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Annie Golden

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Vocalist Annie Golden is one of the unsung heroes of the late-‘70s New York punk scene. Although her new wave band the Shirts acquired a number of critical accolades and even a major-label deal, they didn't receive the national or historical recognition of their peers such as Blondie, Talking Heads, or Television. Golden was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 19, 1951. As a child, she learned how to sing in school and church choirs. In 1971, she met guitarist Art LaMonica from the covers act Lackeys & Schemers. After hearing her voice, the group asked her to join. The band then merged with Starry Messengers and renamed themselves the Shirts, performing original material. The Shirts made their debut in 1975 at the legendary New York underground club CBGB's. Unlike many other punk groups, the Shirts were actually technically skilled musicians and didn't attire themselves in outré clothing; consequently, they didn't seem hip or radical enough for the punk movement. Nevertheless, the critics raved about Golden: the Soho Weekly News described her as a "gutsy Earth mother and ethereal angel." In August 1978 the Shirts released their self-titled debut LP on Capitol Records. After seeing Golden perform at CBGB's, director Milos Forman cast her in the film version of the stage hit Hair. After recording three unsuccessful albums, the Shirts broke up. Golden went solo, contributing songs to movie soundtracks like Sixteen Candles and Pebble & the Penguin; she also appeared in plays, films, and TV shows. In the ‘90s, she collaborated with guitarist Frank Carillo, releasing three records with him as Golden Carillo. Golden reunited with the Shirts for one CBGB's gig in 1993 for the bar's 20th anniversary. Although her punk days had been overshadowed by the accomplishments of her contemporaries, Golden found acclaim as a Broadway actress. ~ Michael Sutton

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