Why are there no Jews on ABC's list of the 30 greatest women in music during the last 50 years?
This question might not be important if it weren't for the fact that
two women more deserving of being on the
list than at least 80% of those listed by ABC are
both Jewish. Barbra
Streisand and Carole King both should be near the top of any
list of the greatest women in music. They aren't the only
great women missing from the list, but they are the only two whose
omission cannot be justified. Incidentally, I'm a Baptist.
The closest the list has to someone Jewish is Madonna who has
followed the school of thought called Kabbalah which
originated in Jewish mysticism but now has become associated with
other religions as well. P!nk (Alecia Beth Moore) had a Jewish
mother and Christian father, but prefers to
not be identified with any specific religion.
Many of us believe that Barbra Streisand is the greatest female
singer of the last 50 years, although I do consider Whitney Houston
worthy of consideration for that honor even though her career was
far too short. I also believe Streisand became the
greatest living entertainer when Elvis Presley died. She has
received 8 Grammy Awards and is one of the few entertainers to win
an Academy Award, Grammy, Emmy and Tony awards. She has also
received a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor Award. The
Recording Industry Association of America lists her as the top album
selling female artist with 71.5 million albums in the U.S. and 145
million records worldwide. .
How can anyone make a list of the 30 greatest women in music in the
last 50 years and not include the first woman to win the Gershwin
Prize for song writing, Carole King? The
Gershwin prize site says she "is without question the most
successful and revered female songwriter in pop music history."
Her album "Tapestry" held the record for most album sales by a
female until that record was beaten by Whitney Houston. She
won four Grammys
from the album including becoming the first woman to win Song of the
Songs she wrote helped other women singers. the Shirelles release of King's "Will you still
love me tomorrow" became the first number 1 hit by a black girl
group. "(You make me feel like) a natural woman"
became a signature song for Aretha Franklin.
The "Divine Miss M" Bette
Midler is another Jewish woman who should be in
the top 30, although she isn't as well qualified as Streisand and
King. "Midler has been nominated for two Academy Awards, and won three Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy
Awards, and a special Tony
Award. She has sold over 30 million albums worldwide
and along with that has also received 13 Gold, 8 Platinum and 4
Multiplatinum albums by RIAA."
At the very least she should be above Karen Carpenter.
I can understand how people who lack familiarity with music in the
sixties might overlook Janis Joplin whose career like that of
Whitney Houston was far too short. She played a major role in
establishment of the genre of psychedelic soul and was considered
the "queen of psychedelic soul". In 2008 "Rolling
Stone" ranked her 28 on a list that had men holding most of
the top 30 positions. I was a fan of Karen Carpenter but not
of Janis Joplin but I would rate Joplin well above Carpenter,
I can understand how Ella Fitzgerald might be excluded from
consideration because most of her success was prior to 1960 even
though she continued to perform after 1960. The same situation
applies to Mahalia Jackson and country music's first diva Kitty
Wells who paved the way for other women to succeed in country music.