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Rae Bourbon - Let Me Tell You About My Operation 1950s

On: Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rae Bourbon
  • Ray Bourbon
  • Hal Wadell, Texarkana b. 1892
  • Ramon Icarez,  Chihuahua b. 1898
  • Richard F Mann (pen name)
Texarkana, Texas
Chihuahua, Texas
1892 or 1989 - 1971

Ray Bourbon, was in my opinion the leading drag artist of the early years,  and by far the most prolific regarding recordings, issuing around 40 78 rpm  records, and over a dozen albums. Shown here are many of his albums, issued during the 1950s. Starting in vaudeville he attracted the attention of Mae West, who cast him in two of her shows. Around 1956 he concocted the ingenious gimmick of claiming to have had a sex change operation, which he milked for the rest of his career. He even entitled one of his albums, "Let Me Tell You About My Operation," and at that time changed his name from Ray to Rae. Colorful to the last, in 1968 he went to prison as an accomplice in a murder, stemming from a dispute over pet dogs, and he died in prison, of a heart attack in July of 1971. Diamond Lil, my feature interview for this show, remembers seeing Rae perform, and relates a couple of her memories of him. Source:

Founder of UTC (Under The Counter) Label.

01 Let Me Tell You About My Operation
02 Oh Doctor
03 I'm In The Family Way
04 Mrs Willoughby Will Definitely Object
05 When I Said, No To Joe
06 I Don't Want To Be A Madam
07 Millie
08 The Piano Teacher
09 Telephone Girl At The Ritz

Under The Counter UTC-7
Queer Comedy

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