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Connections, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1980
File 011
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Connections, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1980 - File 011. 1980-06. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 3, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2324/show/2317.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1980-06). Connections, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1980 - File 011. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2324/show/2317

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Connections, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1980 - File 011, 1980-06, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 3, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2324/show/2317.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Connections, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1980
Contributor
  • Olinger, James K.
Publisher Gay Community Services
Date June 1980
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 5962584
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript 101 'CONNECTIONS5 THE AUSTIN COUNTRY: a good gay place to be by Wayde Frey "There are both positive and negative elements of gay bars. We want to be a positive one." This statement sums up the philosophy of Austin Country manager James Spiller. Spiller feels that the 15 to 20 people associated with the Country are more like a family than a business. Several have been there for seven years. They feel the Country isn't just another bar, but a gay community. Spiller says "It's the only bar environment I'd feel comfortable working in." The bar is owned by Keith Edwards and Bunch Brit- tain. It has several sections, including a dance floor with an elaborate light and sound system, a patio, pool tables, an aquarium, a plush quiet bar, and a big screen TV viewing room. Improvements are being made constantly. The latest is a brand-new deck for the patio. Owner Bunch Brittain is active in gay politics, both in Austin and statewide. He serves on the steer- r "%. -^"^ Bunch (in boat) and Keith (pumping) deliver the beer at Hippy Hollow Splash Day (sponsored by the Austin Country and the New Apartment Lounge). ing committee which directs the lobbying efforts of the Human Rights Advocates of the Texas Gay Task Force. Bunch has taken an active role in establishing communications between the gay community and law enforcement officials in Austin. He also serves on the Holy Trinity church of Austin board of trustees. The Austin Country has been the scene of fundraisers for numerous lesbian/gay organizations. It has hosted benefits for the Metropolitan Community Church of Austin (MCCA) building fund, the California "No on 6" Campaign, the March on Washington, and Gay Community Services of Austin. Two traditional annual events the Country sponsors are Splash Day at Hippy Hollow (the first Sunday in May) and the party at Keith and Bunch's suite in the Menger Hotel in San Antonio on Saturday night during Fiesta in April. The Country staff doesn't believe that the Country should be the only bar in town, with everyone packed in like sardines. Manager James Spiller recalls other popular and successful bars. In the 1950's, there was The Manhattan on Congress Avenue. It was a delicatessen by day and a gay bar at night. Its sign was later part of the Pearl Street Warehouse decor. The New Apartment Lounge is the longest-lived gay bar in Austin. Bob Clifton's Griffon Club and the Tap, both on Guadalupe, have passed, as have the once popular gay discos Friends and Lovers and the Pearl Street Warehouse. English's on Guadalupe was a gay bar called the Carousel in the early 1960's. The Austin Country's building has an interesting history. According to James Spiller, it is actually three large barns connected together. They were originally used as a stable. General Pershing kept his horses there at one time. The maze of small rooms up- Doorkeepers Jerry Shayne, left, and Bill Durrell greet customers. stairs, which still exist today, originally housed prostitutes. In the early 1970's, a lesbian bar called Pearl's Place opened on the ground floor. A huge portrait of Janis Joplin hung behind the bar. Then, it was a straight bar called the Waterloo Country for three weeks. Keith and Bunch opened the Austin Country as a gay bar in 1973. The Country staff works on the sound and light systems constantly. The DJ plays rock and new wave music as well as disco, and it's all good dance music. The Country tries to create a "party" atmosphere and plans to feature "theme party" nights, such as "Rock" and "Country and Western" nights scon. The "Miss Thing Fantasy Ball and Cotillion Revue" was held May 21. The Austin Country has hosted entertainers like Mr. Tiffany Jones, The Montrose Men, R.C. Cola, and the Blandscrew Sisters. Weekly features include cookouts on the patio at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, the Monday night male dance contest, and the Thursday night female impersonators' show. Performers scheduled during June 1980 include Tiny Mac and Tragedy Ann, Pauletta Lay, R.C. Cola, Lindsay Love and Lindsay McCall, Linda Weatherby (of the Blandscrew Sisters), and Teresa Cole and Chatty Kathy. The Country will be hosting the Texas competition for Miss Gay U.S.A. on July 6. The Austin Country management is dedicated to continuing to improve its facilities and services to provide an enjoyable environment for the Austin community. The City of Austin has plans to perhaps expand the police station onto the land the Country now occupies. If this ever happens, Spiller says, the Austin Country will simply move to some other location in the area. ■S r-f O Ilii I ii, VVPPf^WP!, Ill BaaaatfT Wl Terry Stout, left, and "bar back"
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