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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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Country Vocalities and Gendered Theatrics

(p.191) Conclusion
Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls

Stephanie Vander Wel

University of Illinois Press

The conclusion considers the ways in which female country artists of the 1960s and 1970s and more contemporary artists have drawn on the performative and singing practices of women in early country music. Specifically, it examines Loretta Lynn’s inclusion of the musical tropes and vocal expressions of honky-tonk and how Dolly Parton has combined past theatrical conventions with contrasting vocal approaches in her fluid play of gender. The Dixie Chicks, Gretchen Wilson, and Miranda Lambert have also carried the recurrent themes of the past to the dynamic present in their performances of the singing cowgirl, the redneck woman, and the crazy ex-girlfriend. The conclusion argues that the stylized displays of rusticity, working-class womanhood, confrontational narratives, and vocalities redolent of past traditions have all had a lasting influence on recent female artists.

Keywords:   Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson, class, gender, vocality, theatrics

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