“What held us back more than anything was making the record, taking what we did onstage and getting people to embrace it on record,” Kennedy said. “The bureaucracy was harder on us than on the people who wanted to invest in the band. We had some good managers, but I don’t think they could see past the interracial element.”
When the integrated lineup of Sly and the Family Stone is mentioned, Kennedy points out that the San Francisco soulsters were primarily an R&B group, while Mother’s Finest reveled in its jagged edges, which was a harder sell to radio. Besides, she said, Sly’s West Coast roots offered “a somewhat different mentality” than the South in the ’70s.
But the band remained steadfast and today, Kennedy, who lives with Murdock in Stone Mountain, is reflective and grateful.
“The music business is a machine and sometimes if you don’t fit the machine, it makes your life hell,” she said. “But your spirit and fortitude, you have to rely on that. That’s why I’m excited about the induction because it says regardless of what happened during the journey, we weren’t overlooked. What we did had a focus, an effect.
“Destiny plays such a huge part in any artist’s career. Sometimes you’re not supposed to open the door. Sometimes you just have to create a path and let other people know it’s possible.”
Check out this playlist on @8tracks: Black Women In Rock playlist (blackwomeninrock.info) by jaleesa-l.
New songs added! This playlist is sourced from my own personal collection, so I can basically only add songs I’ve bought lol. Check it out!
Two of my favorites…Shea Rose and the legendary Joyce Kennedy. Rock on ladies!
Forget what it sounds like for a minute, let’s consider the spirit of rock and roll: Rebellious. Energetic. Vocal. Independent. Driven. Unapologetic. Powerful. They’re characteristics I could attribute to damn-near every sister I know.
In fact, my personal Who’s Who of Rock and Roll is stacked with bomb Black women. Betty Davis. Grace Jones. Tina Turner. Aretha Franklin. Nona Hendryx. Poly Styrene. Joan Armatrading. Joyce Kennedy… and that’s just 1976-77.
So why do so many people go out of their way to marginalize or flat-out disregard Black women as both pioneers and torchbearers of rock? Why are we so indifferent to the fact that more than a few African-American women strapped an instrument to their back and helped carry the genre from the fields to the church to the juke joint to the charts to a multimillion-dollar industry?
Probably because someone told us it wasn’t ours and we chose to believe it. They said it was devil’s music, so we cast it out. We let it go because someone gave it white skin, a penis, and the green light to cross boundaries that Black people couldn’t. And in so doing, they convinced the world that our pioneers didn’t deserve equal recognition, equal exposure or equal ownership.
Piece Of The Rock – Mother’s Finest
I get a sublime sense of joy that this band is from Atlanta omg
call me a rock and roll queen*~
Women Who Rock: Joyce Kennedy.
Defining Fabulous: Joyce “Baby Jean” Kennedy.
by Nick Dewolf
Song Of The Day – “Truth’ll Set You Free” : Mother’s Finest (Ripped From The Rekkid!!!)
Joyce Kennedy of Mother’s Finest.
Mother’s Finest, “Rocking”