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"Which way to the honky-tonk?"
h [electronic resource] :
b an analysis of the Bakersfield and Nashville sounds /
by Matthew Arnold.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 51 pages.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: The goal of this thesis is to analyze the development of the Nashville and Bakersfield sounds in the 1950s and 1960s through the lens of space. I will examine the role class plays in country music by examining the places in which it developed. Beginning with a historical perspective of the music, I will show that a middle-class outlook controlled labeling of the music. While the early country music industry professed to "discover" the sounds of rural America, this sound was only allowed to be expressed if it conformed to corporate interests. With the advent of the honky-tonk bar, the working class had an important opportunity to step outside this mold and fashion a music that better reflected its own interests. The developing honky-tonk sound became rougher in its lyrical content, voicing the concerns of failed marriages, alcohol filled nights and urban frustrations. The instrumentation began to include steel and electric guitars.Over time, the developing honky-tonk sound influenced the recording industry. Through the use of jukeboxes in the honky-tonks, patrons voiced a preference for the new, rougher and louder sound. After establishing the sound of the honky-tonks I will focus attention on the developments of the Nashville and Bakersfield sounds, examining how each responded to the honky-tonk. For the architects of the Nashville Sound, the issue of class remained king. Chet Atkins professed a goal of making the music more respectable. Respectable in this case meant middle class, prompting Atkins to abandon the honky-tonk altogether by smoothing over the rough edges of honky-tonk music. With respect to the Bakersfield Sound, Buck Owens, in striving to carve out an identity as an "authentic" country performer, identified the honky-tonk as a site of authentic country music, and sought to retain much of the same instrumentation.However, like Chet Atkins, Buck Owens made his own changes to the lyrical content of the music, downplaying some of the rougher themes to honky-tonk music. For Owens, authenticity laid in keeping the artist authentic to the honky-tonk which was more about instrumentation and singing style than it was lyrical content.
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Advisor: Andrew Berish, Ph.D.
x American Studies
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
! "Which Way to the Honky Tonk?" An Analysis of the Bakersfield and Nashville Sounds by Matthew Arnold A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Andrew Berish, Ph.D. Daniel Belgrad, Ph.D. Maria Cizmic, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 7, 2009 Keywords: Music, space, country, class, western Copyright 2009, Matthew Ar nold
i Table of Contents List of Figures iii Abstract iv Introduction 1 The Problem of Class in Country Music 1 The Middle and Working Class 3 The Development of Country Music 6 The Country Music Audie nce 10 The Importance of Place 11 The Plan of this Thesis 13 Chapter One 16 The Local Tavern and Class Consciousness 16 The Rise of the Honky Tonk 18 Music Inside the Honky Tonk 20 "Mind Your Own Busin ess" 21 Changing the Industry 22 Chapter Two 26 World War II and the Expansion of the Country Music Audience 26 Chet Atkins: Moving Uptown 29 The Nashville Sound 30
ii Jim Reeves 32 Chapter Three 36 The Dust Bowl and the Okie Migration 36 The San Joaquin Valley 38 Buck Owens 40 "Sam's Place" 42 Conclusion 44 Works Cited 46
iii List of Figures Figure One 15 Figure Two 24 Figure Three 25 Figure Four 35
iv "Which Way to the Honky Tonk?" An Analysis of the Bakersfield and Nashville Sounds Matthew Arnold ABSTRACT The goal of this thesis is to analyze the development of the Nashville and Bakersfield soun ds in the 1950s and 1960s through the lens of space. I will examine the role class plays in country music by examining the places in which it developed. Beginning with a historical perspective of the music, I will show that a middle class outlook control led labeling of the music. While the early country music industry professed to "discover" the sounds of rural America, this sound was only allowed to be expressed if it conformed to corporate interests. With the advent of the honky tonk bar, the workin g class had an important opportunity to step outside this mold and fashion a music that better reflected its own interests. The developing honky tonk sound became rougher in its lyrical content, voicing the concerns of failed marriages, alcohol filled nig hts and urban frustrations. The instrumentation began to include steel and electric guitars. Over time, the developing honky tonk sound influenced the recording industry. Through the use of jukeboxes in the honky tonks, patrons voiced a preference for t he new, rougher and louder sound. After establishing the sound of the honky tonks I will focus attention on the developments of the Nashville and Bakersfield sounds, examining how each responded to the honky tonk. For the architects of the Nashville Sou nd, the issue of class remained
v king. Chet Atkins professed a goal of making the music more respectable. Respectable in this case meant middle class, prompting Atkins to abandon the honky tonk altogether by smoothing over the rough edges of honky tonk mu sic. With respect to the Bakersfield Sound, Buck Owens, in striving to carve out an identity as an "authentic" country performer, identified the honky tonk as a site of authentic country music, and sought to retain much of the same instrumentation. Howev er, like Chet Atkins, Buck Owens made his own changes to the lyrical content of the music, downplaying some of the rougher themes to honky tonk music. For Owens, authenticity laid in keeping the artist authentic to the honky tonk which was more about inst rumentation and singing style than it was lyrical content.
1 Introduction The Problem of Class in Country Music Garth Brooks's "Friends in Low Places" is one of many love gone wrong songs in country music. In this song the spurned male has a chance to call out his no good ex girlfriend. Yet while the song at its core details the troubles between a man and his former lover, "Friends in Low Places" also deals with class. In the first verse, Brooks sings "Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black tie affair," signaling to the listener that he is out of place when he arrives at the party of his ex girlfriend, who is now with someone of a higher social class. 1 Brooks goes on to sing, "I'm not big on social graces, think I'll sl ip on down to the oasis, oh, I've got friends in low places." 2 With the chorus the narrator confirms his status as a working class individual and someone who is at the mercy of both capricious women and a middle class masculinity he perceives as effeminat e. However, while the song tells the story of the marginalized male, it must be noted that the song is complicated by the fact that Brooks himself does not share the experience of marginalization. Being one of the most successful acts within the country music genre, Garth Brooks has enjoyed considerable crossover success. "Friends in Low Places" shows the contradictions that exist within the country music genre. On the one hand, country music is viewed as a music of the people. It lauds old time values and strives to not get above its raising. The genre sings about the
2 heartland, mom and apple pie. Yet it is also filled with individuals who are seeking popularity as well financial success in their chosen profession. The pursuit of such success, thoug h, is often denigrated as selling out. While both aims seem antithetical to each other, they have managed to coexist within the same genre, though not without some difficulty. Scholars have long attempted to arrive at a satisfactory explanation for how c ountry music can manage to be both things at the same time. How can the country artist manage to be both the non presuming, humble farmhand and the successful cosmopolitan at the same time? Current scholarship focuses on the tension that develops from tr ying to be both of these things at once. Jeffrey Lange discusses the expansion of the country music audience over the course of the fifties. Lange writes on the ways country music producers altered the genre in order in order to find listeners beyond the working class a process he describes as a search for respectability. 3 However efforts to make the genre more respectable also sparked concerns that the genre was trading its authenticity for increased profits. Joli Jensen examines these concerns within the context of the 1950s by looking at how individuals define authenticity. According to Jensen, the identity of country music became linked to the identity of working class "Terms like authentic work to celebrate our' music as virtuous and valuable whil e denigrating their' music as insincere, specious, tainted, or false." 4 Thus, any change that threatens the authenticity of country music seemingly undermines working class identity. However, such arguments presume that country music accurately represe nts working class culture. Barbara Ching addresses the gap between perception and reality. Ching points out how many country artists became successful by highlighting their abjectness and expressing a
3 "formulaic articulation of failure." 5 While such son gs are interpreted by lay audiences as a realistic depiction of the working class experience, what Ching points out is that often such songs exaggerate the woes of the working class in order to poke fun at a dominant mddle class. 6 In this thesis, I will e xamine how country music has dealt with the issue of social class in relation to the spaces in which country music is performed. Previous scholarship has already examined the manner in which space informs our conception of social class. Most prominent is Mary Douglas's work on safe and dangerous zones, which theorizes that we divide the world into safe and dangerous zones in order to control our movements and actions. 7 This model is useful in analyzing country music's development: the honky tonk, a major space in which country develops, is deemed dangerous to the middle class, who avoid it in order to maintain respectability. However, such a view is further complicated by the fact that while the middle class is ascribing its own set of meanings and belie fs onto honky tonks, the working class is likewise ascribing its own set of beliefs upon the same space. What is dangerous to the middle class becomes a refuge to the working class. I will explain later how country music can act as a sponge, soaking up t he cultural values of the honky tonks in which it developed. It becomes something to be derided and mocked by the middle class while being embraced by a working class who see the music as an authentic expression of their experience. The Middle and Working Class A brief discussion is needed to explain the importance of the middle and working classes to country music. There is no clear cut delineation between the two groups, as certainly there are middle class listeners of country music and there are worki ng class
