Genya Ravan: Girl power

Genya Ravan is a rock ’n’ roll pioneer.  She has single-handedly busted down the male-dominated walls of every facet of the record industry.

The Escorts and Goldie and the Gingerbreads

Genya’s singing career started in 1962 on a dare in a Brooklyn club called the Lollipop Lounge. The band that was playing that night, The Escorts, was lead by Richard Perry, who became a legendary producer for a number of recording artists, including Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, Art Garfunkel, Harry Nilsson, Fats Domino and Diana Ross.

Within a week of belting out Connie Francis’ “Stupid Cupid” and The Hearts’ “Lonely Nights,” Genya was asked to join the Escorts. At the time, the band was on the verge of recording its first single for Coral
Records, “Somewhere,” from “West Side Story.”

While Genya was not crazy about the song selection, the record did shoot to #1 in Michigan and Ohio, and it gave her the opportunity to work with one of the all-time great drummers, Bernard Purdie. The next two singles, “One Hand, One Heart” and “Something Has Changed Him,” did not fare as well as “Somewhere,” but The Escorts continued to work the clubs, and that is where Genya first met Ginger Panabianco, who was drumming for another band. Though that first meeting was uneventful, it ended up being a turning point in both of their lives.

In no time, Genya, who was nicknamed “Goldie” by her mother, became fast friends with Ginger. They spent most of their time thinking about how cool it would be to have an all-girl band. Their dream turned into a reality when they combined their names to form the band Goldie and the

2 thoughts on “Genya Ravan: Girl power

  1. One never knows why something sounds good to them exactly, but I used to love listening to her hard pounding voice back in 1971 and bought both albums of theirs at the time of Ten Wheel Drive and Genya Ravan and I was captivated by their timing and sound. Thanks, now I am revisiting this singer after listening to Betty Carter and a reference to King Pleasure being instrumental in shaping Genya Ravan, looked it up on Wikapedia.

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