Rocking the closet : how Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis queered pop music (eBook, 2019) [WorldCat.org]
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Rocking the closet : how Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis queered pop music

Author: Vincent L Stephens
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2019]
Series: New perspectives on gender in music.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The all-embracing, 'whaddya got?' nature of rebellion in Fifties America included pop music's unlikely challenge to entrenched notions of masculinity. Within that upheaval, four prominent artists dared to behave in ways that let the public assume - but not see - their queerness. That these artists cultivated ambiguous sexual personas often reflected an understandable fear, but also a struggle to fulfill personal and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Stephens, Vincent L.
Rocking the closet.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2019]
(DLC) 2019013782
Named Person: Little Richard; Johnnie Ray; Liberace; Johnny Mathis; Liberace; Little Richard; Johnny Mathis; Johnnie Ray
Material Type: Biography, Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Vincent L Stephens
ISBN: 9780252051661 0252051661 0252042808 9780252042805
OCLC Number: 1091237142
Description: 1 online resource (1 volume) : illustrations
Contents: Introduction : queering post-World War II masculinity through music --
Visibly hidden : postwar disorientation, queer community, and queer ambivalence --
A freak deferred : Johnnie Ray navigates innovation and convention --
Spectacular vacillations : Little Richard charms and disarms America --
Fine and dandy : mapping Johnny Mathis's negotiations of race, sexuality, and affect --
Building an empire of illusion : Liberace and the art of queering --
Conclusion : disquieting and exciting : queering tools in popular music and queer becoming.
Series Title: New perspectives on gender in music.
Responsibility: Vincent L. Stephens.

Abstract:

The all-embracing, 'whaddya got?' nature of rebellion in Fifties America included pop music's unlikely challenge to entrenched notions of masculinity. Within that upheaval, four prominent artists dared to behave in ways that let the public assume - but not see - their queerness. That these artists cultivated ambiguous sexual personas often reflected an understandable fear, but also a struggle to fulfill personal and professional expectations. Vincent L. Stephens confronts notions of the closet - both coming out and staying in - by analysing the careers of Liberace, Johnny Mathis, Johnnie Ray, and Little Richard. Appealing to audiences hungry for novelty and exoticism, the four pop icons used performance and queering techniques that ran the gamut.

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"This is culturally and historically informed scholarship of the highest order. Stephens seeks to question and complicate the established historical way of thinking, and to provide a nuanced reading Read more...

 
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