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Celebrating the dark origins of our most American music, Country reveals a wild shadowland of history that encompasses blackface minstrels and yodeling cowboys; honky-tonk hell and rockabilly heaven; medieval myth and musical miscegenation; sex, drugs, murder; and rays of fierce illumination on Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others, famous and forgotten, whose demonology is America's own. Profusely and superbly illustrated, Country stands as one of the most brilliant explorations of American musical culture ever written.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780306807138
ISBN-10: 0306807130
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 23mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 1-Aug-1996
Country of Publication: United States


US Kirkus Review » Remember a piece of ersatz Country called "Ramblin' Rose?" Well, call these pieces of ersatz criticism-history Ramblin' Prose - the sort of "new-journalism" prose that shifts back and forth between plodding outpours of names and dates and ho-hum-hip jivin': "Talk about honky-tonk heroes: Next to Jerry Lee, they're a bunch of frat-party pukers." Jerry Lee Lewis? Yes indeed, since Tosches devotes much of this book on Country to Rock ("By the early thirties, rock-and-roll was more than a fuck-phrase"). The rest he devotes to Country's ancestry in English ballads (interesting subject demolished by unreadable, hyped-up style), to yodeling singers, especially Emmett Miller, to dirty songs ("Stained Panties and Coarse Metaphors"), to progress in recorded sound (a list of names and numbers), and to such down-home glimpses of the music biz as a girl singer in a motel: ". . . words come from the corners of her mouth thick and slow, like vomit from a man unconscious." Them's dangerous words from a writer as thick, slow, and indigestible as Nick Tosches. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Nick Tosches

Nick Tosches is the author of Hellfire, Unsung Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll, Power on Earth, Cut Numbers, Dino, and Trinities.

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