The first time I stood on the Ryman Auditorium's Opry stage, the place was defunct, and I was breaking rules.
The Oxford American Magazine is proud to present our 11th Annual Southern Music Issue containing TWO CDs and a hearty 192 pages that explore the boundlessly rich and varied musical terrain of the South. Artists such as Barbara Lynn, Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson, Paul Burch, Billy Lee Riley, and Sister Ernestine Washington—just to name a few—sing to our hearts as we sing their praises. Top-notch music critics and writers including Barry Mazor, Allen Lowe, Jim O’Neal, Alice Randall, Ed Ward, alongside familiar OA contributors like Diane Roberts, Mark Winegardner, and Beth Ann Fennelly wax poetic about some of the gems we’ve unearthed in our ongoing and perhaps endless search of great Southern music. We’re thrilled to unveil the first edition of our state series, through which we will spotlight the talents, past and present, of each Southern commonwealth. This year, we begin with Arkansas. We hope you discover some new favorites, ruminate on the masters, and enjoy our latest batch of Arkansas and Southern music.