This is a book about country music and its brilliant bastards, blues and rock 'n' roll;
about the clammy hands of the music business and the great, wild voice of America.
Radiant with historical detail, rare photos, and with tales of madmen and fakers,
killers and redneck seers, Country explores the most intriguing aspects
of popular music: the evolution of country music from 17th century British
balladry; how black men metamorphosed country music into the blues; the birth
of rock 'n' roll; the story of the recording industry from Edison to
the present; and much more. There's even a chapter devoted to erotic country
records, a genre unknown or overlooked by other writers. (One singer of dirty
hillbilly songs went on to become Governor of Louisiana.)
Country's factual richness is the result of years of research: interviews,
record-company archives, unpublished manuscripts, fan magazines, and a wealth of music. But
the book is more than a history: motel-room whispers and warm, wet gossip are
revealed to slake the hunger of everyone who hungers for a Nashville Babylon.
(Which country star murdered his wife? The answer's in the chapter "You're Going To
Watch Me Kill Her.")
Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Spade Cooley,
Jimmie Davis, Roy Acuff, and a thousand others are here, in one of the
most valuable and provocative books ever written about popular culture.
A lot of people have been waiting for this book; they won't be disappointed.
Nick Tosches has written about music for Rolling Stone,
Esquire, The Village Voice, Creem, Penthouse, Oui, Country Music, The New
York Times, and many other publications. Born in Newark, he's worked
in New York, and now lives in Nashville.