Being a female in the music business used to be quite the challenge! Although there are several bands today with females, this was not always the case! In the late 80’s and early 90’s, the Austin music scene only had a select few bands playing the circa, with female members. One of the most popular of these groups, was a band named RETARTED ELF who incorporated a dancer into their show…A young lady by the name of Dianne Whitehair .
(Photo By Jim Hatch)
Originally from a small town outside St. Louis, Missouri, Dianne moved to Austin in 1970. She played the cello for the University of Texas String Project, as well as the piano as a child. Growing up, she was heavily influenced by bands like The Scorpions, Rush, Van Halen, David Bowie, KISS and other groups of this era. Punk was up and coming into the scene, as well. At 16, after seeing several live shows, Dianne decided that this was going to be her profession.
Her career began as a dancer for the band RETARTED ELF, who performed alongside bands such as FAITH NO MORE, REVEREND HORTON HEAT, and the SPIN DOCTORS. In 1996, she began working on her recent project. Teaming up with a former member of RETARTED ELF, Dianne played her first gig with SCORPIO RISING at Babe’s on 6th Street in 1996. Then, Dianne found out she had cancer. Although struggling with the harsh effects of chemotherapy, she never gave up. Finally, the cancer went into remission and after many years of hard work and sheer determination, Madame Scorpio and SCORPIO RISING, would emerge onto the Austin music scene.
Last year, at the 2016 Austin Music Awards, SCORPIO RISING was presented with the award for Best EMD/DANCE group. Dianne, alongside her band mates, Steve and Armando will continue writing awesome music, playing venues and winning awards! They are currently finishing their EP and are in the process of retaining a booking agent. When asked what advice Dianne might have to share with future female artists, she stated, “This is YOUR baby. Do it for yourself. Grow a thick skin and learn all you can about the business… Most of all Never Give Up!!”
CONGRATS & ROCK ON !!
SCORPIO RISING – The LOVESTREAM Festival – September 3, 2016 @ Pan Am Park Austin, Tx
For more info –www.scorpiorising.com
Featured Image courtesy of ‘OLIVAREZ IMAGERY’ – All Rights Reserved