Are You Ready for the Country: Elvis, Dylan, Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock

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Country rock, as played by the Byrds, the Eagles, and The Flying Burrito Brothers, was the dominant style in American music during the 1970s. But the artistically fertile relationship between rock and country music has - since their first encounter in the 1950s - been uneasy and often explosive. Are You Ready for the Country traces their tumultuous history and introduces us to all the main personalities - from pioneers like Hank Williams and Elvis Presley, through icons such as Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash, to ...
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DESCRIPTION : 584 Pages: Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (August 1, 2001): Country Rock, as played by the Byrds, the Eagles, and The Flying Burrito Brothers, was ... the dominant style in American music during the 1970s. But the artistically fertile relationship between rock and country music has-since their first encounter in the 1950s-been uneasy and often explosive. Are You Ready for the Country traces their tumultuous history and introduces us to all the main personalities-from pioneers like Hank Williams and Elvis Presley, through icons such as Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash, to superstars like Neil Young and Willie Nelson, and today's artists such as Beck and Wilco. This is a must-have volume for any music lover.: The ook has edgewear and remainder mark at its edge. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Country rock, as played by the Byrds, the Eagles, and The Flying Burrito Brothers, was the dominant style in American music during the 1970s. But the artistically fertile relationship between rock and country music has - since their first encounter in the 1950s - been uneasy and often explosive. Are You Ready for the Country traces their tumultuous history and introduces us to all the main personalities - from pioneers like Hank Williams and Elvis Presley, through icons such as Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash, to superstars like Neil Young and Willie Nelson, and today's artists such as Beck and Wilco. This must-have volume for any music lover offers a recommended list of the essential 100 albums.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British writer Doggett (Lou Reed: Growing Up in Public) rightly credits Bob Dylan's 1969 country record Nashville Skyline and his seminal Grand Ole Opry appearance with Johnny Cash with kicking off the country rock movement, but he fails to trace the rest of the genre's "tumultuous history" coherently. The reader instead must attempt to find some central theme running through 40-plus short chapters strung together randomly. Why, for instance, does a chapter on Michael Nesmith and the Monkees jump to one on Gram Parsons? Why is the birth of the Eagles recounted alongside a profile of the counterculture band the Diggers? That Doggett has ably discerned three major phases country helping birth rock (1950-1966), country infiltrating rock (1966 and on) and country rock mutations (post 1976) helps little to organize this weighty, jumbled account (John Einarson offers a more chronological account of the same subject in his book Desperados). But there are some great stories here: Parsons helped launch Emmylou Harris's career after he heard her singing in a D.C. bar; Carl Perkins advised Jerry Lee Lewis, unable to move the audience like he and Cash, who "wore their guitars like phalluses," to play standing up. Doggett also has an impressive list of primary and secondary sources, although he fails to differentiate between the two in the text. Though the lack of organization and narrative flow won't help readers navigate the tangled roots of country, diehard fans of the genre will enjoy this tribute. 20 pages b&w photos not seen by PW. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Doggett, a former editor of Record Collector magazine, offers an exhaustive examination of the interplay between country music and rock'n'roll. In the first section, he tackles the same topic as John Einarson's excellent Desperados: The Roots of Country Rock (LJ 3/1/01), dealing with country rock from its inception in the late 1960s to its full flowering several years later. He begins with Bob Dylan's infatuation with country, shows the critical impact of Gram Parsons on the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, charts the rise of the Band, Poco, and Linda Ronstadt, and ends with the Eagles as the commercial high-water mark of country rock. The author devotes a second section to the role of country in the birth of rock with the rockabillies, discussing Elvis, Buddy Holly, and Bill Haley as well as Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Country pop and alternative country rock are also discussed at length in a third section. Based upon dozens of interviews, this detailed but readable compendium will serve as a useful guide to anyone interested in the intersection of rock and country during the last 50 years. Recommended for all music fans. Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An informative and analytical look at the ongoing dysfunctional relationship between country music and rock 'n' roll. Early rock by Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, and virtually every artist at Sun Records had country roots, and there were numerous instances of country tunes becoming pop successes. But the country-music establishment faced a perennial dilemma: should it remain true to its traditional hillbilly roots, or change in order to be more marketable? Movements such as the Nashville Sound, engineered primarily by influential (and recently deceased) guitarist/producer Chet Atkins, created music that satisfied the country market without alienating urban pop listeners. Then a growing country-rock community took shape in the 1960s, and when Bob Dylan issued his Nashville Skyline album and appeared on The Johnny Cash Show in 1969, the hybrid of musical styles entered the American mainstream. The journey of country-rock from Nashville to California, from Texas to Great Britain, is painstakingly and admirably traced by Doggett, former editor of Record Collector magazine, who gives proper credit to such obvious trailblazers as the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Byrds, and Gram Parsons, as well as to less heralded musicians like ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith, Chris Hillman, and Gene Clark. Country-rock's identity crisis has continued for decades. Artists who tried to be progressive were often faced by a backlash, and for every crossover success, there would be rumblings for a counterculture. Doggett's text is marred somewhat by his tendency to jump from one time period to another in an attempt to acknowledge a trend or movement, but by identifying as many contributors as possible, hedemonstrates that "identity is less a matter of what you are than what you are perceived to be." A list of 100 recommended country-rock albums appears at the end. Music lovers, and particularly those who abhor the fragmentation of the music business, will enjoy this intelligent study. (20 pages b&w photos, not seen)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142000168
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/15/2001
  • Pages: 584
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 1.28 (d)

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