Country and Folk Music
Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents
Paperback ISBN: 0133232476
New edition of the text first published in 1965 (revised by Valerie Woodring Goertzeu). Presents the general characteristics of traditional music and its cultural context along with some of the methods used to study folk music. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
The Life of Lee Hays
Paperback ISBN: 0803297475
During the Great Depression, Lee Hays, the son of a Southern Methodist minister, used his music to life the hearts of sharecroppers and miners and union organizers. He helped bring black music to America's consciousness. He could make people laugh in times when there seemed little to laugh about. An Arkansas traveler and radical minstrel, he commented wryly on events and impaled reactionary southern congressmen on their own words. A kind of Mark Twain of the left, people said. But Lee Hays, for all his great size and talents and humor, was also a difficult man, plagued by self-doubts and a driving need to discombobulate any person or group that struck him as self-satisfied. Lonesome Traveler is the story of a prodigious talent with a zeal for changing the world. With Pete Seeger he formed the popular folksinging group the Weavers, which sang songs of social justice just as a tidal wave of red-hunting hit America. The rest of his legendary story will anger, touch, and delight.
Romancing the Folk
Public Memory and American Roots Music
Paperback ISBN: 080784862x
In American music, the notion of "roots" has been a powerful refrain, but just what constitutes our true musical traditions has often been a matter of debate. As Benjamin Filene reveals, a number of competing visions of America's musical past have vied for influence over the public imagination in this century. Filene builds his story around a fascinating group of characters?folklorists, record company executives, producers, radio programmers, and publicists?who acted as middlemen between folk and popular culture. These cultural brokers "discovered" folk musicians, recorded them, and promoted them. In the process, Filene argues, they shaped mainstream audiences' understanding of what was "authentic" roots music. Filene moves beyond the usual boundaries of folk music to consider a wide range of performers who drew on or were drawn into the canon of American roots music?from Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie, to Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, to Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan. Challenging traditional accounts that would confine folk music revivalism to the 1930s and 1960s, he argues instead that the desire to preserve and popularize America's musical heritage is a powerful current that has run throughout this century's culture and continues to flow today.