Country Music Culture: From Hard Times to Heaven
Here is a perspective on contemporary country music's stars, promoters, and fans. It shows how this vibrant culture evolved from rustic radio programs based in the American South to become an international phenomenon charged by aggressive promotion of recording artists and an extended network of performers and fans unparalleled in other forms of popular music.
Here the Grand Ole Opry is likened to the mother church, with the Carter family and Jimmie Rodgers as its tragic troubadours who passed the torch for plaintive anthems to Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. Elvis Presley provided an icon for spiritual devotion. Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire have carved popular images of strong, successful women, while Garth Brooks, country music's most vibrant financial success, plays out an image of sensitive masculinity.
Drawing upon a diverse range of sources - literary and scholarly works, fan magazines and music business publications, biographies of country music stars, recordings, radio and television programs, and motion pictures - Country Music Culture is based on the author's firsthand observations of more than seventy-five live concerts and public events.
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CHAPTER ONE Mother Church
CHAPTER TWO Tragic Troubadours
CHAPTER THREE Domestic Turmoil
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