December 22, 2013


While an anthem of rejection, Silly remains one of the prettiest songs I've ever heard. And it's perfect for Deniece Williams' fluttering songbird vocals. She gives you a bit more oomph in her live version--it's from 2012 and she had returned to her gospel roots for decades. But it's still an odd, majestic masterpiece in a waltz tempo. It almost has that irish feel that Patti's Look To The Rainbow gives you.

I was introduced to Silly when a drag queen performed it at club Alan Gold's in Chattanooga around 1980 when it came out. She was as electrifying as her number. We begged to know what the song was and struck up a conversation with her. She was from Knoxville, TN which to us was a bigger city that she made seem even more permissive and intriguing by claiming that she lived in drag working as a paralegal. We looked at the greasepaint which was not disguising the sea of large razor bumps and wondered if that was really true. I don't recall her name, but I forever thank her for turning me onto this r&b gem. Seems like queens used to introduce their audience to lesser known showstoppers which were not always on the radio. Like Millie Jackson, Yvonne Fair, Grace Slick, Liza, Bette Midler, Natalie Cole (live) and Shirley Bassey. Now many queens just go for the most obvious top 40 and I guess the hits make the most tips. But I miss the time when drag queens had their own hits.