Country Music Originals

Country Music Originals : The Legends and the Lost

4.11 (27 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this sparkling collection, "roots" music authority Tony Russell offers vivid portraits of the men and women who created country music, the artists whose lives and songs formed the rich tradition from which Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Dixie Chicks, and so many others have drawn their inspiration. Included here are not only such major figures as Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Fiddlin' John Carson, Charlie Poole, and Gene Autry, who put country music on America's cultural map in the 1920s and '30s, but many fascinating lesser-known figures as well, such as Carson Robison, Otto Gray, Chris Bouchillon, Emry Arthur and dozens more, many of whose stories are told here for the first time. To map some of the winding, untraveled roads that connect today's music to its ancestors, Russell draws upon new research and rare source material, such as contemporary newspaper reports and magazine articles, internet genealogy sites, and his own interviews with the musicians or their families.
The result is a lively mix of colorful tales and anecdotes, priceless contemporary accounts of performances, illuminating social and historical context, and well-grounded critical judgment. The essays are enhanced by more than 200 illustrations, many of them seldom seen and some never before published, including artist photographs, record labels, song sheets, newspaper clippings, cartoons, advertisements, and magazine covers, recreating the look and feel of the entire culture of country music. Each essay includes as well a playlist of recommended and currently available recordings for each artist. Country Music Originals is a collection of gems which will delight the aficionado and first-time enthusiast as well as the scholar of American folk music.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 278 pages
  • 182.88 x 259.08 x 25.4mm | 635.03g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 200 b/w halftones
  • 0195325095
  • 9780195325096
  • 944,583

Review quote

The lives of old-time country heroes brilliantly encapsulated...everything is eminently readable, with much of the material researched from the newspapers of the time. Fred Dellar, Mojo This book will become required reading not only among roots music and Americana fans but also among music fans generally ... Tony Russell has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of country music and his writing ... is tight, witty and lively. This book works on several levels, as enjoyable reading material, a book you can dip into now and again and as a superb reference and research tool as well. This is the best book on the roots and history of country music written so far. Tony Burke, Blues & Rhythm Russell has the gift of being able to write with authority, enthusiasm and no small amount of humour ... [He] conveys that urge that one has to listen to the music behind the pages ... Serious country music biography did not get under way until ... 1968 and I have to say that in the 40 years and flood of works since, Russell's book stands up there in the top handful of essential titles. A joy to read and a reliable source. John Atkins, Roots Magazine Russell brings [his subjects] to colourful life with a mixture of chatty, opinionated writing, interview extracts and contemporary reviews...Throw in hundreds of photographs and period newspaper adverts and you have the perfect introduction to what is now truly another world. Country Music People Tony Russell, the great British blues scholar, writes with great feeling...With many previously unseen photos, this is the place to start for anyone whose attention has ever been caught by the pluck of a banjo string. Caspar Llewellyn Smith, Observer Music Monthly Tony Russell has shaken the dust from more than 100 old timers: you gotta love Hoyt Ming and his Pep Steppers, the Girls of the Golden West (Millie and Dolly Good), and the anti-communist Lulu Belle & Scotty. The Times, This is quite unlike any other equivalent documentation of the genre that I have seen...If you have any interest in the genre at all this is certainly an essential buy. Keith Chandler, Musical Traditions ...a fascinating book... This is a very enjoyable book, packed full of information, with great photos and some delightful stories concerning the musicians involved. The comprehensive discography and bibliography provide plenty of ways in which readers can follow up on points of particular interest. Well written, well researched it deserves to be well read. Colin Meadows, The Old Time News
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About Tony Russell

Tony Russell is a music historian who has written on country music, blues, jazz, and other forms of popular music in a wide variety of publications and has researched, written, and presented many musical programs for BBC Radio. He is the author of Country Music Records: A Discography, 1921-1942 (OUP 2004), The Blues from Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, and other books. He lives in London.
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Table of contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; INTRODUCTION; NOTES ON PLAYLISTS; 1. Eck Robertson; 2. Fiddlin' John Carson; 3. Henry Whitter; 4. Ernest V. Stoneman; 5. Uncle Dave Macon; 6. Vernon Dalhart; 7. Fiddlin' Powers; 8. Charlie Poole; 9. Kelly Harrell; 10. DaCosta Woltz; 11. Uncle Jimmy Thompson; 12. Dr Humphrey Bate; 13. Sam McGee; 14. Gid Tanner; 15. Riley Puckett; 16. Clayton McMichen; 17. Lowe Stokes; 18. Earl Johnson; 19. John Dilleshaw; 20. Georgia Yellow Hammers; 21. South Georgia Highballers; 22. Cofer Brothers; 23. Dock Boggs; 24. Frank Hutchison; 25. Darby & Tarlton; 26. The Carter Family; 27. Jimmie Rodgers; 28. Bridge: The Great Divide; 29. Allen Brothers; 30. Fleming & Townsend; 31. Chris Bouchillon; 32. Ed Haley; 33. Clark Kessinger; 34. Blind Alfred Reed; 35. Roy Harvey; 36. Walter Smith; 37. Asa Martin; 38. Dick Burnett; 39. John D. Foster; 40. Emry Arthur; 41. Alfred G. Karnes; 42. Buell Kazee; 43. Raymond Render; 44. G. B. Grayson; 45. Clarence Ashley; 46. Carolina Tar Heels; 47. Carolina Twins; 48. Red Fox Chasers; 49. Bascom Lamar Lunsford; 50. Leake County Revelers; 51. Narmour & Smith; 52. Hoyt Ming; 53. Dr Smith's Champion Hoss Hair Pullers; 54. Fiddlin' Bob Larkan; 55. Golden Melody Boys; 56. Walter Coon; 57. Jules V. Allen; 58. Powder River Jack Lee; 59. Cartwright Brothers; 60. Harry "Mac" McClintock; 61. Goebel Reeves; 62. John I. White; 63. Bernard "Slim" Smith; 64. Carson Robison; 65. Frank Luther; 66. Otto Gray & His Oklahoma Cowboys; 67. Bridge: Country Music In Transition; 68. Gene Autry; 69. Jimmie Davis; 70. Cliff Carlisle; 71. Bill Cox; 72. Mac & Bob; 73. Bradley Kincaid; 74. The Girls of the Golden West; 75. Wilf Carter; 76. Hank Snow; 77. Bridge: The Radio Years; 78. Lulu Belle & Scotty; 79. Patsy Montana; 80. Lily May Ledford; 81. J. E. Mainer; 82. Dixon Brothers; 83. Callahan Brothers; 84. Claude Casey; 85. Snuffy Jenkins; 86. Roy Acuff; 87. "Ramblin' Red" Lowery; 88. Delmore Brothers; 89. Lonnie Glosson; 90. Grandpa Jones; 91. Carl Swanson; 92. Bridge: Western Swing & Honkytonk; 93. Milton Brown; 94. Bob Wills; 95. Light Crust Doughboys; 96. Adolph Hofner; 97. Cliff Bruner; 98. Hank Penny; 99. Bob Skyles; 100. Swift Jewel Cowboys; 101. Johnnie Lee Wills; 102. Ted Daffan; 103. Hoyle Nix; 104. Rex Griffin; 105. Buddy Jones; 106. Al Dexter; 107. Floyd Tillman; 108. Ernest Tubb; 109. Johnny Bond; 110. Red River Dave McEnery; 111. Leo Soileau; 112. Harry Choates; 113. Molly O'Day; 114. Rose Maddox; BIBLIOGRAPHY
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Rating details

27 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 41% (11)
4 33% (9)
3 22% (6)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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