A History from Rock and Jazz to Blues and Country
Smith provides a thorough chronicle of hundreds of trail-blazing female drummers/entrepreneurs. She interviewed roughly 50 drummers over the course of several years, and in this book she presents their stories and also information she compiled on another 150 drummers and/or bands. The author focuses on North American drum set artists, as opposed to orchestral percussionists or hand-drumming specialists from non-Western cultures. A consistent thread throughout is the difficulty--the trials and setbacks--female drummers have encountered in a largely male-dominated culture (a situation that continues today). The interesting introduction provides a concise overview of women's contributions to drumming throughout history. The balance of the book is organized chronologically from the 1920s to the present. A brief appendix includes suggested recordings, video links, and other online resources, all offered as a starting point for further exploration. The book is rich with details, and the bibliography is extensive. Comprising very short biographies, this book may best serve as a reference resource. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. * CHOICE * In ancient times, the drum was associated with women and femininity in cultures across Africa, North America, and South America. Nowadays, men dominate discussions of the best and most influential drummers, so much so that the drum is often considered an inherently masculine instrument. The women who have played drums professionally in the last hundred years have often found themselves assessed for their looks rather than their chops. By and large, music scholars have tended to overlook their accomplishments. In Women Drummers, Smith seeks to put women drummers back in the proper spotlight. She profiles over 150 women, from pioneers Viola Smith, Pauline Braddy, and Honey Lantree to contemporaries Cindy Blackman Santana, Michelle Josef, and Allison Miller. Throughout, Smith writes in an informal, conversational style. She extensively utilizes in-person and published interviews with her subjects, many of whom have a knack for memorable quips to match their timekeeping skills. The reader comes away with a real sense of these womens passion for their chosen instrument, their philosophies of drumming, and their experiences, as expressed in their own voices. . . .Women Drummers is a welcome addition to the body of music literature. * American Reference Books Annual * Quick! How many female drummers can you name? While the drummer position in bands everywhere is a largely male dominated thing, women have been making waves with their percussion instruments for years. This book by Angela Smith explores the world of women drummers who've broken barriers and overcome discrimination. Forget the guys, these lady drummers rock. * BELLA New York City Magazine * The book Women Drummers: A History From Rock and Jazz To Blues and Country is fascinating reading for music fans and those who are interested in gender issues as well. Smith recounts stories that should be heard as todays young girl drummers seek to break stereotypes and pursue their personal muses. The book is an essential work on both womens history and the contemporary state of female percussionists in the music industry. * Wisconsin Gazette * This comprehensive book about women drummers throughout the ages is worthy of living on university shelves worldwide. Angela Smith takes the reader from the advent of drums (BCE), to the first rebel drummers facing religious decrees, through contemporary drumming legends like Sheila E. Cindy Blackman, and Viola Smith. She tips her hat to all of the movers and shakers who have paved the way for us female drummers thus far. This book is thoughtful, thought provoking, historical, intelligent and interesting. If you like Tom Tom you will love this book because it is the very book we would have written ourselves. Buy it
Angela Smith is a freelance writer and executive director emeritus of the Writers League of Texas. Also a working musician and music journalist, she is the author of Steel Drums and Steelbands: A History (Scarecrow Press, 2012).
Acknowledgments Permissions Introduction Chapter 1: A Few Beats Back in Time Chapter 2: 23 Skidoo: Pre-Ragtime to Jazz Age Chapter 3: Bees Knees: The Roaring 20s Chapter 4: Swing Cats: The 30s Chapter 5: Hep Girls: The 40s Chapter 6: Called to Duty: War Years Chapter 7: Hip and Diggin It: Postwar to the 50s Chapter 8: Rock n Roll, Baby! The 50s and 60s Chapter 9: Trippin & Groovin The 70s Chapter 10: Bad to the Bone: The 80s Chapter 11: Wicked to the Max: More 80s Chapter 12: Awesome Times Two Chapter 13: Bangin and Slammin: The 90s Chapter 14: Mega to the Max: More 90s Chapter 15: Sweet!: A New Century Chapter 16: And the Beat Goes On (To Be Continued) Chapter 17: Honky Tonk Angels Chapter 18: Lady Drum the Blues Chapter 19: Jazz Chicks with Chops Chapter 20: Drummers of a Different Beat Conclusion: Not by a Long Shot! Selected Discography, Videos, and Online Resources Bibliography About the Author Permissions