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ARTICLES

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Articles: Projects

THE COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER

October of 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of Loretta Lynn's signature song. This article explores the impact of the tune, and the significance of Lynn herself.

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MARILYN MONROE GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS

This article published in the Spring 2023 edition of American Heritage Magazine explores an aspect of Marilyn Monroe's career that is rarely explored. Read about how the world’s most prominent actress risked her career by standing up to one of Hollywood’s mega-studios and proved that behind the beauty was also a very savvy businesswoman. 

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BICENTENNIAL AT THE INDIAN SPRING HOTEL

In September 2023, American Heritage Magazine asked Holley to attend the bicentennial celebration for the Indian Spring Hotel in Flovilla, Georgia. This article explores the impact of the history of the hotel built by Chief Willaim McIntosh, and Frankie Willis, president of the Butts Couty Historical Society, discusses their role in preserving the site. 

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GINGER ROGERS: HOLLYWOOD'S VIVACIOUS LADY

One of the most versatile and vivacious actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age, Ginger Rogers danced her way into the hearts of millions in musical comedies and subsequently earned an Academy Award for her dramatic portrayal in Kitty Foyle. During her career, she appeared in over 70 films, starred on Broadway, and made dozens of television appearances. Her unabating work ethic made the equally tireless Fred Astaire refer to Rogers as "the hardest working actress I ever knew." 

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DEFORD BAILEY: COUNTRY MUSIC’S LOST ‘HARMONICA WIZARD’

The Historians Magazine

DeFord Bailey is known as country music's 'Harmonica Wizard.' As the first Black member of the Grand Ole Opry, Bailey broke down racial barriers and made music history. Yet he also faced several obstacles in the Deep South because of the color of his skin. Learn more about his remarkable story in The Historians Magazine. Holley also spoke with Opry member and Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie McCoy about how Bailey paved the way for harmonica players like him. 

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VAL-KILL INDUSTRIES & THE AMERICAN ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT

This article looks at the history of Val-Kill Industries. Created by Eleanor Roosevelt and a few of her friends, Val-Kill Industries employed workers in the Hudson Valley during the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

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CENTRAL PARK CASINO: THE EPITOME OF JAZZ AGE NEW YORK CITY

Take a trip back to New York City during the Jazz Age and learn about the rise and fall of the Central Park Casino. A premier restaurant and night club, the Casino was where politicians, Broadway stars, composers, and even royalty would gather to dine and dance. Mayor Jimmy Walker was the Casino's most stalwart champion, and his dismissal from office led to the downfall of this magnificent place.

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THE RHINEBECK POST OFFICE: BRINGING ART AND HISTORY TO LIFE

The Rhinebeck post office is one of five Works Progress Administration (WPA) post offices in Dutchess County, New York. Yet this is no ordinary post office. President Franklin D. Roosevelt played a key role in its design and creation. When he dedicated it in 1939, even royalty joined him for the momentous occasion.

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TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE

This article revisits the music of four legendary country music duos: Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, and Kenny Rogers & Dottie West. Mandy Barnett, an incredibly talented artist, also added her own thoughts on what makes these duos so timeless.

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DOTTIE WEST: RAISED ON COUNTRY SUNSHINE

Dottie West was raised on country sunshine in the tiny community of Frog Pond in Tennessee. As a young girl, her dream was to sing on The Grand Ole Opry. Dottie's traveled some arduous roads, but she made history as the first female in country music to win a GRAMMY. This article tells the story of Dottie's incredible career as an esteemed singer-songwriter. Her granddaughter, Tess Frizzell, also shares the story of her 2022 single, "The Wrong One," which her grandmother began writing in the 1960s. 

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THE PRIDE OF COUNTRY MUSIC

The great Charley Pride was known as the "Pride of Country Music" for many reasons. Learn how the son of sharecroppers born in the Jim Crow South broke through racial barriers to become a music icon.

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WHY LORETTA LYNN IS THE "FEMALE HANK WILLIAMS" OF COUNTRY MUSIC

Owen Bradley, Loretta Lynn's longtime producer and collaborator, paid her the ultimate compliment as a songwriter by dubbing her the "Female Hank Williams." Learn more about Lynn's songwriting and her influence on country music in this article. Producer Steve Buckingham also shares insight on working with Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette, and Lynn's grandson, Anthony Brutto, speaks about his role as the General Manager of the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

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THE LONELY BOY FROM HOBOKEN: THE EARLY YEARS OF SINATRA

When it comes to iconic names, Sinatra is at the top of the list. This article explores the early years of Sinatra and his career, from his upbringing in Hoboken to his early days playing with the Tommy Dorsey Band.

