The First Generation of Country Music Stars

Biographies of 50 Artists Born Before 1940

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SKU: 9780786430215 Categories: , ,

About the Book

This book focuses on 50 of the most important entertainers in the history of country music, from its beginnings in the folk music of early America through the 1970s. Divided into five distinct categories, it discusses the pioneers who brought mountain music to mass audiences; cowboys and radio stars who spread country music countrywide; honky-tonk and bluegrass musicians who differentiated country music during the 1940s; the major contributions that female artists made to the genre; and the modern country sound which dominated the genre from the late 1950s to the mid–1980s. Each entry includes a brief biography of the chosen artist with special emphasis on experiences which influenced their musical careers. Covered musicians include Fiddlin’ John Carson, Riley Puckett, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Bob Wills, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, Sr., Dale Evans, June Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, Roy Clark, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.

About the Author(s)

David Dicaire is the author of numerous works about music history. He lives in Leamington, Ontario, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

David Dicaire
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: discographies, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3021-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8558-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

PART ONE: THE PIONEERS      9
Fiddlin’ John Carson (1868–1949): The Virginia Reeler      11
Uncle Dave Macon (1870–1952): King of the Hillbillies      14
Dr. Humphrey Bate (1875–1936): The Possum Hunter      17
Vernon Dalhart (1883–1948): A Country Star      20
Gid Tanner (1885–1960): The Skillet Licker      23
A.P. Carter (1891–1960): Family Patriarch      28
Charlie Poole (1892–1931): North Carolina Rambler      32
E.V. “Pop” Stoneman (1893–1968): Country Patriarch      35
Riley Puckett (1894–1946): Blind Ambition      39
Jimmie Rodgers (1897–1933): The Singing Brakeman      42

PART TWO: COWBOYS AND RADIO STARS      49
Ken Maynard (1895–1973): Wagon Master      51
Roy Acuff (1903–1992): Wabash Cannonball      54
Wilf Carter (1904–1996): Montana Slim      60
Tex Ritter (1907–1974): Lone Star Cowboy      63
Gene Autry (1907–1998): The Singing Cowboy      67
Red Foley (1910–1968): The Mainstream Voice      72
Roy Rogers (1911–1998): Happy Trails Forever      76
Hank Snow (1914–1999): The Travelin’ Canadian      79
Merle Travis (1917–1983): The Individualist      84
Eddy Arnold (1918–): The Tennessee Plowboy      88

PART THREE: WESTERN SWING/BLUEGRASS/HONKY TONK      95
Bob Wills (1905–1975): The Western Swing King      97
Bill Monroe (1911–1996): The Bluegrass Rambler      104
Ernest Tubb (1914–1984): The Texas Troubadour      112
Lester Flatt (1914–1979): Flat Pickin’      118
Hank Williams, Sr. (1923–1953): Life to Legend      123
Earl Scruggs (1924–): Dueling Banjoist      132
Hank Thompson (1925–): Texas Swing      137
Ray Price (1926–): Cherokee Cowboy      141
George Jones (1931–): Honky Tonk Texan      146

PART FOUR: WOMEN OF COUNTRY MUSIC      157
Sara Carter (1899–1979): Wildwood Flower      159
Maybelle Carter (1909–1978): Country Matriarch      163
Dale Evans (1912–2001): Queen of the Cowgirls      167
Kitty Wells (1918–): Queen of Country Music      170
Molly O’Day (1923–1987): A Defining Role      174
June Carter Cash (1929–2003): A Song in Her Heart      177
Patsy Cline (1932–1963): A Country Music Treasure      180
Loretta Lynn (1934–): Coal Miner Heartbreak      187
Wanda Jackson (1937–): Country Music Heart      192

PART FIVE: OUTLAWS, REBELS AND SUPERSTARS      197
Chet Atkins (1924–2001): The Superpicker      199
Marty Robbins (1925–1982): The Country Chameleon      205
Buck Owens (1929–2006): Baron of Bakersfield      212
Johnny Cash (1932–2003): The Man in Black      218
Charlie Rich (1932–1995): The Silver Fox      229
Glen Campbell (1936–): Rhinestone Cowboy      234
Roy Clark (1933–): Lightning Fingers      240
Willie Nelson (1933–): Austin Outlaw      245
Conway Twitty (1933–1993): Uncrowned King      255
Waylon Jennings (1937–2002): Ladies Love Outlaws      262
Merle Haggard (1937–): Lonesome Fugitive      269
Kenny Rogers (1938–): The Gambler      277

Bibliography      285
Index      289

Book Reviews & Awards

“an ideal source for fans”—ARBA.