If you haven’t noticed, I love to highlight women who have made a mark on society in music and dance. There have been many women who have created a legacy, changed the world for future generations, and developed magic for others to experience everyday. International Women’s Day was on March 8th, but in my opinion everyday is Women’s Day!
Pop music is one of my favorite music genres. It has broken boundaries and changed over decades, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the harmonizing quality girl groups have incorporated into their sound. Starting in the late 1930s when the Andrews Sisters changed the music scene and the up-and-coming popularity of girl groups began. In 1955 was the year that girl groups started to grow. In 1960-1966 over 750 girl groups charted songs in the United States and the United Kingdom.
While listening to girl groups over the decades, I came across a group called “The Chantels” which was formed in the 1950s. No words can express how excited I was to find this group. I have a weird obsession with my name that date backs to when I was a kid. When you don’t have a common name, you can never find cool things with your name on them. Having a younger brother who has the most common name to man I was jealous. Anyways, this girl group was revolutionary since it was the second African American girl group to have success after the Bobbettes. Their first song to hit the billboard charts was “He’s Gone,” but their most popular hit was “Maybe.” Many of the girl groups such as the Chantels, the Bobbettes, the Shirelles, and the Marvelettes have that doo-wop groove including the harmonized vocals, the simple instrumentations, and those claps that help to keep the rhythm tied together.
Jumping a few decades to the 1990s through to today, girl groups still have a hold in popular music. During the 90s the sound of girl groups changed. TLC brought a contemporary R&B sound to groups. The harmonies were still there, but the style had more of an edge. After TLC, one of the top selling girl groups ever hit the scene, the Spice Girls. The Spice Girls is not only embedded in my childhood, but they were the women who taught the 90s generation about girl power and how important friendship is to your life. Emma, Victoria, Mel B., Mel C., and Geri created a huge fandom and their legacy still lives on in popularity as the best selling girl group ever. Their mix of dance party type songs like ‘Wannabe’ and ‘Spice Up Your Life’ to their soft ballads ‘2 Become 1’ and ‘Say You’ll Be There’ resinated with the 90s generation connecting their music to life. The girl groups continue through today with the up-and-coming group Fifth Harmony who have some of the most amazing voices together. Their vocal range, projection power, and instrumental simplicity to highlight their voices is something exhibits true talent.
In the US, we rarely see artists from foreign speaking countries (besides EDM) in the general popular music scene, but girl groups are huge in Japan (J-Pop) and South Korea (K-Pop) and have hit the music scene hard in the late 2000s with some catchy dance club tunes which include artists Morning Musume, 2NE1, and Girl Generation. These girl groups bring in techno sounds of EDM, the R&B edge and rap style that TLC had back in the 90s, and power vocals such as Fifth Harmony and Little Mix. This sound is going to continue to blow up especially now that EDM is hitting the pop scene with artists like Zedd working with numerous female vocalists such as Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande.
Watch out One Direction, Rixton, and The Wanted the girls are coming for your music crown and I think they have the power to take over. Click here for a list of girl groups that have affect the music scenes from the 1930s through today, and celebrate the power of women everyday.
*All date information found through wikipedia.