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HOW FRANK SINATRA BECAME “THE SULTAN OF SWOON”

In this second article on the life and career of Frank Sinatra, Holley takes a look at Sinatra's career in the 1940s. Beginning to come into his own as a performer after leaving the Tommy Dorsey Band, Sinatra's popularity rose after a series of successful engagement at the Paramount Theater in New York. Soon after, he signed a contract with MGM and was a rising Hollywood star. But by the end of the decade, his career and marriage were on the line.

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THE RISE OF THE PHOENIX

This third article on Frank Sinatra looks at the tumultuous decade of the 1950s. After hitting an all-time low in his career, Sinatra's tormented relationship with Ava Gardner only added to his problems. But after winning an Academy Award in From Here to Eternity, he rose like a phoenix from the ashes. 

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THE HEAD OF THE SUMMIT: HOW SINATRA’S CAREER EVOLVED IN THE 1960S

It was the dawn of the “Swinging Sixties,” and Frank Sinatra was coming out of the 1950s with an Academy Award and several Gold and Platinum albums. But the emergence of rock and roll and the likes of Elvis Presley inspired Frank Sinatra to modernize his image and music. Learn more about the evolution of Frank Sinatra during the 1960s in the fourth article of the Sinatra series.

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“OH! LOOK AT ME NOW”: FRANK SINATRA’S MOMENTOUS COMEBACK IN THE 1970S

In 1971, Frank Sinatra shocked the world by announcing his retirement. But this was not the end of the road for the legendary singer and entertainer. In the 1970s, he found love with his final wife, Barbara, experienced a deep personal tragedy, and made a momentous comeback.

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THE FINAL CURTAIN

In this final article on the life and career of Frank Sinatra, Holley looks at the last two decades of his life, and his legacy. Read about his record-breaking concert in Rio de Janeiro, how he and his wife started the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, his final tour with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., and more.

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HARRY TRUMAN: THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE

Harry Truman was not the Democratic Party bosses' first pick for vice president when an ailing President Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for a fourth term in 1944. Learn about his unexpected rise to the presidency in this article published on Medium.

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ROOSEVELT AND CHURCHILL: COMRADESHIP DURING CRISIS

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid a visit to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House. His month-long stay resulted in some interesting stories and cemented the 20 century's most pivotal alliance. Read more about it in this article.

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HOW FRANKLIN AND ELEANOR ROOSEVELT RESPONDED TO PEARL HARBOR

December 7, 1941...the date which will live in infamy. We know of those infamous words spoken by FDR the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, but did you know that the president was not the first one to address the nation? Eleanor Roosevelt was. Learn more about how this remarkable couple rallied an anxious nation in the midst of crisis.

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MOVING FORWARD WITH STRONG AND ACTIVE FAITH: FDR’S FINAL WORDS TO THE NATION

Having had the great fortune of interning at FDR's Little White House, Holley was thrilled to see the draft of FDR's undelivered Jefferson Day Address. These poignant words, Roosevelt's last, offer us a message of hope and faith during our own uncertain times. Explore these critical words in this article.

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THE MAKING OF A PRESIDENT

This article takes a look at Truman's early life in Independence, Missouri. The man who would become the 33rd President of the United States grew up with a loving, though often overprotective, mother and a firm father. Learn more about the trials and tribulations of his early life shaped Truman's character.

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HIS BROTHER’S KEEPER — THE EARLY YEARS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY

Like so many others, Holley has been fascinated by the Kennedy family for many years. When she began writing eBooks, one of the many bios she chose to write was on John F. Kennedy. Holley was surprised to learn about the early years of JFK and how his illnesses and the constant comparison to his older brother shaped him, personally and politically. Read more about the early years of our 35th president.

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THE FIRST LADY & THE CONTRALTO SINGER

This is the story of two influential women who courageously confronted racism in the segregated south and made history. Although Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson came from two totally different backgrounds, they intuitively recognized their commonalities and dedicated their lives to achieving racial equality. Read more about Marian Anderson's historic performance at the Lincoln Memorial, and the first lady that made it happen.

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HOW ALICE HUYLER RAMSEY BECAME THE “WOMAN MOTORIST OF THE CENTURY”

On a rainy June day in 1909, a 22-year-old wife and mother from New Jersey left New York City to embark upon a historic journey. Learn the story of Alice Huyler Ramsey, who made history as the first woman to drive across the United States.

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AUDREY MEADOWS: BABY, YOU’RE THE GREATEST 

When Holley lived in New York, watching The Honeymooners was a Saturday night staple, and the quick wit and perfect timing of Audrey Meadows made an undeniable impression on her. When she was offered the opportunity to write short eBooks on well-known figures in history, Holley chose to write on Audrey. As the wife of the CEO of Continental Airlines, she designed the interiors of widebody jets and befriended presidents and dignitaries. Learn more about the incredibly talented and unique Audrey Meadows in this eBook. 

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Contact Holley to discuss her articles.

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