Sandy Rapp is a songwriter, activist, and author of God's Country: A Case Against Theocracy: The Haworth Press; 1991. Her best known songs are "Remember Rose: A Song For Choice," about the first back-street abortion fatality of the 1977 Medicaid-Abortion cutoff (all editions feature a guest vocal by the late Bella Abzug) and "Everyone Was At Stonewall," a gay history, written for police sensitivity training, which won StoneWall Society's Pride Song of 2004. Rapp was instrumental in the passage of a number of gay civil rights laws on Long Island, NY. Her CDs include We The People, Flag & The Rainbow, Still Marchin' and Salute to the Veteran Feminists. Rapp's appearances include the million-plus 2004 March For Women's Lives, the National Women's Music Festival, National NOW Rallies in Seneca Falls, Manhattan, and Washington, DC, National Women's Political Caucus Conferences, Gulf Coast Womyn's Festival, Chicago's Autumnfest, New York State NOW Conferences, Montana Pride Rally, Palm Springs' Gay Veterans, Manhattan's Peoples Voice Cafe, the 2001 NOW March on DC, the Gay Millenium March, the 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2010 National NOW Conferences, the 2005 Save The Court Rally in Union Square, the Molly Yard Memorial in DC's Hart Senate Office Building, and the 2009 Stonewall Veterans' Fortieth Reunion in NYC's GLBT Center. In 2006 Rapp received two OutMusic Award nominations, and served as a Grand Marshal of the Long Island Pride Parade. Rapp won StoneWall Society's Pride in the Arts 2010 Lifetime Achievement in Music Award; and Rapp's premier of "Rise Up Ye Women" at the NYU Law School was toasted in The New Yorker - 11/13/06. In 2008 Rapp sang several of the Clinton rallies and wrote 'She Will Rise' for a Hillary Website. See Rapp's 2008 Seneca Falls, NY 160th Anniversary performance of "Walkin' Shoes" at youtube.com/SandyRapp.
Sandy Rapp - vocal & guitar
CDs: We The People 1995
Flag & The Rainbow 2003
Still Marchin' 2005
Salute to the Veteran Feminists 2006
Everyone Was At Stonewall
Leave A Message
Remember Rose - A Song For Choice
The New Yorker Talks Sandy Rapp
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The New Yorker - 11/13/06 Talk Of The Town By Kate Julien http://members.aol.com/sandyrapp/Review...The New Yorker - 11/13/06
Talk Of The Town
By Kate Julien
BELLA VS. BETTY
Issue of 2006-11-13
In a year of all-too-public reconciliations (ranging from Tom and Brooke to Paris and Nicole), word of a rapprochement between the followers of the late Betty Friedan and those of the late Bella Abzug has been relatively slow to spread. It all started, inauspiciously enough, with Friedan’s death, in February. “The family wanted the funeral to be a family ceremony,” Sidney Abbott, the founder of a group called Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, explained recently. “But there were many frustrated feminists there who wanted to hear what Kate”—Kate Millett, the author of the 1970 manifesto “Sexual Politics”—“and others had to say.”
Abbott, the co-author of the 1972 book “Sappho Was a Right-On Woman,” decided to plan a proper sendoff. Having set a date—Women’s Equality Day, the eighty-sixth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment—she prevailed upon N.Y.U. to lend space at its law school. Coretta Scott King, who passed away the same week as Friedan, would be remembered, as would Abzug, who died in 1998. Millett would at last deliver her eulogy, but the event would not be a wake: it would be forward-looking, with workshops, awards, and calls to action.
