Back when I worked at Amoeba Music, I wrote posts about all-female bands from the 1910s-1950s, all-female bands of the 1960s, and all-female bands of the 1970s. This year, for Women’s History Month, I had what I thought was the bright idea to combine them into one piece and update them. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Many people found suddenly themselves in possession of a surplus of free time. Others, myself included, have been beaten and battered by our jobs and — although I count myself lucky not to have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2, it has meant that I did not have time to complete this commemoration and celebration of the overlooked contributions of all-female bands. If I’m completely honest — I may also have underestimated just how many all-female bands there have been. I knew that the number grew in the 1980s — which is why I stopped at the 1970s before.
Anyway, here then is the directory, presented “in progress.” One of the nice things about writing online is that the writer can make changes, corrections, and additions that print publishers can not. Apologies to the many all-female bands currently left of or listed without details. Please bear with me as I update it as time permits.
One note before I continue. By “all-female bands,” I’m referring to bands comprised — at least at one point of their career — entirely of female musicians. This is different than “girl groups” which generally refers to musical assemblages of female singers backed by male musicians and singing, almost always, songs composed for them by men. I’m a fan of both all-female bands and girl groups, however, and both are included — alongside female composers, female solo performers, and female-fronted bands on this playlist to which you may wish to listen whilst consulting this directory.
As always, I encourage you to leave corrections and additions in the comment section. Happy Women’s History Month!
A BANDA DA LOBA
A LOVELY DAY FOR BLOODSHED
ABANDON YOUR TUTU
THE ABBIE HOFFMAN SOCIETY
ABIERTAS HASTA EL AMANECER
THE ACE OF CUPS
The Ace of Cups were formed in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Mary Gannon (bass), Marla Hunt (organ, piano), Denise Kaufman (guitar, harmonica), Mary Ellen Simpson (lead guitar), and Diane Vitalich (drums). All had played music for some time and Kaufman had previously-fronted the all-female Denise and Company. After several line-up changes, including the addition of male members, the band broke up in 1972.
Act IV were a Long Island band comprised of Missy Wolcott (keyboards/bass, Peg Porter (guitar/bass), Sandy Klee-Phillips (drums), and Fran DiCicco (keyboards/bass) where were inspired to form a band in 1966 after witnessing a concert by Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs. They later (after a line-up shuffle) became the second version of a pre-existing all-female band, The Enchanted Forest.
No information available!
ADRIAN AND THE SICKNESS
A-FATI (AKA AMOR FATI)
THE AFTER LASHES
AISHA AND THE ASTRONAUTS
THE AKABANE VULGARS ON STRONG BYPASS
THE ALBANY PIANO TRIO
ALICE AND THE LOVERS
ALICE IN DIXIELAND
THE ALL GIRL BAND
THE ALL-GIRL BOYS
THE ALL-GIRL BOYS CHOIR
ALL GIRL SUMMER FUN BAND
THE ALL GIRL TOPLESS GROUP
The All Girl Topless Band formed in 1967 and accompanied comedian Godfrey Cambridge at the Aladdin Hotel. They were said to be talented musicians but with the members’ names not appearing anywhere I can find, the fact that they played top-free was presumably the primary draw.
ALL GIRLS ARSON CLUB
ALL OUR EXES LIVE IN TEXAS
ALY & AJ
LES AMAZONES DE GUINEÉ
AMBER E LE GATTE
LAS AMIGAS DE NADIE
AMY AND THE ANGELS
AMY KLEIN AND THE BLUE STAR BAND
ANATOMY OF HER
AND THE KIDS
ANDRÉS LAST CHANGE
ANDROIDS OF MU
ANGEL OF DANGER
ANGEL & THE SAVAGE GIRL
ANGEL’IN HEAVY SYRUP
Goteborg, Sweden’s The Angeliques was formed in 1965 by Linda Nowitt on guitar and vocals, Irene Svensson on bass, and Titti Thysell and keyboard and vocals. They released two singles in 1968, “Jag Ska Mala Hela VÃ¤rlden Lilla Mamma” b/w “Tre Sma Flickor” and “Sunshine Boy” b/w “You’re Easy To Love.” They disbanded in 1971. Nowitt and Thysell both moved to Malta, and then to Spain, and then Geneve. Nowitt later moved to the US.
THE ANGRY DRAGONS
THE ANGRY DAISIES
THE ANNA THOMPSONS
ANOTHER PERFECT CRIME
ANTI SCRUNTI FACTION
AOA BLACKAPEL BAND
APPLESTHE APPLESAPPLE BETTY
THE APPLICATORSTHE APRONS
ARBOGA TEENAGE RIOT
Ariel was formed in 1967 by Anne Bowen, Pamela Brandt, Helen Hooke, Gretchen Pfeifer and Beverly Rodgers in Northampton, Massachusetts. They disbanded in 1970 and Brandt, Bowen and Hooke went on to re-form in 1974 as The Deadly Nightshade.
ARMY OF SKANKS
ART SCHOOL JOCKS
ASHLEIGH FLNN & THE RIVETERS
THE ASKEW SISTERS
ATAQUE DE PÁNICO
ATTACK OF THE 50FT WOMAN
Die Ätztussis were an anarcho-punk band from the Kreuzberg section of West Berlin, active at least as early as 1979 when they played the Antifaschistischen Festival. The members were Cordula (vocals), Kiki (bass), Menusch (guitar), and Petra (drums).
AU REVOIR SIMONE
Cynthia Ross, Lucasta Rochas, Marcy Saddy, and Rhonda Ross formed ‘B’ Girls in Toronto in 1977. Although they recorded a handful of demos, they only released one single, “Fun At The Beach,” on BOMP! in 1979. Roaches was replaced by Xenia Holiday before they broke up in 1981 or ’82. A collection of their recordings were released as Who Says Girls Can’t Rock in 1997.
BAA RAM EWE
BABE EGAN AND HER HOLLYWOOD RED HEADS
Babe Egan was born in 1897. She was a talented violinist and formed Babe Egan and her Hollywood Red Heads in 1924. They disbanded in 1933. Egan died in 1966.
BABES IN TOYLAND
THE BABY DOLLZ
BABY IN VAIN
THE BABY SEALS
THE BACK BAND
BACK BY MIDNITE
BACK STAGE PASSBACKFLIPANNIE
BACTERIA RIDDEN SISTER
BAD COP BAD COP
BAD HAIR DAY
THE BAD IDEAS
BAD TUNA EXPERIENCE
BAM!BAM!THE BAM BAMS
LE BAMINE CATTIVE
BAMBOLE DI PEZZA
A BANDA DA LOBATHE BANDETTES
The Bangles formed as The Colours in Los Angeles in 1981. The original members were Susanna Hoffs (vocals, guitar), Vicki Peterson (guitar, vocals), Debbi Peterson (drums, vocals), and Annette Zilinskas (bass). After learning of another band called The Bangs, they changed their name to The Bangles. During their commercial heyday, they had hits with “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian” (both 1986), “Hazy Shade of Winter” (1987), “In Your Room” (1989), and “Eternal Flame” (1989). They disbanded in 1989 but re-formed in 1998 and remain active today.
BARBED WIRE DOLLS
THE BARBIE ARMY
BARBIE KILLED KEN
BARBEE KILLED KENN
THE BAREKNUCKLE BETTIES
THE BB GUNS
The Beat-Chics were a short-lived attempt to cash in on the success of The Beatles. They released one single for Decca in November 1964, a cover of Bill Haley & His Comets‘ “Skinny Minnie” b/w “Now I Know,” the B-side apparently a composition of lead singer Maire “Moy” Page.
THE BEAT GIRSL
BEAT UP BETTY
Les Beatlettes were formed in 1964 in Montreal and comprised of Denise Payette (singer), Claudette Faubert (lead guitar), Claire Fugere (guitar), Helene Duguay (bass guitar) and Mimi Jourdan (drums). They released a cover of Les Classels‘ “Ton amour a changé ma vie.” They broke up after Faubert and Jourdain died in a car accident.
BEAUTY & THE BEATS
BeBe K’Roche were formed in Berkeley by Jake Lampert, Pamela “Tiik” Pollet, Peggy Mitchell, and Virginia Rubino in 1973. They released one single, “Hoodoo’d,” and an eponymous LP in 1976 on Los Angeles’s Olivia Records.
BEEN THERE DONE THAT
Beethoven’s 5th formed in 1966 in South Florida. The members of the band were Gloria, Marla, Polly, Rocky, and Lesley Kluchin (second from left), who supplied me with this image.
BEFORE I SLEEP
THE BE GOOD TANYAS
BEHIND YOU WITH KNIVES
BELE BELE RHYTHM COLLECTIVE
THE BELLA BOMBS
BELLA & THE BOTTOM FEEDERS
THE BELLADONNAS & THE TEMPS
The Belles were from Miami, Florida. The members included May Perez (guitar), Debbie Teaver (rhythm guitar), Marina Perez (bass), and Pam Kent (drums). In 1966 they recorded cover versions of “Sleep Walk” and “La Bamba.” Their second single, “Melvin,” was a gender-swap cover of Them‘s Gloria.
LES BELLES MUSETTES
BELLE OF THE BALL
THE BELLE STARS
LES BELLES DU SWING
THE BERKELEY SISTERS
No information available!
BERKELEY WOMEN’S MUSIC COLLECTIVE
Berkeley Women’s Music Collective were comprised of Debbie Lempke, Jake Lampert, Nancy Henderson, Nancy Vogl, and Susann Shanbaum. Lampert later went on to play in the all-female BeBe K’Roche. Henderson left the band to become a physical education instructor before they recorded Berkeley Women’s Music Collective (1976) and Tryin’ To Survive (1978).
THE BERYL BOOKER TRIO
BEST FRIENDS FOREVER [MINNEAPOLIS]
BEST FRIENDS FOREVER [NEW YORK CITY]
BETTIE AFTER MIDNIGHT
BETTY AND THE WEREWOLVES
BEWITCHED BY THE MOON
BEYOND THE DAWN
BIG BAD GINA
BIG DYKE ENERGY
BIG JOANIEBIG LIPS
THE BIG MOON
BIG RED BALL
BIG SKY MOUNTAIN
BIGMAMA SHOCKIN’ 3
Bikini Kill formed in Olympia, Washington in October 1990. The original line-up consisted of Kathleen Hanna (vocals), Billy Karren (guitar), Kathi Wilcox (bass), and Tobi Vail (drums). They were pioneers in the riot grrrl movement and released their debut cassette, Revolution Girl Style Now!, in 1991. They released two-full length albums, Pussy Whipped (1993) and Reject All American (1996) before disbanding in 1997. Vail played in several bands before, during, and after her stint with Bikini Kill, including Spider and the Webs, The Old Haunts, The Go Team, Some Velvet Sidewalk, and The Frumpies. Kathi Wilcox recorded an album with The Casual Dots. Billy Karren played in Ghost Mom. Kathleen Hanna recorded with Julie Ruin (originally a solo project) and Le Tigre. Bikini Kill reunited for tours in 2019 and 2020 with Erica Dawn Lyle replacing Billy Karren and thus making Bikini Kill an all-female band.
LA BILIS NEGRA
Bitch were from the Chicago area and were comprised of Donna Agresti (drums), Donna Kirkendall (bass), Gerre Edinger (guitar), Lorrie Kountz (guitar), and Nancy Davis (vocals). They were active from the late 1970s until at least 1981.
BITCH AND ANIMAL
BITCHY HEART KILLERS
THE BITTERSWEETS/THE BITTER SWEETS
The Bittersweets hailed from Cleveland, Ohio and were comprised of Judi Rodgers (vocals/guitar), Louie Dula (drums), Marilyn Rodgers Green (keyboards), Penny Cash (bass), and Rosi Hollo (guitar). Their debut, “The Hurtin’ Kind” b/w “Summertime,” was released on Tema in 1965. The same year they released “What a Lonely Way to Start the Summertime” b/w “Mark My Words” (as The Bitter Sweets) on Cameo.
THE BLACK BELLES
THE BLACK CATS/THE WOOPS
In 1965, Laila Larsson (vocals/bass), Lisbeth Regner (guitar), Mary-Ann Micha (guitar), and Agneta Engstrom (drums) formed The Black Cats in Malmo, Sweden. After re-naming themselves The Woops, they cut “Why” which was included on a various artists EP. After disbanding, Engstrom continued to make music.
