"[Savage] is due our regard both for his efforts in
assembling this diverse material in one place and for
his lack of musical prejudice. The book moves easily
and naturally from discussion of early jazz to Gene
Autry and country musicians, Woody Guthrie, rock & roll,
and in the final chapter to contemporary Oklahoma musicians like
Alan Munde . . . . The text is so engaging, the organization so
good, that one continually wants more. Texas Ragg.
"Savage, an academic historian, has surveyed popular
music in Oklahoma and by Oklahomans in the last few
decades in brief and very readable fashion." Choice.
"An excellent survey of popular music in the Sooner State ....
Savage provides more than mere details, however, as he places
the development of Oklahoma's popular music in an appropriate
historical context. Thus the Depression of the 1930s made
Woody Guthrie's `message' folk music respectable.
Bob Wills's blend of black and blues elements, in his
1940s western swing, surely helped pave the way for
rock `n' roll in the 1950s. And artists as diverse as
Gene Autry, Jimmie Wakely, Patti Page, Kay Starr, Roger
Miller, Hoyt Axton, and, yes, Moon Dog, have drawn on their
Oklahoma heritage in their music .... [It is] a very entertaining,
informative work." Southwest Review.
"The book is well written and highly readable. There are
eleven chapters, notes, and an index. Pen-and-ink drawings by
Rebecca Bateman are sprinkled throughout the work." Kansas History.
William W. Savage, Jr., received the B.A. and M.A. degrees
from the University of South Carolina, and the Ph.D. in history
from the University of Oklahoma, where he is now Associate
Professor of History. He is the author of The Cherokee Strip
Live Stock Association (Columbia, Missouri, 1973). He is also
the author of The Cowboy Hero: His Image in American History
and Culture; the editor of Cowboy Life: Reconstructing an
American Myth, and of Indian Life: Transforming an American
Myth; and coeditor of The Character and Influence of the
Indian Trade in Wisconsin, by Frederick Jackson Turner, and
of The Frontier: Comparative Studies, Volume 2, all published
by the University of Oklahoma Press.