The Women of the Dazzling Blues, Swing and Jazz ages

The calming and nostalgic sounds of the blues origins do in fact have quite a sad and dark beginning. The blues derive from the heart of Africa through the voices of villagers in the form of tribal chanting. Soon after being transported through shackle and chains to the sunny and palm tree riddled Caribbean, dominating the American South. The catchy rhythms and melodies of the plantation workers started to influence the local white churches gospel and folk singers. It soon spread far and wide into the North America’s, making blues the ruler of the 1920’s and further decades on. In this article I am going show you the top 6 female blues/jazz/swing musicians of that time.

  1. Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday whom originally named Eleonora Fagan had a career spanning of 26 years. Singing many popular songs that you would recognise even 70 years later. She captivated her audience with her conscious elegant demeanour, her style and her romanticised sedated voice.

2. Ethel Waters

This catchy upbeat melody sung by Ethel Waters started her career singing blues and then went on to sing jazz, swing and even perform at Broadway. She joined the broadway show Black Swan in 1920’s, in which her contract concluded to have one of the highest paid black recording artist at that time.

3. Alberta Hunter

Alberta Hunter, Oh a husky voice she did have. She had a lifelong career spanning over 50 years of being in the industry. Hunter had toured extensively during World War 2 and the Korean War for the United States Services, lifting up the spirits of the soldiers with the sound of captivating voice.

4. Big Mumma Thornton

The song Hound Dog was made popular by Elvis Presley, but in fact that was not his song. The song was originally written and sung by the magnificent woman Big Mumma Thornton, and for years she lacked the recognition for it.

5. Anita O’Day

American Jazz singer Anita O’Day first got discovered singing in nightclubs, later she was invited to join a band in which she went on to make quite the name for herself. I don’t know about you, but listening back to this music just makes me want to jump into a time machine and go back in time. Sit at a little round table, sip on a dry martini and jig my foot the exceptional vocals of the women of this time.

6. Ella Fitzgerald

The Queen of Jazz dominated the scene for more than half a century in the United States. Ella sung ‘dream a little dream of me’ alongside Louis Armstrong, some might say this song was sung by the King and Queen of Jazz.

I have created a playlist here “Sippin’ a little scotch” if you fancy tickling your nostalgic senses.

The evolution of Miley Cyrus: a look at her past and present music career

I was inspired to write this post after a recent click on Miley’s iHeartRadio festival 2020 performance, and quite frankly I was blown away. A highly successful tribute to Blondie’s 2004 ‘Heart of Glass’, Miley truly outdid herself. Her voice, singing style and image has gone from Disney pop queen to husky full time rockstar. 

Pop-Rock is my guilty pleasure without a doubt. A mild headbang, guitar solos and amazing vocals are always a winner. Wouldn’t you agree?

Miley grew up in the public eye at a very young age, having Billy Ray Cyrus as your dad does that. Her debut role was in her father’s television series Doc. She was soon sought after for many roles including being an audition finalist alongside Taylor Lautner for ‘The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl’ but she turned this down to create one of America’s most popular Disney TV shows Hannah Montana. 

Her first album was created for her TV show Hannah Montana, in which it consists of endless teen pop songs lyrically based around teen romance, girl power and the double life in which Hannah Montana led. This album remains to be the best seller of Miley’s collection with just under 5 million copies sold. 

To be honest I was never a fan during this phase of her life, my teenage years consisted of me thinking I was a middle aged drug addict blaring Eminem tracks. But without a doubt,  Miley has always had a uniquely identifiable, edgy rock worthy voice. Check out one of her earlier popular tracks ‘See you again’. A look into the past greets us with bad early 2000’s special effects, girl next door hair and boy band dance moves. A clear sign of her vocal evolution is her singing that song VS a number of years later at BBC Live lounge. The tempo has slowed, the voice has got deeper and her attitude/image is at the beginning of her rebellious revolution. 

The leap from 2012 Miley to 2013 Miley introduced us mere mortals to the highly controversial and media gasping song and video of wrecking ball. She cut off her luscious dyed blonde locks and did a Britney on our asses cutting all her hair. And Guess what? Everyone had something to say about it. This was her turning point in her career where she turned around to her huge fanbase and was like “YOU KNOW WHAT? F*%K YOU! I’ve had enough of this princess fairytale TALE that you have created, I want to be me”. 

2015 – 2017 Miley albums were the most questionable albums that she has released to date. Miley Cyrus and her dead Petz sounds like she took a hollow room and ran around banging tins whilst singing slowly. Her ‘Younger Now’ album is definitely an improvement, the songs generally portray that she was in a better headspace when she wrote these songs. Oh and Dolly Parton Features in it, who doesn’t love a bit of Dolly? 

Which brings us to today, and where my obsessive online clicking led me to; Miley’s iHeartRadio Performance. This is where my young pop-rock loving teen jumps out of my body and screams “Miley, Miley!”. I have finally become a fan. Absolutely love the 80’s style composition of her 2020 single ‘Midnight Sky’. The lyrics are catchy and dark; the music video has an elegance with its simplicity and neon colours (and lack of clothing); lastly the husky vocals, they don’t need an explanation. The only thing that’s been bought to my attention is that she may have been lip syncing according to this vocal coach. But I am willing to let this opinion slide, pretend I didn’t watch it and  finally admit I have become a Miley fan. 

Peace out! 

Who do you prefer?