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Swing Shift: All-Girl Bands of the 1940s by Sherrie Tucker

It takes awhile to assimilate this well-researched but uneven book about female musicians who took advantage of expanded opportunities induced by World War II. Titled in part after “swing shift Maisies,” a slang term for substitutes for the real workers (or musicians) who were away at war, the book reveals how these adventurous women persevered.

Although there were hundreds of all-girl bands, author Sherrie Tucker-a longtime jazz fan who conducted interviews for the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program and is currently Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges-narrows reportage to several bands from the late swing era, rather than the usual 1930s period.

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