Country and Western is today's fastest-growing form of music. Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Byrds, Country Joe and the Fish, the Rolling Stones—all have recorded country-style songs. In fact, it's difficult to find a pop group without some country melodies in their repertoire.
From its obscure beginnings in the American backwoods, Country and Western has developed into a multi-million-dollar enterprise, complete with public relations and publicity men, lawyers, and all the other requirements of big business. And because of exposure through the mass media, a greater variety of people—young and old alike—are listening to and buying country recordings than ever before.
Here is the compete story of the origin and development of Country and Western music. In bright and lively style, the authors cover it all: the Nashville and Bakersfield influences...the effects of blues and gospel on Country and Western artists...the introduction of new instruments and playing styles...the Grand Ole Opry ...the Bluegrass breakthrough...Country and Western music and the rock'n' roll revlolution... and all the great personalities of Country and Western music, from the original Jimmie Rodgers to Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash.
The authors also isolate the qualities that make Country and Western music what it is today—a relatively sophisticated musical form, yet one which retians the basic harmonies and the human subjects of the past. Perheaps even more important, the new Country and Western music provides a sorely needed bridge between generations, economic levels, and different ethnic groups.
Irwin Stambler traces his fascination with Country and Western music to his early days in the Army, when he was stationed in the South, and listened to the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night. A graduate of New York University with a Master's degree in aernautical engineering, he has been a opular song writer, radio commentator, and magazine editor. Mr. Stambler is a prolific author on a wide range of subjects. His Great Moments in Auto Racing was recently published by Four Winds Press. He is also the author of Encyclopedia of Popular Music and co-author of The Encyclopedia of Folk, Country and Western Music. Mr. Stambler lives with his wife and four children in Beverly Hills, California.
Grelun Landon, who lives in Thousand Oaks, California, has been involved in many aspects of the music publishing industry. He has served on the board of directors of about fifty music companies and is the former vice president of Big Top Records. In 1964, he joined RCA Records, where he is presently Press and INformation Manager. He is also a trustee of the COuntry Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville and a slector for the Country Music Hall of Fame nominees. Mr. Landon is the co-author (with Mr. Stambler) of The Encyclopedia of Folk, Country and Western Music.
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