COUNTRY‘s origins are principally from our British heritage; however, other European and African influences are present. COUNTRY began in the Deep South with fiddlers, banjoists, string bands, balladeers and
Like BLUES, COUNTRY has been predominantly a working class music reflecting the real jobs of many performe yrs: railroad men, coalminers, textile workers, carpenters, wagoners, cowboys and even country lawy ers, doctors and preachers.
Before WWI, string bands with names like:
The Skillet Lickers
The Fruit Jar Drinkers
East Texas Serenaders
were very popular playing ragtime, hoedown tunes, British dance tunes and even marching band numbers.
By the 1920s, COUNTRY caught the attention of radio and recording executives, booking agents and advertisers at stations like WSB, WSM, WBT and WBAP. Soon stars like:
Uncle Dave Macon
were filling the airways and stages across the country. Charlotte, North Carolina became the home of a RCA studio from 1927-1945 with over 1500 recordings taking place.
During the Depression two stations became the dominant ones for COUNTRY – WLS’s National Barn Dance and WSM’s Grand Ole Opry where COUNTRY legends like:
Dolly Parton, etc. got their big break.
The Southwest had its own form of COUNTRY including the first cowboy to capture the hearts of America Gene Autry,who was a radio hillbilly singer from Texas.
Next came “western swing” performed by:
Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies
The Light Crust Doughboys
Bob Willis & His Texas Playboys.
The 1970s saw a revival in COUNTRY with:
Emmylou Harris, who was discovered by the Father of COUNTRY ROCKGram Parsons
became COUNTRY legends.
The decades of the 80s launched COUNTRY greats like:
The 90s continued the COUNTRY hit parade with:
Brooks & Dunn
Today the COUNTRY tradition of the South continues with:
The Band Perry