Abstract and Keywords
This chapter suggests that academic folklorists have been slow to undertake study of country music until the late twentieth century in part due to the discipline’s early history as an outgrowth of European, British, and American nineteenth century intellectual movements embracing the notion of the “folk” as a social entity retaining a pure and uncontaminated oral tradition of song. On the other hand, promoters, musicians, and audiences have embraced country music because of both a constructed myth and an authentic legacy of cultural identity, both deriving from American folk music. The global nature of country music in an era of extensive digitalization of media presents challenges within the industry to retain at least a pretense of history/regionalism and within academic folk studies to address new and unfamiliar media as conduits of tradition and new definitions of musical community.
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