The Women Who Wrote Rock


2016032220160326 (R4)Kate Mossman tells the story of the long-overlooked female pop and rock writers of the 60s
20160322Kate Mossman tells the story of the long-overlooked female pop and rock writers of the 1960s.

As a music journalist herself, when Kate entered the profession she found herself surrounded by men - men who had very definite ideas about how it should be done... writing for monthly magazines that were aimed at men and covering artist who were mainly men. The whole industry of writing about 'serious' popular music seemed to have been established in the late 1960s and the mid-1970s with the writer-characters of Rolling Stone and our own New Musical Express.

But there was a time before all this - a time when the newly invented teenagers were finding their feet... and a new kind of journalism was emerging to chronicle the rapidly changing time. A journalism spearheaded by women.

There was Nancy Lewis, who wrote for Fabulous and the NME; June Harris, who wrote for Disc, then went to New York and contributed to Rave (as well as marring legendary rock agent and promoter Frank Barsalona); Maureen O'Grady who began her career as a music journalist at Boyfriend and progressed onto Rave, where she also joined Dawn James. And the doyennes of them all was the Evening Standard's Maureen Cleave, to whom John Lennon claimed that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

Kate Mossman meets them and celebrates the tone of their writing that was so fascinatingly different from rock journalism as we came to know it, and yet captured all the confusion, excitement and social changes of the time.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.