The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 12: Music

Edited by Bill C. Malone

Charles Reagan Wilson, General Editor

448 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 47 illus., 2 maps, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5908-7
    Published: January 2009
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-1666-7
    Published: February 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8101-4
    Published: February 2014

New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

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Southern music has flourished as a meeting ground for the traditions of West African and European peoples in the region, leading to the evolution of various traditional folk genres, bluegrass, country, jazz, gospel, rock, blues, and southern hip-hop. This much-anticipated volume in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture celebrates an essential element of southern life and makes available for the first time a stand-alone reference to the music and music makers of the American South.

With nearly double the number of entries devoted to music in the original Encyclopedia, this volume includes 30 thematic essays, covering topics such as ragtime, zydeco, folk music festivals, minstrelsy, rockabilly, white and black gospel traditions, and southern rock. And it features 174 topical and biographical entries, focusing on artists and musical outlets. From Mahalia Jackson to R.E.M., from Doc Watson to OutKast, this volume considers a diverse array of topics, drawing on the best historical and contemporary scholarship on southern music. It is a book for all southerners and for all serious music lovers, wherever they live.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi

About the Author

Bill C. Malone is professor of history emeritus at Tulane University and author of many books, including Don't Get Above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working Class.
For more information about Bill C. Malone, visit the Author Page.


"A substantial revision and updating of this monumental work. . . . The entries in the Music volume are well written, accessible, and insightful, and collectively, they make fascinating reading and provide a useful resource for checking basic historical and biographical facts. . . . A first-rate reference work and the only one, at least in a single volume, that covers all of the major musical genres of the American South. It belongs on the bookshelves of scholars and general readers alike who are interested in the region, its culture, or American music."--North Carolina Historical Review

"Focuses on just about every musical genre one could think of. . . . The articles . . . are uniformly excellent and place each musical sub-group in proper context."--Blues News

"The general reader or the scholar . . . will find this encyclopedia a handy introduction to southern music."--The Alabama Review

"This is an encyclopedia so well written you can read entries aloud to a friend or to an audience. Additionally, you can read from page one and find yourself in a drama that demonstrates overwhelmingly that the South is the heart and soul of American music. This is a must for anyone the least bit interested in the South, music, both, or either. This book has given me hours of pleasure--reading about jazz, rock, folk, blues, and spiritual music. Bill C. Malone, Charles Reagan Wilson, and all the folks at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and UNC Press deserve great credit for all the work they are doing in letting us southerners know what we're about--and our contributions to the world, contributions that should make us very proud."--Clyde Edgerton

"If you want to learn more about southern music, get you a copy of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 12: Music, edited by Bill C. Malone."--Loyal Jones, author of Country Music Humorists and Comedians

"The updated version of a useful reference work, this volume is a must for all libraries with an interest in southern music and southern culture."--Jeff Todd Titon, Brown University, author of Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes