Country of our dreams, country of our nightmares
When the 'hill-billies' started coming out of the South with their country music, they were happy enough to call themselves 'hill-billies', but not so happy to be called 'hill-billies' by folks such as the editor of Variety magazine, who put it like this: "This particular branch of popular music is worthy of treatment on its own, being peculiar unto itself. The 'hill-billy' is a North Carolina or Tennessee and adjacent mountaineer type of illiterate white whose creed and allegiance are to the Bible, the Chautauqua and the phonograph. The talking machine's relation to the show business interests most. The mountaineer is of 'poor white trash' genera. The great majority, probably 95pc, can neither read nor write English. Theirs is a community all unto themselves. Illiterate and ignorant, with the intelligence of morons, the sing-song, nasal-twanging vocalizing of a Vernon Dalhart or a Carson Robison on the disks, reciting the banal lyrics…"