Cover for vanderwel: Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music, 1930-1960. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls

Women’s Country Music, 1930-1960

Pioneering women and their soundtrack of searching in country music

From the 1930s to the 1960s, the booming popularity of country music threw a spotlight on a new generation of innovative women artists. These individuals blazed trails as singers, musicians, and performers even as the industry hemmed in their potential popularity with labels like woman hillbilly, singing cowgirl, and honky-tonk angel.

Stephanie Vander Wel looks at the careers of artists like Patsy Montana, Rose Maddox, and Kitty Wells against the backdrop of country music's golden age. Analyzing recordings and appearances on radio, film, and television, she connects performances to real and imagined places and examines how the music sparked new ways for women listeners to imagine the open range, the honky-tonk, and the home. The music also captured the tensions felt by women facing geographic disruption and economic uncertainty. While classic songs and heartfelt performances might ease anxieties, the subject matter underlined women's ambivalent relationships to industrialism, middle-class security, and established notions of femininity.

"Women’s struggle for inclusion is one of the biggest stories in country music today. Vander Wel’s rich history shows how female artists fought for a voice and made it central to country’s stories of gender, class, and migration in mid–twentieth-century America."--Nadine Hubbs, author of Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music

"Vander Wel sheds important new light on the ways that women in country music have deployed their singing voices and theatrical skills to create female spaces and identities in country music."--Travis D. Stimeling, author of Cosmic Cowboys and New Hicks: The Countercultural Sounds of Austin's Progressive Country Music Scene

Publication of this book was supported by grants from the Judith McCulloh Endowment for American Music and from the AMS 75 PAYS Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Stephanie Vander Wel is an associate professor of music at the University at Buffalo.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/58eky4sk9780252043086.html

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

Related Titles

previous book next book
Music and the Moving Image - Cover
Music and the Moving Image

Edited by Gillian B. Anderson & Ronald H. Sadoff

Banjo Roots and Branches - Cover
Banjo Roots and Branches

Edited by Robert B. Winans

Don't Give Your Heart to a Rambler - Cover
Don't Give Your Heart to a Rambler

My Life with Jimmy Martin, the King of Bluegrass

Barbara Martin Stephens

Right to the Juke Joint - Cover
Right to the Juke Joint

A Personal History of American Music

Patrick B. Mullen

Peggy Seeger - Cover
Peggy Seeger

A Life of Music, Love, and Politics

Jean R. Freedman

Bill Clifton - Cover
Bill Clifton

America's Bluegrass Ambassador to the World

Bill C. Malone

Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Cover
Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain Breakdown

The Making of an American Classic

Thomas Goldsmith

Dixie Dewdrop - Cover
Dixie Dewdrop

The Uncle Dave Macon Story

Michael D. Doubler

Bill Monroe - Cover
Bill Monroe

The Life and Music of the Blue Grass Man

Tom Ewing

Twentieth Century Drifter - Cover
Twentieth Century Drifter

The Life of Marty Robbins

Diane Diekman

Foggy Mountain Troubadour - Cover
Foggy Mountain Troubadour

The Life and Music of Curly Seckler

Penny Parsons

Unlikely Angel - Cover
Unlikely Angel

The Songs of Dolly Parton

Lydia R. Hamessley

American Music - Cover
American Music

Edited by Gayle Sherwood Magee

In It for the Long Run - Cover
In It for the Long Run

A Musical Odyssey

Jim Rooney

Czech Bluegrass - Cover
Czech Bluegrass

Notes from the Heart of Europe

Lee Bidgood

Bluegrass Generation - Cover
Bluegrass Generation

A Memoir

Neil V. Rosenberg