4 individuals who were able to make the jump to a middle class lifestyle. What further clouds the picture of the two classes and their importance to country music is the fact that the primary individuals of importance to this thesis share common ra cial and religious backgrounds, being white Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASPs). During the 1950s however, class took on a particular significance within American culture, given the rapid economic advances and increased opportunities associated with the postw ar period. 8 To be middle class meant performing a variety of different traits, from working a successful job to living in the suburbs and having the perfect wife and children. Sitcoms from the era, such as I Love Lucy and The Donna Reed Show presented im ages of the perfect family while scholars like Vance Packard discussed the importance of the "organization man," explaining how success in the workplace was also dictated by one's success in his private life. The idea of the white collar job became especi ally important to middle class status over the course of the fifties, as scholars such as C. Wright Mills pointed out the rising importance of the corporation as comprising the "leading circles of power." 9 Thus one's position within the company became cen tral to one's social status, as even the location of one's office became a marker of one's importance to the company. 10 However, the office also provides an example of the divide between the physical and imagined spaces. During the fifties, the office was filled spaces that marked your importance. Having the corner office and obtaining a key to the executive restroom meant you were more important than your colleagues who worked in cubicles. These things became part of a system of perks that were a better indicator of status than one's actual income. 11 This created a defining feature of the American middle class: "to rise to
5 the top without disclosing its[the individual's] success in doing so." 12 At the same time though, things like the executive restroom were satirized in American cinema during the fifties, as films like Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? mock the executive restroom as mere posturing. However, the use of space in such settings as the office, highlight the importance of performativity to mid dle class values in the fifties. One wasn't simply middle class in the fifties, one had to perform the role of middle class. In examining the popular culture of the era, it becomes clear that middle class success was not tied simply to the work one did, but rather to the overall life they lived. Happiness during this era was not simply tied to your income, but how well you performed your middle class identity. An example of this can be seen from an episode of The Donna Reed Show titled "Donna Plays Cup id," which originally aired in 1959. In this episode, the show's protagonist Donna engages in efforts to bring together two of her friends, Ceil Pennington and Dr. Bo Bolind ( The Donna Reed Show "Donna Plays Cupid," episode 21 [originally aired February 11, 1959]). While each individual in this episode works a respectable middle class job Ceil as a librarian and Bo as an obstetrician they both are viewed as unhappy for still being single, sending the message that a key aspect of middle class performativi ty during this era was being married. Such media messages were not limited to The Donna Reed Show as most of the popular sitcoms from the fifties sent similar messages. In fact, a skit from a 1979 episode of Saturday Night Live parodied the formulaic st ructures of the fifties sitcom by showing Ricky Nelson wandering through the sitcom homes of Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best and Make Room for Daddy while attempting to get home. 13 Furthermore, many Americans felt inadequate compared to the sitcom fa milies. 14
6 In this thesis middle class refers to the range of values making up this social class. In contrast the term working class is used to describe those individuals and behaviors viewed as not performing as middle class. Hence their status is not simply attributed to having limited economic means, but is reinforced by their failure to behave in ways that are identified as emblematic of an upper class. These are individuals who were labeled as not working white collar jobs, having failed marriages and drinking too much. The hillbilly stereotype became useful in deriding and caricaturing these individuals, as well as making them appear as dangerous to a middle class ethos. This is not meant to completely disvalue Weberian concepts of class that re duce the term to its economic components, identifying those members of a class as "a group of people who share the same life chances." 15 While my focus is on the performative component to class, economics affect the range of activities available to an indi vidual. Certainly those individuals most often frequenting honky tonks share a common background of limited economic means and opportunities. However expansions in consumer credit over the fifties created additional opportunities for individuals to displ ay wealth without being wealthy. 16 As a result, there was a "lessening contrast in the material way of life of rich and poor" within America over the course of the fifties. 17 The Development of Country Music Spatial ideas alone are insufficient to fully ex plain the development of country music and its relationship to class. Considering the lack of scholarly literature on the issue of space and its relationship to the genre, this thesis focuses on space's relationship to country music. As such, I will give a brief account of the genre's history, its relationship to class and its relationship to space. From its earliest recordings, country
7 music was tied to both issues of class and race. Class was apparent from the genre's origins during the 1920s as "hillb illy" music, giving a voice to the "rediscovered," backwoods segments of the American population. 18 It was also dubbed as hillbilly music despite the genre sharing many characteristics with blues music. Scholarship on Hank Williams argues it would be just as appropriate to label him a blues musician as it would be to label him as a country artist. 19 However, given racial policies in the recording industry in the early twentieth century, it became necessary to segregate white and black musical forms and as a result, hillbilly music became the music of white, rural Americans. 20 This is not to overstate the importance of urban producers in the creation of country music. Country music originated among rural performers. However, the importance of the producer w as in the manufacturing of the image of the performer. George Hay, the founder of the Grand Ole Opry, played a vital role in "rusticating" his performers in order to make them conform to middle class stereotypes about how a hillbilly should appear. 21 Such depictions retained their dominance throughout the twenties and thirties as the music remained in the control of the producers. However, over the course of the forties, the audience of country music expanded, due to both the growing youth culture in Amer ica as well as the diaspora of working class Americans throughout the United States. 22 Although the country music audience expanded during this period, representations of the hillbilly did not improve. Depictions of the hillbilly, particularly in the fift ies were often negative. For example, a 1958 article in the Chicago Tribune described hillbillies in the following manner: "The Southern hillbilly migrants, who have descended like a
8 plague of locusts in the last few years, have the lowest standard of li ving and moral code (if any), the biggest capacity for liquor, and the most savage tactics when drunk, which is most of the time." 23 Such depictions continued in Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd from 1957, which stars Andy Griffith as country artist Lones ome Rhodes, who despite achieving fame within the genre, remains a threat to middle class values, as he is depicted as "a symbol of social and political decay." 24 Such depictions of the Southern migrant are informed by the idea of place, as they evoke tens ions between the city and country. It must also be remembered that the fifties was a time when social critics sought to undermine cultural hierarchies, as typified by Vance Packard's The Status Seekers 25 Thus a film like A Face in the Crowd can be seen as carrying a dual message. While the first is to paint the picture of the hillbilly as a dangerous element within society, it also carries a message to the broader American culture that distinctions of taste, and by extension class, still matter. 26 The ima ge of the hillbilly has a problematic history within country music. On the one hand, images of the hillbilly, such as those found in the Chicago Tribune article and A Face in the Crowd were anything but positive. Even when depictions of the hillbilly wer e not intentionally negative, they were still far from flattering. During the early years of the Grand Ole Opry, the Opry's founder, "Judge" Hay went out of his way to "rusticate" his performers. 27 As such, Hay often downplayed the professional, middle cl ass roots of his performers and dressed them in overalls and straw hats in order to "authenticate" them with the target audience. Such depictions are pandering to negative middle class stereotypes held about the hillbilly. Regardless of the negativity in these
9 images, the audience of hillbilly music had little choice but to accept them because the music represented the first genre targeted specifically at a rural audience. 28 Regardless of this, the hillbilly image was still one that the genre tried to mov e beyond. The roots of the hillbilly image are found in the 1920s, when country recording was still in its infancy and urban producers who represented the interests of the middle class controlled the recording technology. 29 Lacking control over the means of production, hillbilly artists could not adequately defend their rights in the recording process. As such, many artists entered into contracts that benefited the recording companies and which did not pay the artist all that they were entitled to under t he law. 30 Further, by consolidating control over the recording process, the production companies were also able to maintain control over the advertising strategies of the music. 31 In order for a hillbilly artist to record, he had to accept the policies of the producers, consequently, listeners of hillbilly music accepted the hillbilly image because they had no other alternative. Furthermore, many hillbilly artists came into the genre because they had no other options to make ends meet. Such was the case w ith Hank Williams, who started performing largely because chronic back problems made it difficult for him to hold down other jobs. 32 However, as individuals such as the working class Chet Atkins themselves become producers of the music during the 1950s, a n effort is made to reform the image of the hillbilly. 33 As will be explored further in chapter two, Chet Atkins desired to abandon the image of the hillbilly, replacing it with his idea of the "country gentleman," a symbol of the refined southern working class. 34 Such efforts marked the transformation of hillbilly music into country music, although even now the image of the hillbilly was
10 not soon forgotten and remained problematic for country music. The hillbilly made a resurgence during the 1970s in the form of Outlaw country, when country artists self identified as hillbillies as a marker of pride, a symbol that they were true to country music. 35 The Country Music Audience In the previous pages I have discussed the audience being white as well as a rural and working class citizen. But, country music had far reaching appeal. Particularly after World War II, the music moved from being a regional art form to a national one, and the audience was no longer viewed as strictly working class. 36 As such, it cann ot be forgotten that the same set of media messages, from the presentation of the artist, to the instrumentation and lyrics, can mean vastly different things depending on who is doing the listening. So while the Outlaw movement pioneered by Waylon Jenning s and Willie Nelson in the Seventies was perceived as a return to the roots of country music and a re embracing of the working class audience, their music also resonated among college students. 37 It is the purpose of my study to look specifically at what m essages the Bakersfield and Nashville alterations of country music are sending to their working class audience. The reason for this is the fact that the working class is the intended audience for this music. In doing this, I will move beyond what music h istorian Barbara Ching describes as the trap of the rube. 38 What Ching refers to with this idea is the obsession previous scholarly research has over the issue of authenticity. In this view, the music starts as authentic to the working class, but then bec omes something else as it tries to attain crossover appeal. 39 However, as Ching rightly points out, such views on authenticity
