Country MusicGenres

Country Music

Country is a genre that found its beginnings in the Southern United States, was initially referred to as country and western music before eventually becoming known simply as country music. While traditionally dominated by men and often associated with male vocalists, women have also significantly contributed to the genre.

Understanding The Genre

With a diverse history, country music’s roots can be traced back to blues, church songs, Southern gospel, and spirituals. The genre also encompasses various forms of American folk music, including Appalachian, Cajun, and Creole.

Country music’s origins are also linked to cowboy western music styles, such as Texas-Country and Red-Dirt. The American songbook characterizes its musical elements as “traditional, traditional, or cowboy”.

Music frequently addresses social issues, with many of its greatest songs based on real-life stories. For example, Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” a powerful song written in the aftermath of 9/11, rallied the nation. Other well-known country music artists have advocated for prisoners, Native Americans, and women’s rights. The first recording of “The Pill” was banned by most radio stations due to its controversial message.

Country Genre

The History and Origins of Genre

Country music’s history began with Ernest Tubb, who played the steel guitar at the Grand Ole Opry. He was the first performer to use the twangy acoustic guitar, earning the title “Hillbilly Shakespeare.”

Today, the genre is defined by the sound of Honky-Tonk, a famous dance hall in some regions. Elvis Presley developed Rockabilly by fusing rhythm and blues with country and western styles. Sun Records’ promotion of Rockabilly helped the genre branch out from the South, popularizing rock music for a white audience.

The first recording to gain popularity was “Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By)” by The Carter Family. This hit record helped the Carters become the first country music stars. They were also the first to use drums in country music. In 1890, the band introduced the banjo to the United States.

Throughout the twentieth century, country music songs grew increasingly popular, largely due to the crossover between black and white artists.

In 1922, Eck Robertson made the first commercial genre’s record on Victor Records. He later had his first national hit, “Wreck of the Old ’97.” In 1928, Victor Records signed Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family, marking a significant breakthrough for the genre.

Types of Country Music

Some Subgenres

Today, the country genre is composed of various styles, including old-time and bluegrass. There is also an extreme music subgenre known as country-rock and roll, which mixes rock-n-roll and hillbilly styles.

Pop-Country is the latest subgenre of country. This music includes renowned artists who combine country with pop and attempt to incorporate the sound into a more mainstream style. These artists often feature strong verses and lyrics and are very popular in the mainstream.

Pop-country has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks in part to the American Idol television show. Known artists in this sub-genre include Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, and Lee Ann Rimes.

Country Music Genre


The development of country music was shaped by radio, records, jukeboxes, and touring performers on live circuits. This music became known as “The soundtrack to America”.

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