Lavender Country on Making Gay Country Music

Sound & Vision

Frontman Patrick Haggerty shares the story of the Seattle-area band Lavender Country and explains why he shouldn’t be seen as an icon.

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photo by Marie Tomanova

In 1973, the Seattle-area band Lavender Country released what’s considered to be the first openly gay country album. The self-titled album went relatively unnoticed outside of Stonewall activists at the time. Shortly after the album’s release, the band broke up and frontman Patrick Haggerty went on to run for office in the city of Seattle and Washington State, advocating for racial justice and gay rights. Lavender Country’s debut album was rediscovered and reissued in 2014. The band’s story has since been turned into a few documentaries and there’s talks of it becoming a feature-length film. Nearly 50 years later, the band is now releasing their follow up album, Blackberry Rose, and performing again.

Frontman Patrick Haggerty shares the story of the band and explains why he shouldn’t be seen as an icon. He also breaks down themes from the album, including fighting white supremacy, biracial gay relationships, and feminism.

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