birdland and Feinsteins/54 Below. He may be heard, too, on these albums: “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” and “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities.”

17. “WE HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR” .... Austin Owen–-who’s currently in the hit musical “Jersey Boys” in New York City, and has previously been in the national touring companies of such shows as “Jersey Boys,” “Flashdance,” and “Memphis”--teams with Clark Kinkade for a beautiful duet on Irving Berlin’s “We Have Much to be Thankful For.” They created the vocal arrangement themselves, and their voices sure blend well together. I love the whole vibe about this recording. They sing this enduring love song with great conviction: a couple who fully appreciates the life they have together. And the mutual affection that illuminates this recording is genuine--they’re a committed couple in real life, not just on this recording.

18. “HE MAY BE YOUR MAN, BUT HE COMES TO SEE ME SOMETIMES” is sung by Jon Peterson with the same sort of sly, seductive charm that he’s employed so effectively starring as the Emcee in “Cabaret.” (He’s one of very few performers I’ve seen who’s fully mastered that demanding role.) And he’s quite believable here as the wily “other man.” If you enjoy Jon Peterson’s work–and who wouldn’t?–you can hear more of him on such albums as “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree,” “Skidoo,” “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast...,” “Mad About the Boy: The 13th Street Theater Production,” and the original cast recording of “George M. Cohan Tonight!”

19. “I USED TO LOVE YOU BUT IT'S ALL OVER NOW”–a memorable 1920s heartbreaker by Lew Brown and Albert Von Tilzer–captures perfectly a situation that
we’ve all experienced, at one time or another. For, quite often, love affairs simply don’t work out. Partners may betray one another, or simply walk away; and then there’s that sad realization that it’s ended, and there’s nothing that can be done. I like the wistful feeling that Alec Deland projects, no less than that silvery pure sound that he gets. He and this timeless song are a very good “fit.” Deland has sung on such albums of mine as “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” and “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities.” Currently attending Princeton University, Deland is a member of Princeton’s signature a capella vocal group, the Tigertones, and is busy making his mark in theater, following in the footsteps of Princeton actors from Jimmy Stewart to Stephen Bogardus. I just enjoyed seeing him on stage in “Next to Normal” and look forward to seeing him co-starring, shortly, in “The Last Five Years.”

20. “I WONDER WHERE MY LOVIN' MAN HAS GONE” (by Earle C. Jones, Richard A. Whiting, and Chas. L. Cooke) is one of the best of many 1920s songs dealing with that age-old theme, the man that got away. And Seth Sikes puts this intriguing number across with flair.

21. “MY BUDDY” (by Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson) is sung with care and sympathy by Ellis Gage. This IRNE Award-winning singer/actor starred in the world-premiere production, at Goodspeed Opera House, of “James and the Giant,” with a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. (Not many young people can say they’ve introduced Pasek and Paul songs!) He’s sung at Joe’s Pub in New York City. And has guested on Seth Rudetsky’s radio program. His film/TV credits include “Chasing Life” and “The Earth Rejects Him.” As I type these notes, he’s just finished singing in a Manhattan School of Music showcase. He’s also been busy, of late, recording for me some rare–and never-before-recorded--Irving Berlin songs.

22. “MATELOT” (lyrics and music by Noel Coward) is given a forthright rendition by Timothy Britten (“Toby”) Parker. And it means a lot to me to have him included here.
He’s a fine performer and a valued friend. He's appeared in such important Broadway shows as "Rent," "Runaways," and "Wicked." His New York career began when he and his sister, Sarah Jessica Parker, were picked as kids for the Broadway company of Harold Pinter's production of "The Innocents." Along with his brother, director Pippin Parker, Toby was one of the founding members of the respected Naked Angels Theater Company. I love the truthfulness in his singing. You can hear him on my album “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast, Plus Special Guest Stars.” He gets the very best lines–and executes them with relish--in the title song on that album, Noel Coward’s “Mad About the Boy.” And on this album, Toby Parker is once again interpreting a Noel Coward song. His sound, temperament, and honesty as a performer make him well-suited for Coward’s material.

Coward wrote the song “Matelot” for one of the great loves of his life, Graham Payn, who introduced the song in Coward’s show “Sigh No More.” Payn was both good-looking and likeable. Porter generously wrote excellent songs and roles for him, trying hard for years to make him a star--but Payn, alas, just never had what it takes to become a star.

