The Never-Ending Revival

The Never-Ending Revival : Rounder Records and the Folk Alliance

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In recent years, there has been an upsurge in interest in \u0022roots music\u0022 and \u0022world music,\u0022 popular forms that fuse contemporary sounds with traditional vernacular styles. In the 1950s and 1960s, the music industry characterized similar sounds simply as \u0022folk music.\u0022 Focusing on such music since the 1950s, The Never-Ending Revival: Rounder Records and the Folk Alliance analyzes the intrinsic contradictions of a commercialized folk culture. Both Rounder Records and the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance have sought to make folk music widely available, while simultaneously respecting its defining traditions and unique community atmosphere. By tracing the histories of these organizations, Michael F. Scully examines the ongoing controversy surrounding the profitability of folk music. He explores the lively debates about the difficulty of making commercially accessible music, honoring tradition, and remaining artistically relevant, all without \u0022selling out.\u0022 In the late 1950s through the 1960s, the folk music revival pervaded the mainstream music industry, with artists such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez singing historically or politically informed ballads based on musical forms from Appalachia and the South.
In the twenty-first century, the revival continues, and it includes a variety of music derived from Cajun, African American, and Mexican traditions, among many others. Even though the mainstream music industry and media largely ignore the term \u0022folk music,\u0022 a strong allure based on nostalgia, the desire for community, and a sense of exclusiveness augments an enthusiastic following connected by word-of-mouth, numerous festivals, and the Internet. There are more folk festivals now than there were during the original boom of the 1960s, suggesting that music artists, agents, and record label representatives are striking a successful balance between tradition and profitability. Scully combines rich interviews of music executives and practicing folk musicians with valuable personal experience to reveal how this American subculture remains in a \u0022never-ending revival\u0022 based on fluid definitions of folk and folk music.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 340.19g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252033337
  • 9780252033339

Review quote

"Scully's in-depth study of the influence of these two organizations opens up intriguing channels toward better understanding the cultural implications of this musical movement. The Never-Ending Folk Revival is well worth a read." Folk Music "Thoughtful and insightful book... Scully's important exploration of the folk music revival ... will only gain in significance as the opportunities for the transmission of folk music increase."--ARSC Journal "For those of us with a fondness for Rounder and all the offbeat music it has brought us throughout the years, this book ... is a must-have."--Sing Out! "[An] intriguing examination of the commercialization of 'noncommercial' music... Recommended."--Choice "Scully explores many facets of the folk music revival... Well written, well researched."--Bluegrass Unlimited
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About Michael F. Scully

Michael F. Scully is an attorney by profession and holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
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