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Issue 119, Winter 2022
Themes of reaching back, across genres and labels, time and memory, appear throughout this edition. The 2022 Country Roots Music Issue features an impressive lineup of contributors: radio host and musician Rissi Palmer traces the long lineage of Black musicians’ contributions to country music; Rodney Crowell reflects on writing just two of the songs from his long and award-winning career; and Dr. Francesca T. Royster, author of Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions, recalls her father’s career as a session musician in ’70s Nashville. Dr. Charles Hughes, author of Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South, listens to Millie Jackson, while Jason Kyle Howard brings Tanya Tucker her flowers. David Ramsey tells the mostly true story of Hiram Williams—better known as Hank. In a visual and archival ballad, John Jeremiah Sullivan uncovers the chilling history of a series of suicides in Texas. National Book Award finalist and OA contributing editor Imani Perry educates us on the country idiom of hip-hop. Our songbook travels from the South to New Jersey to the West to Ireland and beyond, celebrating the indelible sounds of truth, community, and hope.
Gus Stewart, Gijsbert Hanekroot, Sheri Lynn Behr, Charles Chamblis, Aaron Morse, Julie Blackmon, Josina Guess, Phylicia J. L. Munn, Mike White, John Mullins, Jen Borst, Forrest VanTuyl, Susana Raab, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, T-Marie Nolan, Carter/Reddy, Sid O’Berry, Jamaal Peterman, Ed Thrasher, Julia Reinhart, Christophe Ketels, Mike Reddy, Julia Johnson, Bobbi Fabian, Ralph Dominguez, Rick Kramer, David C. Morton, Greg Mathison, Molly McCall
Cover: Source photographs (clockwise from top): Linda Ronstadt © Gus Stewart/Redferns/Getty Images; Emmylou Harris © Gijsbert Hanekroot/Alamy; Dolly Parton © Sheri Lynn Behr/Alamy