Radio Faux Show Volume 1, Number 32 (October 10, 2021): Female Artists from A to Z (Part 1 – A to M)

Radio Faux Show Volume 1, Number 32 (October 10, 2021): Female Artists from A to Z (Part 1 – A to M)

This Week’s Theme: Female Artists from A to M

This week’s show is part one of two, and focuses on female musicians throughout the decades. These artists present a variety of music across genres and eras, including several of the most successful artists of their time. Although there are many famous artists, including four legends, this is not meant to be a collection of the most important or successful female artists. As usual, songs are organized into mini-themes when possible.

The history of popular music is filled with women who were talented, successful, and influential. Many are considered to be legends and some are famous throughout the world. But, as with most things in life, they all had to work ten times as hard to get their break and they faced constant discrimination, increased pressure to succeed, an unacceptable requirement to look and act a certain way, and unequal pay compared to their male contemporaries. For all of these reasons, it is always more impressive when a female artist is able to break through and succeed in the music business. In the 21st century, especially the last few years, many of these barriers have softened, but they are still there and will continue to be there until a major shift in the misogynism of the world’s cultures occurs. That will not happen in any of our lifetimes, but at least we can recognize and enjoy the musical accomplishments of women at all levels of success.

Welcome to Radio Faux Show number thirty two.

First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.


Amazon Music

Theme Selections

Adele “Hello”

Julie Andrews “A Spoonful of Sugar”

Dayme Arocena “Oya”

Pat Benatar “Treat Me Right”

Kate Bush “Babooshka”

Brandi Carlile “Right on Time”

Mary Chapin Carpenter “Passionate Kisses”

Lyn Collins “Think (About It)”

Betty Davis “Your Mama Wants Ya Back”

Kim Deal (The Breeders) “Cannonball” and Kim Deal (Pixies) “Gigantic”

Gloria Estefan “Let It Loose”

Betty Everett “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)”

Lita Ford, plus Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox, and Joan Jett (The Runaways) “Cherry Bomb”

Connie Francis “Who’s Sorry Now”

Aretha Franklin “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You”

Bebel Gilberto “Samba Da Bencao”

Marcia Griffiths “Electric Boogie”

Debbie Harry (Blondie) “Rip Her to Shreds”

Billie Holiday “All of Me”

Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders) “Message of Love” and Chrissie Hynde “You’re a Big Girl Now”

Queen Ifrica “Lioness on the Rise”

Lila Ike “Solitude”

Carole King “I Feel The Earth Move”

Millie Jackson “You Created a Monster”

Janis Joplin “Cry Baby”

Diana Krall “Hit That Jive Jack”

Cyndi Lauper “Time After Time”

Annie Lennox “Walking on Broken Glass”

Lijadu Sisters “Life’s Gone Down Low”

Kirsty MacColl “A New England”

Madonna “Into the Groove”

Ella Mae Morse “The House of Blue Lights”

Four Queens

Julie Andrews was the Queen of Broadway and Hollywood musicals in the ’50s and ’60s and has one of the most recognizable voices in the world. Her career spans over seventy years, she has won almost every award you can name, and she is known world-wide by people aged 5 to 95.

Let’s start at the very beginning

Aretha Franklin was The Queen of Soul for over fifty years until her death in 2018. She was given almost every award and honor she was eligible to receive, she is one of the most influential artists in the history of popular music, and her iconic voice is known all over the world.

Forever and ever, live in 1970

Billie Holiday is the original jazz singer who influenced all jazz singers to come, male or female.

The most important song Holiday recorded and performed

The current timeline of the Queens of pop music begins with Connie Francis and Diana Ross and ends with Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Katy Perry, but the last two decades of the 20th century were ruled by one woman. Madonna came out of the New York dance scene and exploded onto our MTV screens in July 1983 with “Holiday.” Within a year, she ruled MTV, became a pop culture icon, and started on her way to becoming the most successful female artist in the history of pop music.

