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Iowa State University

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Sounding The American Heart: Cultural Politics, Country Music, And Contemporary American Film, Barbara Ching Jan 2001

Sounding The American Heart: Cultural Politics, Country Music, And Contemporary American Film, Barbara Ching

Barbara Ching

"When you hear twin fiddles and a steel guitar, you're listening to the sound of the American heart," sings a young boy's faltering voice in the opening frame of Christopher Cain's Pure Country (1992). The words of this song ("Heartland") assure us that while we listen to this music we "still know wrong from right." 1 This opening sequence thus celebrates its viewers as it stakes a claim to both the film's and country music's power to unequivocally represent the best qualities (the "pure") of the United States (the "country"). When placed in a history ...