Holly Beth Vincent was born in Chicago but grew up in Los Angeles. It was there she formed Holly & The Italians with drummer Steve Young (aka Steve Dalton) in 1978. The band had a very British approach, and it was in the UK that they were discovered, after moving to London, where Holly began a romantic relationship with Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.
Disc Jockey Charlie Gillett – who had started Oval Records – released the first single Tell That Girl To Shut Up in December 1979, and the band went on tour in the UK with The Clash and opened for Blondie at the Hammersmith Odeon.
Virgin signed a contract with them for two albums and at the beginning of 1980, Holly and the Italians returned to the US and started recording their debut album, The Right to Be Italian, at Electric Lady Studios in New York with 60s’ girl-group producer Shadow Morton.
Morton was fired halfway through and replaced with Richard Gottehrer, who started the album from scratch, recording at Record Plant Studios in New York.
The recording sessions did not go smoothly (drummer Steve Young quit the band and was replaced by Mike Osborn) but the album was finally released in February 1981. It peaked at #177 in the US Billboard chart and four subsequent singles released in the UK did not chart.
To top things off, the music press turned hostile to the group after a mismatched tour with The Selecter and The Bodysnatchers.
After a few more dates in the US in the summer of 1981, Holly and the Italians disbanded by the end of the year. Holly recorded a solo album to fulfil the Virgin contract.
For a short while, Holly was a member of The Waitresses and she recorded a song with Anthony Thistlethwaite (Waterboys) called Wild Things.
After marrying she seemed to disappear from the music world, although she continued writing songs.
In 1993 Vincent released an album, America, with a band called The Oblivious. In 1994 she recorded an album with Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, calledVowel Movement. Vincent sometimes still plays at small clubs with a band, under her own name.
Bass, guitar, vocals