BUTTON-O-MATIC AT ROGERS PARK PROVISIONS GIVES HISTORIC
SONGWRITERS A VOICE
(Chicago, IL) Christy Bennett is a vocalist, bandleader, and historian who has launched a website and Button-O-Matic machine featuring women composers, musicians, and songwriters. The Ladies of Song Button-O-Matic can be found at Rogers Park Provisions, 6928 N. Glenwood Avenue through the holiday season.
“The Button-O-Matic machine is a coin-operated, gumball-style dispenser of buttons to highlight those whose voices and stories are rarely heard,” explains Bennett. “Their talent was on the level of Gershwin, Rogers, and Hart, as well as others yet their names were rarely given credit.”
Four women are featured on the buttons now on sale with more to follow. Buttons can be purchased as gifts, wearables, and conversation starters. Each button has an illustration of a songwriter and a QR code link to https://www.nerd-mountain.com with biographies, videos, and music of their time.
Dana Suesse, known as the "Girl Gershwin" composed popular music as well as large-scale pieces and performed throughout her career. Maria Grever was the first female Mexican composer to achieve international fame. She is best known for the song, “What a Difference a Day Makes”. Irene Kitchings got her start in Chicago jazz clubs. She married Teddy Wilson in 1931 and became close friends with Billie Holiday. She would go on to compose several tunes recorded by Holiday with lyrics by Arthur Herzog Jr. Dorothy Fields, is arguably the most well-known female lyricist, she had a long prolific career. The Fields button is glow-in-the-dark. The buttons are 1" in diameter and according to Bennett, the whole idea of the button machine is to spark that bit of joy and excitement from your childhood.
Beyond her own extraordinary performances, Bennett presents a historical program covering a range of music. Now her buttons will expand awareness of her message. Bennett received a grant from Awesome Foundation to assist in the creation and distribution of her Ladies of Song with a Button-O-Matic dispenser and help in creating the buttons by Busy Beaver.
For $1.00 each, patrons of the Rogers Park liquor and gift shop can pop a button on their lapel or purchase an assortment to share at an upcoming cocktail or dinner party (https://provisionschicago.square.site/rogers-park).
Christy Bennett is one of Chicago’s premier jazz artists whose quest for jazz led her to discover buried musical treasures. She focuses on the work of women, and those who are black, indigenous, and people of color. The buttons and website represent some of Bennett’s favorite female songwriters from the 1930s and 1940s with stories about their backgrounds and careers. Classically trained with a degree in Vocal Performance from DePaul University, Christy was drawn to jazz in high school. Later in college, she participated in classes and combos. As an educator, Christy has taught voice and piano for more than 15 years. She is the Director of Development and Outreach at Access Contemporary Music in Chicago’s Ravenswood area. Bennett performs many of her subjects’ songs with her band in and around Chicago. https://fumeejazz.com/
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