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Rock 'N' FilmCinema's Dance With Popular Music$
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David E. James

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199387595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387595.001.0001

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. . . And White

. . . And White

Country Music

(p.346) 17 . . . And White
Rock 'N' Film

David E. James

Oxford University Press

Country music, a largely white tradition that had been fundamental to early rock ’n’ roll, became important again in late sixties country rock. For most of the decade, films about it were country versions of jukebox musicals, cheaply produced by small companies in the South for local, mainly drive-in distribution that never attained mass recognition or distribution, though they provided superb documentation of many classic performers. Parallel to these, a sequence of major studio productions drew on a Hollywood tradition of anti-Southern bigotry, subordinating the spectacle of musical performance to cynical narratives indicting country’s putative commercialism and the amorality of its musicians. These included A Face in the Crowd (1957), Payday (1973), and Nashville (1975), the last of which was the most egregious attack on popular working-class music since the Elvis movies.

Keywords:   country music, jukebox musicals, Hollywood, anti-Southern, A Face in the Crowd, Payday, Nashville, popular music

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