Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Report--Long Gone Lonesome History

Today's book report:
The Long Gone Lonesome History of County Music by Bret Bertholf

For all intents and purposes, this book has no place in my 'book reports' series. This book is not a sewing guide (obviously) nor is it really a children's book. I suppose that a child of 9 or 10 might enjoy this but they would probably be oblivious to its tongue in cheek voice. Add to that the fact that I don't even like country music and this certainly seems an odd choice. But, I LOVE THIS BOOK. For me, I love it. And, I don't like country music but I love me a good Patsy Cline song on the right rainy day (ok! ok! I own a box set!) and have a small obsession with Dolly Parton (I blame it on early exposure to the movie 9 to 5). Plus, I think hidden in the early days of any fundamental musical genres are the seeds of most of the music I listen to. Enough about me.

This book is funny and pokes fun while maintaining a love of early country musicians and the forced that shaped country music. It talks about well-known artists like Elvis and Dolly and Hank Williams but also lesser known ones like the famous yodeller Jimmie Rodgers. Take a listen, this is one of my all-time favorites...T for Texas. "I can get more women then a passenger train can haul."

It touches on country's gospel roots, the transformation of country music over time, honky-tonk, rock-a-billy, bluegrass, bad hair and the Grand Ole Opry. What is not to love? If you like music and appreciate the folksy roots of early country music you will love this book like I do. At the very least, you can use it to learn how to yodel.


Beth said...

Do you have the soundtrack to the movie Songcatcher? You might really like it - more mountain country than honky-tonk. I also highly recommend Trio II (a cd featuring DP, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt). Happy listening!

Little C and Little J said...

Beth! You are the best. I've put the movie in our netflix queue and you reminded me of that fantastic CD, going to have to dig it out of the pile of forgotten CD's in the basement. I love, love, love Emmylou especially.