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Why Did Sam Harris Fail So Miserably

He could sing, he was cute enough, he had a top 40 hit.

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by Anonymousreply 106June 14, 2022 4:21 PM


by Anonymousreply 1November 25, 2021 2:53 PM

Noted homosexual

by Anonymousreply 2November 25, 2021 2:57 PM

Because he was an on-site basic Queen to anyone with eyes. His clothes and hairstyle look like they were from flashy boutiques at the local gay strip. The music seemed like it was made for club DJs with mustaches, and the videos seemed designed to be played in popular gay bars. He wasn’t just GAY, he was boring, basic gay. Sure, he could sing. But…

by Anonymousreply 3November 25, 2021 2:58 PM

He did fine.

by Anonymousreply 4November 25, 2021 2:58 PM

He was actually quite successful in his own way.

by Anonymousreply 5November 25, 2021 3:00 PM

I love Scham

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by Anonymousreply 6November 25, 2021 3:01 PM

I’ve never heard of him before but watching his entrance twirling into the nightclub in the music video, I can see how he may have been too gay to be mainstream.

by Anonymousreply 7November 25, 2021 3:01 PM

If Liza sang with him, that should earn him a free pass from the queens.

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by Anonymousreply 8November 25, 2021 3:03 PM

And he seems too Broadway trying to be edgy.

by Anonymousreply 9November 25, 2021 3:03 PM

He ushered in the era of singers being judged by how loudly they can sing.

Any lack of success is pure and simple karma for his crimes

by Anonymousreply 10November 25, 2021 3:04 PM

I love that Sam Harris was serving a song about lesbian cunnilingus to the middle American masses. "Going Down Makes Me Shiver" was written by Nona Hendryx and recorded by the group Labelle. Sam is basically imitating and emulating Patti Labelle.

Sang, Gurl!!!!

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by Anonymousreply 11November 25, 2021 3:14 PM

All I remember about him is his ridiculous version of Patti LaBelle's version of "Over the Rainbow." It had enough freak appeal to wow judges on Star Search, but the real world audience for that kind of thing is fringe at best.

by Anonymousreply 12November 25, 2021 3:15 PM

Because she was an obvious queen who, because he rose to fame as middle America's darling on "Star Search", couldn't lean into his queeniness, unlike, say, Sylvester or Boy George. He was stuck trying pass his flaming ass off as straight, as in the above-linked video. You can see how well he pulled that off.

Also because he made the brilliant move of signing to a dying label for black artists, Motown.

Also because his debut single was unlistenable garbage, which he sung poorly, and which barely squeaked into the top 40. Nobody needed or wanted to hear anything from him after he unleashed that piece of shit onto the public.

Also because in the early/mid 80's, a syndicated TV show such as "Star Search", as popular as it was (and give Sam Harris credit for a lot of that initial popularity, his appearances were very exciting to watch) was still seen as a bit 2nd-rate. It was still a "3 Major Networks" world, and anything else on TV automatically had a bit of a low-rent stink on it.

by Anonymousreply 13November 25, 2021 3:16 PM

I didn’t see the “Sam” part of your post and yet it still made sense.

by Anonymousreply 14November 25, 2021 3:18 PM

He was in Grease on Bway. He could have had a brighter Bway career but it didn’t go anywhere

by Anonymousreply 15November 25, 2021 3:19 PM

He did have the hit: Sugar don’t bite

by Anonymousreply 16November 25, 2021 3:19 PM

He could have won American Idol . Great voice

by Anonymousreply 17November 25, 2021 3:21 PM

[quote] He was in Grease on Bway

Did he play Sandy, Frenchie, Rizzo or Principal McGee?

by Anonymousreply 18November 25, 2021 3:22 PM

Sam talking about the Minnelli/Gest nuptials.

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by Anonymousreply 19November 25, 2021 3:24 PM

I think the unlistenable garbage is just a tweak or two away from being Madonna’s number one hit Papa Don’t Preach.

by Anonymousreply 20November 25, 2021 3:27 PM

But you listened to the whole thing, didn’t you now?

by Anonymousreply 21November 25, 2021 3:31 PM

The question should be "Who is Sam Harris?" instead.


by Anonymousreply 22November 25, 2021 3:32 PM

He was also a Tony nominee for "The Life."

by Anonymousreply 23November 25, 2021 3:35 PM

His book Ham: Slices of Life was published several years back. It was an enjoyable, witty collection of stories.

