Honky-Tonk Gospel: The Story of Sin and Salvation in Country Music

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9780801063558: Honky-Tonk Gospel: The Story of Sin and Salvation in Country Music
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Well-paid and educated professionals are joining the crowd of country music aficionados. Included in this CD-buying and concert-going audience are Christians.

This book explores the intense spiritual tensions and differing values that emerge so clearly in the genre by examining country music's history, selected artists, and themes. Most important, it answers a compelling question: How is it that country artists can sing about a Saturday night bash at a honky-tonk and then turn around and extol the praises of going to worship on Sunday?

Readers will learn that the country music worldview is large enough to encompass both sin and grace. In fact, country music is popular because it sings about almost every facet of life.

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From the Back Cover:

Cheatin' Hearts Meet Amazing Grace

"I love songs about horses, railroads, land, judgment day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak, and love. And Mother. And God." -Johnny Cash

The worldview of Christianity-specifically, the battle between human sin and God's grace-is a recurring theme in country music, a genre that is fast becoming one of the most popular American music styles.

In this intriguing cultural analysis, the authors explore the intense spiritual tensions and differing values that emerge so clearly in contemporary country music by examining its history, selected artists, and themes. Most important, Honky-Tonk Gospel answers a compelling question: How is it that country artists can sing about a Saturday night bash at a honky-tonk and then turn around and extol the praises of going to worship on Sunday?

As the authors point out, the country music worldview is large enough to encompass both sin and grace. In fact, country music is so appealing because it sings about almost every facet of life-hard times and all.

About the Author:

Gene Edward Veith is dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and professor of humanities at Concordia University-Wisconsin, cultural editor of World magazine, and the author of several books. He resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Thomas Wilmeth is professor of English at Concordia and has also written about country music. He lives in Grafton, Wisconsin.

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