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

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Oxford University Press, Jul 19, 2001 - Music - 200 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


Learning the hard way
Contemporary hard country and the incurable unease of class distinction
The burlesque abjection of the white male
Hank Williams and the legacy of hard country stardom
Buck Owens Dwight Yoakam and the Bakersfield Sound
Hard country at the finish line?
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About the author (2001)

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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