Posted on

S is for Shout, Sister, Shout! [Book Review] @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

  • Author: Roxane Orgill | Website |
  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (September 6, 2007)


“How to choose just ten? First of all, they had to be terrific singers whose voices I wanted to listen to over and over. That doesn’t necessarily mean they had great voices.” – Roxane Orgill, Shout, Sister, Shout!: Ten Girl Singers Who Shaped A Century



“Dip into this collective biography of ten outstanding female singers of popular music in the twentieth century and meet some of the most remarkable women who’ve ever lived! Through intimate personal details and numerous photographs, interviews, and tidbits of little-known information, music critic Roxane Orgill brings to life ten “girl singers” and the decades in which they did their best work. Readers of Shout, Sister, Shout! will learn about the lives, the loves, and the music of:


MA RAINEY (1910s)




ANITA O’DAY (1950s)

JOAN BAEZ (1960s)


MADONNA (1980s)


Writing in a friendly, readable style, Roxane Orgill has created a book of great distinction that will fascinate and inspire readers of all ages.”


#3words2describe – Shout, Sister, Shout (ha ha ha)


What an unexpected treat! I came across Shout, Sister, Shout! while trying to find out more about singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams after seeing her mentioned in Fallen (by Lauren Kate). Initially, I only intended to read the profile on Williams. However, I as flipped through the other pages, I changed my mind.

In Shout, Sister, Shout!, Roxane Orgill spotlights ten singers representing ten decades and ten genres of popular music from the twentieth century. Her choices might not be what you’d expect. Orgill says, “How to choose just ten? First of all, they had to be terrific singers whose voices I wanted to listen to over and over. That doesn’t necessarily mean they had great voices.”

What you get is what I’d call an eclectic mix of performing artists that give you a feel for the decades in which they are noted. While I have heard of most of the singers, I was not familiar with their personal stories. The books is well-illustrated with photographs. The book includes a good bibilography that offers additional reading sources for those who want to learn more about the selected artists (primarily adult level reading).  I found the “what they wore” sidebars a bit odd, but sometimes interesting. I really enjoyed the side-bar notes describing the music industry’s developments in each decade.

I am officially smitten with Anita Day’s live peformance of the song Sweet Georgia Brown at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival (see Bert Stern’s Jazz on a Summer’s Day documentary). I have added Anita O’Day’s version of Sweet Georgia Brown to my playlist and will be picking up her book, High Times Hard Times.

While I can’t say that my list of ten would be the same as Orgill’s, I don’t think that I could come up with a list that would be any less disputed. I can agree that the ten she chose definitely helped shape the century.

Recommended for:

  • Music lovers
  • History buffs

NOTE: The book is written for a juvenile audience (ages 12 and up). While I think that is a fun read for any one in this age group or higher, it does deal with some sensitive subjects (like drug abuse and sexuality) that might be a little much for younger readers.

Check out my Shout, Sister, Shout! Pinterest board. Can you think of any pins that I should add? Please be sure to follow me while you’re there.


Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s