To coincide with this month’s International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass event in Raleigh, North Carolina, we are offering eBook versions of four University of Illinois Press music titles on sale for $2.99. The sale will run through October 31.
Pretty Good for a Girl: Women in Bluegrass by Murphy Hicks Henry
The first book devoted entirely to women in bluegrass, Pretty Good for a Girl documents the lives of more than seventy women whose vibrant contributions to the development of bluegrass have been, for the most part, overlooked. Drawing from extensive interviews, well-known banjoist Murphy Hicks Henry gives voice to women performers and innovators throughout bluegrass’s history. Buy the Kindle version here. Buy the Kobo version here. Buy the Google Play version here. Buy the Nook version here.
Ring Shout, Wheel About: The Racial Politics of Music and Dance in North American Slavery by Katrina Dyonne Thompson
In this ambitious project, historian Katrina Thompson examines the conceptualization and staging of race through the performance, sometimes coerced, of black dance from the slave ship to the minstrel stage. She shows how these performances informed white European and American understandings of race, influenced interactions between whites and blacks, and often held conflicting meanings in enslaved people’s lives. Drawing on travel journals, slave narratives, popular literature, and historical sources, Thompson explicates how black dance was used by whites to justify enslavement, perpetuate the existing racial hierarchy, and mask the brutality of the domestic slave trade. Whether on slave ships, at the auction block, or on plantations, whites often used coerced performances to oppress and demean the enslaved. Buy the Kindle version here. Buy the Kobo version here. Buy the Google Play version here. Buy the Nook version here.
Bean Blossom: The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festivals by Thomas A. Adler
Widely recognized as the oldest continuously running bluegrass music festival in the world, this June festival’s roots run back to late 1951, when Monroe purchased the Brown County Jamboree, a live weekly country music show presented between April and November each year. Over the years, Monroe’s festival featured the top performers in bluegrass music, including Jimmy Martin, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, the Goins Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, and many more. Thomas A. Adler’s history of Bean Blossom traces the long and colorful life of the Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festival. Buy the Kindle version here. Buy the Kobo version here. Buy the Google Play version here. Buy the Nook version here.
Working Girl Blues: The Life and Music of Hazel Dickens by Hazel Dickens and Bill C. Malone
Hazel Dickens was an Appalachian singer and songwriter known for her superb musicianship, feminist country songs, union anthems, and blue-collar laments. Working Girl Blues presents forty original songs that Hazel Dickens wrote about coal mining, labor issues, personal relationships, and her life and family in Appalachia. Conveying sensitivity, determination, and feistiness, Dickens comments on each of her songs, explaining how she came to write them and what they meant and continue to mean to her. Bill C. Malone’s introduction traces Dickens’s life, musical career, and development as a songwriter. Buy the Kindle version here. Buy the Kobo version here. Buy the Google Play version here. Buy the Nook version here.