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About the author:
Heather Augustyn is a journalist and writing instructor living in Chesterton, Ind., one hour outside of Chicago. She author of Ska: An Oral History, McFarland, 2010, with a foreword by Cedella Marley which was nominated for the ARSC Award for Excellence; Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World's Greatest Trombonist, McFarland, 2013, with a foreword by Delfeayo Marsalis; Ska: The Rhythm of Liberation, Rowman & Littlefield, 2013; and Songbirds: Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music, Half Pint Press, 2014.

Feature articles on Augustyn's work have appeared in the Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica Observer, The Onion's A/V Club, and Caribbean Beat Magazine, among dozens of others. She has been co-host of Radio M on WBEZ-FM, Chicago's NPR station with Tony Sarabia, spoke on NPR's Sound Opinions, and was interviewed for radio shows in Indiana, Minneapolis, Buenos Aires, Kingston, Toronto, and Tampa. She is a great fan of ska, rocksteady, and reggae music and has been invited to lecture at the International Reggae Conference in Kingston, Jamaica where she spoke on women in ska and music of Jamaican independence and the Pop Culture Association Conference in Chicago on the connection between ska and the origins of hip hop. She has lectured on ethnomusicology at DePaul University, Indiana University, and Purdue University.

Augustyn is adjunct professor of English composition at Purdue University's North Central campus and she has been a correspondent for The Times of Northwest Indiana, the state's second largest newspaper, since December 2004. She is contributing editor for Shore Magazine and her work has appeared in such national publications as The Village Voice, The Humanist Magazine, World Watch Magazine, E! The Environmental Magazine. She was the last journalist to interview the late novelist Kurt Vonnegut. The story appeared in In These Times Magazine and was published in the book Kurt Vonnegut: The Last Interview and Other Conversations, Melville House, 2011.

Augustyn is also a professional photographer and her work has appeared in numerous magazines and books. She received her M.A. in writing from DePaul University and a B.A in English and philosophy from Bradley University. She currently directs a Montessori school's writing program in Northwest Indiana where she and husband Ron reside with their two boys, Sid and Frank.


Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music

Authored by Heather Augustyn
Edition: 1

In a music world that was rougher than rough, where men took monikers of royalty and machismo like Duke and King and Lord; where boastful ringleaders fired guns into the air after descending a throne carried by their legions of followers, bandoliers crisscrossing their chests, ermine on their shoulders; where violent gangs stormed dances to "mash up," breaking sound system equipment and smashing bottles of beer on brick walls, how was a little girl with a sweet song in her soul to have a chance?

Some Jamaican women found a way. They endured harassment and received little or no pay to perform as backup or alongside or in front of the male musicians. They sacrificed family and home for a life in the spotlight, or they brought their babies with them on the road. They took over the studio and made it their own, or they suffered unimaginable violence, even murder. They changed the course of music all over the world.

These are the never-before-told stories of the women who tried and persevered and made it, no matter what their struggle. These are the Songbirds: Pioneering Women of Jamaican Music.

Featuring exclusive photos and dozens of interviews from the women themselves, or those who knew them, Heather Augustyn, author of three previously-published books on Jamaican music history, brings to life the stories of these inspirational women so that their music can be savored and their lives finally celebrated.

Publication Date:
1502436043 / 9781502436047
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Music / History & Criticism / General

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