BLACK GOLD BUFFALO
THE BLACK SHEEP
Another all-female band of note was led by Blanche Calloway, the older sister of Cab Calloway. In 1921 she’d become the first woman to lead any band, the otherwise-all-male Joy Boys. As a bandleader who was both black and female in the early 20th century, she battled both racism and sexism. That band broke up in 1938 and she formed an all-female band in 1940 which, somewhat shockingly, I can’t find the name of anywhere. She retired in 1944. In the 1950s she managed a nightclub in DC. In the 1960s, she worked as DJ in Miami, Florida. She died in 1978 from breast cancer.
BLARE BITCH PROJECT
BLEEDING ON WEDNESDAY
BLOODY MARY [Austria]
BLOODY MARY [Brazil]
BLOODY MARY [USA]
BLOW UP BETTY
The Blowdriers were an all-female punk band from the San Francisco Bay area who recorded the song, “Berkeley Farms” which was included on the 1993 compilation Killed By Death #13.
Blowfies formed near Holstebro, Denmark in 1967. The members were Jyette Enghol, Lillian, and Lizzy (family names unkown).
THE BLUE MINKIES
THE BLUE UP?
THE BLUE VIOLETS
THE BLUNT STITCHES
THE BLUSH FOUNDATION
BODHRANS AND BINLIDS
Two-Tone ska group The Bodysnatchers formed in London in 1979 and were comprised of Miranda Joyce (alto saxophone), Nicky Summers (bass), Penny Leyton (keyboards), Rhoda Dakar (vocals), Sarah-Jane Owen (lead guitar), and Stella Barker (rhythm guitar). In 1980 they released “Let’s Do Rock Steady.”
THE BOMBSHELLS [1960s]
The Bombshells formed in Houston, Texas. In 1966 they released “Treat Him Right,” which I think was a gender-shifting version of Roy Head‘s “Treat Her Right.”
THE BOMBSHELLS [2010s]
BONES OF A FEATHER
BONECAS DE TRAPO
THE BOOM BOOM CHICKS
THE BOOTY OLYMPICS
BORN TO HATE
THE BOSWELL SISTERS
BOUND & GAGGED
BOW TO EACH OTHER
BOWS & TIES
THE BOXCAR LILIES
BOYS IN STILETTOS
THE BOY SCOUTZ
BOYS ARE TOYS
BOYS OF THE HOLE
BRAIN’S ALL GONE
DIE BRAUT HAUT INS AUGE
BREAK IT UP
THE BREAK MAIDS
BREAK THE SENSES
BRIDE OF NO NO
BRIDIE JACKSON & THE ARBOUR
Debbie Trethaway (drums), Jane Boston (harmonica), Jen Green (rhythm guitar), Jude Winter (electric piano), Rose Yates (bass), Susy Taylor (vocals), and Tasha Fairbanks (saxophone) formed Devil’s Dykes in Brighton in 1977. The band changed their name to Bright Girls in 1980 and their song “Hidden From History” was included in the compilation Vaultage 80: A Vinyl Chapter (1980). They stopped performing in 1990.
BRISTOL WOMEN’S MUSIC COLLECTIVE
The Bristol Women’s Music Collective formed around 1978. They were the subject of the short documentary, In Our Own Time (1981), produced by Women in Moving Pictures (WIMPS).
THE BUDGET GIRLS
BULL DYKE SLUT MILITIA
JANE BUNNET AND MAQUEQUE
BUNNY FIVE COAT
BUNNIES ON STRIKE
BURN THE EMPIRE
THE BURNS SISTERS
The Butterflies were formed in 1965 in Roskilde, Denmark. The founding members were Kate Sievert on vocals and rhythm guitar, Gitte Christensen on lead guitar, Anne Thorboe on bass, and Karin Borre on drums. The drummer left and was replaced by Mette Jensen in 1966. In 1968 they released “Vores Skore Sommerhus” b/w “Kom-Kom.” They toured in Sweden, Norway, and the Faeroe Islands.
THE C U NEXT TUESDAYS
CALAMITY JANE [Netherlands]
CALAMITY JANE [USA/COUNTRY]
CALAMITY JANE [USA/ROCK]
CALICO THE BAND
CALIFORNIA SUPER STAR
CALL ME DOXY
CALL ME SPINSTER
THE CANDY BAND
CANDY PANIC ATTACK
CANSEI DE SER SEXY
Neue Deutsche Welle group Carambolage were formed in 1979 by Angie Olbrich, Britta Neander, Elfie-Esther Steitz, and Janett Lemmen. They released an eponymous album in 1980 and Eilzustellung-Exprès in 1982.
CARE BEARS ON FIRE
CARNIVAL PROZAC DREAMS
THE CARTER SISTERS
CAST IRON FAIRIES
The Castrators were an all-female punk band with Angela Risner, Tessa Pollit (guitar) — who went on to join The Slits as bassist — and Budgie, who apparently was NOT the Budgie of The Slits. They were profiled by News of The World in 1977 for a piece on female punks.
THE CASUAL DOTS
CAT BEAR TREE
THE CATHOLIC GIRLS
THE CAVE GIRLS
THE CAVE WOMEN
CEBE BARNES BAND
No information available!
CHARLOTTE MATOU UM CARA
CHEEKY (Long Island)
Cheetas formed in Copenhagen in 1964 — a trio of Kiri Henning (drums), Marianne Wrona (guitar), Marianne Hall Frederiksen (later Christensen) (guitar) 1965. They later added Anette Kjeldsen on bass. In 1965 the performed with The Kinks and Peter Belli & Les Rivals. Cheetas disbanded in 1966. Wrona went on to perform in the all-female bands Girls Group and The Crazy Women and passed away in 1979. Hall went on to play with Queens, The Ladybirds, Girls Group, Søsterrock, Amazonerne, Band Yt, Kræm og Krümmel, and Mariannes Partyband.
CHELSEA ON FIRE
CHERISH THE LADIES
CHERRY & THE LADIES
THE CHERRY BOMBERS
CHICAS DEL SOL
LAS CHIC’S/LAS CHICK’S
In 1967 Mexico‘s Las Chic’s they released “La Muneca Dice No” (a Spanish-language cover of Michel Polnareff‘s “La Poupée qui fait non”). Their producer, Carmen Circi, was female too.
THE CHICAGO WOMEN’S LIBERATION ROCK BAND
The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band teamed with The New Haven Woman’s Liberation Rock Band and released Mountain Moving Day on Rounder in 1972. Their side included the songs “Secretary,”“Ain’t Gonna Marry,”“Papa (Don’t Lay That Shit on Me),” and “Mountain Moving Day.”
LAS CHICAS DEL CAN
LAS CHICAS FUGITIVAS
CHICAS DEL ROCK
LAS CHICAS DEL TANGO
The Chicks were an Irish band active from 1997-1999. Their members were Annie Tierney (guitar), Isabel Reyes-Feeney (vocals and bass), and Lucy Clarke (drums).
CHICKS ON SPEED
CHICKS THROWING BRICKS
CHILDREN OF KELLOGG
THE CHILDREN OF SUNSHINE
The Chips were a Chicago band whose different line-ups included Darn Pasterik, Sheri Hartman, Aleat Maciejewski, Klayre Hartmann, Charlotte O’Neill, and Donna Smolak. Their first single, “Break It Gently” b/w “Mixed-Up, Shook-Up Girl,” was released on Philips in 1968. Their follow-up, “When You Hold Me Baby” b/w “Dream With Your Eyes Wide Open,” was recorded for ABC Records and written by Sheri Hartman. O’Neill and Smolak still perform in a band called Straight Ethyl (with Judy Selman of the all-female band, The Same)
CHIQUITA Y CHATARRA
CHIRI TO CHIRI SISTERS
CHOKING ON BLEACH
THE CHOO CHOO TRAINS
CHOOSEY MOJO BEES
The Cimmats formed in Lahti, Finland in 1963. In 1964 they performed on that country’s Me Nuoret. The band was comprised of Ulla Laakkonen (guitar), Aila Toikkanen (guitar), Onerva “One” Niemelainen (bass), Arja Salminen (drums) and several singers including Leena Huovila, Ulla Juutilainen, and finally Pipsa Poykko. They disbanded in 1967.
CITY OF CARS
Clapperclaw were a London-based theatrical group comprised of Caroline John, Rae Levy, Rix Pyke, and one other member. They were active from around 1978 who performed feminist, socialist satirical music hall on instruments ranging from accordion, banjo, clarinet, guitar, mandolin, pianos, recorders, spoons, triangle, and whistles.
CLARA DE VRIES AND HER JAZZLADIES
In 1935 in the Netherlands, tenor saxophonist Clara de Vries formed Clara de Vries and Her Jazzladies. In the early 1930s, de Vries had been a member of Leo Selinsky‘s Blue Jazz Ladies.
CLEA AND MCLEOD
THE CLINGER SISTERS
The Clinger Sisters (later The Clingers) were Debra Clinger, Jeanette Clinger, Leesa Clinger, Melody Clinger, Patsy Clinger, and Peggy Clinger. They first performed together when the sisters were in grade school and performed on Andy Williams‘s television show before becoming regular guests on Danny Kaye‘s show, the Smothers Brothers Show, the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour, and many other television programs.
In 1969 they teamed up with Kim Fowley and Michael Lloyd and released a version of The Easybeats‘ “Gonna Have a Good Time.” Peggy Clinger eventually became a songwriter, Debra became an actress, Leesa pursued a solo career. In the 1990s, those three Clingers reunited and they perform songs with Mormon themes. In 2013 they were the subjects of a documentary titled The Clinger Sisters: The First Girls of Rock & Roll.
Clito were an Italian punk band formed around 1978 in Milan. They were comprised of Elettra Sax (saxophone), Klara Lux (drums), Norma Loid (guitar), Olivia Gintonic (bass), and Ruby Scass (vocals). Their songs “Giangol” and “Se La Vita E’ Faticosa” were later included on the compilation Italian Records called The Singles 7” Collection (1980-1984) (2013).
THE CLOCKWORK DOLLS
COACH SAID NOT TO
COCKPIT [Los Angeles]
COCKPIT [San Francisco]
COLD COLD HEARTS
COLETTE & THE BANDITS
THE COLOR GUARD
COLOUR ME KACEY
COLOUR ME WEDNESDAY
COMING UP ROSES
LAS CONCHAS SIN MAR
CONQUER THE MARTIANS
THE CONTINENTAL CO-ETS
The Continental Co-ets formed in Fulda, Minnesota in 1963 and were comprised of Nancy Hofmann (bass), Mary Jo Hofmann, Vicki Steinman (drums), Carol Goins (guitar), and Carolyn Behr (guitar). They released only one single on IGL in 1965, “I Don’t Love You No More,” b/w “Melody of Junk”; (the A-side was written by Goins and the B-side was a group effort) followed by “Let’s Live for the Present” (Goins again) b/w “Ebb Tide” which was released by Get Hip Recordings in 1994! They gained a bit of a following in Canada and the Upper Midwest before disbanding in 1967.
THE COON CREEK GIRLS
All-female bands weren’t limited to the jazz genre. The Girls of the Golden West, comprised of just two members (one on guitar) aren’t what most people think of as a “band” but are worth mentioning as pioneers in the Western genre. In 1937, Lily May Ledford, Rosie Ledford, Esther Koehler, Evelyn Lange, and Minnie Ledford formed the all-female, hillbilly string band, The Coon Creek Girls in Cincinnati, Ohio.
THE CONRSHED SISTERS
THE CORN SISTERS
THE COTARD DELUSION
THE COUNT BACKWARDS
COURAGE MY LOVE
COURT YARD HOUNDS
THE COUNTRY SISTERS
THEE COZMIK ELEKTRAS
CRAZY ROCKET FUEL
THE CRAZY WOMEN (aka THE SUNNY GIRLS aka THE FUNNY GIRLS)
The Crazy Women formed in Viby, Denmark in 1967 as The Sunny Girls, but changed their name to The Crazy Women when they became aware of the pre-existing Danish band with the same name. Guitarist Marianne Wrona had previously played in the all-female Cheetas and Girls Group. The other members were Judith Østergaard Andersen (guitar), Inge Lice “Nice” Glymov (bass), and Susanne Wergeland (drums). Their repertoire included “Carrie Ann,” “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Hey Joe,” “I’m a Believer,” “Little Bit of Soul,” and “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling,” all of which they recorded.