To Coward’s closest friends, the song “Matelot”–like a number of Coward songs–clearly had homosexual overtones. But Coward wrote with deliberate ambiguity, so you could catch the nuances if you wanted to--or miss them if you preferred to miss them. To a gay listener, a line like “Though you find womankind to be frail, one love cannot fail,” might seem to imply a preference for men. (But if one wanted to imagine that Coward was writing in praise of a mother’s love for her son, one could choose to interpret the lyric that way.) When Coward wrote “Jean Louis Dominic, right or wrong, ever pursued a new love,” to Coward’s friends that sounded a good bit like Coward (and like many of them)--so often on the prowl for new male sexual partners. The overtones seemed to be there, if you wanted to catch them. And when they watched the number sung by Coward’s beloved Payn–who was not the greatest performer, but was strikingly good-looking in the snugly-tailored sailor suit that Coward had chosen to show him off to best advantage–Coward’s friends had no trouble catching the overtones.

23. “SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR” was jointly credited to Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington when it was first published (and recorded by Ellington) in 1939. The first of many collaborations between Strayhorn and Ellington, the song was based on a poem that Strayhorn, who was gay, had written as a teenager. And one can hear within this haunting song a gay youth’s hopes and concerns. (It really is a great song, and it speaks to many of us, gay or straight. Ella Fitzgerald said it was her all-time favorite song.) I’m including “Something to Live For”–which I love--as a tribute to Strayhorn, one of the master composers/arrangers in jazz. He and Ellington formed such a tight musical partnership, they said that they really couldn’t explain who had contributed what to the music they created together. (Ellington, I might add, was straight. But there was such a strong bond between Ellington and Strayhorn that some of Ellington’s musicians were not surprised when they once happened to find the two men in bed together. Mercer Ellington, Duke’s son, told me that Billy Strayhorn was closer to Duke Ellington than Mercer ever was.)

Baby Jane Dexter, who sings this number with deep feeling, is one of the most honored singers in the world of cabaret. She’s won all of the top awards–the Bistro Award, the Nightlife Award, and–many times--the MAC Award. She has a loyal following that supports her club and concert appearances, and buys her albums. She rarely appears in other people’s shows; she’s simply
too busy doing shows of her own and making recordings of her own. I was honored that she accepted my invitation to be in the cast of the first production of my show “Mad About the Boy.” She puts her own stamp on anything she sings. And, boy, I just love her! She’s a standout on our cast album, “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast, Plus Special Guest Stars.” And I’m glad she’s agreed to record her version of this classic Strayhorn/Ellington song, so that
we can also include her on this album. Baby Jane Dexter is a powerful artist.

24. “MASKULINUM-FEMININUM” (by Marcellus Schiffer and Mischa Spoliansky) is an unusual, little-known love-story-in-song from Weimar Germany. It’s not a “gay song” per se, but it deals with issues of masculinity and femininity, and gender stereotypes, which might be considered related topics; so I’m willing to bend the rules a bit to include it. (I’‘m sure many people today will be surprised to know that such contemporary topics were being addressed in early 1930s German cabarets.) The singer is Kristy Cates, who’s added life to such big Broadway musicals as “Wicked,” “Finding Neverland,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Oh! I love that beautifully centered soprano voice of hers! She’s a fierce performer. And her diction is impeccable. No one in the audience ever misses a word when Kristy Cates is on stage. She was in the first production of my show “Mad About the Boy,” and may be heard on our cast album, “Mad About the Boy: the Festival Cast, Plus Special Guest Stars.” (Check out her terrific rendition of “Lavender Nights” on that album. No one could ever do that song better!) I’m delighted to be able to present her here, too. I’d never turn down a chance to record Kristy Cates singing anything!

25. “I LOVED HIM BUT HE DIDN'T LOVE ME” This exquisite Cole Porter song–and Porter certainly knew well these bittersweet sentiments--is sung with characteristic feeling and sensitivity by Tom Andersen. One of our most respected cabaret artists, Andersen--who refers to himself as a “saloon singer”--has won five MAC Awards, the New York Nightlife Award, the Bistro Award, and the San Francisco Cable Car Award. A resident of NYC, Andersen has sung in clubs, cabarets and theaters across the country. He’s also a successful songwriter, whose songs have been recorded by such artists as John Davidson, David Campbell, and Staci Sullivan. His CD’s include “Far Away Places,” “The Journey,” and “Who Knows.” If I offer you a ride in my car, you may find that we’re listening to recordings of Andersen. He’s a terrific artist, with a gentle, far-away sound uniquely his own.

