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Singing in the Saddle: The History of the Singing Cowboy Paperback – October 17, 2005


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Singing in the Saddle: The History of the Singing Cowboy + Riders in the Sky - Classic Cowboy Songs
Price for both: $33.07

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt Univ Press - Country Music Foundation Press (October 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826515061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826515063
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

These two books explore the Western film genre, which is almost as old as the movie medium itself. In Cowboy, George-Warren (How the West Was Worn) offers a loving, well-illustrated tribute to the Western and its lore, from dime novels to Stetson hats. As the author points out, the connection between the Hollywood Western and reality was often a bit tenuous. Cowgirls, singing cowboys, and matinee idols (including unlikely figures like Cagney and Bogart) may have ruled the box office, but directors like John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Anthony Mann brought mythmaking, spectacle, and hard-edged realism to the genre. Westerns peaked in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s and have rarely appeared since on television or at the multiplex. Cowboy certainly doesn't break any new ground, but George-Warren provides a glimpse of what we have lost, and public library patrons are likely to enjoy the nostalgic text and pictures. Music historian Green, also a member of Western swing group Riders in the Sky, resurrects a nearly forgotten era in his thorough history of the singing cowboy. Singing cowboys were numerous, but only a few, notably Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Tex Ritter, achieved lasting success. However, as the author notes, even after Hollywood lost interest, singing cowboys influenced country music and regional television. Singing cowboys have enjoyed a modest revival on stage and records in recent years, though it seems the tradition in Hollywood has ridden into the sunset permanently. Cowboy is recommended for all public libraries, while Singing should find a place in large country music and film collections.
Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A lively account of the singing cowboy as both a show-business phenomenon and an icon of American popular culture.
---Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Pam Parrish on October 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Clearly a labor of love, this book covers in detail the history of the singing cowboy in popular music -- and the American imagination. Mini-bios of dozens and dozens of not-so-well-known singers and Western musical groups, in more or less chronological order, stand beside fuller explorations of the work of the Sons of the Pioneers, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Tex Ritter. Green also puts the singing cowboy phenomenon into cultural context and delineates the shift from ranch-hand songs, to romantic paens about the West itself, to the current mini-renaissance. This is no hard-eyed social history, but an affectionate valentine. My only complaint: Out of humility or whatever, Green gives himself and fellow members of Riders in the Sky relatively little credit for the resurgence of interest in Western music. So let me add a footnote: For many of us out here, Riders in the Sky reawakened long-buried childhood dreams of tumbling tumbleweeds and blue shadows on the trail, making awesome music and contributing some classic songs to the canon themselves. For that -- and this excellent book -- thanks!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Fontenot VINE VOICE on December 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Green's Singing in the Saddle provides an articulate wide-ranging history of the Singing Cowboy from its origins in western folk culture to the triumph of the B Westerns. He draws strong portraits of both primary stars and lesser known actors who contributed to the genre. An excellent introduction and a must for country music collections.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Madame on November 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a most informative book...with enough information to keep the truly serious Western Music researcher happy, while not "drowning" the average leisure reader with "monotonous" facts.

Douglass B. Green (aka: Ranger Doug, "idol of American youth") is a very important figure in the preservation of Western Music History. His book is strong enough to be used as a college text, yet engrossing enough to keep most reading to the very end.

This is a most enjoyable book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Singing In The Saddle: The History Of The Singing Cowboy by music historian and performer Douglas B. Green is an engaging and impressively informative presentation of the history of western music, films, and performers of America, both before and after World War II. Black-and-white photographs enhance this avidly detailed and lovingly written survey of an aspect of American Popular culture. Douglas B. Green ("Ranger Doug" from the Grammy Award-wining group Riders in the Sky) is to be commended for his expertise, his ability to write for the non-specialist general reader, and his ability to acquire anecdotal stories and recollections by some of the most experienced and influential members of the "singing cowboy" community.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. K. Smith on November 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
Doug Green's love of the singing cowboy is apparent throughout the book, even extending to the humbleness of not covering his own award winning group, Riders in the Sky, in near the detail the group's influence actually is on cowboy music. Going pretty much chronologically from actual cowboys who became singers through today's cowboy troubadours is a happy romp through music history.

Those who snipe because he did not confine his work to only movie cowboy singers do not realize that the genre existed before sound movies. What was a local live performance thing, before radio and the recording industry and cinema, has continued to exist even as movie, TV and radio popularity wax and wane.

Cowboy music is very much still in the culture of certain places in the US, Canada and Mexico. Ranger Doug covered the subject very well.

I highly recommend the book to all who love cowboy music, and to music historians.
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