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tucky, another called Barnyard Follies, which features the national hillbilly "champions." Republic Pictures has made half a dozen films with the stars of Grand Ole Opry, and Paramount has acquired the motion-picture rights in the other CBS show.
The Nashville show features Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys as stars, but by far the majority of the cast are farmers, barbers, leather-cutters, storekeepers, and clerks. The jamboree, which starts at eight o'clock and lasts until after midnight, has outgrown two studios and three auditoriums, and is currently seating 4,000 or more people at every performance, some of them from distant states. Lines form at the ticket window in the morning, and the customers, many of them in overalls, pack their own food and drinks. Performers go on and do their stuff without rehearsal.
What's it all about? Bob Miller, who has written, sung, and published hillbilly music (Main Street Music, he prefers to call it) for two decades, has an explanation.
"Nowadays," he tells you, "people like their emotions straight. They want either to cry or laugh. That's the es­sence of a real hillbilly. It's elemental, simple and without subtlety. And don't forget, this music has been getting a build-up by juke box and radio for years, especially when ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Pub­lishers) music was off the air. The market, formerly con­fined to points south of Mason and Dixon line, has become nation-wide. Even city people are becoming addicts."
No Streamlining for Miller
With Miller, it's either a hillbilly or it isn't, and no com­promises. He tries to confine his offerings to authentic out­lets, and this has caused him some embarrassment. When "There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere" hit its third million in record and sheet-music sales, Miller in­serted an ad in Variety asking big-name band leaders "not" to play it, please. And when the song made the Hit Parade, he threatened to sue if repeated as played.
He explains that his reputation as a writer and publisher was at stake. This music, he insists, must have the common
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III