Abbott set about enlisting old acquaintances, some of whom were wary of a Betty-Bella doubleheader. “Feminist lore has it that the National Women’s Political Caucus was Betty Friedan’s brainchild,” Abbott said. “But then Bella and Gloria Steinem came in.” As Judith Hennessee wrote in her biography of Friedan, “Bella and Betty were like the North Vietnamese and the Americans fighting over the shape of the table at the Paris Peace Conferences.” In her column for McCall’s, Friedan called Abzug and Steinem “female chauvinist boors.” A typical Abzug retort: “Once again Betty Friedan is exercising her right to be wrong.” In the weeks leading up to the event, the two camps remained divided. Abbott said, “Each side was saying, ‘That’s a Bella person!’ or ‘That’s a Betty person!’ ”
But on the day of the conference peace prevailed. There were crudités and iced tea, hugs, exclamations of names, and a display of old photographs by Bettye Lane, a longtime chronicler of the feminist movement. “A lot of my friends from the seventies are gone now,” Lane, who was wearing blue-tinted glasses, said. She spotted Millett, whose hair is white and who was wearing a pink shawl and sneakers. “Kate, you’re in the display!” she shouted. Barbara Love, whose encyclopedia of second-wave feminists came out this fall, was busy locating people mentioned in her book and affixing to their blouses yellow stickers that read “A Feminist Who Changed America, ’63-’75.”
Soon the women began filing into Tishman Auditorium for the afternoon’s main program. There were lots of speakers, but the subject of Friedan and Abzug’s relationship came up again and again. “In those days, Bella and Betty, it seemed, were always at odds,” Jacqui Ceballos, the head of Veteran Feminists of America, said. “But a few years ago they were coming in on the bus from Long Island, the Jitney, and when they saw each other they told their friends to get out of the way,” she said. “The two of them sat down and talked. Such powerful, wonderful women. We were so lucky to live in their time.” There were murmurs and nods across the audience, from Bella people and Betty people alike.
The proceedings were interspersed with music. (“It’s kind of hard to get people into a militant state of mind without music,” Abbott said.) The singer-songwriter Sandy Rapp had composed a song for the occasion, “Rise Up Ye Women,” which started like this: “It was a time of dark and sad song / Seven years with Bella been and gone.” There followed a stanza about Friedan, one about Rosa Parks, one cataloguing other recent losses (“Molly Yard went marchin’ to the rally in the sky / And C. DeLores Tucker left as well”), and then the final verse: “And let us sing, Coretta Scott King / For out from Alabama did she go / And there was Bella’s scribe Mim Kelber / There was Wendy Wasserstein / And we lost ’em all within a year, ya know.”
— Kate Julian
In-Tune -June 2006 Likes Sandy Rapp
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Northeast In-Tune - 6/15-7/14, 2006 http://www.northeastintune.com/index.php?bd=reg&sb=land&article...Northeast In-Tune - 6/15-7/14, 2006
By: Susan Frances
Sandy Rapp is a folk singer and songwriter as well as an author and a gay & lesbian rights activist. Her songs have a folksy delivery similar to tunes by Joan Baez, the trio - Peter, Paul, and Mary, the duo - Simon and Garfunkel, and a few Irish folk musicians like the Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem, and Brooklyn’s own Black 47. Though Sandy’s bio says that she was trained on the piano since the age of 4, she prefers the acoustic textures of the guitar in her ensembles and a light douse of horns conveying a “Stars & Stripes” emblem on the songs.
Her track “Remember Rose: A Song For Choice” features vocal harmonies by the late Bella Abzug, the former New York State Congresswoman. There is a catchy phonic to the vocal melody that recites:
“Get your laws off of me;
I’m not your property
Don’t plan my family;
I’ll plan my own
I don’t wanna be
in your theocracy
The tune comes off like a battle cry into facing the enemy, which in essence, the song was designed to combat legislation that hurt women’s rights to having an abortion. Her songs are issue oriented and have the socio-political spirit of an activist. It’s the song’s uprising stature that rings like a Black 47 tune and many Irish folk music pieces.
All of Sandy’s songs pronounce social injustices like the track “Everyone was at Stonewall,” which chronicles the history of the contemporary gay civil rights movement. There is a story rhyme characteristic to her songs, documenting situations that happened and depicting social issues that feel ignored. Her music means to expresses them in a forceful in-you-face fashion.
Her song “Get A Voice” acts as a catalyst for those who can’t find their voices, to represent themselves when she tells:
“Get a voice,
it’s good to tell
The sounds of freedom
live and well
Get a voice,
it’s good to say
The rainbow everyday.
