Penny Nichols

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Penny Nichols (born December 26, 1947) is an American folk musician and songwriter. She began her career in the Southern California folk circuit in Orange County, California in 1964, singing in a bluegrass band with Alice, Bill & John McEuen. She formed a folk duo called Greasy Mountain Butterballs with Kathy Smith (not to be confused with Cathy Smith, the singer implicated in John Belushi's death), touring Vietnam in 1966. In 1967 she moved to San Francisco where she performed as an opening act at venues such as the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore Auditorium and at outdoor music festivals. Her debut album, Penny's Arcade, was released in 1967. Nichols was married to actor Harry Shearer from 1974 to 1977.[1] She continued performing as a backup singer, joining Jimmy Buffett as a member of his Coral Reefer Band in 1977 and singing on the album Son of a Son of a Sailor. She released the album All Life is One in 1990. Nichols currently works as a composer and vocal instructor based in Saugerties, New York.


  1. ^ Smith, R. J. (2002). "The Harry Shearer Show". Los Angeles (Emmis Communications) 47 (12). ISSN 1522-9149. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 

"Penny Nichols – A biography". Penny Nichols website. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
Erlewine, Michael. "Penny Nichols". Rovi AllMusic Guide. Retrieved 18 February 2011.