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Country Music Annual 2002

Country Music Annual 2002

Charles K. Wolfe
James E. Akenson
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Country Music Annual 2002
    Book Description:

    In the third volume of this acclaimed country music series, readers can explore topics ranging from the career of country music icon Conway Twitty to the recent phenomenal success of the bluegrass flavored soundtrack to the filmO Brother, Where Art Thou?. The tricky relationship between conservative politics and country music in the sixties, the promotion of early country music artists with picture postcards, the history of "the voice of the Blue Ridge Mountains" (North Carolina radio station WPAQ), and the formation of the Country Music Association as a "chamber of commerce" for country music to battle its negative hillbilly stereotype are just a few of the eclectic subjects that country music fans and scholars won't want to miss.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5719-1
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

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

    This third annual collection of new studies in country music reflects, as have the first two, the continuing diversity of approaches taken by scholars in dealing with this complex and influential commercial art form. Because of the rich variety of papers submitted for the volume, we have as a matter of policy avoided trying to create issues devoted to a particular topic or approach. At the same time, we have resisted the temptation to create issues that were tied too specifically to the musical events and developments of the current year. As with earlier issues, this volume spans the history...

  4. Conway Twitty: THE MAN AND HIS IMAGE
    (pp. 3-14)
    Jimmie N. Rogers

    Conway Twitty is an icon in American culture. One way to know if someone has reached iconic status is to note how little must be said to identify the individual in a joke. Consider the following: A young man was assigned to a new church, and upon his arrival he thought he would canvass the neighborhood, introduce himself, and invite people to attend the church. When he knocks on the first door, a woman opens it and exclaims, “As I live and breathe, Conway Twitty!” The minister explains that he is not Conway Twitty; he is the new preacher at...

    (pp. 15-25)
    Richard D. Smith

    A motto that is reproduced on the front page masthead of every edition of theNew York Timesreads: “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” This famous phrase reflects the commitment of the Ochs and Sulzburger families, owners of theTimes, to avoiding the tasteless excesses of sensation-mongering reporting, a commitment as praiseworthy in our day of tabloids and paparazzi as it was in the era of “yellow journalism.”

    But let us not lose sight of the first word of this motto—all. TheNew York Timesremains committed toallthe news that is fit to print. It...

  6. “Man of Constant Sorrow”: ANTECEDENTS AND TRADITION
    (pp. 26-53)
    John Garst

    By August 3, 2001, its 227th day in release in the United States, the box-office gross of the Coen Brothers’ film,O Brother, Where Art Thou?¹ was $46 million.² In comparison,Rush Hour 2grossed $199 million in 32 days ending September 3, 2001.³O Brotheris a box-office success, but by no means a blockbuster.

    The corresponding soundtrack CD is another matter.⁴ An August 14, 2001, press release states that the soundtrack “has been certified double platinum with sales in excess of two million copies. The soundtrack is currently in its 16th week at No. 1 on Billboard’s ‘Country...

    (pp. 54-81)
    Diane Pecknold

    In 1957, Columbia Records president Goddard Lieberson wrote an article for theNew York Times Magazinethat described, for the presumably shocked residents of Manhattan, country music’s development into a $50 million-a-year business. The article dwelt at length on the simultaneous increase in country’s profitability and respectability and concluded its exploration of the subject with a quote from Minnie Pearl. Asked when hillbilly music became country music, the comedienne reportedly pulled her blue mink stole around her shoulders and laughed, “Hillbilly gets to be country when you can buy one of these!” Country music scholarship since the early 1970s has...

  8. Tex Morton and His Influence on Country Music in Australia During the 1930s and 1940s
    (pp. 82-103)
    Andrew Smith

    Tex Morton was a skinny, pasty-faced nineteen-year-old when he stepped in front of the solitary microphone of the Columbia Graphophone Company in Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday, 25 February 1936. Accompanying himself with his battered guitar, he cut four songs: two about faraway Texas, a place he had never seen (“Texas in the Spring” and “Goin’ Back to Texas”), and two compositions of his own (“Happy Yodeller”¹ and “Swiss Sweetheart”). His style leaned heavily on American country music of the day—his slightly nasal voice, with traces of an American accent, resembled the vocal style of Jimmie Rodgers; his guitar playing...

