Country Music Essays

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Keith, Kip Lornell, Diane Pecknold, David Sanjek, Tony Thomas, Jerry Wever“Diane Pecknold rounds up some of the better music writers in academia in order to put a light on country's many black roots and the country's unease with said roots.

Country music's debt to African American music has long been recognized. Carter produced much of the Carter Family's repertoire; the street musician Tee Tot Payne taught a young Hank Williams Sr.; the guitar playing of Arnold Schultz influenced western Kentuckians, including Bill Monroe and Ike Everly.

Black musicians have helped to shape the styles of many of the most important performers in the country canon. Yet attention to how these and other African Americans enriched the music played by whites has obscured the achievements of black country-music performers and the enjoyment of black listeners.

Troutman, ARSC Journal“Hidden in the Mix accomplishes far more than documenting, as its subtitle suggests, ‘the African American presence in country music’; it lays down a marker challenging the next generation of researchers to conduct more flexible investigations of country’s variegated borderlines,which will require increasing participation in their own methodological version of ‘crossover’ practices.” — Pamela Fox, Journal of Popular Music Studies"All in all, this volume succeeds in shedding quite a bit of light on the 'playing in the dark' theme in both senses: the important role of many hitherto obscure African American musicians in the creation of country music is made clear as is the process of how several important infusions from the 'black' musical stream have continually enriched the genre, producing new crossover variations...contributors here write from a cultural studies or ethnographic perspective that is quite accessible, and this book should win readers beyond the circle of specialists in the study of popular music while also being a valuable addition to the literature of the field." — John Miller Jones, Kritikon Litterarum"[T]here is much that is new to specialists and non-specialists alike in this volume.

Golden nuggets are distributed throughout that are bound to surprise or intrigue even those with a strong footing in the field.


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