Tina Turner: 12+ Cover Songs You May Have Missed

It’s hard to believe that Tina Turner is gone. I remember feeling the same way after Prince died – I liked thinking that he was always out there, somewhere, working on music. Not that I was expecting new music from Tina – it was enough to see her pop up in occasional interviews as she enjoyed retirement in her Swiss castle.

What more can you say about the queen? So much is being written and discussed, I should just shut up and walk away. But…

With the exception of the song “Nutbush City Limits”, Tina is not remembered as a songwriter. But she did have a knack for choosing excellent material and putting her indelible stamp on it. After hearing Tina’s take on a song, you could be forgiven if you forget that “Proud Mary” was a Creedence Clearwater Revival tune, or that “Let’s Stay Together” is Al Green’s song. “I Can’t Stand The Rain” was a 1974 hit for Ann Peebles, and Bonnie Tyler had a minor hit with “Simply The Best” the year before Tina recorded it.

That said, there are some interesting covers that have flown under the radar or fallen through the cracks. Here are some of them.

UPDDATE: The New York Times published their own article on Tina’s covers the same day this was posted, but other than the Stones/Beatles/Led Zeppelin cuts, none of the tracks listed below were included.

1) Tina Sings Dusty Springfield: “Just A Little Lovin'” / “Every Day I Have To Cry” – Dusty Springfield’s version of the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song “Just A Little Lovin'” was the lead track from the classic 1969 Dusty In Memphis LP. Tina’s version is from her 1979 solo LP Love Explosion, which was not released in the U.S.

Tina Turner – “Just A Little Lovin'” (1979)

“Every Day I Have To Cry” was originally a minor hit for Steve Alaimo in 1962, and memorably covered by Dusty on her 1964 I Only Want To Be With You LP. Tina’s version is from the Phil Spector produced River Deep, Mountain High LP (1966).

Ike & Tina Turner – “Every Day I Have To Cry”

2) Tina Sings Led Zeppelin: “Whole Lotta Love” – This Led Zeppelin cover was released as a single from Tina’s second solo LP, 1975’s Acid Queen. The NY Times article on Tina’s cover songs describes this version as “disco-inflected” but also “slowed down.” To paraphrase Led Zep: It makes me wonder (what they were listening to.)

Tina Turner – “Whole Lotta Love” (1975)

3) Tina Sings Prince: “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” / “Baby I’m A Star” – Tina’s cover of “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” was recorded live in 1984 and featured as a B-side on different singles from the Private Dancer LP, depending on the territory.

Tina Turner – “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”

Tina’s version of “Baby I’m a Star” was omnipresent for a season in 2000, as she sang it in Target commercials while they were sponsoring her tour. It was also released on All That Glitters, a greatest hits CD only available at Target. And then… it was gone.

Tina Turner – “Baby I’m A Star”

4) Tina sings Linda Ronstadt: “Long Long Time” – Earlier this year, Linda Ronstadt’s definitive 1970 version of this Gary White song was introduced to a new generation via the HBO series The Last Of Us. Tina recorded her version in 1974 for her first solo LP, Tina Turns The Country On. Rolling Stone recently wrote about this forgotten gem. Although the LP was not a commercial success, it did garner Tina a Grammy nomination.

Tina Turner – “Long Long Time”

5) Tina Sings Marvin Gaye: “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – There are a few versions of Tina singing Marvin Gaye’s classic Motown hit. The song was often part of her live repertoire. This live version from the Ike & Tina Turner Review is circa 1970:

Ike & Tina Turner Review – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

Thirty years later, Tina recorded a dance version of the song for her Twenty Four Seven LP. Unfortunately the song was pulled from the final release of the album:

Tina Turner – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

Also – just for funzies, here’s Tina singing with Marvin Gaye on Shindig! March 25, 1965 doing a medley of “Money (That’s What I Want)” and “I’ll Be Doggone.”

Tina Turner & Marvin Gaye “Money (That’s What I Want)” / “I’ll Be Doggone”

6) Tina Sings Stevie Wonder: “Living For The City” / “Higher Ground” – These two Stevie Wonder tracks from his classic 1973 Innervisions LP were covered the following year by Ike & Tina on their Sweet Rhode Island Red LP. The tracks later turned up on several compilations as the material from this period was often repackaged and re-released.

Ike & Tina Turner – “Living For The City”
Ike & Tina Turner – “Higher Ground”

7) Tina Sings Etta James: “All I Could Do Was Cry” – Motown founder Berry Gordy was a co-writer on this song, which was written for Etta James in 1960. Ike & Tina included their version on the Live! The Ike & Tina Turner Show LP (1964). Tina’s 4-minute monologue in the middle of the song is epic, recounting the wedding of the man she loves as he marries someone else, building to a crescendo with “their friends throwing rice all over their heads.” This overlooked camp classic was later featured on the 2007 CD A Date With John Waters.

Ike & Tina Turner – “All I Could Do Was Cry”

8) Tina Sings Elton John: “Philadelphia Freedom” – This Ike & Tina Turner track was recorded in the mid-1970’s, just before Tina left. Ike later included it on his 1980 LP The Edge and on a 1984 Tina Turner EP titled Mini, among other repackages of their 70’s output.

Tina Turner – “Philadelphia Freedom”

9) Tina Does Disco: “Shame, Shame, Shame” – Like “Philadelphia Freedom,” this cover of the 1975 dance hit for Shirley & Co. was featured on Ike’s The Edge LP, Tina’s Mini EP, and numerous other budget collections.

Tina Turner – “Shame, Shame, Shame”

She also memorably performed the song with Cher on her variety show in 1975:

Cher & Tina Turner – “Shame, Shame, Shame”

10) Tina Sings The Temptations: “Ball of Confusion”– Tina’s version of “Ball Of Confusion” was the gateway to the second (or third?) act of her career. Recorded with B.E.F., aka British Electric Foundation for their 1982 album Music of Quality and Distinction Volume One, the song became a top 5 hit in Norway. Capital Records took notice and signed her to the label. The resulting LP was Private Dancer, and the rest is history.

B.E.F. featuring Tina Turner – “Ball Of Confusion”

11) Tina Sings The Rolling Stones: “Honky Tonk Woman” / “Under My Thumb” / “Let’s Spend The Night Together” – Well of course Tina covered The Stones. She taught moves to Jagger. Tina & Mick were always joining each other onstage, and although she never recorded proper versions of “Jumping Jack Flash” or “It’s Only Rock And Roll‘, they were frequently on her concert setlists.

