University of Pittsburgh

Danielle Maggio's Research Highlighted by "Parts Unknown"

Danielle MaggioDoctoral candidate Danielle Maggio's research on blues singer Betty Davis is now featured on explorepartsunknown.com, the companion Web site to Anthony Bordain's CNN series Parts Unknown. The popular show will air an episode about Pittsburgh on October 22 and Maggio was interviewed in anticipation of that broadcast. Maggio's research has focused on the singer whose creativity and performance challenged many of the stereotypes around female sexuality in the music business during the 60s and 70s. According to Maggio,

"There are a few differences between Betty and [other sexually suggestive pop] artists, especially the other black female artists. One is that she didn’t have any kind of male archetype with her. A lot of those women had a male bandleader, or they had a male manager, husband. She didn’t have a male leading figure. She was the main focal point of the show the whole time.

Another difference again goes back to the voice. Even [Tina Turner’s voice] still had that kind of gospel sound to it. Betty Davis was really proto-punk sounding."

The interview with Explore Parts Unknown was done in anticipation of a documentary for which Maggio is an Associate producer, Betty: They Say I’m Different. The film will premiere at IDFA in Amsterdam Nov. 18th, 2017. She will be traveling to Amsterdam for the premiere and press junket.

Congratulations to Danielle Maggio on the richly deserved attention for her work on the significance and influence of Betty Davis!

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