To its millions of fans, country music is America's music, offering a window into the sweet dreams and cruel disappointments of ordinary American lives. Now the renowned Country Music Foundation, custodian of Nashville's legendary Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, has compiled a fascinating and infinitely useful guide to this beloved musical genre--The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Nearly 1,300 alphabetical entries put eight decades of country music at readers' fingertips, from the earliest '20s recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers to the '90s chart-topping albums of LeAnn Rimes and Garth Brooks. A distinguished field of 137 contributors provides an eminently readable and reliable guide to the singers, songwriters, record companies, and industry movers and shakers who have made country music the increasingly popular--and profitable--juggernaut it is today. Hundreds of photographs, some never before published, accompany the text, including 75 color photographs from the CMF Library's record collection, surveying the history of the country music album cover. Twelve appendices provide lists of country's all-time best-selling albums, country music stations nationwide, all the country music awards won over the years, and much more. Authoritative, accessible, and unerringly accurate, The Encyclopedia of Country Music will delight fans. It is an essential reference for libraries, radio stations, and the entertainment industry.