Radio Faux Show Volume 1, Number 33 (October 17, 2021): Female Artists from A to Z (Part 2 – N to Z)

Radio Faux Show Volume 1, Number 33 (October 17, 2021): Female Artists from A to Z (Part 2 – N to Z)

This Week’s Theme: Female Artists from N to Z

This week’s show is part two 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 two 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 three.

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


Amazon Music

Theme Selections

Nicole “Ein bisschen Frieden”

Charlotte Nilsson “Take Me To Your Heaven”

Laura Nyro “Stoney End”

Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) “Heads Will Roll”

Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries) “Schizophrenic Playboy”

Dolly Parton “Light of a Clear Blue Morning”

Debbi and Vicki Peterson, Michael (Mikki) Steele, and Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) “Hero Takes a Fall”

Dee Plakas, Donita Sparks, Jennifer Finch, and Suzi Gardner (L7) “Shitlist”

Suzi Quatro “Can the Can” and “The Devil In Me”

Queen Latifah “U.N.I.T.Y.”

Sandra Reemer “Ik Wil Vrij Zijn”

Deidra Roper (DJ Spinderella), Sandra Denton (Pepa), and Cheryl James (Salt) (Salt ‘N’ Pepa) with Dawn Robinson, Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, (En Vogue) “Whatta Man”

Rumer “Slow”

Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey, and Belinda Carlisle (Go-Go’s) “Our Lips Are Sealed”

Roxanne Shante “Have a Nice Day”

Siouxsie Sioux (Siouxsie and the Banshees) “Love in a Void”

Patti Smith (Patti Smith Group) “Dancing Barefoot”

Poly Styrene (X-Ray Spex) “I Am a Poseur”

Sunwoo Jung-a “Idle Idle”

Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers (Wet Leg) “Wet Dream”

Carla Thomas “B-A-B-Y”

Ike and Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High”

Upsahl “Douchebag”

Usha Uthup “Didi Bhai”

Sarah Vaughan “Someone to Watch Over Me”

Lucinda Williams “Changed the Locks” and “I Lost It”

Amy Winehouse “Rehab”

Keren Woodward, Siobhan Fahey, and Sara Dallin (Bananarama) “Shy Boy”

Exene Cervenka (X): “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not”

Yebba “Distance”

Yelle “Ba$$in”

Yvette Young (Covet) “gleam”

Zemfira (with Angelo Badalamenti) “Legenda”

Lolo Zouai “Beaucoup”

Two Queens

Dolly Parton is the Queen of Country and is a living legend. The list of the greatest female country artists includes women who came before her, such as Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, contemporaries of Parton such as Tanya Tucker and Barbara Mandrell, and more current stars including Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, and Faith Hill. While all of these women (and others) have enjoyed periods of major success, only Parton has been part of pop culture from the beginning of her career sixty years ago up through today.

She is the original country music cross-over artist. She is a recording star and a film star. Her amusement park, Dollywood, has been a major tourist attraction for decades. She has been a top concert draw for fifty years. And, in the last few years, she has shown herself to be one of the most modest, thoughtful, and caring celebrities in America.

Most of all, though, she is a songwriter. She has composed over three thousand (!) songs, of which she has recorded and released almost one thousand. Here is a list of all of the songs she has written. Just kidding. But among those songs are some of the most well known songs of the last fifty years, including “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene,” and “9 to 5.” In order to truly understand the impact of Parton on country music you have to list some of her accomplishments. She has twenty-five albums of gold, platinum, or higher sales. She has twenty-five #1 country singles, tied for the most with Reba McEntire. She has forty-four (!) Top 10 Country albums, the most by any artist, male or female. She has 110 Top 40 Country hits. She has won eleven Grammy Awards out of fifty (!) nominations, has won dozens of other awards (including just about every major award available to her), and is one of only eighty-five people to have been nominated for an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony).

I know that plenty of people ignore country music, just like they ignore rap or jazz, but Dolly Parton transcends country music. She was born to be a country artist, but any of the long list of great songs she has written can be performed in any genre and still be just as wonderful. She is a once-in-a-lifetime artist.

Tina Turner is often called the Queen of Rock and Roll. She is one of the most powerful live performers, male or female, in the history of pop music. She is a symbol of strength, individualism, and perseverance for women of all ages. She is a living legend and one of the most important women in the history of rock and roll.

