by carl wilson

History Question

Has there ever in pop music, or any other music, been such a thing as an all-woman band fronted by a male singer?

If not, history is about to be made. Details to come in future weeks.

| Posted by zoilus on Friday, July 28 at 3:29 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (24)

 

COMMENTS

I saw jens lekman at pfork 2 weeks ago, and he preformed in front of a band comprised of 6 women.

Posted by castle age on August 13, 2006 5:48 PM

 

 

Porter Wagoner, the country singer with those appalling spangly Nudie suits who discovered Dolly Parton, has been fronting an "all-girl" band on and off for years....

Posted by Richard Flohil on August 3, 2006 8:28 PM

 

 

Wow, I had totally forgotten about Shlonk! They're actually an excellent case - they were a real band with a quite stable lineup and the women were really in charge of their own stuff0 musically, not just playing a theatrical role the way it sometimes seems w/ these groups.

Posted by zoilus on August 3, 2006 5:21 PM

 

 

There was also a late 80s/early 90s noise-punk band from Montreal called Shlonk who had a male vocalist fronting an all-female rock band line-up

http://rebelrebelle.blogspot.com/2005/04/montreal-1990-shlonk-snitches.html

Posted by Dovercourt on August 3, 2006 1:05 PM

 

 

The World Provider is a great example, although his female bandmates do straddle the line betweeen being the band and playing the backup-singer role. But arguably that's just a logical way to toy with the traditional imagery of male and female stage roles.

So, we can conclude that the arrangement is rare but not unheard of, although very very few of the examples we've found are very much like traditional bands, and most of them have been temporary conditions. (Which when you think of the dynamics involved, make sense - a hard balance to sustain, I'd imagine.)

Posted by zoilus on August 1, 2006 2:19 PM

 

 

The Sweet Inspirations were definitely backup singers, not Elvis's band. The Riff Randells are, far as I can tell, all-female. (Unless there was a boy who's since quit.)

Posted by zoilus on August 1, 2006 2:14 PM

 

 

Saw, uh, an instrumental rockabilly band with a lead (male) guitarist and non-sleazy female backup at the Cadillac Lounge just last weekend. Can't remember the name, though. And there's (maybe) Elvis's backups, The Sweet Inspirations. Or were they just singers?

Posted by paul on August 1, 2006 10:48 AM

 

 

I was kidding about that. I can't believe I forgot about Hank & the Hank Collective, though - a Toronto precedent! Owen, who are Bloodlines?

Posted by zoilus on July 31, 2006 7:21 PM

 

 

How does an all-female-save-Conor configuration of Bright Eyes have something sleazy about it?

Posted by matthew on July 31, 2006 5:10 PM

 

 

Frank is right, Jens Lekman is currently touring with an all-female backing band, as he has in the past.

Posted by sean on July 31, 2006 10:56 AM

 

 

that's correct about the riff randells from vancouver.
also, apparently this is the new line-up behind the world provider.

Posted by barclay on July 31, 2006 10:51 AM

 

 

Bloodlines has a male singer and girl band, AND the singer doesn't play any instrument.

Posted by Owen on July 31, 2006 10:49 AM

 

 

my dream is see Hank + the Hank Collective open for Jens + his all-lady-band on the current tour. Speaking of the Hankies, if you haven't seen their current incarnation as a full-on rock et roll band band lately, doooo it!! they are shit-hot.

p.s. I'm loving [on] the new republic of safety with their backup bitch(es) - aka. gentleman reg + audience boyz...

Posted by misspitz on July 31, 2006 9:08 AM

 

 

...Or did you mean to imply some sort of transgender component?

Posted by Half on July 31, 2006 8:21 AM

 

 

Didn't that Vancouver band the Riff Randels have the guy singer/three-gal band set-up?

Posted by stuber on July 30, 2006 11:37 PM

 

 

Hank and the Hank Collective.

Posted by Ryan M on July 30, 2006 1:11 PM

 

 

I definitely thought of the Robert Palmer videos. Thanks for all the examples - which, with the exception of Douglas's suggestions (and maybe Jens, maybe not), all had something sleazy about them, hmm? But I think Huggy Bear was three women and two men, with a vocalist of each gender.

Posted by zoilus on July 29, 2006 12:57 PM

 

 

Jens Lekman has toured with an all-female band in the past and is currently doing so as well. I think.

Posted by frank on July 29, 2006 8:02 AM

 

 

I'm sure this doesn't count but Conor Oberst toured as Bright Eyes with an all female band a few years ago.

Posted by Graham on July 28, 2006 9:31 PM

 

 

Um, how about Beyonce's new (12 piece?) all-female band, backing Jay-Z at the BET Awards. Does a 16-bar performance count?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=tmZvgyiQ0zs&mode;=related&search;=beyonce%20deja%20vu%20bet


Posted by Jody on July 28, 2006 7:48 PM

 

 

Huggy Bear, I believe. Erase Errata for a while. The Fall for one show a few years ago.

Posted by Douglas on July 28, 2006 5:18 PM

 

 

Don't those old Robert Palmer videos immediately come to mind?

Posted by Ryan Catbird on July 28, 2006 4:17 PM

 

 

Whoops -- that Guardian link didn't come out right. Let's try this again: http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,740622,00.html

Posted by Mike D on July 28, 2006 4:17 PM

 

 

Well, aside from Rod Stewart's classy use of an all-female backing band in school uniforms on stage(http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,740622,00.html), there's this band:

http://www.metalmayhemmusic.com/fairgame/index.htm

Woah.

Posted by Mike D on July 28, 2006 4:15 PM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson