Cover for Jones: Country Music Humorists and Comedians. Click for larger image

Country Music Humorists and Comedians

An exhaustive reference detailing the mirth and music of country music humorists and comedians

This volume is an encyclopedia of country music performers who have used comedy as a central component of their presentation. Loyal Jones offers a conversational and informative biographical sketch of each performer, often including a sample of the musician's humor, a recording history, and amusing anecdotal tidbits. In an entertaining style, Jones covers performers throughout the twentieth century, from such early stars of vaudeville and radio barn dances as the Skillet Lickers and the Weaver Brothers and Elviry, to regulars on Hee Haw and the Grand Old Opry, continuing to current comedians such as the Austin Lounge Lizards, Ray Stevens, and Jeff Foxworthy.

This comprehensive, readable reference opens with a broad introductory essay on country humor, discussing such topics as stock comic figures, venues for comedic performance, and benchmark performers. Throughout the volume, Jones places each performer squarely in the context of the country music community and its performing traditions. Readers will learn a good deal about musical instruments, yodeling, life on the road, the cultural milieu of these performers, and the roots of country music humor.


“If Cratis Williams is the father of Appalachian Studies and Helen Lewis its mother, than I reckon Loyal Jones would have to be considered the midwife of it all. . . . This book reflects not only his disarming sense of humor, but also his meticulous attention to voluminous details, his considerable scholarship, and his substantial wisdom.”--Appalachian Heritage

"Southern humor, rural comedy and its practitioners are brilliantly showcased."--The Nashville Musician

"A treasure trove of information. . . . Will make a wonderful reference book for years to come."--Bluegrass Unlimited

"The importance of the subject emphasized by Jones is unquestionable. Humor has been an indispensable ingredient of country music entertainment and is in fact a major force in its worldwide success. This volume is insightful, informative, and entertaining."--Bill C. Malone, author of Don't Get Above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working Class

"This stimulating book is a significant contribution to several fields. Students of country music, American history, performing arts, minstrel heritage, and the roots of comedy as it related to various subcultures of the American panorama will all want the detailed information only this author can provide. This book is one of a kind."--Ron Thomason, founder of the bluegrass band Dry Branch Fire Squad


Loyal Jones is the author of nine books and dozens of articles on Appalachian culture, including Laughter in Appalachia: A Festival of Southern Mountain Humor. For twenty-three years he was director of the Appalachian Center at Berea College.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/56cpx9fz9780252033698.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

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