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The Sound of the Plain White Folk? Creating Country Music's “Social Origins”

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Although historians of country music have identified the genre's “social origins” in the plain white folk of the early 20th-century US South, this article examines how intellectuals, including folklorists, anthropologists, and historians, worked actively to create the category of the plain white folk and how country music was ultimately mapped onto this social category. This intellectual work erased possible interracial connections and established country music as an almost exclusively white genre. Finally, the article raises questions about the role of popular music scholars in linking musical forms to “social” explanations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-10-01

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