Tuesday, January 08, 2008

now playing: will the circle be unbroken?


Will the Circle be Unbroken?

This is is a now reading selection, actually.

Country Music in America is the subtitle, and this 300 page plus book, published by the Country Music Hall of Fame in partnership with Dorling Kindersly Publishers, is a very interesting treatment of such a massive and in some ways controversial subject. As it’s from the CMHF, you know the scholarship is sound, and as it’s from Dorling Kindersley, you know the visual aspect is likely to be terrific. Both of those ae true.

Editors Alanna Nash and Paul Kingsbury drew on the talents and interests of a wide range of writers to create the work, and that said, some sections of the material read better than others. It’s book that works, though, whether you read it straight through, dip into it for reference or special interest, or mainly look at the pictures. There’s not nearly enough space to handle the whole history of country music in America, of course, but they’ve done a really good job of hitting the highlights, some of the sidelights, and a few of the low lights, to give a balanced idea of how this music got where it is today, both commercially an artistically, and to open up avenues and ideas for more exploration.There are timelines, sidebars, loads of photographs and very well done layout and graphics, to go along with the text.If you only buy one book about country music this year, this should be it -- but be forewarned, it’ll send you on explorations to read and listen and learn more.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at

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