She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop & Soul

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9780140251555: She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop & Soul

The first truly comprehensive history of women in popular music, She Bop tells it like it is--on stage, on camera, and working behind the scenes in a male-dominated industry. Divided into four parts, the book traces the different stages of women's progress in the music industry, from the early years of ragtime and the Jazz Age to the present. Photos.

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From Publishers Weekly:

What do Madonna's navel and Billie Holiday's eyebrows have in common? They symbolize the "self-definition" and "self-awareness" that British music journalist O'Brien (Annie Lennox) saw in female performers trying to make it in the male-dominated popular music industry. Drawing on 200 interviews in the U.S. and Britain between 1984 and 1994, O'Brien has written a top-notch, impressively thorough history of women in the industry, including not only performers but producers and sound engineers?even female consumers. O'Brien's definition of pop is very wide, which allows her to riff widely on rock, soul, jazz, world, reggae, rap, country and folk music. Though tied together through O'Brien's strong, feminist voice, She Bop is loosely organized. It opens chronologically, moving through prewar jazz and blues; the "Dream Babes" of '50s pop; the proliferation of female artists in every genre in the '60s; the '70s "rock chick"; and finally, to the ascendance of the girl guitar bands and singer/songwriters in the late '80s and early '90s. Subsequent chapters consider issues, trends and themes, from what Suzanne Vega termed the "cleavage question" to "protest" pop to androgyny and sexual orientation. O'Brien doesn't gloss over problems: she wrestles with the complexities of using sex for success, the impulse toward self-destructive behavior and the lack of solidarity among female musicians. Overall, though, the message of She Bop is straightforward and positive: You've come a long way, baby. Photos, bibliography, discography.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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