Born as Frances Cohen, Faye's showbiz career began at the age of 15 in nightclubs where she first became a star. She appeared in one Bing Crosby film; Double or Nothing singing "After You". She wrote the song "Well All Right" recorded by the Andrews Sisters. Faye made her solo recording debut in 1936. Her act became famous for including double entendres and references to homosexuality and lesbianism. Faye herself was bisexual and hinted at this frequently in her act; she would often playfully alter pronouns in love songs or weave her girlfriend's name into lyrics of song. For instance, she inserted "it's a Teri, Teri day" into "The Man I Love" and on national television sang "why do all the boys treat Teri so right" in "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate."
She recorded about a dozen albums for many different record labels, including Capitol Records and Imperial Records and jazz labels Verve Records and Bethlehem Records.
Faye was married twice in the 1940s. In the late 1950s, a woman named Teri Shepherd became her manager and lifelong partner. Shepherd discussed her relationship with Faye in Bruce Weber's 2001 film Chop Suey.
Faye was arrested in 1955 on a narcotics charge in Los Angeles; police asserted that she and the three men arrested at the same time possessed marijuana.
During in the 1960s, Faye suffered a number of health related problems brought on by a hip accident in 1958. She nevertheless continued to tour into the early 1980s. Peter Allen credited her as a major influence and had Faye sing the vocals on the track "Just a Gigolo (Schoner Gigolo)" on his 1974 album, Continental American.
She returned to film in 1978, playing an elderly cocaine-sniffing madam in the Louis Malle film Pretty Baby. She retired shortly afterwards. At the time of her death in 1991, aged 79, she was still living with Shepherd.
Burial: Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Overtly homosexual shows were sometimes unwelcome in smaller cities. Lesbian singer Frances Faye, born Frances Cohen in Brooklyn, had a far easier time as a performer in small clubs. Noted enough to appear in a 1937 Bing Crosby film and television, she was famous for singing jazz and show tunes in nightclubs. In the mid-1940s she began tossing off bawdy lines and references to homosexuality in songs, often adding, "It's not dirty, it's just how I say it." In the late 1940s she was hardly hiding her lesbianism, and in the late 1950s she was chanting at the end of her act, "Frances Faye, all the way, gay gay gay, is there any other way?" --A Queer History of the United States by Michael BronskiDays of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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