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My Black country : a journey through country music's Black past, present and future  Cover Image Book Book

My Black country : a journey through country music's Black past, present and future / Alice Randall.


"It was at the age of three, sitting in the front seat of her father's car, that Alice Randall began to write her first country song: "Daddy, don't go in that B-A-R." To Randall, country music is a beating heart, shared communally with her family alive and gone, and the origin of a singular distinction she holds in American music history: the first Black woman to cowrite a #1 country hit, Trisha Yearwood's "XXX's and OOO's." Randall found inspiration and comfort in the sounds and history of the first family of Black country music: DeFord Bailey, Lil Hardin, Ray Charles, Charley Pride, and Herb Jeffries, who, together, made up a community of Black Americans rising through hard times to create simple beauty, true joy, and, sometimes, profound eccentricity. Now, in My Black Country, comes a celebration of country music as a genre with its original yet ever-evolving Black roots and flowers. Randall guides the reader with painstaking care as she revisits her own past marked by times of trial and triumph. Situating us in the present as country music goes through a fresh renaissance, with a new wave of Black artists enjoying success, My Black Country is both an earnest reclamation of the genre and a vibrant introduction for a new generation of listeners who appreciate the radical joy in realizing the power of Black influence on American culture." -- Book jacket.

Item details

  • ISBN: 9781668018408
  • ISBN: 1668018403
  • ISBN: 9781668018415
  • ISBN: 1668018411
  • Physical Description: x, 278 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Black Privilege Publishing/Atria Books hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Black Privilege Publishing/Atria, 2024.

Contents / Notes

General Note:
Includes index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prelude: Back to the studio -- 1. What is Black country? -- Portrait of a Black man playing an early American banjo -- The birth of Black country -- 2. In a Motown cherry tree: learning to write hillbilly songs -- The Supremes sing country at the Copacabana -- Florence Joplin, erased foremother of Black country -- 3. D.C. daze: small towns (are smaller for girls) -- Saved by Lil Hardin and The Johnny Cash Show -- Close encounters with trippy hippy country -- Domestic politics -- Seeking the safety of foreign soil in a small southern town called D.C. -- Dixie gothic -- Roberta Flack and audacious Black country love -- Swamp Dogg, essential Black country eccentricity -- 1976 bicentennial year Black country -- 4. Encountering: the first family of Black country and other allies -- 5. Scaling music row citadel: screaming like a banshee in Belle Meade -- Dressing for success at the uniquely quiet Bluebird Café -- Charley Pride at a black-tie banquet in a Nashville ballroom -- Making a power move at the weenie roast -- In the Ryman with Roy Orbison and a chicken dressed up like Johnny Cash -- The Fairfield Four, Black gospel at the Ryman, and hallelujah, my first cut! -- Kossi Gardner, unheralded Black country genius with funeral-organ roots -- Unpacking Opryland (theme park, hotel, stage) cultural war zone -- Midsummer's first hit, the last days of DeFord Bailey, and other victories -- 6. Big dreams: big hits, big mistakes -- Quincy Jones and The Cosmic Colored Cowboy -- The capital of Black country, Los Angeles -- The mayor of Black country, Ray Charles -- Los Angeles Black gospel, a taproot of Black country -- Herb Jeffries, the bronze buckaroo, rides, sings, and films apple valley -- 7. The second-best gift my bad mama gave me: Mother Dixie -- The Wooten Brothers, the greatest Black country brother band of all time -- Maya Angelou's country cameos -- The Thing Called Love: a white country movie with Black country denouements -- XXX's and OOO's -- Unexpected consequences -- 8. Revived the rails: cowboys, Pullman porters, and soiled doves -- California Zephyr, running with Lil from Bettie -- Iowa: more trains, planes, and automobiles -- Redemption remembered in the Black Northwest -- Vindication, plain but not simple -- The Pointers, the Panthers, the Barbary Coast -- The Cost Starlight, riding a spine of the Pacific, to the City of Angels -- A train whose name should be changed -- Nat Love, cowboy, porter, memoirist -- The original singing cowboys were Black -- Fresh horses -- Kansas City, Charley Pride, and baseball -- Lil, the territory bands, and letting go -- 9. The archive and the academy: creating a new country canon -- Lil Nas X enters the academy -- Rissi Palmer enters the archive -- Rhiannon Giddens, creator and curator -- Allison Russell writes a cornerstone for the canon -- 10. Far yonder: beyond Motown and Music City -- Linda Martell, a reckoning -- Aretha Franklin, a benediction -- Circling back, DeFord Bailey -- A new Nashville now, Mickey Guyton -- Circling back, Charley Pride -- Circling back, Lil and the linchpins in a wild woman's town -- Encore: a songbook performed in a wild woman's town.
Subject: Country music > History and criticism.
African Americans > Music > History and criticism.
African American country musicians > United States.
Country musicians > United States.
Musiciens country > États-Unis.
Musiciens country noirs américains > États-Unis.
MUSIC / History & Criticism.
African American country musicians
African Americans > Music
Country music
Country musicians
United States
Country music.
African Americans.
Country musicians.
Genre: Music criticism and reviews.
Country music.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Music criticism and reviews.
Country music.
Comptes rendus de musique.

Currently available copies

  • 23 out of 30 copies are currently available at PINES.


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Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status  
Athens Regional Library System:
      Athens-Clarke County Library
NONFIC 781.642 RANDALL ( Send Text)
31001006234604 NEW-BKS Checked out
Clayton County Library System:
      Forest Park Branch
781 RAND ( Send Text)
31012007275157 BOOKS Available
Clayton County Library System:
      Headquarters Library
781 RAND ( Send Text)
31012007275165 BOOKS Available
Clayton County Library System:
      Lovejoy Branch
781 RAND ( Send Text)
31012007275173 BOOKS Available
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      Morrow Branch
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31012007275181 BOOKS In process
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      Northwest Branch
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31012007275199 BOOKS Available
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      Riverdale Branch
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Conyers-Rockdale Library System:
      Nancy Guinn Memorial Library
781.642 RAN ( Send Text)
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Dougherty County Public Library:
      Central Branch
781.6420 RANDALL, ALICE ( Send Text)
31018905293846 NONFIC Checked out
Dougherty County Public Library:
      Central Branch
781.642 RANDALL, ALICE ( Send Text)
31018905332529 NONFIC Available

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