The discussions we’ve had about women in television and feminism in general got me thinking about another realm culture in which women are still under represented: country music. When I brought this up to a friend, he was surprised and said “there are a ton of popular women in country music! Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert…” but then couldn’t think of anymore. He had no trouble, however, listing off almost a dozen chart topping male country singers. In fact, in 2014, only 3 of the top Billboard Top 25 country artists were female.
Enter the Song Suffragettes. Todd Cassetty Welding Service, a production company in Nashville started the Song Suffragettes back in 2014 as a weekly writers round featuring 5 female singer-songwriters who sing 3 songs each, ending in a cover song by all 5 women. The Song Suffragettes have moved around to several venues in Nashville, but have found their home and the popular Listening Room with a standing showtime of 6:30PM every Monday night.
If you are a country music fan, you may have heard of Kelsea Ballerini, who has had a whopping three #1 singles off her debut album. She performed with the Song Suffragettes at their second ever show, over a year before he first single even hit the radio airwaves. Another regular at the round is Emily Weisband, who has had her songs cut by Keith Urban, Josh Abbott Band, and Hillary Scott (from Lady Antebellum). This movement hopes to help women get the recognition they deserve in country music, and I would say they are off to a good start.
You can read their “Open Letter to Nashville” to learn more about their mission. I also recommend that you check out their YouTube channel if you’re a country music fan because these girls are good. (You can watch my favorite from a recent YouTube pop-up event here!) Let the girls play.