Hear soul singer Bettye Lavette and historian Allan Berube, on this edition of Fresh Air.
Bettye Lavette has been singing for decades, though hasn't been well known. She recorded her first hit, "My Man - He's a Lovin' Man," at the age of 16. She toured with Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn, and Otis Redding. She spent six years on Broadway and touring with Cab Calloway in the musical "Bubbling Brown Sugar". Lavette later worked the European festival circuit. She's being crowned the Comeback Queen for the recent albums she recorded, including I've Got My Own Hell to Dream, and her newest The Scene of the Crime.
Allan Berube died this past Tuesday at age 61. Berube wrote what is considered the definitive history of gay men and lesbians in the military. Coming Out Under Fire was published in 1990 and a documentary based on the book was released in 1994. The idea for the book sprang from a box of letters recovered from a dumpster. Correspondence between a group of gay soldiers led to dozens of interviews about homosexual life in the military. Berube came out in 1969 and went on to found the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay History Project. He was awarded a MacArthur genius grant in 1996.
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