The co-authors of ‘Country Music USA’ – a revised edition of the genre’s definitive history – talk about the music’s African-American tributaries, its unpredictable politics, country radio’s woman problem, and working on Ken Burns’ forthcoming doc.
With a recent slew of documentary films and books, punk’s forty year old body has been repeatedly repackaged, sweetened and sold to the masses at the mall, mystifying and irritating many people in the process. In The Baffler, Eugenia Williamson analyzes punk’s history, evolution, literature and commodifycation and addresses the lingering question: what does being ‘punk’ even mean anymore more? Besides, anyone who’s seen […]
Before there was pop-punk, there was Billy Idol. More than any other artist of his era, the man born William Broad brought the style and attitude of punk rock into the American mainstream, via massive hits including “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell.” For this, he was both celebrated and vilified. Fans adored Idol’s bad-boy image […]
If [Rhiannon] Giddens were to tell us in a memoir that she’d been thinking about her own child when she sang, it would make the line a poignant narrative moment. But really, what would that reveal that we don’t know from her performance? It might risk drowning out other information we already have: Michael Brown’s […]
Most musicologists who’ve traced the origins of “Happy Birthday” agree that its musical score dates back to the work of two Kentucky sisters in the late 19th century: Mildred Jane Hill (b.1859), and Patty Smith Hill (b.1868). After graduating as valedictorian of Louisville Collegiate Institute, Patty went on to be a central figure in the progressive […]