Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Worth Another Listen - Sylvester

Sylvester Sylvester

Sylvester was the Grand Dame of Disco, and few would even try to compete. The bitch could sing, and out drag anyone. She was wicked, gorgeous and talented, and there wasn't anyone who could tell her any differently. She was spectacular at a time when no drag queen was supposed to be.

Sylvester Sylvester Sylvester

Sylvester worked with a San Francisco based group called the Cockettes, described as a psychedelic drag troupe, a flamboyant group of hippies. She was part of the group in the early 70s, and usually performed Bessie Smith songs. Soon, Sylvester went out solo, and released the first album in 1973. In 1978, Sylvester released You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) which was a smash hit. Do You Wanna Funk followed it with another hit, and was featured in a movie I posted about - Longtime Companion.

Of course, who could miss the double entendre of a drag queen singing about feeling mighty real? How fierce was that!

Sylvester Sylvester Sylvester

Although I was never lucky enough to catch a live performance, they are legend in their greatness. One song Sylvester often performed was You Are My Friend, a ballad. Due to corporate issues, I couldn't find any copy but this one, with a slide show of pictures with the live audio.

Sylvester left us way too soon. He passed on December 16, 1988, following a battle with AIDS. But she was one drag queen who paved the way for so many to come, like Boy George, Pete Burns, RuPaul and others. And how about the boy songbirds with a falsetto, like Jimmy Sommerville, or even str8 boys Robin Thicke? Without those 41 years on this planet, who knows what the LGBT landscape would look like. Thank you, Sylvester.


  1. A fitting tribute to an amazing performer Howard!

  2. Sylvester definitely paved the way for so many trannies and drag queens to go main stream with their talents. Even thought Sylvester was before my time, I'm a huge fan. And I love that part of the movie with Do you wanna funk. One of my favorites!

  3. Kyle, thank you, I would only hope to do right by Sylvester.

    Mistress, not quite before my time, but no matter the time, Sylvester was fierce!



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