Making Country Music “Progressive”
This chapter details the musical, social, ideological, and industrial roots of the Austin music scene through the lens of the emergence of folksinging as a distinctly countercultural act at venues such as Threadgill's restaurant in the 1960s, the construction of Kenneth Threadgill as a folk artist and touchstone of an idealized Texan past, the development of the “progressive country” radio format at Austin radio station KOKE-FM in the early 1970s, and the grassroots entrepreneurship of the Armadillo World Headquarters. Through these case studies, the chapter explores how participants in Austin's progressive country music scene negotiated a fine line between its public rhetoric of resistance to the corporate music industry and unchecked economic growth and its own actions to develop the scene into a vehicle for economic and cultural development in the city.
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