Tina Turner started her career in 1957 at the age of eighteen with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm. She quickly became the star of Ike Turner’s band, and they began recording as Ike and Tina Turner almost immediately. During their twenty year run, they recorded several Top 40 hits, won Grammy Awards, and put on one of the era’s best live shows. They are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1976, Tina Turner divorced Ike and began her solo career. Although it took her seven years to get back to the level of stardom she had with Ike Turner, by 1983 she found her new sound and her first solo hit with a cover of “Let’s Stay Together.” The next year she released her album Private Dancer, and, as they say, the rest is history. Since 1984, Turner has sold millions of albums, toured to sold out crowds around the world, released singles and videos that define the MTV era of the mid-80s, and starred in Hollywood films.

Her trademark song, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” is also the title of a 1993 biopic of her life. It is one of the best biopics of a musical artist and is mandatory viewing for anyone interested in the history of rock and roll.

There have been a lot of female rock vocalists who sing with raw power and emotion, such as Janis Joplin, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Joan Jett, and Pat Benatar. The original was Tina Turner. Long live the Queen.

don’t take him just because you can
Amy Sedaris!
In the beginning with Porter Wagoner
what a way to make a livin’
The essential Ike and Tina Turner song
just give her one night
THE Tina Turner song
Beyond Thunderdome! Bust a deal, face the wheel

Women Who Rock

Suzi Quatro is a first generation glam rock artist. She is from Detroit, MI but found fame in the early ’70s British glam rock scene. She is a one-hit wonder in the US for her disco-era duet with Chris Norman, “Stumblin’ In.” She has been recording and touring for almost fifty years, and her 2021 album The Devil In Me is a great throwback to her ’70s material.

“Stumblin’ In” (1978)

In addition to her music career, Suzi Quatro is best known for portraying Leather Tuscadero (Pinky Tuscadero’s little sister) on Happy Days. If you grew up watching the show, you will find the following clip either nostalgic or painful.

Slap, Slap, Pow!
Rock and roll

L7 (Suzi Gardner, Donita Sparks, Jennifer Finch, and Dee Plakas) are an all-female alternative rock band from LA. They formed during the early grunge movement of the late ’80s and were originally label-mates of Nirvana on Sub Pop records. Their albums in the early ’90s are some of the best of the genre. During their peak years, L7 were unapologetic, strong, don’t-give-a-shit, feminist songwriters who gave the finger to the misogynistic rock and roll world they were forced to live in. They were one of several female bands of their era to find success, but thirty years later they have risen to the top of that list as one of the most influential and revered of all grunge bands, male or female. They have reformed and are recording and touring again, and they appear to still be as pissed off as they were back then. Thank god for that because the world needs a lot more L7s right now.

a classic song from the grunge era

Karen O is the pianist and vocalist for New York indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They have released four albums in the 21st century, three of which received Grammy nominations. Karen O was born in South Korea and raised in New Jersey, and has released solo material in addition to her work with her band.

from her 2014 solo album Crush Songs

Tragic Deaths

Dolores O’Riordan was the lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries from 1990 until her death in 2018. Although not the original vocalist, O’Riordan was the voice of the band. She was one of the most recognizable singers of the ’90s alternative rock explosion, with her strong Irish accent and use of the traditional Irish vocal affectation called keening.

The Cranberries were one of the most successful rock acts of the 1990s and released five albums before their breakup in 2003 to work on solo projects, during which time O’Riordan recorded two solo albums. The band reunited in 2009 and recorded two more albums, but during this time O’Riordan struggled with depression and was ultimately diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015. O’Riordan passed out from alcohol consumption and drowned in her bathtub in 2018.

O’Riordan’s influence has continued past her death. She has been acknowledged as one of the greatest vocalists in alternative rock history and she continues to find new fans even after her death.

Their biggest hit
Over 1 billion views…

Amy Winehouse was an R&B/soul/jazz vocalist in the early part of the 21st century. She was incredibly successful, and her album Back to Black is one of the best selling albums in UK history. The album, and lead single “Rehab,” won multiple Grammy and other awards, and she is considered one of the greatest female vocalists in pop music history. She died from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27 in 2011.

To be completely honest, I was not a fan of either The Cranberries or Amy Winehouse when they were releasing albums. I am still not going to ask Alexa to play any Cranberries albums, but I understand their appeal to those who love them. On the other hand, I have since come to realize just how amazing the music of Amy Winehouse is. Her debut album, Frank, is a great first album and Back to Black is a rare case where all of the accolades, sales, and popularity are actually deserved.

With such a short career and limited discography, there is no way to know what the future would have held for Winehouse, but it seems likely that she could have created a long-term legacy if she had not succumbed to her demons.

