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Introduction: Queering Post–World War II Masculinity through Music

Vincent L. Stephens

in Rocking the Closet: How Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
May 2020
ISBN:
9780252042805
eISBN:
9780252051661
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:
10.5622/illinois/9780252042805.003.0001
Subject:
Music, Popular

Johnnie Ray, Little Richard, Johnny Mathis, and Liberace are symbols of a hidden history of postwar queer masculinity. The chapter explores how queerness defied gender expectations of white men and ... More


Queer(y)ing Masculinities

Bryant Keith Alexander

in Global Masculinities and Manhood

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
April 2017
ISBN:
9780252036514
eISBN:
9780252093555
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:
10.5406/illinois/9780252036514.003.0003
Subject:
Society and Culture, Gender Studies

This chapter tests the limits of understanding what masculinity means or tries to mean. It insists that queer masculinities are those that are not only suspicious, resistant, or out of the ordinary, ... More


Building an Empire of Illusion: Liberace and the Art of Queering

Vincent L. Stephens

in Rocking the Closet: How Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
May 2020
ISBN:
9780252042805
eISBN:
9780252051661
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:
10.5622/illinois/9780252042805.003.0006
Subject:
Music, Popular

This chapter explores Liberace’s ability to attract audiences through a clever and spectacular masculinity that distracted them from his sexuality. Tracing his evolution into an international ... More


A Freak Deferred: Johnnie Ray Navigates Innovation and Convention

Vincent L. Stephens

in Rocking the Closet: How Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
May 2020
ISBN:
9780252042805
eISBN:
9780252051661
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:
10.5622/illinois/9780252042805.003.0003
Subject:
Music, Popular

This chapter argues that the deaf, bisexual, and racially progressive white crooner Johnnie Ray was successful in the early 1950s because his “freak” persona endeared him to audiences fascinated by ... More


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