My Red Blood by Alix Dobkin
Women’s music legend chronicles her rise to fame as the first artist to record an openly lesbian album in 1973. But as with most good stories, this one begins much earlier.
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A memoir of Growing up Communist, Coming onto the Greenwich Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement.
Women’s music legend Alix Dobkin for the first time chronicles her rise to fame as the first artist to record an openly Lesbian record album in 1973. Her story, however, opens much earlier in post-war New York City where, growing up in a Communist family, she watches Jackie Robinson steal home, rubs elbows with radical left celebrities like Paul Robeson, and comes of age under the watchful eye of the FBI
Dobkin herself joins the Party at the height of the McCarthy witch hunts and offers readers a first-hand glimpse of daily life as a young person living under government surveillance. During this time she also matures as a devotee of folk music, having fallen under the spell of renowned performers such as Leadbellyand Pete Seeger.
Yet it’s after she arrives on the burgeoning folk music scene of Greenwich Village, where she meets the up-and-coming Bob Dylan, Bill Cosby, John Sebastian, Buffy Ste. Marie, and Flip Wilson, among many other rising luminaries, that she achieves her first acclaim as a singer-songwriter. Her music takes on overt feminist dimensions when she joins a women’s consciousness raising group and comes out as a Lesbian. Rich in period detail, storytelling, and outspoken politics. ISBN 9781593501075.
My Red Blood is essential reading for lovers of music and history. "Focusing during the first decade on a traditional, international, and contemporary/protest repertory, I then came out as a Lesbian in 1972 and turned to writing and singing for women in general and to building Lesbian culture in particular.
"Over the last 25 years I have traveled to hundreds of women's communities in this country and many others. It has been my privilege and pleasure to gather elements of our common culture and to create a body of stories, songs, observations, and opinions, to share with you. They honor and reflect our unique feminist style, substance, issues and values. In addition to seven recordings, I have one songbook, many years worth of columns and articles, a shelf full of awards to my name; and was voted "All Time Favorite Performer" by Hot Wire magazine, and have been known to some as "Head Lesbian!" Spin magazine called me a "womyn's music legend" and the FBI reported that I was a "trouble maker."
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