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by Anonymousreply 24November 25, 2021 3:36 PM

Publisched by Schimon and Schushtersh.

by Anonymousreply 25November 25, 2021 3:38 PM

maybe it was the atheism

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by Anonymousreply 26November 25, 2021 3:43 PM

Yeah, pretty obvious queen.

by Anonymousreply 27November 25, 2021 3:48 PM

[quote]which he sung poorly

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 28November 25, 2021 3:49 PM

I have an autographed CD cover of his. I can't be bothered to dig it out and find out which one.

As to why he failed, I leave you with "Sugar Don't Bite."

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by Anonymousreply 29November 25, 2021 3:49 PM

I've seen him live three times in smaller venues. He puts on one hell of a show. Tastes differ, but he is a sensational showman and sings a wide variety of songs in different genres, and does them all wonderfully.

Can't wait to see him again. I think he's tremendous.

by Anonymousreply 30November 25, 2021 3:52 PM

Because Motown had him recording material that was off brand for him. It was vaguely new-wavish/R&B-ish pop instead of R&B and big showy ballads.

It's funny looking back. As a HS kid I could not get enough of Sam Harris' uvulating. Never missed an episode of Star Search when he was on. Saw him live on tour where my friend and I slipped into his limo after the show and managed to say "Hi" before getting run off by security. Most of my theater friends and I eagerly anticipated and bought his album. I recall most of us were kind of disappointed in the material. It wasn't in line with the type of material he presented on Star Search week after week. Nonetheless, a group of us did an interpretive pantomime to "I Will Not Wait for You" in Theatre Arts. JFC.

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by Anonymousreply 31November 25, 2021 3:53 PM

I was prepared to be impressed that a Broadway singing star found the time to become a neuroscientist and the guts to be open about atheism. Then I realized it wasn’t the same person. You fooled me r26.

by Anonymousreply 32November 25, 2021 4:04 PM

Sam in " Grease."

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by Anonymousreply 33November 25, 2021 4:07 PM

Always liked him, the voice and the persona. He was way too gay for his time though. It’s a shame, he had talent.

by Anonymousreply 34November 25, 2021 4:17 PM

The “other” Sam Harris is also the son of Susan Harris, creator, writer producer of Soap and Golden Girls.

by Anonymousreply 35November 25, 2021 4:23 PM

Saw him get naked in "Hair." Unfortunately, Marissa Jaret Winokur also got naked, and I've been blind ever since.

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by Anonymousreply 36November 25, 2021 4:24 PM

Sam in jail for buggery.

No actually Sam in Joseph and the Technicolor Crapcoat

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by Anonymousreply 37November 25, 2021 5:10 PM

Short gay Jewish guy who sang like a black woman

Also a bit of a prick at the beginning. (Got nicer)

by Anonymousreply 38November 25, 2021 6:05 PM

[quote]Did he play Sandy, Frenchie, Rizzo or Principal McGee?

Well he wasn't butch enough to play Rizzo

by Anonymousreply 39November 25, 2021 6:05 PM


No poster, don't hold back, please tell us what you really think?

by Anonymousreply 40November 25, 2021 6:06 PM

I don't see Harris as anymore "queeny" than George Michael in the "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" video. Seriously did anyone watch that and then say 'Of course he's straight.'

by Anonymousreply 41November 25, 2021 7:08 PM

I thought he was cute as a button,but his wailing got on my nerves very quickly. That being said,I have thought of him over the years .He was one of the first really blazing queens (though in the closet everyone knew) that I remember seeing on network tv. Liberace doesnt count.

by Anonymousreply 42November 25, 2021 7:18 PM

R37 I saw him in that production. I also saw him at The Rainbow Room.

Jeremy Jordan (Smash, Newsies) was obviously influenced by Sam

by Anonymousreply 43November 25, 2021 7:19 PM

He was an early VLOGGER from way back. It really was a new thing back then.

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by Anonymousreply 44November 25, 2021 7:27 PM

r38 Where did you get the idea he was Jewish? He's from OKLAHOMA, for God's sake.

by Anonymousreply 45November 25, 2021 7:39 PM

He never learned how to roll with the punches and in this business they come left right and below the belt.

by Anonymousreply 46November 25, 2021 7:50 PM

Because he sings with a HELIUM Voice!

by Anonymousreply 47November 25, 2021 9:29 PM

Great jawline

by Anonymousreply 48November 25, 2021 9:45 PM

Wow, very over-the-top. Great voice obviously but that song makes my ear bleed. And people complain about Patti, Whitney, Christina and Mariah being overwrought.

by Anonymousreply 49November 26, 2021 2:28 AM

[quote] Because Motown had him recording material that was off brand for him. It was vaguely new-wavish/R&B-ish pop instead of R&B and big showy ballads.

