Tucker, who teaches women's studies at Hobart and William Smith colleges and writes the "Jazzwomen Jam" column for Jazz Now magazine, masterfully shows how instrumental "all-girl" bands were in changing social, sexual, racial, and economic attitudes toward women. In the 1930s and 1940s, Phil Spitalny's incredibly commercially successful, all-woman "Hour of Charm" Orchestra, she contends, "introduced thousands upon thousands of listeners to the concept that women were capable of playing band instruments." The group also, unfortunately, instilled in listeners the "image of billowing dresses and cultured white womanhood"Da stereotype that "jazzier" and African American/multiracial groups like the Darlings of Rhythm and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm had to work hard to break. Tucker interviewed scores of these musicians (many still alive and swinging), attended the Sharon Rogers All-Girl Band's 1993 reunion, and documented their experiences of touring, recording, and dealing with the chauvinstic musicians' union and armed forces. Marriage to another musician, she relates, often meant dealing with violent jealousy: one woman came home to find that her husband had burned her band memorabilia in the backyard. "Only God can make a tree and only men can play good jazz," prominent jazz author George Simon wrote at the time, but Tucker proves that so talented were "all-girl" bands that most men wallowed in denial. An essential purchase for academic, public, and music libraries.DWilliam G. Kenz, Moorhead State Univ., MN
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Very interesting book on a largely overlooked subject - women in jazz. It didn't occur to me how under-reported this subject was until I heard an interview of one of the writers... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bradley K
These girl bands were great, and Sherrie Tucker's publication gives great information about them ! I would say this is valuable for people interested in music as well as for those... Read morePublished 16 months ago by rbl7920
This is a great book about the women who traveled and endured so much adversity so they could make beautiful music for others to enjoy. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Linda L Landis
This is a book I have already read and used for reference. Gave this copy as a gift. It is a much needed piece of history, prepared carefully and accurately. Read morePublished on April 27, 2013 by n.lynn
"Swing Shift" is an informative look at the all-girl bands of the 1940s. However, included in the 334 pages of content are distracting discourses that challenged my focus. Read morePublished on August 26, 2012 by Mark S. Crawford