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The Women of Country Music: A Reader
     

The Women of Country Music: A Reader

by James E. Akenson (Editor), Charles K. Wolfe (Editor)
 

Women have been pivotal in the country music scene since its inception, as Charles K. Wolfe and James E. Akenson make clear in The Women of Country Music. Their groundbreaking volume presents the best current scholarship and writing on female country musicians. Beginning with the 1920s career of teenage guitar picker Roba Stanley, the contributors go on to

Overview

Women have been pivotal in the country music scene since its inception, as Charles K. Wolfe and James E. Akenson make clear in The Women of Country Music. Their groundbreaking volume presents the best current scholarship and writing on female country musicians. Beginning with the 1920s career of teenage guitar picker Roba Stanley, the contributors go on to discuss Polly Jenkins and Her Musical Plowboys, 50s honky-tonker Rose Lee Maphis, superstar Faith Hill, the relationship between Emmylou Harris and poet Bronwen Wallace, the Louisiana Hayride's Margaret Lewis Warwick, and more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this well-timed collection of essays, Wolfe and Akenson have compiled a solid representation of contemporary scholarship that focuses on the significant role female musicians have played in the development of country music." — Agricultural History

"Its contributors demonstrate that, although women have long been perceived to be on the periphery of country music, they have in fact been integral to its production from the earliest days of its commodification." — American Music

"Contains more than a dozen articles about famous, forgotten, or often ignored women who have shaped the country music industry." — Cookeville (TN) Herald-Citizen

"These well-researched 200-plus pages chronicle the pioneering women of country, whose immeasurable contributions and artistry have been allowed to gather dust for far too long." — Country Weekly

"A welcome addition to the modest resources available on women in country music." — Gulfstream

"Gathers a wide range of current scholarship in country music studies, reflecting disciplinary backgrounds from history, literature, musicology, and education alongside the scholarship of aficionados." — Indiana Magazine of History

"Needs to be placed for easy reference in the library of every country music scholar." — Lexington Herald-Leader

"This book is highly recommended for academic libraries and will make a fine contribution to both gender studies collections and collections with a focus on American vernacular music." — Library Journal

"A continually interesting series of articles about some of the best known performers as well as a few whose names were new to me." — Marietta (OH) Times

"Pays dues to these savvy new players, as well as to the performers who blazed a path for their success." — McCormick (SC) Messenger

"From the electric Roni Stoneman to the plucky Polly Jenkins, the womenpresented here pioneered trails for women in country music and receivedlittle attention as thanks — until now. The Women of Country Music turnsover new earth." — Michael Streissguth, author of Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Reader.

"In this serious but thoroughly readable anthology of the most outstanding writing and analysis of the careers and contributions of female country musicians, editors Wolfe and Akenson examine some world class and unforgettable performers, of any gender, in any musical genre." — Pegram (TN) Advocate

"Such a well-done and solid (yet fabulously readable) group of essays on an often-overlooked set of strong cookies that it deserves a lot more notice than it has received." — Rockland (ME) Courier Gazette

"What separates this book from most musical journalism is that its biographies cover great characters about whom few of us are aware, and its histories are almost universally unknown to us." — Splendid E-Zine

"Casting a net over country music's better-known female performers and most interestingly over obscure pioneers, this collection... marks an important advance in the academic study of American popular music." — Tidal Wave Magazine

"A welcome resource in a field with too few." — Western Folklore

Publishers Weekly
Professors Wolfe and Akenson (coeditors of three volumes of Country Music Annual) here compile essays exploring the influential women in country music. Wayne W. Daniel (Pickin' on a Peachtree) shows that Yanks can be country singers too with the story of upstate New Yorker Polly Jenkins and her Musical Plowboys, who, in the 1940-41 season, played 137 dates from Maine to Florida. Ellen Wright highlights Virginian Roni Stoneman, "the first lady of banjo"; and Linda Jean Daniel analyzes the popularity of country music in Canada and how women singers and musicians balance work with homelife. Of course, the editors include essays about today's popular country singers, from the tried-and-true Emmilou Harris ("Getting the Word Out," by Gloria Nixon-John) to relative newcomer Faith Hill ("The Voice Behind the Song," by Jocelyn Neal). While the book offers a solid history of women in country, the academic tone may limit its appeal to students of musicology. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Three years ago, Wolfe (English and folklore, Middle Tennessee State Univ.) and Akenson (curriculum and instruction, Tennessee Technological Univ.) launched the publisher's Country Music Annual to record country music scholarship. With this truly interesting collection of scholarly papers, they have retired the eclectic annual and inaugurated a new thematic series. Steering clear of country pop stars for the most part, essays deal with the role of women in Canadian country music and in American radio and television broadcasting in the country genre; ways of teaching about women in country music; and the different perspectives of male and female songwriters, among other subjects. The emphasis is on the sociology of women in country music, and the contributors have excellent credentials in that field. This book is highly recommended for academic libraries and will make a fine contribution to both gender studies collections and collections with a focus on American vernacular music.-James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813122809
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
06/10/2003
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
698,589
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Charles K. Wolfe, professor of English and folklore at Middle Tennessee State University, is the author of numerous books on music.

James E. Akenson, professor of curriculum and instruction at Tennessee Technological University, is the founder of the international Country Music Conference.

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