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Country Roads: How Country Came to Nashville [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Brian Hinton
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Sanctuary Publishing Ltd; illustrated edition edition (7 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860742939
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860742934
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,130,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Hinton traces the origins of country music back to the Irish, Scottish and English emigrants who took the pure Celtic music of their homelands and created the Appalachian music of the mountains, predominant among the poor, rural constituencies in America, and how this music went to Nashville.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The response of the British media to the 1999 Country Music Awards was all too predictable: total respect and whispered titbits of gossip in the straight country magazines, the occasional snide aside in the posh monthlies, and total silence in the kids' weeklies. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
"Country Roads: How Country Came To Nashville" attempts to trace the history and development of country music. Several aspects set it apart from previous histories. Author Brian Hinton goes back to the Old World origins of the music and follows its arrival and evolution in the New World. He also focuses much space on more recent developments, and adds some interesting observations on Alt Country and the country/rock hybrids of the last thirty years, without being dismissive or condescending.
To Hinton, country music is a continuum, a musical form that is constantly changing and evolving, adding new styles and elements that alter the growth and direction of the genre. Many writers (c.f. Bill Malone) feel that they have to build figurative "walls" around country to music as if to protect it from the encroachments. Hinton seems to feel that these elements add to, rather than threaten, country. He also seems to make an effort to understand the appeal of those artists that he doesn't particularly enjoy. Hinton's view of country music is one of the most inclusive definitions I have ever encountered, and I think he makes his points well. He also looks for the influence of country on other musical styles, some of which could not be any further from Nashville, geographically and philisophically. Hinton scores points here, too.
Hinton is British and, unlike many English writers who are analyzing American popular culture, he doesn't feel the need to denigrate those things that he doesn't understand. He clearly loves this music, unlike, say Nick Tosches, the author of the overrated and condescending Country. Unlike [] Tosches, Hinton's opinions are thoughtful and original.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going at times 4 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover
Having just finished reading this book I feel I must agree with much that the other reviewers (Richard "Alice Collector" and "A Customer")have said about the book. There is little doubt that the author has an in-depth and intricate knowledge of the 'Country' genre even in the loosest application of that categorisation. I approached the book with an eager sense of anticipation but after the first eighty or so pages I began to find the book hard going and it neeeded a big helping of resolve to finish the book which I eventually did with a sense of disappointment. The author traces all the influences on country music and how it evolved in the Appalachians from Irish and Gaelic origins but towards the end of the book it just starts to read like a list of all the albums the author has listened to during his research and writing of the book. In many cases there seems to be an assumed in-depth and in-the-know level of knowledge by the reader and this is when much of it ended up going over my head. That said, there are certainly many bands and artists that I had previously only heard of that I would be keen to check out but in the end reading the book became a chore and an act of drudgery. A great shame as the book did not live up to my expectations. Additionally I would often wonder if the book had actually been proof read given the amount of typo and/or spelling errors it contained. In conclusion, this book won't be going back into my bookshelves to be re-read at a future date or to be referred to in the future and will be going to the charity shop instead. Rgerettably it's only three stars for this particular book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The first British Invasion? 1 Jan 2012
By Richard
Format:Hardcover
The book sleeve is more or less the reason so many hate country music when rock critics and general ignorance was rife and it was for so long called Country & Western.Today a better name is Americana or Roots Music
The entire subject matter is an ambitious undertaking and rather than take the Bill Malone route the author hops backwards and forwards.
In order to really appreciate the book and know what the author is talking about you need to know at least something about the history of the music and in the U K the closest we have is our own folk music which in so many cases is also the music of the earliest country music.
The music was always at a distance in the U K where attempts to come up with their own take were mainly products from Joe Meek eg Houston Wells & the Marksmen
Its easy to be biased when the biggest country hits have been more Easy Listening than anything else.Or give you the wrong view such as the fact that Johnny Cash had his first No 1 with a single lifted off a prison concert-all those great singles from the 50s and 60s meant little.
Country music suffered from covers both here and in the States when Young Love first made by an unknown country singer Ric Cartey then a known one Sonny James sold more by movie star Tab Hunter in both countries
You also need to know that in the U K Jimmie Rodgers the Singing Brakeman or the Carter Family were at one time just names on Hank Snow and Johnny Cash albums and the first Carter Family LPs were never available till well into the 60s.
