Thursday, June 17, 2010

Women in the music business

It's no secret that I listen to npr often.  I heard this great interview with singer/songwriter Jackie DeShannon on Fresh Air the other day. 

I was going to forward the link to chanson, because every so often I hear interviews or book reviews I think she might be interested in.  (No doubt she looks at them and thinks "Man, another link from aerin??" ).   She's posted some of these on the "Sunday in Outer Blogness" weekly review on Main Street Plaza.  Which leads me to start a "links I would have sent to chanson" topic. 

Why let chanson have all the fun?  Why not send the npr links and interviews to all the cranberry blog readers?

The excerpts (on the webpage) miss some of the interesting parts of the interview.  Jackie DeShannon is being inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame.  She toured with the Beatles and wrote some hits like "Bette Davis Eyes". 

What I perked up at was when Jackie spoke about being a female songwriter in the early 60s.  It sounds like it was pretty difficult at the time.  In the studio, women were (rarely) allowed to be arrangers, or to have the final say on the work. 

She also performed her songs on some of the early 60s showcase tv shows.  And instead of being able to hold and play her guitar, she was expected to lip sync and dance.  (Some of the videos are on youtube).

The music industry has changed, thankfully, over the past few decades.  Some good changes, some not so worthwhile changes.  But clearly barriers surronding what women could and could not do have changed.  And women now have greater creative control over their own work. Women can be taken seriously as singers/performers - and not be expected to be pop stars.

It was an interesting interview, and gave me lots to think about. How far we've come, and how far we have to go. 


Freckle Face Girl said...


I tend to prefer female singer/song writers. It is strange to think how far they have had to come in the past few decades. Even in the 90s, males definitely dominated the music industry. Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, and a few others still had a tough time getting equal play time. Their popularity seemed to come from more grass-roots efforts.

**Of course, I have lots of guys that I listen to as well. I am still a huge U2 fan. :)

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