Archives Collection

McCUSKER, KRISTINE                                                                                         00-020



Physical Description:

4 audio cassette tapes



May 19, 1998; March 24, 1999



Kristine McCusker interviewed Rose Lee Maphis as part of her dissertation research at Indiana University.  The oral interviews took place on May 19, 1998 and March 24, 1999 and were recorded on cassette tape with Ms. Maphis’ permission.


Agency History/biographical sketch:

Kristine M. McCusker is currently Assistant Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University.  She has a B.A. in History from the University of Massachusetts, an M.A. in United States History from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in United States History from Indiana University.  While researching her dissertation, Ms. McCusker conducted oral interviews with Rose Lee Maphis.  The cassette tapes have been in her possession until she donated them to the Center on November 6, 2000.


Scope and content:

It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels: Women, Work and Barn Dance Radio, 1920-1960 is the title of Kristine McCusker’s dissertation for which this oral interview was recorded.  During the interview, Rose Lee Maphis reminisces about her experiences as a performer on radio programs called “barn dances” beginning in 1938 and spanning her career on stage until 1986. McCusker writes that Maphis is particularly important to her research of barn dance genre because Maphis “recognized the fluidity of gender relations on stage and was flexible enough to change with them.” Maphis performed on barn dances through the 1950s and later created a new career as a hillbilly singer in California. Gleaned from the material found on the audiotapes, McCusker explains the main tenant of her dissertation is to provide “country music historians with a deeper understanding of the genre and the importance of women on its stages, especially with their intricate ties to the definition and redefinition of tradition.” Please see accompanying audio logs for itemized description of tapes.



The original cassette audio tapes are filed by tape number with other manuscript audio-visual materials in the manuscript storage area.


Related Materials:

The Center holds other oral history audio tapes of various performers and artists searchable in the archives database.  Also in the Center’s collections are two sheet music attributes to Rose Lee and Joe Maphis, catalog numbers 004498-CPMSM and 004499-CPMSM.