11 paint the researcher into a corner where he ends up accepting the idea of early hillbilly music as an "authentic" art form and th ereby sees the depictions of early hillbilly artists and performers as "realistic" images. 40 However, as has been stated above, such depictions themselves are themselves more emblematic of a middle class understanding of the working class instead of presen ting a realistic picture of the working class experience. 41 The Importance of Place If Brooks's "Friends in Low Places" provides a modern take on country music's struggle with class, it is important to remember that Brooks often frames the debate in terms of space. He describes himself as being "high as that ivory tower" his ex girlfriend is now living in. 42 Furthermore, while the song gives Brooks a chance to indict his ex girlfriend for betraying the working class and buying into the middle class, Brooks is only able to do this by retreating to the safety of the honky tonk, as in the song's unreleased third verse: "I'll head back to the bar and you can kiss my ass." 43 The song is further complicated by the fact that this third verse was never included on the original release of the song, and only came to be heard by attendees of Brooks's live concerts. Hence one can see the original release of the song being manipulated to remove some of the scorn such lyrics may hold for middle class listeners. Neverthe less, even on the single as it was released for radio, the song still evokes a sense of strength for the place of the honky tonk, as the song refers to the bar as an "oasis." 44 Such interpretations of the honky tonk become critical for examining the way co untry music deals with class through the use of space. In examining the historical developments of country music, one begins to see the importance of the honky tonk in
12 inserting a working class voice into the genre. As has already been stated, country mu sic as performed on the Grand Ole Opry was performed through a middle class understanding of what working class and rural America looked and sounded like. Even when the artists making up the Opry sought to modify the sound of country music, they ran into resistance from those in charge. One such example was seen in Hay's attempts to keep electronic instrumentation out of the Opry, when he told musician Sam McGee, "Now you wouldn't play that [electric guitar] on the Grand Ole Opry You know we're going to hold it down to earth." 45 Thus even when artists wanted to work outside of the constraints placed upon the genre, the power dynamics of the place, whether it be the Grand Ole Opry or the recording studio, prevent them from doing so. As a result, even tho ugh the music being performed originated in rural areas and was being marketed towards those same rural areas, it was still performed within a space that was governed by middle class understandings of what it meant to be rural. As such, the honky tonk bec ame one of the first sites where a working class voice was able to assert control over its own music. This is due to the fact that the honky tonks become sites for the working class run by the working class. Here there are no Judge Hays to tell people wh at is and is not allowed. As a result, after country music enters the honky tonk, listeners begin to hear the music change. The instrumentation starts including steel guitars and electronic instruments, especially electric guitar. 46 The lyrics become rou gher. Now people can hear songs that talk about loneliness, divorce and alcoholism. 47 And while such music is initially limited to those artists playing within the honky tonk, the reformulations of the genre developed here worked their way back into the i ndustry, primarily through the jukebox. 48 The context of the honky tonk, particularly
13 the playing of music inside a crowded, loud environment, forced changes to the style of country music being recorded. 49 As such, many artists begin to record songs that a re louder just so honky tonk patrons can hear them above the noise of the bar. 50 The Plan of this Thesis The first chapter of this thesis will deal in depth with the honky tonk bar itself. I will deal most directly in this chapter with a brief history of the bar and its role in class consciousness, as well as the lived experience of a honky tonk bar. After setting up the physical experience of a honky tonk, I will move next to examining the imagined place of the bar. In capturing the working class concep tion of the place, I will examine the music that develops in the honky tonk. To capture the middle class understanding of the honky tonk I will turn to the way the honky tonk comes to be described by the legal systems of the time. In the second chapter I will focus on the ways in which honky tonk music changed with the development of the Nashville Sound. To examine the metamorphosis that takes place I will begin by looking at the life of producer and artist Chet Atkins. Atkins is a figure that is surpri singly conscious of class considerations and wants very much to be part of the middle class mainstream. Such desires on his part lead to his efforts to move the music "uptown," and in so doing smooth over the rough edges that developed within the honky to nks. 51 In doing this, one can see that Atkins had a keen sense of the honky tonk as a space of the working class that was something alien to the middle class. In the final chapter I will discuss the changes made to country music with the development of th e Bakersfield Sound. The Bakersfield Sound can be attributed to the
14 honky tonk music as developed by Okie migrants to California. Facing constant discrimination and marginalization by a Californian mainstream that did not want them, Buck Owens and the ot her architects of the Bakersfield Sound had little incentive to move country music "uptown" like Chet Atkins. However, while Owens did not desire to move the music "uptown," this does not mean he did not desire upward mobility. Owens, like Atkins, is a f igure who uses country music as a means of escaping memories of poverty and discrimination. However, unlike Atkins, Owens did not equate upward mobility with assimilation into the middle class. Rather, while Owens made his own adjustments to the honky to nk sound and brought in his own messages of upward mobility, he still positioned himself as authentic to country music, using authenticity to market himself to the working class while Chet Atkins was marketing country music to the middle class. 52
15 Figu re One "Mind Your Own Business" Hank Williams, Hank Williams Essential Collection, Vol. 2 If the wife and I are fussin', brother that's our right 'Cause me and that sweet woman's got a license to fight Why don't you mind your own business (Mind your own b usiness) 'Cause if you mind your business, then you won't be mindin' mine. Oh, the woman on our party line's the nosiest thing She picks up her receiver when she knows it's my ring Why don't you mind your own business (Mind your own business) Well, if you mind your business, then you won't be mindin' mine. I got a little gal that wears her hair up high, the boys all whistle when she walks by. why don't you mind your own buisness (Mind your own business) Well, if you mind your own business, you sure won't be minding mine. If I want to honky tonk around 'til two or three Now, brother that's my headache, don't you worry 'bout me. Just mind your own business (Mind your own business) If you mind your business, then you won't be mindin' mine. Mindin' other peo ple's business seems to be high toned I got all that I can do just to mind my own Why don't you mind your own business (Mind your own business) If you mind your own business, you'll stay busy all the time.
16 Chapter One "If I want to honky tonk around 'til two or three/ Now, brother that's my headache, don't you worry about me/ Just mind your own business." 53 The story of country music during the fifties begins in the honky tonk bars. This chapter will begin with the bar in a more general sense, to e xamine the ways in which it helped form a sense of identity and class consciousness. The places we frequent hold a wealth of information about who we are. Whether it is the nightclub, the jazz lounge or the county line saloon, the bars we go to speak vol umes of how we understand our places within society. After laying the groundwork by looking at the bar in general, I will turn my attention to a history of the honky tonk itself, examining its roots within the Prohibition era, and how both the working and middle classes eventually come to understand the honky tonk itself. My analysis of the honky tonk will conclude in a song analysis of Hank Williams' "Mind Your Own Business." The Local Tavern and Class Consciousness In Cheap Amusements: Working Women an d Leisure in Turn of the Century New York Kathy Peiss focuses her attention on women's leisure in an urban center, but also provides useful insight into how working class men spent their time in the city at the turn of the last century. In examining the role of the bar, Peiss writes: "Dominating the physical space of most tenement neighborhoods, the saloon exemplifies workingmen's
17 public culture." 54 Amidst the frustrations of urban life, the saloons and taverns provided a haven in which men could forget t heir troubles. 55 However, what is most useful to our understanding of bars is the way in which saloons have historically constructed themselves to cater to specific clientele, particularly members of similar ethnic backgrounds. Peiss states that "[o]ne sa loon, for instance, advertised that it supplied Serbians, Croatians and Hungarians with a large meeting room, money barter, steamship tickets, employment, board, and lodging." 56 In another instance, Italians preferred "waterfront cafes on President Street. 57 During the 1900s, when society favored blending in, the saloons provided a space where the particularities of your culture could stand out. This is not to say however that everyone approved of the tavern life. Class divisions over the understanding o f saloons were apparent. As stated above, women in bars, especially women who were alone, were often viewed as prostitutes, which in turn drew the attention of city police. 58 For example, one vice investigator, when attempting to sit in a tavern's back ro om (reserved solely for couples) was told by the owner, "this is no whore house, you'll have to come out to the bar." 59 This sets up a concept that will be important later to the discussion of the honky tonks: conflicting understandings of place. While to working class men, the saloon becomes a haven where they can find support amidst the difficulties of urban living, to middle class sensibilities working class taverns represented something dangerous that needed to be quarantined. Furthermore, to women th e taverns became threatening to their respectability. To each group then we can see a different imagining of the place being formed, and this imagining in turn affected how each group reacted to the space.
