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Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity Paperback – December 15, 1999
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About the Author
Richard A. Peterson is professor emeritus of sociology at Vanderbilt University, and founding chair of the Culture Section of the American Sociological Association. His books include "The Production of Culture, Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity, "and "The Sounds of Social Change: Studies in Popular Culture", co-edited with R. Serge Denisoff.
Top Customer Reviews
Fans of old time, country, and bluegrass music are prone to spent hours on end discussing what is "authentic". Petersen argues convincingly, in an engaging style rare for academic authors, that much of the argument is about artifice(*), that much of what appears to be authentic was actually invented to meet the needs of what was to become a huge commercial industry.
Those who care about the origins of old time, bluegrass, and country music will find this a stimulating read. They may not agree with it, but will find it fascinating and thought provoking. They won't be able to think about the music the same way again.
(*) Acknowledgment: I gave a copy of this book to a friend who is deeply knowledgeable about old time and early country and bluegrass music. Without having read the book, his wife looked at the cover and said succinctly, "It discusses the artifice of country music." So, I credit *her* with the perfect one word summary of the book!
Peterson traces its roots from the early "hillbilly" days on the new medium of radio to the death of Hank Williams in 1953, noting along the way the contributions of promoters, performers, and fans in continuously re-defining the genre to adapt to changing tastes and circumstances.
Many readers will be looking for the early histories of the old time performers, and they will not be disappointed. They may be surprised at the professionalism that lay beneath rustic exteriors, and the degree of conscious attention to "signifiers of authenticity" by their favorite artist.
(The "score" rating is an ineradicable feature of the page. This reviewer does not 'score" books.)