The Origin and Popularity of Country Music
Country music is a genre that originated from the southern and western parts of the United States in the early 1920s. Considering that, it’s also known as “country and western.” Country songs have an upbeat sound and are composed of dance tunes and ballads in a simple form. Musicians usually have string instrument accompaniments such as pianos, guitars, bass drums, fiddles, mandolins, and banjos.
Origin of Country Music
Some people believe that country music started among working-class Southerners who played up-tempo music on instruments in their barns. However, it’s known to have influences that suggest an older origin. Others believe it originated from African and European immigrants to the Appalachians, like the Irish and Celtics, who played the banjos and fiddles.
Country songs also have roots and origin of style from genres like blues and American folk music. This genre of music was initially disregarded and dubbed hillbilly music. Eventually, as the popularity increased and it became associated with singing cowboys, it became more accepted in the 1940s.
States Known for Country Music
With the advance of the internet and music streaming platforms, country and western music is now much more accessible. Worldwide, people listen to it, with the highest concentration of fans in states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Nevada, Mississippi, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado. However, the home of country music is Nashville, Tennessee.
Subgenres of Country Music
Country music has evolved from its bluegrass origins and has adopted many styles. These adaptations depend on the preferences and influence of the artistes, and the message of their song.
Some of the most popular ones are the Alternative, Bluegrass, Bro-country, Christian, Nashville sound, Old-time, Outlaw, Red Dirt, and Tex-Mex music. Additions include country pop, country rap, country folk, roots rock, and lots of others.
Famous Country Bands
Some country musicians, just like other genres, formed singing groups and bands instead of performing as solo artists. This venture was typical in the earlier years as the different members contributed instrumental skills, vocals, or both.
The Carter Family
One of the earliest country groups was The Carter family, Sara Carter, her husband A.P. Carter, and her sister Maybelle Carter. They recorded their first song in August 1927. They were among the first groups to record country music commercially and the first to become stars. The Carters were explicitly known for their Southern gospel music. Though the pioneers are gone, their descendants revived the group and are still in the music scene.
Popularly known as Lady A, the band comprising of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood, who formed the group in 2006. Lady A made its debut in 2007 on Jimmy Brickman’s single- Never alone.
They have since released six studio albums, with three certified platinum. Their sound is a blend of soulful R and B and contemporary country. The band recently ended their contract with Capitol Nashville and are currently signed with Big Machine.
Other famous Country musicians and bands
Other famous musicians known for their country songs include Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Lionel Richie, Johnny Cash, Tim McGraw, and Carrie Underwood. On the other hand, other popular country bands include The Byrds, The Rolling Stones, U2, and numerous others.