"Women Who Rock"
The daunting odds, the guts and grit and the talent required by women rockers to make it to the top of their field all come to life in PBS Arts From Cleveland: Women Who Rock, a performance documentary that chronicles and celebrates female musicians from early groundbreakers to contemporary powerhouses.
Mixing interviews with key women musicians and live performance footage, Women Who Rock features the stories of trailblazers like Bessie Smith, Ma Raney, Mother Maybelle and Mahalia Jackson as well as contemporary stars Darlene Love, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Bonnie Raitt, Cyndi Lauper, Wanda Jackson, Mavis Staples, Deborah Harry and Kathleen Hanna of the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Also featured are songwriter Cynthia Weill and journalists/critics Ann Powers, Nelson George and Holly George Warren.
The program breaks the female influence on rock and roll into distinct eras, starting with the music’s blues roots in the 1920s and 30s. It travels forward through time, telling stories of key musicians from each succeeding era, including rock and roll’s emergence in the 1950s, the girl group and counterculture era of the 60s, disco and punk in the 70s, celebrations of empowerment and fun throughout the 80s, into today’s predominance of women in pop, and much more. The film reveals the ever-morphing role of female performers, and shows how today’s singers were influenced and inspired by their forebears.
Cyndi Lauper, who appears in the program, hosts.
This program is part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.
AIRS Friday, November 18 at 9 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS