TBT: Lavender Country

Written by: Kara Kundert

Wakin' up to say hip hip hooray I'm glad I'm gay
Can't repress my happiness ever since I tried your way
Gonna lay right here and greet the sun
'Cause gay time lovin's just begun
So come on, let's tumble in the hay -- Lavender Country, "Come Out Singing"

Today we're doing a throwback to the first band to ever make a country album highlighting the LGBT experience, Lavender Country. The band consisted of lead singer and guitarist Patrick Haggerty, keyboardist Michael Carr, singer and fiddler Eve Morris and guitarist Robert Hammerstrom (the only heterosexual member). Their self-titled album, born out of the Stonewall Riots and first released in 1973, had an initial run of just 1,000 copies. The band performed at Seattle Pride the following year, and performed together until their dissolution in 1976.

In 2000, the Journal of Country Music published an article on gay country musicians, focusing in large part on Patrick Haggerty and Lavender Country. With the renewed attention on the band, the original album was rereleased on CD in December 1999, which was followed by a new five song EP in 2000, titled Lavender Country Revisited, which featured three rerecordings of songs from the original album and two new tracks. 

Lavender Country is now archived in the Country Music Hall of Fame, in recognition of the bravery and innovation of these musicians in paving the way for future LGBT artists in the roots community.

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