Josie Cotton

Josie Cotton

BandRockPop

Josie Cotton is a singer/songwriter widely known for her 80's New Wave hits "Johnny Are You Queer?" and "He Could Be The One," as well as her iconic performance in the cult film Valley Girl. Her music incorporates 60's girl group pop sensibilities, punk attitude, and always a twisted sense of humor.

Biography

For most of her life Josie Cotton has felt like an outsider. Growing up within ultra conservative Texas society, she was a self-described angry, misfit kid. "I was like the little girl in The Addam's Family," she jokes. She found sanctuary in music and in the underground B films of the 60's and 70's. In particular, she identified with the strong female characters that were often featured in them, a stark contrast to how women were portrayed in the Hollywood studio films. When her signature early 80's hit "Johnny Are You Queer?," innocuous and even endearing by today's ears, lit a powder keg of controversy under her and her unsuspecting record label, Elektra, Cotton became anathema to both the Religious Right and, ironically, the politically-correct Gay Community who found the song homophobic. These two factions became strange bedfellows as they staged protests against the song across the country. In spite of this, an unforgettable prom scene appearance in the Martha Coolidge film Valley Girl, performing "Johnny" as well as "School Is In" and the pop confection "He Could Be The One," cemented Cotton as a New Wave icon. Elektra Records, however, couldn't cope with the political fallout of her "queer" song; she and the label parted ways after the release of her sophomore album, From The Hip. Cotton found herself again as the outsider, fighting the man like so many of her B movie heroines, and she left the music business. She continued to write and record and was offered numerous record deals, but released only the Tim Burton-esque Frightened By Nightengales in 1993.

Then, in 2006 she re-emerged from a long self-imposed hiatus to release the much lauded Movie Disaster Music. Propelled by its success and the overwhelming love and support she received from fans around the world, Josie Cotton continues her surprising return to music by unveiling a new pet project, Invasion Of The B-Girls, a unique collection of B movie theme songs, from the infamous to the forgotten. These re-recordings of "great songs from bad movies" (as she describes them) is her way of finally paying homage to the film genre that has cheered and inspired her since childhood.

A singer with impressive versatility and range, Invasion finds Cotton winking and nudging but never lampooning her material. Channeling the likes of Eartha Kitt, Shirley Bassey, and Wanda Jackson, she handles title songs from Russ Meyer's landmark “Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!”, “Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls”, and Joseph Cates' “Who Killed Teddy Bear?” with a velvet glove. Her sassy performance on Ted V. Mikels' “Girl In Gold Boots” reminds us that this Texas gal knows a thing or two about rough-and-tumble soul music. Lead single "Maneaters," from the Herschell Gordon Lewis gore classic “She Devils On Wheels”, includes a dance remix from electro-hipster Ursula 1000 and an outrageous music video wherein Cotton leads an all-girl scooter gang on a campy man-killing spree.

Produced by Cotton along with longtime collaborator and punk legend Geza X (Dead Kennedys, Black Flag) and Bill Rhea (Del Rubio Triplets), Invasion boasts all real instruments (including the legendary Tower Of Power Horns section and a 14-piece string ensemble) recorded on a vintage Stevens analog tape machine. At turns bright and exhilarating and dark and mysterious, Invasion Of The B-Girls is a twisted and unapologetic tribute to the grindhouse, sci-fi, horror, and exploitation films that are finally enjoying their place in the zeitgeist. Josie Cotton, fitting in perfectly here, has delivered a cinematic pop gem worthy of an Academy Award.

Discography

Singles
"Johnny Are You Queer?" b/w "Do The Blackout" (Bomp, 1981); "Jimmy Loves Maryanne" (Elektra, 1984)

Albums
Convertible Music (Elektra, 1982); From The Hip (Elektra, 1984); Frightened By Nightengales (???1993); Movie Disaster Music (Scruffy, 2006); Invasion Of The B-Girls (Scruffy, 10/2007)

Set List

"He Could Be The One"
"School Is In"
"Maneaters"
"Creeps"
"Pussycat Babylon"
"Female Trouble"
"Sheena Is A Punk Rocker"
"Johnny Are You Queer?"