Motown was a shadow of itself in the 1980s. They severely mishandled Teena Marie's career and also the career of Vanity.

by Anonymousreply 50November 26, 2021 2:32 AM

[quote]Because he sings with a HELIUM Voice

Hey what's up with that?

by Anonymousreply 51November 26, 2021 1:57 PM

Madonna probably did listen to this and used the melody for Papa Don't Preach. It sounds suspiciously similar. It's not like Madge ever had artistic integrity. Or maybe Brian Eliot composed them both? So many 80s and 90s pop songs sound identical that I'm surprised there weren't more plagiarism lawsuits.

by Anonymousreply 52November 26, 2021 4:28 PM

[quote] He could sing

Like Ethel Merman, perhaps.

by Anonymousreply 53November 26, 2021 4:32 PM

She's tremendous!

by Anonymousreply 54November 26, 2021 4:33 PM

Great voice, but his personality was probably too queeny for that time to ever have any major mainstream success. The even sadder part is that he'd probably not be queeny or weird enough to make it these days.

by Anonymousreply 55November 26, 2021 4:44 PM

His voice is good. The issue is the songs he was given on his solo career. Just terrible 80s shlock. He probably would have fared better in the 90s, doing those lite FM and adult contemporary ballads that Celine and Michael Bolton were doing.

by Anonymousreply 56November 26, 2021 4:51 PM

He was the Billy Porter of his time. In fact, they were both in that 90's revival of Grease together. They both seem like bossy bottoms so I doubt they hooked up.

by Anonymousreply 57November 26, 2021 4:53 PM

He played another queen-who-is-actually-straight in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "The Class", which starred John Bernthal, Jason Ritter, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. 2006/2007.

by Anonymousreply 58November 26, 2021 5:01 PM

Maybe if he’d dolled up in outrageous gender-bending fashions and wore make-up he might have fared better as an obvious gay in the public’s eyes, a la Boy George, Pete Burns, Marilyn, etc. But that didn’t always work for every pop star.

by Anonymousreply 59November 26, 2021 5:48 PM

Releasing pop music in the mid-80s also put him in competition for radio-video play against at their prime Michael Jackson, Madonna, etc.

by Anonymousreply 60November 26, 2021 8:31 PM

I was also wondering why Sam Harris wasn't a bigger star after his winning steak on "Star Search." But after seeing the OP's video (I had never seen it before), it was pretty obvious why. There was no WAY MTV was going to play that. It was way too gay. Even though he's supposed to be coming on to some leggy woman at the bar, it's apparent from space that Harris is gay, gay, gay! Not that there's anything wrong with that. If he wanted Top 40 stardom, he needed to dial the queeniness way down.

by Anonymousreply 61March 6, 2022 6:56 PM

If he had been around today he would have come out as nonbinary to stay relevant.

by Anonymousreply 62March 6, 2022 7:03 PM

Since this thread has been bumped...

I happened to think about his rendition of 'I Can't Make You Love Me'., because of the many negative comments about him.

It's beautiful, for people that haven't already made up their minds about him. His live performance of this song is spectacular.

But then again, I like him.

Try it out.

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by Anonymousreply 63March 6, 2022 7:14 PM

R61 here. I actually like Sam Harris very much. I have several of his albums. I was just surprised at how queeny his video was. I bought his first album when it came out and always wondered why "Sugar Don't Bite" didn't catch on. Now I know. The video ruined any chances of that. It's too bad because there are several other really good songs on the album.

by Anonymousreply 64March 6, 2022 7:21 PM


If you haven't yet heard it, try 'Standard Time/Different Stages".

Spotify has it, but the CD is rare and when you can find it is upwards of $100.

by Anonymousreply 65March 6, 2022 7:51 PM

He’s just not a very good singer. Rather plain looking.

by Anonymousreply 66March 6, 2022 8:27 PM

When he opened his mouth, purses fell out. You could see it from space!

by Anonymousreply 67March 6, 2022 9:41 PM

With that haircut, clothes, and face he really looks like an 80’s lesbian.

by Anonymousreply 68March 6, 2022 9:44 PM

I think the bigger question would be "Why did someone bump this thread?"

Sam, was it you?

by Anonymousreply 69March 6, 2022 9:48 PM

R65, thanks for the tip. Oddly enough, I did find an excellent copy of that double CD on Ebay recently. And thankfully, I got it at a much better price.

