The University of Illinois Press is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Music in American Life book series with the publication of two new titles:  Stephen Wade’s The Beautiful Music All Around Us:  Field Recordings and the American Experience (September 10) and Josh Graves’ Bluegrass Bluesman:  A Memoir (September 27).

In 1972 the University of Illinois Press launched Music in American Life with Archie Green’s book Only a Miner:  Studies in Recorded Coal-Mining Songs and has since published more than 160 books in the series.

“Music in American Life embodies the twin goals of documenting the place of music in
American history and the cultural life that gives rise to particular musical forms,” said current series editor Laurie Matheson.

The inaugural series editor, Judith McCulloh, was the 2010 recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes Award from the National Endowment for the Arts for her significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.  This was recognition of her pioneering work in folklore and on Music in American Life.

Encompassing the broadest range of music, from classical through all forms of American
vernacular music, the series welcomes a variety of approaches to the topic of music in American life, including monographs, biographies, memoirs, reference books, readers, and edited collections.

Recently published titles include the critically acclaimed biography of former Cleveland
Orchestra conductor George Szell, the award winning Crowe on the Banjo:  The Music Life of J. D. Crowe, an examination of Sacred Steel guitar music, the first biography of country music superstar Marty Robbins, and Woody Guthrie, American Radical, a timely look at the politics of America’s dustbowl troubadour.

For more information on Music in American Life, contact:

Michael Roux
University of Illinois Press

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