Guestbook

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64 Comments

  1. I love this website!! I’m so grateful for Holly putting it together. I actually use it as part of a final presentation in a high school Feminism and Women’s History class I teach. The students have to explore this site and the Spotify playlists, identify two songs that resonated with them and pick a third of their own from today. The goal is to introduce them to women’s music but also to connect them to musical history. They all seem to love the assignment!

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  2. This is absolutely fantastic, and I’ve only just begun exploring its contents. I’m eagerly anticipating delving into every aspect of it—reading, listening, and seeing. Thank you immensely for the thorough research, time, and effort you’ve dedicated to this.

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  3. What a delightful find! I was surfing the net for the lyrics to Holly’s song “A Planet Called Home” when I stumbled on this marvelous piece of women’s history. Wow! Brought me back to the 70’s and 80’s. I first heard Holly in Phoenix, and then I heard Chris Williamson in Tucson. I fell in love with their music.
    Now, I have this amazing resource that takes me back in time, and all I can do is smile and be thankful to all of you who put this website together.
    Holly, You look marvelous!

    Thank You!!!!!!

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  4. Thank you immensely for dedicating countless hours to curating this archive. I’ll be indulging in Spotify playlists for quite some time!
    Back in 1985, at the age of 19, a wonderful mentor in the community introduced me to a “lesbian essentials” package of early women’s music – Cris, Holly, Meg, Margie, Alix, and more.

    I vividly remember playing those records and tapes repeatedly in my dorm room. That music reassured me that I wasn’t alone and that a vibrant and fulfilling life lay ahead. I’m filled with gratitude for those moments.

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  5. Thank you so much for your endless hours of labor in compiling this archive. I will be listening to the Spotify playlists for quite a while! I was 19 years old in 1985 when an older dyke in the community took me under her wing and handed me a “lesbian essentials” package of early women’s music – Cris, Holly, Meg, Margie, Alix, etc. – and I played those records and tapes over and over to myself in my dorm room. That music let me know I was not alone, and that a beautiful, full life was waiting for me. I am grateful.

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  6. Thank You so much for this.

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  7. Thank you for this amazing compilation of moving music and the movement that informed my understanding of myself as a feminist at 9 and 10 years old in Alaska – listening to Sweet Honey in the Rock and Holly Near live in concert. Then listening to cassette tapes over and over.
    Also blessed to have found Libby Roderick’s music. Libby deserves to be listed in this group. Her lyrics and music are timeless. She sings songs that speak directly to human experience: work for change, loving, the power and beauty of nature, joy of living and acceptance of death and change,. These combined with her direct presence and consistant work to bring awareness to climate change and to raise up the voices of the Indigenous People of Alaska Her song “How Could Anyone Ever Tell You” is an anthem that has traveled off planet. The Body is the Temple of the Spirit, Low to the Ground… all songs that are nourishing to the spirit and open doors to awareness and wholeness.

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  8. I am loving listening, learning, reading, getting lost in and enjoying this amazing collection. Brings back so many memories of my younger self. What a generous gift you all have given us in creating this wonder. Thank you!

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  9. What a wonderful piece of work/a gift to enjoy! Thank you for sharing this. I was introduced to “women’s music” when a friend let me listen to Kay Gardner on her Walkman. 1980 summer.
    I was surprised that there was only 1 reference to her here. But that discovery led me to many others listed here. I’m deeply appreciative of all your work.

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  10. I find myself in that “in between” time in life; not yet an elder but also not a youngster (I’m about to be 47). It strikes me that those who are my cohort are in a unique position. It is up to us to learn the herstory and to be able to keep it alive while also lending a hand to the women who are coming up behind us. Thank you so much for all the hard work, time, and love that went into this project. We must keep this going

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  11. What a wonderful resource ! Hopefully forever. Beautiful design. Wonderful music wonderful voices. Let the music speak!

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  12. Dear friends, I stumbled across this website through an internet search, landing on an interview with the fabulous Melanie DeMore. I was struck by her presence and the obvious affection and mutual admiration that flowed between Holly and Melanie in the interview – what a beautiful friendship. And I found myself weeping at the story of the Obeah Opera. I sincerely hope this opera receives the funding to tour.

