Irwin, a native of Tennessee, has written five other books on Appalachia published by Schiffer in the 1980s. Although his career was eventually in education and business, he keeps his love for the music of the region alive, most notably in his founding of the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, TN. With this title, he delves into the people and music of the southern Appalachian region (Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina). Carefully researched but written in a style that is anything but dull, this work tells of Appalachians"some famous (guitarist Chet Atkins), some not so famous (mountain fiddler Bob Douglas)"who have made significant contributions to the history and popularity of country music. Irwin pays particular attention to the Carter family. Photographs appear throughout, and although one wishes for some color plates, most are reproduced well and probably were not in color originally. A good contrast to Robert K. Oermann!s America!s Music: The Roots of Country (Turner, 1996. o.p.); recommended for public and academic libraries."Kathleen Sparkman, Baylor Univ., Waco, TX Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
John Rice Irwin is the founder of the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee. He has written several other books on Appalachian people (**Alex Stewart: Portrait of a Pioneer**), quilts, baskets, guns, and musical instruments.