18 The Rise of the Honky Tonk In the discussion of the bar in general, one can see how taverns and saloons emerged as social institutions at the turn of the century catering to a host of ethnic others seeking opportunity in the United States. In a nation that preached assimilation and conformity, the bars provided a space where one could be different and get away with it. They provided spaces in which individuals could find respite from the pressures of daily life and commiserate with others like them. While bars did not always meet with the approval of middle class authorities, they remained popular with their working class male clientele. Such trends would continue as rural migrants began their own exodus into urban centers. While much of the literature on the honky tonk does not refer to either the h istorical or geographic specifics of the place, the origins of the honky tonk are traceable to the 1930s and the roadhouses associated with the Texas oil boom. 60 While the literature only refers to the honky tonk generally, some basic parameters can be est ablished as setting the honky tonk apart from other bars. The first and most obvious difference is the music being played within the honky tonks. These become sites associated with country music and havens for rural migrants new to the city. 61 Beginning in the 1930s and 40s rural migrants headed to the cities in search of defense work. 62 And once there these migrants would search out for all things that were reminiscent of the home they left behind, attending "churches, community centers, and taverns that most reflected their socioeconomic backgrounds." 63 Their demand most often was to find "hillbilly music," and the place they most often found it was at the honky tonk. 64
19 And like most taverns and saloons, honky tonks embodied tension between the middle and working class. Honky tonks are semi segregated spaces that cater to a mostly white, working class clientele. 65 Even the name honky tonk refers to this semi open stance as the term originates with African American slang meaning "white shack." 66 The honky tonk represented economic opportunity for musicians, "playing for nickels and dimes at root beer stands or in wide open taverns and dance halls where illegal liquor was consumed." 67 However, the selling of illegal alcohol during Prohibition placed honky to nks outside of a legal system that enforced temperance. And while the honky tonk would be legitimized with the repeal of Prohibition, honky tonks still embodied a tense relationship with the middle class, as honky tonks were often built on the outskirts o f town to find lower taxes and less police oversight. 68 While the honky tonk still provided a space for the working class to express themselves, it was still a space on which the middle class tried to impose its own value system. Proposed legislation from the era provides evidence of the ways in which the middle class attempted to impose its values on the honky tonk. In the 1940s, Senator George Moffett of Texas proposed legislation against honky tonks that would take away their liquor licenses for allowi ng "conduct lewd, immoral or offensive to public decency." 69 The same bill goes on to describe honky tonks in the following manner: The use of or permitting the use of loud and vociferous or obscene, vulgar or indecent language. The exposure of person o r permitting any person to expose his person. Rudely displaying or permitting any person to rudely to display a pistol or any other deadly weapon in a manner calculated to disturb the inhabitants of such place. Solicitation of any person for coins to operate musical instruments or other devices. Solicitation of any person to buy drinks or beverages for consumption by the retailer or his employees. Intoxication on licensed premises [licensed to sell alcoholic beverages] or permitting any intoxicate d person to remain on such premises. Permitting entertainment performances, shows or acts
20 that are lewd or vulgar. Permitting solicitations of persons for immoral or sexual purposes or relations. 70 While such legislation attempted to impose middle cl ass values upon the working class, it was also a way of protecting middle class virtue by quarantining the honky tonk. For while the government was not able to go as far as to outlaw the existence of the honky tonks, by attempting to do so it sent a messa ge to the middle class that these are places that stand outside their value system and are best to be avoided. In addition to being associated with drunkenness, the law outlined the following sins of the honky tonk: rough language, violence, panhandling, lewd performances and prostitution. Violence was probably the biggest concern middle class authorities had in terms of honky tonks. It has been argued that the honky tonks "encapsulated the worst stereotypes about rowdy, uncontrollable backwoodsmen and u pdated them for an undeniably contemporary context." 71 The honky tonk became symbolic of the hillbilly's "association with drinking and violence." 72 Even into the 1970s honky tonks would retain this atmosphere of violence; the Rose Bowl honky tonk in Urban a, Illinois had a reputation among the college crowd "as being a 'bucket of blood.'" 73 However, while the middle class engaged in efforts to keep their kind away from honky tonks, these efforts are not unwelcome to the working class patrons of the honky to nk, who maintain the honky tonk as a semi segregated space. 74 Even the Rose Bowl in Illinois maintained an atmosphere "where rednecks hung out and students were unwelcome." 75 Music Inside the Honky Tonks Of course, while honky tonks share similarities with taverns and saloons in general, the main point of difference that distinguishes a honky tonk is the music played
21 inside of it. While country music existed prior to its entry into the honky tonk, its entry changes the sound of the music entirely. One of the primary changes to occur to the genre was in its choice of instrumentation. Country musicians, needing to find ways to be heard over the noise of the bar, adopted the electric guitar. 76 Such concerns would also lead to the adoption of string bass, pia nos and occasionally drums. 77 The noise of the honky tonk would also lead to new ways of playing the instruments, as a "'sock rhythm' -the playing of closed chords, or the striking of all six strings in unison" became introduced to the music. 78 In addition to changes in instrumentation and playing, the honky tonk also brought about changes to the lyrical content of country music. Gone were lyrics that evoked the "pastoral or down home emphasis of the music." 79 In were lyrics that evoked the frustrations of the listener. Songs now dealt with themes of divorce, infidelity and drinking. 80 However, while such songs became more topical, they also became more exaggerated, providing an escapist context to the music. 81 Several of these features can be heard in a l istening of Hank Williams's "Mind Your Own Business." Along with being emblematic of the honky tonk sound, it also evokes the tension that exists between the working and middle classes. "Mind Your Own Business" "Mind Your Own Business," sung by Hank Will iams, features several of the instrumental changes found in honky tonk music. The song features string bass, as well as steel guitar. 82 In addition, the playing of the stringed instruments itself takes on a percussive aspect that seems to punctuate the ti tle of the song. Furthermore, it should be noted that during the live performances of the song, the chorus often took on a call and
22 response nature, as the audience would often echo Hank Williams when he sang "mind your own business." 83 All of this helps the song take on a more pointed nature when analyzed as providing a rebuke to middle class efforts to legislate against honky tonks. Such a rebuke is most pointed when Williams sings, "minding other people's business seems to be high toned." 84 However, wh ile the song may rebuke the middle class, it does not idealize the working class. Lyrically, the song deals with several of the frustrations experienced by the working class, including marital discord and drinking. Williams enumerates these in each verse of the song, beginning by saying, "if the wife and I are fussing, brother that's our right." 85 Williams discusses the problems of drinking when he sings that "if I want to honky tonk around 'til two or three/ now brother that's my headache, don't you worr y about me." 86 Again, while Williams discusses the problems with drinking here, he does it in a pointed nature that seems to be directed against the middle class listener. While the middle class fostered an understanding of the honky tonk as violent and d angerous to middle class sensibilities, Williams is saying here that honky tonking is no threat to the middle class and only hurts the working class. However, while the song can be read as a rebuke of the middle class, it must be noted that concerns over honky tonking are also shared by working class women, and such lines might just as well have been directed towards them, although the use of "brother" implies a male listener. Changing the Industry While country music changed upon its entry into the honky tonk, these changes invariably filtered back to the recording studios. While most honky tonks preferred live performance, many also supplemented the live band by using jukeboxes. 87 However,
23 music on the jukebox dealt with the same difficulty as live perf ormance, the noise of the bar. Often this led to some records receiving little play in the honky tonks. Even Ernest Tubb was once told: "But as soon as the crowd gets in there and gets noisy, they start dancing, they can't hear your records, they start p laying Bob Wills. They're not playing your records: you need to make them louder." 88 However, while the music of the honky tonk filtered back to the recording studios, a central problem would remain. While the honky tonks existed as a working class space giving birth to a music identifiably working class in nature, the recording studios remained a middle class institution. The question then would be how would the studios react to the honky tonk sound. As will be discussed in the following two chapters, the responses by both the Nashville and Bakersfield recording industries will be vastly different, and yet hold surprising similarities in their implications about what it means to be working class in the United States during the fifties.
24 Figure Two "The Oklahoma Hills" Lyrics Jim Reeves, The Definitive Jim Reeves Collection, Vol. 3 Many years have come and gone since I wandered from my home In those Oklahoma hills where I was born Many a page of life has turned many a lesson I have learned And I fe el that in those hills I still belong Way down yonder in the Indian nation ride my pony on the reservation In the Oklahoma hills where I was born A way down yonder in the Indian nation a cowboy's life is my occupation In the Oklahoma hills where I was bor n As I sit here today many miles I am away From a place I rode my pony through the drove Where the oak and blackjack trees kiss the playful prairie breeze In the Oklahoma hills where I was born Way down yonder in the Indian nation ride my pony on the res ervation In the Oklahoma hills where I was born A way down yonder in the Indian nation a cowboy's life is my occupation In the Oklahoma hills where I was born As I turn life a page to the land of a great old sage In the Oklahoma hills where I was born Whe re the Black bony River flows in the snow white cotton grows In the Oklahoma hills where I was born Way down yonder in the Indian nation ride my pony on the reservation In the Oklahoma hills where I was born A way down yonder in the Indian nation a cowboy 's life is my occupation In the Oklahoma hills where I was born
25 Figure Three "He'll Have to Go" lyrics Jim Reeves, He'll Have to Go Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone Let's pretend that we're together all alone I'll tell the man to tur n the juke box way down low And you can tell your friend there with you he'll have to go Whisper to me tell me do you love me true Or is he holding you the way I do Though love is blind make up your mind I've got to know Should I hang up or will you tell him he'll have to go You can't say the words I want to hear While you're with another man Do you want me answer yes or no Darlin' I will understand Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone Let's pretend that we're together all alone I'll tell the man to turn the juke box way down low And you can tell your friend there with you he'll have to go
26 Chapter Two World War II and the Expansion of the Country Music Audience While country music through the 1920s and 1930s was originally marketed and produced as a rural musical form, World War II widened the genre's audience. 89 The expansion of the audience was an important factor in the renaming of hillbilly music as country music. May 26, 1953 was the date country music became the preferred label fo r the genre, as it marked a daylong celebration honoring the 20 th anniversary of Jimmie Rodgers's death, a day that "validated the genre's presence in southern society by demonstrating its respectability and reverence for tradition." 90 A variety of reasons brought about this expansion: "country music's plaintive lyrics appealed to Americans in wartime; music publishers and promoters aggressively marketed country music; a shortage of new popular music led many Americans to country music's novelty; country in termingled with persons with other musical preferences in the armed forces; rural southerners migrated to urban areas throughout the country; and the jukebox industry expanded." 91 According to Jeffrey Lange, the demographic shifts are the most important re ason for this expanded audience; employment opportunities in the big cities enticed record numbers or rural citizens to make the move. 92 Historian Francis Abernathy summed up the rural migrants motivation to move by stating: "A farmer making a bare living on his eighty acres found out that somebody paying a dollar an hour in the shipyards, and it didn't take him long to figure out that he could live better in the city
