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Yankee TwangCountry and Western Music in New England$
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Clifford R. Murphy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038679

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038679.001.0001

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“It Beats Digging Clams”

“It Beats Digging Clams”

The Working life of Country and Western Musicians in the Barnstorming Era

(p.145) 5 “It Beats Digging Clams”
Yankee Twang
Clifford R. Murphy
University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at how country and western music has provided a way of making a living for several thousand people in New England over the course of the music's history in the region. Gift exchange and the spirit of community are important elements of the country and western event. And yet, for the New England country and western musician, it is also about the money. Modern-day New England country and western musicians who make a working-class “living” do so by augmenting their earnings from a day job with money earned from music, or they work as musical chameleons ready to adapt to a wide variety of musical shades. Country and western music actually provided a better income and a more cosmopolitan lifestyle than most working-class people could expect from factory, agricultural, woods, or maritime work.

Keywords:   country and western music, New England musicians, country and western events, working-class living, cosmopolitan lifestyle

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