Get a voice!”
Additionally, she is the author of God’s Country: A Case Against Theocracy which addresses the heady issues of war, feminism, reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state, directly like her songs themes. Sandy has released three albums, her debut LP We The People (1997), her sophomore release Flag and The Rainbow (1999), and her latest disc Still Marchin’ (2005).
Her live performances have included rallies mostly, at the National Women’s Music Festival, the Gay Millennium March on Washington, D.C., and the National NOW Conventions at Seneca Falls, Manhattan, and Washington, D.C. Wherever there is a pep-rally for gay & lesbian rights, Sandy Rapp is sure to be heard whether playing live or played on her record. Her music makes her audible.
The Amplifier - May 2006
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Still Marchin’ - Sandy Rapp The Amplifier - May 2006 Dan Thomason Rapp is a straight-up folk sing...Still Marchin’ - Sandy Rapp
The Amplifier - May 2006
Rapp is a straight-up folk singer singing and writing songs of activism, known for her music supporting G&L rights, pro-choice, and women’s rights in general. She is best known for “Remember Rose” about Rosie Jiminez, the first fatality of the 1977 Medicaid abortion funding cutoff, included here with a recitation by Bella Abzug. Also included is an update of the award-winning “Everyone Was At Stonewall” about the geographic focal point of the gay rights movement. “Legislator Postal On Our Side” honors Maxine Postal, a straight county legislator who fought for homosexual and transgender rights. Other anthemic songs include “Where Were the Flowers” for Indianapolis teen Becky Bell and “Flag and the Rainbow.” The 13 track CD is available by following the link at www.sonicbids.com/sandyrapp
Chicago Free Press - 1/4/06
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CPF Spotlights Still Marchin' Chicago Free Press - 1/4/06 By Gregg Shapiro Among lesbian singer/s...CPF Spotlights Still Marchin'
Chicago Free Press - 1/4/06
By Gregg Shapiro
Among lesbian singer/songwriters there is a vast assordment of styles and themes. Take activist and folk singer Sandy Rapp for instance. Her new CD “Still Marchin’” (sandyrapp.com) is, not surprisingly, a collection of protest and pride songs with powerful political messages. With song titles such as “Everyone Was At Stonewall,” “Remember Rose: A Song For Choice,” “Flag and the Rainbow” and “Get A Voice,” there is little doubt about what is on Rapp’s mind. Rapp also displays a charming sense of humor on the jaunty “Leave A Message At The Tone.”
Outmusic Spotlight - 2005
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Outmusic Spotlight '05 By Jed Ryan Singer. Songwriter. Author. Activist. Sandy Rapp, who lives on ...Outmusic Spotlight '05
By Jed Ryan
Singer. Songwriter. Author. Activist. Sandy Rapp, who lives on New York's Long Island, proudly makes folk music that's about the gay community and for the gay community. But the battle for full equality branches out to many fronts, and thus Ms. Rapp also writes and performs songs dealing with the heady issues of war, feminism, reproductive rights, and the underlying fight for separation of church and state that runs through many of those issues. The very first time I heard Sandy Rapp's music was circa 1997, when Ms. Rapp performed a guitar-and-vocals mini-concert for the organization P-FLAG at a Universalist Unitarian Church. Granted, the setting was intimate, but nevertheless I don't ever recall a perfomer who was able to connect to his or her audience the way Ms. Rapp did that afternoon-- not just thanks to her music but because of her ingratiating personality as well. I have no doubt that she would have had the same effect if she had performed at Giants Stadium. I bought a copy of Sandy Rapp's 1995 album "We the People" (on cassette!) and later, snail-mailed a letter of admiration to her (Remember, this was before the Internet became part of our daily lives...). Among the songs that Rapp gave her audience that Sunday afternoon was "Everyone Was at Stonewall", which is quintessential Sandy Rapp: an immediately catchy, campfire-style melody with instantly accessible, sing-along lyrics. And, like most of Rapp's songs, the tune was patently created for the crusade towards equality. Twelve years after it was written, Rapp's timeless musical tribute to the historic riots of 1969 ("To hear it told, Everyone was at Stonewall; It's widely known, not a soul was home; Every G. & L. has a New York tale to tell, 'Cause Stonewall was everyone...") deservedly won the 2004 Stonewall Society Award for "Pride Song". Rapp performs the song as part of GLBT senstivity training for police officers. What motivates Sandy Rapp? In an interview with Gay Today's Jack Nichols a few years ago, Rapp revealed what her turning point was: "When Anita Bryant began her crusade, I began mine. I stopped writing silly love songs and began writing anti-fundamentalist exposes. Reagan was the clincher. I became an activist the day he annonced his candidacy". It may have been reaction to anti-gay troublemakers that got Rapp started. But it is this artist's unyielding commitment to equality, combined with her talent for writing and making music, that would assure us that 36 years after Stonewall, Sandy Rapp is ... "Still Marchin'"!
