Since its first publication in 1968, Bill C. Malone's Country Music, U.S.A.
has won universal acclaim as the definitive history of American country
music. Now Malone has rewritten and extensively revised that classic
work, exploring the past of country music in even greater depth and
tracking its history to the present day.
In the past two decades, observers of the country music scene have witnessed
the rise of the Nashville sound, the urban folk revival, rockabilly,
country pop and rock and the "crossover" phenomenon, the Austin scene,
and the explosive popularity of such performers as Willie Nelson
and Dolly Parton. Malone brilliantly surveys these recent trends, giving
both scholars and fans of country music a history that is at the same
time immensely readable and authoritative. The newly revised book
remains the best full-scale history of country music available, but is
now richly interpretive as well, insightfully placing singers and songs
within their social, cultural, and historical context.
From Jimmie Rodgers to Jerry Jeff Walker, from the Carter Family to the
Flying Burrito Brothers, country music has swept from being the
music of the rural South, expressive of the culture and isolated lives
of its people, to a national and even international phenomenon. Malone's
revised Country Music, U.S.A. is essential reading for all who wish better
to understand the music and the society that nourished its growth.
- Bill C. Malone was born into an East Texas tenant
farm family whose members included a singer in the Pentecostal
gospel tradition, several guitar-players, and a former square-dance caller.
Exposed to country music since birth, Malone too caught "hillbilly fever."
He sings and plays the guitar, and says that Country Music, U.S.A. is the
result of twenty-three years of research, much travel, and "lots of picking
and singing." His other books include "Stars of Country Music" (coedited with
Judith McCulloh) and "Southern Music/American Music". He is presently
professor of history at Tulane University in New Orleans.