Celebrate Women’s History Month

March 8th was International Women’s day and the month of March is Women’s History month.

There are plenty of well-known and celebrated women we have heard of, but there are plenty of others that have not received the recognition they deserve.

Read on for some of the most ground-breaking, revolutionary and fascinating women in history.

And tune into Women in Music with Laney Goodman for Women’s History Month specials.

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Onward and Upward, Laney Goodman, host/producer

Women in Music, nationally syndicated radio show

 

1. Ella Baker.
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There are several big names that come to mind when you think about the civil rights era, but one woman — who was still very influential in her own right — is often left off of that list. Her name was Ella Baker, and she was an instrumental force behind civil rights, starting in 1938 when she began work at the NAACP as a secretary, all the way through to her death in 1986 at the age of 83. Along the way, Baker fought against Jim Crow laws, ran voter registration drives, and organized Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She tended to stay behind the scenes, and didn’t embrace the idea that one strong leader should be in charge of a social movement.

Her tireless dedication to social justice and human rights has led her to be considered one of the most influential women — if not people – in the 20th century fight for civil rights.

Image Credit: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights via Wikimedia Commons. 

 

2. Delia Derbyshire.

Popular music today is dominated by electronic music and engineering. But, in 1962, most of the world hadn’t heard any electronic music at all. Then Delia Derbyshire came along. In 1962, Derbyshire recorded a score by Ron Grainer that would go on to be the original theme music for the BBC’s Doctor Who. As The BBC’s Andrew Harrison puts it, “[the Dr. Who theme song is] possibly the most important electronic music ever made… It is not too much to say that it triggered the modern era in popular music just as much as The Beatles did.”

And it’s that theme music that would essentially introduce the world to this game-changing music. She also composed and recorded other music, including with White Noise, one of the world’s earliest electronic bands.

3. Margaret Sanger.

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Margaret Sanger is best known as the founder of Planned Parenthood. In 1916, she founded a birth control clinic in Brooklyn, a first-of-its-kind — and illegal — institution. Sanger tirelessly advocated for women’s access to birth control, and, along the way she was arrested several times. It wasn’t until a year before her death in 1966 that birth control would be legalized in the United States.Sanger’s quest for reproductive rights caused a great deal of controversy. Of course, even today, birth control is a much-debated topic. In her time, too, she aligned herself with eugenicists and espoused beliefs about race, ability and class that are generally considered taboo today. Her legacy, then, is not without its stains, but her groundbreaking reproductive rights advocacy still stands.

 

4. Hedy Lamarr.

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Hedy Lamarr was once one of the biggest stars of the silver screen. Often billed as the most beautiful woman on the planet, Lamarr hailed from Austria, emigrating to the United States to launch a career in Hollywood. Her biggest contribution to culture, though, is much more pervasive than her films. In fact, you’re probably using it right now! During World War II, Lamarr and her friend and neighbor George Anthiel invented technology that would help scramble the radio messages used to control torpedoes; that would later be used to develop wi-fi, cellular technology  and bluetooth.

 

5. Madam C.J. Walker.

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Madam C.J. Walker became the first self-made woman millionaire in the United States, no small feat for an African-American woman whose parents were slaves. Walker made her fortune by founding the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, which sold cosmetics and hair products aimed at black women. She is credited with inventing the hair straightening process still used by millions of black women today.

6. Ada Lovelace.

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Ada Lovelace was a computer programmer well before computers had programs. The daughter of the poet Lord Byron and a British countess, Ada Lovelace’s translation of Italian engineer Luigi Menabrea’s work on an early computer known as the analytical engine is widely recognized as the first computer program. Though her work was completed in 1843, it took a century for the machine to actually be built. In her time, however, Ada Lovelace accurately predicted that computers could be used for much more than just the mathematics that had originally been built for.

 

7. Katharine Hepburn.

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Unlike other women of Classic Hollywood, Katharine Hepburn didn’t embrace the actress-as-sex-symbol trope. Instead, she sought out challenging roles that broke ground for women in film and didn’t succumb to studio pressures. Her famously androgynous style is also credited with bringing women’s pants into the mainstream.

 

8. Nellie Bly.

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To say that Nellie Bly broke ground for women — and men — in journalism would be a massive understatement. She pioneered investigative reporting, going undercover in an insane asylum, a woman’s jail, a factory, and a tenement, and posing as both a prospective baby-buyer and a potential lobbying client, just to name a few. She also attempted to travel around the world in fewer than 80 days — cutting that down to 72, and, during World War I, became the first female war correspondent in history. After years of celebrity, Bly became more and more involved in her husband’s manufacturing business and eventually took over after his death — becoming the most prominent female industrialist of the time.

International Women’s Day Special – for March 6, 2018

Celebrate International Women’s Day this week… and Women’s History with Women In Music with Laney Goodman all through the month of March.

This coming week we’ll celebrate the unique contributions of women past and present on this very special Women In Music. We’ll hear excerpts from speeches by great American suffragists like Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

and Elizabeth Cady Stanton…

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

music from Emma’s Revolution, Irina Rivkin, Sweet Honey in the Rock,

Sweet Honey In the Rock

Holly Near, and Cosy Sheridan.

