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Holly Near

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Singer/Songwriter Holly Near

Holly Near

© Pat Hunt

Description:

Topical singer/songwriter

Comparisons:

The most obvious comparisons to Holly Near are her contemporaries: Joan Baez, Janis Ian, Mary Travers, and Joni Mitchell.

Trivia Fact:

Before striking out on her own in a music career, Holly Near had a guest spot on The Mod Squad.

Starter CDs:

Lifeline with Ronnie Gilbert (Redwood, 1986). Edge (Calico Tracks, 2000). And We Still Sing: The Outspoken Collection (Calico Tracks, 2002).

Quote From Holly Near:

“Why do we kill people who are killing people to show that killing people is wrong?”

Holly Near Biography:

Holly Near was born in June, 1949, in Ukiah, California. She began performing as a musician when she was just eight years old, followed by acting stints on television shows such as The Partridge Family and The Mod Squad, as well as a run in Broadway's Hair.

After contemplating whether she wanted to dedicate herself more to acting or music, Holly started one of the first woman-run, artist-run record labels, Redwood Records, in 1972. Redwood's first release was Holly's Hang in There album (now out of print), which featured her staunch social stances in the areas of peace and feminism.

Throught the next 20 years, Holly released 15 more albums on her own Redwood Records, including a collaborative effort with Arlo Guthrie. In all, Near has recorded 26 albums to date, though many of her earlier recordings are now out of print. She is currently working on getting those albums back into print, as well as continuing to produce new, purposeful, and poignant work.

Throughout the years, Near has also collaborated with Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Bonnie Raitt, Cris Williamson, and others. She has also become a teacher – offering classes in performing and songwriting.

Most notable is Near's humanitarian work. She is an activist and an advocate for important organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Organization for Women (NOW), and more. In 2005, she was voted as one of the 1000 Women for a Nobel Peace Prize.
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