The gender of jazz
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This thesis combines the research of Jill Sullivan and Sherrie Tucker to explore the full impact of all-girl civilian and military bands of World War II. History books promote Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, and Fletcher Henderson as the leaders of swing music. In reality, all-female groups such as Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and Ada Leonard’s All-American Girls, among the other multitudes of all-girl bands, regularly performed swing music. The women of swing are frequently ignored by scholars, creating an absence of women’s history within not only this musical style but also the genre of jazz. Recently, however, scholars such as Sherrie Tucker and Jill Sullivan have contributed to a new field of study: gender studies in jazz music. This thesis continues the conversation in an emerging field of study and contextualizes the impact of all-girl jazz bands during World War II.