To its millions of fans, country music is America's music, offering a window on the sweet dreams and cruel disappointments of ordinary American lives. Now the renowned Country Music Foundation, custodian of Nashville's legendary Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, has compiled a fascinating and infinitely useful guide to this beloved musical genre--The Encyclopedia of Country Music.
Nearly 1,300 complete and up-to-the-minute alphabetical entries put eight decades of country music at readers' fingertips, from the earliest '20s recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers to the '90s chart-topping albums of LeAnn Rimes and Garth Brooks. A distinguished field of 137 contributors provides an eminently readable and reliable guide to the singers, songwriters, record companies, and industry movers and shakers who have made country music the increasingly popular--and profitable--juggernaut it is today. There are entries for influential radio and television programs, and for key country landmarks from Nashville's Music Row to Bakersfield's Blackboard nightclub. Ten longer essays probe the historical, cultural, religious, artistic, and financial forces shaping country music. Hundreds of photographs, some never before published, accompany the text, including 75 color photographs from the CMF Library's record collection, surveying the history of the country music album cover. Twelve appendices provide lists of country's all-time best-selling albums, country music stations nationwide, all the country music awards won over the years, and much more.
Authoritative, accessible, and unerringly accurate, The Encyclopedia of Country Music will delight fans. It is an essential reference for libraries, radio stations, and the entertainment industry.
When twenty-five-year-old Bob Dylan wrecked his motorcycle near Woodstock in 1966 and dropped out of the public eye, he was already recognized as a genius, a youth idol with an acid wit and a barbwire throat; and Greenwich Village, where he first made his mark, was unquestionably the center of youth culture.
In "Positively 4th Street," David Hajdu recounts the emergence of folk music from cult practice to popular and enduring art form as the story of a colorful foursome: not only Dylan but also his part-time lover Joan Baez -- the first voice of the new generation; her sister Mimi -- beautiful, haunted, and an artist in her own right; and Mimi's husband, Richard Farina, a comic novelist ("Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me") who invented the worldly-wise bohemian persona that Dylan adopted -- some say stole -- and made his own.
A national bestseller in hardcover, acclaimed as "one of the best books about music in America" (Jonathan Yardley, "The Washington Post"), "Positively 4th Street" is that rare book with a new story to tell about the 1960s -- about how the decade and all that it is now associated with were created in a fit of collective inspiration, with an energy and creativity that David Hajdu has captured on the page as if for the first time.
Willie Nelson, Joe Ely, Marcia Ball, Tish Hinojosa, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lyle Lovett . . . the list of popular songwriters from Texas just goes on and on. In this collection of thirty-four interviews with these and other songwriters, Kathleen Hudson pursues the stories behind the songs, letting the singers' own words describe where their songs come from and how the diverse, eclectic cultures, landscapes, and musical traditions of Texas inspire the creative process. Conducted in dance halls, dressing rooms, parking lots, clubs-wherever the musicians could take time to tell their stories-the interviews are refreshingly spontaneous and vivid. Hudson draws out the songwriters on such topics as the sources of their songs, the influence of other musicians on their work, the progress of their careers, and the nature of Texas music. Many common threads emerge from these stories, while the uniqueness of each songwriter becomes equally apparent. To round out the collection, Hudson interviews Larry McMurtry and Darrell Royal for their perspectives as longtime friends and fans of Texas musicians. She also includes a brief biography and discography of each songwriter.
The life of Charles Seeger (1886-1979) - composer, teacher, performer, beureaucrat, inventor, musicologist - spanned 92 years and touched many areas of American music. Almost every modern musician has been affected by some aspect of Seeger's life and work.
With its steel guitars, Opry stars, and honky-tonk bars, country music is an American original. The most popular music in America today, it's also big business. Amazing, then, that country music has been so little studied by critics, given its predominance in American culture. Reading Country Music acknowledges the significance of country music as part of an authentic American heritage and turns a loving, critical eye toward understanding the sweep of this peculiarly American phenomenon.
Bringing together a wide range of scholars and critics from literature, communications, history, sociology, art, and music, this anthology looks at everything from the inner workings of the country music industry to the iconography of certain stars to the development of distinctive styles within the country music genre. Essays include a look at the shift from "hard-core" to "soft-shell" country music in recent years; Johnny Cash as lesbian icon; gender, class, and region in Dolly Parton's star image; and bluegrass's gothic tradition. Originally published as a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, this expanded book edition includes new articles on the spirituality of Willie Nelson, the legacy and tradition of stringed music, and the revival of Stephen Foster's blackface musical, among others.
Contributors. Mary A. Bufwack, Don Cusic, Curtis W. Ellison, Mark Fenster, Vivien Green Fryd, Teresa Goddu, T. Walter Herbert, Christine Kreyling, Michael Kurek, Amy Schrager Lang, Charmaine Lanham, Bill Malone, Christopher Metress, Jocelyn Neal, Teresa Ortega, Richard A. Peterson, Ronnie Pugh, John W. Rumble, David Sanjek, Cecelia Tichi, Pamela Wilson, Charles K. Wolfe
Johnny Cash is a living icon, one of the defining country musicians of the century and patriarch of a clan that rules as country royalty. He has also been a hard-living firebrand whose air of danger and rebellion made him godfather of the bad boys of today's rock and rap. He has garnered him an immense audience across generations, selling more than fifty million albums and winning ten Grammy awards. Ring of Fire is the first book to explore Cash's life and work through essays by some of the best music journalists-Ralph Gleason, George Vecsey, Richard Goldstein, Alanna Nash, Nick Tosches, Jon Pareles, and Ben Ratliff. Whether dispatched in the heat of Cash's meteoric rise to fame in the '60s or looking back from the vantage point of his recent musical resurgence and phenomenal new albums, these writings reveal the complex soul of an American legend.
Wide-ranging perspectives on the bluegrass music legend
Determined to play the mandolin in a way it had never been played before, Bill Monroe distinguished himself in the mid-1930s with the Monroe Brothers, then began forming his own band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1938. By the mid-1940s other bands had begun copying his sound, and a new style, bluegrass music, was born. While country music moved toward electrification, Monroe maintained his acoustic ensemble and developed his "high, lonesome sound," performing nearly up to his death in 1996.
Lively, heartfelt, and informative, The Bill Monroe Reader is a fitting tribute to the man and the musician who transformed the traditional music of western Kentucky into an international sensation. In this eclectic and richly illustrated reader, former Blue Grass Boy Tom Ewing gathers the most significant and illuminating of the many articles that have been written about Monroe. Through the writings of nearly sixty observers, interviewers, admirers, folklorists, and other scholars, along with Ewing's own astute commentary, The Bill Monroe Reader offers a multifaceted view of one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century.