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Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk

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An intimate account of country music, social change, and a vanishing way of life as a Shenandoah town collides with the twenty-first century Winchester, Virginia is an emblematic American town. When John Lingan first traveled there, it was to seek out Jim McCoy: local honky-tonk owner and the DJ who first gave airtime to a brassy-voiced singer known as Patsy Cline, setting An intimate account of country music, social change, and a vanishing way of life as a Shenandoah town collides with the twenty-first century Winchester, Virginia is an emblematic American town. When John Lingan first traveled there, it was to seek out Jim McCoy: local honky-tonk owner and the DJ who first gave airtime to a brassy-voiced singer known as Patsy Cline, setting her on a course for fame that outlasted her tragically short life. What Lingan found was a town in the midst of an identity crisis.   As the U.S. economy and American culture have transformed in recent decades, the ground under centuries-old social codes has shifted, throwing old folkways into chaos. Homeplace teases apart the tangle of class, race, and family origin that still defines the town, and illuminates questions that now dominate our national conversation—about how we move into the future without pretending our past doesn't exist, about what we salvage and what we leave behind. Lingan writes in “penetrating, soulful ways about the intersection between place and personality, individual and collective, spirit and song.”*   * Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams


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An intimate account of country music, social change, and a vanishing way of life as a Shenandoah town collides with the twenty-first century Winchester, Virginia is an emblematic American town. When John Lingan first traveled there, it was to seek out Jim McCoy: local honky-tonk owner and the DJ who first gave airtime to a brassy-voiced singer known as Patsy Cline, setting An intimate account of country music, social change, and a vanishing way of life as a Shenandoah town collides with the twenty-first century Winchester, Virginia is an emblematic American town. When John Lingan first traveled there, it was to seek out Jim McCoy: local honky-tonk owner and the DJ who first gave airtime to a brassy-voiced singer known as Patsy Cline, setting her on a course for fame that outlasted her tragically short life. What Lingan found was a town in the midst of an identity crisis.   As the U.S. economy and American culture have transformed in recent decades, the ground under centuries-old social codes has shifted, throwing old folkways into chaos. Homeplace teases apart the tangle of class, race, and family origin that still defines the town, and illuminates questions that now dominate our national conversation—about how we move into the future without pretending our past doesn't exist, about what we salvage and what we leave behind. Lingan writes in “penetrating, soulful ways about the intersection between place and personality, individual and collective, spirit and song.”*   * Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

47 review for Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk

  1. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Polansky

    The last honky tonk in the Shenedoah proves the entry point into a collection of essays about the rapid change of rural America, family, authenticity, a lot of other things. Fair warning, I would pay even less attention to my opinion on this one then you are used to normally, since John is a very, very old friend of mine, and I’d happily lie to a stranger to feather his nest, but happily here I don’t need to. John’s a thoughtful guy and writes with a sharp pen, interweaving history and personal The last honky tonk in the Shenedoah proves the entry point into a collection of essays about the rapid change of rural America, family, authenticity, a lot of other things. Fair warning, I would pay even less attention to my opinion on this one then you are used to normally, since John is a very, very old friend of mine, and I’d happily lie to a stranger to feather his nest, but happily here I don’t need to. John’s a thoughtful guy and writes with a sharp pen, interweaving history and personal experience in the best travelogue tradition. Strong rec.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- An intimate account of country music, social change, and a vanishing way of life as a Shenandoah town collides with the twenty-first century Winchester, Virginia is an emblematic American town. When John Lingan first traveled there, it was to seek out Jim McCoy: local honky-tonk owner and the DJ who first gave airtime to a brassy-voiced singer known as Patsy Cline, settin I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- An intimate account of country music, social change, and a vanishing way of life as a Shenandoah town collides with the twenty-first century Winchester, Virginia is an emblematic American town. When John Lingan first traveled there, it was to seek out Jim McCoy: local honky-tonk owner and the DJ who first gave airtime to a brassy-voiced singer known as Patsy Cline, setting her on a course for fame that outlasted her tragically short life. What Lingan found was a town in the midst of an identity crisis. As the U.S. economy and American culture have transformed in recent decades, the ground under centuries-old social codes has shifted, throwing old folkways into chaos. Homeplace teases apart the tangle of class, race, and family origin that still defines the town, and illuminates questions that now dominate our national conversation—about how we move into the future without pretending our past doesn't exist, about what we salvage and what we leave behind. Lingan writes in “penetrating, soulful ways about the intersection between place and personality, individual and collective, spirit and song.”* * Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams This is a very lyrical book that you want to read slowly and savour as you know this life and lifestyle is slowly disappearing from America and American history...ask a total stranger passing by who Patsy Cline is and you may get an interesting answer :-) Lingnan's writing style is smooth and easy to read and I absolutely adored this book and I hated it when I was done reading it...I wanted more. MT TAKE AWAY: Some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world (along with its quirky citizens) and its history is being destroyed by (in my opinion) meth, unemployment, crime and addiction to social media and TV shows like "Teen Mom" which makes people want to be TV or YouTube stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    J.S.

