Friday, March 31, 2017

Women Who Rock and/or Make History: Jennifer Warnes and Angela Merkel

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).

I probably should have concluded with Yoko Ono, but I just couldn't work up any enthusiasm. About 10 years ago, a much younger coworker referred to Jennifer Warnes as a one-hit wonder, after hearing her hit duet from An Officer and a Gentleman. I pointed out that Warnes also had a hit duet from Dirty Dancing, so clearly she was a two-hit wonder. I didn't mention that she sang 4 songs nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards (1979, 1981, 1982 and 1987), with 3 of them winning the Oscar. Nor did I mention "Right Time of the Night" or "I Know a Heartache When I See One" since those songs were older than her.

Warnes also was a lifelong friend and collaborator with Leonard Cohen. She sang on 7 of his albums, toured with him twice. and released an album of his material, Famous Blue Raincoat. Cohen sketched a cartoon for the liner notes of a torch being passed that read "Jenny sings Lenny."

Angela Merkel is the leader of the free world and has a PhD in  Physical Chemistry (as opposed to, I don't know, emotional chemistry. She is the first girl to serve as Chancellor of Germany, she is the longest serving head of state (12 years and counting) in the European Union, the senior-most member of the G20, and she's not a fucking idiot. Germans are so lucky.

* 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.

1 comment:

Erin Leedy said...

Shit, am I the coworker? If so, I don't remember this at all. (Also I'm not really much younger than you, just flattering myself)