Exploring Roots Music: Twenty Years of the JEMF Quarterly

Exploring Roots Music: Twenty Years of the JEMF Quarterly

by Nolan Porterfield
     
 

From its beginnings in the early 1920s, commercial country music—as performed on stage, on records, radio, and in movies—became an increasingly pervasive and lively part of American life, yet some forty years passed before it was given serious attention by writers, historians, scholars, and students of national culture. The first publication founded for

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Overview

From its beginnings in the early 1920s, commercial country music—as performed on stage, on records, radio, and in movies—became an increasingly pervasive and lively part of American life, yet some forty years passed before it was given serious attention by writers, historians, scholars, and students of national culture. The first publication founded for promoting the systematic research and recognition of country music was the John Edwards Memorial Foundation (JEMF) Quarterly at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1965. Over time, the JEMF Quarterly brought to light the lives and careers of dozens of pioneer musicians, including Alfred G. Karnes, the Carter Family, Riley Puckett, and Buell Kazee, along with details of early commercial radio operations, the sources of many traditional songs, and the reproduction of historical documents. In addition, the early work of many contributors who later became known as major scholars in the field-Archie Green, Charles Wolfe, Norm Cohen, Simon J. Bonner, and Loyal Jones among others-appeared on the pages of the JEMF Quarterly during its 19 years in publication. Exploring Roots Music reprints twenty-seven representative articles published in the JEMF Quarterly over the years, until it ceased publication in 1985. It also includes many illustrations and an introduction that seeks to place the journal in historical perspective and illuminate its central importance to the study of American culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Dirty Linen
It's hard to imagine anyone with a serious interest in the music being disappointed with this publication
Newsletter Of The Institute For Studies In American Music
...includes an informative introduction by Porterfield detailing the history of the JEMF and the QUARTERLY itself. Thanks to Porterfield's superb choice of material, readers are introduced to many of the leading historians of country music, whose writings remain fresh today, years after the publication of their original essays. Exploring Roots Music emerges as a key reference book and an enjoyable look at the early efforts that helped define the field of country music scholarship.
— Charles Wolfe
Sing Out!
This book is more enjoyable than any anthology has a right to be. That's because of the energy and eye for detail supplied by the writers, the irascibility, humor or wisdom of many of the personalities described and, of course, Nolan Porterfield's light but deft touch on every page.
Journal of American Folklore
Nolan Porterfield's Exploring Roots Music: Twenty Years of the 'JEMF Quarterly' is a masterfully edited collection of articles spanning the entire run of these publications. Porterfield selects those pieces that resonate the most with today's readers. The value of Porterfield's collection lies in its ability both to preserve the roots of country music research—as the authors of the articles contained therein hoped to preserve the roots of country music—and to highlight the impact of the JEMF in shaping the directions that country music research still follows today.
— Travis Stimeling, Millikin University
Newsletter Of The Institute For Studies In American Music - Charles Wolfe
...includes an informative introduction by Porterfield detailing the history of the JEMF and the QUARTERLY itself. Thanks to Porterfield's superb choice of material, readers are introduced to many of the leading historians of country music, whose writings remain fresh today, years after the publication of their original essays. Exploring Roots Music emerges as a key reference book and an enjoyable look at the early efforts that helped define the field of country music scholarship.
Journal Of Appalachian Studies
...a welcome and winsome reminder of the exuberance, curiosity, (mostly) good humor, and barrier-breaking of one of the key publications that helped make the world safe for writing about vernacular music....Porterfield and series editor Ronald Cohen should be commended for bringing out this fine collection of articles...
Journal of American Folklore - Travis Stimeling
Nolan Porterfield's Exploring Roots Music: Twenty Years of the 'JEMF Quarterly' is a masterfully edited collection of articles spanning the entire run of these publications. Porterfield selects those pieces that resonate the most with today's readers. The value of Porterfield's collection lies in its ability both to preserve the roots of country music research—as the authors of the articles contained therein hoped to preserve the roots of country music—and to highlight the impact of the JEMF in shaping the directions that country music research still follows today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810848931
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
12/28/2003
Series:
American Folk Music and Musicians Series, #8
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.78(h) x 1.12(d)

Meet the Author

Nolan Porterfield has written widely about American music and culture. He has won the Center for American History's Historical Achievement Award (1997) and has been nominated for a Grammy award for Best Album Notes (1987). He is the author of five books including his most recent, Last Cavalier - a biography of pioneer folksong collector John Lomax.

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