Home Books American Popular Music: Country

American Popular Music: Country
  • Authored by: Richard Carlin; Foreword by Barbara Ching, Ph.D.
  • From the Series: American Popular Music
  • Trim Size: 7-3/8 x 9-1/4
  • ISBN-10: 081605312X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-5312-4
  • Status: In Stock
  • List Price: $67.00
  • Imprint: Facts On File
  • Published: 11/01/2005
  • Dewey Number: 781.642
  • Reading Level: Grades 6-12
  • Pages: 304


American country music is a blend of musical traditions, from the balladry and dance tunes of the British Isles to African-American blues and gospel, to minstrel show and Tin Pan Alley commercial tunes, to the music of immigrant Acadian, German, and Hispanic groups, to the ballads of the coal miners and cowboys. Commercial recordings such as the landmark “Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” recorded by Fiddlin’ John Carson and the WLS National Barn Dance and WSM’s Grand Ole Opry helped bring the music of Appalachia, the South, and the West to the attention of the rest of the country. The 1930s and 1940s saw new artists develop new styles, including western swing and honky tonk. Despite several dry spells in country music history, mostly during the 1950s, real country music never died and made a comeback in the 1970s. American Popular Music: Country documents the evolution of this genre as it carved a place for itself in the music industry, one song at a time.

Entries include:

  • Johnny Cash
  • Patsy Cline
  • Dixie Chicks
  • Fiddlin' John Carson
  • The Kentucky Headhunters
  • k.d. lang
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Tim McGraw
  • Dolly Parton
  • Minnie Pearl
  • Elvis Presley
  • Roy Rogers
  • Shania Twain
  • Doc Watson
  • Dwight Yoakam.


Black-and-white photographs. Index. Bibliography. Glossary. Cross-references. Chronology. Discography.

About the Author(s)

Richard Carlin is the author of several books on music, including Southern Exposure, The Big Book of Country Music, Classical Music: An Informal Guide, and the five-volume World of Music. He has also written and compiled several books of music instruction and songbooks and served as advisory editor on country music for the American National Biography. Carlin has contributed articles on traditional music to various journals, including the Journal of Ethnomusicology, Sing Out!, Pickin', Frets, Mugwumps, and others. He has also produced 10 albums of traditional music for Folkways Records. A long-time editor of books on music, dance, and the arts, Carlin, now at Prentice-Hall, was executive editor of music and dance at Routledge. He previously spent six years as executive editor at Schirmer Books, and was the founding editor at A Cappella Books, an imprint of the Chicago Review Press.

Foreword author Barbara Ching, Ph.D., is an associate professor of English at the University of Memphis. She obtained a graduate certificate in women's studies and her doctorate in literature from Duke University. Ching has written extensively on country music and rural identity and is the author of Wrong’s What I Do Best: Hard Country Music and Contemporary Culture, as well as Knowing Your Place: Rural Identity and Cultural Hierarchy. She has also contributed articles and chapters to numerous other works on the subject and has presented at meetings of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

Reviews and Awards

"...provides a thorough overview of the history of country music in an A-Z format."
American Reference Books Annual

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