Bill & Bobbie Malone, Country Music USA
Since its first publication in 1968, Country Music USA has won universal acclaim as the definitive history of American country music. Starting with the music’s folk roots in the rural South, it traces country music from the early days of radio into the twenty-first century. In this fiftieth-anniversary edition, Malone, the featured historian in Ken Burns’s 2019 documentary on country music, has revised every chapter to offer new information and fresh insights.
In addition to Country Music USA, emeritus Tulane University history professor Bill Malone has written numerous books, including Sing Me Back Home, an anthology of his previously published essays, and Bill Clifton: Bluegrass Ambassador to the World. Bill is best known in Madison, Wisconsin for his weekly WORT community radio program: Back to the Country.
Bobbie Malone has a PhD in American History from Tulane University, and her revised dissertation was published as Rabbi Max Heller: Reformer, Zionist, Southerner, 1860-1979. The Malones moved from New Orleans to Madison when Bobbie became director of the Office of School Services at the Wisconsin Historical Society (1995-2011), where she wrote and edited books for the state’s classrooms. Since retiring, she published the biography of prolific mid-twentieth century children’s author/illustrator, Lois Lenski: Storycatcher, winner of the 2016 Indies Editor’s Choice Prize in Nonfiction, and she is now working on a couple of Madison topics. Together, the Malones are busily researching and writing a biography of Nashville songwriters, Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.
“Fifty years after its first publication, Country Music USA still stands as the most authoritative history of this uniquely American art form. Here are the stories of the people who made country music into such an integral part of our nation’s culture.”
“Considered the definitive history of American country music.”
—Los Angeles Times
“If anyone knows more about the subject than [Malone] does, God help them.”
Read more about the collaboration between Bill Malone and Ken Burns in the Wisconsin State Journal