The author has done his research well not having been born even then.
Obviously theres no better way of learning about country music than listening to it
Having said all that though its a odd by what's missing.
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Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy Research spoils ambitious project 17 Jan 2001
By John Moone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
From the very beginning of this book I became distracted from the content by the numerous errors, I had heard Mr Hinton interviewed on the radio and was taken by his enthusiasm, I was dissappointed to find that his "research" amounted to a few books by other authors.Some errors are downright sloppy e.g. "Elvis Presley toured with Jimmie Rodgers" end quote, this would be a neat trick considering JR died in 1933 and EP wasn't born until 1935. The whole book is peppered with these inaccuracies, which colours my judgement of the whole book.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anglo or Celtic myth in country music ? 29 Aug 2000
By R J STEWART - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Brian Hinton has missed a great opportunity in "Country Roads" to offer the reader an unbiased account of the varied roots of the great American art form of country music. I am reminded of Bill C. Malone's prophecy in his book "Singing Cowboys and Musical Mountaineers" (published 1993) in which he says that `the Anglo-Saxon myth died hard, but now it seems on the verge of being supplanted by the Celtic myth'.
In Hintons's acknowledgments he sums up his agenda when he says that `my editor at Sanctuary put to me his idea that someone should write a book on the Celtic roots of country'. In his enthusiasm to prove a Celtic pedigree Hinton's "Country Roads" has played up the `Celtic' influence on the roots of country while the `Anglo' is played down.
Music fans should read "Country Roads" but for a more fulsome understanding of the social, historical and cultural aspects in the roots of American Folk and Country music, books such as "Kentucky Country" by Professor Charles K. Wolfe and "Neighbor and Kin - Life in a Tennessee Ridge Community" by Elmora Messer Matthews do much to redress the balance.
Those such as Hinton seeking to play down the influence of the Anglo on the development of Country music should ponder on such questions as: Why do so many early Appalachian mountain pioneers of country music have old English surnames? I fail to understand why any non American people should attempt to claim an art form as their own that is clearly so rich, wide and varied in its influences. It seems to me that Hinton has tried to airbrush out the impact of the equally influential folk music of the English working class from American social history.
4.0 out of 5 stars For Once, An Inclusive History of Country Music 9 Nov 2000
By Ron Frankl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Country Roads: How Country Came To Nashville" attempts to trace the history and development of country music. Several aspects set it apart from previous histories. Author Brian Hinton goes back to the Old World origins of the music and follows it arrival and evolution in the New World. He also focuses much space on more recent developments, and adds some interesting observations on Alt Country and the country/rock hybrids of the last thirty years, without being dismissive or condescending.
To Hinton, country music is a contimuum, a musical form that is constantly changing and evolving, adding new styles and elements that alter the growth and direction of the genre. Many writer (c.f. Bill Malone) feel that they have to build figurative "walls" around country to music as if to protect it from the encroachments. Hinton seems to feel that these elements add to, rather than threaten, country. He also seems to make an effort to understand the appeal of those artists that he doesn't particularly enjoy. Hinton's view of country music is one of the most inclusive definitions I have ever encountered, and I think he makes his points well. He also looks for the influence of country on other musical styles, some of which could not be any further from Nashville, geographically and philisophically. Hinton scores points here, too.
Hinton is British and, unlike many English writers who are analyzing American popular culture, he doesn't
feel the need to denigrate those things that he doesn't completely understand. He clearly loves this music, unlike, say Nick Tosches, the author of the overrated and condescending "Country." Unlike the often bitter and self-serving Tosches, Hinton's opinions are thoughtful and original.
Despite occasionally sloppy editing (its obvious that Hinton dicated the text, and whoever transcribed was clearly less than familiar with the subject matter)and a few glaring factual errors, this is a useful and entertaining work. This book is a good read for those who want a clearer understanding of country music in the year 2000. The sections on the Alt Country movement are well-written and more thought-provoking than previous writings on the subject. Most importantly, "Country Roads" is fun reading for the country music fan and neophyte alike.
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