COUNTRY MUSIC (frequently referred to as just COUNTRY) is a musical
genre that originated in the
Southern United States
According to Lindsey Starnes, the term _country music_ gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term _hillbilly music_; it came to encompass Western music , which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. In 2009 country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute in the United States.
The term _country music_ is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. The origins of country music are the folk music of working-class Americans , who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional English ballads, and cowboy songs, and various musical traditions from European immigrant communities.
* 1 Origins
* 1.1 Role of East Tennessee
* 2 Generations * 3 First generation (1920s)
* 4 Second generation (1930s–1940s)
* 5 Third generation (1950s–1960s)
* 6 Decline of Western music and the cowboy ballad
* 7 Fourth generation (1970s–1980s)
* 8 Fifth generation (1990s)
* 8.1 Alt-country
* 9 Sixth generation (2000s–present)
* 9.1 Bro-country
* 10 International
* 10.1 Canada * 10.2 Australia * 10.3 UK * 10.4 Other international country music
* 11 Performers and shows
* 11.1 US cable television * 11.2 Canadian television * 11.3 Australian cable television * 11.4 Festivals
* 12 See also * 13 References * 14 Further reading * 15 External links
Immigrants to the Southern
Appalachian Mountains of North America
brought the music and instruments of
ROLE OF EAST TENNESSEE
Main article: Music of East Tennessee
Bristol, Tennessee has been formally recognized by the U.S. Congress as the "Birthplace of Country Music", based on the historic Bristol recording sessions of 1927. Since 2014, the city has been home to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum . Historians have also noted the influence of the less-known Johnson City sessions of 1928 and 1929, and the Knoxville sessions of 1929 and 1930. Prior to these, pioneer settlers, in the Great Smoky Mountains region, had developed a rich musical heritage.
The first generation emerged in the early 1920s, with Atlanta\'s
music scene playing a major role in launching country's earliest
Okeh Records began issuing hillbilly music records
by Fiddlin\' John Carson as early as 1923, followed by Columbia
Records (series 15000D "Old Familiar Tunes") (
Samantha Bumgarner ) in
RCA Victor Records in 1927 (the
During the second generation (1930s–1940s), radio became a popular source of entertainment, and "barn dance" shows featuring country music were started all over the South, as far north as Chicago, and as far west as California. The most important was the _ Grand Ole Opry _, aired starting in 1925 by WSM in Nashville and continuing to the present day. During the 1930s and 1940s, cowboy songs, or Western music, which had been recorded since the 1920s, were popularized by films made in Hollywood. Bob Wills was another country musician from the Lower Great Plains who had become very popular as the leader of a "hot string band ," and who also appeared in Hollywood westerns . His mix of country and jazz , which started out as dance hall music, would become known as Western swing . Wills was one of the first country musicians known to have added an electric guitar to his band, in 1938. Country musicians began recording boogie in 1939, shortly after it had been played at Carnegie Hall , when Johnny Barfield recorded "Boogie Woogie".
The third generation (1950s–1960s) started at the end of World War
II with "mountaineer" string band music known as bluegrass , which
Bill Monroe , along with
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
were introduced by
Roy Acuff at the Grand Ole Opry. Gospel music
remained a popular component of country music. Another type of
stripped-down and raw music with a variety of moods and a basic
ensemble of guitar, bass, dobro or steel guitar (and later) drums
became popular, especially among poor whites in Texas and
Fourth generation (1970s–1980s) music included outlaw country with roots in the Bakersfield sound , and country pop with roots in the countrypolitan , folk music and soft rock . Between 1972 and 1975 singer/guitarist John Denver released a series of hugely successful songs blending country and folk-rock musical styles. During the early 1980s country artists continued to see their records perform well on the pop charts. In 1980 a style of "neocountry disco music" was popularized. During the mid-1980s a group of new artists began to emerge who rejected the more polished country-pop sound that had been prominent on radio and the charts in favor of more traditional "back-to-basics" production. Attempts to combine punk and country were pioneered by Jason and the Scorchers , and in the 1980s Southern Californian cowpunk scene with bands like the Long Ryders and Mojo Nixon .
During the fifth generation (1990s), country music became a worldwide phenomenon thanks to Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson . The Dixie Chicks became one of the most popular country bands in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The sixth generation (2000s–present) is exemplified by country
Carrie Underwood . The influence of rock music in country has
become more overt during the late 2000s and early 2010s.
made its mark on country music with the emergence of country rap .