27 with paved streets, picture shows, and brick schools than he ever thought about on the far m." 93 While many southerners made the move to the city in order to pursue better economic opportunities, this did not imply they were eager "to abandon their rural cultural heritage." 94 In fact, especially in northern cities, rural migrants would form thei r own communities in order to maintain their culture, one important aspect of it being country music. 95 However, country music artists stood at a crossroads. On the one hand they were members of a genre that prided itself on performing authentic America n music. Such music had made them popular with the rural audiences they originally courted as well as the honky tonk crowds they performed for later on. On the other hand, the genre's expanded audience after the war brought additional opportunities to th e country artist to achieve economic success. However, country artists had a problem in achieving this success because their music was associated with the honky tonk, a site of difference in the face of the fifties middle class value system. Such differe nce is not indicative of the conformity that was viewed as a feature of the fifties middle class. C. Wright Mills noted that, "When white collar people get jobs, they sell not only their time and energy, but their personalities as well. They sell by the week, or month, their smiles and their kindly gestures, and they must practice the prompt repression of resentment and aggression." 96 Furthermore, it was this conformity that allowed the United States to think of itself as a classless society, where "the m iddle class eventually emerged as the basic class from which higher and lower strata deviate." 97 However, believing that America was becoming a classless society did not make it fact. Thus while economic opportunities drove many rural migrants to move to the
28 cities, the limitations they experienced often caused them to find an escape in the honky tonks. While the honky tonks gave them the opportunity to take part in a working class community, the cultural difference performed within the space made sure t hat they did not rise above their working class status. First and foremost the honky tonk was viewed as a site of irrespectability. Second, and just as important, the honky tonk represented an economic barrier to upward mobility it might provide an escap e from the pressures of city living, but that escape came at a price, especially to a group of people already on limited incomes. As a result, many rural migrants found mostly frustration in the big cities and this frustration became a central theme of th e music. Songs such as Hank Williams's "Mind Your Own Business," take a combative tone in defending working class identity from the threat of middle class conformity. However, while "Mind Your Own Business" took a combative tone, it failed to point out t hose social inequities that marginalized the working class. Greil Marcus writes that the country music of the late 1940s "so perfectly expressed the acceptance and fatalism of its audience of poor and striving whites, blending in with their way of life an d endlessly reinforcing it, that the music brought all it had to say to the surface, told no secrets and had no use for novelty. It was conservative in an almost tragic sense, because it carried no hope of change, only respiteCountry music lacked the con fidence to break things open because it was not even sure it could find the space to breathe. Hank Williams was eloquent, but his eloquence could not set him free from the life he sang about; he died proving it, overdosing in the back of a car, on his way to one more show." 98 It is into this context that the life and work of Chet
29 Atkins would take country music into a new direction, striving to make both the genre and himself more respectable in the process. Chet Atkins: Moving Uptown An analysis of the c areer of Chet Atkins shows the importance he placed upon upward mobility in country music. In his biography Atkins' indicates the power of music to improve his economic circumstances. In the 1920s and 30s when country music was still in its infancy, Atki ns stated: "'making it' meant playing on the radio." 99 Furthermore, Atkins noted that he cried upon first hearing his brother play on the Chicago National Barn Dance. 100 And even though Atkins is most famous for his guitar playing, early in his career he ch ose to focus on fiddle playing as he thought it was more marketable than guitar playing. 101 While Atkins was keenly aware of the economic realities within the country music industry, he was also cognizant that there was more than economic success to "making it." During Atkins's early career he moved from radio station to radio station playing as a sideman. At several of these stations Atkins encountered bias based on his rural background. For instance in discussing his experience at WNOX, Atkins wrote: "S ome of them were pretty hard on me. They would call me hillbilly and tell me I wasn't any good but that just made me work harder to catch up with them." 102 What is interesting to note here is that while the rival musicians told Atkins that he was no good, their only justification is Atkins's hillbilly status. Furthermore, Atkins does not question the other musicians' judgments about him, but rather internalizes them as true and turns this into a motivation to become a better musician. However, in acceptin g the other musicians' judgments about him, Atkins is also accepting the class hierarchies present in
30 society, with the middle class being positioned above the working class. Thus in order to become a better musician, Atkins had to leave the hillbilly beh ind. Over the course of Atkins's career, improving himself as an artist also translated into improving the perception of his social class. Atkins took steps of reforming his image as a country artist to shed aspects of the previously held hillbilly stere otype, replacing it with the image of the "country gentleman." 103 For Atkins this image was one of "guitarist as a refined, sensitive, and creative musician." 104 One example of Atkins's efforts to form this image was the story of how he obtained his first gu itar, by trading two guns inherited from his father for a guitar owned by his stepfather. 105 Such a story shows Atkins's efforts to position himself outside of the hillbilly persona, shedding the stereotype of the hillbilly as some dangerous "other" who was a potential threat to society. The way in which Atkins described the guitar also helps illustrate one of his primary concerns: improving the overall perception of his social class. Atkins writes of the guitar: "It was not a toy. It was life itself to m e. I dreamed of someday becoming a great star, though using it to make money never crossed my mind." 106 Thus while Atkins would use music to improve his economic circumstances, it was also of paramount importance to him to gain social acceptance. Furtherm ore, as Atkins progressed in his career to take on a greater role as a producer he would also take steps in gaining social acceptance for country music as a genre, ushering in a series of changes that would create the Nashville Sound. The Nashville Sound Bill Malone traces the origins of the Nashville Sound back to 1954, which "saw the emergence of a new musical force which completely engulfed the other musical
31 forms, dominated American popular music for several years, and shattered the existing conception s of what a popular song should be." 107 What Malone is referring to is the appearance of rock'n'roll on the American musical scene, which symbolized the fusion of white and black musical forms that gained appeal with the growing youth culture in America. 108 While in most cases "crossing over" meant transcending racial boundaries and fusing white and black sounds together, for Chet Atkins, "crossing over" meant crossing class boundaries. Although the work of Bill Malone helps explain the significance of rock' n'roll as providing a justification for loosening the boundaries between white and black musicians, it alone is not sufficient to explain the emergence of the Nashville Sound. The scholarship of Joli Jensen provides a more complete picture of why the Nash ville Sound developed. While in the previous chapter I examined the social conditions of the honky tonk, explaining how the context of live performance resulted in the honky tonk sound and liberated the musician from the corporate concerns of the studio, the industry of radio helped restore control of the genre back to the record industries by removing country music from the space of the honky tonk. It is within this context that the work of Chet Atkins as a producer becomes important. In the previous ch apters I explored how the honky tonk as an institution catered to rural working class whites. The artists within the honky tonk adopted as its themes the frustrations of the white working class in America. However, as noted previously, Atkins defined suc cess not just by economic mobility but also by middle class acceptance. He described this as moving beyond the pain of his childhood poverty. 109 In developing the Nashville Sound Atkins would play down several markers
32 of the honky tonk sound thus downplayi ng its working class roots. For Atkins, these roots meant the music of the honky tonks. Honky tonk music involved rougher lyrics that spoke of the frustrations experienced by the working class: alcoholism, adultery and failed marriages. However, such to pics would have gone against the grain of the nation's middle class ethos and were abandoned by Atkins who wanted to have country music accepted by the middle class. The Nashville Sound can best be described as an effort to smooth over the edges of the ho nky tonk sound. 110 While these changes involved softening the lyrics of country music, they also affected the instrumentation, as Atkins designed a music that could be called country without being overly reminiscent of the honky tonk bar. This was accompli shed by removing instruments like fiddles and steel guitars and replacing them with "smooth vocal choruses, lush string sections, and the round warm tones' of hollow body electric guitars." 111 While the introduction of the electric guitar was originally ac hieved through the honky tonks, in time artists would begin to experiment with the quality of sound achieved through the instrument. 112 For Atkins, this experimentation would be geared towards achieving "purity of tone," which in turn was part of Atkins's easy listening strategy" to help expand country music's audience. 113 These strategies were designed to assert the respectability of the country artist "in the face of hillbilly stereotypes." 114 Jim Reeves A study of Jim Reeves's career highlights many of the changes made to country during the Nashville Sound era. His career is also worth attention because unlike other artists, Reeves was able to maintain a country identity despite his efforts to broaden his
33 audience. 115 "Oklahoma Hills," recorded in 1956, fea tures traditional country instrumentation, featuring both a steel guitar and fiddle. 116 Yet the song also indicates the transition of country music, as the singing style of Jim Reeves is more indicative of crooning. Crooning of course refers to a softer st yle of singing designed to create a more personal relationship between the artist and audience. Furthermore, Reeves's voice contains the faintest hint of a southern accent. While the singing style of "Oklahoma Hills," is more in line with what was encour aged during the Nashville Sound era, lyrically the song harkens back to more traditional topics. It is a cowboy song, containing such lyrics as "Way down yonder in the Indian nation/ Riding my pony on the reservation/ In the Oklahoma hills where I was bor n." 117 Thus while "Oklahoma Hills" was positioned as a traditional song lyrically, it managed to sidestep the issue of the honky tonk by not referring to it at all. Eddy Arnold's "Cattle Call," which sings about such things as the "coyotes howling," acts in a similar vein to remain traditional and yet broaden its appeal by recalling older country themes within the music that avoid the honky tonk. 118 By contrast, Jim Reeves's 1960 release, "He'll Have to Go," is firmly entrenched in the style of the Nashvill e Sound. The crooning is still present, reinforced by such lyrics as "let's pretend that we're together, all alone," that attempt to create a one on one relationship between Reeves and the listener. 119 "He'll Have to Go," also updates the instrumentation b y removing the fiddles and steel guitars, as well as adding a lush vocal chorus to accompany Reeves. Thematically, the song deals with the potential for heartache, something not unknown to a honky tonk listener. However, the song deals with the topic in a completely different fashion. In the song, while the ending of a
34 relationship is a very real possibility, Reeves maintains confidence that this will not happen, singing "I'll tell the man to turn the jukebox way down low,/ And you can tell your friend t here with you he'll have to go." 120 Furthermore, Reeves voice is largely emotionless during the song, containing little of the angst or invective that would be a marker of honky tonk songs. In fact, other than the reference to the jukebox, there is little indication within the song that the singer is anywhere near a honky tonk. Thus "He'll Have to Go," provided another solution to the problem of the honky tonk by dealing with the same thematic material while removing the emotional baggage at the same time While the developments of the Nashville Sound were often derided during the fifties as selling out, on the Pacific coast another brand of country music was being developed. Unlike the Nashville Sound, it was developed not as a response against the honk y tonk sound, but rather promoted the honky tonk sound. The Bakersfield Sound, developed by Buck Owens, was marketed as "authentic" country music. However, as will be seen in the next chapter, Buck Owens, like Chet Atkins, is keenly aware of the power th at lay in how he marketed himself. In creating the image of the country gentleman, Atkins reinforced the middle class understanding of the honky tonk as a working class space.
