Gay Pride in the 1970’s: Two Reminiscences

 

Greenwich Village, New York City, 1969. Three-days of rioting of thousands of gay men and women against police harassment sparked the modern gay liberation rights movement. The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, a popular gay bar, was frequently raided by police. On June 28, New York police arrived to rough up customers and make arrests. Sick of police brutality a mixed crowd of black and white drag queens and gay men and women fought back. Police called up aggressive riot squads as fighting spread onto the streets, further incensing crowds and leading to three days of rioting.  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/timeline/stonewall/

In those years, gay men and women were considered sexual deviants and many states had laws that prohibited public displays, such as kissing and dancing.

In less than a month, the Gay Liberation Front was founded.

The six-color rainbow flag has become  widely adopted as asymbol of the gay pride movement.

The rainbow flag was designed by Vietnam vet Gilbert Baker as part of Harvey Milk’s successful campaign, to become San Francisco’s first openly gay political official. The flag has globally adopted by gay people to symbolize acceptance and diversity.

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/26/meet-gilbert-baker-the-man-who-invented-the-gay-pride-rainbow-flag/

1970 San Francisco “Christopher Street Liberation Day Gay-In”

In June 28, 1970, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles held gay pride events commemorating the Stonewall riots. In San Francisco, it was called “The Christopher Street Liberation Day Gay-In” and was held in Golden Gate Park’s Speedway Meadows.

My husband Walter and Barret Bassick, partners in a sound reinforcement company called White Noise Sound, were hired to provide the sound. As they set-up and tore down an array of speakers, amplifiers and microphones, Walt and Barret would play rock ‘n roll tapes.

At the end of the gay-in, Walt put on a tape of Frank Zappa songs. As the crowd dispersed, Barrett started breaking down microphone stands and coiling wires, while Walter was at the mixing scaffold in front of the stage tearing down amps. But when Zappa’s tune “Dynamo Hum” started playing over the loudspeakers, some of the lesbians became enraged and began to rush the scaffold. (https://www.justsomelyrics.com/763646/frank-zappa-dynamo-hum-lyrics.html)

Barret turned the system to feedback, a particularly invasive screech. Walter, turned his back on the women, dropped his pants and mooned them. Rage was defused by surprise and laughter.

What happened 20 years later provided the story’s cap. Walter was attending a large audio manufacturing convention in Anaheim and went out to dinner with an audio engineering buddy on the refurbished Queen Mary restaurant on the Long Beach pier.

During dinner, the waiter appeared with what Walter describes as an ‘upper shelf’ bottle of wine. “Compliments of one of our guests,” the waiter said.

“I cannot accept the wine without knowing who gave it to me,” said Walter. The waiter pointed out a middle-aged couple. Walter walked over to their table, “I’d love to know why you are presenting me with such a nice bottle of wine.”

“Aren’t you the guy who mooned the audience at the 1970 gay-in at Golden Gate Park?” asked the man.

When Walt said yes, the man turned to his wife and said, “See honey, I told you I could remember a pretty face as well as a pretty ass.”

First National Women’s Music Festival

In 1974, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at the first National Women’s Music Festival that was held on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign–Urbana. A few thousand women, the majority lesbians, gathered to celebreate women’s culture. Cris Williamson, Meg Christian and Margie Adam, music icons of the feminist movement, were featured performers.

In 1974, I had quit Fillmore Management and had begun to promote making and selling records outside of the major label industry. Indie labels began sprouting. Olivia Records was the first feminist label, and Cris Williamson’s record, “The Changer and the Changed” sold over a million copies. www.criswilliamson.com

As an aside, I had admired Cris’ music for many years as my former boyfriend managed her, got her a record deal with the Ampex label, and in 1972, released a lovely album produced by Al Brown. The funk-rock band Mandrill and Lena Horne’s album, “Nature’s Baby,” were also produced by Brown.

Other gold-record artists from indie labels of the seventies included blue grass mandolin artist David Grisman (Acoustic Disc) and rock musician George Thorogood (Rounder Records). Their successes helped prove the viability of indie recording and inspired hundreds of thousands of musicians.

Two endearing memories remain from that festival. First was the pure joy of the women in being able to freely and openly gather, hold hands, dance, sing and fall in love. Much of the audience sang along with the performers and the auditorium turned into a gospel-like church music fest. I experienced a similar feeling in 2010 at a Grateful Dead concert in Denver attended by fifteen thousand, where people held hands and sang the songs as though they were anthems.

The second memory was of an older man, not particularly attractive, that was employed by the university to provide sound and lights for events. When I first introduced myself to him, he angry and afraid to be around such a huge gathering of lesbians. By the festival’s end, he talked to me about the warmth and graciousness of the women.

In that same year, I began producing the Coyote Hooker’s Masquerade Ball for Margo St. James, a fundraiser for equal treatment of women incarcerated for sex crimes. She invited gay men and women, bisexuals, drag queens, sex workers and other minorities who felt discriminated against. (Subject of future blog)

Legalization of Same Sex Marriage

Forty-five years later, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state bans against same sex marriage and declared the Constitution protects the right of same sex couples to marry. Four days later, jubilant gay men and woman around the world celebrated Gay Pride Day.

Gay Pride Day 2013 in Amsterdam.

