Leaders of the Pack: Girl Groups of the 1960s and Their Influence on Popular Culture in Britain and America

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9781442252011: Leaders of the Pack: Girl Groups of the 1960s and Their Influence on Popular Culture in Britain and America

In Leaders of the Pack: Girl Groups of the 1960s and their Influence on Popular Culture musician and music historian Sean MacLeod surveys the hundreds of girl groups that appeared not only in the United States but also in Great Britain during the early 1960s. This study corrects the neglect of their critical contribution of popular music history by exploring the social and political climate from which the girl groups emerged and their effect, in turn, on local and national music and culture.

MacLeod organizes his argument around seven leading girl groups: The Shirelles, The Crystals, The Ronettes, The Marvelettes, The Vandellas, the Supremes and The Shangri-Las. These seven “sister” groups serve as the basis for a broader look at the many girl groups of the period, offering a roadmap through the work of the many stakeholder—the singers, songwriters, producers, and record labels—that the girl group phenomenon made possible. MacLeod also reviews the significant influence girl groups had on the many male bands of the 1960s, as well as their influence on the post-‘60s movements, from punk to new wave, ultimately serving as the template for the girl groups and all-girl bands that emerged in the 1980s. Finally, The Leaders of the Pack brings us to the present as MacLeod compares the original girl groups with female performers of today, drawing lines of connection and contrast between them.

Leaders of the Pack is essential reading for students, scholars, and fans of 1960s music and culture. It will further interest anyone interested in women’s studies, modern American and British culture, and music history, with important forays into such topics as the Civil Rights Movement, second and third wave feminism, and post-war life.

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About the Author:

Sean MacLeod is a songwriter, music producer, and lecturer from Dublin, Ireland. He has been writing and producing music for over twenty-five years and currently teaches courses in music and media at the Limerick College of Further Education, Ireland.

Review:

A British songwriter and producer, MacLeod has compiled a detailed history of the early 1960s girl musical groups—in both the US and Great Britain—and their legacies. Drawing on a range of sources (some primary but most secondary), MacLeod begins with a history and an analysis of the Shirelles and moves on to the Crystals, the Ronettes, the Marvelettes, the Supremes, the Vandellas, and the Shangri-Las. He also discusses such producers as Berry Gordy and Phil Spector. With the arrival, in the mid-1960s, of the Beatles and other British groups (who were significantly influenced by the girl groups), the musical scene changed significantly. MacLeod follows the story through the remainder of the 20th century and into the 21st, discussing The Beach Boys, The Who, The Rolling Stones, the Ramones, Blondie, Madonna, the Spice Girls, Lady Gaga, and Britney Spears—all seemingly influenced by the earlier girl groups. There are lengthy notes and a detailed bibliography, demonstrating the author’s wide range of sources, but few illustrations. With its wide chronological coverage, this is a useful addition to the literature. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. (CHOICE)

MacLeod has done a commendable job researching this topic.... [H]e presents some unique and important thoughts on the 1960s girl groups and their bearing on the music and culture that followed. I recommend this book for either public or academic libraries, because it deserves wide readership and makes important contributions to the discourse on feminism, popular music, and cultural history. (Music Reference Services Quarterly)

[A] superb book.... Leaders of the Pack is exhaustively researched and so filled with details that anyone interested in the era, or popular music in general, will surely appreciate it. (Journal of American Culture)

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Leaders of the Pack: Girl Groups of the 1960s and their Influence on Popular Culture musician and music historian Sean MacLeod surveys the hundreds of girl groups that appeared not only in the United States but also in Great Britain during the early 1960s. This study corrects the neglect of their critical contribution of popular music history by exploring the social and political climate from which the girl groups emerged and their effect, in turn, on local and national music and culture. Leaders of the Pack is essential reading for students, scholars, and fans of 1960s music and culture. It will further interest anyone interested in women s studies, modern American and British culture, and music history, with important forays into such topics as the Civil Rights Movement, second and third wave feminism, and post-war life. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9781442252011

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Leaders of the Pack: Girl Groups of the 1960s and their Influence on Popular Culture musician and music historian Sean MacLeod surveys the hundreds of girl groups that appeared not only in the United States but also in Great Britain during the early 1960s. This study corrects the neglect of their critical contribution of popular music history by exploring the social and political climate from which the girl groups emerged and their effect, in turn, on local and national music and culture. Leaders of the Pack is essential reading for students, scholars, and fans of 1960s music and culture. It will further interest anyone interested in women s studies, modern American and British culture, and music history, with important forays into such topics as the Civil Rights Movement, second and third wave feminism, and post-war life. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9781442252011

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