Most of the best-selling country songs of this era however were in the
country pop genre, such as those by
Lady Antebellum , Florida Georgia
Line , and
FIRST GENERATION (1920S)
Atlanta\'s music scene played a major role in launching country's earliest recording artists in the early 1920s—many Appalachian people had come to the city to work in its cotton mills and brought their music with them. It would remain a major recording center for two decades and a major performance center for four decades, up to the first country music TV shows on local Atlanta stations in the 1950s. Some record companies in Atlanta turned away early artists such as Fiddlin\' John Carson , while others realized that his music would fit perfectly with the lifestyle of the country's agricultural workers. The first commercial recordings of what was considered country music were "Arkansas Traveler " and " Turkey in the Straw " by fiddlers Henry Gilliland "> Vernon Dalhart
A year later, on June 14, 1923, Fiddlin\' John Carson recorded "Little Log Cabin in the Lane " for Okeh Records . Vernon Dalhart was the first country singer to have a nationwide hit in May 1924 with " Wreck of the Old 97 ". The flip side of the record was "Lonesome Road Blues", which also became very popular. In April 1924, "Aunt" Samantha Bumgarner and Eva Davis became the first female musicians to record and release country songs. Many "hillbilly" musicians, such as Cliff Carlisle , recorded blues songs throughout the decade and into the 1930s. Other important early recording artists were Riley Puckett , Don Richardson , Fiddlin\' John Carson , Uncle Dave Macon , Al Hopkins , Ernest V. Stoneman , Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers and The Skillet Lickers . The steel guitar entered country music as early as 1922, when Jimmie Tarlton met famed Hawaiian guitarist Frank Ferera on the West Coast.
Jimmie Rodgers and the
SECOND GENERATION (1930S–1940S)
See also: 1940s in music § Country Roy Acuff
Record sales declined during the
The most important was the _ Grand Ole Opry _, aired starting in 1925 by WSM in Nashville and continuing to the present day. Some of the early stars on the _Opry_ were Uncle Dave Macon , Roy Acuff and African American harmonica player DeFord Bailey . WSM's 50,000-watt signal (in 1934) could often be heard across the country. Many musicians performed and recorded songs in any number of styles. Moon Mullican , for example, played Western swing but also recorded songs that can be called rockabilly . Between 1947 and 1949, country crooner Eddy Arnold placed eight songs in the top 10. From 1945 to 1955 Jenny Lou Carson was one of the most prolific songwriters in country music.
SINGING COWBOYS AND WESTERN SWING
Publicity photo of Roy Rogers and Gail Davis, 1948
During the 1930s and 1940s, cowboy songs, or Western music, which had
been recorded since the 1920s, were popularized by films made in
Hollywood. Some of the popular singing cowboys from the era were Gene
Autry , the
Sons of the Pioneers , and
Roy Rogers .
Drums were scorned by early country musicians as being "too loud" and "not pure", but by 1935 Western swing big band leader Bob Wills had added drums to the Texas Playboys . In the mid-1940s, the Grand Ole Opry did not want the Playboys' drummer to appear on stage. Although drums were commonly used by rockabilly groups by 1955, the less-conservative-than-the-Grand-Ole-Opry _ Louisiana Hayride _ kept its infrequently used drummer back stage as late as 1956. By the early 1960s, however, it was rare that a country band didn't have a drummer. Bob Wills was one of the first country musicians known to have added an electric guitar to his band, in 1938. A decade later (1948) Arthur Smith achieved top 10 US country chart success with his MGM Records recording of "Guitar Boogie ", which crossed over to the US pop chart, introducing many people to the potential of the electric guitar. For several decades Nashville session players preferred the warm tones of the Gibson and Gretsch archtop electrics, but a "hot" Fender style, using guitars which became available beginning in the early 1950s, eventually prevailed as the signature guitar sound of country.
Country musicians began recording boogie in 1939, shortly after it had been played at Carnegie Hall , when Johnny Barfield recorded "Boogie Woogie". The trickle of what was initially called hillbilly boogie, or okie boogie (later to be renamed country boogie), became a flood beginning in late 1945. One notable release from this period was The Delmore Brothers ' "Freight Train Boogie", considered to be part of the combined evolution of country music and blues towards rockabilly . In 1948, Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith achieved top ten US country chart success with his MGM Records recordings of "Guitar Boogie " and " Banjo Boogie", with the former crossing over to the US pop charts. Other country boogie artists included Moon Mullican , Merrill Moore and Tennessee Ernie Ford . The hillbilly boogie period lasted into the 1950s and remains one of many subgenres of country into the 21st century.