Colorful floats in Amsterdam on Gay Pride Day 2013

Although the ruling is cause for great celebration, stigma against gay men and women remains within many families and religious institutions. After the ruling, religious and political leaders threatened to disobey the law.

Fox News  granted an exclusive interview with Franklin Graham, a prominent white evangelist who believes homosexuality is a sin against God. “I believe God could bring judgment upon America…You better be ready and you better be prepared because it’s coming. . .There will be persecution of Christians for our stand [against gay marriage].” http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/06/28/exclusive-franklin-graham-warns-gay-marriage-ruling-will-lead-christian-persecution

How very sad that prejudices against gay men and women, and non-white racial groups, such as blacks and Muslims continues, to foment hatred and fuel violence in a country that was founded on principles of religious freedom.

Even sadder that these prejudices, and the media appetite for them, distracts so many away from focusing on such major issues as climate turmoil, over-population, and increased impoverishment of poor people.

The antidote: practice of the Christian principles of love, forgiveness and treatment of others as equals. And perhaps two that are most associated with Buddhism: kindness and compassion.

Teaching Business to Musicians: Folly or Inspiration

Never did I imagine that my dream of earning a PhD in Renaissance Literature and teaching career would be eclipsed by the entertainment industry. In 1969, Bill Graham’s Fillmore Management in San Francisco hired me as the go-to-artist’s manager for acoustic singer songwriters signed to his company and, for a brief period, the Pointer Sisters.

The first months on the job were the perfect anarchist university. No structured courses, no schedule, no time clocks and no rules. Not only did I not know what I did not know, the knowledge I eventually acquired would squeeze me emotionally and negatively affect the talented musicians I had pledged to help.

From the first time I saw the jazz/folk duo of Barbara Mauritz and Bob Swanson was at the Inn of the Beginning in Cotati, CA in 1969, they captivated my heart.

Sign of change was one of Lamb's finest album, a work of magical originality..

A Sign of Change, a work of magical originality, was Lamb’s first album, produced by Walter Rapaport and David Rubinson for Fillmore Records.

They were unlike any folk or jazz duo I had ever heard. Barbara’s eclectic, full-range voice wove in an out of Bob’s guitar riffs like an ornate tapestry, full of magic and surprise. But in 1972, Barbara fell prey to a producer that convinced her that singing rock standards would make her a star. She brooked no contrary advice from Bill Graham or myself, turned her back on Bob, made a terrible album, and disappeared like a shooting star. Bob never touched his guitar again.

Singer/songwriter Pamela Polland was caught in a tsunami of scandal which began in 1973 when Columbia Records fired its president, alleging that he had embezzled $93,000 for his son’s bar mitzvah. That unleashed a probe into illegal record company practices that lasted two years. Only one person was convicted, a paunchy, bespeckled who pimped women and drugs for record convention attendees. Pamela’s contract with Columbia foundered. Fortunately, she spent her recording advance on a down payment for a Mill Valley home that was later worth enough to allow her to move to Hawaii and become a vocal coach. www.pamelapolland.com

Cover of Pamela Polland’s first album for CBS Records. She was signed by Clive Davis, who loved her songs and music. When I flew back to play Clive her second album, produced by Gus Dudgeon (who produced Elton John), he stonewalled it. Not two weeks later, the New York Times lead story was about Clive Davis’ embezzlement of money from CBS, a story that included fraud, payola and ties to crime syndicates. The record was never released.

Cover of Pamela Polland’s first album for CBS Records. She was signed by Clive Davis, who loved her songs and music. When I flew back to play Clive her second album, produced by Gus Dudgeon (who produced Elton John), he stonewalled it. Not two weeks later, the New York Times lead story was about Clive Davis’ embezzlement of money from CBS, a story that included fraud, payola and ties to crime syndicates. The record was never released.

Producer David Rubinson flew the Pointer sisters to San Francisco for an audition after hearing them sing on the phone. When they got there, he immediately signed them to Fillmore Records and Fillmore Records. During the first year, they were close to indigent. I found them a walk-up apartment in a run-down neighborhood and got them food stamps and welfare. Rubinson got them jobs as session musicians for groups that he produced. I commiserated with them when they were discouraged.

Cover of The Pointer Sisters first album produced byDavid Rubinson,

Cover of The Pointer Sisters first album produced by David Rubinson,

Just a few years later, Rubinson resigned from Fillmore Records and persuaded the Pointer Sisters to quit Graham’s Fillmore Management and join his new company, promising them fame and fortune. I was offered a lucrative salary for the go-to-manager’s job. I refused. The new manager/producer catapulted their new recording with Atlantic Records into gold record status by shipping a million records to stores. When royalty statements showed that over 900,000 records were returned unsold, the Pointer Sisters fired him, threatening to sue.

I quit Fillmore Management. I had quite enough of predatory practices and corruption.

When I started teaching business to musicians, I imagined myself a templar knight crusading to give musicians weapons to survive and thrive. I would help them combat their inbred-conditioning that they should not sully their hands with money and trust their careers to others.

My friends, and many professional peers, called my crusade a folly.

I presented some of the first music business workshops and classes in the country and tried to persuade universities to offer at least one or two classes in contracts and copyright to music majors.

