Check the current Billboard country charts. What topics appear in the songs? How many women appear on the charts? What is the racial make-up of the artists? What is the balance of new artists vs. well-established artists on the charts? Review the discussion of gender, female artists, and style on p. 472 and consider how the present situation relates to the past decade.
Read recent columns on country music such as Chet Flippo’s weekly “Nashville Skyline” column on cmt.com. What are the main topics and issues in those articles, and how do they relate to the main themes of the book?
Watch Crazy Heart (2009) or Country Strong (2010) (check your university or community library). What themes appear in these films, and how do those themes relate to the history of country music that we have studied?