Sometimes I forget that some people don’t know the full impact that black women had on rock n roll. If you didn’t know it was epic. Without the talent and energy of many wonderful women the state of music today would be blander than Cliff Richard eating a cucumber sandwich.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially announced next year’s inductees: Bon Jovi,Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, the Cars and Nina Simone will all join the class of 2018. Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be given an Early Influence award.
Nina Simone died in 2003 and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who has experienced a huge resurgence of interest in the past decade, died in 1973. The Hall of Fame is likely to bring in artists they inspired to perform their music.
I don’t know everything, and that’s where I rely on you all (the readers!) to fill in the gaps. Recently, a reader emailed me a few bands that are led by black women, all of whom I knew nothing about previously. The person doesn’t have any social media that I can shout out, but Jean-Philippe, thank you for sending this information to me!
This is a paste directly from the email. A lot of what Jean-Philippe has to say is deep and relevant, so I’m including most of what was sent here. I love when people send me bands to feature, so if you know of any rock band with a black woman (or women!) in it that hasn’t been featured on this site, please send me an email! I can be reached at email@example.com.
Hi ! My name is Jean-Philippe from Montreal.
I’ve bought Laina Dawes book ”What are doing here ?” and i must say i learn a LOT not only about the implication and the hard battles that black womens have to endure to making sure they have their place in the scene (punk#HC#Metal) but about the difficulties that these warriors have to face also in front of the relatives (families/friends/etc.) because of the ”akward” choice to love a music who is supposes to be dedicated to the ”masses” but in reality, for black womens, have to front, once again, another form of elitism if not discrimination and racism.
Inspired by the book, i’ve found your web site and i must say it is something that i was definitively missing…. Still A LOT to learn.
Being a punk/HC fan (my knowledge in metal is just awful), here’s some bands i’ve known who black womens were members :
1- WISIGOTH (Late 90’s Montreal). If you don’t know this band, i think you will really like. Zahra is the ”growl” voice in the dual vocals of this crust/punk/metal band.
3-CASEY (France – Discography) Known as the best french rapper, this black women have some of the most bitter, angry yet most intelligent texts. She love the ”HARDCORE” sound in music including rock and punk. She did a rock project with ZONE LIBRE and two lp’s aboslutly stunning lp’s have been release. Here’s one of the videos. Absolutly phenomenal.
one of the best songs of the project… so much despair and anger. A song about the exploited making a revolt against the tyranny on his different forms (bosses, politicians). A song who express how the poor/rejected is facing disdain and disgust from ”them” and the treatement he received with the stress and the despair that bring his destiny.
finally, sorry for the annoyance since you surely already know lots of the infos above. It’s just reading of the book and your web site gave me the occasion to ”go back in class” and make my homeworks about the challaneges that black womens have faced and won with courage and guts in this so-called ”scene for the misfits”.
I was still convinced that I was an outlier in my interest and love for rock music, and created the Black Women In Rock Tumblr blog (archive) to help fill the gap that was missing for me. The original tagline for the blog was Picking up where Black Women Who Rock left off, as a matter of fact!
6 years later (and a migration to WordPress) later, this blog is still kicking and has catalogued over 100 black women rock musicians. I hope to be here forever, helping to break this completely inaccurate conception that black women can’t sing rock and roll.
I finally got my hands on Tetrarch’s new LP Freak, which is a fail on my part because I didn’t realize the whole album was out already! I’ve been waiting for what felt like 84 years for new music from this band, and this thing has been out nearly two full months and I didn’t even realize it.
Freak is a full album, which already makes it wonderful in my eyes. The only thing that sucked about Relentless was that it was too short. Relentless had more of a hard driving, onwards to battle metal sound, but Freak takes a chilled out, nü-metal direction. A couple of songs harken back to Tetrarch’s previous sound (“Oddity” and “Break The Trend”) but most of the album has a KoRn/Slipknot sort of feel to it.
It’s a different sound, and Tetrarch does it well. I highly recommend checking this album out if you’re into metal or hard rock music. The album can be purchased from iTunes and Amazon Music, and can also be streamed on Spotify. Tetrarch is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so show them love!
“Whenever a rock musician lets loose a glorious guitar solo, we’re in the living presence of Rosetta, who made a habit of playing as loud as she could, based on the Pentecostal belief that the Lord smiled on those who made a joyful noise.”
— Gayle F Wald, Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-N-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe (p.216)
Vote for Sister Rosetta Tharpe to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame here. Votes can be cast once a day, and the voting period ends on December 5th.
Less than a week after a sign was unveiled in Cotton Plant to honor the rock pioneer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe became a first-time nominee for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For fans of Tharpe’s, the accolades are obnoxiously overdue; not only is Sister Rosetta part of rock and roll’s complex story, but there’s good reason to argue that she’s the very inventor of the genre.
Out of the 19 nominees for the 2018 induction process, Sister Rosetta’s eligibility is the oldest; artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record.
The induction process, a combination of public votes and ballots from music historians, goes like this, as stated on rockhall.com:
Each year, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s nominating committee selects the group of artists nominated in the performer category. Ballots are then sent to more than 900 historians, members of the music industry and artists—including every living Rock Hall inductee—and the five performers receiving the most votes become that year’s induction class. Beginning in 2012, fans were given the chance to vote for the nominees they’d like to see inducted into the Rock Hall. The top five vote-getters in the public poll form one ballot, which is weighted the same as the rest of the submitted ballots.
That means you can weigh in if you’re so inclined, throwing your clicks behind five nominees in the fan vote here from now until 11:59 EST, Tuesday, December 5. That same month, inductees will be announced, and the induction ceremony will take place in Cleveland, Ohio on April 14, 2018.