Ike & Tina’s studio version of “Honky Tonk Woman” was featured on their 1970 LP Come Together, and was also the b-side to the single of the title track:

Ike & Tina Turner – “Honky Tonk Woman”

“Under My Thumb” – A track from the 1975 Acid Queen LP:

Tina Turner – “Under My Thumb”

“Let’s Spend The Night Together” – Also from her1975 Acid Queen LP:

Tina Turner – “Let’s Spend The Night Together”

12) Tina Sings The Beatles: “Help!” / “Something” / “Get Back” / “Come Together” – Although not as closely associated with The Beatles as with the Rolling Stones, Tina covered several of their songs through the years. Her ballad version of “Help!” was on the international edition of the Private Dancer LP, but not the U.S. version.

Tina Turner – “Help!”

Tina’s version of “Something”:

Tina Turner – “Something”

Ike & Tina perform “Get Back” on Beat Club in the UK. The song was included on their 1970 Workin’ Together LP and released as a single in Europe.

Ike & Tina Turner – “Get Back”

“Come Together” was the title track from Ike & Tina’s 1970 LP. The single also featured their version of the Stones’ “Honky Tonk Woman” as the b-side.

Ike & Tina Turner – “Come Together”

Here’s a Spotify playlist of the available songs above as well as many other covers:

You may also like:
10 Forgotten Cher Moments
Girl Group Heaven: Wanda, Rosa & Ronnie
Dusty Springfield Sings Kate Bush
Etta James: Advertising Zombie
Revisiting Bette Midler’s Thighs And Whispers
Adam Schlesinger: Not Just The Guy On The Right
John Waters in Blueboy Magazine (1977)
12 Forgotten Classics By New Wave Women
Kate Bush’s Queerest Songs
A Christmas Without Miracles: The 1987 Motown Christmas Special

Madame Spivy: I Didn’t Do A Thing Last Night

Madame Spivy photographed by Carl Van Vechten (1932)

“This song is dedicated to a friend who suffers terribly from hangovers. It’s very sad and we must be very quiet, please…”

Ladies and Gentleman, it is time once again to revisit that late great dynamic lady of song, Madame Spivy LeVoe (1906-1971), also known simply as Spivy. A lesbian entertainer, nightclub owner and character actress, Spivy has been described as “The Female Noel Coward” – to which I add “…. if he had been born in Brooklyn as Bertha Levine.”

In case you missed them, these are our previous Madame Spivy posts:
The Alley Cat
The Tarantella
Auntie’s Face
100% American Girls
A Tropical Fish
I Brought Culture to Buffalo In The 90’s

In the Spring/Summer of 2020 with the pandemic in full swing, cabaret performer extraordinaire Justin Vivian Bond was livestreaming weekly shows from The House of Whimsy, aka their home in upstate New York. Imagine my delight when Mx. Viv covered Mme. Spivy’s “I Didn’t Do A Thing Last Night” – one of my favorite of her recordings.

Justin Vivian Bond as Auntie Glam, belting one out in The House Of Whimsy (2020)

As with “Auntie’s Face“, Spivy uses her familiar spoken intro for “I Didn’t Do A Thing Last Night”: A solemn pronouncement that “This is VERY sad and we must be VERY quiet, please.” One can imagine that it was a playful way to get the attention of a noisy nightclub audience.

Spivy wrote the song with John La Touche providing the lyrics. Today, La Touche is best remembered for his Broadway musical The Golden Apple and for his lyrical contributions to Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. He also collaborated with Duke Ellington on the musicals Cabin In The Sky & Beggar’s Holiday.

Spivy and LaTouche met in the mid-1930’s and had a tumultuous lifelong friendship. At one point Spivy paid him fifty dollars a week to supply her with songs. During one falling out in 1938, LaTouche referred to her as his “enemy.” “Poor Spivy,” he wrote, “hysterical, glandular, ugly, charming, and so talented.” After another disagreement later that year, he wrote to her; “I’m sorry; you can hardly afford to lose a staunch friend and neither can I. But both of us are always doing things we can’t afford.”

Of the 15 songs Spivy is known to have recorded, 5 of them were written or co-written by LaTouche: One was a solo credit, two were written with Spivy herself, and two were in collaboration with Goetz Eyck, a German-born musician who would go on to a film career as Peter van Eyck.

One LaTouche composition that Spivy did not preserve on record was a highlight of her live performances: “I’m Going On A Binge With A Dinge.” She often concluded her set with this racy little tune detailing a biracial protagonist going uptown for a tryst. “White people / Don’t be offended … ” the song begins. Other lyrics: “Gonna end up in Harlem / With my end up in Harlem”

Unfortunately, LaTouche’s work for and with Mme. Spivy has generally been forgotten or dismissed. In Howard Pollack’s 2017 biography The Ballad Of John LaTouche, the author spends several pages analyzing the lyrics and structure of these compositions before concluding that “the literary attractions of these songs, heavy on irony, outweigh their musical interests.”

Is that so?

Like Spivy, LaTouche was a heavy drinker, which ultimately led to both of their premature passings. He was just 41 years old when he died of a heart attack at his home in Calais, Vermont in 1956. Spivy was 64 years old when she died in January, 1971.

I Didn’t Do A Thing Last Night

Doctor dear, come over with a stretcher – I’ve never in my life felt quite so rotten.
My brain has snapped in two and my face is turning blue,
and everything I eat tastes just like cotton.

Oh yes I did everything you told me – I practically never left my room.
I observed your special diet, had lots of peace and quiet.
So why do I feel like something in Grant’s Tomb?
Lord knows why I don’t feel well – I didn’t do a thing last night.

I had a few friends in to play bridge with me,
And I sipped a little gin, just to keep them company.
Then a pal of mine named Rhoda came in with such a crew,
I gave them scotch and soda and I had a teeny one, too.

Then Vero P.T. Roth brought me some chicken broth,
which is insipid, doctor, don’t you think?
So someone in the party added a soupçon of Bacardi
it really makes a very nourishing drink.

