Review by Booklist Review
As the song says, "I was country when country wasn't cool." The editors of Country Music Magazine have taken the surge in the music's popularity as an opportunity to compile a replacement for their 1974 Country Music Encyclopedia. The 680 entries are mainly biographical, but some cover key features of country music history. The encyclopedia spans country's history from John Carson (born 1868) to such newcomers as Trisha Yearwood. The biographical entries open with birth and death dates and birthplace. The signed profiles discuss some personal details but focus mainly on careers, hit-song albums, influences, etc. They range in length from three-quarters of a column for Tim McGraw to two pages for Buck Owens. Nonsinging performers such as comedian Rod Brasfield and disk jockey Captain Midnight are also covered. There are no cross-references or discographies. Black-and-white photos accent many entries. Some established artists such as Loretta Lynn are given "now" and "then" shots. Nonbiographical listings run the gamut from places (Branson, Missouri) to companies (Gibson--the instrument maker), to genres (Bluegrass), to radio shows (Louisiana Hayride). The encyclopedia does not include a bibliography or an index. The Comprehensive Country Music Encyclopedia, with its greater breadth of music history, acts as a complement to the recent New Country Music Encyclopedia (RBB Mr 15 94), which emphasizes active performers. A good purchase for public, academic, and music libraries. (Reviewed February 01, 1995)
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Written in a style reminiscent of popular magazines, this easy-to-read and informative encyclopedia ranges from Roy Acuff to Zydeco. Biographical sketches of old-timers, seasoned favorites, the lesser known, and glitzy newcomers dominate the pages to such an extent that a topical entry catches the reader by surprise. Among performers rating full-page write-ups are Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, George Jones, Emmylou Harris, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Johnny Cash. Sandwiched in between the biographies are the venues (The Grand Ole Opry), genres (honky-tonk, Western swing), labels (RCA Victor), recording studios, and radio shows as well as odds and ends such as reissues, Gibson, and Nashville. However, to call the volume "comprehensive" may be misleading, as it appears to be no more complete than other country music encyclopedias, such as Fred Dellar and other's Harmony Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music (Crown, 1987. rev. ed.). Still, given the popularity of Country Music Magazine, large public libraries and libraries with country music collections will want to add this solid contribution to the literature of the field.-Kathleen Sparkman, Baylor Univ., Waco, Tex. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.