35 Figure Four "Sam's Place" lyrics Buck Owens, Buck Owens: 21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection There's a place down the street we call Sam's Place. It starts a jumpin' every evening when the sun goes down. You can always find me down at Sam's Place, For that's where the gang all hangs around. There's ol' Shimmy Shakin' Tina She hails from Pasadena. She always got a big smile on her face. There's Hootch y kootchy Hattie, she comes from Cincinnati, Yeah, there's always a party at Sam's Place. Well, they've got a swingin' band down at Sam's Place. You can hear 'em pickin' twenty b locks away. They're playin' country music down at Sam's Place, From the setting sun until the break of day. There's ol' Shimmy Shakin' Tina She hails from Pasadena. She always got a big smile on her face. There's Hootch y kootchy Hattie, she comes from Ci ncinnati, Yeah, there's always a party at Sam's Place.
36 Chapter Three "On the fourteenth day of April Of nineteen thirty five There struck the worst of dust storms That ever filled the sky. You could see that dust storm coming The cloud looked death l ike black And through our mighty nation It left a dreadful track. It fell across our city Like a curtain of black rolled down We thought it was our judgment We thought it was our doom. 121 Over the course of the 1950s and 1960s, while the Nashville Sound was being developed a rival form of country music was taking shape across the country on the Pacific Coast. Centered in Bakersfield, this rival took issue with the alterations made by the Nashville Sound, arguing that their country music was "true" countr y music. Like country music elsewhere in America, Bakersfield country music underwent changes inside the honky tonk. For these musicians, the honky tonk music of Bakersfield provided an escape through laughter rather than crying into one's beer. While the chief architect of this sound was Buck Owens, Bakersfield country was being developed prior to his arrival on the scene. The origins of Bakersfield country can be traced to the Okie migrants who traveled to California over the course of the 1930s in o rder to escape the poverty of the Great Depression and the drought conditions of the Dust Bowl. This chapter will explore the reality of the Okie migrants over the course of the thirties, examining the social and economic realities they faced in Californi a and how these realities effectively shut
37 them out of the middle class. Facing an extreme amount of bias unknown to most southern migrants, the Okies were still able to find a sense of community within the honky tonks. The honky tonks in turn began the careers of the most well known Bakersfield acts. While the music of Bakersfield dealt with the same frustrations other honky tonk musicians dealt with, the artists examined in this chapter dealt with their frustrations using humor. The Maddox Brothers an d Rose dealt with these issues by incorporating the sounds of the honky tonk into their recording and making light of everything including murder. Buck Owens, in "Sam's Place," focuses on the honky tonk as a site of revelry, rather than a symbol for frust ration. The Dust Bowl and the Okie Migration During the 1930s, some 550,000 square miles of the United States ranging from Canada to Mexico suffered from drought, including an area of 150,000 square miles containing parts of "western Kansas, eastern Color ado, northern New Mexico, and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles." 122 Coined the "Dust Bowl" by Robert Geiger, 123 the extreme drought exacerbated economic problems already brought on by the Great Depression. It was during the migrations out of Oklahoma during this period that the image of the Okie was born. Okie is a term assigned to the host of immigrants entering into California during the 1930s. However, although the term is associated with migrants entering into California from Oklahoma in order to escap e Dust Bowl conditions, it should be noted that only 2 3% of migrants from Oklahoma were coming from parts of the state affected by the Dust Bowl. 124 In actuality, the majority of migrant whites from Oklahoma were "poor white sharecroppers and tenant farmer s from the cotton lands in the south and east of the state." 125 While southwesterners had been entering into California prior to the Dust Bowl, the economic hardships brought on by the Great Depression would have an impact on the way migrants in the 1930s w ere received.
38 The San Joaquin Valley While migrants entering into California prior to the 1930s tended to favor the metropolitan areas of the state, during the 1930s migrants favored non metropolitan areas, chief among these being the San Joaquin Valley 126 Economic prospects however were more limited for migrants favoring the valley over the city, causing many to enter into farm labor. 127 The menial labor found in the valley often paid less than jobs in the city would have, as the median income for an ind ividual working in the city during 1939 would have been $1,145 while an individual working on farms during the same period was only $650. 128 The economics of living in the San Joaquin valley also affected the living conditions of those new to California. W hile those migrants moving to cities such as Los Angeles often faced few difficulties in being assimilated by the broader community, those moving to the San Joaquin valley were often forced "into situations that reinforced their ties to one another." 129 The Okies turned into an easy target for discrimination based on their isolation from the wider community. Based on the limited economic conditions of the San Joaquin valley, the Okies often had a lower standard of living. The resident Californians often la beled these communities in California "Little Oklahomas" or "Okievilles." 130 They detested the squalor of these communities and voiced concerns over their sanitary conditions. 131 The Kern County Health Department voiced their concerns: Bakersfield has experi ence the creation of new subdivisions almost completely inhabited by people from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri. Many have purchased lots for as low as $3 per month; houses have been constructed of any materials that can be salvaged from the alle ys or retrieved from dismantled structures in exchange for labor. Some of these communities have no satisfactory water supply, poor sewage disposal, no gas nor electricitycrude often offensive, toiletsthreaten to leach their contents into the same strat a of sand and subsoil from which comes the water supply. 132 In addition to the living conditions of these communities, Okies were often resented due to their willingness to perform farm labor for lower wages than native Californians. 133 This problem was
39 comp ounded by bitterness over government aid provided to the Okies. Such headlines as "Kern Spends Millions to Take Care of Needy" painted a picture of the Okie as a drain on society. 134 It was within this social and economic context that Okie stereotype was b orn. A California radio broadcast from the thirties described the Okie as "often a whole family with bedding, luggage, cooking utensils, and other miscellaneous possessions crowded into a battered and wheezing jalopy." 135 John Steinbeck wrote: "Well, Okie use' ta mean you was from Oklahoma. Now it means you're a dirty son of a bitch. Okie means you're scum. Don't mean nothing itself, it's the way they say it." 136 In the scholarly work American Exodus James Gregory states: For several years now "Okies" ha d been the targets of one ugly slur after another, usually uttered carefully out of earshot. A King City bartender called them "no good bastards" and refused them service. To a prominent San Joaquin Valley businessman, they were "ignorant filthy people" who should not be allowed to "think they're as good as the next man!" A Madera County doctor insisted that they were shiftless trash who live like hogs, no matter how much is done for them," while a Kern County physician held that they are "a strange peo ple they don't seem to know anything. They can't read at all. There is nothing especially wicked about them it's just the way they live. There is such a thing as a breed of people. These people have lived separate for too long, and they are like a diff erent race. 137 If the career of Chet Atkins and the development of the Nashville Sound were an attempt to use country music to chart a course towards respectability, the social context of California during the thirties taught a persistant lesson: "You're no t welcome here." Despite this message of exclusion, Okies, like rural migrants elsewhere in America were able to feel a sense of community within the honky tonks. However, in Bakersfield the honky tonk music addressed the experience of prejudice in a dif ferent manner than honky tonks elsewhere in America. Whereas Hank Williams took a confrontational tone against middle class prejudices in "Mind Your Own Business," the country music of Bakersfield dealt with such themes using humor instead. This is most evident in the work of the Maddox Brothers and Rose, who often attempted to capture the live sound of the honky tonk within their recordings, by mimicking the sounds of the bar, including the laughter
40 and shouts of the crowd. In songs such as "Philadelphi a Lawyer," a cover of Woody Guthrie's social ballad, such laughter becomes ghoulish, as the song takes shape around the story of a cowboy who kills the lawyer who is sleeping with his wife. 138 Buck Owens Buck Owens moved to Bakersfield in 1951 in order to w ork in the city's honky tonks. 139 Over the course of Owens's career, the Maddox Brothers and Rose were an important influence particularly through the use of humor as a coping mechanism. 140 Owens, like Chet Atkins was interested in using country music as a m eans of overcoming poverty. However, while Chet Atkins used this desire as motivation to completely overhaul the instrumentation and vocal stylings of country music, Owens simply opted to change the subject matter. He chose to ignore themes of hardship, choosing not to focus on what he was before performing country music but rather focusing on what country music had allowed him to become, stating at one point: "those were terrible times. I don't remember em very good, and I'm glad I don't." 141 The fact t hat Buck Owens used country music as a means of escaping poverty indicates a greater amount of complexity to Buck Owens's development of country music than simply taking a stand against the Nashville Sound. For Chet Atkins, the Nashville Sound was a means of shedding all of the baggage that had been attached to the honky tonk. The sounds heard and the activities taking place within the honky tonk were identifiably working class. The only way to fully rise above working class roots was to abandon honky to nk music for the more middle class Nashville Sound. However, such changes to the genre had large implications for the artist. The honky tonk was often the site of journeyman artists. Buck Owens perfected his craft inside the honky tonk. 142 However, the Nashville Sound shifted the importance away from the honky tonk towards the recording studio. This brought with it a professionalization of the artist. Country crooning was an example of this. This professionalization led to the use of sessions musicia ns on recordings. 143