Live in 2003 on Jools Hollands’ amazing show
in retrospect, this is difficult to watch, but great nonetheless

The Original Punk Poet

Patti Smith was born in Chicago and raised in New Jersey, but she moved to New York when she was twenty-one and became a leading figure of the New York punk scene in the ’70s. She is a songwriter, author, and poet who has won The National Book Award and the Polar Music Prize, and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall Fame. Most importantly, she took the poetry/folk music combination perfected by Bob Dylan and incorporated it into a poetry/punk rock style that has influenced generations.

I will save a more in-depth study of Patti Smith’s work for another Faux Show, so for now I’ll just say that she is a genre-defining artist who deserves more popularity then she has received.

For an example of the power of her poetry, here are the lyrics to “Birdland” from her debut, 1975 album Horses.

Patti Smith knows what she is talking about

Punk rock is not just a sound. It is an attitude, and Patti Smith presents the true punk aesthetic as well as The Ramones and The Sex Pistols. This live cover version of “Gloria” from her debut album in 1975 was recorded four years later and contains an entirely new intro with the same punk energy of the original.


“Because the Night” was written by Bruce Springsteen for his 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town, but he was not able to write more than the music and chorus and shelved the song. At that same time, his engineer Jimmy Iovine was producing his first album, Patti Smith’s Easter, and asked permission to give the song to Smith because he thought it could be a hit and she deserved to have a hit. Springsteen agreed, Smith wrote the verses, and the song made her a one-hit wonder (peaking at # 13).

they can’t hurt you now

Artist of the Week: Lucinda Williams

Singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams is the Queen of Alt-Country. She is the first of dozens of female country artists who have recorded since the ’80s but have been classified as too rock for country radio and too country for pop/rock radio. Because of the trail blazed by Williams since 1979, women such as her contemporary Mary Chapin Carpenter (who had a hit with Williams’ classic “Passionate Kisses”), modern artist Brandi Carlisle, and all those like them, are able to flourish in a world in which they are both heralded as great songwriters and seen as outsiders by all mainstream radio and media.

Perhaps the best way to show the cross-genre influence of Lucinda Williams is to note that she has been recognized in both the VH1 Top 100 Women in Rock and Roll list and the Rolling Stone Top 100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time list. She has won three Grammy Awards and multiple other awards and honors, and her album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road was recently listed in the new Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of All Time.

Most importantly of all, Lucinda Williams is one of the greatest songwriters of the last forty years. Her songs cut to the heart of human emotion – love, loss, grief, happiness, desire, anger, fear, and all aspects of the human condition in between. As if that isn’t enough talent, she is also blessed with one of the most identifiable and unique voices in music. Much like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, Williams has a voice that is almost impossible to disconnect from her songs. The way her voice and her lyrics intertwine is a rarity among songwriters and makes every one of her albums worth listening to. She is a national treasure and continues to record and tour. She may never get inducted into either the Rock and Roll or the Country Music Hall of Fame, but I doubt she cares at this point. After years of being ignored, the last ten years have finally found her being recognized as the incredible talent that she is.

Is it too much to ask?

Only eight percent of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and thirteen percent of the Country Music Hall of Fame are women. Many of the women included in these last two Faux Shows are part of the large group of women who have been left out of those male-dominated clubs. Let’s use Lucinda Williams as an example of why that is such a travesty, and listen to some songs that show her amazing talent. If you know a voting member (who is most likely male), tell them to get their head out of their ass and vote in a few dozen women the next time they get a chance.

I changed the name of this town – what an incredible lyric
Williams shows her lyrical mastery in this song about a lost friend
This song and Jackson Browne’s “For Adam” cut to the heart of the sadness of suicide

Ms. Faux Recommends

Three of Ms. Faux’s favorite artists are featured in this week’s show. The songs selected are some of Ms. Faux’s favorites by these amazing women.

Laura Nyro was an amazing singer/songwriter who has still not received the credit she deserves. For more about Laura Nyro, check out Faux Show #19,

Live in Monterey, 1967

Rumer is a singer/songwriter who sounds like a throwback to the ’70s as much as a 21st century artist. She has recorded five albums in the last ten years, featuring a mix of perfectly selected covers and her own wonderful originals.

2 of Ms. Faux’s favorites perform a song that is perfect for Rumer to sing

Sunwoojunga (Sunwoo Jung-a) is a South Korean singer who has released dozens of songs, albums, soundtracks, and collaborations over the last fifteen years. She has one of the most beautiful voices of any female performing today. Her ability to write her own songs sets her apart from most Korean singers who only record songs written and produced by the K-Pop song production machine. She can sing songs across many genres and is an extremely successful artist in her homeland.

