Women Who Sing to Us : Three Groundbreaking Sirens

by jennine on August 26, 2008

“Every genre of music has an extraordinarily great musician.” I say this when I tell people that I like all kinds of music, yes, even country. I particularly love country music from the 50′s and 60′s where the lines between country and rock ‘n’ roll are blurred in popular music of the time. The haunting voices singing stories of heartbreak and loneliness to eerily upbeat music creates a sensation that few pop songs of today can even compare.

Here are three artists, who in fact were groundbreaking musicians of their time, the beloved Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, the first woman to top country charts, and Wanda Jackson, the first female rock musician.

Patsy Cline

At the age of 30 Patsy Cline’s life was cut short in at the height of her career, she has left a legacy as one of the greatest singers of all time. Her haunting voice is often heard singing Crazy and Walkin’ After Midnight here we have a lesser known but compelling Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray

Kitty Wells

In 1952 Kitty Wells was the first woman to top the US Country Charts, with It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels blaming cheating men for creating cheating women. Ms. Wells is attributed to paving the way for other female artists who rejected the submissive stereotype of women of that time, I particularly the juxtaposition between Kitty Wells and the Stand by Your Man mentality. Here’s There’s Poison in Your Heart

Wanda Jackson


Wanda Jackson began her career singing country gospels, but in 1954 she went on tour with Elvis Presley whom she dated, and was influenced to move away from country and try rock and roll, becoming the first woman to perform rock music. At the time rock and roll was controversial by itself, but with her intense voice and fringy low cut dresses she made quite the image of the bad girl, even though she was actually quite nice. Here’s one of her songs, Cool Love

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{ 6 comments }

Angie Montreal August 26, 2008 at 8:21 am

Love this post! I love listening to this kind of music while I’m sewing actually. I also listen to a lot of She & Him, who’ve done some great covers of old country songs.

WendyB August 26, 2008 at 8:32 am

Thanks for introducing me to Wanda and Kitty!

Cammila August 26, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Wanda Jackson was such an underrated trailblazer. She had such a progressive look and distinct sound. Just look at her rocking that asymmetrical neckline!

Sandra August 26, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Ah! As soon as I saw her face, I screamed “Wanda Jackson”! She’s such a star. Any woman who can sing about jail house riots rock out with the boys kicks ass in any decade.

I saw Wanda Jackson and Rosie Flores in 1999 at a little bar that hosted Rockabilly shows in Downey, California. That show was so memorable because I stole a poster off the wall and got her autograph. Even though she’s a rocking lady, she is still very refined and conservative. She was a little appalled by my friend Jezebel’s name.

Sandra August 26, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Patsy Cline’s voice always gives me chills.

meli August 27, 2008 at 5:31 pm

great post!!!!
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Im currently in love with neko case.

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