Americana | Wikipedia audio article
This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article:
00:03:33 1 Americana as nostalgia
00:07:49 2 Examples
00:09:04 2.1 Brand names
00:09:52 2.2 Eras and periods
00:10:20 2.3 Music
00:10:51 2.4 Religion
00:11:09 2.5 Film
00:11:51 2.6 Television
00:12:20 2.7 Cultural icons
00:13:02 3 See also
00:13:33 3.1 Similar concepts in other nations
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"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think."
Americana is a collective term for artifacts related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States of America. It is generally defined as any collection of materials and things concerning or characteristic of the United States or of the American people; in its broadest sense, Americana is representative or even stereotypical of American culture as a whole.What is and is not considered Americana is heavily influenced by national identity, historical context, patriotism and nostalgia. The ethos or guiding beliefs or ideals which have come to characterize America, such as The American Dream, are central to the idea. American historian Hampton Sides wrote in Americana: Dispatches from the New Frontier:
The United States of America is such as glorious mess of contradiction, such a crazy quilt of competing themes, such a fecund mishmash of people and ideas, that defining us is pretty much pointless. There is, of course, a kind of faded notion of "Americana", one that concerns Route 66, diners, freak rock formations, and the like—but even in it's halcyon days this "roadside attraction" version of America was never an accurate or nuanced distillation of our massively complicated culture.
There are scenes and places, wattages and personages, that belong—inextricably, unmistakably—to this country alone. There is an American quality, a tone, an energy ... instantly recognizable ..."
Many kinds of cultural artifacts fall within the definition of Americana: the things involved need not be old, but are usually associated with some quintessential element of the American experience. Each period of United States history is reflected by the advertising and marketing of the time, and the various types of antiques, collectibles, memorabilia and vintage items from these time periods are typical of what is popularly considered Americana. The Atlantic described the term as "slang for the comforting, middle-class ephemera at your average antique store—things like needle-pointed pillows, Civil War daguerreotypes, and engraved silverware sets". Americana encompasses not only material objects but also people, places, concepts and historical eras which are popularly identified with American culture.
The name "Americana" also refers to Americana music, a genre of contemporary music which incorporates elements of various American music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound.