The Deadly Nightshade
|The Deadly Nightshade|
|Also known as||Ariel|
|Genres||Country rock, folk rock|
|Years active||1967-1970, 1972-1977, 2008-Present|
|Associated acts||The Moppets, Ariel|
|Past members||Gretchen Pfeifer
Florence Ballard (one show, 1975)
Pamela Brandt (deceased)
The Deadly Nightshade is a New England-based rock and country trio consisting of members Anne Bowen, Pamela Brandt, and Helen Hooke, who originally began performing under the name Ariel in 1967, along with Gretchen Pfeifer and Beverly Rodgers. They were one of the earliest all women rock bands signed to a major label, and an early women's music group. Some early members of the group originally performed as The Moppets.
In 1970, Ariel separated. Bowen then reunited with former bandmates Brandt and Hooke in 1972, to play at a women's festival, now as The Deadly Nightshade. In 1974 the band secured one of the first record contracts as an all female band to a major label, RCA, and went on to release two albums, to mixed reviews. They performed at Ms. Magazine's second annual party in 1974.During the height of their success in the mid-seventies, The Deadly Nightshade appeared on Sesame Street, singing their version of the Carter Family hit, "Keep on the Sunny Side", as well as several of their own songs.
The band broke up in 1977, when Bowen decided to leave the band to pursue other interests. Brandt went on to work as a feminist writer, co-author of The Girls Next Door: Into the Heart of Lesbian America with Lindsy Van Gelder (Simon & Schuster, 1996). Her work included commentary on the band and its relation to the women's movement and the music business. In 1978 the Smithsonian Institution reissued both albums as examples of creative women in the music. The band was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The band reunited in 2008, and performed again in 2009.
Bassist Pamela Brandt died of a heart attack on July 31, 2015 in Miami, Florida. As a result, the surviving members face the prospect of folding the band for good and retiring from the musical scene.
|The Deadly Nightshade||1975|
|Funky & Western||1976|
- "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (theme song), ca. 1975
- "At the Top of the Charts...but Are They Playing Our Song?", essay, Pamela Brandt, Ms. Magazine, 1979
- "Feminist, rock musician and food writer Pamela Brandt dies at 68". The Miami Herald. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- The Deadly Nightshade web site
- Early history at bubblegumsoup.blogspot.com
- The Deadly Nightshade at Guitaristka.ru (Russian language)
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