    As a straight woman born in the early 70s, I loved learning more about the history of Women’s Music – something that was new to me. And as the mother of a beautiful, musical gay young man, I felt so much hope and beauty – and courage – in this story of welcoming all people to the table, and how music has offered shelter.

    I can feel the love and care that went into creating this archive – thank you. It has blessed me!

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  13. Love the site. New fan of the genre after listening to Holly Near’s Imagine My Surprise! from an LP collection I inherited. What a banger!

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  14. Very close to a diary of my adult life. Thank you and congratulations to any and all who had a role in this accomplishment. Please do not view this as a ‘completed work’…There are so many ‘near forgotten warriors’ who BELONG; at community, local, state/province, national, international level…Bless the music makers for how they have kept us sane (or nearly so…;-)!

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  15. This is a tremendous collection Holly! Deep appreciation to you for living your principles and aspirations for a better world. Love and hugs.

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  16. This is so fabulous! Thank you Holly and all who contributed!

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  17. Another revolutionary gift from Holly. Thank you and all the folks you gathered to put this powerful work together. Deep gratitude…

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  18. This is such an important contribution to so many of our stories – I came to know many of these artists at the National Women’s Music Festivals held on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana – especially the early 80’s – but even later. All of the wonderful stories of the connections to New York and Washington (and in between). Thank you to all the artists and especially the visionary, Holly Near.

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  19. I love this compilation of shared experiences! I grew up immersed in the NYC folk scene, I knew all the Weaver’s songs, Woody’s children and of course Pete Seeger. I first heard your music (Holly) in the West Village, in various small clubs you performed in – in the mid 70’s. BUT, the day that changed everything for me was when Pete Seeger joined you on stage, at one of the early Hudson River Sloop festivals with Ronnie Gilbert – singing Imagine my Surprise and Something about the Women. I was not yet 20 – still figuring out who I am/was — and there you were, out, proud and joyous. You made a space for all of us. I am so grateful. We are older now, and of course the work continues. I live in Colorado Springs, where we have just suffered a tragic attack on the LGBTQ+ community. People are hurting, queer kids are scared – older gay and lesbian folk are tired. And still – your words ring true, it could’ve been me. So we keep on keeping on.

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  20. I wrote about Joan Lowe who engineered many of these recordings. It would be great to have her acknowledged in these pages. The book I wrote is called Women in Audio. Here is a link to Joan’s work including Virgo Rising.
    https://www.discogs.com/artist/1188418-Joan-Lowe

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  21. This is so wonderful. I worked with the late Virginia Giordano from the 80’s until she moved to Ca. I started wheat pasting posters re concerts in NYC, sold albums and then worked backstage in all the concerts she produced. She called me Jill Jr, meaning her person. I’ve worked with so many of these wonderful women from concert halls to schools to outdoor events. I feel so honored to have been there at the very beginning. My first concert, as an audience member was Holly and Meg Christian at a church venue in NY. Thank you for creating this space and warming my heart with some of my best times of my life.

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  22. I am so sad I missed viewing. Holly, Meg, Ferron, Chis, Margie,Tret, Dedira, Linda, just to name a few. I am so blown away from all the history and that the ground was broken for the paths that all of you beautiful strong womyn has paved for the future of womyn’s music. I came out in 1979. I was introduced to this awesome music. Not ever hearing it before. Thank you so much for your strength, your hunger, and desire to play and make music. Love to everyone. Your music made me grow as a lesbian, and a woman.

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  23. The community, collaboration and power of women working together…changing lives. Thank you for all the years of music, politics and inspiration.

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  24. Deep bow to all of you, who shaped so much of my foreground. Some of us got our courage from early meetings with you. First met Carolyn Brandy when singing in the woods in 1978, then walked up on stage to thank so many singers at Michfest. I moved into Rhiannon’s flat in 1989 where I could listen to her teaching. I came out to straight audiences, playing shows solo for some years, and never made my way to the producers of Women’s Music.

    I spent a week with you Holly, in a performance class. Your niece asked me for help privately in that class, and you were there applauding when I performed for the teachers. Then the very next week, in a totally different context, you were walking down the path next to me at Michfest at the 30th anniversary.

