Country, Western & Gospel Music

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billy music, and Cincinnati. Cincinnati takes pride in "Mid­western Hayride" (Wed., 10:30 p.m.), which consists of fancy Dans caterwauling heart-rending laments and pretty cowgirls yodeling morosely as they pluck at guitars. The show turns around Master of Ceremonies Willie Thall, a part-time hillbilly from Chicago, who talks corny on mike, but is a city slicker off.
Nashville's bid, more impressive than Cincinnati's, rest on the corn-fed program "Grand Ole Opry," an NBC radio show for the past 30 years, and now an ABC-TV show too. The radio show has not missed a Saturday night broadcast since 1925, has a live audience of about 5,000 every week, has drawn over the years 5,000,000 visitors to see "Grand Ole Opry."
The sentiments expressed in hillbilly music are far from subtle, but they are forthright ("I've been workin' hard the whole week long/But I'm gonna have some wine, women and song"), candid ("If she's a honkytonk angel, I'm the devil that made her that way"), sincere ("I mean a lot to my Mom and Pop/I just hope I mean somethin' to you").
Why is it so successful? Says Ralph D. Foster, master­mind of Springfield's hillbilly enterprises: "There are more country people in America than any other kind of people. Most city people were from the country and are still senti­mentally attached to it."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III