Upon discovering that Wrona was suffering from real mental health issues, the crew again changed their name, this time to The Funny Girls. Wrona was soon replaced by Lissi Dam Ottosen and then, in 1969, Gitte Svensson. As a trio of Ostergaard, Glymov, Werge, the Funny Girls continued until 1970, after with Glymov and Ostergaard toured with Michael Julin‘s Maniacs.
CRAZY XXX GIRLFRIEND
LAS CRÈME BRÛLÉE
CRYING BLUE SKY
CYNTHIA SAYER’S WOMEN OF THE WORLD JAZZ BAND
CUCKOO’S NEST WOMEN’S CEILIDH BAND
LAS CUERO NEGRO
CUNTS WITH ATTITUDE
The Curse were formed in Toronto in 1977. The band was comprised of Dr. Bourque (bass, backing vocals), Mickey Skin (vocals), Patzy Poizon (drums, backing vocals), and Trixie Danger (guitar, backing vocals). They released the single “Shoeshine Boy” b/w “The Killer Bees” in 1978.
THE CURSE [1990s]
THE CURSE [2010s]
THE CUT OUTS
CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
CYPHER IN THE SNOW
DADA STUNT GIRL
THE DAGENHAM GIRL PIPERS
DAHN ‘N’ AHT
LAS DAMAS DE HIERRO
THE DAMES [Australia]
THE DAMES [USA]
DAMAS DO ROQUE
DANA IMMANUEL & THE STOLEN BAND
THE DANDY GIRLS
The Dandy Girls formed in Hønefoss, Norway in 1964. The founding members were Inger Thragerthon (vocals/lead guitar/clarinet/saxophone), Marit Hurum (rhythm guitar/vocals/saxophone), Anne Skotland (vocals/bass/flute), and Torill Bakken (drums/vocals). Tragethon departed in 1967 and was replaced by Rosemarie Eggli and Gaby Tauber (vocals/tambourine/trombone/keyboards). They released two singles in 1966, “To You” b/w “Anne Scott” and “Heitan Og Hatan” b/w “Rim-Timme-Tim” and the same year appeared in a film, Broder Gabrielsen. After touring in countries such as Germany, Iran, Italy, and Switzerland (as well as Norway), the Dandy Girls called it a day in 1969.
Dara Puspita formed in Surabaya, Indonesia in 1964. The band consisted of Titiek Adji Rachman (lead guitar), Susy Nander (drums), Lies Adji Rachman (rhythm guitar), and Titiek Hamzah (bass). The band faced hostility from the oppressive Sukarno regime, which viewed rock music as an unwanted Western influence on Indonesia, and they responded by relocating to Thailand. After the collapse of the Sukarno regime, Dara Puspita released Jang Pertama in 1966. Three more LPs followed before they disbanded in 1972.
DARK EYED DREAMERS
THE DARK SHADOWS
DARLINGS OF RHYTHM
THE DARLING SAXOPHONE FOUR AKA THE FOUR HARMONY MAIDS
The Darling Saxophone Four (also spelled Darling Saxaphone Four) were an all-female saxophone quartet managed by Eva Darling. Like the Schuster Sisters, they played and endorsed Conn horns. A 1920 advertisement for C.G. Conn Ltd showed both Arthur Pryor and the foursome and called the latter, “A quartet of talented and charming young ladies who appear in high-class vaudeville and concert with four of the latest Conn Ltd. Saxophones of which they are justly proud.” Supposedly they also performed as theFour Harmony Maids.
THE DAUGHTERS OF BLUEGRASS
THE DAUGHTERS OF EVE
The Daughters of Eve formed in Chicago in 1965, assembled and managed by Carl Bonafede who was also managing The Buckinghams. Judy Johnson (lead guitar, vocals), Marsha Tomal (organ, guitar, vocals), Andy Levin (bass) and a girl named Connie (drums) who was quickly replaced by Debi Pomeroy. Their first single was “Hey Lover” b/w “Stand By Me” in 1996 on U.S.A. Records. In 1967 they released “Symphony of My Soul” b/w “Help Me Boy” and “Don’t Waste My Time” b/w “He Cried,” the latter on Spectra Sound. Their final single, “Social Tragedy” b/w “A Thousand Stars” was released on Cadet in 1968.
DAUGHTERS OF TRITON
DAUGHTERS OF YAM
DAVIES VS. DRESCH
DEAD BY PREGNANCY
THE DEAD DEADS
DEAD GIRL’S CANDY
THE DEAD ZOO
THE DEADLY NIGHTSHADE
The Deadly Nightshade formed in Northampton in 1972 and were comprised of Anne Bowen (rhythm guitar), Helen Hooke (lead guitar, fiddle), and Pamela Robin Brandt (bass). They released two records, The Deadly Nightshade (1975) and F&W (1976).
DEADLY VIPER ASSASSINS
THE DEAR JANES
DEATH BY TAMPON
DEATH OF AUGUST
DEATH OF THE MAIDEN
THE DEBUTANTE HOUR
THE DEBUTANTES [1920s]
Violinist Harry Waiman also directed an all-female band in the 1920s, The Debutantes.
THE DEBUTANTES [1960s]
The Debutantes were formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1964 by then 14-year-old singer Jan McClellan who recruited Lynn Hawkins (rhythm guitar) and Diane Abray (drums) to join her. Although they went through numerous line-up changes, they remained all-female throughout their existence. They recorded McClellan’s composition, “A New Love Today” on Lucky Eleven in 1966. They appeared several times on CKLW-TV’s Swingin’ Time and toured extensively before breaking up in 1969 after a grueling four-month tour of Asia.
THE DELTA SISTERS
DEMENCIA PRE MENSTRUAL
DEMOLITION GIRL AND THE STRAWBERRY BOYS
DEPTFORD BEACH BABES
DESTROY WHITE BABY DOLLS
DESTRUYE Y HUYE
DEVILS IN THE SKY
DIGNIDAD Y RESISTENCIA
The Dinettes formed in San Diego as The Cockpits in 1978 who, after a couple of line-up changes, coalesced around Cindy Brisco (drums), Doriot Negrette (vocals), Irene Liberatore-Dolan (drums), Joyce Rooks (guitar, vocals), Lisa Aston Emerson (guitar), and Sue Ferguson (keyboards) as The Dinettes. They released “Poison” b/w “T.V.” in 1979.
THE DIRRTY SHOW
THE DIRTY BURDS
THE DIRTY FAIRIES
DIRTY GIRLS BAND
The Dishrags were a Vancouver-based punk band comprised of Dale Powers (bass), Jade Blade (née Jill Bain, guitars), Scout Fairlane (drums), and Sue MacGillivray. Powers had apparently been a member of The Miamis. In 1979 they released a single, “Past Is Past” b/w “Love Is Shit (It’s Goodbye)” and “Tormented” on short-lived Seattle-based label, Modern Records. A follow-up, “Death In The Family” and “Beware Of Dog” b/w “All The Pain Written” was apparently self-released (despite the RCA Victor logo) in 1980. Soon after, Powers, Fairlane, and Jade Blade went on to form Snow Geese with Phil Smith and Dishrags producer, Bill Napier-Hemy. Fairlane later played in Blanche Whitman. Jade Blade much later formed the duo Volumizer with Napier-Hemy. A compilation of The Dishrags’ recordings from 1978-1980 was compiled and released as Love/Hate by Other Peoples Music in 1997.
THE DITTY BOPS
THE DIVA JAZZ ORCHESTRA
DIVIDE AND DISSOLVE
THE DIVINE FLUXUS
DOGS DON’T LIKE TECHNO
DOLL SQUAD [Sweden]
DOLL SQUAD [USA – Georgia]
THE DOLLS [Poland]
THE DOLLS [USA, 2000s]
THE DOLLS [USA, 2010s]
DOLLSQUAD [USA – Washington]
Dolly Mixture were formed in 1978 by Debsey Wykes (bass, piano, vocals), Hester Smith (drums, vocals), and Rachel Bor (guitar, cello, vocals) in Cambridge. After releasing three singles in three years they released the limited edition Demonstration Tapes in 1983. Wykes and Smith went on to form Coming Up Roses and Bor performed with Fruit Machine. Wykes later performed with Saint Etienne and later, Birdie.
THE DOLLY SHAKES
DONE WITH DOLLS
DOREC A BELLE
DOROTHY & THE VAMPIRES
Dorothy & the Vampires were a five-piece rock band from Singapore whose members included Connie Fong (guitar), Rebecca Fong (guitar), Gladys Ang, Cynthia Fong (drums), and Dorothy Sin (vocals). They formed in 1964 under the leadership of mentor/songwriter Harry Martinez. Their first single was the moody “Han Yu Qu.” Their second single was an instrumental, performed without their vocalist, and thus credited simply to The Vampires. They stopped playing together around 1969.
DOUBLE FEATURE CREATURES
DOUBLE PUSSY CLIT FUCK
The Downpipers were from Kongens Lyngby, Denmark and formed in 1966. The members were Sys Ammentorp (guitar), Charlotte Bentsen (bass), Inge Eriksen (guitar), and Birgit Rasmussen (drums). Ammentorp and Bentsen later went on to play in Girls Group.
DRAWING DOWN THE MOON
DRINK ME PRETTY
EDNA CROUDSON’S RHYTHM GIRLS
Yorkshire, England‘s Edna Croudson‘s Rhythm Girls, an all-female sextet, existed at least as early as 1928. In 1929 their most famous member, Ivy Benson, joined after she was discovered by Henry Croudson, a cinema organist in a Leeds theater. She played with the Rhythm Girls until 1935 and subsequently went on to lead several all-female groups.
8 INCH BETSY
Electra were formed in Suffolk in 1979 by Celia Tordoff (congas) Gill Alexander (bass), Lizzie Scott (piano, bass, guitar, vocals), Lizzy Smith (guitar, lead vocals), Margi Stevenson (vocals, percussion), Nicolette Vine (vocals), and Rachel Perry (piano, bass, guitar). In 1986, Smith, Stevenson, Perry, and Paddy Tanton (vocals) formed The Lizzy Smith Band, which continued until 1993.
EMILY SWAY AND THE SHUFFLE SISTERS
No information available!
EMILY’S SASSY LIME
Emily’s Sassy Lime was the first all Asian-American rock band, comprised of Wendy and Amy Yao, and Emily Ryan. They formed in 1993 and in 1995 they released their album Desperate, Scared But Not Social and appeared in the video for The PeeChees‘ “Mad Doctor.” They broke up in 1997 after which the Yao sisters continued making music and Emily Ryan starred in the film, Scumrock. Fliers for their shows were featured in the Orange County Museum of Art‘s Alien She exhibition in 2015. In 2016, a fanzine “focused on writings and artwork by and about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” was launched, titled named Would Be Saboteurs Take Heed after one of Emily’s Sassy Lime’s songs.
Erase Errata formed in Oakland in 1999. They were comprised of Jenny Hoyston (vocals), Sara Jaffe (guitar), Ellie Erickson (bass), and Bianca Sparta (drums). They toured with Le Tigre and Melt Banana before releasing their debut, Other Animals (2001). It was followed by At Crystal Palace (2003). In 2004, Jaffe left the band and Hoyston switched to guitar. Archie McKay briefly assumed vocal duties before Hoyston resumed her role as singer whilst continuing to play guitar in the band which continued as a trio. They released Nightlife (2006) and Lost Weekend (2015).
ETTY LAU FARRELL
THE ENCHANTED FOREST
The Enchanted Forest formed around 1966 in New York. The group was comprised of Judy Hunter (keyboards), Carol Hunter (guitar/bass/vocals), Laurie Stanton (tambourine/vocals), Sanna Groseth (bass/vocals), and Sally Halbert (drums). They scored a contract with Amy and released “You’re Never Gonna Get My Lovin’” b/w a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” on in January, 1968. A review of one of their performances at Le Hibou in Ottawa mentions that their repertoire also drew from the Beatles and the Stones. Several of their songs were products of the partnership of Mort Schuman and Kenny Lynch, who replaced all of the original members for another version of the band after their stint in Canada. After disbanding Hunter went on to join Neil Diamond’s band.
