Historian and musician Bill C. Malone will discuss his new book and perform country music with his wife Bobbie Malone on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University. The event is free and open to the public.
Widely recognized as America's leading authority on country music, Malone is the author of the definitive history of the field, "Country Music, U.S.A." His other books include "Southern Music/American Music and Singing Cowboys" and "Musical Mountaineers."
His most recent book, "Don't Get above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working Class," examines the close relationship between the music and the Southern working-class culture that created it.
According to Charles Joyner, Burroughs Distinguished Professor of History and director of the Waccamaw Center at Coastal, "Don't Get above Your Raisin'" is Malone's masterpiece. "Part memoir, part novel, part cultural criticism, it comes from a lifetime of research and contemplation of the meaning of country music.
Malone, who admits that "I would have given up tenure for one night on the Grand Ole Opry," says he wrote this book to honor the dignity of his parents and others like them who created the richly-textured working-class world from which country music comes.
"For every Garth Brooks," he notes, "there are a thousand country musicians who perform in local bars, taverns, and American Legion halls and who have never been able to 'give up their day jobs.' These are musicians whose middle-class dreams are tempered by working-class realities."
- Professor emeritus of history at Tulane University, Malone has also taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Wisconsin.
- A native of Texas, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He is also an alumnus of the Hill Country Ramblers, a legendary bluegrass band that at one time included Bela Fleck on banjo.
- Bobbie Malone earned a Ph.D. in history at Tulane University. She is director of the Office of School Services at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
The lecture/concert will be followed by a reception and book signing. Copies of "Don't Get above Your Raisin'" will be available for sale. Call 349-2015 for more information.