Video: Bette Midler With Barry Manilow – Friends – Gay Pride 1973

Vito Russo On The Gay Pride March 1973 With Bette Midler & Barry Manilow

Vito Russo On The Gay Pride March 1973 With Bette Midler & Barry Manilow

“The rally used to be a battleground for ideas and politics.  I knew that the tensions would be running high that day because a group of radical lesbians were opposed to a couple of comic drags scheduled to be a part of the entertainment program.  Drag was high on their hit list.  So I began working on Bette Midler weeks in advance to come and sing to sort of calm things down.  Well, the lesbians heckled the drag queens throughout their numbers, and when it was over, Jean O’Leary [the founder of Lesbian Feminist Liberation] got up and made a very angry speech in which she said that men who impersonate women for profit insult women.  All hell broke loose in the audience between the men and the women, and Bette got up on stage and sang ‘Friends.’  She had brought Barry Manilow with her.  Bette worked like a charm.  It wasn’t that the issues were forgotten, but she provided a tremendously healing presence.  It was a great thing for Bette, too.  She said later that it was one of the great things she did, that she felt like she was Marilyn Monroe singing in Korea.”

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2 thoughts on “Video: Bette Midler With Barry Manilow – Friends – Gay Pride 1973

  1. I had always seen the photos but never the video-Awesome-Thank you so much for sharing and I have followed this site since the beginning-you do awesome work my friend-thank you Don for ALL your hard work, hasn’t gone unnoticed and it is greatly appreciated-keep it going!

    1. Thank you so much, Stephen. I can’t tell you how rare it is to get feedback good or bad, but it is so appreciated. It gives me a sense of what’s going right or maybe not. I have to make major changes to the site real soon or else it is not going to function properly. Already a lot of my pages outside of the blog have lost their formatting, so i am looking at some major work to keep it going. My goal was to have every year of her entertainment life covered. I’m not there yet, even though I have 500 posts waiting in the wings.I think the site has gotten too big for me to handle alone. I need to update the awards database, Theater, and Movie Sections, but I need to find an updated modern template to use first.

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