Join TNS Host Irwin Keller in a conversation with musician, teacher, and activist Holly Near.
Holly is an acclaimed songwriter, producer, and recording artist with more than 40 creative years and 30 recordings. Respected around the world for her music and activism, her joy and passion inspire people to join in her celebration of the human spirit.
Born in Ukiah, CA in 1949, Holly began singing in high school, including work with a local folk group. She built on her performing career with acting parts on Mod Squad and appeared in a number of guest roles in seminal 70s TV shows like Room 222 and The Partridge Family. In 1970, she was a cast member of the Broadway musical Hair. In 1971, she joined the Free The Army Tour, an anti-Vietnam War road show of music, comedy, and plays organized by antiwar activist Fred Gardner and actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland.
In 1972, Holly was one of the first women to create an independent record company, paving the way for women like Ani DiFranco and others. She has been recognized many times for her work for social change, including honors from the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization for Women, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences–and she was named Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and received the Legends of Women’s Music Award. Holly is a staunch advocate for LGBTQ rights. She teaches, presenting master classes in performance craft and songwriting to diverse audiences. Her most recent CD, “Peace Becomes You,” was released in 2012.
photo credit: Irene Young