Rednecks and Bluenecks
The Politics of Country MusicBook - 2005
Now in paperback, the nationally acclaimed Rednecks and Bluenecks is veteran Entertainment Weekly journalist Chris Willman's lively account of "how music makes strange political bedfellows and how artists' perceived politics change over time" ( Booklist ). How did the erstwhile music of the rural working class come to be the music of choice of the GOP? Rednecks and Bluenecks looks at the way country's increasing popularity and conservative drift parallel the transformation of the Democratic South into the heart of the Republican mainstream.
Written in a "breezy, irreverent style" ( Publishers Weekly ), Rednecks and Bluenecks "explore[s] the left- or right-wing leanings of his subjects, from heavyweights like the Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith, Steve Earle, Brooks & Dunn, and Clint Black to newer, minor artists like the Drive-By Truckers." Interviewing "nearly everyone who's anyone in country music, from Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn to current superstars like Ronnie Dunn" ( In These Times ), Willman makes clear that country is a place where a passionate American political debate is taking place.