The Many Sides of Zebedy Colt

Zebedy Colt was born Edward Earle Marsh and had two parallel careers. As Edward Earle, he was active in theatre, with several small Broadway roles, and many more regional theatre credits. And he was a musician, and that work included appearing on one of Ben Bagby’s albums in 1967. Those albums paid homage to the forgotten music of major composers and there a whole series. The LP I found him on was “Ben Bagby’s Noel Coward Revisited,” and on it he gave us the only full-song version I know of for Coward’s “Green Carnations.” That was originally was from “Bittersweet,” in 1929, and that made it a very early lyrically gay song.
The other side of Zebedy Colt attracted much more attention. Of interest to me was his 1969 LP “I’ll Sing For You,” of mostly standards, with those songs intended to be sung by women…but this time sung man to man, and without any campy nuances, they were done…er, straight. Included are the songs “The Man I Love” and “I’m in Love With a Wonderful Guy.” Now this was not the first time an album of standards were done in this fashion…I give “Love Is A Drag,” from 1962, that honor. But it certainly was a very early approach considering the young genre of “gay music.”

By the mid-1970’s, Colt had found an additional career, in straight porn, with “The Story of Joanna,” (1975) being his best known title. This was at the same time he was appearing on Broadway, under the name Edward Earle. His cast-mates in the Royal Theatre Company were quite surprised when they went to the film and recognized Zebedy as their fellow actor Edward. There’s a lot more info at the link. 
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