50 female rockers in Rock And Roll Woman by Meredith Ochs
50 Female Rockers: Rock And Roll Woman by Meredith Ochs. Published by Sterling.

In her new book, radio personality Meredith Ochs takes a look at 50 female rockers who indelibly shook up the music scene. Profiling women from the 1950s to today, Ochs tells the stories behind their journeys to success, their music, and their enduring impact. “Rock-and-Roll Woman: The 50 Fiercest Female Rockers” includes more than 100 photographs of idols such as Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Patti Smith.

Fifty Female Rockers

Rock ’n’ roll is built of fierce women. Blues, jazz, R&B, and country artists who laid its groundwork. Girl groups who projected a flashy, united front. Counterculture singers who protested the establishment. Punk rockers who democratized music-making. Riot grrrls who politicized it. And so many more. They all subverted stereotypes and challenged expectations, whether they set out to or not. Their rebellion is empowering and exponential.

Every woman on the pages that follow made an original, influential, and indelible mark on music and culture. Some are famous and sold millions of albums. Others are less well-known, their impact much like what’s often said of the Velvet Underground

So how does one choose the 50 fiercest? If I covered all the consequential female musicians I wanted to include, I’d still be writing this book, and you wouldn’t be holding it.

Rock And Roll Woman: female rocker Patti Smith
Rock And Roll Woman: Patti Smith
Rock And Roll Woman: female rocker Cyndi Lauper
Rock And Roll Woman: Cyndi Lauper

Inspirational Stories, Timeless Art

Every woman on the pages that follow made an original, influential, and indelible mark on music and culture. Some are famous and sold millions of albums. Others are less well-known, their impact much like what’s often said of the Velvet Underground: Only a few bought their records, but everyone who did started a band. Each of these women steadfastly carved out a place for herself as an artist. They made it look easy, but, as you’ll soon read, it wasn’t. Some battled those who told them it couldn’t be done. Others fought addiction and abuse. The challenges each faced are inexorably linked with her achievements. Their stories are inspirational, and their art is timeless.

As it was impossible to condense these women’s lives and careers into single chapters, I aimed instead to tell you some stories you may not have heard and introduce you to some artists you might not have met. I sought to celebrate the accomplishments of these extraordinary musicians and find the connective threads between them—the common experiences they share as women in music and the effect they’ve had on one another.

Rock-and-Roll Woman is written in the spirit of exploration. It’s arranged chronologically but can be read randomly.

To expand on that, in each chapter you’ll see other artists named who either influenced or were influenced by the “fierce 50.” I wasn’t able to devote more space to them in this book, but they still deserve a place in the canon. You’ll also find a selection of “Deep Cuts”—suggested listening beyond the hits you already know (though for the more obscure artists, even their hits qualify).

Rock-and-Roll Woman is written in the spirit of exploration. It’s arranged chronologically but can be read randomly; it will still make sense if you open up to any particular musician and see where that takes you. I hope you enjoy spending time with these phenomenal women as much as I did.

Sterling
ISBN: 978-1-4549-3062-4 │ Hardcover │ 224 pages │ $27.95
Publication Date: October 23, 2018


About the author: Meredith Ochs is an award-winning radio personality, author, musician, photographer, and deejay. She was the host of the acclaimed Sirius XM talk show Freewheelin’, and a contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered. She was the first female editor at Guitar World magazine. Ochs is the author of The Bruce Springsteen Vault and a contributor to the upcoming Woman Walk the Line, about female country stars. She lives in Hoboken, NJ.

Rock And Roll Woman: female rocker Suzi Quatro
Rock And Roll Woman: Suzi Quatro
Rock And Roll Woman: female rocker 
 Amy Winehouse
Rock And Roll Woman: Amy Winehouse