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

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Popular music grew out of ragtime, vaudeville and the blues to become global mass entertainment. Yet nearly eighty years after Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith first blazed the trail, have their female successors achieved the recognition and affirmation they deserve? The first hands-on history of women in rock, pop and soul, She Bop tells it like it is - on stage, on camera and ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Penguin Books (first published June 1st 1995)
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Tracy
Jan 11, 2008 Tracy rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-music, reference
For me, this book can be summed up in one song: Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog." The Elvis version never made sense to me (why is he calling someone a hound dog?), but when I heard Big Mama's huge, deep voice bellow out this insult, it all made sense. This is a woman's song.

It's so great to see a history of women in popular music. It's an impossible task in many ways, but the author does a nice job of covering some of the most important pioneers. As with any book that covers popular music, I'm
...more
Anne
Oct 14, 2008 Anne rated it liked it
Shelves:
haven't finished this yet. it's OK. one thing I found a bit irritating was the author's speculation on why these women made certain choices in their careers and making it sound like its not speculation and ascribing all of their motivations to something having to do with being female. that's a pretty bad sentence, I know. but anyway, if you are a musician who happens to be a female, I guess you are always technically a "female musician," but maybe not everything you do as a musician is a direct ...more
Russ
Dec 12, 2007 Russ rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Music lovers
I bought this for a friend a few years ago, and ended up reading it before I sent it to her. It's a really good overview of the history of women in popular music. It examines many of the big issues women have to face in the music industry (sexism, racism, promotion, etc.) Some names you will recognize, others you will likely not. I think this is a great book about women in music, and great book about music in general.
Ryn McAtee
Sep 25, 2013 Ryn McAtee rated it liked it
Pretty decent book. The writing was strong, and it was a wonderful collection of quotes from some outstanding women. On the whole though, I wish there had been deeper focus on fewer people, as opposed to a couple of paragraphs about hundreds. I found it hard to keep them straight, and was disappointed when some of my favorite artists got only two paragraphs or less.
Jenny J
This is a great overview of women in pop music, but sometimes you get a bit too much of the author seeming like a fan reliving a star-sighting. She obviously displays excitement and gratitude for her experiences in meeting some of the ladies in question, and this isn't a problem, but it makes some sections drag a little.
Kelly
Feb 10, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Great history of women in music. I used this as a research paper source in college more times than I can count (I was a music business major).
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“A myth is 'a narrative involving supernatural or fancied persons embodying popular ideas or social phenomena.' Women love telling stories . . . the girl-group is a gigantic narrative full of morality tales locked up like charms in a crystallized sound.” 2 likes
“Young men list music as their focus and means of identity -- before sport, before TV, before cinema -- while women cite fashion as most important, with music an ambivalent second.” 1 likes
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