Tichi, Cecelia. High Lonesome – The American Culture of Country Music. UNC Press Books, 1994. 1-4 Google Book Search. Web. 9 June 2016.
In the book High Lonesome – The American Culture of Country Music, the author Cecelia Tichi connects the cultural impact of Country Music on the United States by using contemporary references. Tichi reveals that the genre itself is strongly linked to the nation’s heart as she tries to emphasize on the term “Country” in country music as it is actually a national form that belongs to all Americans.
Country Music being considered as one of the most “American” art form, is a direct indicator towards the life of the common white man’s life and experiences. The genre itself is evolved through the ages, borrowing its essence and style from from the southeastern genres of the United States like the folk music and also Western music. The genre originated in the American South around late 1920s. According to Wikipedia, the origins of country music are the folk music of mostly white, working-class Americans, who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional ballads, and cowboy songs, and various musical traditions from European immigrant communities.
The history of Country Music begins from 1920s and spreads through six generations which dates to the present era of the genre which ranges from contemporary styles to its sub-genres like Outlaw Country, Country Pop. Country Rock, etc. The actual term “Country Music” gained its popularity in the 40’s. Then around the 70’s, a mixture of ethnic groups blended musical styles from different regions of North America (mostly Southwestern United States) and began creating today’s Country & Western music.
According to a blog entry which was published on St Lawrence University’s website, “Country music has a profound impact on the American subconscious: it provides the American nation with an identity. Country music is American, and only American: its performers are American, its audience is American, its stories are American, and its ‘sound’ is American. The sound of country music embodies the history of the USA and it represented its character.”
In the first chapter of the book titled, “Pathos, Miseries, Happiness, Life Itself: An Introduction”, Tichi raises questions like, how does country music fit in the country? How does a vibrant, indigenous, enduring American musical tradition fit into the mainstream culture of the nation? Tichi states that “Country means nation; just as in this book, country music is emphatically national music. It belongs not solely to the locales to which folklorists and historians of music have assigned it.”