Then The Noo Country
Something of what I wrote re my noise as my country and western. Well, what's recalled offhand. Forgot all the bullet points but mainly part social history, part memoir.
What I was long clueless about was the working class post WW2 diaspora of rural whites going for defense jobs. The stats, even the broad trends are beyond me. But Sunset Park somewhere in PA is some bit of country fan convergence for ex Southern formerly rural white folk.
Black Americans had some share of the same wartime/postwar boom. Many headed north to Chicago, Harlem NYC, etc to transplant recreate black music. Ergo R & B, Chicago electric blues, the growth and change of Jazz, gospel, soul--beat goes on. Union leader for sleeping car porters, A. Philip Rudolph bucked early wartime vigor in the US to demand war factory jobs for blacks and likely spurred on many trends and changes. Post Pearl Harbor, he had to say -- do this or we strike. Not easy (also credited for lobbying for 1948 desegregation of US armed forces). But that pesky world depression had been hanging on. Many people weren't doing so great beforehand.
Working class rural whites nudged north to war effort factories. The Monroe Brothers, Charlie and Bill et al,left Kentucky for jobs in Indiana. And brought along the music that would morph into Bluegrass. Transplanted, homesick workers like themselves were the audience.
Anyhow, in short, folks move, bring sounds of home, mutate same. Move, play, repeat.
The broad metaphor/comparison to wartime & postwar C&W that I saw was something like: "I came from one place to another. I remembered/brought along/strived to reenact X, and ended up creating Y."
I could dig deeper for my own memoir of noise to fill out details, but for now just looking to supply the rough scaffolding archetype of displacement/recollection/mutation as a common storyline for many. Maybe you. FWIW.
Please note, yes, facts may prove shaky. Maybe think "poetic license" and tell any analogous story of yours/close acquaintance.
It's always worthwhile (FWIW, right?) to ponder the origins of the music one loves. Country music, in one cover-it-all omniscient sentence, is just another version of the blues. You could take off from there and write a dissertation, but me, I'd rather sit on the couch and play some rockabilly.
oh right--he says! Those of you who know me know that the minute I say something like this, I turn right around and write a freakin' dissertation... must resist... must resist....
Kevin -- I think I get whatcher saying about your "noise" being an evolution of genres, just as C&W is an evolution of genres.
Kevin, I really enjoyed reading your article. Historic and personal-- just like how I like my country music! Thanks for posting!
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noise maker, aesthete at large, provisional poet, ex-songwriter