Country, Western & Gospel Music

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country diction by which critical fans recognize the true artist. He will sing "Air's nothing as sweet as mah baby" for "There's nothing as sweet as my baby"; he will attest to his "hahrt's dee-czar" rather than "heart's desire." And somehow country fans can spot—and ignore—a synthetic product every time.
In sum, Jimmy Rodgers would be considerably surprised by the affluent position of his singing descendants today. The scratchy fiddle of his day is virtually obsolete, the gui­tar is often electrified. He would doubtless marvel to be­hold the country boys on television and film screens, to hear their songs and accents on juke boxes. He would per­haps be most enlightened by a country compatriot's recent analysis of the situation. Minnie Pearl, "dogenne" of the country field, was asked when hillbilly music becomes coun­try music. She laughed loud and long, gently patted the sumptuous blue mink stole she was wearing at the moment and declared, "Hillbilly gets to be country when you can buy one of these!"
Goddard Lieberson is president of Columbia Records, a writer, and a long-time student of the American musical scene.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III