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Country Music


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Table of Contents

Each Part opens with an Overview. Preface Introduction: Heading into the Country Country as Genre Definition of Country Is it Real? Issues of Authenticity in Country Music Goals and Themes Situating a Performer How to Listen Getting Started PART I: THE EARLY YEARS (1920s & 1930s) Chapter 1: The Birth of Country Music Musical Sources New Technologies: Records and Radio Essay (Culture): Radio Barn Dances Artist Profile: Fiddlin' John Carson Audiences The Business of Music Essay (Musical Style): Hillbilly Entertainers The Performers Listening Guide: "The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" Artist Profile: DeFord Bailey Listening Guide: "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues" Listening Guide: "Hallelujah Side" Essay (Identity): Women in Early Country Music Chapter 2: The Big Bang of Country Music Role of the Producer Essay (Music Business): Copyright Essay (Technology): Making Records in the 1920s Listening Guide: "Keep on the Sunny Side" Artist Profile: The Carter Family and Its Legacy Listening Guide: "Blue Yodel" Artist Profile: Jimmie Rodgers Listening Guide: "Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye & Bye)" Contributions of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family to Country Music Listening Guide: "Blue Yodel No. 9" Essay (Culture): Cover Songs Essay (Identity): Race in Early Country Music Chapter 3: Innovation and Change Barn Dance Radio Shows, Stars, and the Brother Acts Essay (Musical Style): Brother Acts Essay (Music Business): Sponsorship Listening Guide: "The Great Speckled Bird" Artist Profile: Roy Acuff Western Swing Essay (Musical Style): Innovation in Western Swing Artist Profile: Bob Wills Singing Cowboy Listening Guide: "New San Antonio Rose" Essay (Musical Style): Singing Cowboys Listening Guide: "Back in the Saddle Again" On the Brink of World War II PART II: WORLD WAR II AND AFTER: NATIONALISM AND COUNTRY MUSIC (1940s & 1950s) Chapter 4: Honky-Tonk Heyday New Radio Stars Essay (Music Business): Forces behind the Scenes Country Music Culture in the Postwar Years Essay (Technology): A New Era in Recording Essay (Culture): Folk, Country, and the Novelty Song Honky-Tonk Roots Essay (Musical Style): Honky-Tonk Essay (Musical Style): Country Boogie Listening Guide: "Walking the Floor over You" The Louisiana Hayride Honky-Tonk Heyday Artist Profile: Hank Williams Song Comparison: "In the Jailhouse Now" Listening Guide: "Your Cheatin' Heart" The Honky-Tonk Image Honky-Tonk Angels Answer Songs Artist Profile: Rose Maddox Listening Guide: "(Pay Me) Alimony" Essay (Songwriting): Songwriting in Nashville The Impact of Honky-Tonk Chapter 5: The Birth of Bluegrass The Origins of Bluegrass Artist Profile: Bill Monroe Essay (Musical Style): Bluegrass Listening Guide: "Blue Moon of Kentucky" First-Generation Bands Artist Profile: Earl Scruggs Listening Guide: "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" Essay (Identity): Women in Bluegrass Bluegrass Meets Folk From Bluegrass to Folk to Commercial Country Essay (Culture): Bluegrass Festivals Bluegrass as Symbol and Soundtrack Listening Guide: "Rocky Top" The Relationship between Bluegrass and Country Chapter 6: Rockabilly and Teen Romance Setting the Stage: The Emergence of Rock 'n' Roll Memphis Rockabilly and Elvis Presley Essay (Culture): Teenagers and Music Essay (Culture): Cajun Country Essay (Musical Style): Rockabilly Song Comparison: "Blue Moon of Kentucky" Rockabilly as Part of Country Music Artist Profile: Johnny Cash Listening Guide: "Folsom Prison Blues" Rockabilly Women Rock 'n' Roll and Country Connections beyond Sun Artist Profile: Wanda Jackson Listening Guide: "I Gotta Know" Country Teen Crooners Listening Guide: "Young Love" Coming to an End PART III: THE BIG BUSINESS OF COUNTRY MUSIC (1960s & 1970s) Chapter 7: The Nashville Sound and Musical Innovation Artist Profile: Chet Atkins The Stars Essay (Musical Style): The Nashville Sound Artist Profile: Patsy Cline Listening Guide: "Faded Love" Listening Guide: "He'll Have to Go" The Songs Song Comparison: "Take Me In Your Arms and Hold Me" Essay (Songwriting): A Professional Writer's Town Listening Guide: "El Paso" Essay (Music Business): The Country Music Association Instrumentals The Second Wave of Nashville Sound Artists Making Sense of the Nashville Sound Chapter 8: California Country and Country Rock Out in Bakersfield Essay (Musical Style): Bakersfield Sound Artist Profile: Merle Haggard Listening Guide: "Mama Tried" Artist Profile: Buck Owens Listening Guide: "Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache)" Essay (History): "Okie from Muskogee" and Country Music Politics Bluegrass Meets Folk-Rock Country Rock Essay (Culture): The Byrds on the Opry Country Rock Branches Out California Country Listening Guide: "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" Chapter 9: Traditionalists and Classic Country Essay (Musical Style): Classic Country Classic Country's Female Stars Artist Profile: Dolly Parton Listening Guide: "Coal Miner's Daughter" Song Comparison: "Muleskinner Blues" Classic Country's