The first video of many

Stars of the ’80s

Kate Bush hit # 1 in the UK with her first single, “Wuthering Heights,” in 1978. She continued that UK success throughout the ’80s with hit albums, hit singles, and great videos. She has only one Top 40 hit in the US, “Running Up That Hill,” plus a Top 40 duet with Peter Gabriel, “Don’t Give Up,” but she is now one of the most beloved artists of the era. Her 1985 album Hounds of Love was recently announced as #68 on Rolling Stone’s new list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, an incredible feat for an album that was virtually ignored by the mainstream during it’s original release.

If I only could

Debbie Harry was as much a star of the late ’70s as the ’80s, but she and her band Blondie deserve acknowledgement as one of the most important acts of the ’80s due to their song “Rapture” being the first rap song to hit #1 on the Top 40. We can all argue about whether or not this should be considered a rap song, but the truth is that Debbie Harry had frequented hip hop shows for three years before Blondie released this song, she hung out with Fab Five Freddy (who is in the video), she name-drops Grandmaster Flash, and the video has cameos by graffiti artists Lee Quinones and Jean-Michel Basquiat. If anything, you could argue that it is not only a rap song, but it is the first rap song to use live music instead of samples and was therefore way ahead of its time.

It is hard to believe now that in 1983 the media created a popularity war between Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, but that really did happen and, after her first album, Cyndi Lauper was winning. Now, of course, we all know that Madonna had the true staying power and Cyndi Lauper’s career never grew to the same heights as Madonna. But, if you told me right now that I could have one of them give a concert in the street outside my window, I would pick Cyndi Lauper every time, time after time.

This video is about to hit one billion views!

Annie Lennox wasn’t as popular as Madonna, but has arguably the greatest singing voice of any female artist in the ’80s. Her work as a member of Eurythmics and then as a solo artist is filled with incredible vocal performances and she is a true pop diva.

Who am I to disagree
Tell me why Annie Lennox isn’t more famous

Women Who Rock

In the early ’80s, every female lead singer of a bar band wanted to sing like Pat Benatar. Other powerful female vocalists had come before, such as Janis Joplin and the Wilson sisters from Heart, but Benatar brought a sound based on sexual energy and female empowerment that destroyed a 5-year run of female disco singers and brought female rock vocals back onto the pop charts. She should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Fire away

Kim Deal is one of the “Two Kims” who played bass in alternative rock bands in the ’80s. Like her counterpart, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, Deal had a unique bass sound and occasionally sang lead vocals. Her band, The Pixies, were college-radio darlings for about five years, and then Deal left to focus on her other band. The Breeders were one of the few female-led bands of the ’90s grunge scene. Their album Last Splash produced their biggest single, “Cannonball.” Kim Deal and The Pixies should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

ten million pounds of sludge from New York and New Jersey

Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox, Joan Jett, and Sandy West were the five members of The Runaways on their debut album. Cherie Curry replaced Micki Steele just before they recorded their album (Micki Steele went on to form The Bangles). The Runaways wrote the blueprint for the all-female rock bands of the ’80s, but none of those ’80s bands had the raw power of the original “couldn’t give a shit” girl band.


As leader of The Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde melded the post-punk sound of the ’70s New York club scene with a beautiful, soulful voice that was unlike any other artist of her time. Her ability to sing rock and roll anthems, soulful love songs, and beautiful ballads, all with her unique tone, made the first three albums by The Pretenders one of the best trio of albums by any band. Although their hits didn’t last much longer, Hynde has continued to record as The Pretenders for over forty years and every new Pretenders record is a welcome addition to their discography. Hynde, unlike most of her female vocalist contemporaries, is actually in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Kid, precious kid

Special note: Hynde’s brand new recordings of Bob Dylan covers, Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan, is a 2021 surprise and is absolutely fantastic. The acoustic set of mostly lesser known Dylan songs feels personal and deserves to get more attention than it probably will.

Janis Joplin was the first female rock and roll singer to let loose with raw vocal power. She died tragically young and would have certainly produced a fantastic set of albums in the ’70s if she had lived to do so. She is still the standard by which all female hard rock vocalists are measured.

Good enough for me

Ella Mae Morse is a pioneer of early rock and roll. She has been mostly forgotten to history, but her records in the ’40s were some of the first examples of a white artist playing black R&B music. Her song “Cow Cow Boogie” was the first gold record released by Capitol Records and she is one of the truly unsung heroes of rock and roll.