At nine my cousin Andy made such insulting cracks,
that I had a little brandy just to help me to relax.
He tried to grab the bottle and dragged me out of bed.
When I saw that it was empty, I broke it on his head.

He’s still lying on the carpet and my maid insists he’s dead.
Oh doctor dear, why do I feel queer?
I didn’t do a thing last night.

At ten, Princess O’Ravivovich said; “Today is Pushkin’s birthday.”
So I had a little Slivovitz just to help her celebrate.
Then that fool Tessie Zackary upset my Dubonnet,
so they shook me up a daquiri to chase my blues away.

Those pills of yours were dry, so I washed them down with rye,
And I thought some exercise might help me rest.
I dashed down the avenue ’til somebody yelled “Woo!”
Good heavens – I’d forgotten to get dressed!

By then I felt so dizzy, to tell the honest truth,
They made me something fizzy out of vodka and vermouth.
At one, Rear Admiral Nipper, the old man of the sea,
arrived with his battalion, they had to sail at three.

But doctor, I just noticed: They’re still in bed with me!
It’s all so mad and I feel so bad,
and I didn’t do a thing last night.

At five, my old friend Tony said that doctors were baloney.
He said “Yoga exercises cured all pain.”
Doctor dear, I was a wreck with my legs around my neck,
and it took four hours to get them down again.

They sent for rubbing alcohol to rub away the aches,
but they couldn’t find the stuff at all – I’d drunk it by mistake.
Oh yes, I slept just like a baby, ’til I woke up right now.
No, the drinks did not affect me, I’m as flaccid as a cow.
Except I have a tendency to suddenly go “WOW!”

Why in hell don’t I feel well? I didn’t do a thing last night!

John La Touche songs recorded by Spivy
Fool In the Moonlight (music: Goetz Eyck)
I Didn’t Do A Thing Last Night (music: Spivy)
I Love Town (music: Goetz Eyck)
Last of the Fleur De Levy
Surrealist (music: Spivy)

Unrecorded La Touche songs performed by Spivy
I’m Going On A Binge With A Dinge

The Yale Posture Photos: Bill Hinnant

Up until recent years, the fabled Ivy League nude posture photos have been written about but seldom seen. Starting in the mid-1930’s and continuing on until the 1970’s, incoming Ivy League University students were photographed fully nude in order to gauge their posture, detect scoliosis, and address other correctable body issues while simultaneously inflicting emotional scarring on the participants. Talk show host Dick Cavett joked about it in his early stand-up routines:

“Some guys hated it… some seemed to enjoy it. One guy tried to go through twice… one guy fainted… one guy tried to buy his pictures… and one guy tried to get his retouched.”

50 years later, he penned a New York Times Op Ed piece with a much darker view of the experience.

In recent years, the posture photos from Yale have garnered the most press, with tongues wagging at the possibilities of seeing our country’s best and brightest in the buff. The pics were so rare that most articles on the subject did not actually feature any of the images, opting instead to use medical textbook illustrations or military posture photos.

Since 2020, a steady stream of posture photos featuring male freshman Yalies from 1937-1960 have sold on eBay. It was really only a matter of time before some familiar faces began to pop up. I posted about writer Calvin Trillin‘s photo, which went for a little over $100, while the pic of late actor James Franciscus pulled in $1,225.

These pics now regularly sell for close to $1,000 each. Earlier this month, actor Bill Hinnant’s photo went for a whopping $1,600.

Chalk one up to eBay for their ever-changing goalposts of propriety. When James Franciscus’ Yale photo went up for auction in 2021, full nudity was prohibited in auction photos. What we were left with was a modesty strip applied by the seller to prevent us from viewing the full Franciscus. Now eBay requires that auctions selling nude photos actually show the goods – to insure that the subject isn’t too…erm… excited to be there. Dean Martin’s dong was covered with a post-it, but now it’s ok to see Bill’s Hinnant:

Hinnant was still known by his birth name of John F. Hinnant, Jr. when he arrived at Yale in the Fall of 1953. Originally from Chincoteague Island, Virginia, he had spent two summers as an apprentice at Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. He made his professional debut there playing Barbara Cook’s son in Carousel. He also appeared in Life With Mother starring the legendary Billie (Glinda the Good Witch) Burke.

Following his sophomore year, Bill departed Yale when he won the role of Lt. Cover in the original cast of the comedy No Time For Sergeants starring Andy Griffith. After a year and a half on Broadway, Hinnant returned to Yale to complete his degree alongside his younger brother, Skip, who was also an actor.

In 1957, Bill Hinnant co-starred with former Yale classmate James Franciscus in the noir film Four Boys And A Gun:

Standing just 5’2″, his stature was usually noted in press articles. “Pintsized blond Hinnant has a full-sized talent!” crowed a 1965 Variety review.

Most of his notices were similar to Variety’s take on the 1963 off-Broadway musical Put It In Writing: “Far from memorable but featuring good work by Bill Hinnant.” This was a theme throughout his career, as he received favorable reviews in forgotten musicals that would close on the road (Maltby & Shire’s Love Match), on opening night (The American Hamburger League, Frank Merriwell), or after a handful of performances (All Kinds Of Giants, God Bless Coney). He guested on television shows ranging from Route 66 and Naked City to sitcoms like Pete & Gladys and Karen Valentine’s self-titled show.

He found his defining role in 1967 when he was cast as Snoopy in the original production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. The cast included Gary “Radar” Burghoff in the title role, Bob Balaban as Linus and his younger brother Skip Hinnant playing Schroeder. Bill’s scene-stealing Snoopy is still considered to be the definitive interpretation of the role. His performance on the original cast recording is a blueprint for anyone tackling the part. He was awarded a Drama Desk Award for his performance later that year.

In 1969, Hinnant appeared in the film A Nice Girl Like Me with Barbara Ferris:

After a successful run with Charlie Brown, he was still plagued with subpar material- a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by critics:

Even when the material was up to snuff, there were other issues to contend with:

Hinnant reprised his role as Snoopy in a 1973 television adaption of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. This cast featured Wendell Burton as Charlie Brown and My Three Sons actor Barry Livingston as Linus.

Unfortunately The Bill Hinnant Story does not have a happy ending. On February 17th, 1978, Hinnant drowned while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. He was just 42 years old. The Record noted that “the beige-haired, digest-sized and personable bachelor” was very active in charities for underprivileged children and had adopted several worldwide through the Foster Parents Plan.

