Country Music has enjoyed a rich history over the years, and the Country Music Foundation has released what many are considering to be the ultimate history book concerning the genre with the issue of The Encyclopedia of Country Music.
A 626-page book of who's who, and what's what in country music history, the release is the second edition of the book. The first edition was released in 1998. Since then, there have been several additions to the book. In addition, there are several essay articles in the book that deal with everything from stage attire in the format to the digital age.
Starting with Abbott Records -- the label for which Jim Reeves first hit with "Mexican Joe" all the way to musician Joe Zinkan -- who played for acts such as Roy Acuff and Tammy Wynette, there are entries ranging from the 1920s all the way to current superstars such as Taylor Swift and the Zac Brown Band.
The book also has complete winners of CMA, ACM, country-related Grammy Award winners, and a listing of every album from the format to be certified gold or better.
In addition to superstars such as Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, and Patsy Cline, there are entries concerning Larry Butler, Jimmy Bowen, Allen Reynolds, and Owen Bradley - the men who produced the history-making hits behind those artists. Label executives such as Ken Nelson, Jim Foglesong, and Joe Galante are also featured.
The Encyclopedia of Country Music also features a collage of some of the more interesting album covers in the genre's history, and will serve as the ultimate argument-settler among country music fans, and maybe a few artists.
"I've loved country music all my life, and it still amazes me how much more I can learn about it," Reba McEntire said. "The Encyclopedia of Country Music will be a reference book for the next generation of country music lovers to learn about the folks I was blessed enough to get to know and work with. I will enjoy reading it and getting reacquainted with our history."
"The Encyclopedia is not just a dry compendium of names and facts, but a rich archive of our shared history of the most American of art forms: country music," Rosanne Cash said. "The second edition of the Encyclopedia of Country Music is also a point of great pride for me, as so many of my extended family members are included in these pages."
2007 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Vince Gill wrote the foreword in the second edition. The Encyclopedia of Country Music is available for order at www.countrymusichalloffame.org.