In a recent article published in The Conversation and The Washington Post, American Studies Lecturer Clifford Murphy wrote about his research documenting New England’s country music history and traditions in order to understand how the region once home to a robust country music culture merely sixty years ago now has a much different country music scene.
“In short, the arrival of television compromised the profit margins of radio, replacing live musicians with disc jockeys. Meanwhile, the country music industry consolidated in Nashville, where country format radio was born,” Murphy wrote. He discussed the culture shift away from “the people” to more centralized commercial broadcasts and how the concept has extended into other spheres of regional American life.
Murphy, who is Program Director of Folk & Traditional Arts at the Maryland State Arts Council, turned his research into a new book titled Yankee Twang, which was published this month by University of Illinois Press. For more information, click here. To read Murphy’s full article titled “Country pop is having a moment in the Northeast. But its soaring popularity is threatening to kill regional music,” click here.