26. “I'D RATHER BE BLUE OVER YOU” was written in 1928 by Billy Rose, in collaboration with Fred Fisher, for Rose’s then-wife, the legendary entertainer Fanny Brice. She recorded it successfully for Victor and sang it in the motion picture “My Man.” Barbra Streisand sang it in the film biography of Brice, “Funny Girl” (produced by Brice’s son-in-law, Ray Stark). It’s a wonderfully torchy ‘20s song. I knew Seth Sikes could sing it with gusto. And pianist Richard Danley played this number from memory!

27. “OLD FRIENDS” gets a thoughtful reading from Lee Roy Reams (accompanied on piano by Alex Rybeck). Reams is Broadway royalty. I’ve been enjoying Reams’ work on stage all of my life. He’s graced such Broadway productions as “Sweet Charity," "Oklahoma," "Applause," "Lorelei," "Hello Dolly!," "42nd Street," "La Cage Aux Folles," "Beauty and the Beast," and "The Producers." He directs, as well. (He was not only featured in Carol Channing’s last Broadway revival of "Hello, Dolly!,” he directed it, too.) And his well-paced, carefully structured nightclub acts should be required viewing for all aspiring performers. I asked Lee Roy if he might pick a number he’d like to record for an album with a “gay love” theme. He chose Stephen Sondheim’s reflective “Old Friends” (from the musical “Merrily We Roll Along”). I wouldn’t have thought of it, but it works brilliantly, and he brings a lifetime of experience to his performance. It’s always an honor to get Lee Roy Reams into the recording studio.

28. “I'LL FOLLOW MY SECRET HEART” (words and music by Noel Coward) ... Stephen Bogardus. A superb song interpreted by a superb singer. “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart” is such a fine number, I would not give it to just “any” singer. And Stephen Bogardus does such a terrific job with this song, he gets to close this album. Bogardus has given memorable performances in many Broadway shows, including “Bright Star,” “White Christmas,” “Old Acquaintance,” “Man of La Mancha,” “James Joyce’s The Dead,” “High Society,” “King David,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” “Falsettos,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Safe Sex,” “Les Misérables,” and “West Side Story.” I’ve always loved Bogardus’ honest, heartfelt work. He enhances any show he’s in. Long before I saw him starring in shows on Broadway or making guest appearances on TV dramas, I was impressed with his work. I can close my eyes and still see him, at the tender age of 19, running about the stage at Princeton University, starring in the student musical production “Mugs Money.” He was already a standout even then–a solid performer-- and he’s grown in depth in the years since.

I’d never turn down a chance to record Stephen Bogardus. Check out, if you can, his thoughtful rendition of “How Can I Forget?”–a never-before-recorded Irving Berlin ballad--on my album “Irving Berlin Rediscovered.” And I certainly hope to include him on additional albums.
I count my blessings when I get to work with singing actors of this caliber.

--CHIP DEFFAA
February 2018

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CHIP DEFFAA (producer/writer) is the author of 16 published plays and eight published books, and the producer of 24 albums. For 18 years he covered entertainment, including music and theater, for The New York Post. In his youth, he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is a graduate of Princeton University and a trustee of the Princeton "Tiger" magazine. He wrote and directed such Off-Broadway successes as "George M. Cohan Tonight!" and "One Night with Fanny Brice." His shows have been performed everywhere from London to Edinburgh, to Seoul. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, NARAS, and ASCAP. He’s won the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award, the IRNE Award, and a New Jersey Press Association Award. Please visit: www.chipdeffaa.com.

RICHARD DANLEY (music director/pianist) is Chip Deffaa's first choice among music directors and has worked on many shows and/or albums of Deffaa's, including "Irving Berlin's America," “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,” "One Night with Fanny Brice," "The Seven Little Foys," "George M. Cohan Tonight!," “Mad About the Boy,” “Irving Berlin: In Person,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” and "Theater Boys." Danley has performed everywhere from daytime dramas on television, to cruise ships, to clubs, to Carnegie Hall. He is on the faculty of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA).

