"A lively, readable collection of well-written and researched essays about Country Music within the context of America's history."
"[A] welcome and revealing book."
"Jeffrey Lange describes this cultural evolution with clarity and an abundance of detail."
"This clearly argued, well-researched addition to the scholarly literature on country music will appeal to scholars and fans of country music. Lange is sensitive to issues of race, class, and gender, and he provides a solid historical context for the forces that shaped country music's transformation between 1939 and 1954."
"This is a text that will serve as a valuable reference book for anyone interested in locating the details behind the performers and recordings that made country music popular during the World War II and post-World War II eras."
—Georgia Historical Quarterly
"Smile When You Call Me a Hillbilly ranks as the single most in-depth and detailed study of country music during World War II and the immediate postwar period, and as such, it is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on the history of country music. Southern historians and country music scholars will appreciate Lange’s efforts."
"[Lange] wears his quantification lightly, a very pleasing attribute, and mirrors in a way the achievement of his subject: using modern methods without losing track of the story that forms the power of the phenomenon."
—Arkansas Historical Quarterly
In his meticulous analysis of changing performance styles and alterations in the lifestyles of listeners, Lange illuminates the acculturation of country music and its audience into the American mainstream. Dividing country music into six subgenres (progressive country, western swing, postwar traditional, honky-tonk, country pop, and country blues), Lange discusses the music’s expanding appeal. As he analyzes the recordings and comments of each of the subgenre’s most significant artists, including Roy Acuff, Bob Wills, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, and Red Foley, he traces the many paths the musical form took on its road to respectability.
Lange shows how along the way the music and its audience became more sophisticated, how the subgenres blended with one another and with American popular music, and how Nashville emerged as the country music hub. By 1954, the transformation from “hillbilly” music to country music was complete, precipitated by the modernizing forces of World War II and realized by the efforts of promoters, producers, and performers.
List price: $30.95
View Shopping Cart