BLUEGRASS, FOLK AND GOSPEL
By the end of
World War II
Another type of stripped down and raw music with a variety of moods
and a basic ensemble of guitar, bass, dobro or steel guitar (and
later) drums became popular, especially among poor whites in Texas and
THIRD GENERATION (1950S–1960S)
By the early 1950s a blend of Western swing, country boogie, and
honky tonk was played by most country bands. Western music, influenced
by the cowboy ballads and
Tejano music rhythms of the southwestern
U.S. and northern Mexico, reached its peak in popularity in the late
1950s, most notably with the song "El Paso ", first recorded by Marty
Robbins in September 1959. The country music scene largely kept the
music of the folk revival and folk rock at a distance, despite the
similarity in instrumentation and origins (see, for instance, The
Byrds ' negative reception during their appearance on the _Grand Ole
Opry_). The main concern was politics: the folk revival was largely
driven by progressive activists, a stark contrast to the culturally
conservative audiences of country music. Only a handful of folk
artists, such as
THE NASHVILLE AND COUNTRYPOLITAN SOUNDS
Beginning in the mid-1950s, and reaching its peak during the early
Nashville sound turned country music into a
multimillion-dollar industry centered in
Main article: Country soul
In 1962, Ray Charles surprised the pop world by turning his attention to country and western music, topping the charts and rating number three for the year on _Billboard's_ pop chart with the "I Can\'t Stop Loving You " single, and recording the landmark album _Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music _.
Another genre of country music grew out of hardcore honky tonk with
Western swing and originated 112 miles (180 km)
north-northwest of Los Angeles in
Bakersfield, California . Influenced
by one-time West Coast residents
Bob Wills and
Lefty Frizzell , by
1966 it was known as the
Bakersfield sound . It relied on electric
instruments and amplification, in particular the
guitar, more than other subgenres of country of the era, and can be
described as having a sharp, hard, driving, no-frills, edgy flavor.
Leading practitioners of this style were
DECLINE OF WESTERN MUSIC AND THE COWBOY BALLAD
By the late 1960s, Western music, in particular the cowboy ballad,
was in decline. Relegated to the "country and Western" genre by
marketing agencies, popular Western recording stars released albums to
only moderate success. Rock-and-roll artists got hit songs, but
Western artists also got country hits. The latter was largely limited
FOURTH GENERATION (1970S–1980S)
See also: 1970s in music § Country , and 1980s in music § Country
Derived from the traditional Western and honky tonk musical styles of
the late 1950s and 1960s, including Ray Price (whose band, the
"Cherokee Cowboys", included
Willie Nelson and
Roger Miller ) and
mixed with the anger of an alienated subculture of the nation during
the period, outlaw country revolutionized the genre of country music.
"After I left Nashville (the early 70s), I wanted to relax and play
the music that I wanted to play, and just stay around Texas, maybe
Oklahoma. Waylon and I had that outlaw image going, and when it caught
on at colleges and we started selling records, we were O.K. The whole
outlaw thing, it had nothing to do with the music, it was something
that got written in an article, and the young people said, 'Well,
that's pretty cool.' And started listening." (Willie Nelson) The term
_outlaw country_ is traditionally associated with
Willie Nelson ,
Jerry Jeff Walker ,
Hank Williams, Jr.
Country pop or soft pop, with roots in the countrypolitan sound, folk music, and soft rock , is a subgenre that first emerged in the 1970s. Although the term first referred to country music songs and artists that crossed over to top 40 radio, country pop acts are now more likely to cross over to adult contemporary music . It started with pop music singers like Glen Campbell , Bobbie Gentry , John Denver , Olivia Newton-John , Anne Murray , B. J. Thomas , The Bellamy Brothers , and Linda Ronstadt having hits on the country charts. Between 1972 and 1975, singer/guitarist John Denver released a series of hugely successful songs blending country and folk-rock musical styles ("Rocky Mountain High ", " Sunshine on My Shoulders ", "Annie\'s Song ", "Thank God I\'m a Country Boy ", and "I\'m Sorry "), and was named Country Music Entertainer of the Year in 1975. The year before, Olivia Newton-John, an Australian pop singer, won the "Best Female Country Vocal Performance" as well as the Country Music Association's most coveted award for females, "Female Vocalist of the Year". In response George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Jean Shepard and other traditional Nashville country artists dissatisfied with the new trend formed the short-lived Association of Country Entertainers in 1974; the ACE soon unraveled in the wake of Jones and Wynette's bitter divorce and Shepard's realization that most others in the industry lacked her passion for the movement. Dolly Parton
During the mid-1970s,
Dolly Parton , a successful mainstream country
artist since the late 1960s, mounted a high-profile campaign to cross
over to pop music, culminating in her 1977 hit "
Here You Come Again ",
which topped the U.S. country singles chart, and also reached No. 3 on
the pop singles charts. Parton's male counterpart,
Kenny Rogers , came
from the opposite direction, aiming his music at the country charts,
after a successful career in pop, rock and folk music with The First
Edition , achieving success the same year with "Lucille ", which
topped the country charts and reached No. 5 on the U.S. pop singles
charts, as well as reaching Number 1 on the British all-genre chart.
