Thursday, March 9, 2017

Women Who Rock and/or Make History: Carly Simon and 4 Little Girls

March is Girl Women's History Month.

Fact: girls can do things too!

Fact: girls can't do rock and roll, or so one might conclude from the paucity of females inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (motto: "We've got Randy Newman!"). Real fact: girls can do rock and roll (some of them).

Since I am enjoying getting on my high horse (or getting high on horse), I'm going to double dip with a series of girl-on-girl posts. It's a combination of a female musical act (or a band with a female member [possibly more]) that merits* induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and a female who did something like bake a cake or killed a guy (Laura Bush killed a guy).

It would be easy to dismiss Simon as not being sufficiently rock and roll for the hall, but Paul Simon is in the hall. Twice. Paul Simon is no more rock and roll than Carly Simon. Period.

Her 40+ year career has created music that's embedded itself into our cultural zeitgeist, won an Oscar and taken on board the Space Shuttle Challenger. Tori Amos, Taylor Swift and Natalie Maines all cite her as an influence.

She has 21 Hot 100 singles and 24 Hot 200 albums, 2 Grammys and that Oscar (and Golden Globe).

On September 15, 1963, 15 sticks of dynamite exploded under the front steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four girls were killed: Addie Mae Collins (age 14), Carol Denise McNair (age 11), Carole Robertson (age 14), and Cynthia Wesley (age 14). 20 more church goers were injured. No one was prosecuted for nearly 15 years.

The bombing, followed by the assassination of John Kennedy a few weeks later, are considered pivotal in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

* There is a wide spectrum of rock & roll gravitas for the artists included in the 31 I will include. I feel like a reasonable case can be made for each, and everyone one of these is at least as worthy as Randy Newman, 2103 inductee.

No comments: