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Girls Rock! explores the many ways women have defined themselves as rock musicians in an industry once dominated and controlled by men. Integrating history, feminist analysis, and developmental theory, the authors describe how and why women have become rock musicians—what inspires them to play and perform, how they write, what their music means to them, and what they hope their music means to listeners. As these musicians tell their stories, topics emerge that illuminate broader trends in rock’s history. From Wanda Jackson’s revolutionary act of picking up a guitar to the current success of independent artists such as Ani DiFranco, Girls Rock! examines the shared threads of these performers’ lives and the evolution of women’s roles in rock music since its beginnings in the 1950s. This provocative investigation of women in rock is based on numerous interviews with a broad spectrum of women performers—those who have achieved fame and those just starting bands, those playing at local coffeehouses and those selling out huge arenas. Girls Rock! celebrates what female musicians have to teach about their experiences as women, artists, and rock musicians.
Chosen for the 2005 Amelia Bloomer Recommended List of the American Library Association.
"The stories are touching, personal, gritty, real, and political. . . . It gave me a sense of a legacy, that we have grandmas who've been building these bridges for us. It's a powerful thing to be written into being, to illuminate the hidden stories with joy."—Clamor
"An exploration of women as musicians, their relationship to the music industry, and the way women construct their identities as girls who rock."—Corvallis (OR) Gazette-Times
"Combines feminist analysis, history, and developmental theory to describe women's journey on the rock 'n' roll road."—Eugene (OR) Register-Guard
"Treats female rockers with the depth and seriousness that they deserve and have all to often been denied."—Iola (WI) Goldmine
"Manages to avoid the conflation of popular music to pop stars and instead to incorporate lesser-known musicians into the history of rock."—Journal of Material Culture
"Sets out to find out how women develop identities as rock 'n' roll musicians. It's not a book about women and rock; rather, Girls Rock! Discusses women's relationship to rock."—Portland Oregonian
"Carson, Lewis, and Shaw have written a book that fills a significant gap in the current discourse on women in popular music. They examine the connection between selfhood and music-making in a way that both validates and honors the unique experience of women in rock-and-roll. These girls rock!"—Teresa Reed, author of The Holy Profane: Religion in Black Popular Music
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Rock music, Women rock musicians, Feminism
Carson, Mina; Lewis, Tisa; and Shaw, Susan M., "Girls Rock! Fifty Years of Women Making Music" (2004). Cultural History. 19.