Women In Music for February 27, 2018

On this coming week’s show we’ll hear new music from alternative/folk singer/songwriter Alison May from Oakland, CA, and Canadian duo Dala…

Dala

roots with a touch of blues with new music from Chastity Brown from Minneapolis, MN and a sister duo act out of New Orleans called Rising Appalachia… the neo-soul of Nigerian-German singer/songwriter Nneka and the woman who started the neo-soul movement right here in the States, MeShell N’degeocello…

Me’shell N’degeocello

then we’ll finish up the hour with the stunningly beautiful vocals of Lisbeth Scott from the West Coast

Lisbeth Scott

and Tibetan singer/songwriter Yungchen Lhamo

Yungchen Lhamo

That’s all coming up on the next Women In Music.

Black History Month Special – February 20, 2018

Celebrate Black History Month with this coming week’s Women In Music with Laney Goodman, featuring alternative folk with Cassandra Wilson,

Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson

multicultural rhythms of Laura Love,

LauraLove

progressive pop with a touch of dub from Grammy Award winning songwriter Sharon Robinson, retro soul with Macy Gray

Macy Gray

Macy Gray

and the Brand New Heavies… then we’ll finish up the hour with the world beat of Haitian New Yorker Manze Dayila and the Nago Nation, and West African Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo.

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Angelique Kidjo

So, tune in this coming week for a Black History Month Special as we honor the lives and music of women of color around the world on Women In Music with Laney Goodman.

Love Songs Special – Women In Music for February 13, 2018

Celebrate the love with this coming week’s Love Songs Valentine’s Day Special on Women In Music with Laney Goodman.

On this coming week’s show, you’ll hear roots/rock from Boston area singer/songwriter Lori McKenna,

Lori McKenna

and a classic from Patty Griffin off her 1998 release “Flaming Red” with “One Big Love”…

Patty Griffin

Patty Griffin

Canadian chanteuse k.d. lang from her 1992 release “Ingenue”, a classic from Joni Mitchell with her remake of “A Case of You”, Rickie Lee Jones singing “My Funny Valentine”…

Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones

then we’ll finish up the hour with the great Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson

and Annie Lennox.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day this coming week with Women In Music with Laney Goodman.

Black History Month Special – Women In Music for February 6, 2018

Celebrate Black History Month with this week’s Women In Music with Laney Goodman, as we honor the lives of the late Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks

Corretta Scott King

Corretta Scott King

with the poetry of Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou

and the music of Pantera Saint-Montaigne

Pantera Saint-Montaigne

Pantera Saint-Montaigne

Tracy Chapman … we’ll also hear the multi-cultural experience of the African Diaspora with Les Nubians,

Les Nubians

Les Nubians

and the griots (or storytellers) of Mali.

So, tune in this coming week for a Black History Month Special as we honor the lives and music of women of color around the world on Women In Music with Laney Goodman.

Women In Music for January 23, 2018

On this coming week’s show we’ll hear singer/songwriter Lori McKenna of the Boston music scene,

LoriMckenna

a classic from 1998 with Patty Griffin live at Lilith Faire…

Patty-Griffin

blues funk from Shiela Brody with her latest 2015 LP Mississippi and Manhattan blues rocker Danielia Cotton…

Danielia-Cotton

soul pop from NYC’s Kendra Morris, the latest from L.A. indie soul band Memoir featuring Dena Deadly… then we’ll finish the hour with digital/soul pop for Florida’s Meresha, Kelis from the Harlem soul music scene,

Kelis

Kelis

and electric guitarist Eljuri from Educador, now living in NYC.

eljuri

Women In Music for January 16, 2018

On this coming week’s show we’ll hear singer/songwriter Heather Maloney from Western Massachusetts, and a classic from Grammy Award Winner Joni Mitchell from her 1971 release “Blue”… Americana/Roots of Carrie Rodriguez out of the Austin music scene…

CarrieRodriguez

Carrie Rodriguez

Grammy Award winner Lucinda Williams from her 2007 album West… the Appalachian fusion from sister duo Rising Appalachia, out of New Orleans…

Rising Appalachia

Rising Appalachia

and the iconic singer/songwriter ani di franco… then we’ll finish up the hour with the late Chiwoniso from Zimbabwe…

Chiwoniso

Chiwoniso

and Razia from her 2010 release Zebu Nation.

 

Women In Music for January 9, 2018

This coming week, we’ll hear Portland, Oregon’s Laura Berman, the alt/folk rock band with Nordic roots, Kalandra…

Kalandra

Kalandra

Americana roots with their latest from 2015 from Boxcar Lillies, a New England all-female trio… and clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn…

Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn

progressive pop with the latest from Finnish-American singer/songwriter Janita…

Janita

and the amazing jazz of Cassandra Wilson from her 1999 release Traveling Miles…

Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson

and we’ll end the hour with the latest from Danish singer/songwriter, pianist and composer, Agnes Obel with “Fuel to Fire”… and the one and only Kate Bush off her 1993 release “The Red Shoes” with “Moments of Pleasure”.

Kate Bush

Kate Bush

Women In Music for January 2, 2018

On this week’s show we’ll hear emerging singer/songwriter out of Portland, OR, Johanna Warren with her latest release NuMun, and Bay Area singer/songwriter Alison May…

Alison May

Alison May

Celtic music from the Irish band by Roisin O…

Roisin O

Roisin O

dreamy pop from Longbeard, featuring vocalist Leslie Bear… then we’ll finish the hour with the Afro-Pop of Anglique Kidjo from Benin, Africa now living in Paris with her cover of James Brown’s “Cold Sweat”.

Angelique Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo

That’s all coming up on the next Women In Music.