The pioneer rock duo Emily Muff was founded by
two American young women (Kathy Bushnell and Janet Dourif) in
London, 1968. Their band toured extensively throughout Great
Britain - and was the first female rock duo in the history of
British Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Janet and Kathy wrote and
performed original songs using a variety of instruments,
including two Fender Telecaster electric guitars, a 12-String
Rickenbacker, portable electric keyboards, various Honer blues
harmonicas, ocarina, and flute.
Their trailblazing female
rock group toured as opening act for the band Family (who
provided representation for the duo, and gave it the name Emily
Muff). Both Warner/Reprise and Liberty record labels offered
recording contracts to Kathy and Janet’s band.
Muff toured extensively, appearing on the same bill with rock
notables such as Yes, Rod Stewart, Steppenwolf, America, The
Incredible String Band, Mighty Baby, Quintessence, and Van Der
Graaft Generator. The female duo sang on a Mighty Baby album, and
was featured on BBC-Wales Television in The Meic Stevens
Christmas Special. In addition, their duo appeared on BBC-TV
London with the rock band Family.
Janet and Kathy’s duo
made its final concert appearance on the same bill as the band
Quintessence, performing to a sold-out crowd at London’s Royal
Albert Hall on December 20, 1971.
Touring on the rock
music circuit in Britain during the dynamic 60’s and early 70’s
was a unique and exciting experience for the two young women.
Janet and Kathy crossed paths with many famous musicians,
including members of The Rolling Stones, Yes, Family, Traffic,
Ginger Baker, Ric Grech, Mighty Baby, Victor Brox, Alexis Korner,
Aynsley Dunbar, Pink Floyd’s Sid Barrett, John Mayall, James
Taylor, Cat Stevens, Jefferson Airplane, Gram Parsons, and The
However, it was not always smooth-sailing for these
two young women. Their female duo’s initial appearance on the
British music scene presented a unique concept to many (including
music moguls, concertgoers, and male musicians alike). As a
result, Janet and Kathy’s rock group had to wrangle with
numerous setbacks (including being hyped as a novelty act, and
denied the right to record an Emily Muff original during the
duo’s premier recording session at Olympic Sound Studios). At
another point, the young women encountered the “casting couch
scenario” at what was supposed to have been a lucrative
Despite the odds, Janet and Kathy’s
determination, creativity, and courage enabled their band Emily
Muff to achieve a measure of success and recognition in Great
Britain. This innovative, pioneer rock duo was a role model for
aspiring musicians, and helped to pave the way for future female