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Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music, 1930-1960 by Stephanie Vander Wel (2020)

Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music, 1930-1960 by Stephanie Vander Wel (2020)

Going back to the early days of medicine shows, vaudeville and traveling entertainment troupes, female performers there already had their regular part in the entertainment industry; and country music, or hillbilly music as it was first named, played a role in building up that reputation. For example, what in the 1940s was transported as “parodic […]

Folk Music in Overdrive: A Primer on Traditional Country and Bluegrass Artists by Ivan Tribe (2018)

Folk Music in Overdrive: A Primer on Traditional Country and Bluegrass Artists by Ivan Tribe (2018)

By now (actually since the 1970s and thanks to a number of folk revivals) it is no secret that the geographical region of the Upland South was actually exploding with musical talent at the beginning of the 1920s. The states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Carolina produced countless masters and some tuneful virtuosi. The artists […]

Don’t Give Your Heart to a Rambler: My Life with Jimmy Martin… by Barbara Martin Stephens (2017)

Don’t Give Your Heart to a Rambler: My Life with Jimmy Martin… by Barbara Martin Stephens (2017)

There are several unusual aspects of this very honest and at times hard to read biography. Not because the author Barbara Martin Stephens, once the wife of famous bluegrass musician Jimmy Martin (1927-2005), chose to write in incomprehensible sentences or wrote her story very badly. The reason this title has some very difficult parts has […]

The Starday Story. The House That Country Music Built by Nathan D. Gibson (2011)

The Starday Story. The House That Country Music Built by Nathan D. Gibson (2011)

Starday Records, one of the most influential, if not the American ‘roots’ label has a long and detailed story to tell. It took Nathan D. Gibson, a scholar, musician and country music fan, to collect all the details, numbers, personal histories, legends and private accounts of the many artists and the few executives at Starday […]