Genya Ravan

Genya's autobiography, Lollipop Lounge: Memoirs Of A Rock And Roll Refugee, was finally released in 2005. Pick it up at all cultured book stores or from Amazon.com. We didn't imagine the half of it.....did she really do that?? Go to Google or Amazon and enter Genya Ravan's name. Then you'll find out some serious background and history.

Genya has embraced an extraordinary range of musical scenes and broken new ground in several of them. Born Genyusha Zelkowitz in Poland towards the end of the Second World War but soon, after the family settled on New York's Lower East Side, singing as if she was born fully-formed into R&B style, she enjoyed big hits as the leader of Goldie and the Gingerbreads, the female four-piece whose career spanned the sixties. The seventies saw three albums from her Ten Wheel Drive, a ten-piece jazz/funk/fusion amalgam. After this innovative period she went on to release six solo albums.

Genya Ravan's home at the Stereo Society
Genya at the Beach, painting by Genya Ravan

Record production, which she had started doing in the mid-seventies as a full member of the downtown New York punk scene, became her main focus, eventually leading to her own label Polish Records. Always raucous, she reminisces in interview about the good old days and about new and future days. Her 2002 release For Fans Only CD includes a version of Lennon and McCartney's Don't Let Me Down, recorded with Mike Thorne and the Uptown Horns in the early nineties at the Stereo Society as part of a Beatles cover project that went unfinished. We also stream another cut from these sessions here, I'm Down. (It wasn't as depressing as the titles sound, really.)

Genya now has a noisy lead singer's presence at the Stereo Society. But don't forget that she sang background vocals on the Flowerpot Men's ton-of-bricks version of Walk On Gilded Splinters. And even plays harmonica on the BETTY holiday CD Snowbiz(thanks again). With her book Lollipop Lounge, she now forcefully adds 'writer' to her wide range of accomplishments.



Selected external links for Genya Ravan:
To Genya's personal home page
Her official site, very detailed, comprehensive and well-put together
Goldie and the Gingerbreads

A very detailed page about the history of the group and their recordings.
Gtslade
Section of site describing Ten Wheel Drive and their albums