Parton and Rogers would both continue to have success on both country
and pop charts simultaneously, well into the 1980s. Artists like
Crystal Gayle ,
Ronnie Milsap and
Barbara Mandrell would also find
success on the pop charts with their records. In 1975, author Paul
Hemphill stated in the _Saturday Evening Post_, "
During the early 1980s, country artists continued to see their records perform well on the pop charts. Willie Nelson and Juice Newton each had two songs in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the early eighties: Nelson charted " Always on My Mind " (No. 5, 1982) and "To All the Girls I\'ve Loved Before " (No. 5, 1984, a duet with Julio Iglesias ), and Newton achieved success with "Queen of Hearts " (No. 2, 1981) and " Angel of the Morning " (No. 4, 1981). Four country songs topped the _Billboard_ Hot 100 in the 1980s: "Lady " by Kenny Rogers , from the late fall of 1980; "9 to 5 " by Dolly Parton , "I Love a Rainy Night " by Eddie Rabbitt (these two back-to-back at the top in early 1981); and "Islands in the Stream ", a duet by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers in 1983, a pop-country crossover hit written by Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees . Newton's "Queen of Hearts" almost reached No. 1, but was kept out of the spot by the pop ballad juggernaut "Endless Love " by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie . The move of country music toward neotraditional styles led to a marked decline in country/pop crossovers in the late 1980s, and only one song in that period— Roy Orbison 's " You Got It ", from 1989—made the top 10 of both the _Billboard_ Hot Country Singles " and Hot 100 charts, due largely to a revival of interest in Orbison after his sudden death. The record-setting, multi-platinum group Alabama was named Artist of the Decade for the 1980s by the Academy of Country Music.
Main article: Country rock A reunited Eagles in 2008
Country rock is a genre that started in the 1960s but became
prominent in the 1970s. The late 1960s in American music produced a
unique blend as a result of traditionalist backlash within separate
genres. In the aftermath of the
British Invasion , many desired a
return to the "old values" of rock n' roll. At the same time there was
a lack of enthusiasm in the country sector for Nashville-produced
music. What resulted was a crossbred genre known as country rock .
Early innovators in this new style of music in the 1960s and 1970s
TRUCK DRIVING COUNTRY
Main article: Truck-driving country
Truck driving country music is a genre of country music and is a fusion of honky-tonk , country rock and the Bakersfield sound . It has the tempo of country rock and the emotion of honky-tonk, and its lyrics focus on a truck driver 's lifestyle. Truck driving country songs often deal with the profession of trucking and love. Well-known artists who sing truck driving country include Dave Dudley , Red Sovine , Dick Curless , Red Simpson , Del Reeves , The Willis Brothers and Jerry Reed , with C. W. McCall and Cledus Maggard (pseudonyms of Bill Fries and Jay Huguely, respectively) being more humorous entries in the subgenre. Dudley is known as the father of truck driving country.
Main article: Neotraditionalist country
During the mid-1980s, a group of new artists began to emerge who rejected the more polished country-pop sound that had been prominent on radio and the charts, in favor of more, traditional, "back-to-basics" production. Many of the artists during the latter half of the 1980s drew on traditional honky-tonk, bluegrass, folk and western swing. Artists who typified this sound included Travis Tritt , Reba McEntire , George Strait , Keith Whitley , Alan Jackson , Ricky Skaggs , Patty Loveless , Kathy Mattea , Randy Travis , Dwight Yoakam , and The Judds . Beginning in 1989, a confluence of events brought an unprecedented commercial boom to country music. The arrival of exceptionally talented artists coincided with new marketing strategies to engage fans, technology that more accurately tracked the popularity of country music, and a political and economic climate that focused attention on the genre. Garth Brooks ("Friends in Low Places") in particular attracted fans with his fusion of neotraditionalist country and stadium rock. His stadium concerts promised the same quality of special effects that fans expected from rock stars, while his music drew equally from George Strait and Journey . Other artists such as Brooks and Dunn ("Boot Scootin' Boogie") also combined conventional country with slick, rock elements, while Lorrie Morgan , Mary Chapin Carpenter , and Kathy Mattea updated neotraditionalist styles.
FIFTH GENERATION (1990S)
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Garth Brooks See also: 1990s in music § Country
In the 1990s, country music became a worldwide phenomenon thanks to Garth Brooks , who enjoyed one of the most successful careers in popular music history, breaking records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the decade. The RIAA has certified his recordings at a combined (128× platinum ), denoting roughly 113 million U.S. shipments. Other artists that experienced success during this time included Clint Black , Sammy Kershaw , Aaron Tippin , Travis Tritt , Alan Jackson and the newly formed duo of Brooks George Strait , whose career began in the 1980s, also continued to have widespread success in this decade and beyond. Toby Keith began his career as a more pop-oriented country singer in the 1990s, evolving into an outlaw persona in the late 1990s with _ Pull My Chain _ and its follow-up, _Unleashed _.
Female artists such as
Reba McEntire ,
Patty Loveless ,
Faith Hill ,
Martina McBride ,
Deana Carter ,
LeAnn Rimes ,
Mindy McCready , Lorrie
Shania Twain , and
Mary Chapin Carpenter all released
platinum-selling albums in the 1990s. The
Dixie Chicks became one of
the most popular country bands in the 1990s and early 2000s. Their
1998 debut album _
Wide Open Spaces _ went on to become certified 12x
platinum while their 1999 album _Fly _ went on to become 10x platinum.
