A Walk in the Country by Charlene Sands

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As I watched CMA’s Music Festival from the comfort of my own home the other evening, I was smiling and singing along with the artists as they sashayed across a stage that reached thousands in the audience and millions through their television screens.

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Jimmie Rodgers
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Hank Williams

Gosh, I love country music so much that it never occurred to me that there were so many different variations of what was once known as hillbilly music.   As I delved into country music’s bright history, I learned that this new form of music derived in the southern United States was brought forth in the 1920’s and originated in Atlanta, Georgia, not Nashville, Tennessee.  It has been argued that Atlanta be known for the birth of Country Music.  Country music was delivered by way of working class Americans bringing their own backgrounds and culture to the city by blending popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, blues, cowboy songs and traditional ballads.  And nearly a century later country music has climbed the ranks to become the most listened to rush hour music during the evening commute, coming a close second to the most listened to morning rush hour commute.

 

 

Some of the most renowned artists of the 1920’s were “Fiddlin’ John Carson in 1923 (Okey Records) and Samantha Bumgarner in 1924 (Columbia Records) and then in 1927 RCA Victor Records (remember them?) recorded the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. During the Great Depression radio sales were down, but country music became a very popular form of entertainment with “barn dance” shows that transmitted all over the South and from Chicago to California. In 1925 the Grand Ole Opry made its debut from Nashville and it continues on in glorious fashion today.Grand_Ole_Opry

The first commercial recordings of what was considered country music were “Arkansas Traveler” and “Turkey in the Straw” on June 30, 1922, for Victor Records and released in April 1923.  Columbia began issuing records with “hillbilly” music (series 15000D “Old Familiar Tunes”) as early as 1924.[8]

And later, the popularity of movie westerns only seemed to spur on (pardon the pun) the country music industry.   But like everything else in the world, country music evolved and branched off into different genres from bluegrass to gospel, from hillbilly to country boogie, from honkytonk to rockabilly and country rock.  In 1956 the number two, three and four songs on Billboard’s charts for that year were Elvis Presley, “Heartbreak Hotel“; Johnny Cash, “I Walk the Line“; and Carl Perkins, “Blue Suede Shoes“.[45]

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Johnny Cash

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Willie Nelson helped coin the genre “country outlaw” and megastars like Taylor Swift have delivered us “pop country.”  While Carrie Underwood (my favorite female vocalist) has been branded a “country rock” musician.   I might also mention icons such as Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers and Barbara Mandrell, who all made an indelible mark on country music.carrie-underwood

Do you remember Barbara Mandrell sayin’  “I was country when country wasn’t cool.”

So much music, so little time!

Do you like country music?  What type of country appeals to you most? And if you could meet one of the legends of country either living or dead, who would you choose?    Can you guess who I’d choose?  Play along for a chance to win a copy of one of my available backlist books of your choice! Winner chosen at random on Saturday so be sure to check back! 

 (PS, not Carrie, although I would love to meet her!)

Grand Ole Opry pic by Deirdre 11:55, 27 February 2007 (UTC) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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       AMAZON

Crop Circles, Aliens and The American Indian Myth

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Strange title, eh?  Or maybe not.  An entire series of my books, THE LOST CLAN, is based on a myth that is common throughout the American Indian myths — tribe to tribe.  The story of the Thunderer.

I will be giving away a mass market copy and an e-book copy of the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE today to two lucky bloggers.  So do come on in an leave a comment.  All rules for give-aways here at Petticoats and Pistols appy — they are linked on the home page.  When you have a moment, give them a read.  Pretty easy.

Okay, back to myths.  There is another myth that caught my interest early on — and it is the one I thought I’d discuss with you today.  At the time I came upon this American Indian myth, I knew nothing about crop circles — had never heard of them — but this myth in the Americas brings these things so closely to mind.

The book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, is based in no small degree upon this myth, and the book actually starts with the hero and heroine and the myth.  Interestingly, I found this myth not in just one tribe — but several — and the thing is, it was told almost (but not quite) identically.  The myth I’m about to tell you is from the Shawnee.stortell[1]

I believe that the name of the hero (it’s from a children’s book that I’m quoting) is Red Hawk, and the name of the book is RED HAWK AND THE SKY SISTERS by Gloria Dominic and Charles Reasoner.  Again, this legend is repeated in several different tribes — although the hero’s name is often different.

Red Hawk is a great hunter.  But he is puzzled because he sees the same pattern of a circle imprinted in the prairie grasses each time he goes to hunt.  It is a perfect circle — but there are no paths leading up to it — or going away from it.  There is evidence that something was there and made the circle — but how?  Red Hawk decides to spend the night, hiding himself from view.

51GoIbPuXOL._SL110_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-sm,TopRight,10,-13_OU01_[1]And so he does.  He discovers by hiding himself, that a basket gently falls to the earth and that there is singing from feminine voices.  As the basket comes to land softly on the earth, the sisters alight from the basket and dance around it in a circle.  Red Hawk watches this for many nights until one night he falls in love with one of the sisters — the youngest I believe.  And so, once again hiding himself, he waits until the sisters are about to get into the basket and go back into the sky — but suddenly he jumps out from his hiding place and captures the woman of his heart.

They marry and are happy, but she misses her home in the sky (she is a star).  They have a  child and she wishes to take the child and return to visit her home in the sky.  Our hero lets her go, but keeps the child with him, hoping that the child will be enough to cause her to return.  When she doesn’t return, our hero again captures her, and she falls in love with him all over and they live happily ever after.

th[1]I did find that the ending varies a bit from tribe to tribe, and I’m uncertain of how this book ends the story — I have this book, but of course, needing to find it for this post, the book eludes me.  : )

So what does this have to do with crop circles and aliens.  Well, I found it very interesting that crop circles seem similar and are also tied to aliens — here’s a link, if you’ve never heard of crop circles:  http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/cutting/cropcirc.htm

flower[1]Here is a picture of an actual crop circle — where the crops have been bent back without any footprints to or from the circle.   They are usually made at night — and made within one night.

Although attributed to more modern times, it’s interesting to me that our legend goes back centuries — to come to us today — to perhaps make the crop circle even more mysterious.

SoaringEaglesEmbrace72LGHope you’ve enjoyed the post today.  And I hope I’ve created some interest in the American Indian myth.

Here’s the link to buy SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE.

http://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/4345/soaring-eagles-embrace

And don’t forget, my newest release, BLACK EAGLE is on sale right now, also.  Here’s that link:  http://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5640/black-eagle

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