I saw this doctoral project by Leah Branstetter linked on Twitter yesterday and it’s fantastic–a digital dissertation with biographies, playlists, and a whole bunch of info disproving the idea that the pioneers of rock and roll were all men.

All of Branstetter’s research is fascinating–I had no idea about answer songs or that there was a  “female Elvis Presley,” Alis Lesley:

Lesley usually performed barefoot, claiming shoes made her feel inhibited. An account of one of her shows reports that, clad in yellow satin pants, Lesley “stood on the piano, lay on the floor, wrestled with the microphone, embraced the string bass—and sang.” Another noted that “using guitar and movable anatomy … she makes ‘Elvis The Pelvis’ look like an elderly, arthritic Salvation Army drummer.”

The playlists are a fantastic addition, too, so you don’t have to click back and forth to YouTube as you read. Check it out: Women In Rock and Roll’s First Wave.