The adage that well-behaved women rarely make history comes to life in a new award-winning music video that was recorded and created in Park City.
“Bad Bitches” features images of blues guitarist Big Momma Thornton, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn, the U.S. team that won the women’s 4×400 relay race in the 2012 Summer Olympics, Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks and drag racing pioneer Shirley Muldowney.
The song, written and performed by Parkite Lu Ann Landau’s band Redneck Pop, is about the long fight for gender equality, and earlier this month it became one of the recipients of the Silver Telly Award in the Non Broadcast Social Responsibility Category.
The Telly Awards have honored video and TV production since 1979, receiving more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents each year, according to a statement from the organization.
“Bad Bitches” was submitted to the 42nd Telly Awards by Lucky 13 Films, a production company helmed by Landau’s husband and producer Robert F. “Bob” Landau.
“In the face of a year like no other, Lucky 13 Films has continued to defy the limitations of our new world, in continuing to create compelling and engaging work,” said Telly Awards Executive Director Sabrina Dridje in the statement. “This year’s submissions doubled down on what we already know about the industry. Creativity cannot be stopped. Collaboration will always prevail. New ideas and stories will always find a way to break through to an audience.”
The award surprised Landau, because she didn’t know her husband entered her music video.
“It was very gratifying and inspirational to hear that the judges saw the video as what I intended it to be — a fight for equality and a song of gratitude for all the women who have come before us and who are standing with us now,” Lu Ann said. “This was my little part to fight with them.”
The award also stunned Robert, a professional producer and screenwriter known for his work as lead editor on such documentaries as the Ridley Scott series “Crimes of the Century,” and the Telly Award-winning “One Day in Auschwitz,” a documentary commissioned by Steven Spielberg as a companion piece to “Schindler’s List.”
“I had submitted it because I felt it was good work and had a positive message, but I knew it was a long shot, due to the fact that we didn’t have the budget the other submissions had,” he said. “I would have believed getting it into a film festival, and I would’ve believed maybe getting something like a Good Samaritan award or a pat on the back. But to have someone like the Tellys to say that this is on par with those who have budgets that are gazillion times bigger than what we had was amazing.”
Lu Ann, a nurse by trade, wrote and recorded the song during last year’s COVID-19 lockdown, when she wasn’t able to work for six weeks. She recorded the song as a demo that she planned to fix up later.
“I recorded my singing in our sauna and did the bass tracks while sitting on my bed,” said Lu Ann, who then sent the recording to her band in L.A.
While the band members recorded their parts, Lu Ann and her 25-year-old daughter, Sasha, tossed around the idea of making it into a video.
“We thought we could just put up some photos or something like that, but when Bob heard it, he felt he could turn it into a better video,” Lu Ann said.
Robert assessed the song, and worked with Lu Ann and Sasha to compile three lists of women who were instrumental in changing the course of history.
“The first thing I thought about was the contemporary women’s movement, because things are in the news now, but then I thought about the history,” he said. “Since my orientation is historical, anyway, I started thinking about misinterpretations of what the lives of Pocahontas and Sakawajea were like, and then I started thinking about different women throughout history.”
He also dove into the suffragette movement and women’s athletics.
“I saw what a long slough the suffragette movement was, and many of those who started it didn’t live to see the end of it,” he said. “And being a former college athlete, I started thinking about the mark women have made in sports.”
One thing led to another, and the Landaus had more names than they could fit in the four-minute song.
“There is only so much you can put in, but we did our best,” Robert said.
The video, which was among other entries from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the Humane Society of the U.S.A. and the YWCA, made an impression on the judges, Lu Ann said.
“I think the video transcended the song, because it elevates you in a joyous way,” she said. “I think that’s what captured the judges’ attention.”
The video is playable on YouTube and can also be found on Lu Ann’s website, Redneckpop.com. Lu Ann named her band Redneck Pop while she lived in Los Angeles.
“I’m a southern girl from North Carolina, and I was trying to express myself in a current way,” she said. “We were playing mostly country rock, and got into some nice clubs.”
“Bad Bitches” may not have turned into the song it became if it weren’t for the MUSE PC songwriting circle, helmed by local singer-songwriter Jody Whitesides, according to Lu Ann.
“I had presented this song to the group, and Jody made some suggestions that would help the listeners understand what the song was about,” she said. “I took note and made sure the ‘Bad Bitches’ creed was right on top.”