Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Women in Rock...

Legence Bank, based in Eldorado, Illinois has a branch in Evansville and every other month they host a Women in Business evening where they invite business women to mingle and enjoy food & beverages. It's a really great networking evening that is professional, yet laid back and welcoming. The first time I attended I was very apprehensive and uncertain about meeting new people and chatting about our book. Mags had encouraged me to take this step and I'm really happy that she did. Tonight I will be there to give a short talk about Recipe Records and I'm bringing delicious foods made from the recipes in our book. 

What I am proud of in this business climate is to see a local business going out of its way to promote & encourage women in the business world. Granted, I'm new to this networking world and I'm not familiar with all of the programs available, but I find this outlet refreshing and encouraging. My mom always told me that women can be the best for each other ... but they can be the worst as well. Mags and I noticed in our book business dealings that women do tend to be more supportive of each other and more likely to help another woman pursue a business direction and contact. I've had some great opportunities arise from the foundation the women at Legence Bank have laid in this business climate.

That being said, I have to mention the importance of women in the world of rock and roll.  That topic is far too great for me to begin to discuss, but I'd like to share my random thoughts about the influence women have had on rock and roll.  While men offer great talent and direction in the world of rock, women have pushed the envelope and given the world a softer, yet edgy twist in music. 
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has an outstanding Women Who Rock exhibit that I visited last summer and I believe it ends in February - so hurry & get there.  This outstanding exhibit begins with the first ladies who breathed life into rock & roll, juke-joint "mamas" Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith & Maybelle Carter.  I doubt these ladies had any idea they were breaking ground for decades of progress for women, they were merely pouring out their souls into some beautiful music.  The exhibit displays clothing, instruments, memorabilia, music scores and the like.  I was skeptical that the exhibit could really pay homage to women stemming from the 1950's, but I was definitely impressed at the incredible display of history.  You'll see Madonna's famous bustier, Meg White's (The White Stripe's) peppermint bass drum and Janet Jackson's notebook containing lyrics such as "Rhythm Nation" .
I get tremendous enjoyment from researching musicians and listening to "fresh old music" .... For some people a new gadget, toy, book, etc. is their hobby, but for me it's learning & researching musicians and their music.  One female artist that I don't know anything about is Wanda Jackson who is called the Queen of Rockabilly and some call her the Queen of Rock.  Wanda was a teenager in the 50's & learned how to play the guitar with her father's support and she started playing music which was labeled "rockabilly" - a mixture of country and rock.  She soon met Elvis Presley and had a "friendship" with the King who was turning the music biz upside down and he encouraged her to jump into the mix. She was a teenage girl singing new music that adults considered wild and she was breaking new ground with her sound and her fringy dresses.  Wanda recently recorded a new CD (produced by Jack White) and she said that she is finally reaping the rewards of her breakthrough in the 50's.
The 74-year old Wanda says that "to see women still knocking down these barriers, not only in music but in business and all the arts, I'm quite proud of them. I don't care for everything that's happening in every respect but I'm very proud of the strong women-the way they've come to the forefront."
Amen Sista.
Check out or on Facebook for more information on their Women in Business networking events!
Don't compromise yourself. It's all you've got."
- Janis Joplin

Oh yeah -- here's my "Women in Rock" songlist for today:

God Bless the Child - Billie Holiday
Let's Have a Party - Wanda Jackson
Save Me - Aretha Franklin
My Boyfriend's Back - The Angels
Reflections - The Supremes
Take a Little Piece of My Heart - Janis Joplin
Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
You're So Vain - Carly Simon
No More Tears (Enough is Enough) - Donna Summer & Barbara Streisand (otherwise known as Kath & Lane)
Heart of Glass - Blondie
You Better Be Good to Me - Tina Turner
The Shoop Shoop Song - Cher
Material Girl - Madonna
Strong Enough - Sheryl Crow & Stevie Nicks version
Oops...I Did it Again - Britney Spears
Work That - Mary J. Blige
The Deep - Adele

Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records

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