After their third album, _Home _, was released in 2003, the band made
political news in part because of lead singer
Natalie Maines 's
comments disparaging then-President
George W. Bush while the band was
overseas (Maines stated that she and her bandmates were ashamed to be
from the same state as Bush, who had just commenced the
Shania Twain became the best selling female country artist of the decade. This was primarily due to the success of her breakthrough sophomore 1995 album, _The Woman in Me _, which was certified 12x platinum sold over 20 million copies worldwide and its follow up, 1997's _ Come On Over _, which was certified 20x platinum and sold over 40 million copies. The album became a major worldwide phenomenon and became one of the world's best selling albums of 1998, 1999 and 2000; it also went on to become the best selling country album of all time. Unlike the majority of her contemporaries, Twain enjoyed large international success that had been seen by very few country artists, before or after her. Critics have noted that Twain enjoyed much of her success due to breaking free of traditional country stereotypes and for incorporating elements of rock and pop into her music. In 2002, she released her successful fourth studio album, titled _Up! _, which was certified 11x platinum and sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Twain has been credited with breaking international boundaries for country music, as well as inspiring many country artists to incorporate different genres into their music in order to attract a wider audience. She is also credited with changing the way in which many female country performers would market themselves, as unlike many before her she used fashion and her sex appeal to get rid of the stereotypical 'honky-tonk ' image the majority of country singers had in order to distinguish herself from many female country artists of the time.
In the early-mid-1990s, country western music was influenced by the
popularity of line dancing . This influence was so great that Chet
Atkins was quoted as saying, "The music has gotten pretty bad, I
think. It's all that damn line dancing." By the end of the decade,
however, at least one line dance choreographer complained that good
country line dance music was no longer being released. In contrast,
artists such as
Don Williams and
The musical combination of punk , alternative rock and country was pioneered by the "cowpunk " scene in Southern California during the 1980s, which included bands such as The Long Ryders , Lone Justice and The Beat Farmers , as well as the established punk group X , whose music had begun to include country and rockabilly influences. Other artists from outside California who were associated with early alternative country included singer-songwriters such as Lucinda Williams , Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle , the Nashville country rock band Jason and the Scorchers and the British post-punk band The Mekons . Earle, in particular, was noted for his popularity with both country and college rock audiences: He promoted his 1986 debut album _Guitar Town _ with a tour that saw him open for both country singer Dwight Yoakam and alternative rock band The Replacements .
These early styles had coalesced into a genre by the time the
Uncle Tupelo released their influential debut album _No
Depression _ in 1990. The album is widely credited as being the
first "alternative country" album, and inspired the name of _No
Depression _ magazine, which exclusively covered the new genre.
Following Uncle Tupelo's disbanding in 1994, its members formed two
significant bands in genre:
SIXTH GENERATION (2000S–PRESENT)
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See also: 2000s in music § Country , and 2010s in music § Country
The sixth generation of the country continued the crossover between
country and pop music.
In 2005, country singer
Carrie Underwood rose to fame as the winner
of the fourth season of _
Carrie Underwood was one of several country stars produced by a
television series in the 2000s. In addition to Underwood, _American
Idol_ launched the careers of
Kellie Pickler ,
Josh Gracin , Bucky
Kristy Lee Cook ,
Danny Gokey and
Scotty McCreery (as well
as that of occasional country singer
In 2010, the group
Lady Antebellum won five Grammys, including the
coveted Song of the Year and
Record of the Year for "Need You Now , a
UK number 15 hit on the mainstream singles chart, a rarity for a
country song these days ". A large number of duos and vocal groups
emerged on the charts in the 2010s, many of which feature close
harmony in the lead vocals. In addition to Lady Antebellum, groups
The Quebe Sisters Band ,
Little Big Town
One of the most commercially successful country artists of the late
2000s and early 2010s has been singer-songwriter
September 11 attacks
In the 2010s, Bro-country , a genre noted primarily for its themes on drinking and partying, girls, and pickup trucks became particularly popular. Notable artists associated with this genre are Luke Bryan , Jason Aldean , Blake Shelton , and Florida Georgia Line whose song "Cruise " became the best-selling country song of all time. Research in the mid-2010s suggested that about 45 percent of country's best-selling songs could be considered bro-country, with the top two artists being Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. Albums by bro-country singers also sold very well—in 2013, Luke Bryan's _Crash My Party _ was the third best-selling of all albums in the US, with Florida Georgia Line's _Here\'s to the Good Times _ at sixth, and Blake Shelton's _Based on a True Story _ at ninth. It is also thought that the popularity of bro-country helped country music to surpass classic rock as the most popular genre in America in 2012. The genre however is controversial as it has been criticized by other country musicians and commentators over its themes and depiction of women, opening up a divide between the older generation of country singers and the younger bro country singers that was described as "civil war" by musicians, critics, and journalists." In 2014, Maddie "> Shania Twain in 2011
Outside of the United States, Canada has the largest country music
fan and artist base, something that is to be expected given the two
countries' proximity and cultural parallels. Mainstream country music
is culturally ingrained in the prairie provinces , Ontario, and in
Atlantic Canada . Celtic traditional music developed in Atlantic
Canada in the form of Scottish, Acadian and Irish folk music popular
amongst Irish, French and Scottish immigrants to Canada's Atlantic
Provinces (Newfoundland , Nova Scotia,
_Don Messer\'s Jubilee _ was a Halifax, Nova Scotia -based country/folk variety television show that was broadcast nationally from 1957 to 1969. In Canada it out-performed _ The Ed Sullivan Show _ broadcast from the United States and became the top-rated television show throughout much of the 1960s. _Don Messer's Jubilee_ followed a consistent format throughout its years, beginning with a tune named "Goin' to the Barndance Tonight", followed by fiddle tunes by Messer, songs from some of his "Islanders" including singers Marg Osburne and Charlie Chamberlain , the featured guest performance, and a closing hymn. It ended with "Till We Meet Again ".