The first track of "Still Marchin'", Sandy Rapp's third CD, is "Legislator Postal On Our Side", a tribute to the late Suffolk County Legislator Maxine Postal, who was an ardent ally of not only Long Island's GLBT community but of other minorities as well ("She said: I Am Drag Queen and Latina, I Am Black, I Am Gay; I am Jew, I am Gentile, I am Jain; I am always down to business, I am always up to game; And I'm proud to be among you on your way..."). I had the privelege of profiling Legislator Postal in 2002, and I can vouch that Postal singlehandedly renewed many fair-minded Long Islanders' faith in politics. A song about a local politician is a bold choice for the opening song of any CD, but then again, boldness has always been a part of Rapp's persona. Echoing the title of her first CD, "We the People" (a title that holds several meanings when it comes to Rapp's music... ), Rapp indeed makes music for the people. In this case, it's the Long Island gay community, and this community knows first-hand that Maxine Postal was indeed a heroine. Likewise, the Long Island LBGT community will no doubt appreciate many of Rapp's references in the song, including a nod to Long Island's local GLBT news magazine "Outlook". Later on in the CD, Rapp resurrects her emblematic 1989 track "Remember Rose: A Song for Choice": a solemn and powerful tribute to the "Rose" of the title, the first fatality of the 1977 Medicaid-abortion cutoff. The song features guest vocals by the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug, one of Rapp's role models who shared the artist's views on full equality for all. Yes, Bella Abzug sings on this track! Another song about the right to choose, "Where Were the Flowers", is dedicated to Becky Bell, who died in 1988 at age 17 from complications resulting from an backstreet abortion. Bell sought the illegal procedure in a desperate attempt to avoid telling her parents that she was pregnant-- a result, in part, of the "Parental Involvement" Law in Indiana at the time. "Flag & the Rainbow" is dedicated to "all those fallen to the anti-gays": "We sing for the dead and gone, For the daughters and the sons; We march toward laws for the living, In the states and Washington..." The song makes references to Matthew Shepard, Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill, Billy Jack Gaither, and others. Indeed, "Still Marchin'" is an "issues-oriented" CD, but Rapp brings these issues to life, with real stories of human experience: the pride and the prejudice. Her attitude, which comes through so vividly to the listener, is never a gloom-and-doom sermon but rather an enegetic "Wake up and smell the issues!"-style call to action. As we look towards 2006, good old-fashioned gay and lesbian pride and activism is more important than ever... and Sandy Rapp is here to remind us of that. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better song for that kind of motivation than "Everyone Was at Stonewall", which can single-handedly revitalize any domant feelings of pride that might have been tucked away since you came out of the closet. Rapp updates the song for 2005, adding lyrics about the seven states, plus D.C., that have passed gay rights protections since Rapp first wrote he song in 1992. For this listener at least, it was an encouraging sign that even as we face the unfriendly winds of our current so-called "leadership", we are making progress. There's some lighthearted stuff on "Still Marchin'" as well, such as Rapp's self-described Stonewall-era tale "Mary Mary", written in 1973; a light-as-air instrumental track "Sweetwood Aire"; and "Cagney's Song", a (dare I say?) cute song about Cagney, Rapp's beloved adopted pooch. Always giving a kind word to a worthy cause, in "Cagney's Song" Rapp praises the work of The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons. The CD closes with the dynamic, vivacious "Get A Voice", which Rapp calls "A Rainbow Sing-along". It's inspiring, empowering, and no less than triumphant.