    I can say your performance coaching during that week at Swannanoa helped catalyze me into a teaching practice I held privately for 30 years. I have not performed in a long time and I miss it. This time I would love to land in the arms of women’s community. Something about seeing you in the live show today, the shape of your face so much more visible, rockin that hair and being right here, made me weep with joy. Thank you for all the ways you show us how to go for it. It is time for a new song to come through all of us. Friendship is the light of the world, and I think of you all as my friends. So grateful for your courage and your life!

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  25. Big Love, hugs and “Hello” from Soupy in Colorado! Thank you for this, Holly and all who contributed to make this truly cherished legacy possible. You all are a gigantic part of my DNA! In harmony and let’s keep singing, Suzanne “Soupy” Pierson

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  26. I’m loving this ! Women’s music has been the soundtrack for my life for more than 40 years. I was privileged to be able to produce some concerts and play women’s stories and women’s voices on the radio. What a fantastic project, so important to document! May these voices thrive.

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  27. Kudos to you, Holly, for putting together this massive compendium on the singing for and about liberation. Of course, there’s more to be said and will be. It was an amazing spontaneous and self-forming phenomenon.

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  28. Wow Holly what an incredible piece of work. Thank you sooo much for all of this. Have admired you forever. Lived down the Street on Barnett Valley Road didn’t find out you lived there after you moved. Missed a opportunity to tell you in person how much of a difference your music made in my life. Hope you are well and happy.🥰🙏

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  29. My coming out was tied to women’s music and culture. Big thanks for this archive.

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  30. Wow, this is just an amazing gift! I experienced this scene mostly from afar, in the 80s in Western Massachusetts. I was a DJ for a very popular weekly women’s radio show called, “Now’s the Time.” I also got to see many of these amazing musicians in concert in Western MA and at a few Women’s Music festivals. Can’t wait to dig into this! Thank you!

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  31. Holly, once again you’ve used your incredible talent to inspire us. This record of feminist cultural activism is needed now more than ever, as we pass the torch to future generations. You are indeed a treasure — as a gifted songwriter, vocal artist, inclusive organizer, and generous spirit. Shukran!

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  32. What an amazing compilation of talent.
    What a remarkable act of grace.

    Thank you for this immeasurable oasis in a world of turmoil.

    Namaste

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  33. I learned so much from this music; thank you to all who put this together, inspired me through the years and brought back such wonderful memories! Beautiful!

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  34. Baby Steps to Liberation, and the road is long and slow, but looking and listening her… Baby is Dancing. Be well.

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  35. Thank you for the online presence and continuing to share with us all

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  36. Simply amazing.

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  37. I especially like the live performance “The Varied Voices of Black Women,” from 1978. Thank you for the archival work.

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  38. I was so immersed in women’s music from 1974 until now, that I didn’t know any of the songs by popular mainstream groups. I love our culture, our diversity and our style. Thank you for gathering this wonderful archive, Holly. You have a gift for giving.

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  39. So wonderful! So many of these songs and these women provided inspiration, guidance and love to me as I worked as an activist in the movement to end violence against women in KCMO. The Foolkiller building and cultural arts group working there brought so many of these wonderful artists to the midwest. Thank you so much, Holly for putting this together and for the amazing work of all of these fabulous women.

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  40. What an amazing archive! I am so happy that this is available to us. A million “thanks” to those who worked on this project, this gift to us, especially those of us who were there from the beginning..

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  41. We were playing music in Florida in the 70’s and 80’s and proudly introduced Women’s Music at our shows, hoping it would have the impact on the audience that it did on us. And it did. The whole bar would be on its feet singing “Sister” or “Something About the Women” joined as one.
    I’ve been looking for this archive since.
    Thank you Holly and friends.

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  42. I am one of the thousands who over the years have looked to you to help us keep grounded and focused and hopeful. And now you’ve had the foresight to make sure this invaluable history is saved and available. So honored to have been interviewed by you for this work. Thank you, Holly, for all the gifts and guidance you have given us over the years.

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  43. I don’t know how many times in the last 5 or so years that I have said: “We need Holly Near now!” Your humble leadership in activism shaped so many of us. So much more and deeper that a mere Thank You.
    Now this!! You have given so much and lifted up so many. You are a treasure. This website is amazing, a timeless gift.

