September 2005
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Toni Armstrong Jr

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A Look at Women's Music and Its Early Publications and a Very Unique Pholksinger


As the mocked-up edition of "HOT WIRE: The Journal of Women's Music and Culture" exclaims, Toni Armstrong Jr is a woman of many accomplishments. Click Here to read about just some of them, and for more photos. And of course please listen to her describe the music and culture of those years, highlighted with the music of some of her favorites, including her own music in the band Surrender Dorothy, all in Part 1 of this show.

For more than 25 years Phranc has been making music commenting on society, starting with her "punk years" and then shifting to folk in the mid-80s. Her music has always told stories, some critical, some angry and some with charm and even silliness. And she ain't done yet, as you'll hear in her latest song of political commentary, "Condoleeza."

August 2010. Now you can download Every issue of Hot Wire, from their ten year history...a Marvelous resource! Click on the logo at the right.

Playlist:     (airdate September 26, 2005)
Part 1   (57:03)
Phranc - Surfer Girl (1991, "Positively Phranc")
Faith Nolan - I Black Woman (1989, "Freedom to Love")
Meg Christian - Ode to a Gym Teacher
   (1974, "I Know You Know")
Teresa Trull - You're My Home (1980, "Let It Be Known")
Nedra Johnson - Where Will You Be? (1998, "Testify")
Nedra Johnson - Anyway You Need Her (2005, "Nedra")
Paula Walowitz - Surprise (1981, "Gay & Straight Together")
Lynn Lavner - I Like Older Women
   (1988, "You Are What You Wear")

Margie Adam - Naked Keys (1980)

Part 2  (59:09)
Phranc - Mrs Brown You've Got a
Lovely Daughter (1995, "Goofyfoot")
Catholic Discipline - European Sons
   (1980, "Underground Babylon," 2004)
Phranc - Take Off Your Swastika
   (1989, "I Enjoy Being a Girl")
Phranc - Amazons (1985, "Folksinger")
Phranc - Lifelover (1985, "Folksinger")
Phranc - Everywhere I Go (I Hear the Go Gos)
   (1990, "Folksinger," on reissue CD only)
Phranc - El Salvador (1985, on UK 7" 45 rpm only)
Phranc - Charlotte (1985, on UK 7" 45 rpm only)
Phranc - I Enjoy Being a Girl (1989, "I Enjoy Being a Girl")
Phranc - Martina (1989, "I Enjoy Being a Girl")
Phranc - Condoleeza (2005, unreleased)
Phranc - Tipton (1991, "Positively Phranc")
Phranc - Hillary's Eyebrows (1995, on 7" 45 rpm only)
Phranc - Surferdyke Pal (1995, "Goofyfoot")
Team Dresch - Uncle Phranc (1995, "Captain My Captain")
Phranc - Ozzie & Harriet (1998, "Milkman")
Phranc - Hitchcock (1991, "Positively Phranc")
Phranc - Tupperware Lady (2005, not yet released)
Phranc - Bulldagger Swagger (1995, "Goofyfoot")

Read the script for the show...Plus there's more photos

Note: some images will reveal photos "behind"
them if you pass over them with your cursor,
and many of the recordings featured on this show
are available at Goldenrod Music, click below

Visit Goldenrod Music

Faith Nolan - Freedom to Love (1989)

Meg Christian - I Know You Know (1974)

Teresa Trull - Let It Be Known (1980)

Nedra Johnson - Testify (1998)

One of my favorite instrumental albums (pictured upper left) is "Naked Keys" by Margie Adam, and I thought it the perfect backdrop for the beginning of my interview with Toni.

Nedra Johnson - Nedra (2005)Gay & Straight Together (various artists), including Surrender Dorothy (1981)Lynn Lavner - You Are What You Wear (1988)


Lavender Jane, reconstituted

When Alix Dobkin and Kay Gardner were asked by producer Lin Daniels to do several Lavender Jane "reunion" shows, they asked Toni Jr. to be their bass player. They hadn't seen their original bass player since they made their album in the early 1970s. Pictured above: Toni Jr., Alix Dobkin, and Kay Gardner. Below: Toni Jr. with Melissa Etheridge at the 1993 March on Washington. (Photos courtesy of Toni)

Melissa Etheridge & Toni Armstrong Jr

Kristen Lems, Paula Walowitz, Laurie Moses, Toni Armstrong Jr

At the Chicago Historical Society's 2004 event "Women, Womyn, Grrls, and Kings," the lesbian band Surrender Dorothy (Paula Walowitz, Laurie Lee Moses, Toni Armstrong Jr.) performed together for the first time in almost 20 years. Pictured here: Kristin Lems, Paula Walowitz, Diana Laffey, and Toni Jr.
Click Here for more. Photo courtesy of Tracy Baim of the Windy City Times.

Musica logo
During the interview you heard us say tha "Musica" was the first publication about Women's Music, with its 6 issues from March of 1974 through the Spring of 1977. Indy Allen, the publisher of "Musica," has graciously given me permission to post every issue of that publication, and I hope it's useful as a resource to those researching the history of early Women's Music. Click Here.
Phranc sticker


The All American Jewish
Lesbian Folksinger

Phranc interview, Aug 25, 2005Phranc interview, Aug 25, 2005Phranc interview, Aug 25, 2005

One of the interviews I've wanted to do for a long time was with Phranc, and I finally had that chance on August 25, 2005, when she came to Houston as opening act for The Knitters. I met her at The Continental Club, the location of the show, and the owner found us a sort-of quiet back room in the club. We talked for about 45 minutes, and she's an excellent interview subject, and gee, she even sang me a song...the unreleased track "Condaleeza," which you can hear on this show. I stuck around for the soundcheck and the show and had ample chances to take photos.

Phranc at soundcheckPhranc at soundcheckPhranc at soundcheck

Phranc at soundcheckPhranc at soundcheckPhranc at soundcheck

Well, during the soundcheck (above) I could move around, as I was the only one watching, but during the show I'm afraid all the photos are from the same angle...

Phranc in concertPhranc in concertPhranc in concert

Phranc in Nervous Gender       Hot August Phranc

Above, two very different Nervous Gender (1977) and as Hot August Phranc (early 90s)

 Island promo photo

Above, one of the promotional photos for Island Records, probably from the early 90s, see the Script page for another of these pics, and a pic I didn't think I should put on the "front page" of this show...:)

Catholic Discipline

Above, Phranc is upper left in the pic of Catholic Discipline, the band she joined after Nervous Gender, and below, as The Tupperware Lady

The Tupperware Lady

Phranc logoPhranc logo