  9. Country Music Publishing Catalog Acquisition
    (pp. 104-116)
    John Gonas, David Herrera, James I. Elliott and Greg Faulk

    When a music publisher decides to acquire a country song catalog,¹ an estimation must be made of the future royalty income stream of the catalog, and a value must be ascribed to it. Using representative catalogs of country music songwriters, we will examine a popular method relied upon by music publishers to derive what they feel is a fair market value for an established song catalog. The valuation procedure used by music publishers, a multiple of recent Net Publishers Share (that portion of royalties for a catalog due to the publisher), is akin to the price/earnings multiple valuation used in...

  10. Postcards and the Promotion of Early Country Music Artists
    (pp. 117-129)
    Danny W. Allen

    During the early part of the twentieth century, picture postcard collecting, sending, and exchanging became a mania in the United States. This phenomenon is largely forgotten today. Postcard clubs and collectors appeared across the nation within the first two decades of the century. Hundreds of millions of postcards were mailed. Lists of names were exchanged with people mailing postcards to collectors they would never meet.

    The images on the postcards represented everything and anything. Usually a community, often through its merchants, would publish postcards carrying images of civic pride. Water works, main streets, fire stations, churches, and schools promoted the...

  11. The Drive-by Truckers and the Redneck Underground: A SUBCULTURAL ANALYSIS
    (pp. 130-150)
    S. Renee Dechert and George H. Lewis

    With “Bulldozers and Dirt,” the Drive-by Truckers kick off their second album,Pizza Deliverance. “Bulldozers” is a dramatic monologue featuring every stereotype in the book, sung by the quintessential redneck as he addresses his girlfriend’s thirteen-year-old daughter. The song describes the redneck’s breaking into his future-girlfriend’s trailer to steal her television; the girlfriend’s holding a shotgun on him while waiting for the police and then putting up her trailer for his bail before promising to “learn [him] not to roam”; and details about the redneck’s pickup on blocks, debt, and alcoholism—items that comprise his life and have always been...

    (pp. 151-160)
    David B. Pruett

    Located in Mount Airy, North Carolina, WPAQ Radio (740 AM) aired its first broadcast in February 1948. It has since served its community by broadcasting the music of the region, specializing in old-time and blue-grass music. WPAQ Radio is locally known as the “voice of the Blue Ridge Mountains.” This expression has appeared, for example, in the titles of a video documentary produced in 1997 by the Surry Arts Council and a compact disc released in 1999 on the Rounder label.¹ The phrase suggests that WPAQ is recognized locally as a symbol and mouthpiece of the regional culture. But despite...

  13. Politics and Country Music, 1963-1974
    (pp. 161-185)
    Don Cusic

    What has come to be known as “the sixties” may be defined as the period from 1963 to 1974, or from the assassination of President John Kennedy to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. During this period the two big political issues were civil rights and Vietnam; the biggest cultural and social issues centered on the “generation gap” between the Baby Boomers and their parents. Raised on Big Band music, the parents believed in patriotism, authority, a social hierarchy, and self-restraint. Their children, raised on the Beatles, believed in permissiveness, freedom, self-expression, and questioning authority.

    The politics of this era...

  14. Honky-Tonk Angels and Rockabilly Queens: OKLAHOMA DIVAS IN AMERICAN COUNTRY MUSIC
    (pp. 186-201)
    George Carney

    Historians, folklorists, and cultural geographers have long recognized the role that Oklahoma has played in the evolution of American country music. Music scholars Richard Peterson and Russell Davis determined that the number of country musicians born in Oklahoma during the first and third decades of the twentieth century was above average, given the state’s relatively small population. Only Texas in the Southwest produced a comparable number of country musicians, and its population base was greater than Oklahoma’s.¹ Historian William W. Savage Jr. maintains that country music has been an important segment of the culture of Oklahoma for almost a century...

    (pp. 202-222)
    Charles K. Wolfe

    The year 2002 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the 1927 field recording session held in Bristol, Tennessee, by talent scout Ralph Peer from the Victor Talking Machine Company. This session, which has been called “the big bang of country music,” resulted in the discovery of the genre’s first great stars: Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. It has been studied rather exhaustively for a number of years. Yet most students of the music know that the Bristol event was not an anomaly, and that it was only one of a number of such sessions held around the South and Southwest...

  16. Contributors
    (pp. 223-226)