The guest performance slot gave national exposure to numerous Canadian folk musicians, including Stompin\' Tom Connors and Catherine McKinnon . Some Maritime country performers went on to further fame beyond Canada. Hank Snow , Wilf Carter (also known as Montana Slim), and Anne Murray are the three most notable.
The cancellation of the show by the public broadcaster in 1969 caused a nationwide protest, including the raising of questions in the Parliament of Canada.
The Prairie provinces, due to their western cowboy and agrarian nature, are the true heartland of Canadian country music. While the Prairies never developed a traditional music culture anything like the Maritimes, the folk music of the Prairies often reflected the cultural origins of the settlers, who were a mix of Scottish , Ukrainian , German and others. For these reasons polkas and Western music were always popular in the region, and with the introduction of the radio, mainstream country music flourished. As the culture of the region is western and frontier in nature, the specific genre of country and western is more popular today in the Prairies than in any other part of the country. No other area of the country embraces all aspects of the culture, from two-step dancing, to the cowboy dress, to rodeos, to the music itself, like the Prairies do. The Atlantic Provinces, on the other hand, produce far more traditional musicians, but they are not usually specifically country in nature, usually bordering more on the folk or Celtic genres.
Many traditional country artists are present in eastern and western Canada. They make common use of fiddle and pedal steel guitar styles. Some notable Canadian country artists include Shania Twain , Anne Murray , k.d. lang , Gordon Lightfoot , Buffy Sainte-Marie , George Canyon , Blue Rodeo , Tommy Hunter , Rita MacNeil , Stompin\' Tom Connors , Stan Rogers , Ronnie Prophet , Carroll Baker , The Rankin Family , Ian Tyson , Johnny Reid , Paul Brandt , Jason McCoy , George Fox , Carolyn Dawn Johnson , Hank Snow , Don Messer , Wilf Carter , Michelle Wright , Terri Clark , Prairie Oyster , Family Brown , Johnny Mooring , Marg Osburne , Doc Walker , Emerson Drive , The Wilkinsons , Corb Lund and the Hurtin\' Albertans , Crystal Shawanda , Dean Brody , Shane Yellowbird , Gord Bamford , Chad Brownlee , The Road Hammers , Rowdy Spurs and The Higgins .
Australian country music has a long tradition. Influenced by American country music, it has developed a distinct style, shaped by British and Irish folk ballads and Australian bush balladeers like Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson . Country instruments, including the guitar, banjo , fiddle and harmonica, create the distinctive sound of country music in Australia and accompany songs with strong storyline and memorable chorus.
Folk songs sung in Australia between the 1780s and 1920s, based around such themes as the struggle against government tyranny , or the lives of bushrangers , swagmen , drovers , stockmen and shearers , continue to influence the genre. This strain of Australian country, with lyrics focusing on Australian subjects, is generally known as "bush music" or "bush band music". " Waltzing Matilda ", often regarded as Australia's unofficial national anthem , is a quintessential Australian country song, influenced more by British and Irish folk ballads than by American country and western music. The lyrics were composed by the poet Banjo Paterson in 1895. Other popular songs from this tradition include " The Wild Colonial Boy ", "Click Go the Shears ", "The Queensland Drover" and "The Dying Stockman". Later themes which endure to the present include the experiences of war, of droughts and flooding rains, of Aboriginality and of the railways and trucking routes which link Australia's vast distances.