New York Times, (2/24/78)

See also:
The Yale Posture Photos: James Franciscus

Men of St.Mary’s Pre-Flight School
Boys of Summer: St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School
Christmas At St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School, Pt. I
Christmas At St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School, Pt. II
80 Years Ago: The Men of St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School
More Men of St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School

Adam Schlesinger: Not Just The Guy On The Right

When Adam Schlesinger died of coronavirus three years ago this week, I was skeptical that he would have received as many tributes if we were living in normal times. With everyone stuck in quarantine staring at their computers, there was an outpouring of tributes. This seems to have continued on, as every year the anniversary brings new articles and remembrances from friends and creative cohorts.

Fountains of Wayne and Ivy were two of my favorite bands for many years. I always seemed to be pointing him out in performance clips – “the guy on the right is Adam Schlesinger….” followed by an overshare of information about his career.

Entertainment Weekly (2003)
Ivy (l-r): Andy Chase, Adam Schlesinger, Dominique Durand (1996)

In the press, Adam’s “side project” was whichever band was not promoting a new release. And while Fountains of Wayne was the first to be mentioned in tributes after his death, Ivy is now garnering considerable attention as the band has recently regained control of their back catalogue and increased their social media presence. Their first remastered re-release is Apartment Life (1997) featuring previously unreleased tracks and a vinyl-only reconstruction of the LP using the original demo recordings.

Adam Schlesinger: A Musical Celebration was a two-hour virtual tribute concert helmed by Fountains of Wayne guitarist Jody Porter. Recorded in May 2020 as a pay-per-view streaming event, it is now available for free on YouTube. Highlights include Courtney Love’s take on “Hey Julie,” Sean Lennon performing “Fire Island,” and Butch Walker debuting “Guitar Center,” an unreleased song written by Adam.

The performances are interspersed with commentary from celebs like Drew Carey and Sarah Silverman, who said; “People are so funny how blown away they are at all that he’s done … I don’t think people realized because they know him from one thing or another thing or another thing but the whole picture of what he got done… it’s something. I fucking miss him.”

Here are 15 Adam Schlesinger-related performances to give a more complete picture:

1) Besides his work penning the music to Sarah Silverman’s autobiographical stage musical The Bedwetter, Adam produced this 2013 song co-written with Sarah and featuring Will.i.am:

2) In 2009, Adam was a member of the super group Tinted Windows, which featured Taylor Hanson, James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick. The surviving members reunited to perform “Back With You” in the tribute concert. Here’s the music video for “Kind Of A Girl,” another single from their sole album.

3) One of the most surprising covers in Adam Schlesinger: A Musical Celebration is by The Minus Five – a band featuring Joe Andragna, Peter Buck (of R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (of Young Fresh Fellows). Their song choice was “I’ll Say It” – written by Adam in 2012 as the theme to Kathy Griffin’s TV show:

4) Several Fountains of Wayne performances are interspersed throughout the tribute concert, including their appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien a few days after 9/11, covering The Kinks “Better Things.” Two months later, Adam was back on the show with Ivy to perform their latest single, “Disappointed.”

5) In September of 1997, Adam made a solo radio appearance on XFM In Session. This was after Chris Collingwood was injured in Germany (see sidebar article referring to this as a low point in their career). Besides the interview, Adam does acoustic versions of “Utopia Parkway” and “Carpet King.”

6) In 2006, Adam co-wrote the song “High School Never Ends” with Jaret Riddick, lead singer of the band Bowling For Soup. This was the lead single on that band’s 6th album and a minor hit in the U.S. and U.K.:

7) Mike Viola and Adam Schlesinger perform their Oscar-nominated song “That Thing You Do” on May 4, 2007 at the Tribeca/ASCAP Music Lounge during the Tribeca Film Festival:

8) Also in May 2007, Adam and Chris joined Neil Sedaka onstage at Joe’s Pub in New York City to sing his 1961 hit “Calendar Girl.” Neil flubs his own lyrics. Adam and Chris do not. In April 2020, Neil posted this clip on Twitter as a tribute to Adam. Chris responded “It was an honor and one of the coolest things we ever did.”

9) In October 2011, Fountains Of Wayne performed a Tiny Desk Concert on NPR.
Set List:
“The Summer Place”
“Valley Winter Song”
“A Dip In The Ocean”
“Troubled Times”:

10) One of the Rolling Stone tributes published after Adam’s death was an interview with Chris Collingwood. He remembers trying to talk Adam out of recording “Stacey’s Mom.” He was sure it would be a hit… and also a curse. “He was too good a writer to have that be his calling card, and the success of a novelty song means that’s just what you are to the public, from that moment on – forever. It’s sad to me that people reading his obituary will all know that song, and only a very tiny percentage of them will ever hear ‘I-95’ or ‘The Girl I Can’t Forget.'” 

Here’s the latter: an entire rom-com in under four minutes.

11) An unreleased demo of Adam performing a song called “Something Happened” recently popped up on YouTube. I can’t confirm that he wrote it about Chris Collingwood or the end of Fountains of Wayne, but it’s certainly a poignant performance:

12) In November, 2018 Adam joined Wesley Stace & The English UK onstage at City Winery to perform “Hey Julie”:

13) Along with Rachel Bloom & Jack Dolgen, Adam co-wrote the music for the television show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, winning his third Emmy in 2019 for the song “Anti-depressants Are So Not A Big Deal.” At a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Live In Los Angeles show in 2018 he performed “What’ll It Be?” in the style of an obscure Long Island singer named William Joel.

14) One of Adam’s final projects was his work with Fever High, a Brooklyn duo for whom he was the primary producer / songwriter. In 2019 he accompanied them for a three song “tiny desk” concert at Paste Studio.
Set List:
“Just A Ghost”
“Looks Good On Paper”
“Cast My Spell”

15) In late 2021, Dominique Durand and Andy Chase of Ivy released a 25 minute tribute video on their YouTube page. “We knew Adam Schlesinger for 30 years, and felt we should finally create an official Ivy statement about who he was to us. We wanted to show a more intimate, human side to Adam – the friend, the father, the band mate, the whirlwind force that he was – so we made this short film using exclusive home movies and photos. Hopefully this will help add more weight and color to the extraordinary legacy that Adam left behind.”

