Proud to Be an Okie brings to life the influential country music scene
that flourished in and around Los Angeles from the Dust Bowl migration of
the 1930s to the early 1970s. The first work to fully illuminate the political
and cultural aspects of this intriguing story, the book takes us from
Woody Guthrie's radical hillbilly show on Depression-era radio
to Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee" in the late 1960s.
It explores how these migrant musicians and their audiences came to gain a sense
of identity through music and mass media, to embrace the New Deal, and
to celebrate African American and Mexican American musical influences before turning
toward a more conservative outlook. What emerges is a clear picture of how
important Southern California was to country music and how country music helped
shape the politics and culture of Southern California and of the nation.
About the Author
Peter La Chapelle is Assistant Professor of History at Nevada State
College in Henderson, Nevada.