cover image Finding Her Voice: The Saga of Women in Country Music

Finding Her Voice: The Saga of Women in Country Music

Mary A. Bufwack. Crown Publishers, $32.5 (594pp) ISBN 978-0-517-58114-8

This is a comprehensive and entertaining history of women as an integral, yet widely unrecognized, influence on the evolution of country music. After sketching how the form of today developed from the ballads and often violent love songs of the 17th century, anthropologist Bufwack and music reporter Oermann move to the American women who shaped this form and who will eventually, they contend, achieve full parity in what is probably the fastest growing segment of the music industry. The careers of hundreds of country music heroines are outlined, from the obscure to those who, like Reba McEntire and Lorrie Morgan, have attained superstar status. Of particular note are the scope and continuity of the material. Far from providing simply a series of vignettes, the authors present an extraordinarily well-written, powerful story of struggle and triumph. Photos. (Sept.)