In a 2020 Rolling Stone piece, playwright David Bar Katz paid tribute to his lifelong friend: “There are songs we would all have known by heart that we’re never going to hear. There were going to be musicals we’d have waited in line to see that will never be composed.” We will never know just how much we have lost.

Emmy Awards ‘In Memoriam’ Segment

See also:
Dusty Springfield Sings Kate Bush
On The Life Of Brian… During The Pandemic
Photographer Lucas Murnaghan has died at 45
10 Forgotten Cher Moments

David on The Robin Byrd Show

The recent brouhaha over exposing Michelangelo’s David to impressionable Florida public school children reminded me of the classic sculpture’s 1998 appearance on Robin Byrd‘s Men For Men. For those outside of Manhattan, this was a late night cable TV show featuring strippers and adult film entertainers that aired nearly every night of the week. Apparently, poor Dave had fallen on hard times and was shaking his marbles for cash on 8th Avenue. At least that was the way it appeared on my public access show, Bri-Guy’s Media Surf.

Maria, the beleaguered salt shaker.

I have written about Media Surf in the past – it ran on Manhattan Neighborhood Network from 1997-2007. In the early years, I created short segments using stop-motion with my video camera. Most featured a portly salt shaker named Maria. After a while I grew tired of the time consuming technique. David’s striptease was one of the last that I created.

/\ /\ I’m leaving this here to show how ridiculous YouTube is. /\ /\

I wanted to utilize my set of David refrigerator magnets on a red metal background. It had to be metal for the magnetic properties, and the red would emulate the lurid background on Robin’s show. I was still trying to figure out how to execute this when I came home one day to find that the apartment doors in my building had been re-painted glossy red. Perfect! I propped my door open, set up my camera tripod and went about creating the frame-by-frame striptease. Luckily I lived on the top floor and was uninterrupted by puzzled neighbors wondering what the hell I was doing.

In the version that aired 25 years ago, David was dancing to Madonna’s “Erotica” – a song that every third performer on Robin Byrd’s show seemed to use at the time. Unfortunately, Madge and Warner Brothers Music are most intolerant of the unauthorized use of their recordings. Rather than risk having the video removed from social media platforms, I switched it out. David now shimmies to Man Parrish / Man 2 Man’s “Male Stripper,” a much better choice of song that I wish I had used in the first place.

I was planning to use a clip of Robin’s generic “Lie back, get comfortable” guest introduction and then cut to David’s performance. It was pure luck that I happened to be recording her show one night when she introduced a guest named “David.” Sometimes the stars align to help create a classic piece of work. 😉

See Also:
If You See Me In The Bathroom, Be Sure To Shake My Hand
1991: Homo Alone
Gay Porn Stars We Lost In 2022
You Know The B-52’s Song “Roam” Is About Butt Sex, Right?

More Men of St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School

St. Mary’s College during WWII

June, 2022 marked 80 years since the start of the U.S. Navy pre-flight training program that took place at St. Mary’s College. Images of naked or jockstrap-clad cadets were taken during training at the school in Moraga, California when it was requisitioned for the war effort from 1942-1946. You can see more of these photos in our previous posts:

Men of St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School

Boys of Summer: St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School

Christmas At St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School, Pt. I

Christmas At St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School, Pt. II

80 Years Ago: The Men of St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School

Unfortunately, there is still some confusion when these pictures surface, as they are sometimes miscredited as Ivy League posture photos. For comparison, here are two of the different Yale posture photos:

The single profile pose was used from the late 1930’s until 1952. It was then replaced with a mirror/ triptych setup, which has “Yale” visible in the background.

Prior to World War II, there were other physical fitness photos taken at the army base in Ft. Sheridan, Illinois. These fully nude pics do not pop up on the internet as often as those from St. Mary’s Pre-flight school. As shown above, both sets of photos contain the location identified within the photo.

The St. Mary’s photos were taken to measure the fitness progression of each recruit as they underwent extreme physical training. Each picture was accompanied by an index card containing body measurements and physical achievement statistics over the course of several months.

This allows for some contrasting images that would be the envy of many fitness plans.

Comparative photos: March 1 – May 5, 1943

Only the earliest St. Mary’s photos – dated June 13, 1942 – feature the men completely nude. All subsequent photos feature the cadets in jockstraps. In all of the photos, the men stand behind some sort of grid fencing to better illustrate misalignment and spinal curvature.

My collection of photos gathered from around the internet now includes over 750 different cadets. The youngest identified died at age 20 and the oldest lived to 103 years old.

Whether the individual photos of these handsome young men capture them at the beginning of their lives or tragically close to the end, all of the subjects are timelessly captured in prime physical condition as they trained to serve their country. 80 years later, we salute and admire their fine forms and dedication.

Navy Memorial Bench plaque from the St. Mary’s campus.

The Yale Posture Photos: James Franciscus
Men of St.Mary’s Pre-Flight School
Boys of Summer: St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School
Christmas At St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School, Pt. I
Christmas At St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School, Pt. II
80 Years Ago: The Men of St. Mary’s Pre-Flight School

Artist’s Muse: José “Pete” Martinez

In last summer’s post about the PaJaMa Collective – artists Paul Cadmus, Jared French and his wife Margaret – the focus was on their Fire Island photos of the late 1930’s. One of the friends who cavorted with the trio during that time was José “Pete” Martinez, a dancer from New York City who was involved with their friend, arts patron and ballet impresario Lincoln Kirstein.

In David Leddick’s book Intimate Companions, Martinez is described as “a droll and witty young man… Those who knew the two men in the 1930’s said he was capable of endlessly amusing his lover, and that of all the men in his life, Martinez was the man that Kirstein most likely loved the most. Kirstein loved gossip and other men’s tales of their sexual exploits, and this love of storytelling drew him to Martinez. In addition, Martinez was handsome, and many artists painted, drew and photographed him. “

Fire Island PaJaMa photos featuring José Martinez with Paul Cadmus, Jared and Margaret French, ca 1938-39

Besides The PaJaMa Collective, those artists included Paul Cadmus’ sister Fidelma and photographers William Caskey and George Platt Lynes.

The most memorable Lynes photo of Martinez is a studio shot with the dancer perched in a window frame wearing nothing but a wide brimmed sun hat.

