Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Booknote: Vinyl Hayride

Paul Kingsbury, Vinyl Hayride: Country Music Album Covers, 1947-1989. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2003. ISBN: 0811835723.

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: music, photography, vintage, country music
Format: trade paperback
Source: my local public library

This is a big fun book with a lot of rhinestones and occasional cheesiness. This is a historical compilation of country music album covers from 1947 to 1989. The book covers go from the late 1940s (around the time record companies really took off as a marketing form) to 1989 (seen as the year when CDs supplanted LPs). The book provides a brief introduction to put things in context. After that, you just get five chapters full of glorious and ridiculous at times, funny and serious, simple or extravagant album covers. The book's five chapters are:

  • Hillbilly Heaven
  • Cool Cowboy
  • Wheels and Tears
  • Nashville Zodiac
  • Big City Turn Me Loose
I enjoyed this book because there are moments when you outright have to laugh. But you also see how social  mores and sensibilities have changed over time. Don't get me wrong. Compared to other genres, country music is and has always remained a very conservative genre. Sure, it may have had a few outlaws, but overall, it is still very conservative, and the covers do reflect this. There is nothing risque here as there could be in other genres. Still, it is a fun book to look over. Country music fans, especially old school fans, will probably enjoy this nice trip down memory lane where you see both artists who went on to become starts and artists who pretty much never made it and fizzled out. You get all sorts of things here from cartoon illustrations to glamour shots to things that, well, you just have to read the book to see.

This is definitely a good selection for public libraries, especially if they have some country music fans as patrons. 

4 out of 5 stars.

The book qualifies for the following 2015 Reading Challenges:


Tracy said...

Hi! I wanted to let you know that the 2015 Horror Reading Challenge wrap up and giveaway has been posted! Check it out here!

Tracy @ Cornerfolds

Angel Rivera said...

Thank you for stopping by Tracy. I will be checking it out. Best, and keep on blogging.