Russell King (RK) and Paige Macklin (PM)
(RK): I was a little boy with very different tendencies than other little boys. I didn’t really like sports, And I liked to play with the girls. I remember a time when I was playing with dolls, as a little boy about 6 years old, and my mother saw me, and she talked to my father about it, when my father got home, and then he, in no uncertain terms, said ’boys don’t play with dolls.’
(PM): So what was elementary school like for you?
RK: Well, I remember you, coming along with your music cart and leading us in music. You had long hair that went all the way down your back. And oftentimes a flowing dress, and just so young and carefree. And What I remember the most is that one concert we sang the music ‘Free To Be You and Me.’
RK: I sang the little boy part in ‘William’s Doll’.
RK: ‘William’s Doll’ dealt with um him wanting to play with a doll and everybody saying “no”
RK: And suddenly I realized, ’wow, somebody else has these feelings. This isn’t just me.’ As that little 6 year old boy, I couldn’t be a little kid I wanted to be. I wasn’t supposed to play with girls. I wasn’t supposed to like dresses and fabric and color. And all these things I liked, you know? And I knew I did, but I knew I couldn’t be myself. I couldn’t really have a voice. And singing that song gave me a voice. And you probably had no idea the impact you were making.
PM: I mean as a teacher you don’t know…
RK: umm hmm
PM: …how you might have influenced, and in this case, not in any way that I would have expected.
RK: You didn’t expect the soloist in 1974 to turn out to be a big drag character?
PM: No, I can’t say that I did. But, I must have recognized a voice in you. It’s been so amazing to hear about the feelings of this little boy.
RK: I look back on my life and I think how fortunate I was to have influences like you. And It’s just so rare you get a chance to say thank you. So thank you.
PM: You’re very welcome.
RK: Would you like to sing the song?
PM: Ok, I’ll probably gonna be a little flat actually.
RK: Well you go ahead.