Reading Something Country #1

“Country music is no longer simply an American cultural expression; it is now a phenomenon of worldwide appeal. Nevertheless, it defies precise definition, and no term (not even “country”) has ever successfully encapsulated its essence. It is is a vigorous hybrid of music, constantly changing and growing in complexity, just as the society in which it thrives also matures and evolves. It was introduced to the world as a southern phenomenon, and in the sixty years of more since it was first commercialised it has preserved, to a remarkable degree, the marks of that origin. The music is nonetheless older than the South itself, and the massive commercialisation it has undergone is merely a facet of that larger technological and communications revolution which has so radically transformed American popular tastes and steadily worked to pull the rural, socially conservative South into the homogenizing mainstream of American life”

(Malone, Bill C. Country Music, U.S.A. New York: University of Texas, 2002, p1)