Country Music

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Country music is a genre of music which originated in the rural Southern and Western United States. It is typified by the heavy use of guitars, steel guitars, and fiddles, and, like its root style blues, an accented 2nd and 4th beat in the drums. Since the mid-60's, Nashville, Tennessee has been the dominant city involved in this form of music and is even nick-named Music City. However, other cities such as Branson, Missouri, Austin, Texas, and Stillwater, Oklahoma have also played important roles in its progression. Although it was born and gained huge success in America, it is also popular in Australia and Canada and has moderate prominance in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

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History

Modern country music (in the later half of the 20th century and beyond) evolved from "hillbilly music," or bluegrass (which itself has roots in the folk music of the Appalachian hills), as well as early blues from the deep south. Much of that form of music can be attributed to to the Scots-Irish immigrants to that region who brought much of their music and culture with them. Gospel music has also had a direct impact due to the origin of many of the performers communities having very strong ties to the Christian church.

In 1922 A.C 'Eck' Anderson recorded Sallie Gooden. This song is widely accepted to be the first country song. In 1976, The compilation album, Wanted! The Outlaws was released. The album featured Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessie Colter, and Tompall Glaser. The release was the first country album ever to sell one million copies which earned it a platinum record.

Lyrical Themes

Many Country songs have to do with love. More often than not these love songs are about getting over and moving on when a good thing has been lost. However, there are quite a few that deal with being in love and the happiness it brings to ones life. God and the Christian religion are frequently found in this music. Alcohol, whether the joys of or the downfall involved, is also widely heard in Country Music. Patriotism, along with the support of the military and its veterans, can also be found in every generation of this style. Of all the forms of popular American music, Country is the most active in supporting and promoting the love and defense of America and its values. Other themes include but are not limited to hunting, fishing, farming, rural lifestyles, family, and the struggles of the common man.

Artists

Some famous country musicians include:


Bands

Although Country is mainly a solo artist dominated field, there are quite a few bands that have enjoyed success. Some of these include:

Famous Families of Country Music

Several organizations present awards to outstanding country performers including the Academy of Country Music and American Country Music Awards.

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