Cover for Dodgion: The Lady Swings: Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

The Lady Swings

Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer

Scenes from a jazz life

Dottie Dodgion is a jazz drummer who played with the best. A survivor, she lived an entire lifetime before she was seventeen. Undeterred by hardships, she defied the odds and earned a seat as a woman in the exclusive men’s club of jazz. Her dues-paying path as a musician took her from early work with Charles Mingus to being hired by Benny Goodman at Basin Street East on her first day in New York. From there she broke new ground as a woman who played a “man’s instrument” in first-string, all-male New York City jazz bands. Her inspiring memoir talks frankly about her music and the challenges she faced, and shines a light into the jazz world of the 1960s and 1970s.

Vivid and always entertaining, The Lady Swings tells Dottie Dodgion's story with the same verve and straight-ahead honesty that powered her playing.

"A full portrait of the obstacles American women faced in the 20th century jazz scene . . . Dodgion's pull-no-punches style and determination in the face of daunting situations bring an obscure figure to vivid life." --Library Journal

"The Lady Swings is an entertaining and informative book, one that is easily recommended." --Syncopated Times

"An interesting book about an eventful life in music." --New York City Jazz Record

"The Lady Swings undulates as much with dynamic rhythm as it does with delicious drama and laugh-out-loud storylines." --JazzTimes

"A pioneering woman in jazz and swinging drummer, Dottie Dodgion played with some of the great musicians of her time. She has a unique story to tell."--Quincy Jones

"When I first caught Dottie Dodgion in action I was bowled over. I didn’t hear a great female drummer but a truly great jazz drummer, period, able, as you’ll be happy to learn from the story she tells with such insight, humor, and complete honesty, to please both Charles Mingus and Wild Bill Davison. The lady's words swing as hard as her ride cymbal, and will keep your foot tapping all the way through."--Dan Morgenstern, Director Emeritus, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University

"Dottie Dodgion not only takes you on a dizzying ride through her incredible life, she teaches you some of the great secrets of jazz and unmasks the archaic attitudes toward female musicians that have marginalized great talents like hers. What a wonderful journey she’s had. What a wonderful book this is!"--Judy Chaikin, director and cowriter of The Girls in the Band

“A unique and important contribution to the history of jazz."--Dee Spencer, composer, performer, educator

Dottie Dodgion is a trailblazing American jazz drummer. Wayne Enstice is a coauthor of Jazzwomen: Conversations with Twenty-One Musicians and Jazz Spoken Here: Conversations with Twenty-Two Musicians.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Louis Prima - Cover
Louis Prima

Garry Boulard

Robert Johnson - Cover
Robert Johnson

Lost and Found

Barry Lee Pearson and Bill McCulloch

Body and Soul - Cover
Body and Soul

Jazz and Blues in American Film, 1927-63

Peter Stanfield

Mountains of Music - Cover
Mountains of Music

West Virginia Traditional Music from Goldenseal

John Lilly

That Toddlin' Town - Cover
That Toddlin' Town

Chicago's White Dance Bands and Orchestras, 1900-1950

Charles A. Sengstock Jr.

American Music - Cover
American Music

Edited by Gayle Sherwood Magee

Shared Traditions - Cover
Shared Traditions

Southern History and Folk Culture

Charles Joyner

Race, Rock, and Elvis - Cover
Race, Rock, and Elvis

Michael T. Bertrand

Red River Blues - Cover
Red River Blues

The Blues Tradition in the Southeast

Bruce Bastin

Chicago Soul - Cover
Chicago Soul

Robert Pruter

Music and the Moving Image - Cover
Music and the Moving Image

Edited by Gillian B. Anderson & Ronald H. Sadoff

Steppin' on the Blues - Cover
Steppin' on the Blues

The Visible Rhythms of African American Dance

Jacqui Malone

Transforming Tradition - Cover
Transforming Tradition

Folk Music Revivals Examined

Edited by Neil V. Rosenberg