Out of a few English folk songs modified by Appalachian settler, American country
music began with nothing more than a fiddle and the human voice. With the
sophistication of recording technology and the techniques of modern
merchandising, the backwoods pastime has become a billion dollar industry.
The editors of Country Music Magazine explore this transition
in THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF COUNTRY MUSIC, an authoritative,
up-to-date chronology tracing the development of the genre from the
Carter Family to Dolly Parton.
Containing over 100 photos, it follows country music from the hills
to Hollywood to Nashville, from records to radio to rock 'n' roll.
Out of a Saturday night radio show called "The Grand Ole Opry"
there arose Nashville-Music City, U.S.A. As the recording capital of country
music the city launched the careers of such legendaries as Hank Snow, Hank
Williams, Eddy Arnold, and Tammy Wynette. But the Nashville Sound would
change with the energetic rockabilly style of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis,
and Buddy Holly, and again later with the emergence of outlaw songwriters
such as Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Waylon Jennings, who disliked
the slick, manufactured quality of Nashville-produced tunes.
In more recent years, with the arrival of such artists as Gram Parsons,
Commander Cody, and Linda Ronstadt, country music has been reaching an
increasingly large segment of the pop and rock music audience. What once
appealed only to the rural hinterland now attracts jean-clad rock fans as
well as more conservative listeners. In examining the structure, style, and
content of this distinctly American art form
THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF COUNTRY MUSIC reveals the root of
its broad appeal.
This is a book for both popular music lovers and country-western
fans—a fascinating look beyond the Nashville image of sequined shirts
and cowboy boots into the tastes, trends, and talents of a major industry.
About the Author
Patrick Carr, once a professional musician himself, is the former editor
of Country Music Magazine. He has contributed to countless
national magazines, including Rolling Stone, New Times, The Village Voice,
and Crawdaddy. He is currently at work on Guitar, a book of interviews
with the world's greatest guitar players.