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.

Emily 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 Byrds.

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 business meeting.

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 rockers.


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