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Country Music

Country Music. Contemporary Music In Society. A History of Country Music:. Origins: Came around 1910-Southern Appalachia First Commercial Recording Eck Robertson Vernon Dalhart-1 st national hit Jimmie Rodgers: “Father of Country Music” Country Music Hall of Fame 1961 Died 1933 of TB.

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Country Music

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  1. Country Music Contemporary Music In Society

  2. A History of Country Music: • Origins: Came around 1910-Southern Appalachia • First Commercial Recording Eck Robertson • Vernon Dalhart-1st national hit • Jimmie Rodgers: • “Father of Country Music” • Country Music Hall of Fame 1961 • Died 1933 of TB

  3. First Family of Country Music: Carter Family • 1st famous vocal group • June Carter married Johnny Cash • Bob Wills & Western Swing: • Originated in Texas and went to Midwest in late 20’s • Blend-N.O. Jazz/big band/ horn driven sounds • Drums 1st incorporated

  4. Bill Monroe & Blue Grass Boys • Bill beat his wife with a bible • Popularized Blue Grass • “Father of Blue Grass” • Inducted to Hall of Fame 1970 & 1997 for Rock and Roll • Hollywood Goes Counrty • Cowboy Films became popular • Music was written specifically for movie

  5. Honky-Tonk Heros: • Ernest Tubb-turned honky-tonk into national prominence • Hank Williams 1940’s • Nashville Sound • Popular in 1950-60’s • Contrast to HonkyTonk

  6. Bakersfield Sound • 1950’s • Originated from Honky-Tonk (California) • Stars: • Buck Owens • Webb Pierce • Merle Haggard • Outlaw Movement: • Johnny Cash-played in prisons…wore all black • Considered “sell-outs” • Said whatever they wanted

  7. Urban Cowboy: • Movie made out of it • Dolly Parton • George Strait • Alabama • Reba • Class of 89’ • Alan Jackson • Infused youth and rock & rockroll

  8. Prompt: • What do we know about Country music?

  9. Country Music: • Definition: An American popular music idiom derived from traditional oral music brought by immigrants from the British Isles (Sharp Reference) • AKA: Country-and-Western • Began between wars (WWI & WWII) • Popularity took off after WWII

  10. Country Music: • Music is a blend of many sounds: • Hill-country music of Southeast • Traditional Anglo-American ballads & fiddle tunes • Western Cowboy songs • Blues • Banjo Music • Big Band Swing • Gospel Songs

  11. Country Music: • Has not undergone any profound musical development such as: • Harmony • Melody • Rhythm • What is Fiddling? • Developed into different styles: • Western Swing • Honky-Tonk • Blue Grass

  12. 1960’s Importance: Bob Dylan • Bob Dylan’s Folk Rock evolved into country rock • “Lay Lady Lay” by Bob Dylan • Includes pedal steel and flat-picking guitar • • Collaborated with Johnny Cash • “Girl from the North Country” • Dylan’s & Cash’s collaboration created controversy • Dylan-counter culture & Cash “the establishment”

  13. Outlaws: • Longhaired hippie superstars fuel this movement • With what? • Tequila, marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs • Term “Outlaws” originated from Lee Clayton’s song • “Ladies Love Outlaws” recorded by Waylon Jennings • • Leading Outlaws: • Jennings, Willie Nelson, David Allan Coe, Kris Kristofferson

  14. Outlaws Continued: • Artists starting using their own back up groups • Made the mainstream with brandishing the outlaw attitude: “Take This Job and Shove It” by Johnny Paycheck • • Trend faded by late 70’s • For Fun: •

  15. Alabama: • Prominent Band in the 1980’s • Musically used: • Three-part harmonies • Down-home fiddle licks • Anthem-like songs- “Mountain Music” • • In 1989 elected Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music • Sold over 60 million records (comparable to Elvis, the Beatles, & Rolling Stone • Their popularity shoed producers that youth-oriented bands could sell

  16. “Hats and Hunks” • Country Music remained in the 90’s but the one’s making a big splash: • Shania Twain • Garth Brooks • Faith Hill • LeAnn Rimes • Garth Brooks • Changed the country music industry – sold more than 66 million albums • Opened the door for other new country acts •

