The annual Oxford American Music issue has been on the stands for a while. It's packed with fascinating articles about musicians both famous and obscure. Best of all, the issue comes with a CD of 24 songs by the issue's featured artists. Their website has additional features, including a duet between Johnny Cash and an infirm but enthusiastic Louis Armstrong, from Cash's television show in 1970: stream the video
The Oxford American is a quarterly so you still have time if you want to snag a copy of the music issue. The performers featured are widely divergent from Tex Williams to Richard Hell (he's from Lexington, Kentucky) and many in between, including Big Star, Uncle Dave Macon, Sun Ra (Saturn by way of Birmingham, Alabama), Eartha Kitt, Drivin' and Cryin', Sam Cooke, Gary Stewart and many more.