Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



The Baton Show Lounge's Ginger Grant remembered
by Matt Simonette

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Entertainer Harry Hodges, a.k.a. Ginger Grant, passed away the week of Sept. 10 in Chicago. Hodges, performing under Grant's persona, was a longtime emcee at The Baton and a close friend of its owner, Jim Flint.

Flint called the death "a complete shock. I was devastated for several days."

Hodges had some health problems, but his death was unexpected and sudden, Flint said, adding that he and Hodges planned on going to Florida together in a few weeks. Hodges was buried in a private ceremony Sept. 14. A remembrance of his life is planned at the Baton on Oct. 1 from 7-9:30 p.m.

Flint said that Ginger Grant was "just everything to The Baton," and that he admired how she was so full of energy.

"She might have had a bad day, but then she'd get up on stage, and you'd never know it," he recalled.

As news of her passing spread, Ginger Grant's friends, loved ones, fans and admirers took to social media to express how much she meant to them.

Writer Owen Keehnen, who co-wrote The Boy from Peoria, a biography of Flint, with Tracy Baim, said of Grant on Facebook: "On stage she was a rare combination of raunchy and sweet with a charisma that was luminous. She exuded a warmth that made her an ideal emcee. Off stage she was gracious and smart. A one-of-a-kind performer and a incomparable person."

Activist Lori Cannon added, "I first met Ging in Milwaukee, decades ago … where she was driving a truck, and me, drivng a coach bus of North Shore couples on a restaurant crawl. … Ging was backing out of an alley and not paying attention—after the minor fender bender, she and I became pals ... she was a great gal and lot's o' fun … she'll be missed."

Entertainer Honey West recalled taking her mother to see the show at The Baton when Ginger Grant was emcee: "I remember the girls came up and said hi to her and Ginger gave her a big hug. I am sending that hug to you now, my darling."

Hodges told Keehnen in an interview for The Boy from Peoria about how he launched his career at The Baton in the mid-'70s.

"I started coming here [The Baton] in either 1974 or 1975 on New Year's Eve," Hodges recalled. "I was amazed. It was a whole new world. Nobody cared how you were or your size or color. I was so entertained … . It just looked like so much fun. I liked the entertainment and the theater of it."

He added that he and Flint "think alike. I think part of the reason we're close is we're both businesspeople, and I don't let business and friendship cross the line. I'm here when you need me. You need me to mop a floor, I'll mop a floor. … That's my work ethic. With these shows and contests, a lot of times we're [Flint and Grant] the last ones out the door at night and the first ones here the next morning, and we may be fat and old but we still do it. We're not afraid to work and we're both doers. What I don't know, I will learn."

Hodges wanted a night at The Baton to be like a "fairyland," he said, adding that when he emceed, he wanted to get the point across that, "We don't care about the color of your skin or your race or gender or anything. If you have a problem with that, when you come in, you leave it all outside—just come inside and have a good time. It's magical in here."

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Total Bent 2019-02-15 - Authors: Stew and Heidi Rodewald At: The Den Theatre, 1616 N. Wells St. Tickets:; $35. Runs through: March 10 ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Fulfillment Center 2019-02-13 - Playwright: Abe Koogler At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: $30-40; Runs through: March 24 These ...

Gay News

Nederlander Theatre lights marquee 2019-02-13 - Broadway In Chicago's newly named James M. Nederlander Theatre recently lit its marquee for the first time. The venue, at 24 W. ...

Gay News

The Jeff Awards to present panel on Latinx Theater 2019-02-12 - February 12, 2019, Chicago, IL - The Jeff Awards meeting on Monday, February 18, 2019 at the Greenhouse Theater will include a panel ...

Gay News

SPOTLIGHT on Underscore Theatre's Chicago Musical Theatre Festival 2019-02-12 - Is the next Hamilton lurking in Chicago? Stranger things have happened. Underscore Theatre's ambitious 5th Annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival includes nine concert ...

Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-02-12 - A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Porchlight Music Theatre at the Ruth Page Auditorium, through March 16. A score that hearkens to ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder 2019-02-12 - Playwright: Book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak, lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak At: Porchlight Music Theater at ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Pipeline 2019-02-12 - Playwright: Dominique Morisseau At: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.. Tickets: $27-60; . Runs through: March 3 Thinking about ...

Gay News

Afterglow opening at Pride Arts Center March 27 2019-02-09 - Chicago, IL - Casting for the Chicago Premiere of AFTERGLOW, an off-Broadway hit from 2017 exploring the emotional, intellectual, and physical connections between ...

Gay News

Pride Films and Plays offers Buyer & Cellar, comedy of life in Streisand's basement 2019-02-09 - Pride Films and Plays will mount Jonathan Tolin's one-man play BUYER & CELLAR in the Broadway Theater of the Pride Arts Center, according ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.