  17. “Hats and Hunks” • Shania Twain • Most controversial of new country artists • Became the Madonna of Country Music • Lively dance routines & Skimpy outfits • Also had talent • First female to sell over 10 million back-to-back albums • The Women in Me & Come On Over • Both albums were influenced by new country, honky-tonk, rockabilly, and swing • Brooks, Twain, & the Dixie Chicks formed a “golden country music triangle”

  18. “Hunks and Hats” • Dixie Chicks • Had sounds of “…old-time bluegrass sound of fiddle, banjo, and guitar…” • Appealed to a young crowd under 25 and mostly female • Created Controversy about the president (Bush) •

  19. Hank Williams • Born in Sept. of 1923-1953 • Lived a very short life due to a spinal defect • Lived fast and died hard • Inspired many country music stars • Married to Audrey, Hank found much inspiration from their tumultuous marriage • Performed “Lovesick Blues” at the Grand Ole Opry in 1949 • Crowd called him back for 6 encores! •

  20. Hank Williams • As his fame increased personal life spiraled out of control • His pain increased and led to binges of alcohol and painkillers • Became erratic and often violent…behavior became the stuff of legend around Nashville • He trashed hotel rooms, fell off stages…hurting his back even more • In 1952 was fired from the Opry, got divorced and his backing band quit • 1953 his driver found him dead in his Cadillac • Died at the age of 29 from an OD on pills and booze

  21. Johnny Cash • Songwriter and strong vocalist • Born February 1932 • Family was poor and were farmers • Big flood in 1937 inspired “Five Feet High and Rising” • • Joined the Air Force, married and settled in Memphis • Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two • Guitarist and Bassist • Made it big with “Cry! Cry! Cry!” •

  22. Johnny Cash • Some more popular music: 1956 • “Folsom Prison Blues” (ch. 34) • “I Walk the Line” • Began to take drugs to keep him going • Personal problems began to build up • Got arrested twice and divorced by 1965 • June Carter helped John knock his drug addiction • In 1994 he released American Recordings • His most haunting sound of his best work •

  23. Johnny Cash • Died at the age of 71 September 12, 2003 • Will always be a legend • Known as the “Man in Black”-wanted to distance himself from the glitz of Nashville

  24. Dolly Parton • Born January 19th, 1946 • Cut her first record by age 16 & appeared on the Grand Ole Opry • Soon as she graduated she went to Nashville to pursue her career • Mocked because of her appearance-typifies the gaudier aspects of country music • Opened a theme park called Dollywood in 1985

  25. Dolly’s Music Career: • Started off with Porter Wagoner • Had a road show and T.V. program • Stayed with him from about 1967-1974 • Starred in the film “9 to 5” • With Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin • • Other movies she starred in: • Best Little Whore-house in Texas • Steel Magnolias • Straight Talk

  26. Dolly Parton & Others: • Originally recorded “I Will Always Love You” • Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner • • Whitney Houston made it popular •

  27. Pasty Cline • One of the greatest country vocalists of all time • Original Name Virginia Patterson Hensley • Joined Peer’s Melody Boys and Girls (age 15) • Became Peer’s lover and he convinced her to change her name to Patsy • Her brief marriage to Gerald Cline gave her the last name • “Walkin After Midnight” • • Was limited for a while because of her contracts…

  28. Patsy Cline • Gained her freedom in 1960 from the previous record label • “I Fall to Pieces” • • March 1963 at age 30 was killed in an aircraft crash due to weather

  29. Blake Shelton • Got his recognition from The Voice • From Oklahoma and left right after high school to try to get his start • “Austin” • • Official Website: •

  30. Carrie Underwood: • Carrie Underwood: • Got her start with American Idol • “Before He Cheats” • • Official Website: • • “She is a two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year recipient” • “…She is the seventh woman in the show's 42-year history to take that crown and the first woman in history to win the award more than once.”


  32. Grand Ol’ Opry

  33. Sources: • “The History of Country Music”, by Stuart A. Kallen • “Music in the 20th Century”, by Sharp Reference • “Harvard Dictionary of Music”, by Don Michael Randall • “History of Western Music”, by Burkholder, Grout, & Palisca •

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