The second line-up of Enchanted Forest consist of Missy Wolcott (keyboards/bass), Peg Porter (lead guitar/bass), Sandy Klee-Phillips (drums), and Fran DiCicco (keyboards/bass) – who’d previously played together in Act IV, another all-female New York (Long Island this time) band that had formed in 1966. Porter soon left the band and was replaced by Marilyn Pollack. In 1969 they released two singles on Variations – both with “The Word Is Love” as the A-side (The B-sides were “Cold Winds” and “I’m Not That Kind of Girl”). In 1970 they backed Tiny Tim for a tour that included a performance of The Ed Sullivan Show. They broke up the same year and Wolcott continued with another all-female band, The Maiden Voyage.
AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN THE AIR PUMP
FABIANA & PAULA CHÁVEZ
THE FAIR SECT
The Fair Sect were likely New Zealand‘s first all-female rock group, forming as they did in Auckland in 1965. The band members were Linda Williams (guitar/organ/vocals), Faye Reid (guitar/vocals), Val Tapene (bass/vocals), and Norma Stacey (drums/lead vocals). The released their debut single, “Kimberley” b/w “Never Again,” in 1966.
When Stacey moved to the front of the band, male member Ian MacIntosh was briefly brought on board and during his short stint with the band they were renamed The Fair Sect Plus One, who so-billed released “I Love How You Love Me” b/w “Mohair Sam.” In 1968 both Stacey and McIntosh left the band and were replaced by Gaylene Aro and Pat Rewai, respectively.
Rewai was replaced by Jenny Parkinson, who sang on 1968’s “High Flying Bird” b/w “Big Spender.” Parkinson was replaced by Mary Bradfield and in 1969 they released “Rattler” b/w “Bye, Bye Baby,” which had been recorded with Rewai on lead vocals a year earlier. They relocated to Australia in 1970. Williams left and was replaced by June Littin and Bradfield left and was replaced by Kaye Wolfgramm. This line-up, with Faye Reid as the only original member, lasted until 1972.
Wolfgramm next appeared singing in the band Cruise Lane. Gray resurfaced in Noazark. Littin co-authored Maria Dallas’s “Pinocchio,” a Kiwi chart-topper in 1970.
Pinay sisters June Millington and Jean Millington moved to Sacramento, California from Manila in 1961. In high school they formed, with Addie Lee (guitar) and Brie Brandt (drums) the all-female cover band The Svelts. Brandt was replaced by Alice de Buhr and they played one gig in Los Angeles in 1969 as Wild Honey before changing their name to Fanny. In 1970 they were joined by Nickey Barclay (vocals, keyboards) and the first line-up released the eponymous Fanny (1970), followed by Charity Ball (1971), and Fanny Hill (1972). In 1973, June Millington and Alice de Buhr were replaced by Patti Quatro (guitar, ex-The Pleasure Seekers) and Brie Brandt, who returned to the fold to play drums. After the release of Mother’s Pride (1973) and Rock and Roll Survivors (1974), Fanny disbanded in 1975 — by which time Cam Davis had taken over drums. Rhino compiled Fanny’s first four albums with live recordings, outtakes, and promotional material in the box set First Time in a Long Time.
After they disbanded, the Millington’s formed a new line-up of Fanny which quickly morphed into the LA All-Stars. June Millington moved into music production and later co-founded the Institute for the Musical Arts in Bodega, California. Jean later worked as an herbalist although she and June revived Fanny to release Play Like a Girl in 2011. Patti Quatro went on to work as a session musician, Brie Brandt (now Brie Howard-Darling) has worked as a session musician with many performers and in the 1980s formed American Girls.
The Fatimas were a California band who released “Sandstorm” b/w “The Hoochy Coo” on Original Sound in 1967.
Feebeez apparently cut one single, “Walk Away” b/w “Season Come,” on Albuquerque‘s Stange Records — owned by Edward Stange Jr., apparently his daughter was the band’s drummer.
THE FEMALE BEATLES
The Female Beatles seem to have formed in Long Island, New York around 1964 and were managed by the Jolly Joyce Agency. Their drummer had earlier been in a band with a pre-stardom Lou Reed. One of the members was apparently named Rosann del Prete.
FEMININE COMPLEX/THE PIVOTS
In 1966, at Maplewood High School in Nashville, Tennessee, Mindy Dalton (guitar, vocals), Judi Griffith (tambourine, vocals), Lana Napier (drums), and Jean Williams (bass) formed The Pivots – the nickname for the high school basketball team for which all of them played. In 1967 they added Pame Stephens (keyboards) and changed their name to The Feminine Complex. In 1968 they signed to Athena Records and recorded their debut, Livin’ Love. They broke up in 1969.
THE FEMININE TOUCH
The Feminine Touch were formed around 1965 in Winnipeg, Canada. Vocals were handled by Dalannah Gail. Shortly after forming they opened for The Monkees and on many more occasions, for a great Canadian band, The Guess Who. After disbanding, Gail went on to sing with The Colored Rain. Now known as Dalannah Gail Bowen, the singer continues to perform.
THE FEMINIST IMPROVISING GROUP
The Feminist Improvising Group (FIG) formed in 1977. Their ranks included Angèle Veltmeijer (flute, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone), Annemarie Roelofs (trombone, violin), Cathy Williams (keyboards), Corinne Liensol (trumpet), Françoise Dupety (alto saxophone, guitar), Frankie Armstrong (vocals), Georgie Born (cello, bass guitar), Irène Schweizer (piano, drums), Lindsay Cooper (bassoon, oboe, soprano saxophone), Maggie Nicols (vocals), and Sally Potter (vocals, alto saxophone). They released an eponymous album in 1979 before disbanding in 1982.
54 NUDE HONEYS
Les Filles formed in Odense, Denmark in 1964. The members were Jette Andersen (drums), Lisbeth Nielsen (bass), Margit Nelleman Andersen (guitar), and Kirsten Pedersen (guitar). After their disbandment, Margit Nelleman Andersen went on to perform in the Danish band, The Ladybirds.
The Flatbackers formed in the UK in 1978 and were Julie Usher (lead guitar, vocals), Lucy Dray (bass, vocals), and Lyn Monk (drums, percussion, backing vocals). They released three singles, “Pumping Iron,”“Buzzz Going Round,” and “Serenade Of Love” in 1980 and 1981. They disbanded in 1981.
DIE FLYING LESBIANS
Die Flying Lesbians were formed in Germany in 1974 and included Cäcilia Rentmeister (piano, synthesizer, harmonica, vocals), Christel Wachowski (guitar, percussion), Danielle de Baat (guitar, bass, vocals), Gigi (Christa) Lansch (percussion), and Monika Jaeckel (drums, percussion). They released a self-titled album in 1975.
The Fondettes were another attempted all-female Beatles cash-ins, albeit in this particular case, a trio of American high school girls who recorded one song, “The Beatles are in Town,” on a split single which they shared with Johnny Hartsman, which was rather curiously released by Arhoolie Records in 1964.
4 NON BLONDES
4 Non Blondes formed in San Francisco in 1989. The original line-up was Christa Hillhouse (bass), Shaunna Hall (guitar), Wanda Day (drums), and Linda Perry (vocals, guitar). Hall was replaced by Roger Rocha and Day was replaced by Dawn Richardson before the release of their only album, 1992’s Bigger, Better, Faster, More! They had a major hit with their second single, 1993’s “What’s Up?” It proved to be their only hit, with six subsequent singles failing to ignite. Perry left in 1994 to launch a career as a solo artist and songwriter, not long after which the remaining members disbanded.
THE **** LOVERS
THE 14TH ARMY WAC BAND
THE FREUDIAN SLIPS
The Freudian Slips formed in Palo Alto, California in 1965. The members — Wendy Haas, Gayle Hayden, Mimi Bluford, Lynda Walnum, and Teda Bracci (drums) — were all then students at Woodside High School. The played locally, especially at The Ark in Sausalito.
After disbanding in 1967, Bracci went on to join the Los Angeles cast of Hair. In 2007 she released an album, Teda Bracci. Haas went on to perform and record with Santana and Azteca, among others. Hayden joined the New York cast of Hair and more recently performed in Portland‘s Big Mama Gayle and Her Sugar Daddies.
Galaxy were a heavy psych/space rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida by Frenzi Fabbri (guitar), Miss Gunner Powell (drums), Pepper Leonardi (bass), and Space Mama Geiger (keyboards). They released Day Without the Sun in 1976.
Montreal‘s Les Gamines were comprised of Jo-Ann Barette-Lecouteur (drums), Danny Landriault (guitar), Lison Talbot (guitar), and Mychele Montreuil (vocals). They released one single, “Je reviendrai” b/w “Vis ta vie mon gars” on Sonore in 1968.
Girls were a Japanese five-piece comprised of Gill, Lena, Llia, Rita, and Sadie. They released the albums, Noraneko (野良猫) (1977), Punky Kiss (1977), and Girls (1978).
Girls Group were formed in Copenhagen in 1966 by Marianne Wrona (guitar), Hanne Mattson (guitar), and Pia Wrona (drums). In 1967 the Wrona sisters quit the group (Marianne next appeared in The Crazy Women) and were replaced by Sys Ammentorp and Charlotte Bentsen – both formerly of The Downpipers. They split up in 1968
Girlschool are a British Heavy Metal band which formed in 1978. Their roots go back to Wandsworth where in 1975 Dinah ‘Enid’ Williams (bass, vocals), Kim McAuliffe (rhythm guitar, vocals), and Tina Gayle (drums) formed Painted Lady. In 1978, McAuliffe, Williams, Denise Dufort (drums), and Kelly Johnson (lead guitar) changed their name to Girlschool and released their first single, “Take It All Away.” They still perform to this day, with McAuliffe, Williams, Dufort, and Jackie Chambers (lead guitar, backing vocals).
Gloria Gaye (born Marjorie Newman) led several all-female line-ups in her Gloria Gaye and her Glamour Girls Band, which at various points was also billed as Gloria Gaye and her All Ladies Orchestra, Gloria Gaye All Girls Band, and Sweet Music and Hot Rhythm. One member was Gracie Cole, who later played in Ivy Benson’s all-female band before forming her own.
Other bands were lead by women. Ada Leonard and Her All-American Girl Orchestra were the first all-female band signed by the USO. Joy “Queen of the Trumpet” Cayler‘s all-female Joy Cayler Orchestra formed in Denver, Colorado in 1940. Other female-led bands of the era included Sharon Rogers All-Girl Band, Frances Grey’s Queens of Swing, The Pollyanna Syncopators, Jean Parks and Her All-Girl Band, Nita King and Her Queens of Rhythm, Betty McGuire’s Sub-Debs, The Darlings of Rhythm, Rita Rio and Her All Girl-Orchestra, Viola Smith and the Coquettes, and The Marilyn Merle All-Girl Orchestra.
The Go-Go’s were formed in Los Angeles in 1978 by Belinda Carlisle (vocals), Elissa Bello (drums), Jane Wiedlin (guitar, vocals), and Margot Olavarria (bass). Although initially punk, they found fame as a pop band in the 1980s. Wiedlin released several solo albums, as did Carlisle and Gina Shock, who early on replaced drummer Bello.
GOLDIE & THE GINGERBREADS
Goldie & the Gingerbreads were formed in 1962 by Ginger Bianco, Margo Lewis, and Goldie Zelkowitz. After a 1962 tour with Chubby Checker, they added guitarist/singer Carol MacDonald. They were the first all-female band to sign to a major label, first to Decca in 1963 and then Atlantic in 1964. Their single, “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” reached #25 in the UK. The recorded seven other singles through 1967 before breaking up.
GRACIE COLE AND HER ORCHESTRA
Gracie Cole was born in County Durham but moved, when two-years-old, with the rest of her family to Yorkshire where her dad sought work in the mines. From her flugelhorn-playing father, she learned to play music and when she was fifteen she began appearing on Manchester radio, performing the cornet with Foden’s Motorworks’ and Fairey Aviation’s bands. A eighteen she joined the all-female Gloria Gaye’s Glamour Girls. She later joined Ivy Benson’s also all-female band, with whom she played for five years. In 1951 she married trombonist Bill Geldard. After a stint playing lead trumpet in an integrated band, The Squadronaires formed the all-female Gracie Cole and her Orchestra, which performed from 1952 until 1956. In the 1960s and ‘70s, she continued to lead bands before retiring. She passed away in 2006.
