Monday, Aug. 6, 2012
Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music (W.W. Norton), by Henry Horenstein
You could say Henry Horenstein wrote the book on photography—several, in fact. But long before he became a photography professor at Rhode Island School of Design, Horenstein roamed honky-tonks and country music festivals, making pictures of musicians such as Del McCoury, Hank Snow and Waylon Jennings. Some 100 of his black-and-white photographs from the 1970s (plus a few newer images) are collected between the covers of Honky Tonk. Whether or not you agree with the remark in the introduction that the decade of the '70s was “the last great era of country music,” it represented a time when country hadn't yet moved to the suburbs, when honky-tonking still flourished and the fans wore the creased faces and calloused hands of a working-class audience.