Male Stars Essay (Identity): Gender in Classic Country Artist Profile: George Jones Listening Guide: "He Stopped Loving Her Today" Listening Guide: "You've Never Been This Far Before" Breaking Barriers Essay (Culture): The Opry Moves Essay (Songwriting): Story Songs Essay (Songwriting): Truckin' Songs and the Open Road The Duets and Ensembles TV and Country Music Looking Back on Classic Country PART IV: EXPANSION: FROM COUNTRY TO ROCK AND POP AND BACK AGAIN (1970s & 1980s) Chapter 10: Outlaw Country and Southern Rock Rebellion The Emergence of Outlaw Country Essay (Music Business): Behaving Like Outlaws Artist Profile: Willie Nelson Essay (Musical Style): Outlaw Country Album Exploration: Red Headed Stranger Outlaw Country Runs Its Course Listening Guide: "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)" Essay (Culture): Long-Haired Rednecks, Hippies, and Cosmic Cowboys Southern Rock and the Country Audience Essay (Musical Style): Southern Rock Listening Guide: "Sweet Home Alabama" Artist Profile: Charlie Daniels Listening Guide: "The South's Gonna Do It" Chapter 11: Urban Cowboys, Countrypolitan, and the Reagan Era History and Rise of Crossover Country Essay (Musical Style): Countrypolitan Pop Culture, the Cowboy, and the Country Boy Essay (Culture): Country Music on the Silver Screen Politics, Economics, and the Appeal of the Urban Cowboy New Media and Breaking Down Genre Borders The Stars and Songs of Urban Cowboy Artist Profile: Barbara Mandrell Essay (Music Business): International Country Listening Guide: "I Was Country (When Country Wasn't Cool)" Listening Guide: "Love in the First Degree" The End of Urban Cowboy Artist Profile: Emmylou Harris Listening Guide: "Islands in the Stream" Chapter 12: Neotraditionalists and Remaking the Past Countrypolitan Fades Neotraditionalist Philosophy Essay (Musical Style): Neotraditionalist Recordings Early Practitioners Essay (Songwriting): Cover Songs Revisited Artist Profile: George Strait Listening Guide: "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)" Artist Profile: Reba McEntire Listening Guide: "How Blue" Neotraditionalism Takes Root Listening Guide: "All My Ex's Live in Texas" Co-opted, Conservative, and Commercial Essay (Culture): Branson, Missouri, and Country Music Tourism PART V: COUNTRY MUSIC IN POPULAR CULTURE (1990s & 2000s) Chapter 13: The Commercial Country Explosion The Class of 1989 and "New Country" Artist Profile: Garth Brooks Essay (History): Southernization and Soccer Moms Essay (Musical Style): New Country and Country Pop Themes in New Country Listening Guide: "Friends in Low Places" Listening Guide: "Gone Country" Stylistic Pendulums and Country Pop Essay (Culture): Line Dancing Artist Profile: Shania Twain Listening Guide: "Any Man of Mine" Essay (Songwriting): Songwriting and Sophistication The End of the 1990s Chapter 14: Alternative Country and Roots Revival Defining Alternative Country Alternative Country Origins Alternative Country Coalesces A Broader Definition: Alternative Country as Musical Space Artist Profile: Ryan Adams Essay (Technology): The Internet Age Listening Guide: "No Depression" Essay (Musical Style): What Alt-Country Doesn't Sound Like Listening Guide: "Suppose Tonight Would Be Our Last" Essay (Culture): Gay Line Dancing Americana Another Alternative: Bluegrass The Impact on Mainstream Country Artist Profile: Rhonda Vincent Changes in Commercial Country Murder on Music Row: The Turning Tide Listening Guide: "Man of Constant Sorrow" Essay (Culture): The O Brother Phenomenon Chapter 15: Into the Present Country Music in the Spotlight Essay (Culture): Dixie Chicks and Politics Listening Guide: "Long Time Gone" Listening Guide: "Whiskey Lullaby" Return of Roots and Rednecks Artist Profile: Brad Paisley Listening Guide: "Redneck Woman" Americana and Alternative? Pop Culture Lays Claim to Country Music Artist Profile: Carrie Underwood Essay (Identity): Race in Contemporary Country Essay (Technology): MP3s Please Reflecting and Projecting Meaning The Main Themes in Country Music's History Looking Forward Appendix A: Song Form Appendix B: Country Instruments Appendix C: Finding the Recordings Appendix D: Glossary Appendix E: Timeline Selected Bibliography

About the Author

Jocelyn R. Neal is Associate Professor of Music and Adjunct Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers (2009), which won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. She is the past chair of the Popular Music Group within the Society for Music Theory, and is coeditor of Southern Cultures. In 2012, she was named Director of the Center for the Study of the American South.


"Engaging and well written."--James Harvey, Alvin Community College "Beautifully written, organized, conceptually defined, and fleshed out with clear detail. This text will be appealing to students and instructors and will 'wear well' over time."--James E. Akenson, Tennessee Technological University "Well suited for college-level courses. It covers the 'big splashes' of the genre and fills a need for textbooks on the subject. The appendices are golden--especially the appendix with recorded examples."--Keith Cozart, Indiana University East

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