I started a magazine, Music Works: A Manual for Musicians, which combined practical information about contracts with interviews of people working in the industry. In 1979, Putnam published my first book, How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording, a detailed blueprint in how to record and market records independently of major labels. Gracious reviews appeared in The New York Times, Mother Earth News, and The Next Whole Earth Catalog.

How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording had five revisions and sold 250,000 copies

How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording was called the “bible” of indie recording.

Twenty years later, my book sold over 250,000 copies and went through five revisions. Legions of tens of thousands released indie recordings and captured 17% market share from the major labels, without any one band dominating. Genres of music commonly ignored by major labels were thriving, including bluegrass, folk, Tex-Mex, reggae, acoustic instrumental, new age, feminist, roots and blues.

More than fifty universities offered music business and technology degrees and with them, dozens of new music business and technology textbooks.

But it was a little heralded workshop that showed me how strongly musicians had adopted the “folly” of learning business. The workshop was presented at a Folk Music Alliance conference by an indie folk duo called Small Potatoes that toured coffee houses and folk festivals throughout the U.S. Some fifty aspiring musicians listened to them explain “How to Make a Business Plan.” www.smallpotatoes.com

Yup. Musicians teaching business to other musicians.

Home Tour Jerome, Arizona 2015

Visitors to the Jerome Home Tour will find more than homes to delight the senses. Spring is full of magic and surprise in Jerome, AZ. Abundant rains during the winter and early spring have left the  town and the hills  covered in blooms—roses of every color, including  vivid purple, and huge cascades of Lady Bank roses. Thousands of trees have been planted by residents, giving the town a feeling of a village set into an arboretum. (Jeromehometour.com)

Fantasy garden in Jerome AZ.

Karen calls this her Jerome AZ fantasy garden. I call it the garden of magic and surprise. lovely Lady Bank roses cascade up the large tree. The peace sign, barely visible to the right, is lit at night. Photo by Karen Mackenzie

Just outside of town on Perkinsville Road above the Gold King Mine are Agave parryi, which should now be holding their candles of flame, and bushes of the wild blooming Cliff Rose.

Candles of fire: Agave parryi in bloom.

The flowering candelabras of the Agave parryi hold dozens of candles of fire.

Walkers will be enchanted by staircases that climb to nowhere, gussied up pink flamingos, the body of a 1951 Chrysler New Yorker floating on a pedestal adjacent to the New State Motor Company, an old dental chair planted on a hillside, old tin garages.

ANd old dental chair planted in the grass, Jerome AZ

An old dental chair planted on the hillside in Jerome AZ. Photo by Bob Swanson (www.swansonimages.com)

All this against stupendous backdrops of craggy copper-colored canyons above Jerome or the panoramic views down and across the Verde Valley to the carmine and buff buttes, which form the ramparts known as the Mogollon Rim. The lighting effects produced by clouds in any kind of weather are magnetic.

Late afternoon in Jerome AZ

Views from Jerome AZ are stupendous, especially when their are storm clouds.Photo by Ron Chilston (www.ron-chilstonartistwebsites.com

It is difficult to imagine that in 1953, Jerome and the surrounding mountains were denuded of vegetation. No wonder the town felt like a ghost town for quite some time, even though it never was one.

The ghost town was an invention of the Jerome Historical Society as a way of encouraging tourism in the nineteen fifties and sixties.

The Spooks of the Jerome, Arizona Historical Society

Jerome ‘Spooks’ on Main Street, Jerome, Arizona in the nineteen fifties. Members of the Jerome Historical Society dressed themselves as spooks to help publicize the town as a ghost city. Courtesy Jerome HIstorical Society.

From 1953-1973. Jerome was a village that 220-300 people lived in, with perhaps 100 houses and maybe eight buildings that weren’t being lived in. The high school, with the exception of a few years, was still operating in 1972. If you stayed in Jerome after the fifties, you kept up your house as much as you could. The houses that were not lived—such as those on Company Hill— in deteriorated pretty fast. And the big problem that emerged with advertising Jerome as a ghost town was that many tourists became predators who thought they somehow entitled to the ‘leavings.’ They would wander into houses that obviously looked lived in and become entirely surprised to find someone quite offended.

Today, the mining history of this once fabled city is everywhere present fabulously preserved and restored into an architectural showcase. Ore carts and other mining memorabilia are part of Jerome’s parks. Just up from the post office on Main Street, are the elegant and lovingly restored Victorian houses, built by William Andrews Clark, the mining mogul reputed to be richer than Rockefeller.

DeCamp House

The DeCamp house on Company Hill in Jerome AZ. It sits on the edge of Paradise Lane. Illustration by Anne Bassett (www.jeromeartistannebassett.com/

The white Douglas Mansion, the largest adobe brick structure in Arizona, once belonged to Jimmy Douglas, the second wealthiest mining mogul in Jerome, AZ. The mansion is now a meticulously cared for State Park and museum. Nearby, the Daisy Hotel, once a miner’s hotel, and, after the fifties, an informal child’s skateboard and hide and seek playground, is now a handsomely restored home for its owners. The old hospital has become the Grand Hotel with its gracious maroon awnings. The Mingus Union High School complex is crammed full of remarkable art studios. The old elementary school houses town hall, offices and public library.

