It’s All Rock and Roll To Me: Topper Radio hits play on women in music


The podcast puts the spotlight on female musicians, new and old.

With summer well on its way, it is only appropriate to start putting together your summer road trip playlists; better yet, playlists filled with influential women artists. With the help of Kerry McGillicuddy and her radio show “Women Who Rock,” this pursuit has been made easy.

“Women Who Rock” is aired on Topper Radio every Wednesday at 5pm. As a show dedicated to celebrating women in music, the musical variety is seemingly endless and simultaneously calls attention to issues that female artists perpetually face.

“There’s a huge lack of women representation in the industry,” McGillicuddy said. “If you look at award shows, or how women are portrayed in music videos, it’s just not ok.”

Gender diversity in the music industry is a prevalent issue that came to McGillicuddy’s attention her junior year of high school when she completed a research paper on the topic.

“There are so many incredible women artists out there that are not gaining the recognition they deserve,” McGillicuddy said.

Her song choosing process for each episode comprises of is a balance between extensive and random.

“Most of the time, I try to come up with a theme for the week,” McGillicuddy said. “Normally, I do it by decades, other times it’s by genre, like blues or new wave.” Episode 16’s focus was on road trip tunes.

The show began with a classic: Fergie’s “Glamorous,” a song that caused an immediate sing-along. It set a precedent for the remainder of the show and for what could be expected from its host– catchy and an easygoing, conversational style.

McGillicuddy’s music selection is derivative of many sources, one of which is very personal to her.

“A lot of it is music that I grew up with,” McGillicuddy said. “Both of my parents were really into music, so it’s always been a big part of my life.”

McGillicuddy recalls growing up in a home where playing music was just as customary as family dinners. A large record player and extensive vinyl collection allowed for continuous new content to explore– which built the foundation for what was to come.

Halfway through the show, “Ozma”by Shannon and the Clams played. Eclectic sounds and a slightly psychedelic feel overtook the airwaves. This song, McGillicuddy mentioned, was found through her Discover Weekly playlist, a feature of Spotify that she credits for many of her song findings. “I spend hours upon hours on Spotify,” McGillicuddy said.

Much of McGillicuddy’s music taste is reminiscent of ‘60s and ‘70s rock. For instance, Carole King’s “Where You Lead,”a song off of her classic 1971 album, “Tapestry.” This album is an essential for McGillicuddy, her mother’s favorite, and a personal favorite of hers as well.

“Her music taste influenced a lot of mine,” McGillicuddy said.

“September Rose” by Cailin Russo, another song on this week’s show, has an immediately recognizable sound. Russo’s voice is reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, another artist on Episode 16’s lineup.

The show concluded on a delicate note. Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star lulled listeners into a state of comfort and tranquility with her “Five String Serenade.”The song left warm feelings that the end of a successful road trip might induce.

McGillicuddy plans on continuing her show next semester, which she hopes will take place in a new and improved studio space. Among the chaos of college life, she finds joy in sharing music with others.

“Music has just always been there,” McGillicuddy said.