On This Day in Women's Music History....
Hello! Lately, I seem to want to write my newsy emails on the birthdays of my favourite musicians! Today is Barbra Streisand's 79th birthday, and so this email is all but writing itself. I've loved Barbra's work since I was a child, whether it was her gorgeous covers of Laura Nyro songs, her jaw-dropping silver screen talent in Funny Girl, or the wise things she had to say as a social justice activist. This morning, I perused my cache of Barbra vinyl and opened up my favourite of the bunch, Barbra Joan Streisand. For some strange reason, the fact that she had prominently featured female songwriters, arrangers and musicians on this album hadn't made an imprint on my consciousness until today. Why had I never taken the time to savour all the wonderful photos of the first all-female superstar rock band Fanny (members June and Jean Millington, Alice de Buhr and Nickey Barclay) amiably working with Barbra? Underemployment of talented female session musicians, arrangers and songwriters is STILL a huge issue in the music industry - and there was Barbra, 50 years ago, proudly and prominently sharing her considerable platform with other women!
It would be remiss of me not to mention that 10 years ago, I was having the time of my life recording my album Glimmer In The Dark. It was important to my producer Karen Kane and me to have great women musicians play on the album. Colleen Allen played sax on 6 album tracks, Alyssa Wright played cello on 2, and Karen Dinardo sang on every song (except the bonus track I Am Who I Am and The Voice Of Bliss, the latter being a vocal solo by one of my cats)! At the time I referred to the blissful recording experience as "Ten Days That Shook My World", amateur historian that I am. How amazing it was to have met and worked with all of these Wonder Women - and Magic Men too!
May you all experience the joy of doing what you love to do - and with people who rock your world and should be rocking the WHOLE world with their copious talents! And may Barbra have a great birthday :)