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“Keepin' it Country”: What Makes the Lyrics of Gretchen Wilson Hard?

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Country music artist Gretchen Wilson differs from her female contemporaries in her lack of education, longhaired, big-belt-buckle, “redneck” look, and general rough-edge exterior. In this paper, I look at how Wilson's distinctive image is “hard,” much like that of traditionally male singers like Merle Haggard. To illustrate what makes Wilson a hard country music singer, I show how the themes, allusive practices, and language of her lyrics fall in line with those identified as typically hard by Ching and Peterson.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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