Wrong's What I Do Best: Hard Country Music and Contemporary Culture

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Oxford University Press, Aug 1, 2003 - Music - 186 pages
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This is the first study of "hard" country music as well as the first comprehensive application of contemporary cultural theory to country music. Barbara Ching begins by defining the features that make certain country songs and artists "hard." She compares hard country music to "high" American culture, arguing that hard country deliberately focuses on its low position in the American cultural hierarchy, comically singing of failures to live up to American standards of affluence, while mainstream country music focuses on nostalgia, romance, and patriotism of regular folk.
With chapters on Hank Williams Sr. and Jr., Merle Haggard, George Jones, David Allan Coe, Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, and the Outlaw Movement, this book is written in a jargon-free, engaging style that will interest both academic as well as general readers.
 

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Wrong's what I do best: hard country music and contemporary culture

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A professor of English (Univ. of Memphis) and obvious country music fanatic, Ching offers a study of the basis and social implications of "hard country." She begins by defining her subject as the ... Read full review

Contents

Country til I die Contemporary hard country and the incurable unease of class distinction
8
The Possum the Hag and the Rhinestone Cowboy The burlesque objection of the white male
26
The hard act to follow Hank Williams and the legacy of hard country stardom
47
Drawing hard lines Buck Owens Dwight Yoakam and the Bakersfield Sound
89
Dying hard Hard country at the finish line?
119
Notes
135
Works Cited
161
Index
171
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Page vi - This work was supported in part by a grant from The University of Memphis Faculty Research Grant Fund. This support does not necessarily imply endorsement by the university of research conclusions.

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About the author (2003)


Barbara Ching is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Memphis. She co-edited Knowing Your Place: Rural Identity and Cultural Hierarchy (1997).

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