George Platt Lynes photographs of José Martinez.

Pete Martinez (who sometimes used the stage name Pete Stefan) was born José Antonio Martinez-Berlanga in Mexico on March 13, 1913. His family moved to Houston, Texas when he was quite young. Mama Martinez had been a folk dancer back in Mexico and one of Jose’s sisters dreamed of following in her footsteps. Little José was drafted as her dance partner. The scenario is familiar to many boys who begin to study dance as children: the sister loses interest and drops out, but he continues on. It’s a page torn out of A Chorus Line. Later an uncle took him to see Ballet Russe, which further strengthened his resolve to dance. “I was going to set the world on fire,” he would later recount.

After graduating high school, much to the chagrin of his parents, José moved to New York City to study at the School of American Ballet, where he eventually gained a full scholarship. Upon graduation, he was invited to join the company.

Martinez caught the eye of Lincoln Kirstein, and the relationship progressed to the point that they moved in together.

The PaJaMa photo “After The Hurricane” features (l-r) Jared French, Lincoln Kirstein, José Martinez, Forrest Thayer and probably Paul Cadmus. Tragically, costume designer Forrest Thayer was killed in a Southampton single car accident in 1951.

Martinez became a member of The Ballet Caravan, a touring company founded by Kirstein to provide off-season summer employment to American ballet dancers. Here Martinez began to get more involved in the creative process: conceiving the ideas and librettos for ballets, if not choreographing them. He is most associated with the ballet Pastorela, although his exact contribution to its creation varies depending on the source.

As noted in the New York Times article below, Martinez also had several engagements at Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room with different dance partners.

New York Times, 12/1/40
José Martinez photographed by William Caskey
Lincoln Kirstein & his wife Fidelma Cadmus

Martinez eventually found himself in a triangular romantic situation similar to his friends in The PaJaMa Collective: Paul Cadmus and Jared French had a sexual relationship that continued after French married Margaret Hoening. The three all lived and worked together in a Greenwich Village townhouse at 5 St. Luke’s Place. When Lincoln Kirstein married Paul’s sister Fidelma, she moved into the apartment he shared with Martinez, who continued to live with them for the first year of the marriage.

Martinez was also photographed in the summer of 1938 sunbathing with Jared French and Paul Cadmus on the roof of their home/studios at 5 St. Luke’s Place.

The Ballet Caravan were on a South American tour through 1941 as the U.S. entered World War II. The troupe returned to a very different New York City than the one they had left. When Martinez was denied entry to the Army, he went to work at a hostel for Jewish refugees in Haverford, Pennsylvania where writer Christopher Isherwood was already working. The two were acquaintances through Kirstein but developed a close friendship that would sometimes turn physical, as detailed in Isherwood’s diaries.

For My Brother: A True Story By José Martinez As Told To Lincoln Kirstein original jacket designed by William Chappell.

Paul Cadmus photographed sketching José Martinez at 5 St. Luke’s Place.

In 1943, a book was published in the UK with the rather unwieldy title For My Brother: A True Story By José Martinez As Told To Lincoln Kirstein.

From the original dust jacket: “It is the life story of a young American of Mexican origin whose family has settled in a small town in Texas. It is at the same time a study in the contrast between two worlds, two ways of life: industrial, polyglot America, and the more primitive civilization of Mexico just over the border, where many of the hero’s relations still live. The story is told with great poetic feeling and a rare delicacy of perception in human relationships…”

The chronology on Kirstein’s website makes no mention of Martinez and lists For My Brother as fiction “based on a Mexican sojourn.”

The book jacket was designed by fellow dancer-turned-ballet designer William Chappell. For My Brother… is quite rare, as most of the 2,000 printed copies were said to have been destroyed in a warehouse bombed by the Nazis. A Canadian edition was later published by MacMillan.

Martinez was finally able to join the military in 1943 and remained in service until the end of the war.

Back in New York, he resumed his dance career with Ballet Society where he danced in the original 1946 productions of George Balanchine’s Four Temperaments and William Dollar’s Highland Fling.

And then…. to invoke A Chorus Line once again: “What do you do when you can no longer dance?”

A knee injury hastened the end of his performance career. A June 4, 1950 article in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot chronicled his coming to terms with the transition. He drifted for a year before settling into the next chapter of his life as a dance teacher in Norfolk, Virginia.

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 7/27/47
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 6/12/49

After Virginia, Martinez founded other dance studios in Ohio and California, where he retired from teaching in the mid-1960’s.

Lincoln Kirstein died at aged 88 in January, 1996. José Martinez passed away 16 months later in Pasadena, California at age 84.

See also:
Fire Island PaJaMa Party
Artist’s Muse: Chuck Howard
Artist’s Muse: Randy Jack
Artist’s Muse: Ted Starkowski
Artist’s Muse: The Mystery Model
Buddy & Johnny: A Historic Photo Shoot

Gay Porn Stars We Lost in 2022

In August of 2020, porn star Koldo Goran tweeted about three fellow performers who had recently died. Goran’s tweet was the only public notice that performer Dani Rivera had been murdered. “I realize nobody talks about it, we are unprotected and forgotten;” Goran tweeted “We are humans, people, enough of contempt.”

Koldo Goran tweet

Most gay news outlets choose to ignore the passing of all but the biggest names in the adult film industry.  Porn companies also seem reluctant to broadcast the death of a performer who is still on their roster, forever young and present in their website content. An obit is a real boner killer, ya know? Why jeopardize the profit margin?

Additionally, performers who abandon their porn personas and return to life under their real names often pass away unnoticed by former employers and scene partners.

For this reason – and due to continued interest in this topic – we have also updated our lists of porn star passings for 2020 and 2021.

Note that some of the departed listed below have no verification other than the crumbs of information posted on the IAFD database. We remember those that were lost in 2022 to prove Koldo Goran wrong – they have not been forgotten.

1) Earlier this year we posted a tribute to prolific pornographer Robert Prion, who passed away at age 69 on 3/28/22. Prion filmed approximately 70 full-length films over a 30 year period, primarily in and around his New Jersey home. In the first decade of filming, he usually performed in the films as well.

Cody Fallon

2) Cody Fallon appeared in a dozen films for Randy Blue from 2007-2010. He died of throat cancer in late March.