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Playwright/director/producer Chip Deffaa is represented by The Fifi Oscard Agency (attention: Peter Sawyer, President), New York City; Email: psawyer@fifioscard.com, tel. (212) 764-1100.

For additional information on any of Deffaa’s shows, please feel free to contact Chip Deffaa Productions LLC, 50 Quartz Lane, Paterson, NJ 07501-3345, telephone: 973-684-3340; Email: Footloose518@aol.com; www.chipdeffaa.com.

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Our thanks for the help provided, in various ways, by Carol Channing, Jonah Barricklo, Matthew Broderick, Erich Schuett, Alejandro de la Garza, Giuseppe Bausilio, Oscar Williams, Betty Buckley, Jack Corbin, Emily Bordonaro, Jeff Sewell, Michael Kasper, Jeremiah Cruz, Jed Peterson, Yunis Alibrahimi, Adam Barki, Deborah Deffaa, Max Deffaa, Louis Deffaa Sr., C. Hernandez, Josh Schaller, Ava Schaller, Logan Saby, Lawson Saby, Victor Calatayud, Adrian Carbajal, Brick Greenbean, M. Jmhour, and Prince Julius Taibor. Public relations assistance by Ibby, Abraheem, and Cinnamon Abdelhaq. Music preparation by Donald Brown and Richard Danley; graphic design by Frank Avellino; all work completed for Chip Deffaa on a work-made-for-hire basis.


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Chip Deffaa’s “Gay Love” (p) and © 2018 by Chip Deffaa.

If you’ve enjoyed this album, you might also enjoy these 20 other Chip Deffaa albums (available from Amazon.com, CDBaby.com, iTunes, etc.) “Mad About the Boy: 13th Street Theater Production,” “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Songbook: Rare and Unrecorded Songs,” “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,” “George M. Cohan Tonight!,” “Irving Berlin’s America,” “One Night with Fanny Brice,” Irving Berlin: In Person,” “The Seven Little Foys” “Theater Boys,” “Presenting Fanny Brice,” “George M. Cohan: In his Own Words,”“The George M. Cohan Revue,”Irving Berlin & Co.,” “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree,” “George M. Cohan: Rare Original Recordings.”

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Chip Deffaa's GAY LOVE

with an all-star New York cast...

Seth Sikes, Stephen Bogardus, Lee Roy Reams, Santino Fontana, Jon Peterson,
John Tartaglia, Timothy Britten Parker, Keith Anderson, Clark Kinkade,
Kristy Cates, Baby Jane Dexter, Trent Armand Kendall, Chip Deffaa,
Tom Andersen, Bailey Cummings, Peter Charney, Tyler DuBoys,
Magnus Tonning Riise, Austin Owen, Alec Deland, Ellis Gage,
Dave Warren, Dylan Adams, Luka Fric,
John Brady, Cody Jordan

Produced by CHIP DEFFAA; Musical Director: RICHARD DANLEY

Associate Producers: Matt Nardozzi, Steve Garrin; Recording engineer: Slau Halatyn
Music preparation by Donald Brown, Richard Danley; Historical consultant: Jessee D. Riehl
Assistants to the Producer: Sukhee Jun, Max Galassi, International advisors: Gabriel Beer, Byeong hyo Son Graphic Design: Frank Avellino/Logo Your Show; Aides-de-camp: Max Beer; Michael Herwitz

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Chip Deffaa’s GAY LOVE CDP ES 0804

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Chip Deffaa's

GAY LOVE

Twenty-eight songs of love, loss, and longing,
performed by an all-star New York cast...

Seth Sikes, Stephen Bogardus, Lee Roy Reams, Santino Fontana, Jon Peterson,
John Tartaglia, Timothy Britten Parker, Keith Anderson, Clark Kinkade,
Kristy Cates, Baby Jane Dexter, Trent Armand Kendall, Chip Deffaa,
Tom Andersen, Bailey Cummings, Peter Charney, Tyler DuBoys,
Magnus Tonning Riise, Austin Owen, Alec Deland, Ellis Gage,
Dave Warren, Dylan Adams, Luka Fric,
John Brady, Cody Jordan

Produced by CHIP DEFFAA; Musical Director: RICHARD DANLEY
Associate producers: Steve Garrin, Matt Nardozzi


Chip Deffaa Productions
Garret Mountain Records CDP ES 0315
“Chip Deffaa’s Gay Love” (P) and © 2018 by Chip Deffaa

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Chip Deffaa’s GAY LOVE -- Musical Numbers...

