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Country Music Annual 2000

Country Music Annual 2000

Charles K. Wolfe
James E. Akenson
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Country Music Annual 2000
    Book Description:

    The swelling interest in popular music studies has far outpaced the outlets for publication. Country music, with its all-too-familiar stereotypes, has been particularly slow to gain scholarly acceptance. With theCountry Music Annual, scholars, students, and even fans now have a outlet for the dissemination of research and ideas. Each volume of this new yearbook is devoted to all aspects of country music and is the only forum for series studies of the subject. Specific topics include old-time music, western swing, bluegrass, honky-tonk music, Cajun, instrumental music, Nashville sound era, new traditionalism, country rock, alternative country, Americana, modern folk, and contemporary Nashville, as well as biographical studies and interdisciplinary approaches to music, geography, gender, class, race, media, and culture.

    This inaugural edition defines country music in a broad sense and reflects the marvelous complexities of what has often been called a simple cultural form. The articles look at old-time music, Western swing, honky-tonk, Bluegrass, Cajun, country rock, and the many other incarnations country music has taken. Contributors explore country music in Hollywood and Nashville, humor, country's complex relationship with religion, music careers, sound mixing, and teaching country music in the classroom. Analysis of music, lyrics, and aesthetics stand alongside discussions of Minnie Pearl, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Shania Twain, and many more artists.

    Advisory Board: Bill C. Malone, Nolan Porterfield, Jimmie Rogers, Curtis Ellison, William K. McNeil, Wayne W. Daniel, Joli Jensen.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5717-7
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-3)
    Charles K. Wolfe and James E. Akenson

    This inaugural edition ofCountry Music Annualmarks the beginning of an effort to provide for the growing country music research community an opportunity to share the fruits of their labors. We hope that scholars, interested laypersons, students, and music fans will find it interesting and useful, and we anticipate that it will fill a yawning void in American music scholarship. Since 1965, whenThe Journal of American Folklorepublished its ground-breaking “hillbilly music” issue, and since 1968, when Bill C. Malone published his definitive studyCountry Music U.S.A., new generations of scholars have followed their lead and have begun...

  4. “Your Inner Voice that Comes from God”: Country Singers’ Attitudes toward the Sacred
    (pp. 4-21)
    Ted Olson

    In a recent essay entitled “The Gospel Truth: Christianity and Country Music,” Bill C. Malone wrote: “Despite the prominence of religious songs in the earlier country repertoires, the peak of such performance came after World War II, during the late forties and early fifties” (219). Attempting to explain this phenomenon, Malone speculated that “the popularity of such material suggests the efforts made by transplanted rural people to preserve elements of their older culture in a newly emerging urban-industrial society while also using the old time religion to explain and cope with new and sometimes frightening problems” (219). Later in his...

  5. Nashville Sound–Era Studio Musicians
    (pp. 22-29)
    Morris S. Levy

    The 1960s was a decade of tremendous growth for Nashville’s music industry, spurred by the introduction of new recording technologies. By the end of the decade, stereophonic had almost entirely replaced monophonic for all commercial releases except 45-rpm singles, and the overdubbing of strings, horns, and background vocals had become the norm. These changes were more than just aural; the studio musicians making these new records were confronted with different roles and expectations that the new technology brought with it. Over the past four years I have interviewed a number of studio musicians active during that time, and this paper...

  6. Careers in Country Music
    (pp. 30-45)
    Charles Faupel, Ray and Carolyn Wix

    There have been several histories of country music written, and numerous biographies of country music personalities. The project in which we are engaged seeks to do a little of both, perhaps, but in a unique way: through the eyes of a country music artist and his life companion and singing partner. Ray Wix grew up in a musical family that was quite well known in the Cleveland area in the 1950s as The Wix Family. He has played on theGrand Ole Opryfor some ten years, from 1964 to 1974, as a lead guitarist for numerousOprypersonalities. Among...

  7. Figure It Out: The Linguistic Turn in Country Music
    (pp. 46-56)
    Jimmie N. Rogers and Miller Williams

    Country music is metaphor if we accept the definition that “[t]he essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.”¹ The best known example of a country song as metaphor is one written by Paul Craft and recorded by Bobby Bare.

    Dropkick me Jesus, through the goal posts of life

    End over end, neither left nor right

    Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights.²

    Most songs take a more subtle approach in their use of language. The clever use of language is a necessity because a country song is a unique form of...

