Endorsements & Reviews


A remarkable book in every respect. Although one can find several other books on this topic, this study stands above the rest for its accuracy, scholarly discipline, thoroughness of research, and detailed analysis…. A Stunning achievement. Essential.”

– G.A. Foster, Choice

“McGee’s success in finding such a large number of all-girl bands is remarkable. Her prismatic way of presenting her findings allows us to see many facets of the issues–racial, gender, cultural, economic, and musical issues – and is painstaking, complex, and relentless.”

– Angela Latham (author of Posing a Threat)

The women to whom Kristin McGee gives voice in Some Liked it Hot refused to be victims in a male-dominated jazz world, and instead they seized the new opportunities afforded to talented musicians by the dramatic changes in media and the expansion of audiences, both in the United States and in a world transformed by war. Crucially, she reveals that women jazz musicians did not simply fill in for their male counterparts, but instead realized that jazz history would enter a new era formed from the confluence of all-girl bands, the proliferation of sound films and variety television, and the forging of new jazz styles that crossed the boundaries between the classical and the popular in American music. McGee’s engaged style makes it possible to draw ourselves closer to these women and to draw them, powerfully and convincingly, into the jazz canon from which they have been too long absent.”

– Philip V. Bohlman, Mary Werkman Distinguised Service Professor of the Humanities and of Music, University of Chicago


In her engaged style, McGee has provided a clear examination and analysis of recordings, early film and television, and other source material, producing a convincing and compelling addition to musicology, jazz and feminist performance scholarship.”

– Monica Mays, Pacific Review of Ethnomusicologyhttp://www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/pre/Vol14/Vol14html/V14Mays.html

McGee’s multidisciplinary work draws on the combined assumptions of ethnography and historiography to create an integrated , well rounded, and complete picture of the relatively unknown female jazz musicians as portrayed on the large and small screens. The book is well organized and penned in a decisively scholarly (though, thankfully, unpretentious) tone.”

– Edward R. Schmidtke, Film & Historyhttp://www.uwosh.edu/filmandhistory/bookreviews/index.php

McGee’s book takes its place among the other scholarship related to female jazz performers, but with a unique focus on the musical recordings produced by all-girl bands and female jazz musicians on film and television during the twentieth century. Not only do readers learn about female musicians and bandleaders who performed over a three-decade period, but they also glean information about the mass media culture industry and the power of aural and visual images on the American public imagination.

– Dina Bennett in Journal of Folklore Researchhttp://www.indiana.edu/~jofr/review.php?id=933

Thinking about female instrumentalists in Hollywood films, I am immediately reminded of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in drag in Some Like It Hot (1959), yet thinking about female jazz instrumentalists in general, I blank out. Kristin A. McGee’s book is a welcome education for the reader both in the vicissitudes of audiovisual media music, and gender in music. Indeed, the “underrepresentation”  of female instrumentalists and jazz performers in the… jazz canon” constitutes a pivotal point of departure for McGee, and her explicit aim is to “examine women’s roles as objects of reproduction technologies, as well as complex motivation for cataloguing and defining musical genres.

– Antti-Ville Karja in the IASPM Journal (International Association for the Study of Popular Music)http://www.iaspmjournal.net/index.php/IASPM_Journal/article/view/569/582

Some Liked It Hot - Jazz Women in Film and Television, 1928-1959