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In This Issue

June 2024
1min read

Tony Scherman, who wrote this month’s story on the rise and fall and rise of country music, recommends in his sidebar on page 53 the following all-time great recordings as part of a basic library of country music: Jimmie Rodgers’s First Sessions 1927-1928 (Rounder CD 1056, $17.98, CODE: BAT-16 ) and The Early Years (Rounder CD 1057, $17.98, CODE: BAT-17 ); Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys Anthology (two CDs, Rhino R2-70744, $27.98, CODE: RHR-12 ); The Essential Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys (two CDs, Columbia/Legacy C2K-52478, $22.98, CODE: BAT-18 ) and The Music of Bill Monroe (four CDs, MCA MCAD4-11048, $49.98, CODE: BAT-19 ); Hank Williams’s The Original Singles Collection (three CDs, Mercury 847194-2, $46.98, CODE: BAT-20 ); George Jones’s All-Time Greatest Hits, Vol. I (Epic CD EK-34692, $11.98, CODE: BAT-21 ); Merle Haggard’s More of the Best (Rhino CD R2-70917, $11.95, CODE: RHR-13 ).

For further reading on the history of country music, try the revised edition of Bill C. Malone’s Country Music USA (University of Texas Press, 562 pages, $17.95 soft cover, CODE: UTX-1 ), which is regarded as the definitive general reference on the music’s history, stars, and styles. Also, the Country Music Foundation has produced a new, oversized history, Country: The Music and the Musicians (Abbeville Press, 432 pages, $45.00, CODE: ABL-1 ) with four hundred illustrations. Cecelia Tichi’s new High Lonesome: The American Culture of Country Music (University of North Carolina Press, 318 pages, $39.95, CODE: UNC-5 ) considers the music thematically, with chapters on “Pathos,” “Home,” “Road,” and the “Wild Wild West,” and comes with its own twenty-three-track CD sampler.

Ronald L. Numbers, who in this issue is interviewed by Benjamin McArthur on the meanings of creationism, expounds on this and other subjects in The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism (Knopf, 458 pages, $27.50, CODE: RAN-26 ). Edward J. Larson’s Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution (Oxford University Press, 254 pages, $9.95 soft cover, CODE: OUP-8 ) provides detail on the legal battles over the issue in this century.

Neal Gabler’s portrait of the gossip mogul Walter Winchell is adapted from his immense but consistently fascinating brand-new biography, Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity (Knopf, 728 pages, $30.00, CODE: RAN-27 ).

Bernard Weisberger’s The La Follettes of Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin Press, 364 pages, $29.95, CODE: UWS-2 1)—the subject of Geoffrey Ward’s “The Life and Times” column this month—follows the career of the fiery Progressive governor and senator and his troubled clan.

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