Thursday, June 04, 2015

Thursday Thirteen

I love music. I play a little guitar and sing (to myself), and a very long time ago had aspirations to a music career. Had I applied myself and not married instead, who knows? Maybe I'd have been the next Sheryl Crow or something. But that was not my path.

Anyway, here are 13 women musicians that I enjoy, in no particular order. The links will take you to youtube videos of the songs.

1. Aretha Franklin. Born in 1942, this 73-year-old Queen of Soul is still touring and belting out her top hits. My favorite song of hers is RESPECT, but I love hearing her sing regardless of the title.

2. Stevie Nicks. Another older singer, Nicks in her Fleetwood Mac days had (and has) a distinct voice that had me turning up the radio every time I heard her. I still love the sound of her voice, that quavering sound of solitary despair that only she can offer. It is hard for me to pick a favorite Nicks song, but I will go with Landslide, a song that always sticks in my throat when I hear it.

3. Janis Joplin. I don't suppose one can list female musicians without listing Joplin, the greatest white female blues singer ever. I learned to love Janis late in life, particularly after having read a biography. Her life was cut too short by drugs, unfortunately. I wonder what would have happened had she lived? Favorite song: Bobbie McGee.

4. Heart. This band gets me two women - Ann and Nancy Wilson. Ann has vocal chords that are unmatched in range, while Nancy kicks butt on guitar. Favorite song: The Dog and the Butterfly, though I confess that's a hard choice.

5. Melissa Etheridge. MLE captured my heart with her video Come to My Window, but it is her song You Can Sleep While I Drive that brings me to tears when I hear it. I have more of her albums than any single musician and can play many of her tunes on the guitar myself.

6. Sheryl Crow. Crow's early work in particular grabbed me because of its soulful mix of country and pop. She's turned a little country of late but I still listen to her earlier records. My favorite song is one that was not a hit, but the one that touches me most. It's called Weather Channel.

7. Chrissie Hynde is the lead singer of The Pretenders. She's been a rock and roll girl for 40 years and I've always loved the sound of her voice. My favorite song is I'll Stand By You.

8. Linda Ronstadt. While her early songs made her career, it was one of her later albums, the 1989 Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, that made me love her more than ever. That album was a mix of rock, pop, and blues with soulful tunes on it that at that particular time in my life were particularly poignant and meaningful to me. I loved every song on that album, but my favorite was probably Shattered.

9. Carole King. This prolific song writer scored with the album Tapestry and most of her songs resonate still. Some of our best-loved older songs were created by King's prolific pen (You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, Pleasant Valley Sunday, to name two). My favorite? You've Got A Friend.

10. Pat Benatar. She hit it big as I was finishing high school, and thus her impact upon my final teenage years was huge. Hit Me With Your Best Shot, her megahit, summed how many of us felt about that time, kind of like we were all beaten up but still standing. She also lived in Virginia when she was starting out.

11. Celine Dion. I know, there will be many who will mock this choice, but I truly like her voice. She has a great range and while her style is not one I listen to all the time, occasionally I like to hear her powerful vocals. Her songs are classical love ballads, and you know, sometimes a girl wants to hear something like that. Because You Loved Me is probably my favorite of her songs.

12. Cyndi Lauper. I became a Lauper fan in her later years, not so much for her songs, really, but for her political work and guest appearances on various shows where she supported women's rights, though she is listed as a LGBT activist and not as a feminist on Wikipedia (I see equality issues as human issues - everybody should be equal regardless of gender or sex preferences. But I acknowledge that equality is something certain segments of the population have to constantly fight for). Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is a song (and video) that won many awards.

13. Karen Carpenter. She was another singer who died too young. The Carpenters soft pop songs were part of my tween years and beyond. I imagine We've Only Just Begun has been played at many weddings over the years. Carpenter was also a drummer and I've read that she hated having to move from behind the drums to the forefront to sing. Her voice was another so distinctive that it could not be denied. Rainy Days and Mondays is my favorite Carpenter song.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 398th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. We have similar tastes in music. I wholeheartedly agree with #1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 9 and 12. I also love Nora Jones and grew up loving and signing along with Joni Mitchell.

  2. What a great tribute! I am a bedroom singer/songwriter/performer, too, but I've been lucky enough in helping my sons' bands both in writing and arranging tracks. From your list, Carol King is the one who influences me the most - a talent supreme! Annie Lennox would have made my own top 3 list.

    You never know - we may be confident enough one day to up our own creations......♫

  3. Yep. Count me among those whose nose wrinkles at the inclusion of Celine D. Otherwise, I'm totally with you. Cool list.

  4. That's quite the stroll down memory lane. I used to turn the radio up for Pat Benatar and Janis Joplin. I still listen to some Fleetwood Mac albums I bummed off my dh.

    I just can't see you as a Sheryl Crow style bar fly.

  5. I really like Stevie Nicks' voice. Several of the others, too, but especially her. And Karen Carpenter has such a sweet, melodic voice. Great 13!

  6. An eclectic mix of great artists! My T13


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