You Make Me Feel Mighty Real

Your Anthem for National Drag History month
Friday, January 08, 2010 03:16 PM
tags: Absolutely Fabulous, dance music, drag icons, gay diva, National Drag History Month, Sylvester

“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by the iconic drag phenomenon, Sylvester. Still one of the best hi-NRG songs ever made, whose lyrics speak to drag queens everywhere. Sylvester got his start in San Francisco with the groundbreaking genderfuck troup, the Cockettes, singing a repetoire of Bessie Smith songs. He left in 1972 and eventually recorded with everyone from the Weather Girls, the Pointer Sisters, and Patti LaBelle to Aretha Franklin (singing backup on “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?”). Although he had a small role in the Bette Midler film The Rose, and his classic dance song “Do You Wanna Funk?” was featured in the movie Trading Places, mainstream acceptance never quite happened for him due to his outlandish appearance and camp persona. According to Wikipedia: “Pressure from the label to ‘butch up’ his image would result in him attending meetings in full-on drag. A drag photo shoot, which he staged and presented to label heads as a gag (calling it his ‘new album cover’) would later grace the cover of his album Immortal after Sylvester died; it was the label’s way of paying tribute to his spirit.” Sure ”“ capitalizing in death on the very things they denied him in life. But isn’t that the history of us all? Sylvester died of complications of AIDS in San Francisco on December 16th, 1988. He was 41. But of course he lives on forever in his fabulously gay dance anthems, and especially with this song.

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