Month: February 2015

A few thoughts about Robert Cantwell’s Hillbilly Music Chapter

After reading chapter 2 “Hillbilly Music from Robert Cantwell’s book Bluegrass Breakdown I found some ironic, in my opinion, situations that occurred during the early years of Bluegrass. I think without the Great Depression Bluegrass would have taken longer to have been nationally broadcast. Once Bluegrass became popular with the Barn Dances and was played … Continue reading A few thoughts about Robert Cantwell’s Hillbilly Music Chapter

Discussion Questions 2/11

Cantwell often refers to themes of nostalgia and longing for times past within Bluegrass, but he also brings up the fact that performers had to pay attention to changes in popular taste and remain commercially current. How was this balance struck…

A bit of a shock

It is always a bit of a shock to realize that the human career, which seems so brief from within, can embrace spans of time which have become historical.” -Robert Cantwell, Bluegrass Breakdown

The Roots of Innovation

“What distinguished the Monroe Brother’s music from the rest was perhaps that it best exploited the medium of radio by discovering ways to excel within its narrow auditory confines.” -Robert Cantwell, Bluegrass Breakdown Historian and Folklorist, Robert Cantwell, argues that Hillbilly artists like The Skillet Lickers found a new freedom in the recording studio, taking … Continue reading The Roots of Innovation

A Side Note:

A side note: Does Robert Cantwell’s description of Radio’s power to connect remind anyone else of the Internet’s role today? “Before the pervasive influence of network broadcasting, federal regulation, and commercial homogenization, the radio dial was an instrument of fantastic sweep and power, which could convey the listener aurally from region to region, city to city, and … Continue reading A Side Note:

Robert Cantwell’s “Hillbilly Music”

Robert Cantwell’s “Hillbilly Music” focuses on the commercial background of the Bluegrass genre, specifically the Monroe Brothers’ music. Cantwell begins this chapter with some of Bill Monroe’s background. In 1929, Monroe moved to Whiting, Indiana from rural Kentucky along with many other Southern migrants after World War I. He worked in a Sinclair refinery for […]

Radio Influence and Hillbilly Music

In Robert Cantwell’s article, Hillbilly Music, I learned many things about how the music industry played a big role in bringing “hillbilly music” to life in the early 20th century. Cantwell begins by introducing Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass, and reviewing his start as a boy in rural Kentucky who travelled to Whiting in order to … Continue reading Radio Influence and Hillbilly Music

The Influence of Radio

In Robert Cantwell’s article, Hillbilly Music, I learned many things about how the music industry played a big role in bringing “hillbilly music” to life in the early 20th century. Cantwell begins by introducing Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass, and reviewing…

Thoughts on “Hillbilly Music”

“Hillbilly Music”, the second chapter of Robert Cantwell’s book “Bluegrass Breakdown”, details some of the influences from other music genres such as jazz and also the impact that the radio made on Bill Monroe’s bluegrass sound. Elements associated with jazz were implemented Monroe’s music and became a defining trait to not only his music, but … Continue reading Thoughts on “Hillbilly Music”

Radio and Bluegrass in the Early Days

In Robert Cantwell’s article, Hillbilly Music, Cantwell writes about the influence that radio had on bluegrass music in the genre’s early days.  In the 1920’s, when the Monroe Brothers were coming into prominence, radio was in its early stages.  The quality of audio coming out of radios wasn’t anywhere near the quality we are used to today, […]