Montreal’s Les Guerrières formed in 1965 when Fugere, formerly of Les Beatlettes, joined Murielle Bougie, Diane Gouin (bass), Solange Dessailly (keyboards) and Monique Geoffrion (drums). They disbanded in 1966.
1/2 MAD POET
HAPPY COATS/TOKYO HAPPY COATS
Tokyo Happy Coats were comprised of sisters Eiko, Keiko, Shoko, Tomiko and Ruriko Hakomori, who between them played more than 26 instruments. They existed at least as early as 1964 when they may still’ve simply been known as The Happy Coats. They appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966. They released two LPs on King Records in the early 1970s.
The Hearby included Jill DeMarco and Kathy Penland. DeMarco later joined The Oxfords. In 1967 they released DeMarco’s “The Harm I Do (By Being Me)” b/w Penland’s “Make You Dream” on Union Jac.
THE HEARTBEATS/THE HEART BEATS
The Heartbeats (sometimes “The Heart Beats“) were an all-female band, formed in Lubbock, Texas in 1966. They were led by Linda Sanders (drummer/vocals) who was joined by younger sister Debbie Sanders (guitar), Debbie McMillan (bass), and Jeannie Foster (guitar/keyboards), who initially met one another in a music class when all were pre-teens. They were managed by the Sanders family’s matriarch, Jeanne Sanders. They gained attention in 1968 when they appeared on Happening Now and won a battle of the bands with their version of The Outsiders‘ “Time Won’t Let Me.” Their mother subsequently turned down an offer to sign with ABC Records because she wanted them to stay in school. They recorded a cover of Mouse & the Traps‘ “Crying Inside” at Robin Hood Brian’s Studio in Tyler, Texas which became their biggest hit. They played regionally until the 1980s.
HELEN LEWIS AND HER ALL-GIRL JAZZ SYNCOPATORS
Helen Lewis and Her All-Girl Jazz Syncopators formed sometime around 1923. Around 1925 they filmed and released a Phonofilm. I’m not sure when Helen Lewis lead the Harmony Queens (pictured above). Despite the significance of their pioneering status, there seems to be surprisingly little documentation of them, as well as many of their all-female peers.
THE HONEY BEATS/THE HONEYBEATS
The Honeybeats formed after Italian-born Marta Cion met a female folk trio in Munich and convinced them to form a four-piece with her. They found their lead singer, Daisy Winters, busking in Birmingham and released the German-language “Frag’ Nicht Soviel” b/w “Vergiss Es Nie” on Metronome in 1966. Winters was replaced with a Scottish singer, Norma Green, and released the Italian-language “Di Piu’, Di Piu’, Di Piu'” b/w “Fa Un Po Quello Che Vuoi” on Ricordi International in 1968.
When the American band called The Ladybirds (below) went on tour, San Francisco promoter Davey Rosenberg started another all-female topless band, The Hummingbirds, to fill the vacancy left by the band at Tipsy’s in North Beach. Both bands appeared, members uncredited by name, in The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield. Their membership included Angel Cecilia Walker, better known as Satan’s Angel, a famous dancer who played bass on covers of Beatles and Stones songs.
THE ID/THE HAIREM/SHE
Sacramento sisters Nancy and Sally Ross (later Sally Ross-Moore) formed The Id in 1964, with Nancy handling guitar and songwriting and younger sister Sall on organ and bass. In 1965 they added Karen Cochie on rhythm guitar, Piper Minas on guitar, and Kathy Pennison on drums. After a name change to The Hairem, the band recorded a set of what were apparently demos. In 1967, the Ross sisters were joined by a new line-up comprised of Kathy Rice on guitar, Ginny Revis on drums, and Karen Luther on keyboards and the new line-up was christened She. Revis was soon replaced by Gayle Lee and Rice by Janis Volkoff. Lee was replaced in 1969 by Reesha Scarborough. In 1970, She released their only single, “Boy Little Boy” b/w “Outta Reach” on Culver City‘s Kent Records. Luther left the band in 1970 and the Ross sisters, Volkoff, and Scarborough called it a day in 1971.
Although they only released one single during their career, in 1999 a nineteen-track compilation of songs by She and The Hairem was released by Big Beat Records, titled She Wants a Piece of You. Other compilations and appearances on compilations have followed.
THE INTRICATE BLEND
The Intricate Blend recorded one single, “Door Knob” b/w “Insane (The Jungle),” in 1969 at Norman Petty Studios but it was never released.
Les Intrigrantes hailed from Quebec and were comprised of Diane Gallichand (guitar), Carole Boutin (guitar), Claire Gallichand (bass), and Ginette Douville (drums). They released songs including “Le Seuil du Soleil,” “Sans Toi,” and “Goodbye Baby.” They were active from 1965 until 1968.
IRA RAY HUTTON AND HER MELODEARS
Ira Ray Hutton was born Odessa Cowen around 1916 in Illinois. She formed Ira Ray Hutton and Her Melodears in 1934. They recorded a few sides for Victor and Vocalion and appeared in the Paramount film, The Big Broadcast of 1936. In 1940, she broke up the band and formed an all-male one which she also led. In 1950, she formed another all-female band. She died in Ventura, California from complications resulting from diabetes in 1984.
Isis formed in New York City in 1973. Their ranks included Barbara Cobb (bass), Carol MacDonald (vocals, guitar), Ellen Seeling (trumpet), Edith Dankowitz (saxophone, flute, clarinet), Faith Fusillo (guitar), Ginger Bianco (drums, percussion), Jeanie Fineberg (saxophone, flute, piccolo), Lauren Draper (trumpet, vocals), Lolly Bienenfield (trombone, vocals), Lynx (saxophone, guitar), Margo Lewis (keyboards), Nydia “Liberty” Mata (percussion), Renate Ferrer (guitar), Suzi Ghezzi (guitar), Stella Bass (bass, vocals), and Vivian Stoll (drums, vibraphone). They released three albums, Isis (1974), Ain’t No Backin’ Up Now (1975), and Breaking Through (1977).
IVY BENSON AND HER ALL GIRL ORCHESTRA
Benson was born in Yorkshire in 1913 and began playing piano when she was five. A child prodigy, she entertained as Baby Benson at working men’s clubs in the north. At nine she played on the BBC program, Children’s Hour. Her father, a musician in the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, ultimately taught here several instruments although she favored clarinet and saxophone. Around 1929 she joined Edna Croudson’s Rhythm Girls, with whom she played until 1935. In 1939 she went on to lead Ivy Benson and Her All Girls Band. The band was also billed, over the years, as Ivy Benson’s “Rhythm Girls,” “Ladies Orchestra. The band was finally referred to as Ivy Benson’s “Showband,” ironically as a result of the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act. Some members of her band, including Gracie Cole and Lena Kidd, later led their own all-female bands.
Jam Today were formed in 1976 in Peckham, UK. Over the course of several line-ups their ranks included Alison Rayner (bass), Angele Veltmeijer (saxophone, flute), Barbara Stretch (vocals), Corinne Liensol, Deirdre Cartright (guitar), Diana Wood (vocals, alto saxophone), Fran Rayner, Frankie Green (drums), Jackie Crew (drums), Joey (vocals), Josefina Cupido (percussion, vocals), Josie Mitten (keyboards, vocals), Julia Dawkins (saxophone, flute), Laka Daisical (vocals, keyboards), Nicki Francis (saxophone, flute), Sarah Greaves Baker (trumpet), Terry Hunt (guitar), and Vicky Aspinall (violin). They (when the band was comprised of Crew, Dawkins, Hunt, Rayner, and Stretch) only got around to releasing one EP, Stereotyping, in 1981.
Kandeggina Gang, which included Jo Squillo, was a punk band that formed in Milan in 1979. They released one single, “Sono captive” b/w “Orrore” before disbanding in 1981.
THE KIM SISTERS
The Kim Sisters formed in South Korea but spent most of there career and enjoyed most of their success in the US. The three were actually half-sisters — Sue (Sook-ja), Aija (Ai-ja), and Mia (Minja) Kim were the daughters of classical conductor Kim Hae-song and singer Lee Nan-young and Mia’s father was musician Lee Bong-ryong. They began performing western pop music in 1953 before transitioning into rock ‘n’ roll, which they were exposed to by American GIs. They began playing in Las Vegas in 1959 at the Thunderbird Hotel which led to performances on the Ed Sullivan Show — where they ultimately appeared at least 22 times.
Kleenex formed in Zurich in 1978 with a line-up of Klaudia Schiff (bass, vocals), Lislot Ha (drums), Marlene Marder (guitar), and Regula Sing (vocals). Initially, Kleenex were assisted by Rudolph Dietrich and Gogi Düggelbach of Nasal Boys (I smell a theme here) but the core of the band was always female, revolving around the duo of Ha and Schiff. Sing (nee Ramona Carlier) left to join The Mo-Dettes and was replaced by Chrigle Freund, who was subsequently replaced by Astrid Spirit. In 1979, faced with legal action from the popular American manufacturer of snot rags, Kleenex changed their name to LiLiPUT, and no legal threat ensued from the estate of Jonathan Swift. After their dissolution, Marder wrote the book, Kleenex/LiLiPUT – Das Tagebuch der Gitarristin Marlene Marder and the band’s output was collected and released by Kill Rock Stars as LiLiPUT.
The Klitz formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1978 and were comprised of Amy Gassner (bass), Gail Elise Clifton (vocals), Lesa Aldridge (guitar), and Marcia Clifton (drums). They recorded “Couldn’t Be Bothered,”“Two Chords,” “Hard Up,” and a cover of Alex Chilton’s “Hook or Crook” before disbanding.
Klymaxx were a Los Angeles funk band that formed in 1979. The members were Bernadette Cooper (drums, vocals), Cheryl Cooley (guitar, vocals), Joyce “Fenderella” Irby (bass, vocals), Lorena Porter Shelby (vocals), Lynn Malsby (keyboards), and Robbin Grider (synthesizers, guitar). Their first big hit was 1984’s Meeting In The Ladies Room.
ラララare a trio from Sendai, Japan comprised of 小又 さやか (vocals, guitar), 渡辺 美穂 (bass, backing vocals), and 真藤 誠 (drums).
THE LADYBIRDS (DENMARK)
Although the American band The Ladybirds were often billed as “the world’s first and only all-girl topless band” (which begs the question, were there mixed-gender topless bands before?) there was, in fact, another band called The Ladybirds which also often played topless around the same time. The Danish band formed around 1968 (there was also a vocal trio called The Ladybirds who sang on the Benny Hill Show) and included Margit Nellemann Andersen, who’d earlier played in the all-female Les Filles. The other members were Puk Birgit Petersen, Lonni Andersen, and Michelle Beauvais. They were managed by Pierre Beauvais, formerly of The Strangers.
Later line-ups included Pia Thurland, Hanne Mattson, and Marianne Hall Frederiksen (formerly of the all-female Cheetas). In 1968 they naturally opened for The New Yardbirds at Roskilde. They performed as far away as Bristol, England in 1973.
THE LADYBIRDS (US)
The Ladybirds supposedly formed in New Jersey. Although Jim Morrison often performed top-free with The Doors, The Ladybirds were hassled for doing the same. They found more receptive audiences out west in Las Vegas, at Tipsy’s in San Francisco, the Blue Bunny Club in Hollywood. They were managed at various points by Voss Boreta (husband of topless dancer Yvonne D’Angers and manager of topless dancer, Carol Doda) and professional golfer Raymond Floyd. According to Dick Boyd’s book, Broadway North Beach, The Golden Years – A Saloon Keeper’s Tales, they originally simply pretended to play instruments but ultimately learned to play them and even toured as far away as Quebec (at Chez Paree).
The Ladybugs were assembled for the television series Petticoat Junction and were comprised of actresses Jeannine Riley, Pat Woodell, Linda Kaye Henning, and Sheila James. Two days before they performed their gender-tweaked version of The Beatles’ “I Saw Him Standing There” and “I’ll Be Your Ladybug If You’ll Be My Beatle” on that television series, they performed the former on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. I’m not sure whether or not they actually played their instruments or were a completely fictional performing act.