Art studios abound in the old Mingus Union High School

What used to be a high school is not an art focal point in Jerome AZ. Photo by Bob Swanson (Swansonimages.com)

But the real aficionados of Jerome’s aesthetics know its most stunning architectural treasures are its retaining walls. Many are works of art.

Walls in Jerome Town park

Walls in Jerome’s town park are made from Tapeats sandstone, quarried just outside of town. Photo by Bob Swanson, Swanson images.com

Fifteen hundred retaining walls and fifteen hundred feet of elevation separate the house known as the Eagle’s Nest at the entrance into Jerome AZ from Prescott to its lowest residences—a couple of twisty miles as you follow the highway through town. Some of the old cobble streets still remain.

Some of my favorites use bedsprings and old car engine blocks, woodstove doors, corrugated tin, pipes, 25-gallon laundry buckets, and discarded refrigerators filled with stones and discarded tires. Old timers knew the term recycling long before it became fashionable.

Laundry bucket walls of Jerome AZ

I love all the quirky walls, though many have been replaced with ones built with sandstone and limestone. Here’s one built with tires and laundry buckets. Photo by Bob Swanson (SwansonImages.com)

One of my favorite houses on Jerome Home Tour this year is the late Paul Nonnast’s first home—built entirely by hand using a plumb bob, wheelbarrow, shovels and a pick ax.

Nonnast home JErome, AZ

Nonnast gathered the stones for this hand-built home in hills surrounding Jerome.

Here is Paul’s ‘arrival’ tale from my book, Home Sweet Jerome: Death and Rebirth of Arizona’s Richest Copper Mining City (www.homesweetjerome.net “When I came to this place for the first time, I got hit in my solar plexus. There was as sense of nostalgia and some latent memory having seen it before. A poignant deja vu. I remember standing at the post office and looking up to the warehouse and my solar plexus was yawning open, with no rational reason why but it seemed a pretty profound response to being here…”

Woven into all Jerome’s walls are the hearts of the people who built and repaired them, binding them to one another, bridging generations and ethnicities. It’s what gives the town such great heart and charm.

After more than sixty years of restoration, the derelict town that Jerome AZ became after 1953 is gone. It is arguably the most photographed and painted town in America. It gets my vote for the loveliest town in America.

Fall in JErome by Mark Hembleben

Mark Hemleben, Jerome plein aire artist, captures the beauty of Jerome in Fall. Visit his studio in the old Mingus High School.www.markhemleben.com/

Climate Turmoil in Harney County: Musings on Earth Day 2015

Last night, the Harney County Watershed Council welcomed me as a new board memberThis morning I finished reading H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, which ends with one of the loveliest sentences I have read in a long time, “Over the bright horizon the sky swam like water.” Skies in Harney County are often like that. When I moved here from Jerome AZ, their bright horizons seemed a beacon pointing me towards a new incarnation. After eight years, I am still confused, roaming in a huge swath of air and trying to piece together what life in an era of climate turmoil is all about.

I heard a presentation from a scientist proposing to do a $100,000 and upwards study of the interaction between upland and lowland juniper trees and water recharge in predominantly closed lava basins. This was followed by one of our county commissioners talking about the necessity for a forum on groundwater that could address angry explosions from ranchers about why applications for new wells are being turned down. This in a county where drought has been declared official by the state of Oregon and where wells are increasingly having to be dug deeper or have become altogether dry. As a visitor to this board a few months ago, I learned that conservation is a dirty word for am residents here.  I know better than to use the words, “climate change.”  They invoke an a spurt of anger that shuts down conversation.

Tens of thousands of Ross’ (snow) geese and Sandhill cranes have stopped over in the large wetlands here during their annual spring migration.

Ross' Geese

Ross’ geese by the tens of thousands crowd fields and ponds during their annual Spring migration through Harney County. Photo by Kelly Hazen.

Last year a Snowy White owl paid a rare visit. Some ranchers are mad as hell about bird migrations because the birds land on the fields, eat new seeds and shoats, potentially disrupting business and profits.  Other ranchers are angry that they have to do something to help allay decreases in sage grouse lest the Environmental Protection Agency list them as endangered species. Many ranchers hate the tourists that roam the back roads. Still others rail against newcomers with ideas at odds with theirs. Jerome was like that as well when I moved there in the early 1980’s. At least that echo of life is familiar.

While writing these musings, son Max calls from Denver. He tells me that hydraulic fracking and pot are the two biggest money earners in Colorado. Protests against fracking are futile. Protests against pot have seamlessly folded into the vast wealth they are earning. According to a recent headline in the Denver Post, “Colorado’s record January marijuana sales yield $2.3M for schools.”The Cannabis Cup trade show sponsored by High Times in mid-April drew over a million visitors.

I told Max that here in Harney County, citizens are still facing off about the new medical marijuana store that opened. On the one hand, are people fearful of pot turning their kids into heroin addicts; on the other vets and others that depend on pot to alleviate PTSD and chronic pain. The hypocrisy of the pot naysayers is not self-evident.

