Two years ago I did a special QMH show which had the short name of “Harvey Milk Music,” but it was really music about and inspired by him. And I think I was the first to gather together this music. An observation is that for songs about Harvey Milk, they really did not start showing up for a number of years after his death. But for ones about Dan White, they were immediate, especially after the trial. I’ve got about a half a dozen just from 1979. My comment is that as in the genre of protest songs, anger was a powerful motivator to songwriters. You can find my QMH show at the following link.
But I want to call attention to one song in particular, as shown in the graphic above. The song was inspired by Harvey Milk’s “Give ‘Em Hope” speech, and he used that message again and again in many speeches. I was honored to premier it on this show, and here’s how that happened.
One of my artist friends who I much respect is Tim Cain. He’s an award winning artist, and he was the founder of Chicago’s first queer boy rock band, called Boys’ Entrance. When I started working on this show in March of 2010 it occurred to me that, well, he’s written so many political songs, he might have one about Harvey Milk. So I wrote and asked him that. He said he didn’t but he would write me one, and it happened, and I was thrilled. He wrote it with Brett Alan Basil of the band Pink Sheep. This was the first time a song had been written expressly for QMH. It can be heard below, and is also available on iTunes.