A Boy Named Sue: Gender and Country Music by Kristine M. McCusker, Diane Pecknold

By Kristine M. McCusker, Diane Pecknold

From the smiling, sentimental moms portrayed in Thirties radio barn dance posters, to the sexual shockwaves generated by way of Elvis Presley, to the feminine superstars redefining modern kingdom tune, gender roles and imagery have profoundly inspired the methods state tune is made and loved. right female and male roles have stimulated the types of sounds and pictures that may be incorporated in nation song; preconceptions of gender have helped to figure out the songs and artists audiences may purchase or reject; and gender has formed the identities listeners made for themselves relating to the song they respected.

This interdisciplinary number of essays is the 1st book-length attempt to envision how gender conventions, either masculine and female, have based the production and advertising and marketing of kingdom tune. The essays discover the makes use of of gender in developing the personas of stars as various as Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, and Shania Twain. The authors additionally research how deeply conventions have stimulated the associations and daily studies that supply nation tune its photograph: the preferred and fan press, the rustic tune in Nashville, and the road dance crazes that created the dance corridor growth of the Nineties.

From Hank Thompson's "The Wild part of existence" to Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue," from Tammy Wynette's "Stand by means of Your guy" to Loretta Lynn's ode to contraception, "The Pill," A Boy Named Sue demonstrates the position gender performed within the improvement of state track and its present prominence.

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Extra resources for A Boy Named Sue: Gender and Country Music

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Country Music Life, its successor in the cold war era, however, sidelined coverage of industry politics and generally avoided discussions of divorce and sexuality, a difficult task indeed during a period when frank honky-tonk numbers topped national and local charts. In a rather prim and almost Victorian manner, the magazine pledged in its inaugural issue to “be a clean, wholesome magazine . . 10 Central to the shake-up of fan magazine style were a series of performer portraits that blended suburban family themes with a new and more conservative gender politics.

61 Listeners also wrote the station, thanking them for the commemorative program. Charles Baker, for example, wrote, I sure enjoyed the program you announced in memory of Linda Parker. I sure loved to hear Linda sing and carried a heavy heart more than I can find words to express when I heard she had passed away. S. 62 Middle-class female images such as Linda Parker’s sentimental mother were vital parts of the barn dance genre’s broad appeal. It was the explicit incorporation of separate spheres that put middle-class men and women on center stage alongside their working-class counterparts.

Mrs. ”1 Despite the reporter’s efforts to offer readers a candid glimpse of a favorite performer at home, the Press story masked more than it revealed. Not four months after the article ran, the Cooley home was grabbing headlines again— this time as a grisly crime scene befitting the plot of a Hollywood film noir or a Raymond Chandler detective novel. According to newspaper and police accounts, Spade Cooley, a leading light on the Los Angeles country music scene for nearly two decades and one of the most recognizable faces in 24 Country Music and Domesticity in Cold War Los Angeles 25 Southern California, had tortured, beaten, and stomped to death Ella Mae in the home—all in front of their fourteen-year-old daughter.

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