Porter @ Military Classified

3) In June, Rob Novarro tweeted “It’s with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of another of my models, Porter, he was 35 years old when he passed, much too young. I don’t know any details but that he’s gone.”

Porter aka Paris Holsinger passed away on April 12th in California. He appeared in nearly two dozen scenes with Novarro for his Military Classified website in 2015/2016. The death notice suggested donations to a substance abuse recovery organization and services for the homeless.

4) Steve “Titpig” Hurley aka Paul Yinger worked for Catalina, Brush Creek, Hot Desert Knights, and Treasure Island Media over a 15 year period starting in 1998. The 64 year-old from Ypsilanti, Michigan was also an RN and HIV activist. He passed away in Cathedral City, CA on April 14, 2022.

MJ Taylor

5) MJ Taylor primarily worked with Fraternity X and College Dudes but also appeared in scenes for Falcon, Men, Cockyboys, Bait Buddies and other companies from 2007-2018. The Ohio native then went on to work behind the scenes in the industry. He died of cancer in early June, 2022.

Randy from Sean Cody

6) Jason Pacheco, aka Randy was one of the most popular models in the Sean Cody stable, appearing in over 50 scenes from 2013-2019. He was very public on social media about his struggles with drug addiction and a GoFundMe was set up to help pay the medical bills from the resulting complications. He died of organ failure in his hometown of Gloucester, Mass. on 7/9/22.

Sean Cody director Walden Woods issued a statement, “My heart is broken to hear about the passing of Randy. I met him on set almost 10 years ago. He was always a good guy to be around, and had some amazing energy and authentic charm that was undeniable… I had a great time every day he was on set. It’s incredibly sad to hear of his passing. You were a giant Randy, rest in peace.”

Lucas, aka Sam Bayard

7) Lucas aka Sam Bayard appeared in the Crush series on the French Twinks website earlier this year. Pink TV posted a statement: “We are devastated by the passing of Lucas aka Sam Bayard. We spent wonderful and joyful moments by his side before he decided to give a new direction to his career… The whole FrenchTwinks team shares the immense sadness of his loved ones. It was around 11 p.m., this Tuesday, September 20, 2022, that Antoine Lebel and the FrenchTwinks team announced this terrible news.”

8) Lawrence Morningstar, aka Morning Star West aka Laurence William Tyler worked as an exclusive for Cutler’s Den and then with Noir Male and SayUncle as well as producing his own OnlyFans content. He passed away suddenly while on vacation in Maui on September 28th.

Fellow performer Damian Cruz posted on twitter: “It gives me the utmost sadness to have to tell you all, my soulmate, my brother, and my best friend @xxx_morningstar has passed away this morning. Such a light and an amazing human being. Imma miss you buddy. ”

Shawn Mayotte aka Dirk

9) Doug Probst, aka Shawn Mayotte was a well known Hollywood escort who only appeared in a couple of scenes as “Dirk” for YMAC circa 1982-83. Last year he released two books: Mayotte: The Musings of a Narcissist, a memoir recounting his harrowing exploits in Hollywood, and After Hours: Naked & Unashamed, a celebration of his nude print modeling work. He died of throat cancer in early November at age 57.

10) Tyler Roberts, aka Eric Hazen was 34 years old and had been working in the business since he was 20. He experienced “organ failure” while on vacation in Palm Springs and passed away three weeks later on 12/2/22.

His boyfriend Aaron Thomas tweeted, ““I am so heartbroken to share that my love @XXXTylerRoberts passed away yesterday. His family and I are grieving as Eric left a huge space behind that can’t easily be fixed. Lead with love and tell everyone you can you love them as if it’s the last. I love you Bubba. Rest now.”

Tyler Roberts
Forrest Marks aka Fane Roberts

11) Forrest Marks, aka Fane Roberts, aka Bobby Kuenster passed away on December 27, 2022 in his hometown of Chicago. From 2016-2018, he appeared in over a dozen scenes for Gayhoopla under the name Forrest Marks. He was credited as Fane Roberts for his work with Falcon studios.

Model Gage Kalama-Florence posted about his friend on twitter: “I’m shocked and in disbelief, an old friend passed away too soon… my first gay bestie he really showed me the ropes and for ever will be grateful… Rest in peace Robert.”

Forrest/Fane/Bobby had just started an Only Fans page in October, promising “What is posted now is nothing of what’s coming, shot, and in post production, being shot, and so on. Be patient please. I’m all in.”

Shawn Wolfe

12) On the same day, December 27th, 2022 Shawn Wolfe, aka Shawn Paul Bertrand died of a drug overdose at age 35. His mother wrote on his Facebook wall: “Thank you for all of your kind words. Shawn was a light in this world and he is now a light in Heaven…. He is also with all of his friends and family who went before him….”

Wolfe was first credited as Drew for a 2009 solo scene at Sean Cody. He went on to work primarily for Falcon/Raging Stallion, where he was named Man of the Year in 2013. He retired in 2017. Chi Chi LaRue memorialized Wolfe on Facebook, writing, “Another amazing person gone too soon.”

Content Creator FunMrSmith

UPDATE: A reader drew my attention to the passing of Mr Smith, aka FunMrSmith, a popular gay-for-pay Chaturbate model and content creator who was nominated for an XBiz Award in 2020. He was undergoing chemo to battle a recurrence of leukemia last year when he contracted COVID and passed away in July, 2022.

Gay Porn Stars We Lost In 2020
Gay Porn Stars We Lost In 2021
Remembering prolific pornographer Robert Prion
Costello Presley and 80’s Gay Porn Guilty Pleasures

Yes Virginia, There Is A Spotify Playlist (2022)

NYC Santas photographed in the late 1970’s by Susan Meiselas

I know I am not alone when I say that I take comfort in the annual repetition of the holidays: revisiting holiday-themed music, films, television shows… and now internet posts. Dave Holmes’ account of Patti LaBelle’s disastrous performance at the 1996 National Christmas Tree lighting is worth an annual revisit. Trust me.

In fact, the post that you are currently reading has been reworked and updated from the past two Christmas seasons, not to get meta or anything.

I find it interesting that we immerse ourselves in certain pop culture favorites for exactly 6 weeks of the year and then pack them up in mothballs with the ornaments until next year. I mean, Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” is currently at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Burl Ives and Andy Williams are also in the top 10! Are any of them on your 4th of July playlist? They aren’t on mine.