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  44. I don’t know how many times in the last 5 or so years that I have said: “We need Holly Near now!” Your humble leadership in activism shaped so many of us. So much more and deeper that a mere Thank You.
    Now this!! You have given so much and lifted up so many. You are a treasure. This website is amazing, a timeless gift.

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  45. Holly,
    You have been, and still are, a treasure of the Women’s Music community. This wonderful project is an invaluable resource for everyone now, and for years to come. In the future, when college kids write their theses on Women’s Music, they will turn to this to learn and appreciate all of us while we were here.
    Thank you so very much for including me and recognizing the instrumentlists as well as the singer songwriters.

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  46. what a gift – thank you – to be shared with loved ones!

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  47. I am working with a few other women to collect Oven Productions materials for archival purposes. We have reel-to-reel tapes of concerts from the 70’s, posters, notes, minutes, pictures, etc. And lots of documentation from our annual womyn’s variety show. Is this an appropriate place to deposit that information and artifacts?

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  48. WOW! This has made my day, week, month, year, and then some!
    Thank you for all your work. Labor of love. Will forever be tied to the music!

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  49. Crying and laughing as I look, listen, feel and remember. So many powerful women and so many powerful moments. As one of the women in the audience I deeply appreciate all the history and change recorded here. As music is such a powerful, evocative force, it reaches deep into the neural networks of time and memory and brings alive our very history and evolution. I thank you Holly for all you continue to do.

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  50. What an astounding testament to the courage and musical artistry of these amazing women. Every minute spent listening here is an education. Thank you

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  51. Dear Holly and the team…What an incredible archive! I am both a radio producer and a band member of Sistah Boom. I have produced a half-hour audio documentary called “Sistah Boom: 40 Years in the Streets.” It includes an interview with Carolyn Brandy. This sound-rich documentary chronicles not just the band, but the four decades of social movements the band took part in: the Gay Freedom Day Parade, the Gay Olympic Games, the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, AIDS activism and the Names Project Quilt, the Occupy Movement, the Women’s Marches, same-sex marriage celebrations, and demonstrations against ICE incarceration. I would be happy to give you access to posting the link: https://soundcloud.com/user-950306873/sistah-boom-forty-years-in-the-streets. Please let me know if this is of interest. Best regards, Chana

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  52. As an instrumentalist, it’s not always clear to audiences where our sympathies lie. Thank you Holly for recognizing that we share all things artistic, political and cultural with the proponents of Women’s Music. It’s great to be included here with our singing sisters. We are Family!

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  53. Such generosity and sensitivity! Thank you not only for me but for generations to come. What an incredible, in-depth resource!

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  54. Brava! What a nice postscript to an exemplary career. A niche within a niche, perhaps, but somehow it touches on the whole gamut of inclusiveness. Bless you Holly for being Holly Near.

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  55. What an amazing resource! Thank you!

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  56. You got a really good piece of it, with so much more to go! And that’s the good news … it’s almost impossible to believe it all happened, but it sure did. And the effects are ongoing. Thanks Holly! xx

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  57. Thank you so much for this wonderful herstory and archive!

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  58. Congratulations on a massive resource for this music and our community. May this spread far and wide to remember and build on all this connection. Yah super nova as Barbara calls it. And we got to be there and create together. Thank you Holly for following and expanding your vision. So grateful.

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  59. A divine rabbit hole to go down. Just an inspirational, informational place to hang out. LOVE

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  60. Let me join the chorus of WOW. What a fabulous job you’ve done here, this is such an invaluable gathering of history and source materials. A deep bow to all. I’ve already spent an hour just skimming the pages. I look forward to a deeper dive and to passing this on to our students!

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  61. YES!! Thank you SO MUCH for this astounding labor of love. Those were some HISTORIC times in Oakland/East Bay. The power of women working together was born in a super nova of creative energy. Deep gratitude for the dedication, love and time that it took to create this precious resource. THANK YOU!

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  62. Herstory in the making!

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  63. WOW!!!!!! and beyond WOW!!!! This is fabulous and I’ve hardly scratched the surface of its contents. I am so looking forward to reading…hearing…seeing every bit of it. Thank you, thank you for all the research, time and work that went into this.

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  64. I could spend hours here! Thank you so much for this gift.

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