On "Where Were the Flowers", Rapp reminisces, "Where were the flowers? We all wanted to know, For we were the flower children long time ago..." It's clear that Rapp's ideology from that era-- loving your fellow brothers and sisters, making a difference, starting a revolution, speaking out-- is stronger than ever. And, in 2005, it's more necessary than ever before. With "Still Marchin'", Sandy Rapp reminds us that many people can make music... but when someone makes music with a message, they also make history. Visit www.SandyRapp.com.
Outlook Long Island - Summer 2005
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Long Island Activist Sandy Rapp To Release New CD Outlook Long Island - Summer 2005 This Septembe...Long Island Activist Sandy Rapp
To Release New CD
Outlook Long Island - Summer 2005
This September Long Island singer/author Sandy Rapp will release her third issue-oriented CD: Still Marchin'. As it happens, the album's opening track, "Legislator Postal On Our Side," revolves around remarks the late Suffolk County Legislator Maxine Postal (D) made in Outlook-Long Island.
And the CD updates "Everyone Was At Stonewall," about the Manhattan beginnings of the contemporary gay civil rights movement. This song, which won StoneWall Society's 2004 "Pride Song of the Year," includes a list of all the US states providing comprehensive gay-positive legislation. Hence it requires a revision every year or so.
Another tune, "Pride Is Alive In Yellowstone," celebrates a three-state GLBT Pride Parade and Rally in Billings Montana. It quotes several of the national activists who spoke to the crowd.
Also included is a tune from Rapp's Stonewall Era GayBar singing days in Manhattan. "Mary, Mary" captures the old bar-ghetto days and was actually written in the New York 60's bar "Three."
Rapp's best known tune "Remember Rose: A Song For Choice" appears in a three-minute incarnation, as always, with the magical guest vocal by the late, great feminist Congresswoman from New York, Bella Abzug. Rapp has sung this tune at a great many national rallies, including the million-plus 2004 March For Women's Lives in Washington, DC, and most recently at the 2005 National NOW Conference and Rally in Nashville, Tennessee.
Additionally, Still Marchin' is an inter-species CD, which features an antiwar song, sung from an old camel's perspective. There is also a tribute to the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, and Rapp's ARF-adopted terrier mix Cagney Anne.
The CD includes a number of other issue-oriented songs and closes with "Get A Voice: A Rainbow Sing-Along," which will fit just about any progressive rally there is.
Sign up for Outlook Long Island's Yahoo group for news of the upcoming online release party for Sandy Rapp's Still Marchin'. Rapp's CDs and books are available at Amazon.com and SandyRapp.com
Reviews Flag & Rainbow+We The People
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Flag & The Rainbow ~ REVIEWS The title tune is the first recording of what Newsday 3/3/99 described...Flag & The Rainbow ~ REVIEWS
The title tune is the first recording of what Newsday 3/3/99 described as a song honoring "people who have passed away from antigay violence." The piece characterized Rapp as "a longtime folkie and lesbian activist who uses music to get a message across."
And journalist Debbie Tuma wrote: "Her songs are catchy, issue-oriented, and with a message for the times we live in." Southampton Independent 1/28/04 & East Hampton Independent 2/4/04.
Gay Today 6/16/03, author Jack Nichols said of the Flag & The Rainbow CD: "This cyclical spirit of the 1960s lives in Sandy Rapp's songs. It is certainly the spirit of the Stonewall... evolving into anthems such as Sandy Rapp herself has composed."
And in Manhattan's Gay City News 12/18-24/03, Jim Fouratt wrote: "Here we have Old School Women's Music... A couple of generations of artists lived and breathed this tradition, but very few ever crossed over into big time success. [These] songs about reproductive rights, Stonewall, the environment, and even Bella Abzug, [represent] a lifetime of experiences that made possible being out, a woman, and a musician."
