Gone but not forgotten

Commemorating and celebrating some late, great women musicians, mourned and missed



Died 1974

Alain (surname unknown) playing guitar rehearsing for a gig at the First National Lesbian conference in 1974. Not a lesbian herself, she supported the cause

Guitarist, London Women’s Liberation Rock Band


Ari Up

1962 ~ 2010

The Slits


The writer Janine Bullman has kindly shared with us her 2009 cover story on the Slits from the music magazine ‘Loud and Quiet,’ which she thinks may contain the last interview with Ari Up.  The piece is available to read online here:  http://www.loudandquiet.com/2010/01/the-slits/


Bernice Cartwright

1958 ~ 2001

Bernice playing bass guitar at a Tour de Force gig

Bass guitarist

To read a tribute to Bernice written for her funeral by her sister Deirdre, please click here: Bernice Kathleen Cartwright ~ and click here to see Bernice Cartwright’s obituary from the Richmond & Twickenham Times


Dinah Jeffrey

1955 ~ 2005

Lottie & Ada, Caroline Gilfillan Band

Black and white photo of Dinah holding a small tame gorilla

photo donated by Cathy Jeffrey

To read a tribute to Dinah from her sister Cathy, click tribute to Dinah from Camden School magazine


Joan Challenger

Saxophonist, Passing Faze


Josie Mitten

1957 ~ 2000

Singer, pianist, Jam Today, One Night Stand, Passing Faze

photo from 1977 of Josie Mitten singing into microphone and playing keyboard at a Jam Today gig


photo from 1977 of Josie Mitten at her piano and singing into microphone at a Jam Today gigYou can hear some songs written and played by Josie in the 1980s here:

‘Cool Blue’

‘Straight Down the Line’


Lindsay Cooper

Musician and composer

3rd March 1951 – 18 September 2013

Lindsay Cooper copyright Val Wilmer

Photo of Lindsay Cooper copyright Val Wilmer. Not to be reproduced in any form whatsoever without permission of Val Wilmer.

Guardian obituary: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/sep/24/lindsay-cooper

For a personal tribute to Lindsay written for the WLMA by her friend and musical collaborator Maggie Nicols, please see our October, 2013, post on http://womensliberationmusicarchive.co.uk/blog-posts/ 

A four-hour tribute to Lindsay based around an interview she recorded with Val Wilmer in 1992, interspersed with music from her remarkable career, compiled by Matthew Watkins, can be heard on http://canterburywithoutborders.blogspot.com/2013/10/episode-8.html

Donations in Lindsay’s name may be sent to The Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain

Poly Styrene

1957 ~ 2011

cover of Xray Spex record shows Poly Styrene's face while singing, and titles of songs 'Oh bondage, up yours' and 'I am a cliche.'‘Some people say little girls should be seen and not heard, but I say: Oh bondage, up yours!’




Ramona Swale

1933 ~ 1996

black and white photo of Ramona Swale smiling, seated by piano and holding a glass of wine.

Ramona Swale in Streatham in the 1960s (c) VAL WILMER collection

‘… with her spectacular piano playing … Ramona amazed everyone who heard her: according to veteran trumpeter Reg Service, who worked with her in The Mike Daniels Big Band, she played “just like Oscar Peterson”.’ ~ (c) Val Wilmer, ‘The Wire’ Issue 331, September 2011 notes by Valerie Wilmer about Ramona's life

In 2011 Val Wilmer and David Burr compiled a CD of Ramona playing, contains tracks such as 'When Sunny Gets Blue' and 'Tea for Two', not playable here due to copyright


Shauna Brown

~ 1994

Lottie & Ada

Colour photo of Shauna smiling in her Hackney Raiders baseball team teeshirt

One thought on “Gone but not forgotten

  1. I was really interested in the information on Ramona Swale. She was my music teacher during the 1960’s and instilled a love of music that has continued throughout my life, I have a great deal to be grateful to her for. I knew that she was a jazz musician but didn’t realise to what extent. I wondered if it was possible to get hold of a copy of the recording mentioned in your information.

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