Author spotlight February 2024 Darryl Bullock

darryl bullock

Darryl Bullock is an award-winning author, publisher and editor specialising in music history, LGBTQ+ issues and the arts.

A music obsessive and a voracious reader, Darryl is the author of eight books. In 2022, Darryl’s book The Velvet Mafia won the prestigious Penderyn Music Book Prize. His latest book, Queer Blues: The Hidden Figures of Early Blues Music (Omnibus Press, 2023) was a Guardian Music Book of the Year.

Darryl helped to launch We Are Family, the UK’s first magazine for LGBT families, and he was the host of The World’s Worst Records Radio Show from 2018 – January 2024. Darryl has written for publications including The Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Quietus. As well as being featured in The Sunday Times and GT, he has appeared on many local and national TV and radio programmes.

Darryl will be appearing at an online author event with Barnet Libraries on Tuesday 27 February, where he will be discussing his book, David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBTQ+ Music, and the crucial role played by the LGBTQ+ community in modern music.


Queer Blues: The Hidden figures of early Blues Music (2023)

queer blues

From the very beginning, the blues has had a close connection with the LGBTQ community. Queer Blues tells the story of the pioneering LGBTQ composers and entertainers that wrote, performed and recorded these wonderfully outlandish, life-affirming songs and chronicles.

This is the definitive account of the LGBTQ trailblazers of early blues and a fascinating consideration of the intersection between music and LGBTQ history.

‘Darryl W. Bullock excavates and celebrates the fantabulous intersection of Blues and Queer Culture, highlighting racial struggles, explosive joy and creativity. I love this book!’ - Simon Doonan

Borrow 'Queer Blues' from Barnet libraries

Pride, Pop and Politics: Music, Theatre and LGBT Activism, 1970-2022 (2022)

pride pop and politics

Pride, Pop and Politics charts the development of gay culture and the rise of LGBTQ politics in the UK, from the formation of the Gay Liberation Front to the present day, through the music that provided the soundtrack.

With new interviews from musicians and DJs, performers and activists, Pride, Pop and Politics hears from those whose art has been influenced by the campaign for LGBT rights – and helped push it forward.

'Bullock has written a meticulously researched history which is as enjoyable as it is informative. 5/5 stars’ - Classic Pop

Borrow 'Pride, pop and politics' from Barnet libraries

The Velvet Mafia: The Gay Men Who Ran The Swinging Sixties (2021)

the velvet mafia

Compelling and enlightening, The Velvet Mafia explores how the LGBT professionals at the heart of the music industry were working together and supporting each other at a time when being homosexual could mean the end of your career – or much worse.

Through a mix of new interviews and contemporary reports, Darryl Bullock shines a light on the lives of the so-called ‘Velvet Mafia’.

Winner of the prestigious Penderyn Music Book Prize.

'[A] brilliant book examining the preponderance of gay men in 1960s pop management' - The Guardian

Borrow 'The velvet Mafia' from Barnet libraries

David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music (2017)

david bowie made me gay

'David Bowie Made Me Gay' covers the breadth of history of recorded music by and for the LGBT community. How have those records influenced the evolution of the music we listen to today? How have they inspired whole generations of disenfranchised youth? How could we ever have the Scissor Sisters or Lady Gaga without Billie Holiday, Disco and David Bowie?

'A fascinating book, a fascinating subject - oh to have a look around Darryl's record collection!' Grant Stott, BBC Radio Scotland

Borrow 'David Bowie made me gay' from Barnet libraries

Florence Foster Jenkins: The Life of the World’s Worst Opera Singer (2016)

florence foster jenkins

Madame Jenkins couldn't carry a tune in a bucket: despite that, in 1944 at the age of 76, she played Carnegie Hall to a capacity audience and had celebrity fans by the score.

In his well-researched and thoroughly entertaining biography, Darryl Bullock tells of Florence Foster Jenkins, her meteoric rise to success and the man who stood beside her, through every sharp note.

Her story is one of triumph in the face of adversity, of courage, conviction and of the belief that with dedication and commitment a true artist can achieve anything.

'The first full biography of Foster Jenkins' - Clemency Burton-Hill, BBC

Borrow The life of the world's worst opera from Barnet libraries