Women in Jamaican Music


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About the Book

As the ubiquitous Jamaican musician Bob Marley once famously sang, “half the story has never been told.” This rings particularly true for the little-known women in Jamaican music who comprise significantly less than half of the Caribbean nation’s musical landscape. This book covers the female contribution to Jamaican music and its subgenres through dozens of interviews with vocalists, instrumentalists, bandleaders, producers, deejays and supporters of the arts. Relegated to marginalized spaces, these pioneering women fought for their claim to the spotlight amid oppressive conditions to help create and shape Jamaica’s musical heritage.

About the Author(s)

Heather Augustyn is a continuing lecturer in the English department at Purdue Northwest. She has written seven books on ska and Jamaican music and lives in Northwest Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Heather Augustyn
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8095-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3959-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
One: Women in Jamaican Folk Traditions 3
Two: Orchestra and Band Leaders and Instrumentalists 10
Three: Mento and Calypso 34
Four: Jazz 43
Five: Ska 56
Six: Blue Beat 75
Seven: Rocksteady 88
Eight: Reggae 98
Nine: Dancehall 131
Ten: Dance 137
Eleven: Champions 147
Twelve: Studio 162
Thirteen: Mothers and Wives 170
Fourteen: Female Representation in Song Lyrics 191
Chapter Notes 203
Bibliography 209
Index 211

Book Reviews & Awards

“Augustyn looks at the myriad contributions of several generations of women in Jamaican popular music styles…The volume is exhaustively researched, and direct quotes provide firsthand accounts of the impact of these historically undervalued musicians. Augustyn did the foundational research necessary to bring this overlooked output into the canon….recommended”—Choice