This is the real shit by one of the first masters

A Modern-Day Icon

Adele has only released three albums and a few singles since her start in 2008, but the quality of those records, the once-in-a-generation sound of her voice, and her massive world-wide popularity have made her one of the few 21st century icons. With each successive album, she has broadened her sound and increased her audience. Rumors are swirling that a fourth album is in the works, and that is a good thing.

Sometimes it hurts instead

Artists of the Week: Connie Francis and Carole King

This week’s double Artist of the Week selection is a true DJ Faux/Ms. Faux collaboration. Carole King is one of Ms. Faux’s favorite musicians and has been since she was barely able to walk. Connie Francis has been one of my favorite singers since hearing her songs sung by my mother and listening to her on AM Radio in the early ’70s. Both of them are similar in that they have never received the critical respect that they deserve. Connie Francis is one of the most successful and influential female artists in the history of pop music, but she will apparently never be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is treated like a pop star who didn’t produce any music of quality. Carole King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but only as a songwriting partner with her husband Gerry Goffin. As an artist, Carole King is one of the most successful and influential artists of the ’70s, but will also apparently never be given the credit she deserves as a female artist who paved the way for all women who followed. (Updated 10/20/21 – Carole King was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021)

Connie Francis began her professional career in 1953 at the age of sixteen and spent four years attempting to break through onto the pop charts. During those years, she worked as voice-over talent by recording the vocals for songs that Hollywood actresses could lip sync to in their films, and she had a minor hit as a duet with Marvin Rainwater (peaked at #93, and then went on to sell over a million copies after she became a pop star). In October 1957, during what was considered her last recording session if she didn’t produce a hit, she recorded a cover of a 1923 song that was famous with people her parents’ age called “Who’s Sorry Now.” She thought that covering an old song her parents liked was a bad idea, and at first the single was a flop just like all the rest of her releases. Then in February 1958, Dick Clark played the song on American Bandstand and by the summer it had sold over a million copies. She spent the next four years as the #1 female pop star in America, was also extremely popular in the UK, and by 1964 had become the most successful female pop star in history with 35 Top 40 hits. Although her Top 40 career ended in 1964 (as did most older artists after The Beatles changed pop music forever), she continued to record international hits into the ’70s and was a huge concert draw both at home and abroad.

The rest of the Connie Francis story is heartbreaking. In 1974, she was raped at her hotel room after a concert in New York and was almost murdered by suffocation. The next fifteen years of her life included issues with depression caused by her rape and attempted murder, a 4-year loss of her voice due to nasal surgery, and the loss of her beloved brother after being assassinated by the mafia. Somehow, in the end, she was able to overcome her difficulties and has spent the last thirty-plus years making occasional sold out appearances. She has spent most of her life as an advocate for victim’s rights, reform of the criminal justice system’s inability to resolve violent crime, and mental health.

Connie Francis’ record of thirty-five Top 40 hits (all recorded in a six year period) was not surpassed until Madonna released hit number thirty-six in 1997 (“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”), fourteen years into her career. The music of Connie Francis certainly sounds like it is from another time, especially compared to the pop music of the 21st century, but she was the first female pop artist to show that a woman can be just as successful as a man in the world of pop music, and everyone from Madonna to Beyoncé to Olivia Rodrigo owes her a debt of gratitude for leading the way.

Carole King began her songwriting career at around the same time that Connie Francis was the #1 female star in America, but King’s songwriting was designed for the ’60s soul music to come rather than the pop music of Francis’ era. King wrote/co-wrote more Top 40 singles and more UK hits than any other woman in the last half of the 20th century. A list of her songs is a list of the music that shaped the ’60s. These hits made stars out of dozens of artists, and include some of the most well-known songs ever written. To name just a few, these include “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “The Loco-Motion,” “Up on the Roof,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

While others were gaining fame from her songwriting, she was satisfied to sit in the background, not believing that she had the presence to be a solo recording artist. That all changed in the early ’70s when she lived in Laurel Canyon and started hanging out with other songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, and especially James Taylor. They convinced her that she had the talent to make it on her own, and her second album, Tapestry, showcased her continuing songwriting mastery. Songs such as “I Feel the Earth Move,” “It’s Too Late,” and “You’ve Got a Friend,” not only made Tapestry a massive hit, but led to it being the best selling album by a woman for the next twenty years. With Tapestry, King joined Joni Mitchell as the two women most responsible for the future success of female singer/songwriters.

