James Nelson

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Erika Brady, Lynwood Montell, Charles Wolfe


Thesis for Modern Languages & Intercultural Studies at the time, would be Folk Studies now.

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


In this study, the author examines the development of country music in the area surrounding Bowling Green and Glasgow, Kentucky, from approximately 1930 to 1960 and its relation to the newly emerging medium of radio. Emphasis is placed on several performers whose careers were linked to the radio stations which began to broadcast in Bowling Green and Glasgow during the 1940s.

In the past, country music scholarship has tended to focus on phonograph records as a source of material for study and as the primary means of musical transmission. As a result, the careers of many of the lesser known artists were overlooked simply because they never made a record. The writer looks at country music as a local phenomenon with live radio broadcasts and personal appearances as the primary mode of transmission. Data were collected from tape recorded interviews and written sources, including various archival sources - old newspapers, fan magazines, and assorted ephemera - and used to outline the careers of several performers associated with WLBJ and WKCT in Bowling Green and WKAY in Glasgow.


Ethnomusicology | Music | Musicology | Music Performance | Radio | Social and Behavioral Sciences