In a cultural history filled with musicians, listeners, scholars, and business people, Miller describes how folklore studies and the music industry helped to create a “musical color line,” a cultural parallel to the physical color line that came to define the Jim Crow South. Segregated sound emerged slowly through the interactions of southern and northern musicians, record companies that sought to penetrate new markets across the South and the globe, and academic folklorists who attempted to tap southern music for evidence about the history of human civilization. Contending that people’s musical worlds were defined less by who they were than by the music that they heard, Miller challenges assumptions about the relation of race, music, and the market.
Karl Hagstrom Miller is an Assistant Professor who teaches in the History Department and the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin.
The book begins by outlining the history of the blues from African music through country stomps, ragtime songs, and field hollers. From the heroic figures of black folksong--including the steel-driving railroad worker John Henry and the destructive Boll Weevil--to the content of the emerging blues, the author discusses the "meaning" behind the often coded words of the blues, evoking topics such as playful sexuality, magic and medicine, the stresses of segregation, and commentary on national events. Finally, the author traces the history of blues documentation, showing how our views of the early blues have been shaped through a complex interplay of social forces, and indicating possible lines for future research.
When it debuted in October 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music. The brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius, the show’s producer and host, Soul Train featured a diverse range of stars, from James Brown and David Bowie to Christine Aguilera and R. Kelly; Marvin Gaye and Elton John to the New Kids on the Block and Stevie Wonder.
The Hippest Trip in America tells the full story of this pop culture phenomenon that appealed not only to blacks, but to a wide crossover audience as well. Famous dancers like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley, performers such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Barry White, and Cornelius himself share their memories, offering insights into the show and its time—a period of extraordinary social and political change. Colorful and pulsating, The Hippest Trip In America is a fascinating portrait of a revered cultural institution that has left an indelible mark on our national consciousness.
With a combination of song lyrics and reflective essays, Alabama author Frye Gaillard and recording artist Kathryn Scheldt pay tribute to the literary legacy of Alabama songwriters. Included here are reflections on the works of Hank Williams, Emmylou Harris, and W. C. Handy, among many others. Scheldt and Gaillard share Emmylou's view that the Americana music coming out of Alabama has been "the literature of the people." In addition to writing about this tradition, these two authors are part of it. In these pages and on an accompanying CD are songs co-written by Scheldt and Gaillard.
Beloved around the world, Randy Travis has sold more than 25 million albums in both country and gospel and is considered one of the finest performers of his generation, admired by superstars across the musical landscape, from Garth Brooks to Mick Jagger.
From a working-class background in North Carolina to a job as a cook and club singer in Nashville to his "overnight success" with his smash 1986 album Storms of Life--which launched the neotraditional movement in country music--Randy’s first three decades are a true rags-to-riches story.
But in 2009, this seemingly charmed life began a downward spiral. His marriage dissolved, he discovered that his finances had unraveled, and his struggles with anger led to alcohol abuse, public embarrassment, and even police arrest in 2012.
Then, just as he was putting his life back together, Randy suffered a devastating viral cardiomyopathy that led to a massive stroke which he was not expected to survive. Yet he not only survived but also learned to walk again and in 2016 accepted his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame by singing the hymn that explains his life today: "Amazing Grace."
Filled with never-before-told stories, Forever and Ever, Amen is a riveting tale of unfathomable success, great joy, deep pain, and redemption that can come only from above.
Saunders’s analyses are informed by strands of cultural history and theory including art historical critiques of realist representation, Walter Benjamin’s concerns about violence in “mechanical reproduction,” and tropes of detective fiction such as intrigue, the case, and the culprit. Saunders analyzes the diagnostic “gaze” of medical personnel reading images at the viewbox, the two-dimensional images or slices of the human body rendered by the scanner, methods of archiving images, and the use of scans as pedagogical tools in clinical conferences. Bringing cloistered diagnostic practices into public view, he reveals the customs and the social and professional hierarchies that are formulated and negotiated around the weighty presence of the CT scanner. At the same time, by returning throughout to the nineteenth-century ideas of detection and scientific authority that inform contemporary medical diagnosis, Saunders highlights the specters of the past in what appears to be a preeminently modern machine.