Although none of her albums after Tapestry sold as well (how could they?), King has recorded 25 solo albums across a variety of genres and has also sold over 75 million records. Her career since 1971 has never slowed, and she continues to record and perform. She has remained politically active and is a leading celebrity in the fight for female equality and environmental protection.

Carole King doesn’t look like a female pop star and doesn’t sing like a female pop star. Perhaps that is why she doesn’t get the respect as an artist that her contemporaries do. But Carole King is owed a debt of gratitude by all female singer/songwriters to follow for proving that songwriting talent can be just as important as all of the other superficial qualities that only female artists are expected to possess.

Francis’ stardom started here
Francis’ first # 1 hit
Francis live in ’89 in London at one her comeback concerts
Connie Francis’ influence fifty years later
King’s demo of a song made famous by The Monkees
My favorite Carole King song, live in ’71
“Pierre” from King’s soundtrack to Really Rosie, the wonderful animated feature based on Maurice Sendak’s illustrations and King’s music
James Taylor and Carole King, “You’ve Got a Friend”

Ms. Faux Recommends

Four of Ms. Faux’s favorite artists are featured in this week’s show. We listen to Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Aretha Franklin, Carole King, and Annie Lennox in the Faux household all of the time. The songs selected are some of Ms. Faux’s favorites by these amazing women.

Let’s Take a Trip Around the World


Bebel Gilberto “Samba Da Bencao”: Bebel Gilberto is the daughter of bossa nova legend Joao Gilberto and singer Miucha. She performs a modern style of bossa nova, and her album Tanto Tempo was one of the best albums of the year 2000.


Dayme Arocena “Oya”: Dayme Arocena is a young Cuban singer who is already being heralded as one of the best vocalists in Cuba. She performs a powerful mix of jazz and soul.

Gloria Estefan “Let It Loose”: This is the title track from the first album by Gloria Estefan as a solo artist, although it still features her band Miami Sound Machine. This record was the breakthrough album for Estefan, the most successful Cuban/American crossover artist and one of the most influential Latinas in the history of pop music.


Marcia Griffiths “Electric Boogie”: Griffiths started recording in the ’70s and is still recording and performing.

Queen Ifrica “Lioness on the Rise”: Queen Ifrica has released two reggae albums, including her 2017 album Climb, which reached #1 on the Reggae album charts.

Lila Ike “Solitude”: Lila Ike is part of the new breed of reggae artists and released her debut in 2020.


Lijadu Sisters “Life’s Gone Down Low”: The Lijadu Sisters are my favorite artists that I discovered while making this week’s show. Twin sisters Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu are cousins of Fela Kuti and recorded in the ’70s and ’80s. Their mix of afrobeat with jazz and disco has led to them being called the West African Pointer Sisters.

3 Chunks of Funk

Lyn Collins “Think (About It)”: Recorded with The JB’s as the backing band, this is one of the greatest funk performances by a female artist. The song is also one of the most sampled songs in the history of hip-hop, having been sampled thousands of times, most famously by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock in “It Takes Two.”

Collins rocks it again and again on Soul Train in 1974

Betty Davis “Your Mama Wants Ya Back”: Betty Davis’ story is like a movie script, and is almost unbelievable. She started her career as Betty Mabry in New York as part of the late ’60s Greenwich Village scene while still in her teens. She worked as a model for magazines such as Ebony, Seventeen, and Glamour. She hung out with Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone. She wrote songs for artists such as The Chambers Brothers. She dated Hugh Masakela and started to record her own music with Masakela as arranger. She married and divorced Miles Davis! And all of this was before she released her first Betty Davis album. Later in the ’70s she also dated Eric Clapton and Robert Palmer.

Her first three albums were modestly successful, but did not produce any hits. However, her suggestive lyrics and overtly sexual stage show were infamous and led to boycotts of both her live shows and radio airplay. She refused to change who she was and how she presented herself, and by the ’80s she retired from music, but her music is still heard in tv shows and a documentary has been made about her amazing career.

