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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 Nineteen Thirties radio barn dance posters, to the sexual shockwaves generated by means of Elvis Presley, to the feminine superstars redefining modern kingdom song, gender roles and imagery have profoundly inspired the methods kingdom track is made and loved. right female and male roles have stimulated the categories of sounds and pictures that may be integrated in nation track; 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 on the subject of the track they respected.

This interdisciplinary selection of essays is the 1st book-length attempt to check how gender conventions, either masculine and female, have based the production and advertising of state tune. The essays discover the makes use of of gender in growing the personas of stars as assorted as Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, and Shania Twain. The authors additionally research how deeply conventions have stimulated the associations and daily reports that provide nation tune its picture: the preferred and fan press, the rustic song in Nashville, and the road dance crazes that created the dance corridor growth of the Nineteen Nineties.

From Hank Thompson's "The Wild part of lifestyles" to Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue," from Tammy Wynette's "Stand by way 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 kingdom song and its present prominence.

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

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9 While limiting female voices, local journals also ushered in a new era of political and social conservatism in their choice of coverage. ’s Top Hand had publicized efforts to form a union-like organization for country musicians, had offered space for local musicians to air worker grievances against a local ballroom impresario, and had run a mildly riské photo in which local group the Rangerettes bared legs and midriffs. 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.

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.

11 So adamant about touting subservience and homemaking skills in women were the writers of these pieces that they regularly avoided explorations of potentially revealing tensions between the members of prominent country music families. By soft-pedaling or ignoring rumors of abuse within “the charming Cooley family,” the Antelope Valley Press was perhaps the most blatant offender, but not the only culprit. ” column. Ruth loved “being a housewife” and enjoyed “cooking and baking,” the magazine reported, even though she had given up successful careers as a studio publicist, fashion model, and magazine short-story writer.

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