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Whispering Pines: The Northern Roots of American Music...from Hank Snow to The Band Hardcover – Jul 1 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press; First edition (July 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550228749
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550228748
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Quill & Quire

In Whispering Pines, Jason Schneider, one of Canada’s authorities on the subject of roots music, turns his expertise to the little-known Canadian origin of some of the 20th century’s most famous American popular music. Using the Band’s legendary Last Waltz as a frame for his story, Schneider takes readers through 50 years in which the influence of Canadians on American music was seismic. Beginning with seminal country singers Hank Snow and Wilf Carter, then running through the canon of Canadian musicians, Schneider has created a narrative that encompasses the history of Canadian popular songwriting and touches on an impressive number of major American artists. At the heart of Whispering Pines is the story of how Canadians managed to create a rich and vibrant culture that succeeded on both sides of the border. Rather than celebrate an insular brand of Canadiana, this book tells the story of how Canadians exported their ideals, identity, talent, and creative output to help shape the musical dialogue in the U.S. For the devout audiophile, the insider knowledge and first-hand accounts from musicians of the writing and recording process will be a treat, while for the pop-culture fan, Whispering Pines functions as an examination of how Canadians interact with the cultural juggernaut to the south. While a lesser writer might have been tempted to stick to such big names as the Band, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young, Schneider’s thorough research goes beyond those Canadian superstars, highlighting those unknown figures who made an undeniable difference toiling in the background. For the lay reader, the admittedly dizzying array of band names, rotating personnel, and track titles could be off-putting, but Schneider has included a helpful discography that could easily be repurposed as a shopping list for the uninitiated. In Whispering Pines, Schneider has done a masterful job showcasing how Canadian songs and songwriters have impacted North American music, and how American artists, from Jimmie Rodgers to Janis Joplin, fit into the fabric of Canada’s musical tradition.


"It is clear [Schneider] knows his subject, and the book is a treasure trove of trivia."  —Winnipeg Free Press

"Schneider`s collection of stories puts a fresh spin on Canadian artists whose lives and accomplishments haven`t lacked for media coverage and analysis."  —Edmonton Journal

[Schneider`s] study is sure to become a key piece in the survey of popular music history...Schneider beautifully weaves in the complicated relationships, both professional and personal, of the various artists who have come to define the sound of 20th-century American popular music (yes, American).  —Publishers Weekly

"Schneider presents a thoughtfully researched history and analysis of Canadian songwriters, their geographical and social origins and their career paths."  — Canadian Geographic

"Whispering Pines works not just as approachable one-stop-shopping for those with a passing interest in the subject[s], but as a long overdue contextual framework for the tenants in this country`s tower of song." —

"Whispering Pines is a busy, striving survey, a latticework of cultural history, microbiography and music journalism...Schneider`s delivery is that kind of chatty, energetic rock journalism of the old-time variety."  —The Globe and Mail

"The first comprehensive book, long overdue, on Canadians` impact on contemporary American pop music...This is a refreshing addition to pop-music literature as well as to the often neglected-by-Americans corpus of Canadiana."  —Booklist Online

"A fine piece of writing that condenses and contextualizes five decades of music into an entertaining and thoughtful document...Jason Schneider offers a concise, brilliantly organized and original take on Canadian cultural influence."  —Literary Review of Canada

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January 20, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase

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Connie B
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Gift
January 10, 2013 - Published on
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jim Linderman
5.0 out of 5 starsLong Overdue and Plenty to Like
September 6, 2009 - Published on
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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