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Swing Shift: "All-Girl" Bands of the 1940s
The forgotten history of the “all-girl” big bands of the World War II era takes center stage in Sherrie Tucker’s Swing Shift. American demand for swing skyrocketed with the onslaught of war as millions—isolated from loved ones—sought diversion, comfort, and social contact through music and dance. Although all-female jazz and dance bands had existed since the 1920s, now hun ...more
Paperback, 424 pages
Published May 23rd 2001 by Duke University Press Books
(first published June 2000)
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This was a fascinating and entertaining read. A truly in-depth examination of something I was completely unaware of. It is written with a great deal of respect for the members of the bands and for their interpretation of their own history. At the same time, it is partly a memoir of the author's own shifting attitudes about gender and race. She really does a great job of balancing gender, race, and class while maintaining a readable style. I would absolutely recommend this book for fans of jazz, ...more
For my American popular music class. The shelf for this one should actually be "read enough." I was looking forward to a book chronicling the untold story of female swing bands, but instead I got a bitter meta-revisionist history written by a self-proclaimed second-wave feminist who came across as sexist and racist (to me). I wish I could have just discovered some good history instead of having to wade through her self-examining study of her study of this history. Yeah, it's as muddled as that l ...more
I really liked this book but I'm giving it three stars because it is easy to get bogged down in it. There is a wealth of information but not all is succinct. I do love a book about women musicians, though, and this one really gives a good idea about how women found their place in the musical professional world.