I've always loved the music of the '60's, especially that great but short-lived phenomenon known as the "Girl Group Era."
While I was teaching at USC's Thornton School of Music, I began transcribing these two-and-a-half minute gems; the lead and background vocals and all the instrumental parts as well. Teaching them to students every year, we brought that era back to life in our concerts. It was challenging but, when it finally came together, it was magical.
Coinciding with the genesis of rock and roll, teenage pop and soulful R&B, the girl groups embodied the best elements of all of those styles.
The concept of feminism was hardly mainstream in the early '60's, which makes it all the more remarkable that the hyperemotional tales of teenaged angst at the heart of the genre were told from a female point of view.
Sure, the subject matter was love - getting the boy, losing the boy, fighting for the boy. But it was a girl up there in the spotlight, telling her story, expressing her emotions. Pretty empowering stuff in an era where women, like children, were preferably seen rather than heard.
If you are interested in performing these songs, my transcriptions are available for purchase. Contact me to discuss the song list and prices.