In Praise of Authenticity? Atmosphere, Song, and Southern States of Mind in Searching for the Wrong-eyed Jesus
- 121 Downloads
‘It so happens’ writes Michael O’Brien, ‘that a disproportionate amount of American popular culture […] is southern. Jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, rock music, country and western, much in those genres is southern or part of a southern cultural diaspora’. He goes on to mention the omnipresence of depictions of the South in film and television, the influence of Southern literature before claiming that ‘to know the South is indispensable to understanding America’ (O’Brien 2007: 11). It was not always thus: James Cobb argues that the late arrival of Southern music — especially country music — to the rest of America occurred at a time (1970s) when the nation was adjusting to the ‘twin shock of defeat and disillusionment previously only associated with the experience and heritage of the Southern states’ (Cobb 1999: 78). It is worth noting that Southern music — hillbilly music — was not simply unknown previously, it was actively reviled for it was seen as the noise made by the primitive half of the US. If New England was understood as the ‘genesis and crystallization of “American civilization”’, argues Larry Griffin (2006: 7), then the South was ‘America’s opposite, its negative image, its evil twin’.
KeywordsPopular Music Back Region Folk Song Folk Music Musical Tradition
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Allen, Ray (2010). Gone to the Country: The New Lost City Ramblers and the Folk Music Revival (Urbana: University of Illinois Press).Google Scholar
- Ayers, Edward L. (2005). What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History (New York: W.W. Norton).Google Scholar
- Barker, Hugh and Yuval Taylor (2007). Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music (London: Faber and Faber).Google Scholar
- Baudrillard, Jean (1989). America (London: Verso).Google Scholar
- Boym, Svetlana (2008). ‘Ruinophilia: Appreciation of Ruins’, http://monument-totransformation.org/atlas-of-transformation/html/r/ruinophilia/ ruinophilia-appreciation-of-ruins-svetlana-boym.html (accessed 20 July 2014).
- Cobb, James C. (1999). Redefining Southern Culture: Mind and Identity in the Modern South (Athens: University of Georgia Press).Google Scholar
- Dubey, Madhu (2002). ‘Postmodern geographies of the U.S. south’, Nepantla 3(2), pp. 351–371.Google Scholar
- Eco, Umberto (1998 ). Faith in Fakes. Travels in Hyperreality (London: Vintage).Google Scholar
- Fisher, Mark (2013). Ghosts of My Life.Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (Winchester: Zero Books).Google Scholar
- Knudsen, Britta Timm and Anne Marit Waade (2010). ‘Performative authenticity in tourism and spatial experience: Rethinking the relations between travel, place and emotion’, in Britta Timm Knudsen and Anne Marit Waade (eds), Re-investing Authenticity. Tourism, Place and Emotions (Bristol: Channel View Publications), pp. 1–21.Google Scholar
- Lomax, John Avery and Harold William Thompson (1994 ). American Ballads and Folk Songs (New York: Macmillan, Dover Books).Google Scholar
- Marcus, Greil (1997). Invisible Republic. Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (London: Picador).Google Scholar
- Moore, Allan (2002). ‘Authenticity as Authentication’, Popular Music 21(2), pp. 209–223.Google Scholar
- O’Brien, Michael (2007). Placing the South (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi).Google Scholar
- Orvell, Miles (1989). The Real Thing. Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture, 1880–1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press).Google Scholar
- Paz, Octavio (1992). ‘Translation: Literature and Letters’ (trans. Irene del Corral), in Rainer Schulte and John Biguenet (eds), Theories of Translation. An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to Derrida (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), pp. 152–162.Google Scholar
- Reed, John Shelton (1972). The Enduring South. Subcultural Persistence in Mass Society (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books).Google Scholar
- Richards, Keith (2010). Life (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson).Google Scholar
- Roberts, Lisa C. (1997). From knowledge to narrative. Educators and the changing museum. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press).Google Scholar
- Smith, Barnaby (2010). ‘Johnny Dowd’ http://landlockedbluesblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/johnny-dowd/ (15 April accessed 20 July 2014).
- Smith, Lindzee (1990). ‘Nick cave’, BOMB 31 (Spring) http://bombmagazine.org/article/1313/ nick-cave (accessed 20 July 2014).