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A Boy Named Sue

Gender and Country Music

From the smiling, sentimental mothers portrayed in 1930s radio barn dance posters, to the sexual shockwaves generated by Elvis Presley, to the female superstars redefining contemporary country music, gender roles and imagery have profoundly influenced the ways country music is made and enjoyed. Proper male and female roles have influenced the kinds of sounds and images that could be included in country music; preconceptions of gender have helped to determine the songs and artists audiences would buy or reject; and gender has shaped the identities listeners made for themselves in relation to the music they revered. This interdisciplinary collection of essays is the first book-length effort to examine how gender conventions, both masculine and feminine, have structured the creation and marketing of country music. The essays explore the uses of gender in creating the personas of stars as diverse as Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, and Shania Twain. The authors also examine how deeply conventions have influenced the institutions and everyday experiences that give country music its image: the popular and fan press, the country music industry in Nashville, and the line dance crazes that created the dance hall boom of the 1990s. From Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life" to Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue," from Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" to Loretta Lynn's ode to birth control, "The Pill," A Boy Named Sue demonstrates the role gender played in the development of country music and its current prominence. Kristine M. McCusker is a professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University. Diane Pecknold is an independent scholar in Chicago, Illinois.

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Brahms and His World

(Revised Edition)

Walter Frisch

Since its first publication in 1990, Brahms and His World has become a key text for listeners, performers, and scholars interested in the life, work, and times of one of the nineteenth century's most celebrated composers. In this substantially revised and enlarged edition, the editors remain close to the vision behind the original book while updating its contents to reflect new perspectives on Brahms that have developed over the past two decades. To this end, the original essays by leading experts are retained and revised, and supplemented by contributions from a new generation of Brahms scholars. Together, they consider such topics as Brahms's relationship with Clara and Robert Schumann, his musical interactions with the "New German School" of Wagner and Liszt, his influence upon Arnold Schoenberg and other young composers, his approach to performing his own music, and his productive interactions with visual artists.

The essays are complemented by a new selection of criticism and analyses of Brahms's works published by the composer's contemporaries, documenting the ways in which Brahms's music was understood by nineteenth- and early twentieth-century audiences in Europe and North America. A new selection of memoirs by Brahms's friends, students, and early admirers provides intimate glimpses into the composer's working methods and personality. And a catalog of the music, literature, and visual arts dedicated to Brahms documents the breadth of influence exerted by the composer upon his contemporaries.

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Brahms’s Vocal Duets and Quartets with Piano

A Guide with Full Texts and Translations

Lucien Stark

"... a generous treatment of some of Brahms’s most endearing and imaginative creations." —Choice

"... an excellent addition to the literature on vocal chamber music... " —Notes

In this sequel to A Guide to the Solo Songs of Johannes Brahms, Lucien Stark opens up a beautiful and largely neglected repertoire, providing the full German text for each song, along with a new English translation, notes on vocal ranges, and a wealth of engaging commentary of technical, aesthetic, and historical interest.

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Breaking Time's Arrow

Experiment and Expression in the Music of Charles Ives

Matthew McDonald

Charles Ives (1874-1954) moved traditional compositional practice in new directions by incorporating modern and innovative techniques with nostalgic borrowings of 19th century American popular music and Protestant hymns. Matthew McDonald argues that the influence of Emerson and Thoreau on Ives's compositional style freed the composer from ordinary ideas of time and chronology, allowing him to recuperate the past as he reached for the musical unknown. McDonald links this concept of the multi-temporal in Ives’s works to Transcendentalist understandings of eternity. His approach to Ives opens new avenues for inquiry into the composer's eclectic and complex style.

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Broken Harmony

Shakespeare and the Politics of Music

by Joseph M. Ortiz

Music was a subject of considerable debate during the Renaissance. The notion that music could be interpreted in a meaningful way clashed regularly with evidence that music was in fact profoundly promiscuous in its application and effects. Subsequently, much writing in the period reflects a desire to ward off music's illegibility rather than come to terms with its actual effects. In Broken Harmony, Joseph M. Ortiz revises our understanding of music's relationship to language in Renaissance England. In the process he shows the degree to which discussions of music were ideologically and politically charged.

Offering a historically nuanced account of the early modern debate over music, along with close readings of several of Shakespeare's plays (including Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, and The Winter's Tale) and Milton's A Maske, Ortiz challenges the consensus that music's affinity with poetry was widely accepted, or even desired, by Renaissance poets. Shakespeare more than any other early modern poet exposed the fault lines in the debate about music's function in art, repeatedly staging disruptive scenes of music that expose an underlying struggle between textual and sensuous authorities. Such musical interventions in textual experiences highlight the significance of sound as an aesthetic and sensory experience independent of any narrative function.

