My Red Blood cover

MY RED BLOOD: A Memoir of Growing Up Communist, Coming Onto the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement, published by Alyson Books, October, 2009. Available online from Ladyslipper

Nominated for a 2010 Lambda Literary Award

"Alix Dobkin's My Red Blood is a magnifying glass on a revolution in music, culture, and politics. Here's the sixties from someone who remembers EVERYTHING!" — John Sebastian

A synopsis:

Women’s music legend Alix Dobkin for the first time chronicles her rise to fame as the first artist to record an openly Lesbian record album in 1973.

Her story, however, opens much earlier in post-war New York City where, growing up in a Communist family, she watches Jackie Robinson steal home, rubs elbows with radical left celebrities like Paul Robeson, and comes of age under the watchful eye of the FBI. (For a picture of Alix at Camp Kinderland in 1953, see:
Dobkin herself joins the Party at the height of the McCarthy witch hunts and offers readers a first-hand glimpse of daily life as a young person living under government surveillance. During this time she also matures as a devotee of folk music, having fallen under the spell of renowned performers such as Leadbellyand Pete Seeger.

Alix with her mother in the 1940s

Early Alix Dobkin poster
Photo by Murray Weiss

Yet it’s after she arrives on the burgeoning folk music scene of Greenwich Village, where she meets the up-and-coming Bob Dylan, Bill Cosby, John Sebastian, Buffy Ste. Marie, and Flip Wilson, among many other rising luminaries, that she achieves her first acclaim as a singer-songwriter. Her music takes on overt feminist dimensions when she joins a women’s consciousness raising group and comes out as a Lesbian. Rich in period detail, storytelling, and outspoken politics, My Red Blood is essential reading for lovers of music and history.


A Hero Once Removed



During high summer in the leap year of 1940, Luftwaffe pilots bombed hell out of London while Berlin rejoiced. Back home, Bugs Bunny first appeared on screen, Woody Guthrie first appeared in New York City, and Republican presidential candidate Wendell L. D. Wilkie resumed his futile presidential campaign against FDR. During this Year of the Dragon, Saturn, after a twenty year separation, briefly reunited with Jupiter to sprout a crop of idealistic, groundbreaking little Leos like John Lennon, Nancy Pelosi and me. More

Photo by Cathy Cade

Alix reading at OLOC Conference in San Francisco, 2010


My very first Lesbian friend was Louise Fishman, a slim, fair-haired, curly-headed senior radiating a compelling aura. Her air of purpose intrigued me, and I was drawn to her handsome features, her wary, wired energy. A gifted, serious painter with a wacky light side, her thoughtful face might instantly break into a sharp burst of laughter. She came into my life around the same time as Nancy, and over time we became friends. My parents were taken with her authenticity, her intelligence and good heart. And they admired her work. “I paint my inner landscape,” she said about the tormented bones and flowers; still-lifes reminiscent of Rouault and Soutine. Dedicating herself to her dark, solemn canvases, she was on her way to non-figurative abstract expressionism. More


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