Female musicians are celebrated at Vauxhall Branch Library

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

UNION, NJ — Gabriel Ramos, Vauxhall Branch manager of the Union Public Library, has a passion for music. It took him just a couple of days to put together a 90-minute trivia program called “Saturday Morning Trivia: Women Rock!” The program was a nod to Women’s History Month and had five women and two men in attendance. It took place recently at the Vauxhall Branch Library, 123 Hinton Ave.

Attendees were split into two teams. It was an exciting journey through musical history, with topics such as “Name the Artist,” “Name the Album,” “Mixed Bag,” “Queen of ___,” “Record Holders,” “Movies,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame” and “Duets.”

The questions covered all genres of music throughout history: rap, rock, country, disco, alternative, pop, jazz and easy listening. Many female names came up. Some included MC Lyte, Alanis Morrisette, Nina Simone, Donna Summer, Stevie Nicks, Ella Fitzgerald, Bjork, Cher, Billie Holiday, Dionne Warwick, Joan Jett, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Tina Turner, Etta James, Chaka Khan, Willow Smith and Miley Cyrus.

The winning team received gift certificates to Wawa.

Carol Fisher is a Union resident with a second home in England. She said that Joni Mitchell, without a doubt, is her favorite female musician. She saw Mitchell perform in 1968 at the Bitter End Café in New York City. Neil Young was the opening act. At the time, Mitchell had just one album out. “She’s a wonderful voice for women,” Fisher said.

After Fisher lent the album to a friend, he told Fisher, “(Mitchell) had a way with words.”

“Talk about the understatement of the year,” said Fisher.
Fisher is married to Matthew Fisher, an English musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for his longtime association with the rock band Procol Harum, which included playing the Hammond organ on the 1967 single “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” for which he subsequently received a songwriting credit.

Tyrone Tutt, of Vauxhall, favors Whitney Houston. “She just had a range,” he said enthusiastically. “She could sing anything.” Tutt caught Houston’s 1986 show at Symphony Hall in Newark.

Peggy Harrison, of Vauxhall, saw Stephanie Mills perform in “The Wiz” and fell in love with her. “She has a strong voice,” she said.
Jay Dibble, of Elizabeth, is a Stevie Nicks fan. “She has great inflection in song,” he said. Dibble never saw Nicks live, but he’s seen Fleetwood Mac tribute bands Tusk and Gypsy. “Tusk is better,” he said.

Nancy Rocha, of Union, said she likes Madonna. “I grew up with her music in high school,” she said.

Vicky Spiratos, of Livingston, has been to a lot of concerts and says she likes “everybody.” Her female favorites include Sheryl Crow, Gwen Stefani, Madonna and Martina McBride.

Irene Mykietiuk, of Union, said she loves Tina Turner, who she saw in Las Vegas. “I really admire how she came back, after what happened with Ike, and rebuilt herself.”

To learn more about the Union Public Library and the Vauxhall Branch, visit https://uplnj.org/.

Photos by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta