30 June 2021

Art, magic, and country music history

The Bitter Southerner online magazine has published a set of writings collectively titled 'Summer voices', with the main focus on artist and puppeteer Wayne White, raised in the South and subsequently based in New York and Los Angeles, who will be guest editor of the BS for a month.

BIB readers may be specially interested in 'Art & magic: a conversation between Wayne White & Tyler Mahan Coe'. Coe, a musician and writer, hosts the 'Cocaine & rhinestones' podcast series on country music history. The BS feature includes reproductions of artworks by Whyte: paintings of Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Buck Owens & the Buckaroos, and Lightnin' Hopkins, all of these having the names of the subjects underneath.

No name is under the picture that heads the article; it's given right at the end, but bluegrassers will recognise it as based on a 1939 photo of the original Blue Grass Boys lineup, showing (l-r) Art Wooten (fiddle), Bill Monroe (mandolin), Cleo Davis (guitar), and Amos Garen (bass). As with Robert Crumb's book R. Crumb's heroes of blues, jazz & country (2006), the painting tells the viewer less about the subject than the original photo does. No matter; it's a work of art by Wayne White (or Robert Crumb).

© Richard Hawkins

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