Classic Rock

Where Are The Women At? My Favorite Classic Rock Stations Lack of Female Artists.

Yes, I listen to the radio, yes I listen to classic rock, and do you know what? There is only one classic rock station in my area that gets good reception and they hardly play any female artists. They don’t even pepper them in like other stations, often times I can spend 90 minutes or more with the station and not hear a single female artist. So do you know what I did? I emailed the station and asked them why, and here’s what the gentleman who replied had to say:

Hi Heather, thanks for writing us.

We do play female artists (Heart, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Pat Benatar, etc.) on KFOX. The challenge on this format has always been a majority of the highly researched product has been from male artists/groups.

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to write us and thanks for rockin’ with KFOX.

-Brian A. Figula

Program Director


Operated by Bonneville

Fair enough, right? I thanked him for his reply and I suppose I should just drop it now, except I can’t do that. The artists he named all hail from approximately the same era of music and this station plays rock music from the late 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Also, Mr. Figula’s use of “etc” bugs the holy fucking shit out of me, as it seems to tokenize these female rock icons as they are mentioned in an attempt to placate my desire to hear women o this radio station.

So what’s an angry classic rock chick to do? Well, last week I did a little experiment, I watched the station’s song histories on their website from 4:12pm-6:12pm approximately and I took some screen captures of the artist’s/songs played by the station within the aforementioned 90 minutes+ time span.



98.5 KFOX

98.5 KFOX

Granted my timing isn’t exact, but even if I missed two songs by that one female artist it’s still a certifiable sausage fest on this station. In fact, I have even more screenshots from random days and hours, some consecutive, some not, and the only female artist I’ve screen captured in my attempts so far has been Pat Benatar, one of the token classic rock females mentioned above.

I realize I am being petty and nitpicky but the fact is I emailed the station and accused them of not playing a single female artist within a 90-minute time frame, an accusation the man who responded did not address directly, but merely trivialized in his response. I’m not sure if this station can afford a little more female representation, but I  know I’ll gladly substitute Skid Row for Hole once in a while, I’d settle for at least that much.

Since the station is so hard up for female artists to be included in their research here is a list of female artists and female fronted bands suitable for this stations format, that they can start with, I’ll exclude Pat, Joan, Ann, Nancy, and Lita since the station admits to playing them already.

I call it, my bitch list.

  1. Janis Joplin
  2. Stevie Nicks
  3. The Cranberries
  4. Jefferson Airplane
  5. The Pretenders
  6. Patti Smith
  7. Sheryl Crow
  8. Blondie
  9. Fionna Apple
  10. The Go-Go’s
  11. Meredith Brooks
  12. Hole
  13. The Breeders
  14. Sinead O’Connor
  15. Suzi Quatro
  16. Bonnie Raitt
  17. Annie Lenox
  18. Melissa Ethridge
  19. Tracy Chapman
  20. Cyndi Lauper
  21. Indigo Girls
  22. Bikini Kill
  23. Joni Mitchell
  24. Liz Phair
  25. No Doubt

Forgive me if any of these artists fall under the “etc.” category that the program director mentioned in his email reply.

I realize that country stations have been accused of deliberately avoiding too many female artists within a block of radio time because ratings tick downward, but I have higher hopes for the attitudes of classic rock listeners.

Now I challenge this station to play a woman who rocks, at least once every 90 minutes of song time it’s not that fucking hard.



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