With its recent worldwide explosion in popularity, Country music is being heard and appreciated by more listeners than ever before. With over 1,200 entries spanning eight decades of music-making, "Definitive Country" catalogues the colorful heritage of this uniquely American treasure and the people who have made it shine - from the string-band pioneers to the legend of the "Grand Ole Opry" to today's hottest stars.
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Both blues and country music are experiencing a publishing feast. McCloud's mainly biographical encyclopedia covers a wide stretch of performers from bluegrass to western, gospel, and Cajun. Since it contains more than twice the entries of the recent Comprehensive Country Music Encyclopedia [RBB Mr 1 95], older and lesser-known artists such as Nathan Abshire, Roy Acuff Jr., the Shelton Brothers, and the Tune Wranglers are included. The entries cover both personal and performing life (music and other media), including even the names of spouses and children. The changes in a band's lineup are noted, with the list for the Texas Playboys going on for pages. Recommended recordings are listed at the end of each entry. Entries range from two pages for Johnny Cash to two columns for his brother Tommy to a half-column for the Cass Country Boys. Entries appear for such behind-the-scenes figures as Steve Scholes and such topics as the Country Music Awards, TNN (the Nashville Network), etc. Some profiles have black-and-white photographs. The book ends with a book of lists. The yearly awards of 15 international groups are given, as well as a list of performers and their awards and yearly summaries of gold and platinum recordings in the U.S. and Canada. A country music address book covers agents, artists' managers, record companies, music publishers, publicists, and fan clubs. State-by-state listings of fairs and festivals and country music stations (with call letters, not frequencies) are followed by a section detailing movies made by country performers. There is no index.
Those libraries that ordered The Comprehensive Country Music Encyclopedia may not need Definitive Country, but public and music libraries with an active or historic interest in the field will want to add this reasonably priced music dictionary.From Publishers Weekly:
Barry McCloud's aptly named Definitive Country: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and Its Performers starts with Cajun accordionist Nathan Abshire and ends with Tennessee fiddler Jess Young. Between them are sandwiched Willie Nelson, Lefty Frizzell, the Grand Ole Opry, Garth Brooks, Patsy Cline, Hee Haw, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Daniels, the Texas Playboys, BMI and lots of people with names like Curly, Red, Fiddlin' Frenchie, Thumbs, Mother Maybelle, Ramblin' Jack, Kinky, Woody, Skeets, Gram and plain old Roy, Bill and Joe. Each performer's description includes stats and recommended albums, and many include photos. On top of that McCloud includes listings of the winners of some 40 awards; all gold and platinum country winners here and in Canada; addresses for agents, artists' managers, record companies, music publishers, publicists, fan clubs; and listings of germane festivals, radio stations and movies. (Perigee, $20 ISBN 0-399-521-44-5; cloth $40 -518-90-8)
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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