Lyrically so

I’m not sure what prompted Steve Sailer to ask this:

Here’s a question. In pop culture history, there are countless male-male songwriting teams — Rodgers-Hart/Hammerstein, Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, Page-Plant, Strummer-Jones, etc. And there are some male-female songwriting pairs, such as Comden-Green, Goffin-King, and Mann-Weil.

But are there any female-female songwriting teams? I imagine there must be, but they are definitely rare.

Why do women write so few popular songs? And, especially, why do they so seldom team up?

Three hundred comments followed, and I was grateful that the two pairs that first came to my mind were eventually mentioned: Jackie DeShannon / Sharon Sheeley and Annette Tucker / Nancie Mantz.

“Breakaway” was the B-side of Irma Thomas’ 1964 hit “Wish Someone Would Care,” though it’s probably best remembered these days in the form of Tracey Ullman’s 1983 cover. Both Jackie and Sharon wrote with others from time to time, but this was their biggest hit as a duo.

The first Electric Prunes album contained twelve songs, six written by Annette and Nancy. (The second single, “Get Me to the World on Time,” was written by Tucker with Jill Jones.)

Deserving of mention here: Ellen Weston, Lesley Gore’s writing partner in the 1970s. They did most of LG’s album Someplace Else Now (for Motown’s Mowest label in 1972) and all of Love Me By Name (for A&M in 1976).


  1. Brian J. »

    16 October 2017 · 6:00 am

    How much has the songwriting business changed? It seems that they’re more industrialized these days, with songwriting shops churning out the material.

    That said, I’ve read stories about a woman helping Taylor Swift–Liz Rose?

  2. CGHill »

    16 October 2017 · 8:03 am

    Many of your brand-name acts these days, it seems, keep a bunch of co-writers close at hand, who may or may not also serve as producers. On Tay’s 1989. only one song (“This Love”) was written solely by Swift. (She wrote nine of 16 on Red and 13 of 14 on Speak Now.)

  3. October rambling #2: The Twilight Zone and the Confederacy | Ramblin' with Roger »

    22 October 2017 · 7:40 am

    […] Female-female songwriting teams […]

RSS feed for comments on this post