A few weeks ago, I gave a lecture at our local library about themes of drought and migration in the ancient Puebloan cultures. The talk was framed within the building of hand-built walls in Jerome, AZ and Puebloan cities. From Craig Childs’ book, House of Rain, I learned that these ancients planned for drought in the 12th century by building large cities for people to migrate to in such places as Aztec, Hovenweep, Acoma, and as far as Casas Grande in Mexico. It speaks of sophistication and organization. Aztec, according to archeologists that Childs met with, was built as an exact replica of Chaco. Doorways and roofs were built with the trunks of 200,000 trees from forests some ten miles away that had to be harvested and carried by people.

Panorama of the ruins of the Puebloan city of Aztec.

Ancient Puebloans built the city of Aztec in Northern New Mexico circa 1150.

In the once fabulously wealthy mining city of Jerome, the mountains surrounding it were denuded of trees to build eighty-eight miles of tunnels, a city larger than the one above it. Monsoon rains that deluge the mountain break down retaining walls and result in mud-slides.  I ended the lecture by saying, “We will be marked as a civilization by how we will respond to changes wrought by drought—individually and as a culture.”

View of Jerome AZ

View of Jerome, AZ and surrounding mountains. Photo by Bob Swanson, www.Swansonimages.com

Threading through the cross currents of climate turmoil is risky. It’s difficult to find a place in my mind where I can safely fly, much less land. How many causes can I attach myself to? What in my experience will help others chart their way? What is effective action?

During times of economic and environmental turmoil, some of it unpredictably chaotic, these are the questions that matter.

(Diane Sward Rapaport is the author of Home Sweet Jerome: Death and Rebirth of Arizona’s Richest Copper Mining City.

Jerome AZ’s Katie Lee: An Eclectic and Wild-Riding Career

Katie Lee is venerated as the most flamboyant of knights among a growing legion of pro-wilderness activists. Katie has taken up the torch that conservationists Edward Abbey and David Brower left burning after they died—to sing, write and lecture about the importance of preserving and restoring wilderness refuges; the histories of ancient races embedded in its sinuous sandstone canyons; and the lonesome characters the West still breeds. Today, her unwavering commitment to her principles and feisty eloquence are primarily directed at draining Powell Reservoir and freeing the Colorado River through Glen Canyon.

