In the Country of Country
A Journey to the Roots of American Music
By Nicholas Dawidoff
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375700828, 384pp.)
Publication Date: April 28, 1998
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In a series of indelible portraits of country music stars, Dawidoff reveals, among others, Jimmie Rodgers, the “father of Country”; Johnny Cash, the “Man in Black”; and Patsy Cline, a lonely figure striding out bravely in a man’s world. In the Country of Country is a passionate and expansive account of a quintessentially American art form and the performers that made country music what it is today.
Both deeply personal and endlessly evocative, In the Country of Country pays tribute to the music that sprang from places like Maces Springs, Virginia, home of the Carter Family, and Bakersfield, California, where Buck Owens held sway. Bestselling author Nicholas Dawidoff takes readers to the back roads and country hollows that were home to Chet Atkins, Doc Watson, Emmylou Harris, and many more.
Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of The Catcher was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg and In the Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music, and is the editor of the Library of America’s Baseball: A Literary Anthology. He is also a contributor to The New Yorker, The American Scholar, and The New York Times Magazine. A graduate of Harvard University, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Berlin Prize Fellow of the American Academy. He and his wife live in New York.
“There is no book that better conveys the spirit and passion that informs country music.” –The Boston Globe
“A fine portrait of country musicians and the places that spawned them.” –The New Yorker
“Dawidoff’s passion for his subject shines on every page . . . . [His] search for personal messages in the lives of country music has a resonance and grace that is likely to find readers for a long while to come.” —The Chicago Tribune