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Special Collections and Archives: Gender and Sexuality Oral History Project: R

Ray, Amy

Interviewee: Amy Ray
Interviewer: Natalia Bowdoin
Date of Interview: March 9, 2011
Extent: 60 pages
Note: Ray was originally interviewed for the Activist Women Oral History Project

Interviewee: Amy Ray
Interviewer: Natalia Bowdoin
Date of Interview: April 13, 2011
Extent: 38 pages
Note: Ray was originally interviewed for the Activist Women Oral History Project

 

Biography:
Amy Ray was born in Decatur, Georgia in 1964. She graduated from Emory University in 1986. She had a passion for music and began performing with friend Emily Saliers as a teenager. The pair later formed the Indigo Girls. As a singer-songwriter, Ray also pursues a solo career, releasing albums under her own name, and has founded a record company, Daemon Records. She supports grassroots activist causes, in particular those relating to the environment, human rights and women’s issues.

Abstract (March 9, 2011)
Georgia native Amy Ray begins by talking about how her early interest in music intertwined with her activism, and was influenced by her Southern roots. Ray and her musical partner Emily Saliers met when they were in elementary school, and Ray discusses their formative years together. Ray and Saliers’ group, the Indigo Girls were involved in the Atlanta music scene of the 1980s, and Ray speaks about the support that that scene provided, and how it influenced the group. The Indigo Girls were signed to two major record labels, and Ray describes how that provided the means and support for much of her activism. She talks at length about ways that the band fused musical performance and social activism in a profound way, and goes on to discuss the process of recording and songwriting as part of the Indigo Girls, and as a solo artist. Ray talks about founding Daemon Records and about the focus of the label and the ways in which it has assisted other artists.

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