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Country Music: An Illustrated History

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The rich and colorful story of America's most popular music and the singers and songwriters who captivated, entertained, and consoled listeners throughout the twentieth century--based on the upcoming eight-part film series to air on PBS in September 2019 This gorgeously illustrated and hugely entertaining history begins where country music itself emerged: the American South The rich and colorful story of America's most popular music and the singers and songwriters who captivated, entertained, and consoled listeners throughout the twentieth century--based on the upcoming eight-part film series to air on PBS in September 2019 This gorgeously illustrated and hugely entertaining history begins where country music itself emerged: the American South, where people sang to themselves and to their families at home and in church, and where they danced to fiddle tunes on Saturday nights. With the birth of radio in the 1920s, the songs moved from small towns, mountain hollers, and the wide-open West to become the music of an entire nation--a diverse range of sounds and styles from honky tonk to gospel to bluegrass to rockabilly, leading up through the decades to the music's massive commercial success today. But above all, Country Music is the story of the musicians. Here is Hank Williams's tragic honky tonk life, Dolly Parton rising to fame from a dirt-poor childhood, and Loretta Lynn turning her experiences into songs that spoke to women everywhere. Here too are interviews with the genre's biggest stars, including the likes of Merle Haggard to Garth Brooks to Rosanne Cash. Rife with rare photographs and endlessly fascinating anecdotes, the stories in this sweeping yet intimate history will captivate longtime country fans and introduce new listeners to an extraordinary body of music that lies at the very center of the American experience.


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The rich and colorful story of America's most popular music and the singers and songwriters who captivated, entertained, and consoled listeners throughout the twentieth century--based on the upcoming eight-part film series to air on PBS in September 2019 This gorgeously illustrated and hugely entertaining history begins where country music itself emerged: the American South The rich and colorful story of America's most popular music and the singers and songwriters who captivated, entertained, and consoled listeners throughout the twentieth century--based on the upcoming eight-part film series to air on PBS in September 2019 This gorgeously illustrated and hugely entertaining history begins where country music itself emerged: the American South, where people sang to themselves and to their families at home and in church, and where they danced to fiddle tunes on Saturday nights. With the birth of radio in the 1920s, the songs moved from small towns, mountain hollers, and the wide-open West to become the music of an entire nation--a diverse range of sounds and styles from honky tonk to gospel to bluegrass to rockabilly, leading up through the decades to the music's massive commercial success today. But above all, Country Music is the story of the musicians. Here is Hank Williams's tragic honky tonk life, Dolly Parton rising to fame from a dirt-poor childhood, and Loretta Lynn turning her experiences into songs that spoke to women everywhere. Here too are interviews with the genre's biggest stars, including the likes of Merle Haggard to Garth Brooks to Rosanne Cash. Rife with rare photographs and endlessly fascinating anecdotes, the stories in this sweeping yet intimate history will captivate longtime country fans and introduce new listeners to an extraordinary body of music that lies at the very center of the American experience.

36 review for Country Music: An Illustrated History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jay Gabler

    Why does it always seem like country music is having an identity crisis? Does R&B have identity crises? Does pop? Does hip-hop? Sure, but somehow with country music there always seems to be a tension between some idea of "real country" and whatever genres, ideas, or textures are influencing the sound of music made by artists who consider themselves country. In his landmark book Country Music USA: 50th Anniversary Edition, Bill C. Malone (with co-author Tracey E.W. Laird for the most recent ed Why does it always seem like country music is having an identity crisis? Does R&B have identity crises? Does pop? Does hip-hop? Sure, but somehow with country music there always seems to be a tension between some idea of "real country" and whatever genres, ideas, or textures are influencing the sound of music made by artists who consider themselves country. In his landmark book Country Music USA: 50th Anniversary Edition, Bill C. Malone (with co-author Tracey E.W. Laird for the most recent edition) tackles that question head-on and brings it right up to the minute, with Beyoncé’s "Daddy Lessons" hanging as the unanswered question for country music in this decade. Can an African-American woman who gained fame for pop R&B make the country charts? Even more recently, Lil Nas X prompted another round of headlines about what counts as "country music" — and specifically, whether the genre's gatekeepers will ever allow a return to the dialogue with African-American musical traditions that produced the genre in the first place. Judging by the companion volume, though, Ken Burns's new documentary series about country music doesn't go there. Burns shines a welcome spotlight on the contributions of artists of color, and women, from the genre's inception, but he doesn't ask a lot of tough questions. Instead, Country Music: An Illustrated History, co-authored with Dayton Duncan, functions as a visual timeline of country music from Fiddlin' John Carson in 1923 until the death of Johnny Cash in 2003. I reviewed Country Music: An Illustrated History for The Current.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  3. 4 out of 5

    James Burke

  4. 4 out of 5

    Austin O'malley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rosa

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  8. 5 out of 5

    BMR, LCSW

  9. 4 out of 5

    K.O.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mark Watson

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Pickett

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Crane

  16. 4 out of 5

    Columbus

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

  18. 5 out of 5

    Silvanna

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  21. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie Oxendale

  23. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Rate

  24. 5 out of 5

    Trica Johnson

  25. 5 out of 5

    amy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy Wigand

  29. 4 out of 5

    Douglass Abramson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michele

  31. 4 out of 5

    Tom Donaghey

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jade

  33. 4 out of 5

    Alex Helm

  34. 4 out of 5

    Jodie Marie

  35. 5 out of 5

    Julie Cannon

  36. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

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