Take-off: American All-Girl Bands During WWII

Take-off: American All-Girl Bands During WWII

by Tonya Bolden
     
 

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The 1940's was a time when society thought it improper for women to make a sax wail or let loose hot licks on skins, but with the advent of World War II and many men away fighting the war, women finally got their chance to strut their stuff on the bandstand. These all-girl bands kept morale high on the homefront and on USO tours of miltary bases across the globe while

Overview

The 1940's was a time when society thought it improper for women to make a sax wail or let loose hot licks on skins, but with the advent of World War II and many men away fighting the war, women finally got their chance to strut their stuff on the bandstand. These all-girl bands kept morale high on the homefront and on USO tours of miltary bases across the globe while also helping to establish America's legacy in jazz music.

"Take-off?" Oh, yeah. Several all-girl bands did.

This book includes a hip swing CD.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5-8
History and music are combined in this account of all-women bands during World War II. Information about jazz and swing underlies Bolden's focus on the significance of female musicians who filled the void created by the war. They had to prove themselves in general and overcome ideas about what kind of music was appropriate for women to perform. Racism also impacted the ability of a number of the bands to tour the country. Bolden provides a wealth of material in this brief selection, and does so in a lively prose style and with frequent use of jazz vernacular. Photo captions and boxed inserts add interesting details. Endnotes; source lists of books, periodicals, and videos; a recommended reading list, and a discography are appended. This book would be most helpful for assignments on music or women's history.
—Renee SteinbergCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
In the argot of the times, Bolden offers a fascinating study of the girl bands of the Swing era during WWII. So these gals are chicks and fems, the orchestra is "ork" and "the average weekly salary about fifty bucks." She focuses on three: Ada Leonard's, the Prairie View State College Co-eds and the Sweethearts of Rhythm. She opens with a nifty page of quotes from musicians trying to define "swing"-"free speech in music," said Benny Goodman. She continues with stories, as much as possible in their own words, of women touring under wartime conditions, playing for USO shows and dressing in those fluffy gowns in train-station restrooms. The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, a black band, even had some white members who wore darker makeup and endured the Jim Crow conditions of their bandmates. After the war, big bands fell out of fashion and very few of the gals were interviewed or recorded, but "chicks with a pen and a lens" began tracking their histories in the late 20th century. Fascinating stuff. (glossary (not seen), notes, sources, recommended reading and listening, index (not seen), CD) (Nonfiction. 10-15)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307491633
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/19/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
80
File size:
8 MB
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Tonya Bolden is the author of several books for young readers including Rock of Ages, The Champ, Cause: Reconstruction America, 1863-1877, and Maritcha, an ALA Notable Book, and Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She lives in New York City


From the Hardcover edition.

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