Pioneers of a more Americanised popular country music in Australia included Tex Morton (known as "The Father of Australian Country Music") in the 1930s. Author Andrew Smith delivers a through research and engaged view of Tex Morton's life and his impact on the country music scene in Australia in the 1930s and 1940s. Other early stars included Buddy Williams , Shirley Thoms and Smoky Dawson . Buddy Williams (1918–1986) was the first Australian-born to record country music in Australia in the late 1930s and was the pioneer of a distinctly Australian style of country music called the bush ballad that others such as Slim Dusty would make popular in later years. During World War II, many of Buddy Williams recording sessions were done whilst on leave from the Army. At the end of the war, Williams would go on to operate some of the largest travelling tent rodeo shows Australia has ever seen.
In 1952, Dawson began a radio show and went on to national stardom as
a singing cowboy of radio, TV and film.
Slim Dusty (1927–2003) was
known as the "King of Australian Country Music" and helped to
popularise the Australian bush ballad . His successful career spanned
almost six decades, and his 1957 hit "
A Pub with No Beer " was the
biggest-selling record by an Australian to that time, and with over
seven million record sales in Australia he is the most successful
artist in Australian musical history. Dusty recorded and released his
one-hundredth album in the year 2000 and was given the honour of
Waltzing Matilda " in the closing ceremony of the
Chad Morgan , who began recording in the 1950s, has represented a vaudeville style of comic Australian country; Frank Ifield achieved considerable success in the early 1960s, especially in the UK Singles Charts, and Reg Lindsay was one of the first Australians to perform at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry in 1974. Eric Bogle 's 1972 folk lament to the Gallipoli Campaign "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda " recalled the British and Irish origins of Australian folk-country. Singer-songwriter Paul Kelly , whose music style straddles folk, rock, and country, is often described as the poet laureate of Australian music. Keith Urban in 2007
By the 1990s, country music had attained crossover success in the pop
charts, with artists like James Blundell and
James Reyne singing "Way
Out West ", and country star
Kasey Chambers winning the ARIA for Best
Female Artist in 2003. The crossover influence of Australian country
is also evident in the music of successful contemporary bands The
Waifs and the
John Butler Trio .
Nick Cave has been heavily influenced
by the country artist
Popular contemporary performers of Australian country music include John Williamson (who wrote the iconic "True Blue "), Lee Kernaghan (whose hits include "Boys from the Bush" and " The Outback Club "), Gina Jeffreys , Forever Road and Sara Storer . In the United States, Olivia Newton-John , Sherrié Austin and Keith Urban have attained great success.
Tamworth Country Music Festival began in 1973 and now attracts up
to 100,000 visitors annually. Held in Tamworth, New South Wales
(country music capital of Australia), it celebrates the culture and
heritage of Australian country music. During the festival the CMAA
Country Music Awards of Australia ceremony awarding the
Golden Guitar trophies. Other significant country music festivals
include the Whittlesea Country Music Festival (near
_Country HQ_ showcases new talent on the rise in the country music scene down under . CMC (the Country Music Channel ), a 24‑hour music channel dedicated to non-stop country music, can be viewed on pay TV and features once a year the Golden Guitar Awards, CMAs and CCMAs alongside international shows such as _The Wilkinsons_, _The Road Hammers_, and _Country Music Across America_.
The most successful British country music act of the 21st Century are Ward Thomas and The Shires . In 2015, The Shires' album _Brave _, became the first UK country act ever to chart in the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart . In 2016, Ward Thomas then became the first UK country act to hit number 1 in the UK Albums Chart with their album _Cartwheels_ .
There is the C2C: Country to Country festival held every year, and
for many years there was a festival at
Wembley Arena , which was
broadcast on the
From within the UK, few country musicians achieved widespread mainstream success. Tom Jones , by this point near the end of his peak success as a pop singer, had a string of country hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Bee Gees had some fleeting success in the genre, with one country hit as artists (" Rest Your Love on Me ") and a major hit as songwriters ("Islands in the Stream "). Singer Engelbert Humperdinck , while charting only once in the U.S. country top 40 with "After the Lovin\' ," achieved widespread success on both the U.S. and UK pop charts with his faithful covers of Nashville country ballads such as "Release Me ," " Am I That Easy to Forget " and "There Goes My Everything ." The songwriting tandem of Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway wrote a number of country hits, in addition to their widespread success in pop songwriting; Cook is notable for being the only Briton to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame .
