Reddy, Helen 1941-
Reddy, Helen 1941-
Writer, recording artist, performer, actor, hypnotherapist, and television show host. Retired from live musical performance, 2002. Clinical hypnotherapist, 2002—. Recordings include I Am Woman, 1972; Long Hard Climb, 1973; Love Song for Jeffrey, 1974; Free and Easy, 1974; No Way to Treat a Lady, 1975; Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits, 1975; Music, Music, 1976; Ear Candy, 1977; We'll Sing in the Sunshine, 1978; Live in London, 1978; Reddy, 1979; Take What You Find, 1980; Play Me Out, 1981; Imagination, 1983.
Writer, singer, songwriter, and performer Helen Reddy was a popular singer in the 1970s, enjoying more than a dozen U.S. Top Forty chart hits, including three number ones, with songs such as "Angie Baby," "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady," "Leave Me Alone," and the song adopted as an anthem of the early feminist movement, "I Am Woman." Born into a show business family in Australia, Reddy made her theatrical debut at age five. She was the first Australian to be awarded a Grammy as well as the first to host her own regular variety show on American television. In addition to her musical successes that have ensured her a position in popular-culture history, she was also the first female performer from the West invited to sing in the People's Republic of China. After her longtime musical career, Reddy retired in 2002 and now works as a clinical hypnotherapist specializing in regression therapy.
In her memoir The Woman I Am, Reddy describes her early life, the development of her career in music and theater, and her deeply held spiritual beliefs. She depicts how she made the rounds of Sydney nightclubs while honing her skills as well as her troubled first marriage to an alcoholic and further disappointments with later husbands. She then tells how she first came to the United States after winning a plane ticket to America in a local talent contest, the dizzying early days singing in America, the satisfactions of her success, and her battle with Addison's disease, a medical condition that nearly proved fatal. Reddy does not flinch from discussing her spiritual side, including some beliefs that fall outside the mainstream, such as astral projection and reincarnation. A reviewer in Cali-fornia Bookwatch remarked that Reddy's story will "inspire women to seek their own courage and worth," while June Sawyers, writing in Booklist, commented favorably on Reddy's "warm, inviting memoir" and noted that "devotees of feminism and spirituality may join Reddy's musical fans in appreciating her story."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
The Woman I Am, HarperCollins (Pymble, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.
Booklist, April 15, 2006, June Sawyers, review of The Woman I Am, p. 19.
California Bookwatch, June, 2006, review of The Woman I Am.
Library Journal, May 1, 2006, Rossellen Brewer, review of The Woman I Am, p. 88.
Music Week, May 6, 2006, review of The Woman I Am, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, March 6, 2006, review of The Woman I Am, p. 60.