‘She’s an expert on the harmonica’: Women, stage shows and harmonica playing | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Girls and Women in Popular Music Education
  • ISSN: 2397-6721
  • E-ISSN: 2397-673X

Abstract

Female solo harmonica players began to be more commonly heard on stages and radio in the United States in the 1920s–30s. While still a male-dominated arena, several women soloists, male–female duos or women’s groups were featured performers in vaudeville, but also the ‘variety’ or ‘stage shows’ entertainment that emerged as vaudeville declined. Stage shows as well as acts that appeared as a prelude to movies at movie houses took on the air of a more ‘middle-class-friendly’ source of entertainment where women began to find a foothold and developed a reputation as solid performers. This article profiles three of these: The Ingenues, ‘Babe’ Didrickson and Mildred Mulcay. This article begins to fill in the gap of our understanding of the activities and impact of female performers of popular music in the decades before the Second World War.

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2022-07-01
2024-02-25
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