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NEW BOOK: Vincent L. Stephens’ Rocking the Closet

NEW BOOK: Vincent L. Stephens’ Rocking the Closet

AMST alumnus Vincent L. Stephens’ new book, Rocking the Closet: How Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music, is available now!

From the University of Illinois Press:

“Vincent L. Stephens confronts notions of the closet—both coming out and staying in—by analyzing the careers of Liberace, Johnny Mathis, Johnnie Ray, and Little Richard. Appealing to audiences hungry for novelty and exoticism, the four pop icons used performance and queering techniques that ran the gamut. Liberace’s flamboyance shared a spectrum with Mathis’s intimate sensitivity while Ray’s overwrought displays as “Mr. Emotion” seemed worlds apart from Little Richard’s raise-the-roof joyousness. As Stephens shows, the quartet not only thrived in an era of gray flannel manhood, they pioneered the ways generations of later musicians would consciously adopt sexual mystery as an appealing and proven route to success.”

Click here for more information on Vincent L. Stephens’ Rocking the Closet!

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