Goodnight everyone, and have a powerful and strong weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy. 

March is Women’s History Month that encourages the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

This week we feature the message of strong and succesful women in music.

Let’s begin with a TV theme from the mid 1970’s about a famous superhero first heard about in the early 1940’s.

From Smithsonian Magazine:

Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long. Generations of girls have carried their sandwiches to school in Wonder Woman lunchboxes.


Wonder Woman wasn’t the first female comic book hero, but she quickly proved to be the most popular after appearing on the cover of the debut issue of “Sensation Comics” in January 1942. That summer it was revealed that Wonder Woman’s creator was a most unlikely figure—Harvard-educated psychologist William Moulton Marston, who is often credited as the inventor of the lie-detector test.

Marston believed women were mentally stronger than men and would come to rule the United States—albeit on a lengthy timeline. “The next 100 years will see the beginning of an American matriarchy—a nation of Amazons in the psychological rather than physical sense,” Marston told the Harvard Club of New York in 1937, according to an Associated Press report. “In 500 years, there will be a serious sex battle. And in 1,000 years, women definitely will rule this country.” The New York Times reflected the gender roles of the time by printing in a sub-headline that Marston thought “bored wives will start within next 100 years to take over the nation.”

Marston saw the need for a strong female superhero. “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, power,” he wrote. “The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” Marston thought Wonder Woman needed to be not just entertaining, but a role model as well. “‘Wonder Woman’ was conceived by Dr. Marston to set up a standard among children and young people of strong, free, courageous womanhood; to combat the idea that women are inferior to men, and to inspire girls to self-confidence and achievement in athletics, occupations and professions monopolized by men,” read the 1942 press release announcing Marston as the comic’s creator.

The growing women’s rights movement of the 1960s reinvigorated Wonder Woman as a feminist icon. She was the cover girl on the first regular issue of Ms. magazine in 1972 and became a television star with the release of a prime-time, live-action show starring Lynda Carter.

The mid-1970’s…

In March of 2015 the group LION BABE with singer/songwriter Jillian Hervey released a retro-inspired Sci-Fi style music video named after the famous female superhero.

In theaters the first “Wonder Woman” in 2017 was a box office revolution for a movie directed by a female, earning over $822M, but the sequel was panned. “Wonder Woman 3” was in the works, but last December Warner Bros. announced it is no longer moving forward with the project.

Yvette Marie Stevens, better known as Chaka Khan turns 70 later this month. In the 70’s she left the group Rufus to go solo and became noted for her powerful voice, volumes of curly hair and charisma on stage.

Khan has won 10 Grammy Awards. This was nominated in 1979…

The singer made news this week. From USA TODAY:

Chaka Khan isn’t holding back her opinions on music stars who ranked higher than her on Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest singers of all time.

In Wednesday’s episode of the Los Angeles Magazine podcast “The Originals,” Khan, 69, gave her unfiltered reaction to finding out that the music magazine ranked Mariah Carey, Adele, and Mary J. Blige higher than her.

“What list is that?” Khan said, when told on the podcast about the list. “These are somebody’s opinions, correct? Then that’s all I have to say. I feel honored; however, it’s not going to take me over any moon. These people don’t quantify or validate me in any way.”

Khan also criticized the list for pitting artists against each other. The magazine ranked Khan at #29, Carey at #5, Adele at #22 and Blige at #25.

“I didn’t even know what the hell you were talking about, so obviously lists don’t mean a great deal to me,” she added.

When told about Carey’s ranking, Khan replied: “That must be payola.” When told about Adele’s ranking, Khan said: “OK, I quit.”

Khan had fiercer words when told Blige’s ranking.

“They need hearing aids,” she said of Blige’s ranking,  before derogatorily saying the lists’ creators must be related to blind and deaf disability rights advocate Helen Keller.

Rolling Stone’s list, published in January, drew criticism for its A-list snubs. Celine Dion, Pink, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, Janet Jackson, Tony Bennett, Madonna, Nat King Cole, Dionne Warwick and more didn’t make the list.

I wonder what Maria Muldaur would think of that list. She didn’t make it.

Her big hit” Midnight at the Oasis” reached the Top Ten in 1974. Muldaur followed it up with a song originally recorded by Peggy Lee in 1963.

About that Rolling Stone list:

10) Al Green

9) Otis Redding

8) Beyonce

7) Stevie Wonder

6) Ray Charles

5) Mariah Carey

4) Billie Holiday

3) Sam Cooke

2) Whitney Houston

1) Aretha Franklin

The calendar now says 1997. Shania Twain wrote this with her producer husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Twain told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that she grew up in Canada as a tomboy, and once she developed curves, it took her a long time to accept her body.

“The inspiration was, I started to appreciate the fact that I can really have fun being a woman. I didn’t realize it would have so much impact on others and that so many other people related to this.”

Twain’s album that featured the above became the biggest-selling studio album by a solo female artist. She’s now worth $410 million.

Last month Twain released her latest album, “Queen of Me.” On the the cover she is seen riding a black horse, and wearing a complementary black ensemble: a sheer blouse with a plunging neckline, tiny black shorts, and a black cowboy hat.

When she shared a photo on Instagram of the cover at the end of last year, she wrote: “These days, I’m feeling very comfortable in my own skin – and I think this album reflects that musically. Life is short and I want to be uplifted, colorful, unapologetic and empowered.”

Twain goes on tour beginning in April and will appear at the Kohl Center in Madison on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, and Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Ella Fitzgerald truly lived up to her nickname “First Lady of Song,” being the first woman to receive a Grammy at the inaugural 1959 awards. About a decade later, she became the first woman to be honored with the Recording Academy’s lifetime achievement award.

In 1980 she appeared on a Carpenters TV special and performed a duet with Karen Carpenter who would have been 73 on Thursday.

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