MinneCulture Podcast | Ep. 28: When the Gay 90’s Came Out

Orange graphic featuring nightclub entrances for Happy Hour and Gay 90s, from the 1970s

This summer on the MinneCulture Podcast, it’s all about Minnesota History. As we kick-off Season 5 during Pride month, we celebrate one of the first well-known venues in the Twin Cities exuberantly claimed by gay men, a nightclub called The Gay 90s in downtown Minneapolis. Listen on Apply Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, PodMN and more.

The Gay 90’s hasn’t always been gay. The bar began as a supper club for a straight crowd. It opened in the 1950s and the name was a reference to an earlier decade, the 1890s.

Then, in 1975, the vibe changed in a big way. The owners of the Gay 90s bought a disco ball, hired DJs, and turned the 90s into a club catering to gay men.

In this episode, we share an original KFAI documentary, “Fly Robin Fly: The Story of that Disco-Crazed Moment when the Gay 90s Came Out of the Closet and Embraced Its Name,” by KFAI’s Todd Melby. You’ll hear a history of the bar featuring some of the people who worked, danced and connected at the Gay 90s.

Theme music by Xavier Santiago. Other music by J. Melby. Even more music supplied by the Blue Dot Sessions on the Free Music Archive.

Thanks to the Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota for photography and oral history audio.

Banner image courtesy of Hennepin History Museum. Support for the MinneCulture Podcast on KFAI comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultual Heritage Fund.

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