FROM A SMALL TOWN TO THE BIG CITY
Holly Penfield (born Hollis Kathryn Penfield) is an American singer songwriter and performer.
Holly was born in Oakland California and raised in various places all over the San Francisco bay area. She began singing professionally at the the age of 12 and wrote her first song for a Campfire Girl Badge. Her first rock band at the age of 13 was called The Love Agency. Her only formal musical education was at the age of 14 she started taking singing lessons from the legendary vocal coach Judy Davis who coached Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis and Janis Joplin.
Moving to Los Angeles, singer/songwriter talent secured three record contracts, the most noteworthy being the records she made with Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn (producers for Pat Benatar, Blondie, The Knack, Suzi Quatro, Exile, Tanya Tucker and Tina Turner).
After Mike Chapman discovered her in the L.A. nightclub called the Troubadour he took her into the studio in 1980 and they released her first album, Full Grown Child from his new record label called Dreamland Records. This also led to a major publishing deal.
In 1987, Holly Penfield was signed by Irving Azoff, Head of MCA Records based on a song she wrote he thought was a hit called "Its Always Been You”. She then went to England and found and hired upcoming record producer Ian Ritchie who was recording Roger Waters "Radio K.A.O.S." at the time. The tracks recorded for MCA were never released but led a lifelong marriage and at the time a musical collaboration called "Parts of my Privacy" which was released on Trafic Records in Canada.
Since her Hollywood recording days Holly has toured the world extensively playing over 3000 concerts in addition to supporting Dr John, John Lee Hooker, Mike Bloomfield, John Mayall, John Mellencamp, Taj Mahal and Jean-Luc Ponty. Holly has sung for Prince Charles and Princess Diana and was on stage with Michael Jackson at the Brit Awards.
Holly has also worked as a jazz and cabaret performer that peaked with a 3 year residency at the Savoy Hotel where she hosted a monthly burlesque show and 3 New Years Eve extravaganzas.
Holly toured Europe with her one woman show of original songs with her Kurzweil synthesiser called "Fragile Human Monster”. This project was then recorded in 2010 in collaboration with pedal steel guitar player B.J. Cole. It has yet to be released.
In 2020, Raymond Records released Tree Woman. Holly says of her new album Tree Woman:
“With my songs, I am interested in exploring lyrically and musically the human condition especially from the woman’s point of view. The heart and soul of the new album is all about a woman’s journey – emotionally, spiritually, artistically and philosophically. Tree Woman is dedicated to the ever evolving spirit of a woman’s (and man’s) journey into the core of their being.”
Holly is married to saxophonist Ian Ritchie. She now lives in London, United Kingdom.
Full Grown Child (1980, Dreamland Records, Inc)
Parts of my Privacy (1992, Traffic)
Tree Woman (2020, Raymond Records)
Only His Name (1980, Dreamland Records, Inc)
Souvenirs (1980, Dreamland Records, Inc)
La Recoleta (2019, Raymond Records)
Diggin' It (2020, Raymond Records)
Official Website (
Holly Penfield - Live on the James Whale Show
London Live Interview -
Source: Wikipaedia (submission)