Country music

From ArticleWorld

Country music (also called country and western music or country-western) is a mixture of several musical forms originating in the United States. Roots of the genre can be found in Celtic music, traditional folk, Old-Time music, Gospel Music and Blues.


The main factor that created and shaped country music stands in the influences it was exposed to. One of the biggest was given by Jimmy Rodgers. He invented country folk, which were built from traditional ballads and Southern influences. His songs became very popular because they related to ordinary people and portrayed his own experiences. Lyrics were influenced from his day to day life, the places he went to and the people he met. Popular themes that could be found in his songs were women, whiskey, death, murder, humor and many more, which were to be used by his followers and continue his tradition. One of these people was Hank Williams. He provided another important influence in country music although he only lived for 29 years. His songs were the ones that dominated the era and they were covered by all country music artists. Hank Williams and his son were innovators in country music and so was Hank Williams III, which aimed towards fusion with rock and outlaw country. Another huge influence stands in the Carter Family. They formed a band which portrayed some songs picked up by A.P. Carter during his numerous expeditions into the hill country around their home. After that came the bluegrass influence. Characteristic of country music was for the artists to be white. Only some black singers were successful with Deford Bailey and Charley Pride as the most notable ones. The problem came from racism as many people refused to play their music just because they were black. Pride offered important influences in country music and the genre itself influenced many black artists that were to emerge like Ray Charles and Cowboy Troy.


Country Music continued to develop after 1900. Jimmie Rodgers influenced the appearance of the “working man” theme present in many songs. Traditional folk was transformed and brought up to date in a country music manner and the alternative country music subgenre appeared in the early 1990s. Younger artists played it and its main characteristic stands in the influence of traditional country, punk music and rock.