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Real Country: Music and Language in Working-Class Culture Paperback – October 6, 2004

ISBN-13: 979-0822333486 ISBN-10: 0822333481 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (October 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822333481
  • ISBN-13: 979-0822333486
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Real Country is by far the best book on Texas country music and working-class culture since Manuel Peña’s The Texas-Mexican Conjunto: History of a Working-Class Music was published in 1985. As opened to us by Aaron A. Fox, the working-class world of Lockhart, Texas, is complex and richly textured, and country music is its most characteristic and expressive voice. Grounded both in the most sophisticated recent scholarship and in Fox’s longtime involvement as performer and observer, Real Country extends to the music the full measure of respect it deserves. In so doing, it carries country music scholarship to a new level that will challenge and guide all subsequent commentators.”—David E. Whisnant, author of Rascally Signs in Sacred Places and All That Is Native and Fine


“Aaron A. Fox’s Real Country gets to the heart and drama that fuels the cigarette smoke, music, talk, and beer of a honky tonk Saturday night.”—Peter Wolf, musician


“Aaron A. Fox’s Real Country is a powerful and moving study of Texas working class culture (including an articulate defense of the now heavily criticized notion of ‘culture’ itself). Combining the tools of linguistic anthropology, ethnomusicology, and sensitive ethnography, Fox performs a series of brilliant interpretations of ‘vocal practices’—country music and all kinds of talk, mostly in bars—as these actively shape personal subjectivities and interpersonal relationships. The chapter on ‘The Fool in the Mirror’ alone is worth the price of the book.”—Sherry B. Ortner, author of New Jersey Dreaming: Capital, Culture, and the Class of ‘58

About the Author

Aaron A. Fox is Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. He is a guitarist and singer who has played with many bands in Texas. He has hosted country music radio programs on several stations in New York City and continues to guest-host shows on a regular basis.
To visit Aaron A. Fox's website and blog, please click here.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bonney Hill on September 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is first of all a scholarly work. Since I have no college background in the social sciences, it took some dictionary work to get through the more densely-written anthropological prose, but part of the charm of this book is that the subjects Fox studied are blue-collar Texans who love county music. There is a lively alternation between his use of the $10 dollar words they abhor, their own speech, and the language it takes to analyze it. Aaron Fox looks at the way they talk to each other and the way country music fits into their lives and outlook. The author's personal involvement in playing music in honkytonks doesn't hurt matters. His analysis of how George Jones sings "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is worth the cover charge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allison on February 26, 2014
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This book does a good job at exploring the small town of Lockhart, Texas in an academic manner. For anyone interested in country music or ethnography this is a cool read with interesting anecdotal stories.
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This author is seriously school-damaged and dissects what's going on around him like a child taking the wings off a butterfly. It seems he thinks he's elevating the everyday, but it's just a sad mis-application of social science that comes out like a kabuki transmission repair ballet. A handful of people who had artistic souls who also ground through years and years of college will also like this book.
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