×

Bob Dylan Records ‘He’s Funny That Way’ for LGBT-Themed  EP

Bob Dylan has recorded a song for a compilation EP with a same-sex love theme called “Universal Love.” Dylan’s contribution to the six-song EP, which also features Kesha, St. Vincent, Ben Gibbard, Valerie June and Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, comes with a characteristic twist: Reflecting his recent covers-heavy albums, he’s covered the 1929 song “She’s Funny That Way” with the lyrical variation “He’s Funny That Way.” News of the EP, which is released Friday (April 6), was first reported by The New York Times.

Dylan is not the first to alter the pronoun in the song — which has been covered by Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Liza Minelli, Nat King Cole and many others since it was featured in the 1931 film “Gems of MGM” — but the point is made.

“If you look at the history of pop music, love songs have predominantly come from one heterosexual perspective,” said Tom Murphy, a co-producer of “Universal Love,” said. “If we view music as something that brings people together, shouldn’t these popular songs be open to everyone?”

The album was funded by MGM Resorts International and its songs are intended to function as wedding anthems for same-sex couples. Gay weddings account for between 20 percent and 30 percent of the ceremonies performed at the company’s 15 hotels in Las Vegas, said the company’s chief executive, Jim Murren.

Several of the tracks have lyrical alterations, which required permission from the songs’ music publishers. “The response was completely positive,” said Rob Kaplan, the project’s executive producer, who noted that Dylan did not just agree, “It was, ‘Hey, I have an idea for a song.’”

Other tracks include Gibbard covering the Beatles’ “And I Love Her” (changed to “Him”) and June covering “Mad About the Boy” as “Girl.” Kesha chose Janis Joplin’s “I Need a Man to Love.” “For years I said that I’m not getting married until any two people can legally marry in this country,” she said — and is now an ordained minister who has wed to two gay couples.

 

More Music

  • soundcloud-logo

    SoundCloud Unveils Initiatives to Support Musicians on the Platform

    SoundCloud today announced a series of initiatives designed to help creators get their music heard on the platform, including what it describes as a $15 million investment in promotional support and its “artist accelerator program.” “As the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, we’ve seen a global outpouring of tracks on SoundCloud,” CEO Kerry Trainor wrote in [...]

  • Ellis Marsalis

    Jazz Pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr. Dies of Coronavirus Complications at 85

    Ellis Marsalis Jr., a jazz pianist from New Orleans, died Wednesday night from complications due to coronavirus, his son, Branford Marsalis, confirmed in a statement to Variety. He was 85. In addition to having his own prominent music career, Marsalis helped pave the way for four of his sons, Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, to [...]

  • The Voice Adam Levine

    As Phish Drops New Album, Maroon 5's Adam Levine Covers Fan Favorite 'Divided Sky'

    Like many Americans currently social isolating, Adam Levine has ample free time on his hands. On Tuesday, the Maroon 5 frontman posted a video of himself on Instagram Live playing a portion of Phish fan favorite “Divided Sky.” The nearly 12-minute long jam was originally a track off the band’s first full-length album, “Junta.” Watch [...]

  • Adam Schlesinger

    Tom Hanks, Rachel Bloom, Stephen Colbert, Stephen King Pay Tribute to Adam Schlesinger

    Whether it was the snarky but sincere pop of Fountains of Wayne and Ivy, the ‘60s retro of Tom Hanks’ “That Thing You Do!” or the Broadway fare of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Adam Schlesinger’s music reached far beyond his public profile. The master songwriter passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 52 from complications related [...]

  • Aline Brosh Mckenna Adam Schlesinger

    'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Co-Creator Aline Brosh McKenna Pays Touching Tribute to Adam Schlesinger

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna paid a touching tribute to Adam Schlesinger on Twitter after the Emmy-winning songwriter and singer died Wednesday from coronavirus complications. Brosh McKenna took to the social media platform to fondly recall a moment from the writer’s room, “One day, when Adam, Rachel (Bloom) and Jack (Dolgen) were working, we [...]

  • Dolly Parton at the Grand Ole

    Film News Roundup: Dolly Parton Donates $1 Million for Research on Coronavirus Cure

    In today’s film news roundup, Dolly Parton makes a donation for coronavirus cure, Howie Mandel and Ashlee Simpson join the voice cast of “Pierre The Pigeon-Hawk” and American Documentary launches an artists emergency fund. RESEARCH DONATION Dolly Parton has donated $1 million to Nashville’s Vanderbilt Hospital to help aid research to find a cure for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content