Recapping 2020's Oscar Telecast: Not So Gay

Boy Crushes on Male Singing Stars of the 1960s & '70s

Dennis wilson beach boys


A number of years ago I wrote a post about male stars of TV shows in the 1960s and '70s who I fancied when I was a kid.  Now, in this post, male singers from that era who roused my innocent attention get the spotlight.  For the most part I watched these singers when they performed on popular variety shows such as Ed Sullivan, Andy Williams or American Bandstand.  As you'll see, I didn't have one type; some singers had masculine swagger, some possessed long-haired sexiness, while others exuded cool sophistication.


DENNIS EDWARDS (The Temptations)

The lasting memory I have of Edwards as lead singer of the Temptations was his performance of their hit song from 1969, I Can't Get Next to You, on the Andy Williams Show.


Dennis edwards_temptations


LEVI STUBBS (The Four Tops)

Stubbs' voice is strongest on hits of the Four Tops such as Bernadette, Standing in the Shadows of Love, Baby I Need Your Loving and Shake Me, Wake Me.


Levi stubbs four tops



The ethereal Stevens was a prototype for the 21st century's metrosexual.  I was attracted more to his looks than to his songs.


Cat stevens



Like Cat Stevens, I liked Morrison's mop of unruly hair and his feline sexiness (Mic Jagger of the Rolling Stones was very similar, but he just didn't do it for me).  Favorite songs of his are Love Her Madly, Touch Me and Riders on the Storm.


Jim morrison doors


KEITH POTGER (The Seekers)

Potger was one of the three musicians of the Australian group The Seekers (biggest hit was Georgie Girl) who backed up singer Judith Durham.  Unlike Jim Morrison's brooding presence, Keith had a sunny disposition.  


Keith potger guitar

  Keith potger_seekers


LARRY RAMOS (The Association)

Ramos always seemed to have a kind persona.  Born in Hawaii, he reminded me of a former boyfriend of mine who was from Ecuador.


Larry ramos the association


TED BLUECHEL (The Association)

Even before he grew his hair long and grew facial hair, Bluechel's clean cut was equally appealing.


Ted bluechel_the association



Most famous for his anti-war song from 1969, War (What is it Good For?), Starr had a club hit during the disco era with Contact.  Other songs of his that I like include Headline News, Twenty-Five Miles and HAPPY Radio.


Edwin starr_war what is it good for



His duets with Tammi Terrell and Diana Ross were especially beautiful.  His cool persona brings to mind that of Barack Obama.  Sadly, he died the day before his 45th birthday (shot by his father).


Marving gaye smiling in suit


Marvin gaye


MIKE NESMITH (The Monkees)

Nesmith was goofy-cute rather than debonair or sexy.


Mike nesmith



Pendergrass exuded sex.  By far his best song as a solo artist, in my estimation, was Close the Door.  He also had great songs leading Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (Bad Luck, Wake Up Everybody, Satisfaction Guaranteed). 


Teddy pendergrass



Another cool and debonair act in the Marvin Gaye mold.  And like Gaye, his life, unfortunately, was cut short by a bullet (at the age of 33).


Sam cooke



Wilson turned crazy as the years went by and he died young (39).


Dennis wilson beach boys early years


Dennis wilson bare chested



He eventually came out, but like Barry Manilow, it was no great surprise.  Besides Chances Are, his holiday song Sleigh Ride is high on the list of my favorite songs of his.


Johnny mathis in a tux


Johnny mathis_sleigh ride



Nino was paired up with April Stevens; their one hit song was Deep Purple from the early '60s.  His appearance reminds me of the Italian fathers who lived in the town I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.


Nino tempo



Mmm-hmm. Dennis Wilson.

I remember a 1980s Anna Quindlen column in the Times, "I Was a Paul Girl," referring to her crush on Paul McCartney. First thing that came to my mind was "I Was a Denny Boy." He helped me know I was gay.

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