Gabe Pressman (left) with Marilyn Monroe (1956)

I used to look forward to the annual Christmas Eve tradition on NBC New York’s evening news when reporter Gabe Pressman would read “Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus.” I taped it in 2011, knowing that the tradition wouldn’t last forever. The self-described “little Jewish kid from the Bronx” was 87 years old at the time and continued to work at NBC until his death at age 93.

NBC New York reporter Gabe Pressman’s annual segment on Virginia O’Hanlon’s 1897 letter to the New York Sun Newspaper.

In keeping with this revisit, my other blog posts of Christmas past are back to haunt you like A Christmas Carol, Mr. Scrooge:

My Canine Christmas Tail is a true story about my dog Sunshine, a basset hound with an appetite for tinsel.

Here is my take on the 1987 Motown Christmas Special – which featured very few Motown acts.

I recently updated my post of 10 Things You May Not Know About March of The Wooden Soldiers, the Laurel & Hardy classic holiday film.

Have you watched Christmas In Connecticut yet this year? How about that delivery woman?

Here’s a little backstory on that classic holiday tune “¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?” & Augie Rios, who sang the original version.

Unfortunately, due to copyright issues all the links are broken on my 60 Degrees Girl Group Christmas piece. This also keeps me from posting other episodes of my old radio show – hopefully only temporarily. However… I have this to share:

Way back in 2002, when Limewire was a thing and people listened to music on silvery discs, I started creating Christmas CD mixes that I would mail out or give to people. These were received with a heartwarming combination of feigned delight, veiled indifference and deafening silence. None of these CDs had a pressing of more than 20 copies. I’d like to call them “much sought after” – but no, that’s not really the case, although every once in a while, someone really got into them and would ask for copies of other volumes.

And so, I’m offering this simple playlist…. for kids from 1 to 92. Unfortunately some of the tracks on these dozen CDs are not on Spotify, but I keep adding songs that would be on the current CD volume… if there was one. And now the playlist is over 16 hours of holiday tunes. I recommend listening on shuffle – there’s something to irritate everyone. Enjoy!

Here’s one more nugget to stuff in your stocking: This vid went viral in 2011. Choreographed and performed by Alex Karigan & Zac Hammer of the Amy Marshall Dance Company, it was filmed in one continuous take at the New 42nd St. Dance Studios. There’s something infectious about it: the joy, the corniness, the celebratory queerness of it all. It makes me want to dust off my jazz shoes. Once a year.

¿Dónde Está Santa Claus (& Augie Rios)?

When I was a child in the 1970’s, one of my favorite pastimes was playing my parents’ old discarded 45s on my Fisher Price record player. One single that received considerable airplay was a Christmas record by Augie Rios called “Ol’ Fatso,” which featured a sassy child giving Santa Claus a hard time with the repetitive chorus of “Don’t care who you are Ol’ Fatso / keep those reindeer off the roof.” What was not to love?

The flip side of this blue Metro 45 with the lion on the label was another Christmas song: “¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?” I would later learn that this was actually the “a” side of the record. At that age, I had to rely upon my own underdeveloped musical tastes to figure out which side was the hit. For this reason, I am still partial to Dusty Springfield’s self-penned b-side “Something Special” over the faux-Spector bombast of “Stay Awhile.”

As you can imagine, the rather un-PC “Ol Fatso” does not get covered a whole lot. Or at all. “¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?” on the other hand, has some other versions that have become favorites of mine.

Toni Stante (aka Antoinette Binastante) released a version on the Parkway label in 1965. This single has been the highlight of my Girl Group Christmas playlist for many years.

Later in the 60’s, The Thomas Sisters recorded what is now my favorite version. It is harder to find, though: It’s not on Spotify and keeps getting removed from YouTube. We’ll see how long this link remains active:

Other notable covers of the song: Charo’s 12″ disco version and the band Guster’s 2004 take of the tune.

But back to the original version and our titular question: ¿Dónde Está Augie Rios?

Augustine Rios was born in 1946, the son of Puerto Rican immigrant factory workers living in New York City. He began performing at a young age and had made some local television appearances before being cast as Lena Horne’s little brother in the 1957 Broadway musical Jamaica, which also starred Ricardo Montalbon and Ossie Davis. The role was originally only a few lines but Augie was such a standout in the out of town performances that it was expanded. By the time they hit Broadway, he was sixth on the cast list among the well established stars.

New York Age, Sept. 21, 1957

Broadway cast recording of Jamaica with Augie Rios, Ricardo Montalbon and Ossie Davis (1957)

Augie had been in Jamaica for over a year when he cut his first single for Metro records. “¿Dónde Está Santa Claus? was co-written by his manager, George Scheck and released just before Christmas, 1958.

Jamaica continued its run on Broadway for a year and a half, closing in April of 1959. Despite having a hit record and making television appearances during the run of the show, the press noted that Augie had never missed a performance.

Augie Rios with Carol Lawrence and Howard Keel in Saratoga (1959)

In December of 1959, Augie appeared as “Shorty” alongside Carol Lawrence and Howard Keel in the Broadway musical Saratoga, an adaption of the Edna Furber novel Saratoga Trunk with music & lyrics by Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer. Although Cecil Beaton did win a Tony award for costume design, the show was not a success and closed in April of 1960.

Meanwhile, Augie had two follow-up singles released on Metro in 1959, followed by another bilingual Christmas single on MGM in 1960: “Felice Navidades (Merry Christmas To All)”:

Augie continued to work in theatrical productions on tour and in summer stock. He also made numerous television appearances. By 1963, he was performing with his own vocal group, Augie Rios and the Notations. They released a single on Shelley Records followed by two additional solo singles credited to Augie in 1964. Of course there have also been numerous reissues of his original Christmas classic single through the years.

Back in the early 2000’s, I came across an internet post about Augie Rios on a 1950’s music website. Augie himself had responded in the comments section, thanking everyone for their continued interest and also giving an update on what he had been up to in recent years – retired from his post-performance career and still living in the tri-state area. Unfortunately, the website is long gone, so I cannot locate details. There is also this video on YouTube, which seems to memorialize him in 2019 with a home audio recording and photo montage of his life.

¡Feliz Navidad Augie Ríos! Gracias por la música.