Katie Lee is venerated as the most flamboyant of knights among a growing legion of pro-wilderness activists. Katie has taken up the torch that conservationists Edward Abbey and David Brower left burning after they died—to sing, write and lecture about the importance of preserving and restoring wilderness refuges; the histories of ancient races embedded in its sinuous sandstone canyons; and the lonesome characters the West still breeds. Today, her unwavering commitment to her principles and feisty eloquence are primarily directed at draining Powell Reservoir and freeing the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. Her career odyssey began in Hollywood and ended in Jerome, AZ where she now lives. She has published five books, including a trilogy about Glen Canyon, recorded fourteen CDs, made two DVDs, and has become much sought-after for appearances in TV shows and documentary films about the Southwest.   At 95-years old, Katie is just beginning to glimpse the legacy of her eloquent activism and spreading fame. She is a woman of uncompromising beliefs. She has followed byways she chose, each interesting and richly complex. What a gal! Hollywood Actress A native Arizonan, Katie began her professional career in 1948 as a stage and screen actress. She performed bit parts in motion pictures in Hollywood; had running parts on major NBC radio shows, including The Great Gildersleeve and The Railroad Hour with Gordon McRae; was an actress and folk music director on The Telephone Hour with Helen Parrish in the early 50's. Folk Singer  In the mid-fifties, Katie began a new career as a singer in cabarets such as the Gates of Horn in Chicago, The Blue Angel in New York, and The Hungry Eye in San Francisco.  She began her recording career in 1956 with Spicy Songs for Cool Nights, a folk album. In the next three years, Katie recorded two albums of psycho-therapy parodies, Songs of Couch and Consultation and Bed of Neuroses.   When Katie began exploring the Colorado River and Glen Canyon (before it was dammed), she began singing the songs of the rivers and the canyons and began composing songs of her own. She stopped performing in smoky cabarets and began performing in colleges and other concert venues throughout the US, Canada and Mexico.  In 1964, she recorded Folk Songs of the Colorado River for Folkways. Katie re-published it in 1976 as Colorado River Songs.  In 1975, Katie recorded Love’s Little Sisters, a collection of folk songs about the early American ‘ladies of the night,’ in Mickey Hart’s (Grateful Dead) studio in Novato, California.  Folklorist: Songs of the Cowboys Noel: Highlight the following quote---maybe by putting it flush left??? Actor and singer Burl Ives said: “The best cowboy singer I know is a girl—Katie Lee”—Burl Ives While Katie was touring the country as a folk singer, she interviewed cowboy songwriters and researched the roots of traditional cowboy songs. She wrote what has become a classic: Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle: A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story and Verse. She recorded many of these songs in a two-album set by the same name in Mickey Hart’s (Grateful Dead) studio in Novato, California.  During the nineteen eighties and nineties, Katie was a featured performer at cowboy poetry festivals in such cities as Elko, Nevada, Austin, Texas, and Ruidoso, New Mexico. The festivals revived the West’s great legacy of cowboy songs, which are different from country western songs, which Katie loathes. “Country and Western is neither of either,” Katie once said in an article in folk song magazine Sing Out! “Its lyrics are about tight miserable places like phone booths, dingy bars, and stuffy bedrooms and some poor twit whose wife or girlfriend just dumped him.”  In conjunction with her book, Katie made an award-winning television documentary, The Last Wagon, which celebrated the lives of Gail Gardner and Billy Simon, two Arizona cowboy legends.  The film won the 1972 Cine Golden Eagle Award.  She recorded two CDs of western songs— His Knibbs and the Badger and Fenced—for her own label, Katydid Books and Music.  Glen Canyon  Ever since Glen Canyon was buried by Reservoir Powell in the nineteen sixties, Katie Lee has sung, stomped, photographed, written about, and fought to restore the magic of Glen Canyon and to let the Colorado River run free. Katie held a knife-edged anger and bitter sadness when Glen Canyon was drowned by Powell Reservoir (which she refers to as ‘Rez Foul’). These were difficult emotions to write from and she didn’t try until the nineteen eighties when she spilled her feelings into a thinly disguised novel. After it was rejected by half a dozen or so publishers, Katie decided to follow the advice of her friend Edward Abbey and write a nonfiction book about her travels in Glen Canyon. Her considerable body of work on Glen Canyon includes the book trilogy Glen Canyon Betrayed, Sandstone Seduction and The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing; her CDs, Colorado River Songs, and Glen Canyon River Journeys; and her DVD, Love Song to Glen Canyon—all paeans to the magic of a canyon that is now lost under the waters of Reservoir Powell. Glen Canyon Betrayed was first published as All My Rivers are Gone: A Journal of Discovery through Glen Canyon (1998) with an introduction by author Terry Tempest Williams. In 2006, the book was re-released with a new title, Glen Canyon Betrayed, and added an index and afterword.   In conjunction with the book, Katie published a CD, Glen Canyon River Journeys, readings from Glen Canyon Betrayed, interspersed with songs.  In 2004, Sandstone Seduction-Rivers and Lovers, Canyons and Friends was published by Johnson Books. This collection of essays are about events that shaped and inspired her life. Link to store The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing, published in 2014, is one of the few historical documents about Katie’s relationships with people that lived in Dandy Crossing just as the reservoir began to fill, irrevocably changing all their lives. (Dandy Crossing was a ferry crossing on the old Colorado River between Hite village and White Canyon village, about three miles downstream from what is now Hite Marina).  Author Diane Sward Rapaport once asked Katie why she is still so attached to Glen Canyon. She replied, “It’s as if my feet are still stuck in the sand at the edge of the river. It’s where I live. This other life I walk around in all day—well, that’s a passing thing. And in many ways it’s my defense against the sadder mechanisms of life around us. And God knows we all need those mechanisms from keeping ourselves from going crazy in this mad world.”  Maude, Billy & Mr. D—Western Folk Opera  In 1956, Katie read an intriguing Western short story "The Rider on the Pale Stallion", by Helen Eustis in the Saturday Evening Post. In 1990, Katie transformed it into lyrics and music and gave it a different title. She considers it her best work; and has performed it many times in concert to a spellbound audience. (Published by Katydid Books and Music, 1990)  Ballad of Gutless Ditch Katie was always composing when she was on the road, driving in her 1955 classic Thunderbird. One day, the words to this wonderful free-verse Western adventure just fell out of the sky and became a powerful ballad that is full of the magic of love, lust and betrayal. Katie published 500 copies of a special limited edition signed by her and by nationally renowned artist Robin Anderson who illustrated the book with twelve etchings. (Published in 2010 by Katydid Books and Music)  Scholars and journalists can find a considerable archive about Katie Lee at Cline Library, Northern Arizona University, in “Colorado Plateau” special collection. Rare holdings include letters between Barry Goldwater and Katie Lee about the building of the Glen Canyon dam; two 8 mm films taken by Natalie Giganoux that show Natalie, Katie, Leo Walters and Frank Wright on a boat trip through Glen Canyon before it was dammed and so on.

One of the rare photos of Ed Abbey and Katie together. Abbey was mentor and friend and their lives wove around each other. Photo collection, Katie Lee.

Her career odyssey began in Hollywood and ended in Jerome, AZ where she now lives. She has published five books, including a trilogy about Glen Canyon, recorded fourteen CDs, made two DVDs, and has become much sought-after for appearances in TV shows and documentary films about the Southwest.

At 95-years old, Katie is just beginning to glimpse the legacy of her eloquent activism and spreading fame. She is a woman of uncompromising beliefs. She has followed byways she chose, each interesting and richly complex. What a gal!

Hollywood Actress

Katie Lee with the Great Gildersleeve (Willard Waterman).

Katie Lee with the Great Gildersleeve (Willard Waterman). The story she tells is that she got more fan mail than he did and got fired for it. Photo Collection Katie Lee.

A native Arizonan, Katie began her professional career in 1948 as a stage and screen actress. She performed bit parts in motion pictures in Hollywood; had running parts on major NBC radio shows, including The Great Gildersleeve, Halls of Ivy, and The Railroad Hour with Gordon McRae.

She was an actress and folk music director on The Telephone Hour with Helen Parrish in the early 50’s.

