Ramblin' Rose: The Life and Career of Rose Maddox by Jonny Whiteside

By Jonny Whiteside

Winner of the 1998 ARSC AwardA groundbreaking learn of 1 of the pioneering ladies of nation tune, whose biography sheds new mild on either the function of ladies in postwar the US and the expansion of the track company in California. it is a Depression-era saga correct out of Steinbeck. The strongwilled matriarch of a rural Alabama family members uproots her husband and 6 little ones and drives them westward strolling and by means of boxcar, via sheer dedication, on a trip of 2 thousand miles to California the place a brand new lifestyles starts off. 4 years later, at age 11, youngest daughter Rose Maddox steps to the microphone for the 1st time to sing on radio with the kinfolk band. inside every week, the Maddox Brothers & Rose obtain one thousand letters, launching the crowd on a rustic song occupation that finally levels from the rodeo indicates of the West to the brilliant lighting of Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. during this meticulously researched biography, veteran song journalist Jonny Whiteside recounts the colourful tale of this pioneering girl who actually grew up within the male-dominated enclaves of nation track and struggled to make a spot for herself there. In Rose Maddox, Whiteside has stumbled on a very good protagonist for his tale: a fiery, strongwilled entertainer whose track has had a power a ways past her handful of hits at the checklist charts, and who in lots of methods, Whiteside convincingly argues, prefigured the arrival of rock and roll. within the strategy, Whiteside introduces us to a number of memorable characters--stars like Hank Williams and Roy Acuff; behind-the-scenes movers and shakers like checklist males Cliffie Stone and invoice McCall; and, on the middle of the tale, the irrepressible Maddox kin themselves, whose freewheeling song so faithfully mirrored the hurlyburly international of California's displaced migrant employees. Ramblin' Rose is a long-overdue paintings of analysis and synthesis that files not just the lifetime of an unsung musical trailblazer but in addition the colourful, roughhewn West Coast kingdom song scene that when rivaled Nashville and left an indelible imprint at the well known song of this present day.

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Example text

J. Meekins, Inez Savage, Bobby Jobe, Richard and Linda Thompson, Mack Owen, Gene Moles, and Henry Sharpe, all of whom assisted in minor but thoroughly indispensable ways; for steering me in the right direction, great gratitude to Peter Guralnick, Kit Rachlis, and R. J. Smith; to Bill Malone and John Morthland; to my very patient agent Mitch Douglas; to my fine editor Paul Kingsbury; to Alan Eichler, Don Waller, and John Lomax III; to Brad Benedict and Vicki Arkoff at Capitol Records; to the generous staff at AFTRA and the Society of Singers; to Ronnie Mack, Gary Lambert, Ray Campi, Rene Engel, Lloyd Martin, and Jimmy Koo; and to everyone else who has booked, recorded, or listened to Rose Maddox.

Fred Maddox's ferocious, intricate slap bass rhythms laid the bedrock on which rockabilly was to be erected, while his rowdy sensibilities helped the band to develop and further the popularity of honky-tonk style country music. The shaking guitar and mandolin Page xx leads of Cal and Henry Maddox often looked even further down the line, seamlessly entwining sacred, blues, western, and old-time songs. All the Maddoxes excelled in harmony singing. And with Rose in the spotlight, they were anything but a simple hillbilly band.

One wonders, if Foncy had responded to the numerous public auditions for field recordings by New York record companies (as Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family did), what a sharp-eared record company scout like Ralph Peer or Art Satherley could have made of him. " "She wasn't no country gal," recalled Fred Maddox. "She was so damn tight! She always called him 'Maddox,' like they do in the army . . ' and she really got him down, because he wasn't the Page 9 cowing-down type. And I think he kinda went off the deep end, up here,'' Fred said, tapping his forehead gloomily.

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