The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate”


You are currently listening to “I wish I could shimmy like my sister Kate,” by Frances Faye in the year 1960.  Faye was a lesbian who would place homosexual lyrics into her songs.  She had one song that became banned from the radio for singing about gay couples.  In that song, Frances Faye mentions Tab Hunter, a movie star who was scandalized by being outed in Confidential Magazine.  She reached out to many of her gay fans when no one else would publicly acknowledge them.  Faye put her girlfriend, Teri Shepherd, on the album, called “Caught in the Act.”  She became an icon in the gay community through her music.  Her audience was full gay women and men, because they felt comfortable there.  They loved Faye because she was one of them during an era where it wasn’t acceptable to be gay.  While Faye had a bawdy voice that led her to the stage, she had a powerful voice that reached many people who were ostracized for their sexuality during this time period.

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