In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Notes For readers who want to know more about a particular genre or performer, I mention some books and articles that I have found useful and entertaining to read as I listened to music over the years. Chapter 1. They All Go Native on a Saturday Night: Civilized versus Native in American Vernacular Music A good starting place for more information on country music is Paul Kingsbury, ed., The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). For instance, it contains a good short introduction to the career of Red Foley. p. 3: The most thorough detailed biography of Hank Williams that I have read is Sing a Sad Song: The Life of Hank Williams (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981) by Roger M. Williams, but the most entertaining to read is Chet Flippo’s Your Cheatin’ Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams (Garden City, NY: Dolphin/Doubleday, 1985). p. 7: One of the best articles on the history of the concept of the folk is by my old friendWilliamA.“Burt”Wilson:“Herder,Folklore,and Romantic Nationalism ,”in Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: A Reader,ed.Elliott Oring (Logan:Utah State University Press,1980),21–36,which is,in fact,a wide-ranging introduction to the study of folklore, as are Barre Toelken’s The Dynamics of Folklore (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1996), and Jan Harold Brunvand’s The Study of American Folklore: An Introduction, 4th ed. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1998). pp. 9–10: My favorite book on Woody Guthrie is Woody Guthrie: A Life by Joe Klein (NewYork: Ballantine,1980).Guthrie’s autobiography Bound for Glory (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1943) is also a good read, but as Klein and others note, Woody’s version of his life sometimes contains“tall talk,”traditional exaggerations that he slips into at times. The edition I read is a Dutton paperback published 198 Notes to Chapter 1 in 1968 with a wonderful introduction by Pete Seeger written in 1967 soon after Woody died of Huntington’s chorea,“a progressive degeneration of the nervous system.” Pete said that when he heard of Woody’s death his first thought was “Woody will never die, as long as there are people who like to sing his songs.” They were still singing his songs when I wrote this in 2014.A very good article on Woody is Richard A. Reuss,“Woody Guthrie and His Folk Tradition,” Journal of American Folklore 83, no. 329 (1970): 273–303. p. 11: John Steinbeck’s comments about Woody appear in Joe Klein’s Woody Guthrie: A Life (Crystal Lake, IL: Delta, 1981), 160. pp. 12–15: Two excellent well researched books on the folk music revival, including detailed consideration of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, are Robert Cantwell,When We Were Good: The Folk Music Revival (Cambridge,MA: Harvard University Press,1996),and Benjamin Filene,Public Memory and American Roots Music (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000). For a variety of approaches to the folk revival,see the collection of essays edited by Neil V. Rosenberg, Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993).A good summary of Woody Guthrie’s politics and his influence on the folk music revival can be found in Mike Marqusee, Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005), 16–31. More recently a very good book on Bob Dylan within the broader context of the folk revival is Elijah Wald, Dylan Goes Electric! (New York: Dey St., an imprint of William Morrow, 2015). p.16: Bob Dylan’s statement about Harry Belafonte is from his memoir Chronicles , vol. 1 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004), 69. p. 17: Archie Green, Only a Miner: Studies in Recorded Coal-Mining Songs (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1972). Archie lobbied Congress full time without pay. When he finally ran out of funds, he tried to find a job to make enough money to return to Washington. He and I discussed his situation at an American Folklore Society meeting, and I was able to convince the English Department at Ohio State to hire him to teach folklore for a quarter. He stayed at our house and at Bill Lightfoot’s house until he found an apartment within walking distance of the campus. He made a tremendous impression on his students and was able to make enough money to return to Washington.Archie was someone you...


Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.