The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Suffragettes to Juke-Joint Mamas

Suggested Reading

While many early female artists have been lost from popular memory, below are some vital resources that have helped tell these women's fascinating stories.

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Shout, Sister, Shout: The Untold Story of Rock and Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe  (Beacon Press, 2007)

The first biography of its kind of the masterful gospel singer and electric guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Shout, Sister, Shout is a thorough exploration of the life and music of the underrated star and her charismatic persona. Author Gayle Wald offers a fascinating portrait of Tharpe and her place in popular music history.

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Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday (Pantheon Books, 1998)

Angela Davis offers a fascinating analysis of powerful songs by seminal female performers.

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Bessie (Yale University Press, 2003)

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