And no, Sam didn't bump this thread. I did. Why would he have bumped it anyway? Many of the responses are really negative.

by Anonymousreply 70March 6, 2022 10:39 PM

I've seen him in Joseph, and at several cabaret-style places. He's wonderful singing standards.

Carole Cook introduced us at a STAGE benefit. He's nice enough, and apparently makes a decent living. Not everyone can be a superstar, or even wants to be.

by Anonymousreply 71March 7, 2022 12:04 AM

He and his song choices were of a different era even then. It's not really fair considering his vocal chops, but people just don't like that park and bark style of Broadway singing anymore. He should have done more Broadway work, but I'm not sure if he's a good enough actor and he might be hard to cast.

by Anonymousreply 72March 7, 2022 9:03 PM

He was very good in a supporting role in the Broadway cast of "The Life'. I think he also took over for a supporting role in "The Producers". I would have loved to have seen him, especially since he and the cast were nude for apparently a whole number and in pretty good lighting in "Hair" years ago. Marissa wasn't even a name back then, so I'm sure there were plenty of others to focus on, like Steven Webber and Sam.

by Anonymousreply 73March 7, 2022 9:28 PM

He made an appearance on Star Search four years after he won it. He seems defeated in this clip.

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by Anonymousreply 74March 7, 2022 10:35 PM

Was he the first singer to do the "Star Search Finish?" That is holding the last night for like an hour and singing it really loud.

by Anonymousreply 75March 7, 2022 10:53 PM

He may have been the first, R75. I just remember it was usually (if not always) the Patti Labelle version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." He stretched out the word "can't" for about a minute.

by Anonymousreply 76March 7, 2022 10:56 PM

Still probably not as bad as Mandy Patinkin's effort at "Over the Rainbow". I can't even bring myself to find a link, as I feel like sparing you the agony.

by Anonymousreply 77March 8, 2022 5:05 AM

Looked and sounded like some musical theatre hick from an I-state.

by Anonymousreply 78March 8, 2022 6:08 AM

The legendary Sam Harris returns to his favorite New York intimate hub with a brand new show, featuring his definitive interpretations of pop, theatre, and standards, accompanied by his long-time musical director, Todd Schroeder. It’s an evening of celebration and reflection, filled with Harris’s singular comedic observations and soul-bearing introspection.

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by Anonymousreply 79March 9, 2022 7:07 PM

Why the tats, Sam? On one arm, maybe ok. Overkill, like some of his singing, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 80March 9, 2022 7:10 PM

I fucked his Boston ex- boyfriend Marcus, who was twice as hot.

I fucked him good all summer in Beacon Hill!

by Anonymousreply 81March 9, 2022 7:14 PM

Joan Rivers LOVED him.

by Anonymousreply 82March 9, 2022 7:24 PM

He kind of reminds me of Rex Smith in that I kind of had heard of him but didn't really get familiar with his work. Like you might see him on an Entertainment Tonight profile piece and which put his name on your radar, but then you never really heard much about him again.

by Anonymousreply 83March 9, 2022 7:25 PM

[quote]I was also wondering why Sam Harris wasn't a bigger star after his winning steak on "Star Search." But after seeing the OP's video (I had never seen it before), it was pretty obvious why. There was no WAY MTV was going to play that. It was way too gay

As opposed to Boy George or "Dead Or Alive" eh?

by Anonymousreply 84June 11, 2022 11:32 AM

I think he lacked the mysterious cool factor of the British gay acts.

by Anonymousreply 85June 11, 2022 11:45 AM

For some reason I thought he was dead. I guess I had him confused with his career.

by Anonymousreply 86June 11, 2022 12:50 PM

Too gay acting for the time. He’d probably be able to find a niche today.

by Anonymousreply 87June 11, 2022 1:09 PM

He's on tour with 'Openly Gray'. Check out his website for locations and tickets.

I've got mine. Can't wait to see him again!

He's spectacular live. You won't regret it.

(No, I'm not Sam Harris. Just a fan.)

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by Anonymousreply 88June 11, 2022 2:24 PM

He's a Sandite!! The pride and joy of Sand Springs, Oklahoma!

by Anonymousreply 89June 11, 2022 2:57 PM

Star Search was syndicated and hardly the rating champ of say, American Idol. They vastly overestimated his popularity.

by Anonymousreply 90June 11, 2022 3:22 PM

He looks pretty good with the gray hair.

by Anonymousreply 91June 11, 2022 10:31 PM

tacky and kaweeeenie looking and no talent.

by Anonymousreply 92June 11, 2022 11:31 PM

"As opposed to Boy George or "Dead Or Alive" eh?"

