A Brief History of Country Music

The origin of country music can be traced back as far as the 1920′s. Many people especially those from outside the USA often think that it is a new music genre due to the rise of young country singers and groups such as Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum who brought the genre back to life and introduced it to the world once again. For those who are interested in the history of music and its many different genres, they should also be interested in finding out the history of country music. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular music genres in the USA today. It is even popular outside the USA such as in Canada and Australia, as numerous American country singers and musicians today have also gained fame outside of their home country.

One of the most popular sub-genre of country music in the 1930s and 1940s was honky tonk. It was usually identified by the heavy use of guitar, bass, drums, and steel guitar. In those days, the most famous and probably the best country music “hero” was Al Dexter, an American musician and song writer who came up with the name “honky tonk”. His first hit song was “Honky Tonk Blues”. “Pistol Packin’ Mama”, another one of Dexter’s many hits, was used as the marching chorus of the New York Yankees in the year 1943. Ernest Tubb, also known as the Texas Troubadour, was also considered a pioneer of the sub-genre. In fact, the rise of honky tonk was by his biggest hit, “Walking the Floor Over You”, released in 1941.

Another popular country sub-genre at that time was Western music. Western songs were usually about the ups and downs of the everyday cowboy life. The style was popularized by the likes of Sons of the Pioneers and Gene Autry, and it was identified by the use of string instruments (such as the fiddle and double bass) and harmonica.

As the genre progressed throughout the decades, more sub-genres were created, such as country soul, rockabilly, and alternative country. Today, country music incorporates bits and pieces of other music genres so it is no wonder that it sounds so much different from what it used to be back in the old days. By studying its brief history, people will be able to appreciate this genre even more as it has inspired so many great musicians today to produce the best music people listen to, love, enjoy, and adore.

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