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Winner of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections 2008 Award for Best Research in Recorded Country Music
In this sparkling collection, "roots" music authority Tony Russell offers vivid portraits of the men and women who created country music, the artists whose lives and songs formed the rich tradition from which Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Dixie Chicks, and so many others have drawn their inspiration.
Included here are not only such major figures as Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Fiddlin' John Carson, Charlie Poole, and Gene Autry, who put country music on America's cultural map in the 1920s and '30s, but many fascinating lesser-known figures as well, such as Carson Robison, Otto Gray, Chris Bouchillon, Emry Arthur and dozens more, many of whose stories are told here for the first time. To map some of the winding, untraveled roads that connect today's music to its ancestors, Russell draws upon new research and rare source material, such as contemporary newspaper reports and magazine articles, internet genealogy sites, and his own interviews with the musicians or their families. The result is a lively mix of colorful tales and anecdotes, priceless contemporary accounts of performances, illuminating social and historical context, and well-grounded critical judgment. The essays are enhanced by more than 200 illustrations, many of them seldom seen and some never before published, including artist photographs, record labels, song sheets, newspaper clippings, cartoons, advertisements, and magazine covers, recreating the look and feel of the entire culture of country music. Each essay includes as well a playlist of recommended and currently available recordings for each artist.
Country Music Originals is a collection of gems which will delight the aficionado and first-time enthusiast as well as the scholar of American folk music.

Tony Russell is a music historian who has written on country music, blues, jazz, and other forms of popular music in a wide variety of publications and has researched, written, and presented many musical programs for BBC Radio. He is the author of Country Music Records: A Discography, 1921-1942 (OUP 2004), The Blues from Robert Johnson to Robert Cray , and other books. He lives in London.

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Books, Music, Entertainment, Nonfiction, Country, Musical Genres, Bluegrass, Country Music Biographies, Country Music Criticism


ISBN-10:  0195325095 (hbk.)
ISBN-13:  9780195325096 (hbk.)
Author:  Tony Russell
Genre:  Entertainment
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Date Published:  November 15, 2007
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review by . December 01, 2008
posted in Music Matters
Originals 1
As someone who has been studying and collecting American popular music for more than four decades now I am always on the lookout for new resources to add to my knowledge and understanding of this music.  I am quite excited to report that the London based music historian Tony Russell has come up with a real gem with his splendid new book "Country Music Originals: The Legends and the The Lost".  This book is a virtual treasure trove of information for anyone who is interested in …
Country Music Originals: The Legends and the Lost
Country Music Originals The Legends and The Lost
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