“Sea of Hope”: music can move you even if you don’t speak the language – simply beautiful

Let’s Take a Trip Around the World


Usha Uthup “Didi Bhai”: Usha Uthup is an Indian playback singer who has been recording music for films for over fifty years.


Zemfira (with Angelo Badalamenti) “Legenda”: Zemfira is a Russian rock singer who has sold over three million albums during her twenty-plus year career.

One of her most popular songs


Lolo Zouai “Beaucoup”: Lolo Zouai is an up-and-coming French/American singer. Her debut album, High Highs to Low Lows, was released in 2019 and she has already won a Grammy Award for “Still Down,” a song she wrote for H.E.R. in 2017 at age 22.

from 2020

Yelle “Ba$$in”: Yelle is the lead singer of electropop band Yelle. The band has released four albums in the last fifteen years, three of which hit the Top 10 on the US Dance Album charts.

South Korea

Sunwoo Jung-a “Idle Idle”: This is a beautiful song released in 2020. See Ms. Faux Recommends for more about Sunwoo.

The Get Down

Roxanne Shante “Have A Nice Day”: If you want to understand the sexism that was prevalent throughout rap music during its early years, you need to study the career of Roxanne Shante. She started rapping at the age of fourteen and retired in about ten years, but during that time she opened the door for female rappers to become part of the male-dominated hip hop scene.

Roxanne Shante was part of one of the first well-known rap feuds. Known as “The Roxanne Wars,” it began when a band named U.T.F.O. released “Roxanne, Roxanne” about a woman who would not succomb to their advances. Fourteen year-old Shante changed her name to Roxanne Shante and released a rebuttal called “Roxanne’s Revenge” which used the backing track from the U.T.F.O. song. This was one of the first hit rap songs by a female rapper. U.T.F.O. answered with a release by another female rapper who called herself the “Real Roxanne,” and this led to dozens more “Roxanne” answer songs, some by Roxanne Shante and most by other artists.

While the Roxanne Wars were raging, Shante was trying to build her career as a rapper. In the ’80s, this effort included rap battles between rappers. These free-style rap battles have been part of rap since it’s beginnings, but women were rarely part of the equation, especially women with some popularity. In 1985, Roxanne Shante battled famed free-style rapper Busy Bee Starski and lost, but later investigation found that she may have won if the judges hadn’t disqualified her for “being a girl.” This was followed in 1986 by “The Bridge Is Over,” a song by KRS-ONE in which she and her crew are dissed as part of the then common rap cliche of attacking other crews in your area. These rap feuds have often seemed too childish for most outsiders looking in at rap music, but the real problem in this particular song is the objectification of Roxanne Shante as useful for nothing but sex.

The rest of Shante’s career includes several albums before her retirement from rapping in the mid-90s. Shante is obviously not part of the rap renaissance of the ’90s, but she and other early female rappers such as MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Salt ‘N’ Pepa, paved the way for those to come.

Roxanne gets her say

Queen Latifah “U.N.I.T.Y.” and Salt ‘N’ Pepa (with En Vogue) “Whatta Man”: Speaking of the original female rappers who paved the way, these are two of the most important rap renaissance songs by women. “U.N.I.T.Y.” is the breakthrough song for Queen Latifah (her only Top 40 hit) and a classic anthem of female empowerment and anti-misogeny. In the song, Latifah attacks the basic themes of almost all rap songs ever written about women and tells all of those male rappers to go to hell. “Whatta Man” is one of the greatest rap songs ever recorded, and one of the best songs of the ’90s for any genre. It reworks a 1968 single by Dave Crawford about how great a lover he is into one of the best songs ever written about sex, love, and relationships from a female perspective.

“U.N.I.T.Y.” was featured in the show Living Single, the ’90s sitcom that started Latifah’s career as an A-list actress and pop culture icon.

1993 – the year that rap became mainstream American pop culture?

Twenty-five years later, Salt ‘N’ Pepa, En Vogue, and Kelly Clarkson brought down the house with this performance at the Billboard Music Awards in 2018. This music still sounds important because rap has not progressed at all in it’s misogynism and sexual objectification with rappers like Eminem, Jay-Z, and Kanye West still driving the conversation. Even though female rappers have started to take on a larger role in rap’s future, the music of Missy Elliot, Megan Thee Stallion, and their female contemporaries seems to be missing the point that Queen Latifah and Salt ‘N’ Pepa were making back in the early ’90s.

