Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Locating the canon in Tamworth: historical narratives, cultural memory and Australia's ‘Country Music Capital’

  • Sarah Baker (a1) and Alison Huber (a1)
Abstract

This article concerns the regional city of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, a place that prides itself on its reputation as Australia's home of country music. We consider the ongoing memorialisation of country music in Tamworth, and how the processes associated with the project of articulating country music's past work to create and maintain something that can be recognised (and experienced) as a dominant narrative or an Australian country music ‘canon’. Outlining a number of instances in which the canon is produced and experienced (including in performances, rolls of honour and monuments built around the city), the article explores the ways in which this narrativisation of Australia's country music history contributes to a certain kind of memory of the genre's past.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Assmann, A. 2010. ‘Canon and archive’, in A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies (pp. 97107), ed. Erll, A. and Nünning, A. (Berlin and New York, De Gruyter)
Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF) website. http://www.acmf.org.au/
Australian Country Music Hall of Fame website. Roll of Renown. http://www.countrymusichalloffame.com.au/RollOfRenown/1_ROR.htm
Bendrups, D. and Johnson, H. 2007. ‘Gore Gold Guitars: the place of country in New Zealand’, Perfect Beat, 8/3, pp. 5267
Cohen, S. 2007. Decline, Renewal and the City in Popular Music Culture: Beyond the Beatles (Aldershot, Ashgate)
Connell, J. and Gibson, C. 2003. Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity and Place (London, Routledge)
Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHF) website. http://www.countrymusichalloffame.com.au/Handsoffame/1_Hands.htm
Ellis, M. 2005. ‘How Tamworth became Country Music Capital’. http://www.historyofcountrymusic.com.au/htbcmc.html (accessed 18 July 2011)
Ellis, M. 2012 ‘Country Music Roll of Renown’. http://www.historyofcountrymusic.com.au/cmroll.html (accessed 18 July 2011)
Ellis, M. n.d. ‘What is Country Music?’. http://www.historyofcountrymusic.com.au/whatiscm.html (accessed 18 July 2011)
Evans, M. and Walden, G. (eds) 2005. Markets and Margins: Australian Country Music Vol. 3 (Gympie, Australian Institute of Country Music Press)
Fiske, J., Hodge, B., and Turner, G. 1987. Myths of Oz: Reading Australian Popular Culture (Sydney, London and Boston, Allen & Unwin)
Frost, W. 2008. ‘Popular culture as a different type of heritage: the making of AC/DC Lane’, Journal of Heritage Tourism, 3/3, pp. 176–84
Gibson, C. 2008. ‘On the overland trail: sheet music, masculinity and travelling “country”’, M/C Journal,11/5. http://www.journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/viewArticle/82
Gibson, C. and Connell, J. 2005. Music and Tourism: On the Road Again (Clevedon, Channel View Publications)
Gibson, C. and Davidson, D. 2004. ‘Tamworth, Australia's “country music capital”: place marketing, rurality, and resident reactions’, Journal of Rural Studies, 20, pp. 287404
Grabes, H. 2010. ‘Cultural memory and the literary canon’, in A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies (pp. 311–19), ed. Erll, A. and Nünning, A. (Berlin and New York, De Gruyter)
Guillory, J. 1987. ‘Canonical and the non-canonical: a critique of the current debate’, ELH, 54/3, pp. 483527
Hayward, P. (ed.) 2003. Outback and Urban, Australian Country Music Vol. 1 (Gympie, Australian Institute of Country Music Press)
Hayward, P. and Walden, G. (eds) 2004. Roots and Crossovers, Australian Country Music Vol. 2 (Gympie, Australian Institute of Country Music Press)
Hebdige, D. 1979. Subculture: The Meaning of Style (London, Methuen)
Jones, C.W. 2008. The Rock Canon: Canonical Values in the Reception of Rock Albums (Aldershot, Ashgate)
Kärjä, A.-V. 2006. ‘A prescribed alternative mainstream: popular music and canon formation’, Popular Music, 25/1, pp. 319
Martin, T. 2011. ‘Country music capital: the past in Tamworth’, History Australia, 8/1, pp. 153–74
Peterson, R.A. 1997. Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity (Chicago, University of Chicago Press)
Regev, M. 2006. ‘Introduction’, Popular Music, 25/1, pp. 12
Smith, G. 1994. ‘Australian country music and the hillbilly yodel’, Popular Music, 13/3, pp. 297311
Smith, G. 2005. Singing Australian: A History of Folk and Country Music (North Melbourne, Pluto Press)
van Hallberg, R. 1983. ‘Introduction’, in Canons (pp. 14), ed. van Hallberg, R. (Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press)
van Tiggelen, J. 2011. ‘Too blue: a tale of two countries’, Griffith Review 32, pp. 110–21
von Appen, R. and Doehring, A. 2006. ‘Nevermind The Beatles, here's Exile 61 and Nico: “The top 100 records of all time” – a canon of pop and rock albums from a sociological and an aesthetic perspective’, Popular Music, 25/1, pp. 2139
Walker, C. 2000. Buried Country: The Story of Aboriginal Country Music (Annandale, Pluto Press)
Watson, E. 1976. Country Music in Australia (Kensington, NSW, Rodeo Publications)
Watson, E. 1982–1983. Country Music in Australia, Vol. 2 (Sydney, Cornstalk)
Watson, M.R. and Anand, N. 2006. ‘Award ceremony as an arbiter of commerce and canon in the popular music industry’, Popular Music, 25/1, pp. 4156
Whiteoak, J. 2003. ‘Two frontiers: early cowboy music in Australian popular culture’, in Outback and Urban, Australian Country Music Vol. 1 (pp. 128), ed. Hayward, P. (Gympie, AICM Press)
Williams, A. 2010. ‘“Pay some attention to the man behind the curtain” – unsung heroes and the canonization of process in the Classic Albums documentary series’, Journal of Popular Music Studies, 22/2, pp. 166–79
Willis, P. 1978. Profane Culture (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul)
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed