The Berkeley-based band, Joy of Cooking, were quite the anomaly in the late 1960s; a band fronted by two women, who wrote and arranged the songs, sang lead vocals and played the frontline instruments, with three men providing the backup. Led by two talented songwriters, pianist Toni Brown and guitarist, Terry Garthwaite, their music blended elements of folk, rock, country, jazz and blues into a sound uniquely their own.One of the first bands to deal with feminist and environmental topics, they were ahead of their time. They also deserve credit for paving the way for far more commercially successful bands like Heart and latter-day Fleetwood Mac.
In the late 1960s and early '70s, no American group led by women was this musically adventurous. It's that great diversity, along with a culture that was unable to appreciate women in such a strong role, that relegated them to obscurity. It certainly wasn't the music, which holds up far better than much of the male-dominated music of the era.
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