WKU Libraries’ Kentucky Live! presented Kristine McCusker who spoke about her new book “Lonesome Cowgirls & Honky-Tonk Angels: The Women of Barn Dance Radio,” at Barnes and Noble on September 11 2008.
Popular between the two world wars, American barn dance radio evoked comforting images of a nostalgic and stable past for listeners beset by economic problems at home and worried about totalitarian governments abroad. Sentimental images such as the mountain mother and the chaste everybody’s-little-sister “girl singer” helped to sell a new consumer culture and move commercial country music from regional fare to national treasure. Kristine M. McCusker examines the gendered politics of these images through the lives and careers of six women performers.
Kristine M. McCusker is an associate professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University. She is coeditor of A Boy Named Sue: Gender and Country Music.