'Ballad Of Billy Baird,' bios the reproductive rights pioneer. 'Roilin' Waters' and 'Ill, The Winds' decry nukes. An updated 'Everyone Was At Stonewall' chronicles the history of the gay movement; and a new short version of 'Remember Rose: A Song For Choice' recalls the first backstreet fatality of the Medicaid-Abortion cutoff and features a guest vocal by Congresswoman, Bella Abzug. Another tune provides an intimate look into Bella's remarkable Marlene Dietrick impressions. Others songs celebrate Camp SisterSpirit; and 'Manhattan Cowgirl' salutes Eleanor Roosevelt biographer Blanche Wiesen Cook.
We The People ~ REVIEWS
Newsday - To see her with her guitar slung over her shoulder, a mike around her neck, a whole class of Suffolk County Police recruits in front of her...it is indeed a change from the bad old days. But this time, after Sandy Rapp sang "Everyone Was At Stonewall," the cops-to-be applauded!
Fountain Magazine - We The People is a beautifully orchestrated, historically astute and very singable, upbeat music collection of original works on feminist and gay political issues. Don’t miss these Movement Milestones!
Womyn’s Words - Ten songs fill the air starting with the tribute Hats Off To Bella followed by "Remember Rose: A Song For Choice." This piece features a guest vocal by Bella Abzug honoring Rose Jimenez, the first fatality of the 1977 Medicaid-Abortion cutoff. A very viable source for rally singing.
The Existentialist - In 1991 Rapp’s controversial book God’s Country explored the religious right-wing’s profound threat to the privacy rights of US citizens. We The People in sing-along satire, is a musical version of the book.
NOW - New York State Reporter - This is the music of our movement - a stirring collection. The tunes are catchy and forceful, the lyrics intelligent and memorable. Rapp’s powerful voice has never sounded better.
Southern Voice - Rapp is an educator and long-time feminist activist whose song subjects derive from people, places and events of historical significance, especially from relevant gay social and political issues.
East End NOW - Sing For The Revolution! "The Rally" will ring with familiarity to all who have ever attended a feminist march and Ten Percent takes on everyone from Pat Robertson to Rush Limbaugh.
MS Magazine - We found out that Bella Abzug’s the backup vocalist on Sandy Rapp’s new album and ... Bella can sing!
Out Sounds - This activist, with her earthy and commanding voice, offers a superb and satiric collection in the best troubadour tradition.
Gay City News Loves Rapp Music
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Gay City News (NYC) - 12/18/03 Listen Up A queer guide to the best pop music gifts this season B...Gay City News (NYC) - 12/18/03
A queer guide to the best pop music gifts this season
By JIM FOURATT
FLAG AND RAINBOW
Here we have Old School women’s music. Sandy Rapp, who keeps alive the spirit of political organizing and social justice, which one of the principle organizers of what in the 70s became known as Women’s Music.
It was hugely successful at the grassroots level, particularly with lesbians, for reflecting the authentic experiences of women’s lives. A couple of generations of artists lived and breathed this tradition, but very few ever crossed over into big time success, besides Melissa Etheridge.
Sandy Rapp’s “Flag and Rainbow” is the perfect bonding gift for an older lesbian in your life and I guarantee if you sit down with her to listen to songs about reproductive rights, Stonewall, the environment, and even Bella Abzug, your friend will wind up remembering a lifetime of experiences that made possible being out, a women, and a musician.
Hamptons Independent Profiles Rapp
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Sandy Rapp: Still Strumming for the Cause By Debbie Tuma Hamptons Independent Southampton - 1...Sandy Rapp:
Still Strumming for the Cause
By Debbie Tuma
Southampton - 1/28/04
East Hampton - 2/4/04
Sandy Rapp, who has performed around the country for a variety of causes, is back home in East Hampton, promoting her second CD Flag & The Rainbow, which is also the title song. It is Rapp’s second CD, following We the People, her acclaimed debut album from 1995.
