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Classic Country: Legends of Country Music Paperback – 18 Jan 2001
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"Wolfe takes some of the best and least-known personalities of "Traditional Country" and gives them life in succinct but informative vignettes...Still, whether Wolfe is retelling well-known lore or delving into the fascinating, forgotten, yet influential lives of lesser-knowns; he provides vivid. loving portraits of a country music that barely exists anymore."
-David M. Turkalo, Booklist
"An essential book for popular music collections."
-ray Olson, Booklist
"In lively, easy-going prose, he undertakes honest, generous, largely biographical investigations of the musicians to whom he's devoted his career... His sensitive, masterful essays elucidate the contributions these artists made to the "great unifying, nourishing stream [that] runs through the history of country music."
About the Author
Charles K. Wolfe, Professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University, is the author of sixteen books on folk, country, and popular music, including A Good Natured Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry (1999), The Life and Legend of Leadbelly (cowritten with Kip Lornell, 1992), and The Devil's Box: Masters of Southern Fiddling (1997). He has produced or annotated over one hundred albums of music, for which he has received three Grammy nominations.
Top customer reviews
Read about Arthur Q Smith,the greatest songwriter you never heard,the colourful Texas Ruby,Emmett Miller,Cousin Emmy,and many more.I defy you to read this book and not want to sample their music first hand.A must for anyone with a serious interest in the history of country music,written in a very readable,and authorative style.
He loved it for it's detail, and discovered things he didn't previously know, which is saying something.
Altogether a very successful purchase.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
While I may have been hoping for a Nashville Babylon in a few of these pieces as with the story of Stringbean and Lefty Frizzell and Don Gibson there is none of that here. Not a hint or a breath of scandal anywhere. That is another indictment of the book. I will point out one glaring case of the author's ignoring or glossing over his subject's dishonesty. Roy Acuff stole the song 'Wreck on the Highway' from Dorsey Dixon and through a long series of lawsuits cheated him of most of the royalties until the copyright was finally awarded to Dixon. In his story on Acuff Wolfe claimed that Dixon didn't write the song and had sold the copyright which is contrary to everything in the history of the Dixon family and the song, if you check.
I'll keep on hoping for a factual and entertaining history of some of the classic country musicians and singers.. There were some colorful personalities and great histories and they certainly deserve a fine biography and it's unfortunate that this book isn't the one. The book is a mix-it tells you a lot about the artists you already know. It tells you something about artists you've never heard of. The artists about which you'd really like to know more he really gives you little. I would have loved more about the Louvin Brothers. I wish he would have included the Bailes Brothers as they certainly deserved a chapter. Some of his omissions were as puzzling as his choices. Why would he include Seven Foot Dilly but omit the Bailes Brothers? Or Ray Price? Or Red Foley? I'd like to know more of the Bailes Brothers history and I couldn't care less about Seven Foot Dilly and Red River Dave and the Georgia Yellow Hammers as wonderful as they may have been.
I'll still keep hoping eventually for a Nashville Babylon to tell the true, trashy history of Nashville since its inception as Music city. The Stringbean murder. The Sgt Barry Sadler killing of Lee Emerson, How the Bailes Brothers got kicked off the Opry. All the juicy stuff. But this book isn't it. Not by a long shot.
Anyone wanting the actual story of what happened between my grandfather, Dorsey Dixon, and Roy Acuff need only google his name.
Leesa Dixon Axley
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