Gay History: Lavender Country

Another Pacific Northwest first: Patrick Haggerty, well-known political activist, Gay liberationist, fabric artist, musician, and songwriter for the earliest openly Gay L.P, Lavender Country, was recently archived in the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame. Chris Dickenson, editor of the Journal of Country Music, took it upon herself to investigate Gay people in country music and describes Patrick as the lost pioneer of Gay country music.

Patrick Haggerty said, “I grew up on a farm in Dry Creek, Washington. My childhood was completely overwrought with farm responsibilities that prevented development of my musical talents, so my early, 1950s musical training was listening to KOMP radio that played country music, Grange Hall dance music, and lots of Yankovich polkas. Fortunately, my grade-school principal Mrs. Thomas, who played the violin, put together a classical orchestra in our small school and gave classical concerts. I played the trumpet but I am not the trumpet type; I preferred the violin.

“When I was 18, I started on the ukulele. Then a friend of mine bought me a tenor guitar so I could do rhythm to his guitar lead. He couldn’t sing and I could, so I turned into a kind of folk singer. It was the beginning of the folk song and coffeehouse days, so we played them all.

Read more at Seattle Gay News