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Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and CowgirlsWomen's Country Music, 1930-1960$
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Stephanie Vander Wel

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043086

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043086.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls

Stephanie Vander Wel

University of Illinois Press

The introduction presents an overview of the relationship between the larger cultural factors of place, class, and gender and the sonic and theatrical elements of women in country music. Locating musical and cultural meaning in the intersections of individual expression and musical conventions, this chapter focuses on the ways female vocalists drew on the practices of the popular stage (including barn-dance radio and its predecessors) and singing styles linked to southern vernacular and popular music idioms. Female country artists offered creative and varied versions of white working-class womanhood in their performances that articulated the cultural tensions arising from displacement and the shifts in gender roles and class during the Great Depression and during and after World War II.

Keywords:   place, class, gender, singing style, displacement, female vocalists, country music, Great Depression, World War II

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