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Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South
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Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  68 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In Dixie Lullaby, a veteran music journalist ponders the transformative effects of rock and roll on the generation of white southerners who came of age in the 1970s--the heyday of disco, Jimmy Carter, and Saturday Night Live. Growing up in North Carolina, Mark Kemp burned with shame and anger at the attitudes of many white southerners--some in his own family--toward the re ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published September 25th 2006 by University of Georgia Press (first published 2004)
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David Weiss
May 21, 2014 David Weiss rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
I got this book from the library after seeing a youtube video about this subject - I think the book was mentioned in the video credits. I enjoyed the book because I loved the Allman Brothers back when and I still do. I'm happy to say that I saw Duane Allman and Berry Oakley with the group in the summer of 1971. As I had not been aware of this, I loved the way Kemp explained how important the rise of rock music was to the South and integrated his adolescence and early teen years with the cultural ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Abby added it
I think I'm going to love this one. Read the preface and started in on the chapters, then quickly realized I needed to devote my full attention to reading it. I'm finishing up some other books first so I can do just that. Mark Kemp is a music lover, and he grew up in the South. This is his story, but it's embedded in the South he grew up in. It's part southern cultural history, part autobiography, part civil rights, and part just a romantic love story between the author and the music he adores. ...more
Dec 06, 2009 Brad rated it really liked it
really good book that covers all the bases of southern rock from the beginning to current day....i could really identify with the mk's rebelliousness against his southern upbringing, then his coming to appreciate it him, i associate a lot of whats happened in my life with the music i was listening to at the time..i can vividly remember wanting nothing more to leave south carolina and having this feeling that the west was somehow everything that was right, while the south was ...more
Apr 13, 2008 A. rated it it was amazing
Seriously phenomenal book, at least for me, right now -- part history of (white) music in the South (Kemp notes that he focuses there because much has been well-written about black music in the South), part memoir of Kemp's journey as a music fan. It's a book about Southern music and racial issues in the South and the Drive-By Truckers (the book literally opens with references to David Hood, bassist for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, in the first ten pages, and concludes with an interview ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: music
Some stuff in this book is just wrong (Steve Dubner did not go to Western Carolina University), but too be fair--no one else would care about that detail. Some really good stuff here about the role of southern music, but it gets a little too preachy at points about the angst of the white southerner. Still--glad I read it.
Ash Crowe
Jun 01, 2008 Ash Crowe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008
This book is the 41st book I've read this year, and many of them have been excellent, but this book is my favorite so far this year. There is a honesty to Kemp's writing that really hit home for me. I grew up in the South a decade after Kemp but his writing certainly translates well to my life. I feel like any music fan, Southern or not, would love this book. It resonates with emotion and music.
Mar 18, 2008 Al rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my old roommates from college hits the nail on the head searching for the crossroads where music, race and personal memoir come together. If you listened to southern rock in the 70s or to punk in the 80s or to alternative rock in the 90s, and/or you grew up in the south, you want to read this book.
Dec 26, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern, music, nf
very quick review...will edit later: 5 stars for covering topic not many have done before. However, downgraded to a four as no mentioned was made of southern metal scenes & bands, which we know there were/are. Great exploration of how southern rock influenced one southern mans southern identity. Definately will go on my to read again list.
Jan 12, 2014 Allison rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it, nonfiction
This was an interesting blend of personal narrative and musical/political history. However, I found myself wanting to like it more than I actually did. The ending did not help matters- the author returned to the south in order to find his ending, but it seemed like he was still unsure.
Jul 06, 2009 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Laura! I think you would like this book. Frankly I don't care about southern rock enough to be THAT interested in it. His take is certainly not radical or left, but it seems like a good liberal sincere take on southern rock and what it meant to white southerners.
Sep 11, 2012 Richard rated it it was ok
A really good read from a local guy with an interesting view. Good thoughts on how growing up "here" made it different for us.
Oct 14, 2012 Bruce rated it it was ok
Would have amounted to a pretty good magazine article. Did the subject matter warrant a whole book? Not really.
Michael Smith
Apr 01, 2013 Michael Smith rated it it was amazing
Not only have I read Mark's book, I have read it probably five times. Well written and informative. And the subject matter is my very favorite.
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"Mark Kemp is every bit as audacious as the musicians he writes about. The story he tells here encompasses everything that is important about modern life. And he tells it beautifully, the cultural criticism and memoir blended seamlessly."—Stephen J. Dubner, Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return To His Jewish Family

"As a child of the South ... I know in my heart that Mark Kemp has told the truth
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“I loved the land that surrounded me but hated the history that haunted that land.” 6 likes
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