Gone Country: Portraits of New Country Music's Stars

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9780028645940: Gone Country: Portraits of New Country Music's Stars

Country Music / PhotographyA field guide to country musics hot young starsThe hottest category of the record industry right now, country music is in the process of a generational transition, from the legends of the past to the icons of tomorrow. With an introduction by Chet Flippo, Billboard Magazines Nashville correspondent, and photographed by the award-winning Raeanne Rubenstein, Gone Country explores the transition from leading older performers like Merle Haggard and Barbara Mandrell to chart-busting young acts like Randy Travis and Shania Twain.Raeanne Rubenstein has been documenting country music performers for over 25 years. Her work was the subject of a special supplement to the Journal of Country Music in the spring of 1995. Chet Flippo is the Nashville correspondent for Billboard Magazine. He is the author of Everybody was Kung-fu Dancing, Graceland: The Living Legend of Elvis Presley, Your Cheatin Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams, among other works.

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Raeanne Rubenstein has been photographing C&W legends since the 1970s. Her work isn't absolutely consistent: her portraits of Big Hats such as Billy Ray Cyrus or Alan Jackson look more like anonymous publicity stills. But many of the images in Gone Country have an interesting, off-center quality to them: take the dual portrait of Glen Campbell and Mickey Gilley, who look like they're performing the March of the Wooden Soldiers on the edge of an Arkansas interstate. Steve Earle appears suitably dissipated, Emmylou Harris looks ready to attend some celestial prom night, and Rubinstein's shot of Chet Atkins imparts an oddball menace to the consummate countrypolitan picker. Taken as a whole, the book opens fascinating window on Nashville culture. It also demonstrates that in country music, almost every day is a bad hair day for somebody.

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