41 These were musicians who did not tour but were used to back up artists recording in the studio as such, they were not limited to any one artist but served on a variety of recordings. 144 The results of these changes have already been show n, as both the vocalists and musicians sound as though they have received professional training. By contrast, the artists within the Bakersfied Sound come across as having a more elementary musical education. Buck Owens has a rougher voice that does no t sound accustomed to crooning like Jim Reeves's voice does. Owens went as far as to satirize the idea of professional training in "Act Naturally" by placing it within the context of the film industry. Owens sings: They're gonna put me in the movies Th ey're gonna make a big star out of me We'll make a film about a man that's sad and lonely And all I have to do is act naturally. 145 While the song is making a joke out of Owens's suffering, it also sends the message that formal training is not necessary t o form a genuine connection with the audience. Additionally, the instrumentation of the Bakersfield Sound comes across as rougher than the Nashville Sound. Musicians within the Bakersfield Sound do not achieve the same clarity of tone that their counte rparts in the Nashville Sound do. This presents the key difference between the two styles. The artist of the Bakersfield Sound comes across as still being authentic within a honky tonk context, whereas the professional quality of Nashville Sound recordin gs sounds out of place within the honky tonk. Owens was in favor of broadening country's audience but maintaining the honky tonk sound in getting there. A mural commissioned by Owens illustrated his goal for country music as "an Okie jalopy with a mattre ss strapped to the topcatches the eye in the left hand corner; familiar figures from the Bakersfield music community follow; as the eye travels upward and to the right, Owens and the Buckaroos tower over the Bakersfield crowd; the mural culminates in
42 scen es of global glory such as the Sydney Opera House." 146 This mural represented Owens's strategy when it came to country music. While he attempted to stay true to the honky tonk sound, he was not opposed to bringing that sound to new places, playing at venue s such as, Carnegie Hall, Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo and the London Palladium. 147 Especially during the 1960s, when country music recording was being consolidated in Nashville, Owens hitched his horse to the issue of authenticity, going as far as to make a pledge to his audience that he would record no song that was not a country song. 148 What is central to understanding Owens's ideas of authenticity is how he locates authentic country music within the honky tonk. This is the key difference that separates Owens from Chet Atkins, whose work within the Nashville Sound saw the honky tonk as a barrier to middle class acceptance. While the Nashville Sound changed the musical styles of honky tonk country music, it still maintained its own position of authenticit y, primarily by side stepping the honky tonk and recalling earlier pastoral themes within country music, such as those heard in Jim Reeve's "Oklahoma Hills" and Eddy Arnold's "Cattle Call." "Sam's Place" Released in 1967, Buck Owens's "Sam's Place," embod ies much of the complexity to be found in the Bakersfield Sound. As Barbara Ching notes, although the song is about a "real honky tonk in Richmond, California, it doesn't use the word 'honky tonk,' and it says nothing about alcohol." 149 Rather, "Sam's Plac e" focuses on the honky tonk as a site of fun and excitement without focusing on the potential pitfalls. It states that the honky tonk "starts a jumpin' every evening when the sun goes down" and says "they've got a swinging band down at Sam's Place." 150 Bo th lines deal with the honky tonk as a place where one can escape the stresses of everyday life. However, the song also avoids the potential troubles that accompany honky tonking, such as excessive drinking. This is due probably to Owens's own views on t he honky tonk experience, as he appreciated the money he received for live performance, but
43 criticized the activities of the place, stating: "Damn fools. I saw people get drunk, get out of control, and spend their week's pay in one night.I saw people's l ives break apart, wives go crazy, men go nuts.I always looked at it that it's better if they do it where I'm playing than down the street where somebody else as singing." 151 And while the song introduces women into the honky tonk, it does not focus on them as being threatening to the marriages of men; rather Owens signs: There's old shimmy shaking Tina She hails from Pasadena. She always got a big smile on her face. There's hootch y kootchy Hattie, she comes from Cincinnati Yeah, there's always a party at Sam's Place. 152 Musically, the song also defies the conventions of the Nashville Sound. It does not strive for the same sort of urbane sophistication so important to Chet Atkins. Rather, the music of the song mirrors the fun of the honky tonk voiced i n the lyrics, adding to the complexity of the Bakersfield Sound. While the electric guitar in the song is not played in the same manner as a Nashville guitarist would play it as it sounds more accustomed to rockn'roll than the jazz inspired guitar of the Nashville Sound it also sounds markedly different from the honky tonk sound of the thirties. However, Owens is able to position these guitar riffs as country by singing "they're playing country music down at Sam's Place," reminding the listener of the re al life location that served as the inspiration for this song. 153 Buck Owens, while making changes to the honky tonk sound, positioned himself as remaining true to that sound by setting himself up against the Nashville Sound. Much as the original honky ton k sound developed as a result of the music becoming liberated from the constraints of record producing through the live performance context of the bar, Owens was able to become the rebel standing outside of the Nashville establishment by aligning himself w ith the working class audience who frequented the honky tonks. In this manner, the Bakersfield Sound
44 arrived at complicated conclusions for its audience. In positioning himself as remaining true to the honky tonk sound, Owens established that sound as wo rking class. Like Chet Atkins, Owens favored social advancement, but unlike Atkins, Owens did not see the necessity of completely abandoning the honky tonk sound in getting there. Conclusion Over the course of this thesis I have examined the ways in whic h the idea of place sheds further insight into our understanding of country music's relationship with class. From its roots as hillbilly music, when country was produced, recorded and directed towards a rural audience, it was an art form that maintained t he superiority of an urban middle class over a rural working class. Spaces such as the Grand Ole Opry were areas where the middle class maintained this dominance by controlling what the artists could and could not do. Country music's entry into the honky tonk however provided a venue in which the working class could express more control over their music. Here the music spoke to the pressures of being working class, evoking the pains of poverty, adultery and alcoholism. In the honky tonks, the artists co uld be more than caricatures created by producers. Here they could be real people speaking to real issues. While honky tonk music provided an expression of working class culture, like the patrons who listened to it inside the honky tonks, it too was forc ed to suppress its particularlist aspects when it exited the honky tonk. In the examination of the Nashville Sound, I showed how these changes affected everything from the music's thematic material and instrumentation to the singing style itself. The nat ure of the recording studio changed the entire context in which country music was performed. No longer did the artist have the immediate feedback of a live audience. Now the performance was for a record producer who stressed professionalism in country mu sic recording. An artist with blue collar roots became a white collar employee upon entering the Nashville recording studio. All of this was done in a manner to win middle class acceptance for the music, despite being criticized as selling out. The Bake rsfield Sound, while
45 attempting to maintain much of the honky tonk instrumentation, made its own changes to the honky tonk style, by downplaying some of the rougher themes of the music, and by dealing with working class frustrations through the vein of lau ghter. The Bakersfield Sound attempted to maintain its authenticity to the genre by maintaining the authenticity of the artist, downplaying the sense of professionalism that was a marker of the Nashville Sound. Both the Bakersfield and Nashville Sounds v alidated the reading of the honky tonk as working class.
46 Works Cited Primary Sources Arnold, Eddy. "Cattle Call." 36 All Time Greatest Hits. 1997. Brooks, Garth. "Friends in Low Places." No Fences 1990. Owens, Buck. "Act Naturally ." Buck Owens: 21 # 1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection. 2006. Owens, Buck. "Sam's Place." Buck Owens: 21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection. 2006. Reeves, Jim. "Oklahoma Hills." The Definitive Jim Reeves Collection, Vol. 3 2009. Reeves, Jim. "He'll Have to Go." He'll Have to Go 2001. Rose, The Maddox Brothers &. "Philadelphia Lawyer." America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band Vol. 1. 2007. Williams, Hank. "Mind Your Own Business." Hank Williams Essential Collection, Vol 2. 2008. Secondary Sources Aronowitz, Stanley. How Class Work s: Power and Social Movement New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. Atkins, Chet and Michael Cochran. Chet Atkins: Me and My Guitars. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2003. Bane, Michael. The Outlaws: Revolution in Country Music Doubleday, 1978. Chin g, Barbara. "Acting Naturally: Cultural Distinction and Critiques of Pure Country." In White Trash: Race and Class in America 231 248. New York: Routledge, 1997. Wrong's What I do Best: Hard Country Music and Contemporary Culture. Oxford: Oxford Univer sity Press, 2001. Ellis, Iain. "Resistance and Relief: The Wit and Woes of Early Twentieth Century Folk and Country Music." Annual Conference of the Midwest Popular Culture/American Culture Association Cincinnatti: M PCA/ACA, 2008. Entman, Robert M. and Andrew Rojecki. The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.
47 Fenster, Mark. "Buck Owens, Country Music, and the Struggle for Discursive Control." Popular Music 9, no. 3 (October 1990): 275 29 0. Fox, Aaron. Real Country: Music and Language in Working Class Culture. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004. Gold, John R. "From "Dust Storm Disaster" to "Pastures of Plenty"." In The Place of Music edited by David Matless, and George Revill Andrew Leys hon, 249 268. New York: Guilford Press, 1998. Gregory, James N. American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Halberstam, David. The Fifties New York: Villard Books, 1993. Jensen, Joli. Honky Tonking: Mass Mediated Culture Made Personal." In All That Glitters: Country Music in America edited by George H. Lewis, 118 130. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993. The Nashville Sound: Authenticity, Commercializat ion, and Country Music. Nashville: The Country Music Foundation Press & Vanderbilt University Press, 1998. Kahl, Joseph A. The American Class Structure New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston,1957. Kasen, Jill H. "Exploring Collective Symbols: America as a M iddle Class Society." The Pacific Sociological Review 22, no.3(July 1979): 348 381. Kenney, William Howland. Recorded Music in American Life: The Phonograph and Popular Memory, 1890 1945 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Lange, Jeffrey J. Smile when you Call me a Hillbilly: Country Music's Struggle for Respectability, 1939 1954. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2004. Leuchtenberg, William E. A Troubled Feast: American Society since 1945 Boston: Little, Brown, 1979. Malone, Bill C. Country Mus ic, U.S.A. 2nd Edition. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002. Neville, Morgan, and Escott Colin. Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues. DVD. Directed by Morgan Neville. Produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, Nashville Public Television, Tremolo Productions and B BC in association with Cactus Three. Universal by Music and Video Distribution, 2004.
