A deep look at the firmly-rooted, if often obscured presence of African American music in some of the most legendary country music ever made, onward up to contemporary, post-millenium country's flirtation with hip hop. Edited by Diane Pecknold and featuring work by herself, and Michael Awkward, Erika Brady, Barbara Ching, Adam Gussow, Patrick Huber, Charles Hughes, Jeffrey A. Keith
, Kip Lornell, David Sanjek, Tony Thomas, Jerry Wever. It goes way back to the beginning – with the story of Tee Tot Payne, the street musician who taught young Hank Williams
Sr., black fiddler and guitarist Arnold Shultz's influence on bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe, and other interesting country origins stories – plus contemporary country's homogenization of hip hop influences. Paperback, 392 pages.