OTHER INTERNATIONAL COUNTRY MUSIC
Tom Roland, from the
Country Music Association International,
explains country music's global popularity: "In this respect, at
least, Country Music listeners around the globe have something in
common with those in the United States. In Germany, for instance,
Rohrbach identifies three general groups that gravitate to the genre:
people intrigued with the American cowboy icon, middle-aged fans who
seek an alternative to harder rock music and younger listeners drawn
to the pop-influenced sound that underscores many current Country
hits." One of the first Americans to perform country music abroad was
George Hamilton IV . He was the first country musician to perform in
In Brazil, a musical genre known as música sertaneja , a very
popular genre of music in Brazil, is very similar to American country
music, sharing the music's rich history of development in the
countryside. In South America, on the last weekend of September, the
yearly San Pedro Country Music Festival takes place in the town of
TG4 began a quest for Ireland's next country star called
Glór Tíre _, translated as "Country Voice". It is now in its sixth
season and is one of TG4's most watched TV shows. Over the past ten
years country and gospel recording artist
PERFORMERS AND SHOWS
US CABLE TELEVISION
Six U.S. cable TV networks are at least partly devoted to the genre: Country Music Television and CMT Music (both owned by Viacom ), Rural Free Delivery TV (owned by Rural Media Group), Great American Country (owned by Scripps Networks ), Heartland (owned by Luken Communications ), and The Country Network (owned by TCN Country, LLC).
The first American country music video cable channel was The Nashville Network , launched in the early 1980s. In 2000, after it and CMT fell under the same corporate ownership, the channel was renamed and reformatted as The _National_ Network, a general-interest network, and eventually became Spike TV , However Spike TV is no longer a music video channel. TNN was later revived from 2012 to 2013 after Jim Owens Entertainment acquired the trademark and licensed it to Luken Communications; that channel renamed itself Heartland after Luken was embroiled in an unrelated dispute that left the company bankrupt.
Only one television channel is currently dedicated to country music in Canada: CMT (Canada) owned by Corus Entertainment (90%) and Viacom (10%). In the past, country music had an extensive presence, especially on the Canadian national broadcaster, CBC Television . The show _Don Messer\'s Jubilee _ significantly affected country music in Canada; for instance, it was the program that launched Anne Murray 's career. Gordie Tapp 's _ Country Hoedown _ and its successor, _The Tommy Hunter Show _, ran for a combined 36 years on the CBC, from 1956 to 1992; in its last nine years on air, the U.S. cable network TNN carried Hunter's show. Also, in Degrassi Season 13 Episode 29: "Sparks Will Fly", Tristan, Miles and Zig form a country band to play at the school's "Wild, Wild West Night".
AUSTRALIAN CABLE TELEVISION
Main article: List of country music festivals
Academy of Country Music
American Country Countdown Awards
Canadian Country Music Association
CMT Music Awards
Country Music Association
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Country and Irish
* Culture of the
Southern United States
* ^ Richard A. Peterson (1999-12-15). _Creating Country Music:
Fabricating Authenticity_. University of Chicago Press. p. 9. ISBN
* ^ "
* Biracree, Tom (1993). _The country music almanac: Tom Biracree_. Macmillan General Reference. ISBN 978-0-671-79761-4 . * Dawidoff, Nicholas (1998-04-28). _In the Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music_. Vintage. ISBN 978-0-375-70082-8 . * Doggett, Peter (2000). _Are You Ready for the Country: Elvis, Dylan, Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock_. ISBN 978-0-14-026108-0 . * Escott, Colin (2002-08-01). _Roadkill on the Three-Chord Highway: Art and Trash in American Popular Music_. New York : Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-93783-2 . * Gilliland, John (1969). "Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis" (audio). _ Pop Chronicles _. University of North Texas Libraries . * Harris, Stacy (1993-10-01). _The Best of Country: The Essential Cd Guide_. Collins Pub San Francisco. ISBN 978-0-00-255335-3 . * Thomas S. Johnson (1981) "That Ain't Country: The Distinctiveness of Commercial Western Music" JEMF Quarterly. Vol. 17, No. 62. Summer, 1981. pp 75–84. * Keevil, Sabine (2002-02-01). _Guitars & Cadillacs_. Sabine Keevil. ISBN 978-0-9689973-0-7 . * Peter La Chapelle (2007-04-15). _Proud to Be an Okie: Cultural Politics, Country Music, And Migration to Southern California_. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24889-2 . * Bill Legere (1977). _Record Collectors Guide of Country LPs_. Limited ed. Mississauga, Ont.: W.J. Legere. 269, 25, 29, 2 p., thrice perforated and looseleaf. Without ISBN * Bill Legere (). _E Ts: Transcription Library of Bill Legere_. Mississauga, Ont.: B. Legere. 3 vols., each of which is thrice perforated and looseleaf. N.B.: Vol. 1–2, Country Artists—vol. 2, Pop Artists. Without ISBN * Bill C. Malone (1985). _Country music, U.S.A_. ISBN 978-0-292-71096-2 . * Bill C. Malone (2002). _Don't Get Above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working Class_. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-02678-2 . * Diane Pecknold (ed.) _Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music._ Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013. * Richard A. Peterson (1999-12-15). _Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity_. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-66285-5 . * Stamper, Pete (1999). _It All Happened In Renfro Valley_. University of Kentucky Press . ISBN 978-0-8131-0975-6 .
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* The Country Music Association - Nashville, Tennessee(CMA) * Western Music