Lavender Jane were comprised of Alix Dobkin, Kay Gardner, and Patches Attom. They released Lavender Jane Loves Women in 1975. Dobkin went on to form Alix Dobkin Featuring the Lesbian Power Authority who released Living With Lesbians in 1976 and she released the solo, Alix, in 1980. Gardner released several solo albums before dying in 2002.
LENA KIDD QUARTET
At thirteen-years-old, Eleanor Kidd learned to play accordion from the great Jimmy Shand – her father was the drummer in Shand’s band at the time. In 1945, at the age of 21, she’d joined the Ivy Benson Band and stayed with them until 1953, at which point she joined the all-female Gracie Cole orchestra. Lena Kidd formed the all-female Lena Kidd Quartet in 1956, in Leven, Scotland. They later expanded into the Lena Kidd Seven. In 1970 she married trumpeter Ray Willis. After his passing in 1978, she moved back to Fife where she remained until her death in 2003.
LIL-HARDIN’S ALL-GIRL BAND
Lil Harden Armstrong was born Lillian Hardin in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1898. She played in several jazz groups in New Orleans and Chicago before joining King Oliver‘s Creole Jazz Band in the 1920s. In 1924, she married King Oliver’s second cornetist, Louis Armstrong. In 1931, after she learned of an extramarital affair, she divorced and sued him. In the 1930s she formed Lil-Hardin’s All-Girl Band, which performed regularly on the NBC radio network. From the 1940s on she worked primarily as a solo pianist. She died on 27 August 1971.
The Liverbirds were a beat combo formed in 1963 in Liverpool, UK by Valerie Gell (vocals/guitar), Mary McGlory (vocals/bass), Sylvia Saunders (drums), Irene Green (vocals), and Sheila McGlory (guitar). The latter two soon left and were replaced by just one member, Pamela Birch (vocals/guitar). As with many of their beat peers, they achieved some success in Hamburg, Germany — their cover of Bo Diddley’s “Diddley Daddy” reached #5 on the German charts. They released two albums, Star-Club Show 4 (1965) and More Of The Liverbirds (1966), both on Star-Club Records. They broke up in 1968 after a tour to Japan and all but Saunders settled in Germany permanently.
THE LONDON WOMEN’S LIBERATION ROCK BAND
The London Women’s Liberation Rock Band were formed in 1972 by Alaine (guitar), Angele Veltmeijer (vocals and flute), Eleanor Thorneycroft (bass guitar), Frankie Green (drums), and Hazel Twort (vocals, keyboard).
L7 is a heavy rock band that formed in Echo Park in 1985. Their initial line-up included Suzi Gardner (vocals, guitar), Donita Sparks (vocals, guitar), Jennifer Finch (bass, vocals), and Anne Anderson (drums). Anderson was later replaced by Dee Plakas (drums, vocals) for what many consider to be their classic line-up. Their single, “Pretend We’re Dead” was a major hit in 1992. In 1994, the band appeared in John Waters‘s film Serial Mom as Camel Lips. After disbanding in 2001, the classic line-up reunited in 2014 and continues to perform. A documentary about the band, Pretend We’re Dead, premiered in 2016.
Maiden Voyage were Hetsilla Sharkey (flute, saxophone, keyboards), Leslie LaRonga (drums), Missy Wolcott (bass, keyboards, banjo), Nancy Pollock (guitar, trumpet, trombone), and Terry Sausville (keyboards, flute, trumpet). They released In New York in 1974.
MAK LES SOEURS
MAK Les Soeurs were a trio comprised of Agneta Wigforss, Margareta Hamrefors, and Karin Hamrefors – all three of whom played guitar and sang. The trio had first met in Mölndal, Sweden before heading to Gothenburg for school and often played at a club called Rondos. They signed with Cupol Records and released their first single, “Mitt Liv” b/w “Forlat Mig,” in 1966. They ultimately released ten singles over the next three years and disbanded in the early 1970s.
A trio known as The Mam’selles released one album of covers, It’s A “Bubble Gum World,” on Bison Records in 1969. I’m not sure who were the members and whether or not they were a full-fledged group or just a vocal group with backing. I would guess the former, if only because the playing on the LP is far too rudimentary to have been the work of session musicians.
MANDY AND THE GIRLFRIENDS
Mandy and the Girlfriends were from Hull, where they formed in 1965. Mandy was Mandy Smith, who’d previously played in Mandy and the Moonrakers with her brother. Mandy’s girlfriends were Hilary Morgan (drums), Lesley Saxil-Neilson (bass), Karen Baker (guitar), Lynda Harrison (vocals), and Margaret Wedgner (guitar). Baker quit the group and was replaced by Merle Pryor. After playing locally and in London (where they shared a bill with The Animals) they relocated to West Germany in 1967. There they entertained troops and released an eponymous album on that country’s Kerston Records. After Morgan left the group in 1968, the remaining members went their separate ways. Harrison pursued a solo career and Wedgner and Pryor formed a duo called The Honeys and later, Sugar and Spice.
The Mascaras were an obscure punk group that existed around 1977, when they Tony Wilson’s So It Goes.
水玉消防団 formed in Tokyo in 1979. Members included 天鼓 (guitar, vocals), カムラ (bass), 可夜 (piano, electric piano, organ), まなこ (guitar), and 宮本 (drums). They released Otome no Inori wa Da Da Da (1981) and 満天に赤い花びら (1985) before disbanding in 1988.
Mo-dettes formed in London in 1979 — originally as The Bomberettes. They included Jane Crockford (bass), June Kingston (drums, vocals), Kate Korus (guitar), and Ramona Carlier (vocals). The one album wonders released the optimistically-titles The Story So Far in 1980. Melissa Ritter replaced Korus in 1981 and Sue Slack replaced Carlier in 1982, shortly before they disbanded.
THE MOD 4
The Mod 4, from Aledo, Illinois, released two singles at Davenport, Iowa‘s Fredlo Custom Pressing — “Funny Little Clown” b/w “Midnight Hour” and “Open Up Your Mind” b/w “A Puppet” (both produced by Tab Talkin) in 1967 and ’68, respectively. Vocals were handled by Nellie Hastings and Kathy Talkin. The other two members are “Barb” and “Alice Appleton.”
The Moppets were formed in 1965 by Phyllis Hess (organ), Beverley Rodgers (lead guitar), Alisa Damon (bass guitar) and Kathie Ross (drums) at Mount Holyoake College in Massachusetts. The recorded just one single for Spirit, a cover of The Beau Brummels‘ “Cry just a little” backed with Holland – Dozier – Holland’s “Come see about me.”
Las Mosquitas were an Argentine band active between 1964 and 1968. The members were Pupe, Nita, Nene and Dina. They released songs titled “Siempre Bailo Con La Mas Fea,” “Do Re Mi,” and “Tembleque.”
Mother Superior were a progressive rock band who formed in London in 1974. Their line-up included Audrey Swinburne (lead guitar, lead vocals), Jackie Badger (bass, vocals), Jackie Crew (drums, vocals), and Lesley Sly (keyboards, lead vocals). They released Lady Madonna in 1975 and disbanded in 1977.
Mother Trucker formed in Hounslow, UK around 1974 and were comprised of Billie Simpkins (lead vocals), Freddie Barnes (drums), Jackie Ellender (bass guitar), Leslie Rice-Paddington (guitar), Ronnie McBurney (vocals) and were signed to Ember Records. They released a self-titled album in 1975.
THE MOVING GIRLS
No information available!
Necessary Evil were a British punk band formed around 1979 who existed until 1980.
Neo Boys formed in Portland in 1978. The members were Jennifer Labianco (guitar), K.T. Kincaid (vocals), Kim Kincaid (bass), and Pat Baum (drums). Labianco was replaced by Meg Hentges. They released “Neo Boys” in 1980 and the Crumbling Myths EP in 1982. A compilation, Sooner Or Later, was released in 2013.
THE NEW HAVEN WOMEN’S LIBERATION ROCK BAND
The New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band appeared on the split 1972 LP Mountain Moving Day with The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band. The New Haven Woman’s Liberation Rock Band’s side contained the songs “Abortion Song,” “Sister Witch,” “Prison Song,” “So Fine,” and “Shotgun.”
The Nixe formed in 1978, in Utrecht, Netherlands. Their line-up was comprised of Ilva Poortvliet (vocals), Marian De Beurs (guitar), Nikki Meijerink (bass), and Simone Luken (drums). They appeared on Utreg-Punx in 1980 and released The Nixe EP in 1981. They broke up in 1984 but a self-titled compilation was released in 2008.
Nōh Mercy were a post-punk duo of Esmerelda (vocals, keyboards) and Tony Hotel (drums), who formed in San Francisco in 1977. They disbanded in 1980. A self-titled compilation was released in 2012.
THE NORTHERN WOMEN’S LIBERATION ROCK BAND
The Northern Women’s Liberation Rock Band formed in 1973 and were comprised of Angela Cooper (vocals), Angie Libman (drums), Carol Riddell (keyboards), Frances Bernstein (guitar), Jane Power (rhythm guitar), Jenny Clegg (bass), and Luchia Fitzgerald (vocals).
THE NURSERY RHYMES
Swedish band The Nursery Rhymes was comprised of Birgitta Nordgren (drums ), Elisabeth Alexandersson (bass), Gunilla Karlow (bass/vocals), Inger Jonsson (guitar/vocals), Marie Selander (vocals), Noni Tellbrandt (guitar, vocals), and Wiveca Sawen (bass). The released three singles: “Peaches And Cream” b/w “Nowhere To Run” and “Heat Wave” b/w “Dancing In The Street” (both on Odeon in 1966) and “We’re Gonna Hate Ourselves In The Morning” b/w “Jiving Teen” the following year. They disbanded in 1967.
Östro 430 were a Neue Deutsche Welle group who formed in Düsseldorf in 1979. The original line-up included Martina Weith (vocals, saxophone), Bettina Flörchinger (keyboards), Monika Kellermann (bass), and Marita Welling (drums). Later members included Olivia Casali (bass), Gisela Hottenroth (bass), Birgit Köster (drums), and Ralf Küpping (guitar). In 1981 they released the Durch dick & dünn EP, in 1983 they released Weiber wie wir, and they disbanded in 1984.
Ova formed as The Lupin Sisters in 1976 and were Jana Runnalls (vocals, guitar, clarinet, drums, percussion, kazoo) and Rosemary Schonfeld (vocals, 12-string guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer, cabasa, drum programming, marímbula, log drum). They released Out of Bounds (1982) and Possibilities (1984).
THE PANDORAS/THE NEW PANDORAS
The Pandoras were formed by Diane “Pinky” Keehner and Kathy Kinsella (guitar) at Simmons College in Boston in 1964. They were later joined by Sally Levy on drums. Levy was replaced by Nancy DiMuro. Later, Keehner left to start a family and Michelle Marquis (lead guitar) and Elysee Thierry (bass) joined. Somewhere in the midst of the line-up shuffles, they became “The New Pandoras.” In 1967 they released two singles, “(I could write a book) about my baby” b/w “New day” and “Games” b/w “Don’t bother” — both on Liberty in 1967 and representing the songwriting of producer Bob Stone and manager Peter Bonfils. They broke up in early 1968.
THE PARISIAN RED HEADS
The Parisian Red Heads hailed from Indiana and in 1927 billed themselves as “The World’s Greatest Girl Band.” They recorded a single recording for Brunswick, existing primarily as a touring “territory band.” AfterBabe Egan and her Hollywood Redheads threatened to sue over their name, they changed their name to The Bricktops.
The Parrots were formed in Aarhus, Denmark by Lise Brændstrup (guitar), Lilly Pedersen (bass), Winnie Brandt (guitar), and Annie Brandt (drums) in 1964. In 1966, Pedersen was replaced by Hanne Drammelsbæk who was in turn quickly replaced by Jette Askøe. In 1968 Kirsten Glahn (organ) replaced Askøe. The band broke-up when Winne Brandt became pregnant.
Peaches, also known as The Vamps, were an Australian trio formed in Sydney in 1975 by Margaret Britt (bass, vocals). In 1978 they released a recording of Willie Harry Wilson’s “Substitute.”
All that I’ve been able to surmise about the Philippines‘s The Phililettes is that they look to me like they took this picture around 1966 and that they were apparently billed as the “Philippines Top All Girl Show Band.”