The latest CD is based on experiences she has had on the road as a feminist, and gayand lesbian activist musician. Her songs are catchy, issue-oriented, and are meant to have a message for the times we live in. Her song, “Flag & The Rainbow,” honors people who have died as a result of anti-gay violence. “We need to claim our flag as gays and lesbians and not rail against it,” she said.
“Ballad of Sister Spirit” was written about Camp Sister Spirit in Mississippi, a feminist camp formed by two women about 15 years ago. “At that time, this camp was too progressive for this area, and the native people shot at the camp,” she said. “They still have festivals there, and it is now less controversial,” she said.
Her song, “Manhattan Cowgirl,” was dedicated to her friend Blanche Wiesen Cook of East Hampton, author of the Eleanor Roosevelt biography. Rapp also dedicated two songs on her new album to the late Congresswoman and fellow feminist activist Bella Abzug, who lived in Sag Harbor.
Rapp was involved in getting a gay rights bill in Suffolk County during the 1980s, and part of this bill was to have an awareness of gay and lesbian rights, as well as other minorities, in the Suffolk Police Academy. Since then, Rapp has been involved in teaching “police sensitivity training” classes to the Suffolk Police Academy, as well as local police and those in the state of Montana.
Rapp’s musical talent emerged early in life. She started playing the piano at age four, and has been a professional musician since age 17. Although she attended the University of Cincinnati Conservatory, she soon discovered she was “not cut out to be a classical musician.” Throughout her career, she has played “all kinds of music, from country to techno-pop, at parties and events. At festivals and rallies, she plays her original, issue-oriented folk rock tunes. In 1991, she published a book, “God’s Country -- A Case Against Theocracy,” about privacy rights issues.
On February 5, Rapp will be playing yet another song dedication, at a memorial ceremony for the late Suffolk County Legislator Maxine Postal, who died recently. The Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) will hold this memorial at their center in Bayshore at 7:30 p.m. “Maxine was instrumental in gay legislation on Long Island,” said Rapp. The “Flag & The Rainbow” CD is available at Bookhampton, Long Island Sound, Canio’s Books, Kramoris Gallery, and on Amazon.com.
Copyright © 2002 East Hampton Independent News Co.
All rights reserved.
Jack Nichols Raves Rapp's CD
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Gay Today CD Review by Jack Nichols Sandy Rapp’s CD album, “We The People” makes her a spiritual c...Gay Today
CD Review by Jack Nichols
Sandy Rapp’s CD album, “We The People” makes her a spiritual cousin to Woodie and Arlo Guthrie, her style of Folk- Americana being first-rate. Her song for Becky Bell, “Where Were The Flowers”, is, in the best sense, Dylanesque. But I’ve chosen from her album as my own favorite, its last cut: “The Rally.”
“The Rally”, written by Rapp in 1994, is a show-stopper. It’s a kicking-high song someone like Shirley McLaine might comfortably choose around the time, maybe, when McLaine’s legs at age 50—in an astoundingly inspirational pose—kicked highest on the cover of Time.
“We The People” is not only an album of catchy sing-alongs that further energizes high-energy crowds. It is also an emotionally-sound tribute to the energies of everyday people who try to make a difference, and it is this that makes Sandy Rapp a number-one choice—a natural-- as a sought-after entertainer for relevant political celebrations and pride parades.
Her album’s first cut, “Hats Off to Bella”, is Rapp’s memorable tribute to one of feminism’s and gay liberation’s most beloved political allies. The singer-song-writer’s infectious infatuation with the late Bella Abzug turns, as do others of her songs, into a triumphal anthem full of good humor, infused by the certainty of an eventual, final victory.
Sandy Rapp’s vision of America with Bella Abzug as its President projects a nation where:
Vice President Steinem takes center stage
Where Jesse Helms is a Congressional page
And when the Congress starts off its day
It’s with a meditation led by Shirley McLaine.
