Linthead Stomp: The Creation of Country Music in the Piedmont South / Edition 1

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NC 2008 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. 12mo-over 6?-7?" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). Includes photographs, Index, ... Bibliography. Read more Show Less

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"Contrary to popular belief, American country music did not have its roots solely on southern farms or in mountain hollows. Rather, much of this music recorded before World War II emerged from the bustling cities and towns of the Piedmont South. No group contributed more to the commercialization of early country music than southern factory workers. In Linthead Stomp, the first book-length study of southern millhands' musical culture, Patrick Huber explores the origins and development of this music in the Piedmont's mill villages and chronicles the enduring contributions that the region's millhands made to American popular music." Huber offers vivid portraits of a colorful cast of Piedmont textile worker musicians, including Fiddlin' John Carson, Charlie Poole, Dave McCarn, and the Dixon Brothers, and considers the impact that urban living, industrial work, modern technology, and mass culture had on their lives and music. He also demonstrates how a variety of influences - including phonograph records, radios, fiddlers' conventions, industrial welfare programs, labor strikes, and even the nature of textile work itself - dramatically shaped the evolution of this music in the Piedmont. Drawing on a broad range of sources, including rare 78-rpm recordings and unpublished interviews, Huber reveals how the country music recorded between 1922 and 1942 was just as modern as the jazz music of the same era. Linthead Stomp celebrates the Piedmont millhand fiddlers, guitarists, and banjo pickers who combined the collective memories of the rural countryside with the upheavals of urban-industrial life to create a distinctive American music that spoke to the changing social realities of thetwentieth-century South.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Historian Huber may surprise music fans by tracing the roots of country music and some of the most popular pre-WWII American sounds to city slickers, rather than hayseeds, living in the boomtowns of the American South's Piedmont region. At the turn of the century, textile companies dominated the South, employing thousands and, in some cases, effectively running the small cities that sprang up around them-complete with music programs for workers. What was known derisively as "hillbilly music" found its legs and growing popularity in these mill towns, and most "old time" musicians lived and recorded in cities like Atlanta, Charlotte and Greensboro. Huber traces the growth of the sound through four artists who personified it: Fiddlin' John Carson, a marginally talented but media-savvy violinist; hard-drinking banjo player Charlie Poole; guitarist Dave McCarn, whose luckily-recorded track "Cotton Mill Colic" made his legacy; and the Dixon Brothers, who devoted their songs to tragedy and the decline of Christian morals. Not surprisingly, happy endings are few; bad business deals, alcohol and drug addiction, obscurity and poverty threaten practically all involved. With respect and passion, Huber puts these pioneering artists in well-deserved perspective, gracefully illuminating the birth of an American art form.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher
Based on an interdisciplinary approach that utilizes perspectives prominent in history, sociology, literary criticism, folklore, and popular music scholarship, Linthead Stomp provides a sensitive and invaluable assessment of working-class adaptation to social change.—Georgia Historical Quarterly

A careful exploration of the significance of regional variations in the music. . . . A remarkable and helpful summary.—The Journal of American History

Well-researched, carefully argued, and beautifully written. . . . An impressive contribution to our understanding that country music was not born in some pristine corner of America, untouched by the winds of change. . . . A splendid account of [country music's] development in the vital crucible of the Piedmont South.—American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807832257
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 10/20/2008
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Huber is professor of history at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and the author or editor of five books, including The Hank Williams Reader.

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Table of Contents


1 King of the Mountaineer Musicians: Fiddlin' John Carson
2 Rough and Rowdy Ways: Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers
3 Cain't Make a Living at a Cotton Mill: Dave McCarn
4 A Blessing to People: The Dixon Brothers, Howard and Dorsey
Appendix A. Directory of Southern Textile Workers Who Made Hillbilly Recordings, 1923-1942
Appendix B. Discography of Southern Textile Workers' Commercial Recordings, 1923-1942, Reissued on CD

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