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Pure Country: The Leon Kagarise Archives, 1961-1971 Hardcover – December 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eddie Dean is a regular contributor to the Washington City Paper, Philadelphia Weekly, and Arthur Magazine.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Daniel 13 / Process; 1st edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934170038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934170038
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mats Hamnström on February 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you should try to locate the Golden Age of country music you wouldn't get past the year 1941 - some believe the golden age ended there, some believe it started. But when you browse through "Pure Country: The Leon Kagarise Archives, 1961-1971" you are left with a strong feeling that it was limited in time to the 1960s and geographically to two hideaway outdoor parks on the east coast, about 750 miles from Nashville. "Pure Country" is a truly inspiring photo book with pictures from New River Ranch outside Baltimore and Sunset Park outside Philadelphia. People went there every Sunday with the entire family to listen to music and meet other people. The musicians (all the greats of the era played there) often mingled with the audience between performances and sat down at the picnic table to eat or talk. At these parks a cultural form that obviously lived on borrowed time was alive and well and Eddie Dean points out that "It was a subculture bypassed altogether by mainstream Americans during the Eisenhower Era." For $1 per carload everyone was welcome. It certainly appears to have been a Golden Age and we must thank Leon Kagarise (1937-2008) that we can get a glimpse of it today.

Leon reportedly said that: "I was trying in my own little way to stop time." We must certainly be thankful for that effort and the result as pictured here is marvelous. In total there are about 750 color slides (about a quarter of them are published here) of audiences, posters, tickets, programs and surroundings but mostly, of course, the artists - Ernest Tubb, Louvin Brothers, Porter Wagoner, Reno & Smiley, Ray Price, Jimmy Martin, George Jones, Stanley Brothers, Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash to mention a few.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fred Campbell on February 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since there's no such thing as "pure" country music anymore (I doubt if Rascal Flatts ever heard of Ernest Tubb, unless their press agent happened to slip the name to them), it is a relief to find a book like this one to assure me and other purists out there that the faces in it are not forgotten. These photos provide a unique and detailed look at those who created real music for the sake of the music. It is an amazing archive, but it's Eddie Dean's fine writing that really brings it all home. Besides being an excellent writer, he's obviously a fan, as well. His enthusiasm for these pictures is infectious.

A wonderfully vital union of pictures and prose. Eddie, please give us more books like this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daney on January 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I went to the music parks and saw the acts. my own photos were blurry because I used to get so excited when I saw the musical stars that my hands shook (yes it IS funny). so this was a lovely book and a keepsake. the seller was prompt and his mailing package kept this book in nice shape -- it is a coffee table type book so even when you buy it used, you want a nice copy.
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