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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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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Domestic Respectability

Domestic Respectability

The Marketing of Honky-Tonk Performers

Chapter:
(p.175) 7 Domestic Respectability
Source:
Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls
Author(s):

Stephanie Vander Wel

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043086.003.0008

Chapter 7 positions the commercial success of female country artists and the narratives of honky-tonk music against the marketing strategies of 1950s country music. As the country music industry strove for commercial acceptance in the popular music market, it promoted its male (including Hank Williams and Webb Pierce) and female performers (such as Kitty Wells, Jean Shepard, and Goldie Hill) as examples of middle-class propriety. This chapter argues that the contradictions between the lyrical themes of honky-tonk music and the 1950s tropes of domesticity used in marketing individual country artists spoke of and assuaged the anxieties and tensions of social class and geographical migration for an audience of displaced white southerners.

Keywords:   Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells, Jean Shepard, Goldie Hill, honky-tonk, migration, 1950s, gender, class

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