Real Country: Music and Language in Working-Class Culture

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Duke University Press, Sep 15, 2004 - Music - 382 pages
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In Lockhart, Texas, a rural working-class town just south of Austin, country music is a way of life. Conversation slips easily into song, and the songs are full of conversation. Anthropologist and musician Aaron A. Fox spent years in Lockhart making research notes, music, and friends. In Real Country, he provides an intimate, in-depth ethnography of the community and its music. Showing that country music is deeply embedded in the textures of working-class life, Fox argues that it is the cultural and intellectual property of working-class people and not only of the Nashville-based music industry or the stars whose lives figure so prominently in popular and scholarly writing about the genre.

Fox spent hundreds of hours observing, recording, and participating in talk and music-making in homes, beer joints, and garage jam sessions. He renders the everyday life of Lockhart’s working-class community in detail, right down to the ice cold beer, the battered guitars, and the technical skills of such local musical legends as Randy Meyer and Larry “Hoppy” Hopkins. Throughout, Fox focuses on the human voice. His analyses of conversations, interviews, songs, and vocal techniques show how feeling and experience are expressed, and how local understandings of place, memory, musical aesthetics, working-class social history, race, and gender are shared. In Real Country, working-class Texans re-imagine their past and give voice to the struggles and satisfactions of their lives in the present through music.

 

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Great History!

User Review  - Redsunshine - Borders

If you love Texas and Country Music, this is the book for you! This book is easy to read and it actually makes you "feel" involved. Maybe it's because I've known a lot of these musicians since I was ... Read full review

Contents

Turns
1
1 Voicing WorkingClass Culture
20
Two Perspectives
46
Space Time and Stereotype
74
Self Person and Subjectivity
107
Speech Song Story and Emotion
152
Photo Essay
193
The Poetics of Speech and Song
214
Speech and Song in Performance
272
The Character of the Voice
300
Indigenous to Modernity
317
Notes
323
References
349
Appendix
357
Index
359
Copyright

Engendering WorkingClass Culture
249

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About the author (2004)

Aaron A. Fox is Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. He is a guitarist and singer who has played with many bands in Texas. He has hosted country music radio programs on several stations in New York City and continues to guest-host shows on a regular basis.
To visit Aaron A. Fox's website and blog, please click here.

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