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Finding Her Voice: Women in Country Music, 1800-2000 Hardcover – July, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is not to be missed by anyone interested in country or roots music, and the land that spawned it.
--Paste

Well-documented and with many photographs of the performers, this volume adds a much-needed balance to the often male-dominated literature.
--College & Research Library News

Finding Her Voice blends interviews, stunning pictures and concise, incisive summations into the most thorough and comprehensive book ever penned on women in country music.
--The City Paper (Nashville, Tenn.)

In their sweeping survey, anthropologist Bufwack and music writer Oermann detail an integral interconnection between these women and the music they nurtured and influenced, weaving together a single tale of working women and country music. . . . A lively story of struggle and ultimate survival.
--Billboard

About the Author

Mary A. Bufwack is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in women's studies.

Robert K. Oermann is a music journalist whose honors include the Country Music Association's Media Achievement Award.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt Univ Press - Country Music Foundation Press (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826514324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826514325
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Collaboratively compiled and expertly edited by cultural anthropologist Mary A Bufwack and music journalist Robert K. Oermann, Finding Her Voice: Women In Country Music 1800-2000 is an information-laden, 624-page compendium of women's contributions to country music down through the past two centuries. Black-and-white photographs enliven the pages of this astute, well-researched, artfully presented text. Finding Her Voice is a seminal work of music history scholarship and a superb educational text and resource which is especially recommended for American Music History academic reference collections and to dedicated country music fans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A female social historian and a male music journalist co-wrote this wide-ranging book, which traces the history of country music through its women. Well, nobody could write such a book without mentioning plenty of men along the way, but the story is definitely about the women. It begins in the nineteenth century and discusses every famous female country singer (and plenty of obscure ones) up to the year 2000, but there is far more to this book than that.

Because this book is about social history as well as country music, it reminds us of life as it used to be without tap water and without electricity. While men spent all day working on the farm or in the factory, women spent all day doing the housework. This included fetching water in buckets from the nearest well, among other chores that are long since consigned to history in the developed world. So it was that the kind of songs that women sang were often very different from the kind of songs that men sang. Over time, technology, wars and other developments changed everybody's lives.

Two world wars opened opportunities for women. In between, an economic depression, compounded by the dust bowl, caused mass-migration as people fled the impoverished southern states. All these developments and others became reflected in the music that women sang and recorded. The mass-migration that started in the thirties took country music all around America. Later, American troops took their music to wherever they served in he second world war including Europe, Australia and Japan. Social changes including women's liberation all made their mark on country music. In business generally, women had to fight hard to break down barriers, and country music reflects this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mosca Marco on January 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful book! The captivating story of women in country music (from the superstars to the forgotten names who recover in this book the merits they deserve) through the women's history of the last two centuries.
My congratulations to the authors for their work!
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Format: Hardcover
"Finding Her Voice -- Women in Country Music: 1800-2000"
Written by Robert K. Oermann and Mary A. Bufwack
(Country Music Foundation Press)

An invaluable book, outling the history of women in country music, from Day One. This husband/wife team made themselves into a franchise as historians and commentators for the TNN country cable network... Here they present the female side of the country equation, moving historically from the pre-recording days back in Hog Hollar, to the gradual entry of women into the growing "hillbilly" music industry, and finally into the hallowed halls of the Grand Ole Opry and the mainstream of commercial country. The writing is generally good, and the scope of the book is impressive. The authors pay special attention to the contradictions of women's place in early country -- they were important keepers of folk traditions, but not allowed to perform professionally -- as well as to the persistent stereotyping and creative restrictions placed on them my the Nashville establishment. This book may be a bit exhaustive, but it's an awesome bit of pop scholarship. Besides, they turned me onto the foul-mouthed mid-'50s proto-rockabilly filly, Charlene Arthur, which was worth the price of admission alone. Highly recommended! (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)
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