Ms. Rapp, I’d say, is an inspirational optimist whose vision of the future realistically takes tragedy –even mass tragedies—into account. Located on Paumanok, the same isle from which Walt Whitman hailed, Ms. Rapp is as quintessentially American. She gets involved by spreading her verses and her songs. She bravely walks to center stage. She lets us know that there are still sturdy World Citizen song-makers among us-- urging us onward--urging even those with despairing hearts-- toward something greater than we’d thought, toward the best that we can be.
Though Sandy Rapp once studied drama in the Mid west, it was in Scotland—at the University of Aberdeen-- that her dramatic talents began to grow, opening in her a powerhouse of Feelings to be expressed for more purposeful, more lasting endeavors. Anthems she’d write to inspire the building of communities. In a few of her rousing songs there’s a very slight tremor, her sense of poignancy momentarily incarnating.
Rainbow Community News, which serves Long Island’s gay and lesbian population, tells how Rapp takes “her one-woman shows to gay and lesbian brothers and sisters” across the country. Her performances highlight some of her work from ‘We The People’, her CD which focuses on gay and lesbian issues through poignant and witty songs.”
Atlanta’s Etc., tells of Rapp’s benefit performance following bombings in that city last year and quotes her as a believer in the benefits of a good sing-along: “That’s one of the things that bothers me the most about today’s music. They pass up all this opportunity for group singing, ” she says.
I couldn’t agree more. And not only that, but I nominate Rapp’s “The Rally” for its proper and rightful recognition not only as a great poem—or lyric—but as a marching/dancing anthem for the gay, lesbian and bisexual, transgender movements, one that—in me—evokes appreciative tears each time I listen.
If the experienced/ecstatic visions Rapp evokes in “T he Rally” were widely understood, we’d all be drinking more deeply from the magical well of life’s happiest moments. It sings of carnival airs, of balloons, buttons, and banners. I wish only that others might sing this stirring song in endless enthusiastic choruses behind her. A great movement anthem like this would find us kicking even higher. One great verse from “The Rally”? Each person will choose one, but here—set to a seasoned melody--is my favorite:
But I stayed at The Rally, that wondrous rally,
And at daybreak the past events came clear
The moons and the suns, the roses and guns,
The musings of mystics, the cruising of crystals
Sandy and I definitely have one thing in common. We’ve both written books that take major potshots at the religious right’s politicized homophobia, raising alarms about the prospect of a theocratic state. But Sandy’s done me one better. She’s put her thoughts about TV evangelist Pat Robertson, the “White Men in Black Dresses” (Roman Catholic priests --“they have smiles on their faces and blood on their hands”) and the like into joyful, rousing songs.
Hats off to you, Sandy. Hope to get to hug you at “The Rally.”
FLAG & THE RAINBOW - for those fallen to anti-gays
LEGISLATOR POSTAL – about a friend to gays
WHEN BELLA SINGS MARLENE - true story of Abzug
BALLAD OF SISTER SPIRIT - Mississippi's SisterCamp
IF THE TRUTH BE TOLD - Tribute to the First Amendment
BILLY BAIRD - Tribute to the Abortion Right Pioneer
REMEMBER ROSE - first backstreet fatality of '77 Medicaid-Abortion funding cutoff
MANHATTAN COWGIRL - very OUT Eleanor Roosevelt biographer's
WHITE MEN IN BLACK DRESSES - for the Hierarchy
STONEWALL - award winning gay history song
GET A VOICE - a rainbow singalong
CAGNEY'S SONG - Aminal Rescue Fund Song
PRIDE IS ALIVE IN YELLOWSTONE - A Rally in Billings Montana
AIN'T NOBODY HOME song with no redeeming social value
HATS OFF TO BELLA - Bella Tribute Song
THE RALLY - About the effect of Marches
SIGNS OF THE TIMES - seek not meaning in this song
WHERE WERE THE FLOWERS - theocracy is fatal to a young woman
THE MARCH - Marchin' With Molly Yard
TEN PERCENT - (Of televangelists are gay)
MARY MARY - From the Stonewall days
ILL, THE WINDS - anti-nuke
ROILIN’ WATERS - anti-nuke
RISE UP YE WOMEN - tribute feminists passed
There are no upcoming dates at this time.