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Joe Bracco (May 2, 1960 - March 3, 1991)

andrew potter
Joe Bracco (May 2, 1960, Seaford, New York - March 3, 1991, New York, New York), a passionate and unique singer/songwriter, first appeared on the gay music scene in 1987. Although he began performing in 1980 in duet with Debra Ruth, it was not until several years later that he found his own voice, both personally and musically. An early song, "You Are My Strength," received an honorable mention from The International Songwriting Competition of the American Song Festival in 1981. To be true to himself, he stopped composing heterosexual "hits" and took a more meaningful direction, using his melodic flair to write songs that portrayed gay feelings and lives in a positive way. (Photo: courtesy estate of Joe Bracco)

As an openly gay singer, Joe appeared on national and local television and radio and performed in concerts, working with Romanovsky & Phillips, Lynn Lavner, Elliot Pilshaw, Sara Cytron and the Big Apple Corps Band, mostly in cabarets and small theaters in New York. He made appearances at benefits for ACT-UP, the People With AIDS Coalition, the New York Names Project, and the New York City Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center.

His song "Friend In My Pocket" was inspired by a GMHC [Gay Men's Health Crisis] campaign for condom use. The song was used on several cable TV shows and for a condom-use campaign. It was also featured in a multi-media exhibit on AIDS as part of a Keith Haring print retrospective, and will be published in a book on lyric writing by lyricist/composer Sheila Davis.

Joe recorded twenty-four songs before his death but was not able to see to completion their release on cassette. With the support of Joe's friends and family, Romanovsky & Phillips completed the project by adding arrangements, backing vocals, etc., and released fifteen of the songs on their Fresh Fruit label in 1992.

Source: http://www.artistswithaids.org/artforms/music/catalogue/bracco.html

Further Readings:

The Songwriters Idea Book: 40 Strategies to Excite Your Imagination, Help You Design Distinctive Songs, and Keep... by Sheila Davis
Hardcover: 250 pages
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books / F & W Publications; 1st edition (January 1, 1992)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0898795192
ISBN-13: 978-0898795196
Amazon: The Songwriters Idea Book
Amazon Kindle: The Songwriters Idea Book

In her first two books, Sheila Davis classified the major song forms and enduring principles that have been honored for decades by America's foremost songwriters. Those books have become required reading in music courses from NYU to UCLA.

In The Songwriters Idea Book, Davis goes one step further, giving you 40 strategies for designing distinctive songs. You'll break new ground in your own songwriting by learning about the inherent relationship between language style, personality type and the brain.

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics


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