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.
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