I recently received a copy of Clifford R. Murphy‘s work on New England country-and-western music (both kinds—Cliff insists, correctly, that the ‘western’ component was a big part of New England country music, at least until local performances on radio disappeared and the stream of records out of Nashville took over). I’ve started reading Yankee Twang: Country and Western Music in New England, and plan to comment further once I’ve finished. Cliff of course has a standing invitation to visit and talk about his work in New England on Hillbilly at Harvard.
The book is published in hardcover by the University of Illinois Press. If you’ve more than a passing interest in the history of country (and western) music in New England, this will likely be the definitive work for some time to come.
One oddity: When Cliff first showed up at WHRB, I had been playing a few cuts from a disc called Hank Williams Jr. High from a New Hampshire alt-country band with the unlikely name of Hog Mawl. Turns out Cliff was a member. He knows about twang first-hand.
More anon. /CL