THE COUNTRY MUSIC STORY by

THE COUNTRY MUSIC STORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Although followers of country music will like to read their favorite gossip ""down in black and white,"" there is hardly anything here that they probably don't already know. Nonetheless, this is a valuable book in that it may win some city snobs over to bluegrass and folk and real country music. Not that Elvis and the rockabilly and rock-and -roll singers aren't the genuine folk article. Commercialization does not distinguish the true from the ersatz in folk-singing, for a genuine hillbilly or mountain or country singer with authentic songs (or those he has written) stands to make a whale of a lot of cash. This books surveys the whole scene and provides capsule biographies of the most outstanding (and fortunately for them, commercial) country musicians of the past forty years. Radio and records spurred the whole movement, which would not have caught on so deeply otherwise. Many of the figures are tragic and came to early deaths, such as Jimmy Rodgers and Hank Williams. Not discussed at length are the folk-folk singers, such as Jean Ritchie, or her Ivy League counterpart Joan Baez. Institutions such as Nashville ""is Cashville"" and Grand Ol' Opry are studied in depth... We'll sign off now with the immortal words of Ernest Tubb: ""When you call me hillbilly, just smile.

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill