Picks and Pans Review: Hillbilly Hollywood
by Debby Bull
Back in the 1940s, cowboy stars like Gene Autry were Hollywood royalty. And their "fancy, Western-tailored suits, flamboyantly embroidered or sparkling in sequins," left a permanent imprint on American style, former Rolling Stone editor Debby Bull writes in this curiously engaging coffee-table volume.
To Bull's credit, she doesn't try to make more of all this than it deserves. The pictures of gussied-up C&W singers are fun, and the performers themselves add some perspective. "The sound systems were so lousy back then," says Buck Owens, "that the crowd couldn't hear the music, so the clothes had to be loud." (Rizzoli, $39.95)
Bottom Line: An eyeful of memorable style