The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.

Influential Women In Music

50th anniversary of Surrealistic Pillow

March 10, 2017

Fifty years and a month ago, a group of wild hippies from the San Francisco Bay Area broke more ground than the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Surrealistic Pillow, with a swirling mesh of distortion and fractured concepts of lost love and white rabbits, still probes the questions facing any human: For what do I deserve to be loved?

This was the first album to feature female vocalist Grace Slick. Considered the lost sister of another female great, Janis Joplin, Grace played with a variety of instruments including her voice. With her piercing vibrato and eclectic songwriting, she was the earth mother of the hippie movement.

Many people seem to forget, however, the other important women in musical history. These women helped to improve the social and professional lives of female performers everywhere. They are deserving of appreciation and validation and are heroes of their generation.

  • Joan Baez – The original queen of folk. Played Bob Dylan's songs with Bob Dylan. Made a song called "Altar boy and the Thief" and performed at benefit concerts for LGBTQ rights.
  • Barbara Hudson – Guitarist and vocalist of cult acid rock band Ultimate Spinach. The Hip Death Goddess of the "Bosstown Sound" in Boston. Often considered the east coast's Grace Slick.
  • Carol Kaye – Legendary bass player in and out of the studio. She has played on well known albums as a session player, including on Pet Sounds (Beach Boys), Forever Changes (Love), and Boots (Nancy Sinatra). You may hear her licks everyday, but never her name.
  • Rose Stone – Lead singer with her brother Sly Stone in the band Sly and the Family Stone. She was a crucial black icon in the flower power movement. Her family's band helped to merge black and white groups together with their blend of psychedelia and soul. They helped to diversify the free love movement with fans of any origin.

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