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.
Table of Contents
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.
Dr Laurie Stras, Senior Lecturer in Music, University of Southampton, UK
’... 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