Johnny Ray Had Sex In Bathrooms!
Surely you've seen There's No Business Like Show Business, the overstuffed but enjoyable 1954 movie musical with Ethel Merman and the gang as a traveling vaudeville clan with multiple outfit changes.
Well, one of the offspring is an effeminate guy who practically pops off the screen as if he were a drag queen out of costume.
The character has no ostensible love interests -- not even a fake girlfriend -- and he ends up going into the clergy, as Ethel and company fret and worry about his fate.
The part was handily played by Johnny Ray, the light-in-the-loafers, fascinatingly girlie pop singer (with the big hit "Cry") who easily could have become a priest himself.
According to Wikipedia:
"Ray was arrested twice for soliciting men for sex. He quietly pled guilty and paid a fine after the first arrest, in the restroom of the Stone Theatre burlesque house in Detroit, which was just prior to the release of his first record in 1951.
"The incident wasn't reported in newspapers, and very few people outside Detroit knew about it during his sudden rise to stardom in 1952.
"Ray went to trial following the second arrest in 1959, also in Detroit, for soliciting an undercover officer in a bar called the Brass Rail, which has been described variously as attracting traveling musicians and attracting gay people.
"Dorothy Kilgallen was a strong support for Ray during the solicitation trial in Detroit in December 1959, possibly communicating by telephone with the district attorney or judge.
"Ray's fate was decided by a jury composed entirely of older women, one of whom ran to Ray to console him when he fainted upon hearing the 'not guilty' verdict."
Sounds like he was the original George Michael!
By the way, Ray was later immortalized in the song (and video for) "Come On Eileen," but I know for a fact that he was not responsible for the come on Eileen.
But he was definitely a friend of Dorothy!
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