Millie Jackson “You Created a Monster”: Millie Jackson’s albums are a mix of spoken word interludes and funk/soul music. She has recorded twenty-seven albums since 1972 and, even though her material is often on the raunchier side of the funk genre, she has received several Grammy nominations.

Jackson live at the Apollo

Happy Birthday (October 10)

Kirsty MacColl was an English singer/songwriter who wrote the hit “They Don’t Know.” Tracy Ullman’s cover of the song was a one-hit wonder in the US. MacColl had a successful career throughout the ’80s. Most importantly, she provides the female vocals on the beloved Christmas song “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues. She died tragically in a boating accident in 2000.

Christmas time or not, this song is great to listen to over and over and over


Adele “Hello”

Pat Benatar “Treat Me Right”

Betty Everett “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)”

Connie Francis “Who’s Sorry Now”

Aretha Franklin “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You”

More Hits

Carole King “I Feel The Earth Move”

Cyndi Lauper “Time After Time”

Annie Lennox “Walking on Broken Glass”

Madonna “Into the Groove”

Two for “Two”day

Pretenders “Message of Love” and Chrissie Hynde “You’re a Big Girl Now”

The Breeders “Cannonball” and Pixies “Gigantic”


Chrissie Hynde “You’re A Big Girl Now”

Brandi Carlile “Right on Time”

A Little Jazz

Billie Holiday “All of Me”: Holiday’s version of this 1931 jazz standard is just one of dozens of great performances by the original jazz diva.

Diana Krall “Hit That Jive Jack”: Diana Krall had put out two well-received but modestly successful records before she released her third, Grammy nominated, album “All For You.” The album is a collection of Nat King Cole covers and is still one of her best. Since then she has released over a dozen more albums, won numerous awards, and raised a family with her husband Elvis Costello.

I Write the Songs

Mary Chapin Carpenter “Passionate Kisses”: Mary Chapin Carpenter is a singer/songwriter and one of the original 80s alt-country artists. Her music is not traditionally country, but she has written several country chart hits for other artists and recorded some of her own as well. “Passionate Kisses” is a cover written by fellow alt-country singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams.

Brandi Carlile “Right on Time”: Brandi Carlile is a 21st century alt-country singer/songwriter who has recorded seven albums. This song is from her brand new 2021 album In These Silent Days. Carlile has received several Grammy nominations, including six nominations as songwriter/producer of Tanya Tucker’s wonderful 2019 album While I’m Livin’. She is also a extremely active politically, focusing on issues of female empowerment and the well-being of children.

Thanks for listening (and reading)!

TrackArtistSong Title
1Julie AndrewsA Spoonful of Sugar (from Mary Poppins)
2BlondieRip Her to Shreds
3Pat BenatarTreat Me Right
4PretendersMessage of Love
5Chrissie HyndeYou’re a Big Girl Now
6Carole KingI Feel the Earth Move
7Annie LennoxWalking on Broken Glass
8Aretha FranklinI Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)
9Janis JoplinCry Baby
10Lyn CollinsThink (About It)
11Betty DavisYour Baby Wants You Back
12Millie JacksonYou Created a Monster
13Betty EverettThe Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)
14MadonnaInto the Groove
15Marcia GriffithsElectric Boogie
16Queen IfricaLioness on the Rise
17Lila IkeSolitude
18Lijadu SistersLife’s Gone Down Low
19Bebel GilbertoSamba Da Bencao
20Dayme ArocenaOya
21Gloria EstefanLet It Loose
22The BreedersCannonball
24The RunawaysCherry Bomb
25Connie FrancisWho’s Sorry Now
26Billie HolidayAll of Me
27Diana KrallHit That Jive Jack
28Ella Mae MorseThe House of Blue Lights
29Mary Chapin CarpenterPassionate Kisses
30Brandi CarlileRight on Time
31Kirsty MacCollA New England
32Kate BushBabooshka
34Cyndi LauperMadonna

7 thoughts on “Radio Faux Show Volume 1, Number 32 (October 10, 2021): Female Artists from A to Z (Part 1 – A to M)

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