More Women in Music
Its March and this month we look at women, women how made changes, women who inspire us and other women. I’m looking at 3 women who did not make my story on this week’s show (Episode 30: Women Who Rock). Not because they were not important but because I ran out of time.
Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard of Bingen, also known as Hildegard von Bingen, Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. So, an all-around kick ass lady.
Today Hildegard is known as one of the first identifiable composers in the history of Western music. Her magical music was almost lost to history, with interest started to grow around in 1979, when Philip Pickett and his New London Consort gave an English performances of four of Hildegard’s songs. In 1983 an album of her music titled A Feather On The Breath Of God was released, the sensual, vivid, lyrical songs made people intrigued by the author.
Now there are many of recordings of Hildegard’s music, numerous biographies, popular histories, documentaries and websites hailing her as an early feminist and New Age guru. There is however no evidence that she was a witch as claimed in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Mary J Blige
Blige is an singer, songwriter, and actress, and elder statesman of R&B music. She started her career as a backing singer on Uptown Records in 1989. She has released 13 studio albums, sold over 80 million records, won nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, ten Billboard Music Awards and has also received three Golden Globe Award nominations, including one for her supporting role in the film Mudbound (2017) and another for its second original song “Mighty River” for Mudbound. She also received a nomination for the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, becoming the first person nominated for acting and song writing in the same year.
2016-2017 was a rough year for Blige with her leaving her marriage and opening talking about her shitty abusive cheating ex, but 2017 -2018 was her year. She released a amazing break up album The Strength of a Woman, and channeled all her feeling in to a breakout performance in Mudbound (its on Netflix’s watch it). What I admire her fight, moxy and her work. She like all these other women fight like hell to get and stay where she is. You can see her on Nexflix’s again this time in The Umbrella Academy, which I have heard is worth a watch.
Is also an elder statement and the as frontwoman for The Runaways, Joan Jett became a female pioneer in the male-dominated world of rock music.
Jett started her musical career as a teenager, forming her first serious band, the Runaways, at the age of 15. The final line-up included Jett on guitar and vocals; Sandy West on drums; Cherie Currie on lead vocals; Jackie Fox on bass guitar; and Lita Ford on guitar. My two girls love the song Cherrie Bomb and can sing along with the chours, I am very proud of this fact. The band was ahead of its time in many ways, with its hard-rock sound emerging during an era when disco music was king. Since they were teen girls wearing lingerie and leather they were dismissed by audiences and critics. Not shocking the public didn't seem to know what to do with five girls who sang about sex, rebelling, and partying.
After the Runaways broke up in 1979 Jett did some producing for other female driven groups and recorded her first solo album with producer Kenny Laguna and songwriter Ritchie Cordell. Jett actually recorded at the Who’s recording space, since Laguna was friends with the band members and their manager and told her to pay them when she could. Bad Reputation was shot down by 23 record labels for distribution, so a frustrated Jett with Laguna started her own label Blackheart Records in 1980. This made Jett the first female artist to own and have direct control over an independent record company.
She is still rocking, putting out albums, and producing. Jett is one of the most identifiable and influential women in rock.
So keep on rocking, be sure to listen to this week’s episode (Episode 30: Women Who Rock) and join us next week for even more stories of amazing women in pop culture!
Hildegard of Bingen (Wikipedia)
Mary J. Blige (Wikipedia)
Joan Jett (Wikipedia)