Friday Five: Drag Race

Juli Thanki | January 24th, 2014

It seems as though The Supreme Fabulettes were right when they sang “a drag queen is a cowboy’s best friend.”

Drag queens have used hyper-feminine, rhinestoned country divas like Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette as inspiration for decades, and country music seems to have embraced the world of drag as well. In recent years, Pam Tillis and Wynonna Judd have both served as guest judges on the always entertaining reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race, Rhonda Vincent channeled her inner drag king for a tribute to Nothin’ Fancy, Nashville’s best (only?) drag gospel group The Dickson Chicks praised “Jesus, Vodka, and Vicodin,” Reba brought her drag doppelganger on tour to perform “Fancy,” and even squeaky clean Phil Vassar got in on the act, so to speak, with “Bobbi with an ‘I’.”

So slap some chicken cutlets on your chest, work on perfecting your tuck (don’t Google those terms at work), and check out these five salutes to drag.

5. Richard Thompson – “Woman or a Man”

This song winds down with an ending that’s rougher than a five o’clock shadow showing through foundation, as the object of Thompson’s affections breaks his heart and steals his wallet, leaving only a blonde wig.

 

4. Mary Gauthier – “Drag Queens in Limousines”

I imagine that being taken in by drag queens is a lot like being raised by really fabulous wolves.

 

3. Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley – “Where’s the Dress”

This parody of Boy George and Culture Club got Bandy and Stampley sued for copyright infringement, as the song borrows the opening riff from “Karma Chameleon,” but it was one of the duo’s biggest hits, coming in at #8 in 1984 and winning the American Video Association’s Video of the Year Award. And Boy George? He co-wrote that Supreme Fabulettes song mentioned at the top of the page.

 

2. Dale Watson – “Truckin’ Queen (I Got My Nightgown On)”

When you’re on the road, you’ve got to make your own fun. This silly, Jerry Reed-esque tale is allegedly based on a real person who’d dress pretty, then talk dirty on the CB.

 

1. Bobby Bare – “Tequila Sheila”

There’s nothing wrong with a fella who wants to wear nice things. And if it helps you escape capture by the federales, even better.

  1. Juli Thanki
    January 24, 2014 at 9:50 am

    It’s also worth noting that RuPaul mentioned Dolly and Porter on Drag Race last season, which is once more than CMT did in 2013.

  2. Daniel Mullins
    January 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

    One of my favorites is “I Can’t Tell The Boys From The Girls” by Lester Flatt! That’s the only one that’s missing. Haha.

  3. Dave D.
    January 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Dale Watson qualifies again with “My Baby Makes Me Gravy,” if the category includes video: http://vimeo.com/62404816

  4. Luckyoldsun
    January 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Bare is woefully underrated–It’s great that they finally put him in the Hall-of-Fame. He’s really on a par with Johnny Cash as a raconteur and badass, but with more contemporary and wild material. In addition to this song about cross-dressing, his albums have cuts about cowboys who f___ cows, a man with an extra male organ, and Bobby’s character getting castrated by a jealous husband. And these were all issued by major labels like Columbia and didn’t carry warning labels!

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