on the Record
Ginny Berson’s important memoir of building Olivia Records into a beloved lesbian institution is a timely narrative from a founding organizer.
Ginny walks us through the politics, radical self-discovery, aching romantic tension, and quirky community organizing that characterized an era. In these chapters, we gain a front-row seat to the collective ‘processing’ that produced and distributed lesbian records and meet the first generation of fans to experience women’s music as lesbian liberation.
Bonnie J. Morris, PhD
Author of Eden Built By Eves, The Disappearing L,
and The Feminist Revolution
Ginny Z Berson, one of Olivia’s founding members and visionaries, kept copious records during those heady days—days also fraught with contradictions, conflicts, and economic pitfalls. With great honesty, Berson offers her personal take on what those times were like, revisiting the excitement and the hardships of creating a fair and equitable lesbian-feminist business model—one that had no precedent.
We need to recognize the miraculousness of what Olivia achieved.
A few years after Stonewall, Olivia not only created the first women’s record label, but in the face of pervasive bigotry and repression carved out a vibrant political space for lesbian freedom.
Co-founder of the
Combahee River Collective
ARTISTS & ACTIVISTS ON THE RECORD
The women’s music movement was a revolution for rights and dignity, carving out a space where none existed before:
for women to write love songs to other women.
A small group of queer women decided to take on the record industry, the patriarchy, and capitalism so that women could have music that reflected their lives.
It was ground-breaking and gave us new systems for making and recording music that valued love, kindness and justice.