    Not at all what I expected based upon the book description: "As the U.S. economy and American culture have transformed in recent decades, the ground under centuries-old social codes has shifted, throwing old folkways into chaos. Homeplace teases apart the tangle of class, race, and family origin that still defines the town, and illuminates questions that now dominate our national conversation..." Perhaps it's my own fault, but I imagined this might be similar to Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Fami Not at all what I expected based upon the book description: "As the U.S. economy and American culture have transformed in recent decades, the ground under centuries-old social codes has shifted, throwing old folkways into chaos. Homeplace teases apart the tangle of class, race, and family origin that still defines the town, and illuminates questions that now dominate our national conversation..." Perhaps it's my own fault, but I imagined this might be similar to Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, with a little cultural history on old-time country music thrown in. (I'm not a fan of country music, but I enjoy cultural histories.) Instead, this appears to be a memoir of one man's visits to a charming little town with a lot of history - maybe someone else's 'cuppa' but not mine. I feel bad but I'm going to have to mark it DNF. One final note: I see some reviews on Amazon are critical of the several pages devoted to an eggs and bacon breakfast in an old-fashioned diner. I actually thought that was the high point of my experience with this book and enjoyed those pages. Much to my wife's embarrassment, I like eating in diners and found my mouth watering with his descriptions. I guess on that level I can certainly relate to Mr. Lingan. (I rec'd an advance reader copy from Amazon Vine.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Khiro Bouazizi

    Bittersweet, well researched, I enjoyed every page. For years I wondered why Winchester didn't celebrate Patsy Cline. THIS book led to a greater understanding of the social mores of the area,.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brett Marie

    My review, for PopMatters: https://www.popmatters.com/homeplace-...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Pechotta

    Bittersweet, well researched, I enjoyed every page. For years I wondered why Winchester didn't celebrate Patsy Cline. THIS book led to a greater understanding of the social mores of the area,.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ralph

    3.5 stars. Mostly entertaining read about Winchester, Va., class warfare, Patsy Cline and the last damn honky-tonk in the free world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David Stack

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kay Bernstein

  10. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Ford

  11. 4 out of 5

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Patterson

  14. 4 out of 5

    David

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ren

  16. 5 out of 5

    Haley Bunker

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Huber

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  19. 4 out of 5

    Devin

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kay Taylor Rea

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Sorey

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brent

  24. 4 out of 5

    Johngarst

  25. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Walker

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carmen Davis

  27. 4 out of 5

    Igrowastreesgrow

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caiti

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Rapposelli

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Hensley

  31. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  32. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  33. 4 out of 5

    lmweez

  34. 4 out of 5

    Leah Angstman

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ziggfred

  36. 5 out of 5

    Maya

  37. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  38. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  39. 4 out of 5

    Jochem

  40. 4 out of 5

    Miketwdavisgmail.Com

  41. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  42. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Mccurdy

  43. 4 out of 5

    E.

  44. 5 out of 5

    Janet Woody-mckinney

  45. 5 out of 5

    Sally Anne

  46. 4 out of 5

    Chris Witmer

  47. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

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