McCloud's mainly biographical encyclopedia covers a wide stretch of performers from bluegrass to western, gospel, and Cajun. Since it contains more than twice the entries of the recent Comprehensive Country Music Encyclopedia [RBB Mr 1 95], older and lesser-known artists such as Nathan Abshire, Roy Acuff Jr., the Shelton Brothers, and the Tune Wranglers are included. The entries cover both personal and performing life (music and other media), including even the names of spouses and children. The changes in a band's lineup are noted, with the list for the Texas Playboys going on for pages. Recommended recordings are listed at the end of each entry. Entries range from two pages for Johnny Cash to two columns for his brother Tommy to a half-column for the Cass Country Boys. Entries appear for such behind-the-scenes figures as Steve Scholes and such topics as the Country Music Awards, TNN (the Nashville Network), etc. Some profiles have black-and-white photographs. The book ends with a book of lists. The yearly awards of 15 international groups are given, as well as a list of performers and their awards and yearly summaries of gold and platinum recordings in the U.S. and Canada. A country music address book covers agents, artists' managers, record companies, music publishers, publicists, and fan clubs. State-by-state listings of fairs and festivals and country music stations (with call letters, not frequencies) are followed by a section detailing movies made by country performers.
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