Noisy Women: America's First "All-Girl" Bands


When Sherrie Tucker set out to write her book, "Swift Shift: 'All-Girl' Bands of the 1940s," it took some herculean digging to unearth the stories of [insert band name] and others who played during the World War II era and thus rectify the revisionist history that formerly assumed that the talent women were somehow subpar substitute for their male musical counterparts who were off fighting. "When all-girl bands appear, they are frequently buried under unspoken definitions that take all-man bands to be normal and all-woman bands to be novelties," Tucker writes. Over at Amoeba Music's blog, Eric Brightwell explains how until the 20th century, professional female musicians were a rarity. Until then, women's musical roles were largely limited to vocals, piano and harp. But starting as early as the 1910s, some female musicians began striking out on their own, forming and joining up with early all-women groups like these in the decades leading up to the reign of rock 'n' roll.