The Woody Guthrie Award

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music-US Branch (IASPM-US) presents the Woody Guthrie Award each year to the most outstanding book on popular music. Winners are awarded $1,000 and are announced each year at the IASPM-US Annual Conference.

IASPM-US requests your nominations for the most distinguished English language monograph in popular music studies published during 2016. Books may be nominated by any member in good standing of IASPM-US, by members of the prize committee, by their authors, or by publishers. Copyrights must state 2016.

The deadline for nominations is September 15, 2017. Nominations should be sent electronically to committee chair Karl Hagstrom Miller and should include the author’s name, book title, and publisher’s information including ISBN. Please write Woody Guthrie Award Nomination in the title of the email. The society will announce the winner at the spring 2018 IASPM-US meeting.

2016 Woody Guthrie Book Prize Winner

The 2016 Woody Guthrie Award goes to Allison McCracken for her book Real Men Don′t Sing: Crooning in American Culture.

From Committee Chair Kariann Goldschmitt:
Out of many outstanding books, one rose to the top in a unanimous decision. This is a book that demonstrates what the committee believes is the best of what popular music research can do, merging meticulous archival research, close listening, and nuanced readings of the performance of race, gender, and sexuality at an early period of music and broadcast radio, film, and recording. We were especially impressed with the book’s far-reaching ideas for how we can understand gender in performance and reception up through the present day of gender-queer male vocals on American Idol and Glee. Through its history of the changing nature of male voices, the power of female fandom, and society’s expectations for men and women around sex, the book presents a captivating history of crooning. We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2016 Woody Guthrie Book Prize goes to Allison McCracken for Real Men Don’t Sing: Crooning in American Culture (Duke University Press).

The 2016 prize committee included Brad Osborn, Alexa Woloshyn, and Kariann Goldschmitt. The award was presented at the business meeting of the IASPM-US Conference in Cleveland on February 25, 2017.

Previous Woody Guthrie Award Winners


Eric Weisbard. Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music (University of Chicago Press)

Honorable Mentions:
Nadine Hubbs. Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music (University of California Press)

Barry Shank. The Political Force of Musical Beauty (Duke University Press)


Lila Ellen Gray Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Duke University Press)

Honorable Mentions:
Todd Decker. Show Boat: Performing Race in an American Musical (Oxford University Press)

Marc A. Hertzman. Making Samba: A New History of Race and Music in Brazil (Duke University Press)


Deborah R. Vargas. Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda (University of Minnesota Press)

Honorable Mention:
Mark Katz. Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ (Oxford University Press)


Nona Willis Aronowitz, ed, Ellen Willis. Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music (University of Minnesota Press)

Kevin Fellezs. Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk and the Creation of Fusion (Duke University Press)


Karl Hagstrom Miller. Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow (Duke University Press)

Honorable Mention:
Katherine Meizel Idolized: Music, Media and Identity in American Idol (Indiana University Press)


Steve Waksman. This Ain’t the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk (University of California Press)

Honorable Mentions:
Annie Randall. Dusty! Queen of the Postmods (Oxford University Press)

David Suisman. Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music (Harvard University Press)

Elijah Wald. How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music (Oxford University Press)


Alejandro Madrid. Nor-tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World (Oxford University Press)

Honorable Mentions:
Charles Hiroshi Garrett. Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century (University of California Press)

Marybeth Hamilton. In Search of the Blues (Basic Books)


Ingrid Monson. Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa (Oxford University Press)


Heidi Feldman. Black Rhythms of Peru: Reviving the African Musical Heritage in the Black Pacific (Wesleyan University Press)


Steven F. Pond. Head Hunters: The Making of Jazz’s First Platinum Album (University of Michigan Press)

Honorable Mentions:
Paul Austerlitz. Jazz Consciousness: Music, Race, and Humanity (Wesleyan University Press)

Lisa Rhodes. Electric Ladyland: Women and Rock Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press)

Daniel Goldmark. Tunes for ‘Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon (University of California Press)


Bryan McCann. Hello, Hello Brazil: Popular Music in the Making of Modern Brazil (Duke University Press)

Honorable Mention:
Tim Lawrence. Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979 (Duke University Press)


Guthrie Ramsey. Race Music: Black Cultures From Bebop to Hip-Hop (University of California Press)


Bernard Gendron. Between Monmartre and the Mudd Club: Popular Music and the Avant Garde (University of Chicago Press)


Gary Giddins. Bing Crosby: A Pocketful Of Dreams: The Early Years 1903-1940 (Back Bay Books)

Theodore Gracyk. I Wanna Be Me: Rock Music and the Politics of Identity (Temple University Press)


Norman Stolzoff. Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture In Jamaica (Duke University Press)


Adelaida Reyes. Songs of the Caged, Songs of the Free: Music and the Vietnamese Experience (Temple University Press)

Honorable Mention:
Steve Waksman. Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience (Harvard University Press)


Frances R. Aparicio. Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music, and Puerto Rican Cultures (Wesleyan University Press/University Press of New England)

Honorable Mention:
Daniel Cavicchi. Tramps Like Us: Music and Meaning among Springsteen Fans (Oxford University Press)


Scott DeVeaux. The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History (University of Califonia Press)


Paul Théberge. Any Sound You Can Imagine: Making Music/Consuming Technology (Wesleyan University Press)