Folk Singer

In the mid-fifties, Katie began a new career as a singer in cabarets such as the Gates of Horn in Chicago, The Blue Angel in New York, and The Hungry Eye in San Francisco. She began her recording career in 1956 with Spicy Songs for Cool Nights, a folk album. In the next three years, Katie recorded two albums of psycho-therapy parodies, Songs of Couch and Consultation and Bed of Neuroses.

Katie Lee in her torch-singing days.

Priceless. Katie Lee as a torch singer, singing among leering cigar-smoking men. Photo Katie Lee collection

When Katie began exploring the Colorado River and Glen Canyon (before it was dammed), she began singing the songs of the rivers and the canyons and began composing songs of her own. She stopped performing in smoky cabarets and began performing in colleges and other concert venues throughout the US, Canada and Mexico.

In 1964, she recorded Folk Songs of the Colorado River for Folkways. Katie re-published it in 1976 as Colorado River Songs.

Katie Lee with the Great Gildersleeve (Willard Waterman).

Katie Lee and Josh White. Photo collection Katie Lee.

In 1975, Katie recorded Love’s Little Sisters, a collection of folk songs about the early American ‘ladies of the night, in Mickey Hart’s (Grateful Dead) studio in Novato, California.

Folklorist: Songs of the Cowboys

Actor and singer Burl Ives said: “The best cowboy singer I know is a girl—Katie Lee”—Burl Ives

While Katie was touring the country as a folk singer, she interviewed cowboy songwriters and researched the roots of traditional cowboy songs. She wrote what has become a classic: Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle: A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story and Verse. She recorded many of these songs in a two-album set by the same name in Mickey Hart’s (Grateful Dead) studio in Novato, California.

Katie Lee with the Great Gildersleeve (Willard Waterman).

Katie Lee recording her cowboy songs. Photo collection Katie Lee

During the nineteen eighties and nineties, Katie was a featured performer at cowboy poetry festivals in such cities as Elko, Nevada, Austin, Texas, and Ruidoso, New Mexico. The festivals revived the West’s great legacy of cowboy songs, which are different from country western songs, which Katie loathes. “Country and Western is neither of either,” Katie once said in an article in folk song magazine Sing Out! “Its lyrics are about tight miserable places like phone booths, dingy bars, and stuffy bedrooms and some poor twit whose wife or girlfriend just dumped him.”

In conjunction with her book, Katie made an award-winning television documentary, The Last Wagon, which celebrated the lives of Gail Gardner and Billy Simon, two Arizona cowboy legends.  The film won the 1972 Cine Golden Eagle Award.

One of the best histories ever written about cowboys.

“A beautiful job, exact, comprehensive and witty. Should remain a basic history of the subject for many year to come.” – Edward Abbey.

She recorded two CDs of western songs— His Knibbs and the Badger and Fenced—for her own label, Katydid Books and Music.

Glen Canyon

Ever since Glen Canyon was buried by Reservoir Powell in the nineteen sixties, Katie Lee has sung, stomped, photographed, written about, and fought to restore the magic of Glen Canyon and to let the Colorado River run free.

Katie Lee singing to preserve wilderness and let the Colorado river run free.  Photo collection Katie Lee.

Katie Lee singing to preserve wilderness and let the Colorado river run free. Photo collection Katie Lee.

Katie held a knife-edged anger and bitter sadness when Glen Canyon was drowned by Powell Reservoir (which she refers to as ‘Rez Foul’). These were difficult emotions to write from and she didn’t try until the nineteen eighties when she spilled her feelings into a thinly disguised novel. After it was rejected by half a dozen or so publishers, Katie decided to follow the advice of her friend Edward Abbey and write a nonfiction book about her travels in Glen Canyon.

Cover illustration by Serena Supplee, renowned artist of the Colorado Plateau. www.serenasupplee.com

Cover illustration by Serena Supplee, renowned artist of the Colorado Plateau. http://www.serenasupplee.com

Her considerable body of work on Glen Canyon includes the book trilogy Glen Canyon Betrayed, Sandstone Seduction and The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing; her CDs, Colorado River Songs, and Glen Canyon River Journeys; and her DVD, Love Song to Glen Canyon—all paeans to the magic of a canyon that is now lost under the waters of Reservoir Powell.

Glen Canyon Betrayed was first published as All My Rivers are Gone: A Journal of Discovery through Glen Canyon (1998) with an introduction by author Terry Tempest Williams. In 2006, the book was re-released with a new title, Glen Canyon Betrayed, and added an index and afterword.

In conjunction with the book, Katie published a CD, Glen Canyon River Journeys, readings from Glen Canyon Betrayed, interspersed with songs.

In 2004, Sandstone Seduction-Rivers and Lovers, Canyons and Friends was published by Johnson Books. This collection of essays are about events that shaped and inspired her life. Link to store

The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing, published in 2014, is one of the few historical documents about Katie’s relationships with people that lived in Dandy Crossing just as the reservoir began to fill, irrevocably changing all their lives. (Dandy Crossing was a ferry crossing on the old Colorado River between Hite village and White Canyon village, about three miles downstream from what is now Hite Marina).

