MUS111H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Newport Folk Festival, Janis Joplin, Pete Seeger

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15 Nov 2012
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November 6, 2012
Continuation of women in popular music. Social movements & popular music.
Social movements predicted in ephemeral cultural ways. Predicts tensions that are
about to boil over.
Key question: working with so many constraints and in such male-dominated genres
how do women pop stars find avenues for self-expression?
Talking back intertextually, like Kitty Wells. No women solo acts on the Grand Ole
Opry before the popularity of “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels”.
More women with disposable income = more of an economic impact.
Patsy Cline — singing about the kinds of things that women put up with in society, cre-
ating a sense of solidarity in heartache. Straight-up good at singing.
Virtuosity: Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith — playing the game better than anyone
else. When jazz was popular music.
Ike and Tina Turner — domestic figure to fetishized African-American. “Private
Dancer” agonistics. Critique of the commercialization of sexuality/the female body lyri-
cally & through sighs (which can be both sexualized or agonistic).
How women intervene in their own social situation. People begin to reject more radi-
cally the roles that are pressed upon them in the 1960’s.
Janis Joplin! Deviates form the image of the beautiful complacent female
singer. Not a beautiful voice in the traditional white tradition. Assertiveness &
power that’s manifestly present in African-American vocal styles. Struggling
with non-traditional beauty.
“They know they’re not what’s really happening here”
How do you revolutionize a love song to where it’s about the balance of power?
Saying “do whatever you want to me, I can take it” and embracing the bad girl im-
age is one way.
More female singers in the rest of this class — lol sure.
Folk revival!
Folk music was central to labour, civil rights and anti-war movements from the 1930’s
to the 1960’s. But also a commercial genre.
What does folk music mean? Talking about folk music as a social movement and a
commercial genre — “folk boom” of the 1950‘s/60’s.
Tensions between folk music and popular music. When folk was coming to a close
and rock was taking over — Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.
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Document Summary

November 6, 2012: continuation of women in popular music. Social movements & popular music: social movements predicted in ephemeral cultural ways. Predicts tensions that are about to boil over: key question: working with so many constraints and in such male-dominated genres how do women pop stars find avenues for self-expression, talking back intertextually, like kitty wells. No women solo acts on the grand ole. Straight-up good at singing: virtuosity: ella fitzgerald, bessie smith playing the game better than anyone else. Ike and tina turner domestic figure to fetishized african-american. Critique of the commercialization of sexuality/the female body lyri- cally & through sighs (which can be both sexualized or agonistic): how women intervene in their own social situation. People begin to reject more radi- cally the roles that are pressed upon them in the 1960"s: janis joplin! Deviates form the image of the beautiful complacent female singer. Not a beautiful voice in the traditional white tradition.

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