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Classic Country
Legends of Country Music
By Charles K. Wolfe
Routledge
2001
318 Pages
ISBN:  0-415-92826-5

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Long before Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Faith Hill and the Dixie Chicks, the original pioneers of country music—The Carter Family, Vernon Dalhart, The Monroe Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, and others—paved the way for future country artists, influencing musicians for generations to come. Now for the first time, country music authority Charles K. Wolfe gathers together his profiles of 50 legends of country music.

Classic Country includes such Hall of Famers as the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, honky tonker Lefty Frizzell, and queen of country music, Kitty Wells, as well as lesser-known but equally important artists like DeFord Bailey, the first African-American member of the Grand Ole Opry, the mysterious Seven Foot Dilly, and the reclusive songwriter, Arthur D. Smith. Wolfe also offers portraits of recent artists who perform in the classic country style, such as Doc Watson, The Freight Hoppers, and Hazel and Alice.

Much more than a collection of mini-biographies, this engaging collection also provides unique insights into the history of the recording and broadcast industry that are sure to fascinate not only fans and scholars of country and bluegrass music, but anyone interested in the roots of American popular music.

  • Charles K. Wolfe, Professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University is the author of sixteen books on folk, country and popular music, including A Good Natured Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry (1999), The Life and Legend of Leadbelly (cowritten with Kip Lornell, 1992) and The Devil's Box: Masters of Southern Fiddling (1997).