PING PONG BITCHES
Les Planettes were formed in Quebec by former Beatlette Helene Duguay with Margie Duplessis (guitar), Rosy Lang (organ) and Linda Duncan (drums). The released at least one single, “Quatre Mois” b/w “Si Tu Partais.”
The Playmates were a foursome from Trondheim, Norway comprised of Rigmor Ostmo (vocals), Inger Lise Rasmussen (guitar), Berit Lange (bass), and Irene Lund (drums). The Playmates released “Gi Ikke Opp” b/w “Bare Ga” on Continental records in 1967 before disbanding the following year. The Playmates reconvened in 1975 and recorded and released Meet the Playmates before breaking up permanently.
THE PLEASURE SEEKERS
The Pleasure Seekers were founded in 1964 by sisters Patti and Suzi Quatro, sisters Nancy (drums) and Mary Lou Ball (guitar), and Diane Baker on piano in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Baker was soon replaced by Arlene Quatro. They released their first single in 1964, “Never Thought You’d Leave Me” b/w “What a Way to Die,” on Hideout. “Nan” Ball left in 1965 and was replaced by Darline Arnone. In 1968 they signed to Mercury and released a second single, “Light of Love” b/w “Good Kind of Hurt.” In 1969 they changed their name to Cradle and pursued a heavier direction. Arlene became the band’s manager and Nancy Quatro joined as the new drummer. Suzi Quatro left in 1971 and went on to have a successful solo career. Cradle ultimately disbanded in 1973.
The Plommons‘ first release was a 1966 cover of The Searchers’ “Hungry for Love” and “Last Train to Liverpool,” written by member Maddan Lindqvist. Two more singles followed and the played abroad in Denmark, Germany, and Finland before disbanding in 1967.
THE POOR GIRLS
Akron, Ohio’s The Poor Girls were formed in 1965 by Susan Schmidt (daughter of Marjorie H. Schmidt of The Co-eds), Deborah Smith, Pam Johnson, and Esta Kerr when all were students at Litchfield Junior High School. They continued playing together whilst enrolled at Firestone High School and opened for bands including Cream and Steppenwolf. In the mid-1970s, Schmidt and Smith played with Cinderella’s Revenge and Friction and later co-founded Chi-Pig.
THE PRETTY KITTENS
The Pretty Kittens were led by drummer Dianne Cameron — a resident of Gardena. They played shows in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Vietnam, promoted by Jack Galardi — one day strip club baron implicated in Operation G-Sting. Their performances in Vietnam took place in 1967 but I’m not sure what year they formed.
THE PSYCHEDELIC SOUNDS
No information available!
Pulsallama were a no wave band which included members Andé Whyland, Ann Magnuson, April Palmieri, Dany Johnson, Jean Caffeine, Kimberly Davis, Lori Montana, Min Thometz, Stace Elkin, and Wendy Wild. They released “The Devil Lives In My Husband’s Body” b/w “Ungawa Pt.II (Way Out Guiana)” (1982) and “Oui-Oui (A Canadian In Paris)” b/w “Pulsallama on the Rag” (1983). Magnuson went onto form Bongwater.
Quality Street were a London band formed around 1979 whose members were Angele Veltmeye (saxophone), Maggie Nicols (vocals), Sally Beautista (guitar), and Vicky Scrivener (vocals).
The other Danish band called Queens also formed in 1965. Their members were Vivi Ryding (drums), Lis Nørrevig (bass), Linda Hansen (guitar), and Ulla Hansen (guitar).
QUINS (aka QUEENS)
Quins (sometimes billed as Queens although, confusingly, there was another Danish, all-female band with that name) formed in Holstebro in 1965. The members were Jette Selmer Noes (drums), Ingelise Mogensen (guitar), Jeannette Mouritzen (vocals), Birthe Mogensen (bass), and Lucia Padersen (guitar). Soon after forming, Padersen was replaced by Margit Holmgård and the band continued until 1970.
Rag Dolls were from Odense, where they formed in 1966. Their membership included Lillian Hansen (guitar), Jonna Madsen (guitar), Lone John (bass) and Yrsa Holst (drums). In 1967, Hansen was replaced by Margit Nelleman (formerly of Les Filles).
The Raincoats are a British post-punk group formed in 1977 and still active. The original line-up was Ana Da Silva (guitar), Gina Birch (bass), Paloma “Palmolive” Romero (drums), and Vicky Aspinall (guitar, violin). Palmolive was soon replaced by Ingrid Weiss. After releasing three albums, the band broke up in 1984 but reformed a decade later after their albums were reissued in 1993 with liner notes by Kim Gordon and Kurt Cobain. In the new line-up, Aspinall and Weiss were replaced by Anne Wood and Heather Dunn.
THE RHYTHM RANCH GALS
Ardis Wells was born in 1917 into a family of carnies and circus folk. Before becoming “The Yodeling Sweetheart” — when she began playing and singing Western — she wrestled professionally, danced, swam, rode elephants, and swung on the trapeze. In 1956 she formed the all-female Rhythm Ranch Gals in Minnesota with Fern Dale on banjo, Patti Williams on bass and guitar, and Jan North (née Northrup) on accordion. Wells played the electric guitar. Williams and North went on to release over a dozen records in the 1950s as The North Sisters.
The Roches were a vocal, folk-rock trio formed in Park Ridge, New Jersey by Maggie and Terre Roche. After singing back-up for Paul Simon on There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, they released their only album as a duo, Seductive Reasoning, in 1975. Afterward they were joined by younger sister Suzy Roche.
THE RUMS & COKE
The Rums & Coke released one single, “Glad All Over” b/w “Apple Blossom Time” on Bram in 1966. The members were listed as Sherry (drums), Mary, Ginger, and Coke (vocals).
The Runaways were formed in 9175 by Joan Jett (guitar, vocals), Michael Steele (bass), and Sandy West (drums). Steele left to join The Bangles and was replaced by many bassists, including Peggy Foster, Jackie Fox, Vicki Blue, Laurie McAllister, and Lita Ford (who also played guitar). Cherie Currie joined as lead vocalist in 1975 and, after departing in 1977, was replaced in that role by Jett. They played their last show in 1978 and broke up in 1979.
SALLY & THE ALLEY CATS
The UK’s Sally & the Alley Cats was comprised of Sally Sykes (vocals), Ann Chalice (guitar), Sally Cursons (guitar), Pam Brett (keyboards), Robey Buckley (bass) and Andrea Beal (drums). They recorded “Is it Something that I Said?” b/w “You Forgot to Remember” for Parlophone in 1964.
The Same were from Arlington Heights, Illinois and were made up of Judy Selman (lead guitar), Debbie Reiss (rhythm guitar), Vicki Selman (bass), Donna Smelak (drums), and Vicki Hubly (vocals). The played mostly in the Chicago area although they recorded “If You Love Me, Really Love Me” (an English cover of Edith Piaf‘s “Hymne a l’amour”) b/w “Sunshine, Flowers and Rain” at Herb Alpert‘s Studio in Los Angeles and released on Barrington Records in 1967. After their dissolution, Smelak continued in the all-female band, The Chips. Selman plays in Straight Ethyl with Charlotte O’Neill and Donna Smolak, both formerly of the all-female band, The Chips.
THE SANDOVAL SISTERS/THE MOONMAIDS THE FOUR QUEENS
The Sandoval Sisters (aka The Girls aka The Moonmaids aka The Four Queens) were formed in East Los Angeles by sisters Diane (guitar and vocals), Margaret (lead vocals and drums), Rosemary (vocals and lead guitar), and Sylvia (bass) – who raged at the time from 12 to 17 years old. Their first recording was a live version of “Last Chance” for Valentine Sound. They changed their name to The Girls in 1965 and released a cover of Mann/Weil’s “Chico’s Girl” on Capitol Records. Margaret penned “My Baby,” which b/w “My Love” was their second and last single. Thye performed for troops in Asia, toured North America and appeared on Hullabaloo and Hollywood A-Go-Go.
Serbia‘s Sanjalice played their first show on 29 December 1964 in Belgrade’s Pionirski Grad. The original members were Ljiljana Mandi (vocals, guitar), Slobodanka Misevi (guitar, vocals), Ljiljana Jevti (bass), Vojislav Veljkovi (drums), and Radomir Vukovi (keyboards). In 1966 Veljkovi? joined the army and was replaced by his then-girlfriend, Snezana Veselinovi. The only remaining male member, Vukovi, left soon after and thus, in 1965, they became Yugoslavia’s first all-female rock band.
In 1967 they won first place in a battle of the bands, performed in Romania, and released their first two EPs, Idem u svet and Marioneta. In 1968 they released their third EP, Marijana. In 1969 they retired the band to focus on studies.
SARAH McLAWLER & THE SYNCOETTES
One of the last, significant (but still obscure) all-female bands of the pre-Rock ‘n’ Roll era was the four-piece Sarah McLawler And The Syncoettes released several records on Premium and King in the 1950s. Sarah played the piano, organ and sang. Vi Wilson was on bass, Hetty Smith was on drums, and Lula Roberts was on sax.
THE SATIN DOLLS
No information available!
THE SCHUSTER SISTERS SAXOPHONE QUARTETTE
The Schuster Sisters Saxophone Quartette (comprised of sisters Adrienne, Genevieve, Imogene, and Chloris “Honeybird” Schuster) were endorsing C.G. Conn saxophones at least as early as 1915. They’re mentioned, alongside the Darling Saxophone Four, in a 1922 edition of Variety, suggesting that they had some staying power.
7 YEAR BITCH
The Shaggs were formed in Fremont, New Hampshire in 1968 by sisters Dorothy “Dot” Wiggin (vocals/lead guitar), Betty Wiggin (vocals/rhythm guitar), and Helen Wiggin (drums) at the encouragement and insistence of their parents.
In 1969 they recorded and released their debut full-length, Philosophy of the World on Third World Records. They were joined by their sister Rachel Wiggin on bass for the song, “That Little Sports Car.” It defied the expectations of their parents, who were said the imagine the girls to be inevitably bound for stardom, and disappeared without at trace.
In 1975, the sisters again entered the studio although the death of their father/manager, Austin Wiggin, resulted in their not being published for years as well as the group’s dissolution. Years after their break-up their debut was rediscovered and championed as an example of art brut/outsider music.
THE SHARP EASE
THE SHE FIVE
The She Five formed in Fox Valley, Wisconsin. They included members Patsy Yingling, Dar Ryba (guitar/vocals), Audrey Reffke, Pam Hurst, and Cheryl Young. The formed in 1965, played for troops in Vietnam and disbanded in 1970.
THE SHE TRINITY
The She Trinity, a Canadian band, were formed by Robyn Yorke, Shelley Gillespie and Sue Kirby around 1965 when they moved to the UK. On Columbia, in 1966, they released “He Fought The Law” b/w “The Union Station Blues,” “Have I Sinned b/w “Wild Flower,” “Wild Flower” b/w “The Man Who Took The Valise Off The Floor Of Grand Central Station At Noon,” and “Yellow Submarine” b/w “Promise Me You’ll Never Cry.” They released “Across The Street” b/w “Over And Over Again” on CBS in 1967. Their final single, “Hair” b/w “Climb That Tree” was a split single with The Onyx released on President in 1969. Over the course of their existence there were several membership changes and their final line-up was Eileen Woodman, Robyn Yorke, Pauline Moran, and Inger Jonnsson.
The She’s featured Marilyn Reed, Maureen O’Connor, Cammy Davis, and Pam Thompson. O’Connor, who co-wrote the band’s January, 1966 International Artists single “Ah Gee!! Maurie” b/w “The Fool,” later resurfaced with New Math and is still active in music today.
THE SIGNIFICANT OTHER
The Significant Other were from Maine and were comprised of Shirley Dillon (vocals and guitar), Bonnie Holmes (vocals and keyboards), Diane Withee (bass), and Pam Withee (drums). Holmes and Withee were from Swan’s Island. They released one single, “What is the Reason?” b/w “Ode to Carrabassett Fats” in 1967 on Critique Records, a tiny label owned by their manager Carl Strube. They performed shows in Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, opening for the likes of 1910 Fruitgum Company, Ohio Express, Strawberry Alarm Clock, and Vanilla Fudge.
THE SIMPLE NOIZE
The Simple Noize were a four-piece from Islip, New York whose members were Dale Ketcham, Janice Stocks, Celeste Rehm, and Susan Muchka and who formed when all four were attending the same high school, sometime around 1967 from the look of those knit ponchos.