(Richard Danley is the music director/pianist on most of the tracks; Mark Goodman, D. Jay Bradley, Sterling Price-McKinney, Alex Rybeck, and others play on select tracks.)

1. “A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND” (lyrics and music by Eddie Green) ... Trent Armand Kendall

2. “THERE AIN'T NO SWEET MAN THAT’S WORTH THE SALT OF MY TEARS” (lyrics and music by Fred Fisher) ... Jon Peterson

3. “I HATE YOU” (lyrics and music by Irving Berlin) ... Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade

4. “PRETTY BABY” (lyrics by Gus Kahn, music by Tony Jackson and Egbert Van Alstyne) ... Dylan Adams

5. “I CAN'T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE” (lyrics by Dorothy Fields, music by Jimmy McHugh) ... Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade

6. “UNTIL I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU” (lyrics and music by Irving Berlin) ... Cody Jordan and John Brady

7. “GAY LOVE” (lyrics by Sidney Clare, music by Oscar Levant) ... Luka Fric

8. “KISS YOUR SAILOR BOY GOODBYE” (lyrics and music by Irving Berlin) ... Jon Peterson

9. “I'M CRAZY FOR MY BABY IN A UNIFORM” (lyrics and music by Chip Deffaa) ... Bailey Cummings (with tap-dancing by Rayna Hirt)

10. “YOU'D BE SO NICE TO COME HOME TO” (lyrics and music by Cole Porter) ... Dave Warren

11. “MORE THAN YOU KNOW” (lyrics by Edward Eliscu and Billy Rose, music by Vincent Youmans) ... Peter Charney

12. “YOU'RE SO BEAUTIFUL” ... (lyrics and music by Irving Berlin) ... Clark Kinkade and Keith Anderson

13. “HERE” (lyrics by Jeff Dobbins, music by Alfredo Alvarez) ... Keith Anderson and John Tartaglia

14. “DO IT AGAIN” (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva, music by George Gershwin) ... Santino Fontana

15. “THE OLD DANCER'S BLUES” ... (lyrics and music by Chip Deffaa) ... Chip Deffaa and Tyler DuBoys (with tap-dancing by Tyler DuBoys)

16. “HE'S A GOOD MAN TO HAVE AROUND” (lyrics by Jack Yellen, music by Milton Ager) ... Magnus Tonning Riise and Jon Peterson

17. “WE HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR” ... (lyrics and music by Irving Berlin) ... Clark Kinkade and Austin Owen

18. “HE MAY BE YOUR MAN, BUT HE COMES TO SEE ME SOMETIMES” (lyrics and music by Lemuel Fowler) ... Jon Peterson

19. “I USED TO LOVE YOU BUT IT'S ALL OVER NOW” (lyrics by Lew Brown, music by Albert Von Tilzer) ... Alec Deland.

20. “I WONDER WHERE MY LOVIN' MAN HAS GONE” (lyrics by Earle C. Jones, music by Richard A. Whiting and Chas. L. Cooke) ... Seth Sikes

21. “MY BUDDY” (lyrics by Gus Kahn, music by Walter Donaldson) ... Ellis Gage

22. “MATELOT” (lyrics and music by Noel Coward) ... Timothy Britten Parker

23. “SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR” (lyrics and music by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn) ... Baby Jane Dexter

24. MASKULINUM-FEMININUM (original German lyrics by Marcellus Schiffer, music by Mischa Spoliansky; English lyrics by Jeremy Lawrence) ... Kristy Cates

25. “I LOVED HIM BUT HE DIDN'T LOVE ME” (lyrics and music by Cole Porter) ... Tom Andersen

26. “I'D RATHER BE BLUE OVER YOU” (lyrics by Billy Rose, music by Fred Fisher) ... Seth Sikes

27. “OLD FRIENDS” (lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim) ... Lee Roy Reams

28. “I'LL FOLLOW MY SECRET HEART” (words and music by Noel Coward) ... Stephen Bogardus

This album is dedicated by the producer–with admiration, appreciation, and respect–to the wonderful John Tartaglia, whose heart is as big as his talent....

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