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Country
     

Country

by Richard Carlin
 

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American country music is a blend of musical traditions, from the balladry and dance tunes of the British Isles to African-American blues and gospel, to minstrel shows and Tin Pan Alley commercial tunes to the music of immigrant Acadian, German, and Hispanic groups, to the ballads of the coal miners and cowboys. Commercial recordings-beginning in 1923 with the

Overview

American country music is a blend of musical traditions, from the balladry and dance tunes of the British Isles to African-American blues and gospel, to minstrel shows and Tin Pan Alley commercial tunes to the music of immigrant Acadian, German, and Hispanic groups, to the ballads of the coal miners and cowboys. Commercial recordings-beginning in 1923 with the landmark "Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" recorded by Fiddlin' John Carson-and radio-beginning with the birth of the WLS "National Barn Dance" (1924) and WSM's "Grand Ole Opry" (1925)-helped bring the music of Appalachia, the South, and the West to the attention of the rest of the country. The 1930s and 1940s saw new artists develop new styles, including western swing and honky tonk. With the emergence of Elvis Presley and rock in the 1950s, country record sales fell, but Nashville fought back with new styles, including the pop-oriented Nashville Sound. However, real country never died, and would reemerge in the 1970s' Outlaw Movement and in the "New Country" movement of the '80s and '90s. Country documents the evolution of this genre and discusses the key artists, songs, songwriters, and places that helped popularize this music.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This seven-volume set (the eighth volume, consisting of a comprehensive index, comes only with the purchase of the complete set) on major musical branches is aimed at high school readers. Boasting contributors with some impressive credentials, it promises to be an ideal research tool. But the 300-500 A-to-Z entries in each volume tend to be cute and overly general (e.g., the definition of scat singing begins, "Bim, bop, bam, and dwee dooda ya. A vocal style in which the singer uses nonsense syllables to improvise on a melody"), and the bibliographies are a bit spotty. The major problem, however, is the number of factual errors and discrepancies found in several of the volumes. For example, Hoffmann's (library science, Sam Houston State Univ.) Rhythm & Blues lists the wrong birth year and city for Stevie Wonder as well as the wrong release year for his Songs in the Key of Life album; Weissman's (The Music Business) Blues mysteriously has Jimi Hendrix (who died in 1970) living until 1976; and Hill's Classical states that composer Howard Hanson's best-known work is his "Symphony No. 3 (the `Romantic')." True, but the `Romantic' subtitle belongs to his Symphony No. 2. The Country, Rock & Roll, and Folk volumes fare better. Each of the seven volumes includes approximately 50 black-and-white photographs, some general bibliographic information, a chronology, and a glossary of technical terms; all the volumes are well indexed, though not all contain fairly extensive, annotated discographies that would be useful. Bottom Line Despite its potential and some fascinating entries, the number of factual errors for even well-known figures makes this set less than suitable as a research tool. Since the volumes are available separately, Carlin's (Southern Exposure) Folk is recommended for high school libraries.-James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816069279
Publisher:
Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/28/2006
Series:
American Popular Music Series
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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