16 BITCH PILE-UP
Sleater-Kinney formed in Olympia, Washington in 1994. They were formed by Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar — formerly of Heavens to Betsy) and Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals — formerly of Excuse 17) and were part of the riot grrrl movement. The band have had several drummers including Lora Macfarlane, Misty Farrell, Toni Gogin, and Janet Weiss — the latter of whom played with Sleater-Kinney from 1996-2019.
The band released seven studio albums between 1994 and 2005: Sleater-Kinney (1995), Call the Doctor (1996), Dig Me Out (1997), The Hot Rock (1999), All Hands on the Bad One (2000), One Beat (2002), and The Woods (2005). They went on hiatus in 2006 and resumed work as a band in 2014. Since then, they released No Cities to Love (2015) and The Center Won’t Hold (2019).
The Slits were a punk band formed in London in 1976 by members who’d formerly been in The Castrators and The Flowers of Romance. The original line-up was Ari Up (Ariane Forster), Palmolive (Paloma Romero), Kate Korus, and Suzy Gutsy. There were line-up changes and The Slits weren’t always all-female (e.g. Budgie) but they primarily presented themselves as an all-female group. They released Cut (1979) and Return of the Giant Slits (1981) before disbanding in 1982. They reformed in 2005 and released Trapped Animal (2009), the year before Forster died.
Snatch were a punk duo comprised of Judy Nylon and Patti Palladin. They formed in London in 1976 but the two bandmates were both American. After several singles and a collaboration with Brian Eno, they released a self-titled album — their only — in 1983.
THE SOUTHERN COMFORTS
The Southern Comforts were an all-female band from New York.
Spoilsports were Angele Veltmeijer (saxophone), Barbara Stretch (vocals), Carole Nelson (keyboards), Ruth Bitelli (bass), and Sheelagh Way (drums), who formed in 1978. They released one single, “You Gotta Shout” b/w “Love And Romance” in 1980, after which they broke-up.
A SPOON CALLED PHRANC
THE STEPNEY SISTERS
The Stepney Sisters formed in York in 1974. The members were Benni Lees (bass, guitar), Caroline Gilfillan (vocals, drums), Nony Ardill (guitar), Ruthie Smith (vocals, saxophone), Sharon “Shaz” Nassauer (keyboards), and Susy Hogarth (drums). They disbanded in 1976. Their song, “Sisters” was included on the compilation Music & Liberation: A Compilation of Music From the Women’s Liberation Movement (2012).
SUGAR & THE SPICES
Sugar and the Spices were a duo of Corky Casey (Al Casey‘s ex-wife) and Carol Eddy (Duane Eddy‘s ex-wife). They released “Bye Bye Baby” b/w “Do The Dog” on Stacy in October 1963. A message was written on the 45, “SPECIAL NOTE: all-girl group – no recording gimmicks” — produced by Al Casey and Lee Hazelwood.” In 1964 they released “Boys Can Be Mean” b/w “Tollie” on Vee Jay. In 1965 they released a split single, “Have Faith in Me” b/w “Tomorrow (aka Tears)” — a Brilliant Korners cover — on Kent.
スカートの中 were a Japanese quartet comprised of ゆりえ (guitar, vocals), うえぽん (bass, vocals), なっぴ (guitar, vocals), and さきそん (drums). They were active from 2010-2012 during which time they released a lone EP, ちこたん.
SUZIE & THE SUNNYGIRLS/THE SUNNYGIRLS
Suzie & the Sunnygirls formed in 1967 and were comprised of Suzie Watson (vocals), Helena Thunholm (guitar), Annika Degermann (drums), Maud Lindqvist (bass), and Carina Fredriksson (keyboards). Watson (nee Maria Pereboom in the Netherlands) soon left to pursue a solo career and they continued simply as The Sunnygirls. Thunholm was replaced by Carina Leijd who also handled lead vocals and two saxophonists – Ann-Christine Carlsson and Ninnie Andersson – joined. They performed in Mexico and the USA and more line-up changes followed. At some point in the 1970s, Leijd and Fredriksson formed a new group, Mixed Six. Watson, the band’s original vocalist, released 31 singles, including “Walkin’ Back To Happiness,” before retiring.
In late 1964, while still students at McClatchy High School, Pinay sisters Jean Millington (guitar) and June Millington (rhythm guitar), formed The Svelts in Sacramento with Kathie Terry on drums and Cathy Carter on guitar. The Millington sisters later went on to play in Fanny.
Die Sweetles were formed in Berlin, Germany by Peggy Peters (nee Christina Zakewski), Charlotte Marian, Tina Rainford, and Monika Grimm. They released “Ich WÃ¼nsch’ Mir Zum Geburtstag Einen Beatle” b/w “Die Schule Ist Aus” and “Fruher Oder Spater” b/w “Goodbye, My Summer-Love” on Polydor in 1964.
THE SWINGING RAYS OF RHYTHM AKA INTERNATIONAL SWEETHEARTS OF RHYTHM
The Swinging Rays of Rhythm were formed in 1937 by Laurence C. Jones, who organized the group to raise money for Mississippi‘s Piney Woods Country Life School, a school he founded to serve poor and black children in 1910. In the early 1940s they integrated and changed their name to the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. In the Jim Crow South, some of the white members resorted to passing as black to avoid arrest for defying segregation.
Other pre-War all-female bands included Nelson “Cadillac” Williams‘s The Dixie Rhythm Girls and The Harlem Playgirls.
The Termites released “Tell Me” in 1965.
THELMA WHITE & HER ALL GIRL ORCHESTRA
Actress Thelma White‘s Thelma White and Her All Girl Orchestra were one of the all-female bands of the Foxhole Circuit. However, they continued to perform for several years after the war ended. Nowadays she’s best recognized as Mae Coleman from 1936’s Reefer Madness. She died of pneumonia in 2005.
3 PUSSY KISSES
The Tomboys recorded “I’d Rather Fight Than Switch” b/w “Mary Had a Little Kiss” for Swan Records in 1964.
TOUR DE FORCE
Tour de Force were a British new wave quartet who were formed in the late 1970s by Bernice Cartwright (bass), Carol Stocker (vocals), Deirdre Cartwright (vocals, guitar), and Val Lloyd (drums, vocals). They released three singles, “Night Beat” b/w “Tour De Force,” “Beat the Clock” b/w “Undecided,” and “School Rules” b/w “We Don’t Talk” in 1980 and ’81.
TRACY + THE PLASTICS
Tracy + the Plastics formed in Olympia, Washington. Technically, the band is the solo project of Wynne Greenwood. However, through the magic of video, it is presented as a trio comprised of Tracy (vocals), Nikki Romanos (keyboards), and Cola (drums). Although sometimes lumped in with the electroclash scene, Greenwood identified as a member of the “lesbo for disco” generation. During the trio’s existence, they released Turn Video (2000), Muscler’s Guide to Videonics (2001), the Forever Sucks EP (2002), Culture for Pigeon (2004), Knit a Claw Re-Do (2004), and the Real Damage split EP with The Gossip (2005).
THE TREMELONS/THE LUV’D ONES
Singer/guitarist Char Vinnedge formed The Tremelons in Niles, Michigan in 1963 with her sister Chris on bass, Mary Gallagher on rhythm guitar, and Faith Orem on drums. In 1966 they changed their name to The Luv’d Ones. They recorded four songs for Dunwich Records, “Whole Lotta Shakin’,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Theme for a DJ,” and “Please Let Me Know,” before disbanding in 1968.
21ST CENTURY GIRLS
No information available
Usch (also known as Enola Gay) were a Swedish punk band formed in Stockholm in 1978. The original members were Hans Edström (guitar, vocals), Irene Liljeblad (bass, vocals), Jojje Jerngrip (guitar), Kicko (vocals), and Nike Markelius (drums, vocals) and they released Usch EP. In 1980, John Essing (guitar) and Toril Vigerust (guitar, vocals) played in the band and the following year the band released the single “Hatlåten” before disbanding.
UT were a New York no wave band formed in 1978 by Jacqui Ham (vocals, bass), Nina Canal (vocals, guitar), and Sally Young (vocals, drums). They released three albums, Conviction (1986), In Gut’s House (1987), and Griller (1989). They were on hiatus from 1991 till 2010, when they returned to live performance.
The Vamps were a Sydney-based trio comprised of English expatriate Linda Cable (ex-Grown Up Wrong and The Pussycats), Margaret Britt, and Terri Scott. The Vamps toured New Caledonia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Tahiti, Thailand, the USA, and Vietnam. They broke up around the early 1970s. Britt had a career as part of the trio Peaches, who had a hit with “Substitute” and continues to perform as one half of the duo Skyz the Limit.
An all-female band that released “Please Don’t Tell Me Now.”
VICKY & THE REST
The Welders were a punk group formed in 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri. The original members were Caroline Fujimoto (bass), Kelly “Rusty” Draper (guitar), Jane Fujimoto (drums, keyboards), Julie (guitar), and Stephanie von Drasek (vocals). Julie left in 1977 and von Drasek in ’78 — their replacements were Colleen (vocals) and Lyla (drums), who remained until the band broke up in 1980 or ’81. Four of their songs, “P-E-R-V-E-R-T,” “Debutantes In Bondage,” “S-O-S Now,” and “Baby Don’t Go” were released by Rerun Records in 2010.
THE WHAT FOUR
The What Four were formed in Manhattan and comprised of Elizabeth Burke (drums), Cathy Cochran (guitar), China Girard (rhythm guitar) and Diane Hartford (bass). They signed with Columbia in 1966, where they released “Baby I Dig Love” b/w “It’s Hard to Live On Promises” and “I’m Gonna Destroy that Boy” and “Ain’t No Use in Crying, Susan.”
WHITE SPIRIT/THE ANGELETTES
Manchester‘s White Spirit were Sue Hampson, Pat Fitzgerald, Jan Heywood, and Julie Abbott – Abbott was the daughter of Alf Abbot, saxophonist the trad jazz band, The Derek Atkins Dixielanders. The trio (minus Fitzgerald) originally performed in church under a variety of names with Heywood singing lead and all members playing acoustic guitar. They settled on White Spirit before their first paying gigs at Abbey Hey Working Men’s Club and the Three Crowns pub in the late 1960s. With a line-up of two guitars, bass, percussion (and four harmonies), the cut a demo at Eroica Studios in Altrincham. In 1972 they were taken under the wing of Jonathan King and went on, as The Angelettes, to release four singles and to perform background vocals on Bryan Ferry‘s These Foolish Things.
Wicked Lady were a Dutch band who released three singles “Underneath the Neon Tonight” b/w “Manolito,” “Girls Love Girls” b/w “Daddy’s Little Rich Girl” and “Plastic Queen” b/w “Play the Game” in 1978, 1979, and 1981, respectively.
THE WILD THINGS
The Wild Things were formed by Linda Myers (drums and vocals), Robin Reading (guitar and vocals), Martha Potter (guitar), and Vicki Yaklevich (bass) in Columbus, Ohio around 1966. Myers was the daughter of guitarist Al Myers. Reading moved to California and remains active in music. She was replaced by Daphne Cornelius. They appeared on several local television programs including WCMH’s Dance Party and Splash Party before ceasing to be active around 1969 although they did reunite for a show in 2000.
Y Pants were a one-album wonder comprised of Barbara Ess (bass, ukelele, drum, vocals), Gail Vachon (keyboards, ukelele, vocals), and Virginia Piersol (drums, vocals), who formed in New York City in 1979. They released the Y Pants EP in 1980 and Beat It Down in 1982 before disbanding the same year.
ZLA DECA MATERE SVOJE
FURTHER READING AND SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, essayist, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking paid writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities. He is not interested in generating advertorials, cranking out clickbait, or laboring away in a listicle mill “for exposure.”
Brightwell has written for Angels Walk LA, Amoeblog, Boom: A Journal of California, diaCRITICS, Hidden Los Angeles, and KCET Departures. His art has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft Contemporary, Form Follows Function, Los Angeles County Store, the book Sidewalking, Skid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured as subject in The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, LAist, CurbedLA, Eastsider LA, Boing Boing, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA?, at Emerson College, and the University of Southern California.
Brightwell is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on Ameba, Duolingo, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Mubi, and Twitter.