Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Blog Series- Women in Rockabilly

Long time, no post! Sorry for the absence but Grad school and internship are in full swing. It can be hard to set aside time to blog, but I had an idea to try and tie in thesis research by blogging about various women in Rockabilly music, which is my thesis topic. I've touched on a few performers previously (Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin and Lorrie Collins). I am hoping to expand on some of those posts, introduce more singers and talk about some of the social issues they have had to deal with. I also plan to talk about more contemporary singers and who inspired them. Of course, I am going to include sound examples and ways to get your hands on their music.

To start this off, I thought I would include some of my favorite resources about these amazing ladies and Rockabilly music. Most of these sources I have used in my own research. Some are more complete than others, but all have a place in the history of Women in Rockabilly music and I would love to see them circulate more to inspire others to write more about this overlooked topic.

The Women of Rockabilly: Welcome to the Club DVD
Blue Rhythms: Six Lives in Rhythm and Blues
Sexing the Groove: Popular Music and Gender
Girls Rock!: Fifty Years of Women Making Music
Little Miss Dynamite: The Life and Times of Brenda Lee
Memphis Belles - The Women Of Sun Records CD
Rockabilly a Bibliographic Resource Guide
Rockabilly queens: The careers and recordings of Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin, Brenda Lee
She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll
Welcome to the Club-Early Female Rockabilly CD

There are also two theses that are available through interlibrary loan:
Della Rosa, J. L. (2005). Hard rockin' mamas : female rockabilly artists of Rock'n'roll's first generation, 1953-1960.
    This Masters thesis discusses how early female performers in rockabilly music, specifically Janis Martin, Lorrie Collins and Wanda Jackson, were able to defy traditional social roles, yet were not given the ability to stand on equal footing with their male counterparts. The author uses Billboard charts analyses to demonstrate how underrepresented women were in the business at the time and how the media played into social fears of gender roles.

Conor, E. (2006). Women take the stage : Janis Martin, Brenda Lee, and Wanda Jackson.
    This book starts to ask questions of why some female performers could transcend stereotype, yet never achieve the same success their male counterparts did. Includes references in notes for further research beyond the bibliography sources and analyzes lyrics and performances to explore the difference in gender perceptions.

This may be a bit scholarly, however I think it is good to get an overview of some of the more helpful sources out there. If you notice, the list is fairly short. There are more from popular magazines and newspapers, but in general you can see that this topic is sorely lacking in research. Hopefully I can change that!


Patricia Lynn said...

What a great research topic. I'd read it. Also, I have given you a blog award; come check it out at

LenoreNeverM♡re said...

Have to say this~
Brenda Lee is amazing!

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