Southern music currently known has country music became well known in the period of 1920’s. The first European Settlers were the first individuals who brought country music. It is because, when they first settled in the United States, they brought with them the storytelling tradition together with the songs they had learned in their country. It was centered on folk music among the cowboys in the southwest and southern parts of the United States. It then started to become popular in the Appalachian Mountains where it gradually began to spread to other parts of the nation. In this paper, I will, therefore, describe the evolution of country music from the 1900’s to the present.
In 1900’s, people residing in the Appalachian Mountains kept singing their southern music although they were poor. The place was also far away and remote thus making it difficult for the Americans to visit the place. Therefore, the individuals residing in the mountains continued to guard their traditions in country music, but as time went by, it began to develop (Turner, 39). It then reached a point where the Americans required something different to aid them to simplify their emotions in their daily activities to take them back to their roots. During this period, some of the Americans began to broadcast and record the country music where it became their hit as they enjoyed it.
In the year 1922, Eck Robertson became the first individual to make a viable country music record on the label of Victor Records. He was named the first country music singer although it had already been done by John Carson from Georgia. Eck went ahead to record two southern songs in the year 1923. For this reason, the event became most acknowledged with the fact that it marked the birth and the spread of country music. In the year 1924, Vernon Dalhart made a national hit of the country music. 1927 was the year where Jimmie Rogers was famously known as the ‘Father of Country Music’ made a real period of the realization of country music (Neal, 47). With the event, he became recognized with the thousand-catalog of albums that sold in between the period. All of his country music songs were recorded in the middle of 1927 and 1933. When his song began to hit, James proved himself as the first person with an outstanding voice in country music.
In between, 1930’s and 1940’s was a period of the Great Depression. The country underwent a period of a tough economy which made the musicians record less of their country music songs. During the same year, radio surged in the status of the country music. With regards, it stimulated some shows regarding country music which took place for a longer period. It involved the well-known show in Nashville known as the Grand Ole Opry. Also, in the period, the western films began in Hollywood featuring various country songs thus aiding in its popularity around the nation. As the individuals sang the country music, no drums were used during this period. Many of different styles such as bluegrass, honky tonk, and hillbilly started to become popular.
During 1950’s and 1960’s, a different moment of tension arose due to folk and country music distancing from each other. It was also during this period that country music started to lose its popularity because rock and roll, as well as hillbilly music, began to hit (Pecknold, 74). For this reason, many of the record organizations advertised on the western and country music.
During 1970 and 1980, various genres in music developed thus creating various styles. It then led to the evolvement of country pop where the sounds gathered a wide range of audience, but other groups rebelled by appreciating what was known as outlaw country. With time, individuals appreciated country rock where (Gibson, 35). Finally, in the year 1990, the FM radio was extended in its place in country music. Country music then took the chance of singing to many of the individuals. As a result, many people tuned into the country music melodies.
In conclusion, country music became popular in 1920’s where it was brought into the United States by the European Settlers. In 1900, it started to become popular in the Appalachian Mountains specifically in the southwest and southern parts. It was during this period where it began to be broadcasted and recorded. In the year 1922, Eck Robertson became the first individual to make a viable country music record. In 1924, Vernon Dalhart made a national hit of the country music and also in 1927 Jimmie Rogers made a real period of the realization of country music. In between 1930’s and 1940’s, country music began in the Great Depression as the country underwent some tough economic crises. During 1950’s and 1960’s, a different moment of tension arose due to folk and country music distancing from each other making companies advertise on the music. During 1970 and 1980, various genres in music developed thus creating different styles. Lastly, in 1990 country music became very popular as many individuals tuned into radio stations playing country songs.
Neal, Jocelyn R. Country music: A cultural and stylistic history. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Turner, Jessica A., et al. “The Birthplace of Country Music? Challenges, Rhetoric, and Nuanced Experiences of Bristol and Appalachia at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum,” (2015).
Gibson, Nathan D. “International Country Music.” Journal of America Folklore 127.504 (2014): 236-242.
Pecknold, Diane. “Cosmic Cowboys and New Hicks: The Countercultural Sounds of Austin’s Progressive Country Music Scene by Trivis Stimeling (review).” American music 32.1(2014): 108-110.