Whatta medley

Happy Birthday (October 17)

Sandra Reemer is an Indo-Dutch vocalist who has represented the Netherlands in the Eurovision song contest three times, tied for the most by any artist. She never won, but she came in 4th, 9th, and 12th, and she performed a fourth time as a backing vocalist.


Go-Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed”

Queen Latifah “U.N.I.T.Y”

Salt ‘n’ Pepa (with En Vogue): “Whatta Man”

Amy Winehouse “Rehab”

Two for “Two”day

Lucinda Williams “Changed the Locks” and “I Lost It”

Suzi Quatro “Can the Can” and “The Devil in Me”


Suzi Quatro “The Devil In Me”

Upsahl “Douchebag”: Upsahl has been releasing extremely popular singles and videos for the past three years and her debut album Lady Jesus was just released last week.

Wet Leg “Wet Dream”: This new female duo from the Isle of Wight has released two songs so far and both are fantastic.

Yebba “Distance”: Yebba won a Grammy in 2019 at the age of 24 and her debut album Dawn is quickly becoming one of my favorites of 2021.

I Want My MTV

The golden years of MTV would not have been the same without these three artists.

The Bangles “Hero Takes a Fall”: The Bangles are an all-female rock band formed in 1981 by Susanna Hoffs, sisters Debbi and Vicki Peterson, and original Runaways bassist Michael (Mikki) Steele. They had several Top 40 hits, but “Hero Takes a Fall” was their first to get some MTV airplay.

’cause that’s my fun day

Go-Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed”: The Go-Go’s are an all-female rock band formed in 1978 by Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, and Jane Wiedlin. They had several Top 40 hits, and “Our Lips Are Sealed” was their first.

All I ever wanted

Bananarama “Shy Boy”: Bananarama are an all-female rock band formed in 1980 by Siobhan Fahey, Sara Dallin, and Keren Woodward. They had several Top 40 hits, and “Shy Boy” was the first to hit the US Top 100.

you’re not the only one

Facing My Waterloo

Nicole “Ein bisschen Frieden”: Nicole Seibert won the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest at the age of seventeen with this song.

Charlotte Nilsson “Take Me To Your Heaven”: Charlotte Nilsson won the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest with this song.

Sandra Reemer “Ik Wil Vrij Zijn”: See Happy Birthday

A Little Jazz

Sarah Vaughan “Someone to Watch Over Me”: Sarah Vaughan was one of the greatest jazz vocalists of the 20th century.

3 Chunks of Punk

X “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not”: X are an LA punk band featuring vocalist Exene Cervenka. This song is from their classic 1980 debut album Los Angeles.

X-Ray Spex “I Am A Poseur”: X-Ray Spex were a first generation British punk band featuring Poly Styrene on vocals.

Siouxsie and the Banshees “Love in a Void”: Siouxsie Sioux is an iconic goth-era songwriter and vocalist. Her band, The Banshees, released several albums across multiple genres, and this song is from their highly influential 1979 album Join Hands, the last of their records recorded with their original, punk-era lineup.

Thanks for listening (and reading)!

TrackArtistSong Title
3Wet LegWet Dream
4Dolly PartonLight of a Clear Blue Morning
5Laura NyroStoney End
7Sunwoo Jung-aIdle Idle
8Usha UthupDidi Bhai
9Angelo Badalamenti with ZemfiraLegenda
10Lolo ZouaiBeaucoup
12Carla ThomasB-A-B-Y
13Ike and Tina TurnerRiver Deep, Mountain High
14Amy WinehouseRehab
15Roxanne ShanteHave a Nice Day
16Queen LatifahU.N.I.T.Y.
17Salt ‘N’ Pepa (with En Vogue)Whatta Man
18Lucinda WilliamsChanged the Locks
19Lucinda WilliamsI Lost It
20The BanglesHero Takes a Fall
21Go-Go’sOur Lips Are Sealed
22BananaramaShy Boy
23NicoleEin bisschen Frieden
24Charlotte NilssonTake Me To Your Heaven
25Sandra ReemerIk Wil Vrij Zijn
26Sarah VaughanSomeone To Watch Over Me
29Patti Smith GroupDancing Barefoot
30Yeah Yeah YeahsHeads Will Roll
31The CranberriesSchizophrenic Playboy
32XYour Phone’s off the Hook, But You’re Not
33X-Ray SpexI Am a Poseur
34Siouxsie and the BansheesLove In A Void
35Suzi QuatroCan the Can
36Suzi QuatroThe Devil in Me

6 thoughts on “Radio Faux Show Volume 1, Number 33 (October 17, 2021): Female Artists from A to Z (Part 2 – N to Z)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s