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The Broken Spoke

Austin's Legendary Honky-Tonk

Donna Marie Miller

When James and Annetta White opened the Broken Spoke in 1964, their location was a mile south of the Austin city limits, under a massive live oak beside what would eventually become South Lamar Boulevard. White built the place himself, beginning construction on the day he received his honorable discharge from the US Army. And for more than fifty years, the Broken Spoke has served up, in the words of White’s well-worn opening speech, “ . . . cold beer, good whiskey, the best chicken fried steak in town . . . and good country music.”
 
White paid $32 to his first opening act, D. G. Burrows and the Western Melodies, back in 1964. Since then, the stage at the Spoke has hosted the likes of Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Roy Acuff, Kris Kristoffersen, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Asleep at the Wheel. But it hasn’t always been easy; through the years, the Whites and the Spoke have withstood their share of hardship, including a breast cancer diagnosis, a chronically leaky roof, heart trouble, and a tour bus driven through the back wall.
 
Today, however, the original rustic, barn-style building, surrounded by sleek, high-rise apartment buildings, still sits on South Lamar, a tribute and remembrance to an Austin that has almost vanished. Housing fifty years of country music memorabilia and about a thousand lifetimes of memories, the Broken Spoke is still doing what Ernest Tubb, years ago, urged James White to do: “keeping it country.”

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Brothers, Sing On!

My Half-Century Around the World with the Penn Glee Club

By Bruce Montgomery

In 1862, a group of undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania put the University's colors of red and blue in their buttonholes and gave the first performance of the University of Pennsylvania Glee Club. Ninety-four years later, in 1956, Bruce Montgomery became the Glee Club's director and brought the Club to new heights of musicianship and international acclaim. In his forty-four-year tenure, "Monty" made the Glee Club the premier musical voice of the University and brought Penn and the spirit of Philadelphia to audiences around the world.

The Glee Club has performed on five continents in thirty countries and countless times in Philadelphia. In Brothers, Sing On! Monty shares his stories and experiences. From an impromptu photo op on a Wisconsin highway during a blizzard in 1977 to singing for U.S. presidents, this exhilarating memoir is filled with the Glee Club's farflung adventures. Backstage anecdotes let the reader step behind the scenes of such performances at home, abroad, and on worldwide television.

A reflection of Monty's boundless energy and flair for showmanship, this volume also includes stories of the students with whom the Glee Club director worked in other clubs—the Penn Singers, the Marching Band, the Penn Players, and the Mask & Wig Club, to name a few. Throughout his memoir, Montgomery reflects fondly on the development of the Glee Club. It is a testament to his immeasurable contribution to its success and renown.

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Brutality Garden

Tropicália and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture

Christopher Dunn

In the late 1960s, Brazilian artists forged a watershed cultural movement known as Tropicalia. Music inspired by that movement is today enjoying considerable attention at home and abroad. Few new listeners, however, make the connection between this music and the circumstances surrounding its creation, the most violent and repressive days of the military regime that governed Brazil from 1964 to 1985. With key manifestations in theater, cinema, visual arts, literature, and especially popular music, Tropicalia dynamically articulated the conflicts and aspirations of a generation of young, urban Brazilians.

Focusing on a group of musicians from Bahia, an impoverished state in northeastern Brazil noted for its vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture, Christopher Dunn reveals how artists including Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, and Tom Ze created this movement together with the musical and poetic vanguards of Sao Paulo, Brazil's most modern and industrialized city. He shows how the tropicalists selectively appropriated and parodied cultural practices from Brazil and abroad in order to expose the fissure between their nation's idealized image as a peaceful tropical "garden" and the daily brutality visited upon its citizens.

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Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World

Richard Jones-Bamman

Banjo music possesses a unique power to evoke a bucolic, simpler past. The artisans who build banjos for old-time music stand at an unusual crossroads ”asked to meet the modern musician's needs while retaining the nostalgic qualities so fundamental to the banjo's sound and mystique. Richard Jones-Bamman ventures into workshops and old-time music communities to explore how banjo builders practice their art. His interviews and long-time personal immersion in the musical culture shed light on long-overlooked aspects of banjo making. What is the banjo builder's role in the creation of a specific musical community? What techniques go into the styles of instruments they create? Jones-Bamman explores these questions and many others while sharing the ways an inescapable sense of the past undergirds the performance and enjoyment of old-time music. Along the way he reveals how antimodernism remains integral to the music's appeal and its making.

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