Cover

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Title Page, Publisher Acknowledgment, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

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Intro

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pp. 1-20

White working folk in the American hinterlands are rednecks. And rednecks are bigots and homophobes. This is common knowledge and reliable terrain for launching any number of stories, jokes, and armchair analyses. So the alternative rock band Foo Fighters stood on solid ground when, in late summer 2011, they posted online a jokey music video marrying two incongruous types, the redneck and the queer. The video featured an original song track titled “Keep It Clean (Hot Buns)” and four band members in hillbilly and trucker getup depicting long-haul drivers rendezvousing at a truck stop...

Part I: Rednecks and Country Music

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1. Anything but Country

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pp. 23-50

There is a phrase I have heard on the first day of classes for the past decade, ever since—for ice breaking as much as informational purposes—I began asking my undergraduates, “What do you listen to?” Now, every semester, it issues from students of various sorts, a line so familiar as to be recognized by all, even when mumbled hurriedly by the shy and self-conscious: “Anything but country.”...

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2. Sounding the Working-Class Subject

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pp. 51-104

Chapter 1 examined the declaration “Anything but country” and other instances of country music exclusion as acts that help to produce the American middle class, a process of distinguishing oneself from the working class, which since the 1970s has been increasingly figured in terms of conservatism, whiteness, and bigotry...

Part II: Rednecks, Country Music, and the Queer

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3. Gender Deviance and Class Rebellion in “Redneck Woman”

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pp. 107-130

In 2004 Gretchen Wilson exploded onto the country music scene with “Redneck Woman.” The blockbuster single led to the early release of her first CD, Here for the Party, and propelled it to triple platinum sales that year, the highest for a debut in any musical category. “Redneck Woman” shot to No. 1 faster than any country track in the previous decade and held the top spot for five weeks...

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4. “Fuck Aneta Briant” and the Queer Politics of Being Political

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pp. 131-158

In 1978, David Allan Coe was at the peak of his career. He opened the year with a songwriting grand slam in Johnny Paycheck’s release of “Take This Job and Shove It,” which climbed to No. 1, spent eighteen weeks on the country charts, and inspired a 1981 Hollywood comedy of the same name (which introduced monster trucks to the big screen)...

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Outro

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pp. 159-162

David Allan Coe was a top-selling singer and songwriter in his 1970s prime, but his antibourgeois and antihomophobic 1978 underground album track “Fuck Aneta Briant” stands apart, in its ribaldry and blatant obscenity, from mainstream country music. By 1992, Garth Brooks had sounded a more earnest, even churchy, antihomophobic note with “We Shall Be Free.”...

Notes

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pp. 163-194

References

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pp. 195-208

Subject Index

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pp. 209-222

Song Index

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pp. 223-226