That's exactly the point. MTV played Culture Club videos when they were silly, sexless and nonconfrontational. MTV loved Culture Club until "The War Song," in which George had a more feminine look and the video was (vaguely) political. It was an ugly video, too, which didn't help.

Dead or Alive's two videos that were played in high rotation on MTV, "You Spin Me Round" and "Brand New Lover" suggested gayness but never went over the edge of campy queerness. Sam Harris was queeny, over-the-top theater camp gay from the get-go. You can see it in the "Sugar Don't Bite" video. There was no way that was going into high rotation. Likewise the video "Premonition" by Jack Wagner from the same time period, in which he was writhing on the floor like Madonna at her VMA performance. I have no idea if Jack is gay, but that was one gay, gay, gay video. MTV no likey gay videos.

by Anonymousreply 93June 11, 2022 11:47 PM

He looks better now than he did 40 years ago.

I always cringe whenever I hear eldergays imitating black singers like Patti LaBelle. When Freddie Mercury would mimic an Aretha Franklin run at least he made it his own. Sam always sounded like an over the top drag performer. I agree with another poster who said he would’ve fared better in the 90s doing adult contemporary Diane Warren ballads.

by Anonymousreply 94June 11, 2022 11:53 PM

Wasn’t Jermaine Stewart’s We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off played in heavy rotation on MTV around the same time as Sugar Don’t Bite?

by Anonymousreply 95June 12, 2022 12:07 AM

No, R95. That was from 1986. The video may have been a bit queeny, but it suggested that Jermaine was singing to a girl and that makes all the difference. Plus, the song was getting huge radio play in the summer of 1986, even before it was played on MTV.

by Anonymousreply 96June 12, 2022 12:11 AM

Ugly hillbilly looking fucker. Terrible voice. Couldn't sing.

by Anonymousreply 97June 12, 2022 12:17 AM

handsome and pretty, even more so with the grey hair.. give him a body and he would be smoking (minus the negatives he has going on)....

by Anonymousreply 98June 12, 2022 12:23 AM

My theory as to why MTV played Jermaine and not Sam was because "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" was a good pop song while "Sugar Don't Bite" was a laughably bad, cheesy, and cringe-worthy trifle and the video for it was even worse. Someone at MTV with good taste simply said hell no, we ain't playin' that and I can't say I blamed them.

That said, I do think Sam Harris is very cute, has a good voice, and deserved success about as much as anyone else out there. I'm glad to see he's still around, maintaining his career, and still has fans. Good for him.

by Anonymousreply 99June 12, 2022 12:24 AM

Because winning Star Search was no big thang.

by Anonymousreply 100June 12, 2022 12:36 AM

I was a big fan while he was on Star Search. I think that clip in R74 speaks volumes. Sam's career was not going well and the song he chose to sing reflects that. He was lost.

Later, he needed to get sober and he did. He has a channel on Youtube. There are some great scenes there, and his rehearsals with he pianist Todd are very funny. I'm still a fan.

by Anonymousreply 101June 12, 2022 12:49 AM

I just love Sam Harris. I have most of his albums and think they're thoroughly enjoyable. I do think the earlier poster who said he should have gone the Diane Warren route was absolutely right. I think he could really have made a pop music career for himself if he had. That said, I think he has done very well for himself. He certainly didn't "fail miserably" at all. He had a hit album, continues to record, has a solid fan base, has appeared on Broadway and received a Drama Desk Award and some impressive theater nominations including a Tony nomination. I think he is very successful. I was surprised to learn that he was a co-creator of the first TBS scripted sitcom "Down to Earth." I wonder if he made much money from that? It ran for several years and more than 100 episodes. That show debuted on TBS in the spring of 1984, so it must have been in the works before he even started on Star Search. Anyway, he always seemed very sweet, was very cute (and is now quite handsome as an older man), and had a striking voice. I would love it if his current concert tour brings him down to the south Florida (Palm Beach) area. I would happily go to his show!

by Anonymousreply 102June 12, 2022 9:16 PM

Fun fact: the other Sam Harris is the son of Susan Harris - yes that one.

by Anonymousreply 103June 12, 2022 9:31 PM

Sam won Star Search singing show tunes and ballads. To come out with Sugar Don't Bite, an eighties pop song that should have gone to Sheena Easton was just the wrong package.

by Anonymousreply 104June 14, 2022 3:53 PM

His voice is unpleasant.

by Anonymousreply 105June 14, 2022 4:17 PM

I thought that he was dead! What a relief.

by Anonymousreply 106June 14, 2022 4:21 PM
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