Monday, October 31, 2011

Whole Lotta Shakin'- Rockabilly Documentary Series has a great documentary series online, which is hosted by Rosie Flores. The series is called Whole Lotta Shakin' and features one-hour streaming segments on various subjects in Rockabilly music. I find the topics of this series and how they incorporate the songs into a narrative to be a great way to get to know the evolution of Rockabilly, or to familiarize yourself with the genre if you are new to it.

Here is a break-down of the series' topics:

Good Rockin' Tonight
Elvis, Carl Perkins and the rise of Sun Records

Get Rhythm  
The story of Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Two  

Fujiyama Mamas  
The women of rockabilly stake their claim

Rebels with Guitars  
Borrowing from Brando: the music's most notorious rebels

The Cradle of the Stars
The rise and fall of radio's The Louisiana Hayride

Real Wild Child
Swamps, snakes, Whole Lotta Shakin' and the story of Jerry Lee Lewis

Shake This Shack
Cat Music from the Lone Star State: rockabilly in Texas

Rockin' Bones
Suzy Q and rockabilly's one hit wonders

Rave On
The life and music of Buddy Holly 

Summertime Blues Sunglasses after dark, rockabilly California-style

You can view the song lists for each segment here

(cross-posted to Tart Deco's American Popular Music)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Glamorous House Cleaning

pic from Miss Retro Modern
I am one of those people that actually like cleaning a bathroom. Maybe its because you can see a difference right away. Other types of housecleaning, not so much. One thing that takes the sting out of chores for me is to make it an event. A while ago I read a great post Secrets to Being Glamorous for Every Occasion – Cleaning on the Super Kawaii Mama blog and I have been meaning to do a post on fabulous items to make your cleaning more of a fun to do than a boo-hoo!

There has been a boom in retro house cleaning items in the last few years making it pretty easy to fab up your daily routine (or if you are like me- weekly routine!). Here are some of my favs:

Cath Kidston- Various cute items from Bathroom to Kitchen
Vermont Country Store- Vintage cleaning products
Boojiboo- Cute Retro Aprons
Carolyn's Kitchen- Retro Aprons and matching gloves

How to tie a headscarf- Vixen Vintage
20 vintage cleaning tips- Tip-nut
DIY ruffled kitchen gloves- Jones Design Co
Vintage Homemaking blog

Cornell University Hearth Project- online texts for home ec and housekeeping books from 1800sand on
        - My fav is The Household Dictionary by Winnifred Fales (1920) Literally a dictionary of what to do when things go wrong in your house, from stains to candle wax accidents

Does anyone else have some glam tips on how to take the sting out housework?

Fabulous Outside Rockabilly Wedding

I found a post on the Green Wedding Shoes blog about this amazingly beautiful outside Rockabilly wedding with a red, white and teal color scheme. I love how one of the women in bridal shower is in a different style of dress (probably the maid of honor) and how everything pulls together so nicely because they stay in the color scheme. Also, you can see that this wedding, all DIY, is all about the details and it really makes the difference. My favorite detail? The black and white checkerboard dance floor (which also matches the gingham details in the groom's shirt and ribbon on the bride's bouquet!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sale on Sewing Patterns

McCalls, Butterick and Vogue are having a big sewing pattern sale that ends today. Butterick and McCalls patterns are $2.88 and Vogue is $3.88. There are a ton of great retro and historical patterns right now. Here are some of my favorites:


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!

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