Jones appears on The Today Show to support new book My Country: 50 Musicians on God, America & the Songs They Love
Nashville, TN – Country music has always played a huge role in the story of American culture, but never has country music—in all its forms—been more of-the-moment than right now. Capturing this moment is award-winning photographer, Melanie Dunea. For her new book, Dunea focuses her camera lens on the musical form most intrinsically linked to American identity- country music. In MY COUNTRY: 50 Musicians on God, America & The Songs They Love, Dunea explores the world of country music, from its gritty roots to today’s country-pop.
The book profiles 50 country music icons and includes Dunea’s stunning and highly imaginative portraits of each, shot in locations from the Grand Ole Opry to a decommissioned prison in Tennessee to the shores of the Caribbean. Alongside each portrait are a series of questions which explore the artist’s musical roots and inspirations, their defining moments, and what makes country music the heart and soul of America to them. The answers offer a revealing, highly personal look at these iconic subjects.
George Jones knew he wanted to be a country musician when he first heard Hank Williams on the radio. For Shelby Lynn there’s never been any other option: “No, that’s all I’ve ever done. It’s the most natural thing. It’s like breathing.”
Barbara Mandrell wishes she had written “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Rosanne Cash, “Hey Porter.”
Had they not been country singers, Little Jimmy Dickens would have been a jockey “not a disc jockey, just a jockey”; Dwight Yoakam would have been an industrial designer “My inclination is to design things, although I lack the formal training. I’ve always been a fan of Raymond Loewy and Coco Chanel.” Gretchen Wilson, a forensics expert and Crystal Gale would have joined the FBI.
When asked if he could thank god in person for one thing, the notorious David Allan Coe replied “I’m not sure that I believe in the God that you’re wanting me to think of.”
Kenny Chesney describes his ultimate musical experience: “A behind-closed-doors jam session in Jamaica with Bob Marley and the original Wailers…”
Also included in the book are playlists of each artists’ five favorite songs of all time—gathered together, for the first time ever.
Among the other musicians featured in MY COUNTRY are: Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Jimmy Wayne, Julianne Hough, Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Vince Gill, Shelby Lynn, Clint Black, Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood, George Jones, plus many more.
About the Author:
Melanie Dunea has photographed the most influential and powerful people in the public eye. Her photographs are regularly published in magazines such as Town and Country, Vanity Fair, People, Gourmet, Newsweek, New York, Redbook and Ladies Home Journal. She is also the author of My Last Supper. Dunea resides in New York City.