Classic Country Singers

It’s easy to write a story on the couch on my day off, surrounded by cats, covered in blankets with no foreseeable end to the coffee supply. It is also easy when you have a topic; the story almost writes itself once a decent topic presents itself.
I write often of Country’s Family Reunion on RFDtv. Riders in the Sky are a Western music group that only recently appeared on Country’s Family Reunion. Doug Green is a member of this fine group and appears under the stage name, Ranger Doug.

Doug Green is second from the right.
Doug Green is second from the right.
Green is also a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with a degree in Literature so he is also a talented writer.
I recently began reading the book “Classic Country Singers” by Doug Green. I would like to say I have finished the book but I read for 5-10 minutes before bed so you might wait awhile for a review on a completed book. I would rather tell you about it now to spare you the regret of the book’s delayed entry into a list of gifts received or gifts given.
“Classic Country Singers” is a series of short stories arranged alphabetically. I am a fan of Country Music with a passing interest in Bluegrass and there were many singers of whom I’ve never heard. Vernon Dalhart enjoys a large chapter in the book as he is Country music’s first recording artist.
Vernon Dalhart
Vernon Dalhart
Dalhart came up from a rough environment in Jefferson, Texas to become an opera singer who later crossed-over to Country music. Dalhart auditioned for Thomas Edison and had a portion of his music released on Edison’s Blue Amberol Label. He recorded Country’s first hit, “Can’t Yo’ Hear Me Callin’, Caroline?” somewhere between 1917-1919.
Roy Acuff
Roy Acuff
Roy Acuff enjoys a nice slab of paper within the book-with good reason. Acuff was known as the “King of Country Music” as he was there from humble beginnings through the times when Nashville became a money-machine. Acuff, Hank Williams and Fred Rose were the first inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1962. Acuff was also one if the first artists who started as a fiddler, became a singing front man, performed in movies then worked as a host for the Grand Ole opry and even began his own publishing company with Fred Rose. He created the template which singers still follow today. Acuff recorded one of my favorite songs, “the Wabash Cannonball.”
Doug Green writes “the first family of country music shaped and influenced the course of the genre in a broad and deep variety of ways, as singers, musicians, song collectors and writers.”
The Carter family
The Carter family
The Carter family consisted of A.P. Carter, Sara Dougherty and A.P.’s sister in-law, Maybelle. Maybelle’s style of guitar was the revolution that separated the Carters from the rest. Maybelle’s daughter, June Carter, was part of this group until she stepped out onto her own and later married Johnny Cash.
Classic Country Singers is available on the usual internet outlets starting at 99 cents for a used paperback. It is also available in Kindle for quite a bit more. It doesn’t matter to me, that sort of information takes me on a trip back in time to places I never even knew existed which is priceless.

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