ALIX DOBKIN was born on this date (d: 2021) in New York City.
She was named after a family member who died fighting against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. She was raised in Philadelphia and Kansas City.
Dobkin graduated from Germantown High School in 1958 and the Tyler School of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1962.
She began her career by performing on the Greenwich Village coffeehouse scene in 1962 with people like Buffy Ste. Marie.
In 1965 she married the owner of the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village. They moved to Miami and opened The Gaslight South folk club, but moved back to New York in 1968. Her daughter Adrian was born two years later, and the following year the marriage broke up.
A few months later, in 1971, Dobkin came out as a lesbian, which was uncommon for a public personality to do at the time.
Since 1973, she released seven albums as well as three songbooks. She toured throughout the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand promoting lesbian culture and community through women’s music. In 1977, she became an associate of the American nonprofit publishing organization Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP).
In 1979, she was the first American lesbian feminist musician to do a European concert tour.
Alix Dobkin was a member of the OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) Steering Committee. She spoke out about women-only space and protection for lesbian women. Her criticisms of postmodernism, sadomasochism, the transgender rights movement and other movements appeared in several of her written columns, such as “Minstrel Blood.” Her article “The Emperor’s New Gender” appeared in the feminist journal Off Our Backs in 2000.
She was called a “women’s music legend” by Spin Magazine, “pithy” by The Village Voice, “Biting…inventive… imaginative” by New Age Journal, “uncompromising” in the New York Times Magazine, and “a troublemaker” by the FBI.
Her 2009 memoir, My Red Blood, was published by Alyson Books.
““The ways we would organize back then just aren’t there now,” Alix Dobkin once said. “But people still come out to my shows and I think about coming together now and what a charge it is. The charge of being connected, of belonging to such a powerful force. Of being together.”