The music today known as "classic country" originated in the South in the 1920s. Influenced by blues and folk music, instrumentation was typically guitar, fiddle, bass, steel guitar, and later drums, with lyrics and arrangements rooted in tradition. This book covers some of the genre's legendary artists, from its heyday in the 1940s to its decline in the early 1970s. Revivalists keeping the traditions alive in the 21st century are also explored. Drawing on original interviews with artists and their associates, biographical profiles chronicle their lives on the road and in the studio, as well as the stories behind popular songs. Thirty-six performers are profiled, including Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Loretta Lynn, Bill Anderson, Faron Young, Mickey Gilley, Freddie Hart, Jerry Reed, Charley Pride, David Frizzell, The Cactus Blossoms, The Secret Sisters, and Pokey LaFarge.