The story behind the story of American country music goes back to Appalachian roots and the people who sang for local audiences and early radios in the early 20th century. No matter what you call the songs w--country, folk, traditional, old-time, hillbilly, and bluegrass--it is the music of a special breed of talented people who were part of one of the most interesting musical and entertainment stories in America's history. In their own words and those of family members, these tales relate the hard work, luck, and do-it-yourself independence of the pioneers of this music. Some became household names while others were important but remained almost totally unkwn to the general public. Here you meet the Carter family, Jack Jackson, Bob Douglas, Grandpa Jones, Bashful Brother Oswald, Mac Wiseman, Earl Scruggs, Raymond Fairchild, and other greats of the field. Their touching personal stories and 190 photographs showing the artists with their instruments, families, and audiences, bring this musical heritage to life for modern listeners.
John Rice Irwin is the founder of the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee. He has written several other books on Appalachian people (**Alex Stewart: Portrait of a Pioneer**), quilts, baskets, guns, and musical instruments.