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Throughout the month of March, WYEP is celebrating Women’s History Month by exploring the careers of women who have had a significant impact on popular music.
Kate Bush was only nineteen years old when she first went to #1 on the UK singles chart in 1978, she was the first female artist to get a UK #1 with a self-written song. Her career has been unconventional, eclectic and innovative, earning her not just the admiration of fans, but much critical acclaim and success. WYEP will celebrate the music of Kate Bush as we kick off Women’s History Month. From her 1978 debut, “The Kick Inside”, to her collaborations with artists like Peter Gabriel and Prince, to the renewed interest in her music leading to her song “Running Up That Hill” topping the charts last year, 37 years after its original release.
From the leader of the Ronettes to a smash-hit comeback, Ronnie Spector has earned her title as “The Original Bad Girl of Rock & Roll.” Her pleading-yet-powerful voice defined the sound of the early 1960s, elevating the emotions of the teenage girls who drove the popularity of rock & roll’s first wave. Her cultural influence ultimately brought her back to work as a solo artist in the 1980s, and she spent the rest of her life recording and performing with many of the younger musicians she had inspired. For Women’s History Month, WYEP is honoring the legacy of Ronnie Spector’s life and music, featuring her early hits with the Ronettes, her collaborations with artists like Eddie Money, The E Street Band, and Joey Ramone, and her solo work up until her passing in 2022.
Karen O burst onto the alternative scene in the early 2000s as the expressive, fantastically dressed frontwoman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, paving a way for Asian-American women in rock. Since then, she’s also made her mark on film and fashion and has built up a significant genre-spanning catalog of collaborations as a solo artist. This Women’s History Month, WYEP celebrates Karen O’s continuing contributions to music with an hour of her songs, from the instant-classic debut Fever To Tell, to her work with artists like Santigold, Ezra Koenig, and Michael Kiwanuka, and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s newest album Cool It Down.
For our final installment for Women’s History Month, WYEP will celebrate the music of Christine McVie. Widely known as one of the singers and the keyboardist for Fleetwood Mac, Christine McVie was the band’s biggest hitmaker. She began her career as Christine Perfect, joining up with the British Blues-Rock band Chicken Shack before she went solo. She married John McVie and joined Fleetwood Mac as they were experiencing some lineup changes, writing and singing some of their best-known songs like “Say You Love Me”, “Don’t Stop” and “Little Lies”. After almost 30 years in the group, she went into semi-retirement but still released music until her death late last year.
During the first three weeks of Women’s History Month, Big Town Blues will introduce new tracks by two women or women front blues bands, from a new 2023 album
Listen this week for a new song by veteran Blues & Jazz singer Jewel Brown and a track from the 2022 European Blues Challenge Winner, Harlem Lake’s new ‘Live’ project.
Support for Women’s History Month on WYEP is provided by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Heinz History Center.