In April 2018, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For a split second I was overjoyed at the news - I love her! And then it dawned on me that it meant she was not already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame... wait... WHAT?! I am firmly in the camp that credits her with the invention of rock and roll. My joy turned to disbelief.
How could she have been overlooked for so long? It's crazy. This is the woman who pre-dates Little Richard and Chuck Berry. That latter referring to his career as "one long Rosetta Tharpe impersonation".
Just in case you haven't witnessed Sister Rosetta in all her glory, watch this:
Recorded Oct. 31, 1938 ( - Elvis was still in nappies).
It's obvious why, in the 40s and 50s, rock and roll didn't get attributed to a queer black woman. But there's no reason why everyone shouldn't know about her now. And so to my new print, Feminist Jukebox.
I wanted to big up some of the most iconic female musicians there have been, talk about them, listen to them, and celebrate them.
It was difficult choosing who to include, but the women who made the final cut are the ones who I think are the most kick-ass, who have made the biggest impact, and who I feel represent much more than just their music. I'll be posting about some of them individually on my social media over the next few weeks so make sure you're following me if you like that sort of thing (Instagram / Twitter / Facebook).
There's a massive playlist here of loads more brilliant women who could've been on the Jukebox had there been endless space.
And as we celebrate 100 years since the Suffragettes won (some) women the right to vote, there were only ever three colours that the jukebox could be: purple, white and green.
I hope when people look at the picture and consider all the amazing female musicians that fall somewhere between Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Ariana Grande, that it sparks a mini celebration of their own favourite women in music, whether that be giving that old record a spin that they haven't heard for a while, having a debate about who would be on their jukebox, or introducing someone to a female artist they admire who just doesn't get the recognition they deserve.
Let's really stoke the conversation about female musicians so that no other trailblazing women suffer the same fate as Sister Rosetta.
Who would be on your Feminist Jukebox and why?
Use the hashtag #FeministJukebox if you want to get involved on social media.
RA Summer Exhibition