Chicks with Sticks: Awesome Female Drummers
The term “female drummer” is considered an oxymoron to the misogynists out there. Although women have played the drums since the jazz age, females like Mary McClanahan and Viola Smith were fantastic drummers for big bands. Women even appeared in early rock ‘n’ roll. An example is the one hit wonder, the Honeycombs. The drummer was Honey Langtree. Despite Langtree drumming on a million-selling record, to the chauvinistic, women were still seen as a gimmick more than real hardcore drummers. Plenty of male artists have wanted female bandmates, but all too often for the wrong reasons.
Eventually, legends like Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground and Motown’s Bobbye Hall gained respect. They were followed by a wave of commercially successful all-female rock bands like the Runaways, Bikini Kill, Vixen, L7, the Go-Gos and the Bangles, who helped female musicians, including drummers, get recognition for their ability.
Trying to find the numbers are almost impossible, but in the PostScript article “Stereotypes restrain female drummers’, they explain, “Ninety-one percent of registered nurses are women, but only 34 percent are physicians, according to the report. Twenty-one percent of scientists are women. While women make up 34 percent of law associates, they are only 15 percent of partners, meaning they receive 50 percent or more of their compensation as equity, according to the report. Like women in such male-dominated careers, female drummers are still widely unacknowledged by music media. Not a single woman appears in Modern Drummer Magazine’s 2014 “The 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time. In 2016, there are five women ranked in Rolling Stones Top 100 list of the greatest drummers. However, there are none in the top half of the list.
Looking at newer bands and young girls videotaping their drum solos for Youtube, you have to feel the numbers are growing. Sadly it takes more than numbers to change the prejudices of the masses. Here are twelve fantastic drummers. The list is not comprehensive or ranked. I realize there are so many great female drummers. For a more extensive listing click here.
Stereotypes restrain female drummers, Kara Anderson, February 28, 2015, thePostScript