Fort Moqui at Dandy Crossing

Fort Moki, an old Ansazi ruin, at Dandy Crossing, downstream from Hite Marina, and close to the entrance of White and Farley Canyons. Photo by Katie Lee

Author Diane Sward Rapaport once asked Katie why she is still so attached to Glen Canyon. She replied, “It’s as if my feet are still stuck in the sand at the edge of the river. It’s where I live. This other life I walk around in all day—well, that’s a passing thing. And in many ways it’s my defense against the sadder mechanisms of life around us. And God knows we all need those mechanisms from keeping ourselves from going crazy in this mad world.”

Katie Lee in Glen Canyon

“This is a way to truly be in touch with Mother Earth. I swim the pool with tennies, chimney up the crease to the vulva, throw my tennies into the pool and rest here, ten minutes or more—I wedge half way down and jump into the pool—no way out the top. Photo by Martin D. Koehler

Maude, Billy & Mr. D—Western Folk Opera

In 1956, Katie read an intriguing Western short story “The Rider on the Pale Stallion”, by Helen Eustis in the Saturday Evening Post. In 1990, Katie transformed it into lyrics and music and gave it a different title. She considers it her best work; and has performed it many times in concert to a spellbound audience. (Published by Katydid Books and Music, 1990)

Ballad of Gutless Ditch

Katie was always composing when she was on the road, driving in her 1955 classic Thunderbird. One day, the words to this wonderful free-verse Western adventure just fell out of the sky and became a powerful ballad that is full of the magic of love, lust and betrayal. Katie published 500 copies of a special limited edition signed by her and by nationally renowned artist Robin Anderson who illustrated the book with twelve etchings. (Published in 2010 by Katydid Books and Music)

Afterword 

Scholars and journalists can find a considerable archive about Katie Lee at Cline Library, Northern Arizona University, in “Colorado Plateau” special collection. Rare holdings include letters between Barry Goldwater and Katie Lee about the building of the Glen Canyon dam; two 8 mm films taken by Natalie Giganoux that show Natalie, Katie, Leo Walters and Frank Wright on a boat trip through Glen Canyon before it was dammed and so on.

People That Moved to Jerome AZ: 1954-1967

Since posting the list of people that moved to Jerome, AZ between 1967-79, many have written me with comments/corrections, which I appreciate. Although these lists are difficult to get completely accurate, the families that once lived here and their children and grandchildren appreciate the effort.

The list of people that were here in 1953, after the mines left Jerome and it became a village, are posted in my book, Home Sweet Jerome: Death and Rebirth of Arizona’s Richest Copper Mining City. The list was amended slightly in the second printing; the third printing will have only a few more corrections. Many of these people continued to live in Jerome until they died. (A few examples would be Ruth Cantrell, Flossie McClellan, John McMillan, the Tamale ladies, Father John).

For sure, Jerome was never a ghost town. It may have looked like it in various neighborhoods, but after 1953, the population never went below 250.

The lists of Jerome residents from 1954 to 1979 will eventually be turned over to the Jerome Historical Society.

Here is the new list. It should be compared to the list of people that moved to Jerome from 1968-1979 (earlier blog). If anyone knows of people that ought to be switched in these lists, please let me know.

Please also add spouse names and or children. This list needs amending,

Sam and Clara Ater

Earl and Betty Bell (when did the kids move here. . .e.g. Patti. . .etc.)

The Blasés ( ? and Edith)

Gene Bollen

Walter and Marcia Brubaker

Leo Buss (Spelling??)

Duke Cannell

Charles and Helen Coppage

Bill and Anna Cram (Janet, Roger, Becky, Phillip) and Uncle Veri

Walter and Gladys Crow

John and Mary Dempsey

Rocky and Cele Driver and daughter Kya

John Duffy

Joan Evans

Frank and Thelma Ferrell

John Figi

Winifred Foster

Paul and wife Gross and daughter Minnie and Dani

Ralph Grummet

Ava and Alfredo Guitterez

Phil and Mary Harris and children Troy and Travis

Joe and Louise Heyer (Antique shop)

Barbara Hogan

Shan and Roger Holt and son David

Ashley (and husband?) Hostetter (Ashley had a gallery on main street)

Mary Johnson

Inez Kelly

Knudsons

Jere Lepley

Harriet LeVerring

George and Rosella Kennedy (had AZ Discoveries)

Ruth Kruse

Peggy Mason and their children Carter and Carietta

Louis and Louise Martinez

Charles and Fran Matheus

John and Kathryn Mathews. John was a painter; and Kathryn a potter

Him and Cheryl McCully and son Brad and daughter Molly

Dick and Esther Meusch (had a bottle shop on lower Main opposite Hotel Jerome)

Mooreheads

John and Deanna O’Donnell

Bob Palm

Russ and Esther Parr and children Karl and Terry

Walter (Shorty) Powell (fine art painter lived in High House)

Lynn Rose and son Skip

Tom Scott: (Scotty’s Rock Shop, Jerome)

Minnie Sewell and son Paul

M.E. “Jim” Shaffer (mgr Central Hotel)

Ernest Beach Smith and wife (?)

Levi and Margaret Smull and grandmother Jennie Richards and aunt Mary Smull

Dorothy Stickles

Milo and Jeanne Stoney and her brother Curley)

Max and Helen (Jane) Troyer

Doc and Nellie Wallace

Hazel Williams

Wil(ton) Tifft (photographer and Wood shop

Tom and Frankie Vincent and sons Henry P., and Ed and daughter Maeve