Photo by Olivia photographer Irene Young

Olivia Records at Fifty: Celebrating and Archiving Lesbian Music

Panel Conversation, All Ages
The West Hollywood City Council Chambers

625 N San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

The women’s music movement offered a soundtrack for thousands and thousands of women who came out during the 1970s-1990s. For any and ALL fans inspired by the powerful women’s music scene, this event offers an intimate celebration as we gather to mark the 50th anniversary of Olivia Records, the world’s first lesbian-owned recording company. Founded in 1973 in Washington, D.C., the Olivia collective moved to Los Angeles to develop its nationwide following, eventually becoming the very popular, cruise-and-resort based Olivia Travel company we know today.

Our panel, introduced by June Mazer Lesbian Archives Communications Director Angela Brinskele, features a conversation between Olivia archivist and historian Dr. Bonnie Morris and longtime Olivia member Sandy Ramsey, who worked with Olivia record distributors in the late 1970s. 

With plenty of time for audience questions and discussion, this tribute to lesbian community networks will bring together a diverse audience of veteran activists and women’s music fans. We’ll also share some of the terrific archives Sandy is donating to the Mazer! 

Participant Bios

Bonnie J. Morris is a professor of women’s history on the faculty of UC-Berkeley and the author of 19 books, including Eden But by Eves, The Disappearing L, The Feminist Revolution and What’s the Score? Dr. Bon also serves as the historian and archivist for Olivia and regularly guest lectures on Olivia cruises.

Angela Brinskele is the Director of Communications for The June Mazer Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles. A recipient of the Women in Leadership Award from the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, she is an eminent photographer whose images chronicle lesbian events and rallies. 

Sandy Ramsey was part of the Olivia working collective in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and later became the accountant for the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival; as editor of the Olivia distributors’ newsletter, she oversaw the work of hundreds of women nationwide who worked locally to promote Olivia albums at concerts and in local record store outlets.

This program is organized by Bonnie J. Morris and The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives as part of the 2023 Circa: Queer Histories Festival, presented by One Institute. 

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