  8. Country Music Battles Religion in Lee Smith’s The Devil’s Dream
    (pp. 57-74)
    Rebecca Smith

    Country music and literature might make strange bedfellows in some people’s minds, but for fiction writer Lee Smith, their union has resulted in a fine novel applauded by both literary critics and country music historians. Born in 1944, she grew up in the Appalachian town of Grundy in southwestern Virginia, near Maces Spring, home of the famous Carter Family. As a child in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Smith traveled with her family to Maces Spring to hear the Carter Family play music on Saturday night.¹ That local tradition continues: A.P. Carter’s daughters Janette and Gladys and son Joe...

  9. Minnie Pearl and Southern Humor in Country Entertainment
    (pp. 75-88)
    Kristine Fredriksson

    Minnie Pearl appeared regularly on theHee Hawtelevision program from the time of its premiere in December 1969, but many people remember her best and most fondly from theGrand Ole Opryradio show broadcast over WSM in Nashville, beginning on November 9, 1925,¹ although she did not begin her long career there until fifteen years after broadcast of the radio show began.

    Music and comedy have been inseparable from the very beginning of country entertainment, a tradition that goes back to the medicine shows of early years. In these shows, the medicine salesman often used musicians to draw the...

  10. In Search of Fiddlin’ Sam Long of the Ozarks
    (pp. 89-100)
    W.K. McNeil

    In October 1965 while living in southeastern Kentucky, an acquaintance showed me a copy of a very battered, poor sounding 78 record by one Sam Long, “Listen to the Mockingbird” and “Sandy Land.”¹ Neither he nor I knew anything about this Sam Long, but this could in a sense be considered the start of a personal quest to find out more about this fiddler’s life story. I have long been interested in unearthing biographical details about individual musicians, especially those in the fields of old-time country and popular music. With the notable exception of Sharp, Hinman, and Sharp, who recorded...

  11. Mandolins and Metaphors: Red Rector’s Musical Aesthetics
    (pp. 101-111)
    Francesca McLean McCrossan

    In 1945 in Asheville, North Carolina, Bluegrass musician Red Rector bought his second mandolin. It was a 1922 Gibson A-4 model, sold to him for $45 by musician and friend Harold Williams. There were several features that set this instrument apart from its more popular cousin, the F-5, and these features suited both Red’s smaller fingers and developing ear. The A-4’s smaller, round body fit his compact proportions and its wider and shorter neck made fingering an easier task. But perhaps the instrument’s most important feature was the single, round sound opening that gave the instrument a more mellow, melodic...

  12. Songwriter’s Signature, Artist’s Imprint: The Metric Structure of a Country Song
    (pp. 112-140)
    Jocelyn Neal

    Country music consists of combinations of text, melody, harmony, stories, myths, technology, marketing, and culture woven together in the form of songs. When played, these songs unfold in time, taking their usual three and a half minutes or so. The musical and textual events are assembled into some recognizable structure; the listener makes sense of the sounds based on this structure, keeping track of the story in the text and following the musical form. Whereas performers of any given song have identifiable vocal qualities and timbres, styles of singing, typical lyric content and genre selections, accompanying band, and countless other...

  13. Queer Country, line Dance Nazis, and a Hollywood Barndance: Country Music and the Struggle for Identity in Los Angeles, California
    (pp. 141-150)
    Amy R. Corin

    This article investigates ways in which the ongoing participation within specific musical contexts allows for the configuration of individual identity and group affiliation. It explores a vast diversity of participatory and performance settings for country music in the greater Los Angeles area, presenting a series of case studies in which a number of country music performance contexts were studied where they exist in very dissimilar environments, providing interactional social contexts for diverse groups of individuals.

    Among many others in the greater L.A. area, one can find a thriving, funky-but-hip, alternative-country music club in the heart of Hollywood, across the street...

  14. Teaching Country Music
    (pp. 151-172)
    James E. Akenson

    Country music offers an exceptional topic through which to enhance the precollegiate curriculum in grades 1 through 12. This discussion will specifically focus on the integration of country music into the existing precollegiate curriculum. Pressures on teachers to successfully cover the existing curriculum are enormous. Using a southern musical form such as country music to enhance the existing curriculum is far more likely to meet with teacher acceptance than pushing for new curricular content. Country music will be broadly considered to be the precommercial and commercial product with roots in the Anglo-American experience in North America, and particularly the southern...

  15. Contributors
    (pp. 173-176)