Her Country

By Marissa R. Moss,

Book cover of Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be

Book description

In country music, the men might dominate the radio waves. But it’s women—like Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, and Kacey Musgraves—who are making history.

This is the full and unbridled story of the past twenty years of country music seen through the lens of these trailblazers’ careers—their paths to stardom and…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Her Country as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Marissa centers on three contemporary songwriters, Kacey Musgraves; Maren Morris; and Mickey Guyton, to illuminate the experiences of country women more broadly during the twenty-first century. Facing closed doors and narrowed constraints, this trio carved channels for music business success, using new-century tools to reach audiences and ears. The industry-old guard was left to catch up.

The backdrop for their stories is the well-documented nosedive for women on country radio airwaves since 2000, but terrestrial radio matters less for this younger generation. Dolly’s own path-clearing journey inspired these artists. At one notable intersection of their stories and hers, Dolly’s surprise…

Her Country abounds with villains, none worse than country radio, an industry that has done everything possible to keep its airwaves safe for white males and no one else.

Undeterred, country women have still done the most interesting work in the field over the past few decades. The rest of the world is catching on, too, as witnessed by Her Country cover model Kacey Musgraves’ half-dozen Grammys (including 2019 Album Of The Year).

I admire the way that Nashville journalist Marissa R. Moss pulls no punches in this deeply reported account from the front lines of the struggle.

This is such a fascinating insight into how three hard-working, single-minded, music-possessed country outliers worked their way in, through, and against a deeply conservative, by-the-book rule obsessed country music system that did not welcome them with open arms, and emerged 100% artistically victorious, revealing all the inspirations, letdowns, lucky breaks and collateral damage they experienced and witnessed along the way. The wider story is of course about so much more than just their personal stories, painting a portrait of how things have always been done in Nashville, and making it patently clear why it’s high time for that to change.

From Lo's list on being in love with music.

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