Saturday, March 19, 2011

Female Musicians

Now that the Rock and Roll hall of fame is done inducting people (this year: Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Alice Cooper, Darlene Love and Tom Waits) it's time to sit back and look at how biased popular music has been towards men.

Out of 173 inductees in the main performers category the first female inductee was Aretha Franklin, in the second year, 1987. In 1988 the Supremes were inducted, followed by LaVerne Baker and Tina Turner (with Ike) in 1991. 1993 saw Ruth Brown and Etta James. 1995 Janis Joplin and Martha and the Vandellas. Gladys Knight (with her Pips) and the Shirelles in 1996. Joni Mitchell - 1997. Dusty Springfield - 1999.

2000 - Bonnie Raitt
2002 - Brenda Lee
2005 - Pretenders
2006 - Blondie
2007 - Patti Smith and the Ronettes
2008 - Madonna
2011 - Darlene Love

Let's say you stretch it a bit. That gives you:

2010 - ABBA
1999 - Staples Singers
1998 - Mamas and the Papas, Fleetwood Mac

If you really stretch you get:

2002 - Talking Heads (female bassist Tina Weymouth)
1996 - Jefferson Airplane (sometime female lead Grace Slick) and The Velvet Underground (female drummer Maureen Tucker)
1993 - Sly and the Family Stone (Rosie Stone on keyboards and Cynthia Robinson on trumpet) (interestingly no female artists were inducted with P-Funk)

A grand total of maybe 23 acts out of 173. And 45 individuals:

Aretha Franklin
Diana Ross - Supremes
Florence Ballard - Supremes
Mary Wilson - Supremes
LaVerne Baker
Tina Turner - Ike and Tina Turner
Ruth Brown
Rosie Stone - Sly and the Family Stone
Cynthia Robinson - Sly and the Family Stone
Etta James
Janis Joplin
Martha Reeves - Martha and the Vandellas
Rosalind Ashford - Martha and the Vandellas
Betty Kelly - Martha and the Vandellas
Lois Reeves - Martha and the Vandellas
Anette Sterling - Martha and the Vandellas
Gladys Knight
Shirley Reeves - Shirelles
Addie Harris - Shirelles
Doris Kenner-Jackson - Shirelles
Beverly Lee - Shirelles
Grace Slick - Jefferson Airplane
Maureen Tucker - Velvet Underground
Joni Mitchell
Michelle Phillips - Mamas and the Papas
Cass Elliot - Mamas and the Papas
Christine McVie - Fleetwood Mac
Stevie Nicks - Fleetwood Mac
Dusty Springfield
Mavis Staples - Staples Singers
Yvonne Staples - Staples Singers
Cleotha Staples - Staples Singers
Bonnie Raitt
Brenda Lee
Tina Weymouth - Talking Heads
Chrissie Hynde - Pretenders
Deborah Harry - Blondie
Patti Smith
Ronnie Spector - Ronettes
Estelle Bennett - Ronettes
Nedra Talley - Ronettes
Anetha Faltskog - ABBA
Anni-Fred Lyngstad - ABBA
Darlene Love

...out of 625 individuals.

So since women currently make up only a measly 7% of all inductees, here are some suggestions for the future, when they become eligible.

Linda Thompson (along with Richard) available now
Laura Nyro: nominated the past two years in a row available now
Janet Jackson available now
Linda Ronstadt available now
Joan Baez available now
Dionne Warwick available now
Donna Summer available now (I mean, if ABBA is already in...)
Whitney Houston available now
Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth) available now
The Bangles (Debbi Peterson, Vicki Peterson, Susanna Hoffs) available now
Joan Jett available now
Cyndi Lauper available now
Annie Lenox (of Eurythmics) available now
Ann and Nancy Wilson (of Heart) available now
Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson (of the B-52s) available now

some day:

Sinead O'Connor eligible: 2012
Kim Deal (of the Pixies) eligible: 2012
Bilinda Butcher and Debbie Googe (of My Bloody Valentine) eligible: 2013
Tracy Chapman eligible: 2013
Alanis Morisette eligible: 2016
Courtney Love (of Hole) eligible: 2016
PJ Harvey eligible: 2017
Mary J. Blige eligible: 2017
Liz Phair eligible: 2018
Bjork eligible: 2018
Lauryn Hill (solo or with the Fugees) eligible: 2019 (Fugees)
Beth Gibbons (of Portishead) eligible: 2019
Erykah Badu eligible: 2020
Fiona Apple eligible: 2021
Meg White (of the White Stripes) eligible: 2024
Neko Case eligible: 2027
M.I.A. eligible: 2030

Let's hope we see it happen. Next year's inductees: Gram Parsons, Kraftwerk, Roxy Music, Nick Drake (I have to keep rooting for these four) and Joan Baez. The year after: Laura Nyro, Richard and Linda Thompson, Dionne Warwick, Janet Jackson and Joan Jett. We'll keep going like that. Yes?

1 comment:

Karen said...

Why isn't Laura Nyro already inducted? She's brilliant! And I have to go back and look, but Carole King? Carly Simon?