PDF/EPUB Don't Get above Your Raisin' Country Music and the ✓ construyamos.co

Combining a high spirited history of country music's roots with vivid portraits of its principal performers Don't Get above Your Raisin' examines the close relationship between America's truest music and the working class culture that has constituted its principal source nurtured its development and provided its most dedicated supporters Widely recognized as country music's ranking senior authority Bill C Malone explores how the music's defining themes home and family religion rambling frolic humor and politics have emerged out of the particularities of working people's day to day lives He traces the many contradictory voices and messages of a music that simultaneously extols the virtues of home and the joys of rambling the assurances of the Christian life and the ecstasies of hedonism the strength of working class life and the material lure of middle class aspirations The resulting tensions Malone argues are a principal source of the music's enduring appeal Country musicians have often been people from undistinguished blue collar backgrounds who have tried to make their way as entertainers in a society that has little respect for the working class From this ambivalent position they have voiced the sometimes contradictory values and longings of their culture while also attempting to fulfill the romantic expectations of outsiders For every Garth Brooks Malone says there are a thousand country musicians who perform in local bars taverns and American Legion halls and who have never been able to ‘give up their day jobs' These are musicians whose middle class dreams are tempered by working class realities A powerful and honest expression of the hopes longings frailties and failings of ordinary people country music increasingly resonates with listeners beyond its core constituency as they struggle with a complex and uncertain world  


10 thoughts on “Don't Get above Your Raisin' Country Music and the Southern Working Class Music in American Life

  1. says:

    Don't get above your raisin' stay down to Earth with me Bill Malone never uotes the song that serves as the title of his book a history of country music in its southern contextbut its spirit is ever present Using the lives of country's most passionate and storied performers Malone reflects on the tradition and finds it a lovable mess alternatively humble and bragging pious and rowdy Malone's deep familiarity with the tradition and his love for it are obvious He doesn't simply treat readers to a barrage of chronology but rather examines how certain aspects of the genre have evolved throughout the last two centuries so tumultuous to the SouthCountry is as the name implies a tradition of music created and sustained by rural populations farmers first and now people who live and play in the backwoods Its beginnings mix traditional romantic ballads dances and religious music Religious music is an especially strong influence on country the stuff of lullabies and tent revivals that created generation after generation of musicians and singers In religiosity the South remains stridently Protestant but there's no puritanism to be found in country music Inst ed piety and partying mix together freely with no better witness than Hank Williams who penned I Saw the Light and died an early death plagued by depression and substance abuse The tangled wonderful messiness of country envelops than religion Country songs simultaneously embrace Mama's hearth and home while celebrating rambling men and the freedom of the open road Politics too finds contradictions zealous law and order mixed with praise of rowdy outlaws who give the Man what for Not for nothing are truckers and cowboys the ramblers who come home eventually so popular as are repentant sinners who will invariably go chasing cigareetes whuskey and wild wild women Additionally Malone delves into the connections between country and its daughters bluegrass and political folk as well as the changing country dance scene There's also a good chapter on country's connection with comedy in general focusing on the Grand Ol Opry and Hee Haw mentioning people like Andy Griffith and Jerry ClowerMalone's piece is a labor of love though with most others his age he despairs of the way country music headed in the 1990s with synthesizers and less fiddles That trend has certainly continued Taylor Swift's seamless transition into pop being an obvious example There are many traditionalists in the ranks though Travis Tritt is uoted as sneering at Billy Ray Cyrus who dressed in a body shirt and 'turning country music into an ass wiggling contest' Considering the posterior antics of Cyrus' daughter Miley who does than wiggling I suppose apples still don't fall very far from trees Still Malone looks for the best even in then contemporary music and concedes that every genre is in constant motion Don't Get Above Your Raisin' surprised me I knew it would be a history of country music but even as someone who grew up with country who loves and collects the older artists Malone shared artists and stories I'd never heard of Who knew that suare dancing was borrowed from French aristocrats? If you have any interest in country music at all this book is worth picking up just for the discography in the back where Malone lists all of the albums and songs he's been referencing throughout the text I've been able to find a lot of older artists via youtube's also reccommended feature but this kind of shortcut is welcome


  2. says:

    Dog my cats this is a great thematic history of country music by the dean if you will of the topic whose book Country Music USA led me to much great musicNow that I've finished the chapters and notes I find I linger over the Bibliographical and Discographical SuggestionsHighly recommended


  3. says:

    Bill Malone might not be one of the most prolific writers but every book is very much worth the while for anyone seriously interested in the history of country music Crammed with information and insightfull observations A delight to read and very much an addition to the growing stream of books on American Music


  4. says:

    Authentic tribute to 'real' country music


  5. says:

    For my history of American popular music class


  6. says:

    Read my thoughts at


  7. says:

    Fascinating review of the history of country music related to it's social background A worthy follow up of country music USA