She's So Fine explores the music, reception and cultural significance of 1960s girl singers and girl groups in the US and the UK. Using approaches from the fields of musicology, women's studies, film and media studies, and cultural studies, this volume is the first interdisciplinary work to link close musical readings with rigorous cultural analysis in the treatment of artists such as Martha and the Vandellas, The Crystals, The Blossoms, Brenda Lee, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Tina Turner, and Marianne Faithfull. Currently available studies of 1960s girl groups/girl singers fall into one of three categories: industry-generated accounts of the music's production and sales, sociological commentaries, or omnibus chronologies/discographies. She's So Fine, by contrast, focuses on clearly defined themes via case studies of selected artists. Within this analytical rather than historically comprehensive framework, this book presents new research and original observations on the 60s girl group/girl singer phenomenon.
’… a rewarding and excellent book… The book's appeal should take it well beyond an academic readership to those interested in 1960s pop and the featured artists… Well structured and superbly researched, this collection […] makes a significant contribution to popular music studies.’ Times Higher Education 'This collection is a significant contribution to the literature on gender identity and women's studies in music, not only because of its necessary readings on cultural idioms but also because of its close readings of the music itself. Summing up: Recommended.' Choice ’[’She’s So Fine’ is] rigorous, nuanced and heartfelt… I found myself scrambling to the internet to play the songs discussed here, ’doo-langing’ and dancing with abandon, and responding aloud to especially exciting passages of text. This is, of course, exactly what an academic book on popular music should do.’ Popular Music ’… a challenging, often provocative, book that continually subverts conventional readings of the genre… She’s So Fine is a welcome and important addition to the academic study of popular music, one that will undoubtedly become influential.’ Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies '… She’s So Fine astutely disengages from the dominant discourses positioning girl groups and singers as interchangeable and faceless pop-entities who are typically subsumed in the shadows of the phallocentric music histories… Stras et al. demonstrate that, despite being recognized but disavowed, as well as feared but desired, the girl groups’ contemporaneous creative and social legacies still prevail.' Popular Music and Society '… a welcome addition to the recent scholarship on music by female musicians of the 1960s… She’s So Fine […] is a valuable feminist work because it resonates as the unequivocal rejoinder to all of the pejorative connotations that justify the reduction and dismissal of the category of girl� from androcentric histori
Contents: Introduction: she's so fine, or why girl singers (still) matter, Laurie Stras; Part I 'Now that I'm Not a Kid Anymore': American Girls' Voices in the 50s and 60s: Voice of the beehive: vocal technique at the turn of the 1960s, Laurie Stras; Vocal decorum: voice, body, and knowledge in the prodigious singer, Brenda Lee, Robynn J. Stilwell; 'He hit me and I was glad': violence, masochism, and anger in girl group music, Jacqueline Warwick. Part II 'Everything's Coming Up Roses': British Girls in the Mid-60s: Dusty's hair, Annie J. Randall; Brit girls: Sandie Shaw and the women of the British invasion, Patricia Juliana Smith; Mary Hopkin and the deep throat of culture, Sarah Hill. Part III Girls on Top: Rock Chicks and Resistance at the End of the 60s: Whose tears go by? Marianne Faithfull at the dawn and twilight of rock culture, Norma Coates; Bold soul trickster: the 60s Tina signifies, Susan Fast; Response, Martha Mockus; Select bibliography; Indexes.
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.