Advice to country music lovers: ‘Her Country’ is the book for you | News, Sports, Jobs

“Her Country: How Women in Country Music Became the Hit They Were Never Meant to Be” by Marissa R. Moss, circa 2022, Henry Holt, $28.99, 320 pages.

Fingers on the second, third and fourth strings.

Placed correctly, that’s how you make a chord on the guitar; the joke is that you only need to know three out of five chords to sing country music. Do them right, and you could be a star – unless you’re a woman and then, as in ” His country “ by Marissa R. Moss, your whole career could be worrying you.

Twenty-three years ago, little girls sitting in the back of their parents’ vehicles might have been listening to country music from the radio up front and dreaming of being singers like Shania, Mindy and Jo Dee. These women joined legends like Loretta and Dolly and Patsy with their painful lyrics about real life and relationships.

Around the same time, Moss says, three young female singers began making waves in their Texas hometowns. Twelve-year-old Kacey Musgraves’ grandmother used her contacts and influence to bring her granddaughter’s duo before a president and a national audience at a time when country music was not yet heavily political .

Eleven-year-old Maren Morris would appear on stage with experienced musicians several years older than her and wow the crowds. And 16-year-old Mickey Guyton saw white girls everywhere taking breaks and succeeding, and she wondered why the genre largely ignored black singers like her.

Twenty-three years ago, women were making huge strides in country music, says Moss, but 1999 was the year everything changed again. Backlash for Taylor Swift “errors” got him out of country music.

Chely Wright was quickly ignored for coming out as a lesbian.

Tanya Tucker “was turned into a wizarding, rebellious floozy instead of a brilliant performer.”

And the Telecommunications Act 1996 allowed “huge conglomerates” to buy up small radio stations and consolidate them, instituting archaic rules and running good old boy events that many artists hated.

And the women of the country fought back…

Absolutely, ” His country “ will divide readers into two categories: fans and non-fans.

For the latter group, author Marissa R. Moss might as well diagram the electronics of a military tank here – that is, you can try to follow in this book, but its extensive use of first names implies that you will need at least some knowledge of country music to do so.

If you don’t have one, then well…

Country music listeners, however — especially fans of Nashville’s epic singers and songwriters — will devour tales of their favorites’ struggles and the spunk they had to use to achieve success. Reading about their clever moves and career decisions at any cost will make you happily feel like an insider; reading about the trade shows they are obligated to attend will make you want to stomp on your cowboy boot design.

So: not a fan, not your book.

If you’re into country music, what are you doing here?

Go. Go get that book. Gwan. For you, ” His country “ will surely find the right match.

Terry Schlichenmeyer lives in Wisconsin with his two dogs and a collection of nearly 20,000 books.

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