48 Packard, Vance. The Status Seekers: An Exploration of Class Behavior in America and the Hidden Barriers that Affect You, Your Community, Your Future New York: D. McKay C o., 1959. Pecknold, Diane. The Selling Sound: The Rise of the Country Music Industry. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007. Peiss, Kathy. Cheap Amusments: Working Women and Leisure in Turn of the Century New York Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986 Waksman, Steve. Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience by Steve Waksman, 75 112. Cambridge: Harvar d University Press, 1999. Wolfe, Charles K. A Good Natured Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry Nashville: Vand erbilt University Press, 1999. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Garth Brooks "Friends in Low Places," from No Fences (1990) 2 Brooks "Friends in Low Places " Jeffrey J. Lange, Smile when you Call me a Hil lbilly: Country Music's Struggle for Respectability, 1935 1954 (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2004), 1. # Joli Jensen, The Nashville Sound: Authenticity, Commercialization, and Country Music (Nashville: The Country Music Foundation Press & Vander bilt University Press, 1998), 7. $ Barbara Ching, Wrong's What I do Best: Hard Country Music and Contemporary Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 29 30. % Ching, Wrong's What I do Best 30. 7 Robert M. Entman and Andrew Rojecki, The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), 50. & William E. Leuchtenberg A Troubled Feast: American Society since 1945 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979), 38 9, 49. Stanley Aronowitz, How Class Works: Powe r and Social Movement (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 38. () Vance Packard The Status Seekers: An Exploration of Class Behavior in America and the Hidden Barriers that Affect You, Your Community, Your Future (New York: D. McKay Co., 1959), 116. (( Packard The Status Seekers 120. (* Jill H. Kasen, "Exploring Collective Symbols: America as a Middle Class Society," The Pacific Sociological Review 22, no. 3(July 1979): 349. (" David Halberstam The Fifties (New York: Villard Books, 1993), 514. (# Halberst am, The Fifties 512. ($ Joseph A. Kahl, The American Class Structure (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1957), 5 6. (% Leuchtenberg, A Troubled Feast 43. (+ Packard The Status Seekers 24. 18 William Howland Kenney, Recorded Music in American Life: The P honograph and Popular Memory, 1890 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 135 6. 19 Morgan Neville and Colin Escott Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues, DVD, directed by Morgan Neville(Produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, Nashville Public Television, Tre molo Productions and BBC in association with Cactus Three, 2004) 20 Kenney, Recorded Music in American Life 142.
49 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 21 Charles K. Wolfe, A Good Natured Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1999), 14. 22 Bill Malone, Co untry Music, U.S.A. 2 nd revised ed.(Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002), 177, 246. 23 Diane Pecknold, The Selling Sound: The Rise of the Country Music Industry (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), 100. 24 Pecknold, The Selling Sound 101. 25 Pecknold, The Selling Sound 99. 26 Pecknold, The Selling Sound 100. 27 Wolfe, A Good Natured Riot 14. 28 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 31 2. 29 Kenney, Recorded Music in American Life 136. 30 Kenney, Recorded Music in American Life 141 2. 31 Kenney, Recorded Music in American Life 142. 32 Neville and Escott, Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues 33 Steve Waksman, Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 106. 34 Waksman, Instruments of Desir e 106. 35 Michael Bane, The Outlaws: Revolution in Country Music (Doubleday, 1978), 38. 36 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 177 8. 37 Bane, The Outlaws 74. 38 Barbara Ching "Acting Naturally: Cultural Distinction and Critiques of Pure Country," in White Trash: Race and Class in America (New York: Routledge, 1997), 232. 39 Ching. "Acting Naturally," 232. 40 Ching. "Acting Naturally," 232. 41 Ching. "Acting Naturally," 232. 42 Brooks "Friends in Low Places 43 Brooks "Friends in Low Places 44 Brooks "Friends in Low Places 45 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 30. 46 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 94. 47 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 154. 48 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 94. 49 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 94. 50 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 94 5. 51 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 101. 52 Mark Fenster, "Buck Owens, Country Music, and the Struggle for Discursive Control," Popular Music 9, no. 3 (October 1990), 282. 53 Hank Williams "Mind Your Own Business," from Hank Williams Essential Collection, Vo l. 2 (2008) 54 Kathy Peiss, Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn of the Century New York (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986), 17. 55 Peiss, Cheap Amusements 17. 56 Peiss, Cheap Amusements 18. 57 Peiss, Cheap Amusements 18. 58 Peiss, C heap Amusements 21. 59 Peiss, Cheap Amusements 28. 60 Joli Jensen "Honky Tonking: Mass Mediated Culture Made Personal," in All That Glitters: Country Music in America ed. George H. Lewis(Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993), 119. 61 Jensen "Honky Tonking," 120. 62 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 181. 63 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 182. 64 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 182.
50 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 65 Aaron Fox, Real Country: Music and Language in Working Class Culture (Durham: Duke University Press, 20 04), 24. 66 Ching, Wrong's What I do Best 35. 67 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 153. 68 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 153. 69 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 162 3. 70 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 163. 71 Diane Pecknold The Selling Sound: The Rise of the Country Music Industry (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), 49. 72 Pecknold The Selling Sound 49. 73 Jensen, The Nashville Sound 26. 74 Fox, Real Country 24. 75 Jensen, The Nashville Sound 26. 76 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 94. 77 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 155. 78 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 154. 79 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 154. 80 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 154. 81 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 154. 82 Williams "Mind Your Own Business 83 Iain Ellis "Resistance an d Relief: The Wit and Woes of Early Twentieth Century Folk and Country Music," Annual Conference of the Midwest Popular Culture/American Culture Association (Cincinnatti: M PCA/ACA, 2008) 84 Williams "Mind Your Own Business 85 Williams "Mind Your Own Bus iness 86 Williams "Mind Your Own Business 87 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 154. 88 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 95. 89 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 67. ') Lange, Smile when you Call me a Hillbilly 185. 91 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 67. 92 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 67. 93 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 68. 94 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 68. 95 Lange, Smille when you Call me a Hillbilly 68. '% Packard, The Status Seekers 124. '+ Ka sen, "Exploring Collective Symbols," 349. 98 Bane, The Outlaws 17. 99 Chet Atkins and Michael Cochran, Chet Atkins: Me and My Guitars (Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2003), 19. 100 Atkins, Chet Atkins: Me and My Guitars 16. 101 Atkins, Chet Atkins: Me and My Guitars 18 9. 102 Atkins, Chet Atkins: Me and My Guitars 24. 103 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 106. 104 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 106. 105 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 105. 106 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 105. 107 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 24 6. 108 Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 246. 109 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 101. 110 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 75. 111 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 75.
51 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 112 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 95. 113 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 100. 114 Waksman, Instruments of Desire 75 6. (($ Malone, Country Music, U.S.A., 259. ((% Jim Reeves, "Oklahoma Hills," from The Definitive Jim Reeves Collection, Vol. 3 (2009). ((+ Reeves, "Oklahoma Hills." ((& Eddy Arnold "Cattle Call," from 36 All Time Greatest Hits (1997) 119 Jim Reeves, "He 'll Have to Go," from He'll Have to Go (2001). (*) Reeves, "He'll Have to Go." 121 John, R. Gold "From'Dust Storm Disaster' to Pastures of Plenty,'" in The Place of Music eds. David Matless, George Revill and Andrew Leyshon(New York: Guilford Press, 1998) 25 6 7. 122 Gold "From Dust Storm Disaster' to Pastures of Plenty,' 251 3. 123 Gold "From Dust Storm Disaster' to Pastures of Plenty,' 251. 124 Gold "From Dust Storm Disaster' to Pastures of Plenty,' 253. 125 Gold "From Dust Storm Disaster' to Pastures of Plenty,' 253 4. 126 James N. Gregory American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 39. 127 Gregory American Exodus 42. 128 Gregory American Exodus 53. 129 Gregory American Exodus 40 1. 130 Gregory American Exodus 72. 131 Gregory American Exodus 72. 132 Gregory American Exodus 72. 133 Gregory American Exodus 84. 134 Gregory American Exodus 86. 135 Gregory American Exodus 81. 136 Gregory American Exodus 100. 137 Gregory American Exodus 100 1 ("& The Maddox Brothers and Rose, "Philadelphia Lawyer," from America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band Vol. 1 (2007). 139 Ching, Wrong's What I do Best 93. 140 Ching, Wrong's What I do Best 95. 141 Ching, Wrong's What I do Best 94. 142 Ching, Wrong's What I do B est 94. (#" Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 256. (## Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. 256. (#$ Buck Owens, "Act Naturally," from Buck Owens: 21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection (2006). 146 Ching, Wrong's What I do Best 94. (#+ Ching, Wrong's What I do Best 90. 148 Fen ster, "Buck Owens, Country Music, and the Struggle for Discursive Control," 275, 282. 149 Ching, Wrong's What I do Best 94. 150 Buck Owens, "Sam's Place," from Buck Owens: 21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection (2006). 151 Ching Wrong's What I do Best 94. 152 Owen s, "Sam's Place." ($" Owens, "Sam's Place."