Razzle Dazzle Dallas artifacts help piece together event’s history

In last Friday’s paper, I wrote about the history of Razzle Dazzle Dallas and how this year’s party returns to its roots. While I was researching some of the history, longtime Dallas activist Jack Evans brought some old RDD ads and programs to the office. Below is a 1992 ad for Razzle. Nothing extraordinary about it until I noticed buried in the middle of the text who the entertainment was that year.

RDD 1

The Dixie Chicks were a local band that performed at Sue Ellen’s every once in awhile. I wonder what ever happened to them. Nice group of women from what I remember. They appeared on my radio show, Lambda Weekly, once, too. Hope they’re doing OK.

The program for the 1991 Razzle Dazzle Dallas included a list of beneficiaries:

RDD 4

The Foundation for Human Understanding was the AIDS Resource Center, now known as Resource Center Dallas. The ridiculous name was chosen so Highland Park housewives could write a check for an AIDS organization without having the word “AIDS” appear anywhere. Cynical? You betcha! Thank John Thomas for that one, ’cause it worked.

Interesting that Lubbock’s South Plains AIDS Resource Center was a beneficiary. Community Outreach Center in Fort Worth is now AIDS Outreach Center. That was really far-sighted having Dallas work with Fort Worth back then.

Anyone remember what Alpha House and Northern Lights Alternative were?

Here’s the 1989 Razzle Dazzle Dallas program:

RDD 3

Notice the ad for Black Tie Dinner that would be held in a small ballroom in the Fairmont Hotel in September.

RDD Beneficiaries included Oak Lawn Counseling Center, which became Oak Lawn Community Services.

Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby had just formed. Glen Maxey was its new lobbyist. Maxey went on to serve a decade in the Legislature. Texas Human Rights Foundation did some lobbying and some legal work. Dallas CPA Alan Levi was its chair for a number of years.

MOM or Meals on the Move was a group formed by Mark Shekter. He and a group of volunteers delivered meals every day to people with AIDS before the Resource Center had a lunch program and before the Daire Center served breakfast. No telling how many people relied on Mark for at least one balanced meal a day. Although Razzle contributed needed funds, most of the money to fund the program came out of Mark’s pocket.

And by 1989, six former Razzle Dazzle Dallas board members had died.

Some of the 1991 Razzle Dazzle Dallas sponsors:

RDD 6

The Wave was on Maple Avenue and became Buddies II. Jugs was on McKinney Avenue and owned by Jo Elliott. Jo’s name lives on at The Brick/Jo’s. The Ripcord became The Dallas Eagle. Crews Inn on Fitzhugh Avenue is now BJ’s NXS. The Hideaway was on Buena Vista and won’t be reopening. Desert Moon was a lesbian-owned bar off Central Expressway behind the La Quinta north of Fitzhugh.

RDD 7

Master of Ceremonies Michael Lee was Michael Doughman, now executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild.

The judges included Earl Newsome, the Dallas Police Department’s LGBT liaison before there was an LGBT liaison. Cedar Springs was his beat and he decided it was his job to take care of the neighborhood. The LGBT community never had a better ally. He was an early Pride parade grand marshal.

Terry Stone was executive director of Oak Lawn Community Services. He’s now director of CenterLink, the national organization of LGBT community centers. David Barton founded Hunky’s. His brother, Rick, still owns and runs it. David died in the early 1990s.

In 1993, Evans/Harris Realty printed a picture of that year’s Razzle Dazzle Dallas board:

RDD 2

Did I get any of the notes about people and places wrong? Please let me know. Any more memories that these pictures bring back? Please share.

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