The sins of the son: country music and masculine sentimentality in 1930s and 1940s Australia

Bellanta, Melissa and Martin, Toby (2012) The sins of the son: country music and masculine sentimentality in 1930s and 1940s Australia. Australian Feminist Studies, 27 74: 355-372. doi:10.1080/08164649.2012.734091

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Author Bellanta, Melissa
Martin, Toby
Title The sins of the son: country music and masculine sentimentality in 1930s and 1940s Australia
Journal name Australian Feminist Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0816-4649
1465-3303
Publication date 2012-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/08164649.2012.734091
Open Access Status
Volume 27
Issue 74
Start page 355
End page 372
Total pages 18
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Masculine sentimentality played an important role in Australian culture in the 1930s and 1940s, as in other places where plaintive country music songs attracted a passionate following. Using ‘Australia's Singing Cowboy’ Tex Morton as a case study, we show that this sentimentality became part of both the bush tradition and country music in Depression- and Second World War-era Australia, associated with the bushworker or rugged ‘lone hand’. This sentimentality was deeply problematic from a feminist perspective, as indeed was Morton's personal life. It romanticised what he called ‘the sins of the son’; that is, the lone hand's inability to do right by those he loved. It also glamorised his tears and self-pity, treating them as signs of his hardy masculinity. Given the significance of this form of sentimentality both in Australia and elsewhere over the rest of the twentieth century, feminist scholars of popular culture and historians of gender and the emotions need to pay more attention to country music songs about errant sons and lovers from the 1930s and 1940s.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 13 Dec 2012, 13:13:38 EST by Fergus Grealy on behalf of Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies